As the competition gets fierce and more and more students pass out from law schools every year, for few the journey ahead is seemingly easier than others. Most of these selected few happen to graduate from an elite or a top tier law school. Popularity of the tiers of law schools in US is increasing and as students try and seek admission in one of the various schools, they are often left bemused by this tier system.
What actually is tier system? Is this an official procedure or something more informal? How do tiers of law school affect a student’s career? If such questions are bothering you, details penned below can assist. US News and World Report prepares and publishes a list of top 100 law schools. These schools are judged on various factors and the setups which manage to feature in this list are considered the top tier law schools in US. Remaining of course are divided in the next 3rd or 4th rank.
Relevance Of Tiers Of Law School And Impact On A Student’s Career
Fundamentally an agency of repute has taken into account a number of factors and thus prepared the list. Therefore it can be asserted that these schools commit to provide better learning ground than the rest. However the rankings are totally managed by US News and World Report and thus the opinion is totally theirs. This is to say that the credibility of rankings is equivalent to the reputation of agency. This is not an official seal of best education standards.
The list is revised regularly. Thus when it comes to relevance there is no rule that a graduate from a top tier law school should get a job before those from 3rd or 4th tier. With this said and done, it cannot be ignored that the top tier law schools are respected and thus students getting their degrees from these schools, do get a better positioning than the rest. Employers are more willing to appoint top tier law school pass outs. Likewise most prestigious positions like that of the US Supreme Court clerkships are mostly taken by students from top tier law schools.
While discussing the impact of tiers or law school ranking on students career, regional differences must be taken into account. Law schools are allotted ranks on criterions like LSAT scores of students getting admissions, faculty publishing stats, etc. Rankings do not consider local differences.
Thus maybe in a region employers could prefer students from a law school, which though is not in the top 100 list, but is popular regionally. Thus if you aspire to pursuer career in a particular locality, local reputation of a law school might have a higher relevance than those featuring in list of top 100 law schools. Few schools occupying top positions in the current US News and World Report and thus categorized as top tier law schools are (in no particular order):
• Yale Law School
• Harvard Law School
• Stanford Law School
• University of Michigan Law School
• University of California
• Berkeley School of Law
• University of Virginia School of Law
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