Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Friday, March 18, 2011

The US News rankings are arbitrary and despicable, but like other things which are arbitrary and despicable they are also pervasive and persistent. I only care about my law school, which is ranked 84th. The New York schools that appear ahead of UB are #4 Columbia, #6 NYU, #13 Cornell, #30 Fordham (wha?), # 50 Yeshiva University (Cardozo) (wait a minute! How is that possible?), and #67 Brooklyn (you can't be serious). UB  is tied with Hofstra (oh please), and ranked in front of #100 Syracuse, #113 Albany, #117 Pace, #121 CUNY, and #135 New York Law. Touro's rank is "Not Published". I don't know what happened to St. Johns-- I didn't see it on the list.

Here's the reality, just in case anyone stumbles on this post while considering law school, or contemplating what law school to attend: unless you are accepted into a school in the top five or ten, go to the school that offers you the best value for the money. That doesn't mean the highest US News ranking relative to the cost of tuition. It means the school you can attend for the smallest coin. You wanna be a lawyer? Godspeed, but be aware that although it was once a profession where a few people made a lot of money and a lot of people made a decent middle class living those days are in the rear view mirror, and receding fast. Lawyers live a long time, experience is valuable, and there is a declining demand for the things that we do. Do the math: it isn't like there are likely to be a lot of openings any time soon. It is a tough job unless you love it, and even then it is a lot harder than you think. Don't put yourself under a mountain of debt unless you are sure this is what you want to do, which means don't do it just because you can't think of anything else.

Oh, and according to Malcolm Gladwell,  based on value for the dollar, LSAT scores and faculty publishing, the University at Buffalo Law School ranks 40th in the nation.

| Comments:
"Lawyers live a long time, experience is valuable, and there is a declining demand for the things that we do."
Perfectly stated.

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