How important are law school rankings?

Rankings of law schools are very important, not only to the prospective law student, but also to the institution’s management including professors and instructors.

The rankings are devised by gathering an immense amount of data related to various law schools, then compared against each other to deduce ‘scores’ that would automatically form a list of law schools from the top to the bottom.

As for the prospective law students, law school rankings may guide their decisions while choosing a law school. Generally, institutional rankings come foremost and then the subject-wise rankings.

There are other details that are not normally factored when ranking a law school such as tuition fee, accommodation costs and the social environment. These factors are equally influential upon a prospective student. These can make students partially disregard the rankings.

Most law professors prefer their names to be associated with top ranked institutions either generally or subject-wise. Some of these top ranked institutions normally pay their employed instructors and professors higher salaries.

As for the institutions, these rankings help them in making crucial decisions, especially when targeting international students. The institutions which do not feature in the top echelons of the rankings focus their student recruiting efforts in the continents like South Asia and Africa.

According to some people, university rankings should not be given too much of importance. It is said that these rankings cannot conclusively guide prospective undergraduate law students to deciding which school is best for them. This is because, while a particular university may rank higher than others, its law school will turn out to appear lower in the subject-wise ranks. Also, some law schools may feature higher than others in the rankings, but may feature lower in terms of student satisfaction. Some employers may prefer graduates from a particular law school irrespective of its rankings, while other employers do not care about these ranking at all.

Generally, students graduating from top-tier law schools approach the job market with confidence and with a belief that they are the best in the job market.

And as for the clients, most of them feel quite confident when they have their cases handled by someone who graduated from a top-tier law school. In fact, these graduates charge higher legal fees as compared to others who attended nondescript law schools.