Super lawyers, super schools?

November 17, 2009
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Move over U.S. News and World Report law school rankings, there’s a new list in town, and it’s from the same people who pick Super Lawyers.

According to Super Lawyers magazine, the University of Notre Dame Law School ranks 43; right behind is Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis at 44; Indiana University Maurer School of Law at 59; and Valparaiso University School of Law at 151.

How did Super Lawyers come up with the top 180 law schools in the country? By taking a look at professional excellence, i.e. the number of “Super Lawyers” graduates by school as opposed to measures of facilities or faculty. The rankings are based on the number of “top attorneys” they pick and what schools those “top attorneys” come from.

If you click on a school’s link, it shows you the “Super Lawyers” who when to that school. Notre Dame has 617; lU – Indy has 567; Maurer School of Law has 552; and Valpo has 139.

That’s it. There are no other reasons listed as to why Notre Dame is a better school than IU – Indy or why Harvard is the best beyond the fact it has 3,568 “Super Lawyers.”

Excuse me if I come across suspicious of this new form of ranking, but when it seems more than just the “top 5 percent” of attorneys are touting that they are “Super Lawyers,” I don’t know how credible the list can be. Add that there’s no other criteria listed to explain the rankings, and it’s just one big advertisement for Super Lawyers. At least the U.S. News and World Report rankings looked at faculty, research, student ratios, and other factors.

“We reward schools that produce the greatest number of outstanding attorneys, period,” says the publication’s Web site about the methodology of these rankings.

Apparently outstanding attorneys are only measured by the “Super Lawyer” recognition.

How much clout can this list carry with future and current law students? Is this going to be something law schools tout to prospective students, or try to sweep under the rug (especially if they didn’t have too many “Super Lawyers” from their school)?

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.