Recent law grads: Forget school rankings, focus on jobs

September 14, 2012
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A recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep shows law school applicants are so focused on where a law school ranks that they don’t think affordability or job placement numbers really matter. But recent grads would advise LSAT takers to think otherwise.

A lot of attention is paid to the rankings of law schools by U.S. News and World Report each year, some positive and some negative. I’ve written about them over the past few years with regards to where Indiana’s law schools place on the list. It’s no surprise, then, that a June survey by Kaplan revealed that 32 percent of Kaplan LSAT students cited law school rankings as the most important evaluation factor in deciding where to attend school.

Most – 86 percent – said the rankings are “very important” or “somewhat important.” But a new survey by Kaplan shows that after going through three years of law school, those rankings lose their luster. Just 17 percent of respondents to the Kaplan Bar Review survey said they’d tell applicants that law school rankings should be most important when picking a school. About a quarter each responded that job placement rate or affordability/tuition should be the most important.

Remember those LSAT takers? Only 13 percent of them said affordability was the most important factor to them, and just 8 percent cited job placement rates as their top priority.

You’ve got three years to become jaded, law applicants. Perhaps the grads who responded to the survey were just like you, but after attending school and going far into debt and unable to find a job, they changed their minds about the importance of rankings. The survey doesn’t say whether the grads had jobs lined up after they passed the bar.

The grads were surveyed in July.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.