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Law School News: International Rankings; Desert Law School; ABA's Wimpiness

Vivia Chen

September 27, 2011

News items for law students and those aspiring to be:

Don't be provincial. Forget U.S. News & World Report's much ballyhooed ranking of American law schools. It's a global economy, stupid, so it behooves you to go to a law school with international status.

HarvardLaw Recently, QS, an education company based in London, released its rankings of the world's top universities for legal studies. According to The Telegraph, which published the list, QS's rankings are based on surveys of "over 33,000 global academics and 16,000 graduate employers and based on research teaching, employability, and internationalization."

Here are QS's top ten institutions for law for 2011/2011:

1. Harvard (on right)

2. Oxford

3. Cambridge

4. Yale

5. Stanford

6. University of California at Berkeley

7. London School of Economics

8. Columbia

9. University of Melbourne

10. New York University

This school is listless. It will take a while before The California Desert Trial Academy College of Law gets on QS's (or anybody else's) list of top (or bottom) law schools. Reports The National Law Journal:

[John Patrick] Dolan [the proposed school's president and CEO] said the school is intended primarily to serve local residents. The school hopes to enroll 25 to 40 students next year, and organizers were encouraged by an open house on September 21 that drew about 50 prospective students.

We definitely don't need another law school, but at least it's near Palm Springs. Plus, how romantically evocative to use the word "desert" in the name!

The ABA wimps out. After all the chest-beating about how law schools ought to be more accountable, the American Bar Association has decided to give law schools a pass on coughing up details about their 2010 graduates' job placements, reports The National Law Journal's Karen Sloan. We still won't know the percentage of grads who got jobs requiring bar passage or the number of grads working part-time jobs.

Those pushing for the information are incensed. The ABA's  legal education group "has done a huge disservice to prospective law students, law schools, and the legal profession," Law School Transparency executive director Kyle McEntee tells the NLJ. "The failure to require law schools to disclose this rate legitimizes questions about whether the section is a body captured by special interests."

Art Gaudio, the chair of ABA's questionnaire committee, tells the NLJ that the questions weren't included because of deadline constraints. Gaudio, who is also dean of Western New England College School of Law, insisted that his committee was not trying to protect law schools by omitting the "J.D. preferred" question. (Hmm, wonder how his school did on the employment front--just saying.)


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The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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