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Do rankings matter at all?

New article up from preLaw magazine, a publication of the National Jurist.  Good overview of the pluses and minuses of the various rankings systems, especially that of the infamous US News & World Report.

(The link opens up a nxtbook reader in your browser.  If you would prefer to read a hard copy, I’ve got bunches in my office.)

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Outsourcing legal employment to India

The global market and law jobs.

India’s legal outsourcing industry has grown in recent years from an experimental endeavor to a small but mainstream part of the global business of law. Cash-conscious Wall Street banks, mining giants,  insurance firms and industrial conglomerates are hiring lawyers in India for document review, due diligence, contract management and more.

Now, to win new clients and take on more sophisticated work, legal outsourcing firms in India are actively recruiting experienced lawyers from the West. And American and British lawyers — who might once have turned up their noses at the idea of moving to India, or harbored an outright hostility to outsourcing legal work in principle — are re-evaluating the sector.

 

The number of legal outsourcing companies in India has mushroomed to more than 140 at the end of 2009, from 40 in 2005,... read more »

Legal employment and its discontents - UPDATE 8-19

Another recent article on legal employment (or the lack thereof) and who’s to blame.

The bottom line, from my perspective: before you invest $100,000+ in law school, make darn sure it’s worth it to you, given your current circumstances and your specific aspirations for legal practice.  Research, research, research.

 

UPDATE: Tis the season for articles on legal employment.  Here’s a pretty good one from the Newark Star-Ledger.  It references a mostly excellent ABA memo (PDF) on weighing the costs and benefits of a law school education.  The only problem with the memo is its failure to include in the calculus the school-based and federal loan repayment options available to many on the lower end of the salary spectrum—those working in public interest and government.

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Interview with Brian Leiter, law school rankings maven

I won’t hesitate to give you the most important take-away from this interview:

Anyone who thinks that “top 14” demarcates a relevant category of law schools has already made a mistake!

 

... but it’s worth reading the rest of the interview as well.

 

Brian Leiter is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Law who makes a hobby of dissecting the law school rankings and providing alternatives.  In my opinion, he still focuses a bit too much on the schools with the best reputations for scholarship (rather than, say, job placement or even excellence in training practicing lawyers), but he also provides an invaluable analysis of the rankings and how schools game the system.

 

(I should add that this interview was with TopLawSchools.com, a site I usually warn... read more »

Write your own personal statement

I’d like to think this advice is unnecessary, but I also know how stressed out applicants get during the application process.  Between the stress and all the misinformation (promoted in part by companies trying to make a profit from your stress), you could begin to believe that the best personal statement is that one out there somewhere that someone else used to get into law school.

But it’s really not true.  Once you’ve read a good number of statements, it becomes pretty easy to tell the difference between the genuine and the faux (or stolen)—and admissions committee members have read a LOT of statements.  Now, though, some are going a step further and beginning to use plagiarism detection software on personal statements.

 

I assure you: your statement will be more persuasive if it comes from the heart.  Which... read more »

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