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– Dr. Frank Guliuzza, President, American Collegiate Moot Court Association; former Chair, Pre-Law Advisors National Council; former President, Western Association of Pre-Law Advisors


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More Thoughts on Law School Rankings: Does it Make Sense to go to a Lower-Ranked Law School?  Part One, What if That’s Your Only Choice?

Last week, I published How Can You Avoid a Costly Law School Mistake? What the New York Times Says (and Doesn’t Say).  A former partner at an elite law firm wrote to say that he thought I might do a post about whether any potential law student should consider going to a third- or fourth-tier law school (the Times article focused on a hapless graduate of the fourth-tier Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego).  He also mentioned a few circumstances in which he thought that it did make sense (some of which I’m going to appropriate without specific attribution).



Study Tells Us Law School Reputation Matters for Job Prospects: We Already Knew That, so Some Decide to Make It a Moral Issue

Robert Morse of U.S. News recently decried the “absolutely incorrect” use of U.S. News’ law school rankings.  The comment was met with derision in the blogosphere, which generally characterized it as self-serving.  Although Morse’s full comment was not only inoffensive but in substance correct—he recommended that rankings be used by prospective law students in conjunction with other, more detailed research—it’s true that he begged the question in the true sense of begging; what, exactly should prospective students use the rankings for and how much weight should they give them?



Not Out of the Woods:  December Jobs Report is Disappointing News for Legal Employment

Most months, I do a short blog post on last month’s Bureau of Labor Statistics legal jobs report.  I also usually say that these are not terribly important numbers for prospective and current law school students, since they reflect the recent past and not the future, are subject to upward or downward revision the next month (which sometimes reverses the original report) and are subject to odd monthly fluctuations.  Nevertheless, they’re information that those on the path to as legal career should note regularly, so I do.



How Can You Avoid a Costly Law School Mistake?  What the New York Times Says (and Doesn’t Say)

Sunday’s New York Times published a very long article on the troubled prospects for today’s law school graduates and asked in its headline whether law school is a “losing game.”  There's little new in the article.  We and others have noted at length and often pretty much every element of the Times article—the significant average debt load of law school students, the ridiculously vague and deceptive employment data that law schools report, the flat tuition structure (virtually the same tuition at a bottom-tier law school as at a top 5 law school), the fact that most prospective law students Read More >>


A 2010 Gift to Ring in 2011

Just before Christmas, we noted a report of a jump in global merger and acquisition activity in 2010 and took that as a good sign for the U.S. legal employment market, notwithstanding that much of the reported increase came from non-U.S. activity.  Still, it was a sign (albeit an indirect one, since it was not explicitly tied to U.S. law firm activity).



Another Positive Sign Raising Hopes for Improvement in the Legal Employment Market

Last week, I analyzed some recent economic and legal market data.  The data did not have deep roots in terms of time, and my conclusion was tentative.  It was also hopeful, since these data, collectively, were the first data group in the last several years that were all positive, and that’s a good sign.



The Best Time to Read Blogs About LSAT Techniques and LSAT Prep (Hint, It’s Not the Night Before the LSAT)

Normally, this blog gets a fairly even distribution of reads between its principal categories, the LSAT, Law School Admissions, Beyond Law School and Becoming a Lawyer.  Not so during the few days before the LSAT, when LSAT prep traffic explodes relative to the other categories.  Similarly, Advise-In’s free white paper on the five major reasons why LSAT takers don’t get their highest score on exam day gets more downloads right before the LSAT.



Legal Employment Market Loses Lots of Jobs in November but Year-over-Year Change is Negligible

November saw a fairly sharp decline of 1100 jobs in November, following a smaller decline in October, offsetting gains in September and netting a small decline of 100 legal sector jobs compared with November 2009.



Predictions of a “New Hierarchy” in Law Schools, Part One: The Difference between the Headline and the Data for Current Entering Law Students

Indiana University law professor Bill Henderson suggests that there is an emerging “new hierarchy” among law schools “that will be based on educational quality and connection to the legal profession rather than student academic credentials.” Whether that would be a “new” hierarchy is an open question; it appears to rely on a presupposition that the current hierarchy is arranged from top to bottom on the basis of “academic credentials” that “are not a reliable basis for hiring decisions in an environment where law firms are competing for market share.”



Advise-In Solutions Sponsors Eighth Annual Quaker Classic Invitational Mock Trial Tournament (University of Pennsylvania, November 12-13)

Advise-In Solutions is proud to be a sponsor of the Eighth Annual Quaker Classic Invitational, to be held under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania Mock Trial organization.  I didn’t participate in mock trial when I was in college (I debated instead), but over the years, I’ve come to greatly appreciate the value of mock trial for helping prepare undergraduates for careers in law.  Mock trial is one of the very limited number of undergraduate activities that help participants develop an impressive ability to think through a problem tactically from beginning to end, in the context of dynamic counterparties whose own tactics and approaches change over time.  There’s also a requirement to play well with others, namely, those on one’s own team.  While the context is obviously “trial,” developing those skills is important for a broader range of legal practice and also come in pretty handy in life generally.



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