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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