Monday, March 25, 2013

"What, no discussion of the USNWR law school rankings?"

Ask and you shall receive! U Chicago moves into a tie for 4th, while Berkeley slips into a tie for 9th. Berkeley remains #1 in Intellectual Property (as if there were ever a doubt). Hastings and Davis both dropped, to 48 and 38 respectively. Stanford is once again 3.

Is any of this important? Rankings have always been fairly divisive among the student body, and no doubt still are. Should it be worrisome that Berkeley rankings decline despite out of state tuition eclipsing $52,000 per year? Post your thoughts or observations in the comments.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed this blog, but you went over two months without a post. My advice: either do at least 2-3 posts a week or mothball the site.

3/26/2013 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone catch Edley's absurdly flippant language on USNWR rankings at the end of his memo to Chancellor Birgeneau on his review?

"I expect our ranking to fall this spring, dropping us to 11th or even 12th. We simply have not stayed
competitive in student-faculty ratio, and our holistic review in admissions gives us the student body we
want, but without getting credit for it from U.S. News & World Report. As silly as it seems, law school
applicants are mindlessly attentive to the rankings, and there will be consequences in admissions.
(Minority applicants are especially sensitive.) There will also be some consequences in faculty hiring and
retention, because the fall in ranking will interact with perceptions about the University’s finances.
We’ve had great success fending off raids from the other top 10 law schools, but I cannot honestly say
that our success is sustainable.
But, our super-coolness is."

Currently, tuition for in-staters hovers around $50,000, which is more than twice when he began as dean. Sure, the state has cut resources. But Edley has also gone on a spending spree. It's remarkable that he believes he should continue to expand expenses and hire lots of $250k faculty -- all in the pursuit of rankings, which he says are silly anyway.

If he's so concerned about our faculty/student ratio, how about just cutting class sizes like Northwestern or Hastings? But that would mean less revenue for him.

3/27/2013 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what happened to this blog, once a trailblazer for boalt/law/random news, now a near-graveyard?

3/28/2013 11:55 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

11:55, the simple answer is, nothing.

And that's the problem. Usually, every year, or every two years or so, current students express interest about writing, and after a trial run, things get rolling. But for the first time since 2004, there are no current students who have expressed interest in blogging. Of the senior status bloggers, I'm probably the most active, but that's because I birthed it. Even then, it's very hard to generate content because either I'm unaware of happenings at the law school, too busy to write about topics I think about, or precluded from writing about legal issues that I or my firm are involved in. I assume these factors are magnified for others who are not me. So, that's it in a nutshell. Nothing is your answer.

3/29/2013 12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want to know why new students don't want to write? This blog's alumni commenting base is conservative and aggressive. A majority of the posting over the law few years has attracted some foul and unproductive discussions from individuals who aren't at Boalt anymore. That killed off all the interest there was to write. Boalt has moved on past this blog. It didn't happen because of the writers or Armen. It happened because of the commenting base.

3/31/2013 4:15 PM  
Blogger McTwo said...

A small contingent of more conservative Boalt alums did not stem the tide of very not conservative Boalt students for a long time. I think the answer has more to do with there not being current student contributors who can strike a chord with what is currently happening at Boalt (and evoke discussion about it) than anything else. Put simply, it is more fun when it is a classmate (identity known or unknown) posting than an alumni. I have been trying to post when people request it, but ultimately other people push back and complain, even when content submitted at the request of readers.

I highly encourage people to test the posting waters if you're curious; it might not be as comfortable as an echo chamber, but an echo chamber doesn't prepare one well for the practice of law. We had five or more contributors from the Class of 2012; that created a void this year that has not been filled.

4/02/2013 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Nothing like a good law school ratings post to get the discussion going again.

4/08/2013 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparing blog trolls to practicing law is hilarious.

4/10/2013 7:46 AM  
Blogger McTwo said...

What can I say? Come for news, stay for comedy.

4/10/2013 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot about this blog until today, but I'm sure glad I graduated when I did. I thought tuition was absurdly high when I attended, but now the tuition is prohibitively high. Today I simply would be unable to afford Boalt.

5/23/2013 10:03 PM  

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