If you're thinking of applying to law school, here's another list to help (or confuse) you in the decision. Personally, I find these lists a bit annoying and misleading. But like everyone else, I can't resist checking them out.
Here is Princeton Review's 2013 tally of "best" law schools in an array of categories. According to the press release, the results are based on its surveys of 18,000 students at 168 law schools:
Best law schools for career prospects (in order of ranking):
2. U. of Chicago
3. UC Berkeley
7. U. Penn
8. U. Michigan
Best Professors Duke
Best Classroom Experience Stanford
Most Competitive Students Baylor
Most Conservative Students Ave Maria
Most Liberal Students Northeastern
Toughest to Get Into Yale
For those of you keeping score, Columbia beat out Northwestern, which held the top spot in the job category last year. The New York Post says that Columbia "clawed its way to the top perch in the category 'Best Career Prospects' from a third-place ranking last year, after not even cracking the top 10 the year before." This year, Columbia grabbed the top ranking because it "managed to get 99 percent of its graduates a gig within nine months of leaving," and reported an average starting salary of $160,000 (Law School Transparency might quibble with those stats).
As a graduate of that "downtown" institution, NYU School of Law, let me make the case why I think it should trump Columbia. First, NYU's Greenwich Village location is far cooler than being all the way uptown in Morningside Heights (is that still Manhattan?); second, the students at NYU are more irreverent and fun (did I mention that downtown thing?); third, NYU holds a respectable ranking in the job category (okay, so fifth place is not the same as first—but NYU still beat Harvard).
In any case, you'll notice that the toughest law school to get into in the country didn't even make the top 10 list for jobs. But that shouldn't surprise anyone, because we all know that Yale law students are way too lofty to trouble themselves with mundane concerns like working in a law firm. That said, anyone who gets into Yale goes.
Which brings me to the law school that you might want to skip: Baylor, which gets the dubious honor of having the most competitive students in the nation. Law school is already unpleasant enough, so who needs fellow students who are out to get you? (Recall also that Baylor accidentally sent a spreadsheet detailing individual LSAT scores and GPAs of the entering class to its accepted students this year, which probably didn't ease the competitive environment.) What's more, the prize doesn't seem to be worth the strain: Baylor grads make a modest $59,600 as the starting salary.
Besides, you really want to spend three years in Waco?
Hat tip: ABA Blog.
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