A Note From Red | Transparency, a simple word- an important meaning.
As a Law School Class of 2016 graduate hopeful, my summer leading up to law school has been filled with preparation and anticipation for the upcoming school year. It was a long journey to select a university (ultimately landing me back in Dallas at SMU Dedman School of Law), but nevertheless an exciting and fulfilling one.
A significant consideration when weighing my school options was to take into account the school’s U.S. News Ranking. Compiled based on a variety of factors, most of which I must admit I do not know, the ranking includes all accredited law schools in the United States and rates them on a number scale, the most prestigious schools at 1 and least on down.
|Photo Credit: SMU Dedman School of Law |
And while there were higher ranked schools on my list of acceptances when compared to my ultimate choice, SMU, I decided based on the current job market and overall environment and benefits Dallas and SMU offer I would go there (very excited about my choice!). In terms of ranking, it was important for me to stay in the top 50 ranked schools, which, SMU is included in. Yale, Harvard, NYU and the like are ranking consistently among the top 10.
While SMU is a competitive and distinguished law school, I did have some doubts later in the process on whether I should have accepted my admittance to higher ranked schools… after all they must be better right? No, not exactly.
While going to an Ivy League school is undoubtedly a huge accomplishment and these schools are consistently ranked on the top of the list and deserve their spot, the rest gets a little fishy.
In this recent article I came across, it sheds light on a school’s feeble attempt to raise its ranking by asking graduated students to contribute donations to the school. Yes, that’s right: alumni donations factor into the U.S. News Ranking. Why? I am asking myself the same question…
| Photo Credit: US News & World Report |
In a market that is leaving most law school graduates unemployed and can only be described as dismal at this point, it leaves me questioning the integrity of the list- a list I considered an crucial factor to consider in a decision as big as which law school I was going to attend. This list, which accounts for something so insignificant in making me a good attorney or finding me employment after law school, leads me questioning the broader interpretation of its rankings.