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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Law School Rankings and other Spectator Sports

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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As saq104 noted the other day, former Houston Law Dean Nancy Rapoport is working on some papers which indicate that the dip in the rankings which allegedly contributed to her resignation as Dean (she still teaches at UH) may form the focus of her research for the foreseeable near term. Some recent additions to her faculty page

Lemmings: How Legal Education Fails Law Students (work in progress).

An Empirical Study of Bankruptcy Ethics: How Square Is the Peg and How Round Is the Hole? (work in progress).

Eating Our Cake and Having It, Too: Why Real Change Is So Difficult in Law Schools (solicited manuscript for a symposium, The Next Generation of Law School Rankings) (work in progress).

It really is an interesting question as to how much law school administrators can allow themselves to be influenced by the rankings, which are, we should remember more about making money for a magazine than truly determining the relative merits of each institution. The current logic among Deans seems to be that even though we shouldn’t pay them any attention, we can’t afford not to. Too many people rely on the information, regardless of the inherent flaws these particular rankings and even the idea of rankings may have.

Is there is no real viable alternative for students seeking to make a judgement about the relative quality of different schools and to make a rather important decision? Yeah, sure we could just not pay any attention, but please, we’re law students. Are there more status-conscious creatures on the planet?

Allow me to present a short selection of readings in ranking wanking: Leiter Rankings (We coogs are supposed to like him because he says we’re 2nd best in Texas, hey wait a minute…), Baylor forgot to report summer and spring admits, oops. I like Volokh‘s suggestion of multiple methodologies; if competition is good for business it’s likely better for rankings. Something like this little applet would do the trick. Money Law applies the Moneyball methodology to rankings, could UHLC be the Oakland Athletics of law schools?

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Category: law school, university of houston


2 Responses

  1. MC says:

    Well, no matter how you slice it, UH is relatively mediocre shite (Ragazzo notwithstanding). We just have to keep our chins down and nut up to the sad challenge, all the while hoping that there’s a job at the end of the tunnel.

  2. lukegilman says:

    Good Lord, Eeyore, you sound like a 3L in the lower 50. I remain convinced, despite all the law school posturing, that the fundamentals of economics apply to the practice of law as equally as well as to any other profession. You take your supply, you go find some demand, and then you fill it. Ceteris paribis, it is what we make it. If it’s good enough for O’Quinn, it’s good enough for me.

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