March 11, 2014

U.S. News law school rankings served up hot this morning.

Here.

We're celebrating — though many of us are too dignified to say so — here in Madison, Wisconsin, as our law school rises 2 ranks to #31. If you click to put the schools in order of tuition and fees, we're #10. [CORRECTION: No, we're not #10, we're #35 in order of tuition and fees. I was looking at page 2.]

(And we're the only school with the diploma privilege, so... think about it.)

ADDED: There are 2 law schools with a higher overall rank than Wisconsin that have lower tuition and fees: University of Georgia and University of Alabama.

24 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

(Previously bad link fixed. Thanks for the prompt, Ron.)

Carry on discussing America's #1 law school obsession!

David said...

UW educates some excellent lawyers. UW lawyers were the core of my firm and as good as any from anywhere.

But UW is a "regional" school, right? Regional being a mild insult. Well, campers, as I said in the earlier post, with the exception of Harvard and (maybe) Stanford and Yale, they are all regional law schools.

David said...

I see that out of state tuition at Virginia, where I went to law school, is now $52,009. Tuition only. That's more than ten times what I paid per year to graduate in 1970. That is one hell of a big investment.

The differential between out of state and in state at Virginia is very narrow now. Virginia was a bargain out of state in those days (a primary reason I went there) and dirt cheap in state. No more.

EDH said...

After looking at the US News methodology, shouldn't this post be accompanied by one of those familiar Althouse photos of dogs running around sniffing each other's asses and playing dominance games?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Also the only law school with Althouse.

Tank said...

My alma mater came in at #83. About right I guess. I got a good legal education there (30 years ago). Still relatively cheap. Yeah, you're ok, as long as you don't get corrupted by the commies there (which is what I tell the nice young students who call me for money - which I don't give).

I had a Socialist prof for international law there. I was pretty hardcore libertarian at that time. We had some great battles in a small seminar. He gave me an A. Integrity. I was impressed. Also, I was too unsophisticated to keep my mouth shut (like many others).

Ann Althouse said...

"Also the only law school with Althouse."

What rational thinker would come to Wisconsin after counting Althouse as a plus?

Think about it!

realwest said...

I've never really paid a lot of attention to the "ranking" of a particular law school. But Prof. Althouse's hyping of HER law school got me to look at the rankings.
I was surprised that my law school (which was in the top 10 in 1973 when I graduated) has fallen to #13!!

But really, I mean I understand why the U of WI fared "so well" but geez, you folks were BEHIND such notable law schools as Minnesota, USC, The University of Alabama, Washington University.....I don't know but I guess jumping up two spots is a reason to celebrate......at least in Wisconsin!
So Congratulation to the University of Wisconsin Law School!

Mark said...

"And we're the only school with the diploma privilege."

I thought Marquette University had the diploma privilege as well.

MadisonMan said...

Columbia rakes in $72M annually in tuition. NYU brings in $77M! What a racket.

@realwest, moving up beats moving down, I guess?

realwest said...

Madison Man - yes indeed, moving up does beat moving down, but you have to be careful when looking at the ratings: cripes, I don't recall how many schools were tied for #31 or other numbers!!
I never noticed the tuition costs, but Columbia at $72K and especially NYU at $77K are jokes, especially since I once taught at NYU - great GREAT faculty; administration was just the opposite and to think how much of that $77K goes to administration just slays me.

MadisonMan said...

Tuition x Number students at NYU gives the $77*M*. Tuition isn't $77K (I think it was mid-50sK -- I'm not going to go back and look).

Meade said...

"What rational thinker would come to Wisconsin after counting Althouse as a plus? Think about it!"

*cough*

John said...

Yaaaay!!!!!

We're number 31!!


OTOH, they do have our hostess teaching there. That has to be a big plus.

John Henry

lorentjd said...

I'm glad to see MN > WI (wink)

mccullough said...

The tuition at all these schools is outrageously high.

I feel bad for many of those who are borrowing money they won't be able to pay back.

Madison is not as bad as many of these other schools but it's still a rip off for most of the students.

The federal government is just incompetent to be funding loans for law school. There are more than enough lawyers.

MadisonMan said...

I feel bad for many of those who are borrowing money they won't be able to pay back.

They'll just get elected and pass a law that allows them to void their loans.

I do not feel badly for people -- adults -- who make poor decisions. That they are gullible enough to swallow the sales pitch of a Law School makes me pity them and question their intelligence and math abilities.

Ann Althouse said...

What if instead of buying a $400,000 house (and going into debt to do so), you bought a $200,000 house and spent $200,000 on a law school education (again, using debt)?

Which would make more sense in terms of taking on debt and planning for the future?

mccullough said...

Student loans aren't dischargeable in bankruptcy and you can't sell your diploma to recoup some of the money. The diploma is only worth what a future income stream attributable to it is. For most, it is worth less than the amount borrowed.

You can sell a house and discharge in bankruptcy any of the short fall between the price paid and the price sold.

The debt might be worth it for about 20% of most law school graduates. For the other 80% it will be a burden, a crushing one for many.

My advice to law school students is to drop out after the first semester if you aren't in the top 20%.

David said...

What rational thinker would come to Wisconsin after counting Althouse as a plus?

Think about it!


It worked for Meade.

David said...

Ann Althouse said...
What if instead of buying a $400,000 house (and going into debt to do so), you bought a $200,000 house and spent $200,000 on a law school education (again, using debt)?

Which would make more sense in terms of taking on debt and planning for the future?


The law school debt has the potential to create income.

But it's a strange example. First of all, you still have $400k in debt, which is a big hunk starting out. Especially since you can't amortize the law debt over 20-30 years. At current interest rates thats $16k per year, and probably more. Add the principal amortization on the education debt and you are looking at around $40k per year at the start.

The wise person will rent for a while. Get one debt paid off before you incur another one.

Martha said...

Tuition at New York University
New York, NY is
$54,678 per year (full-time).

And that is high enough. Our youngest son is a 2L there.

lorentjd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lorentjd said...

I would say, very conservatively, that for about 25% of law students, going into an average amount of debt to attend law school is a HUGE mistake, financially. We are in a time when about 50% of new JDs will not find a job that requires a JD. My advice still holds: If, after a student's 1L year, a student is not AT LEAST in the top 50% of their class at a mid-tier law school, then consider resigning. A lower tier law school? Maybe top 75%. A tippy-top law school? Maybe top 25%.