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18 August 2006


William Henderson

Gordon Smith asked "why these cities" as centers of legal expertise rather then, say, Boulder or Madison?

I try to answer that question here:


Gary Rosin

Did you test to see if there is further intra-tier stratification as among "global cities" and the other Top 10 MSAs?

D. Daniel Sokol

I imagine this means that over time, the rankings of the US News will shift to schools that are located in these global cities. If this theory holds, we should expect to see a much weaker showing by schools in the Midwest by the time the 2027 rankings hit the stand.

William Henderson


I had not thought about that. Here are three educated guesses:

1) Schools in the Top 16 in the "tail". There are comparable fewer students with 168 and 169 compared to 158 and 159. So for Top 16 scores, the 75th scores will tend to be higher.

2) Schools in the Top 16 are at the top of the heap and can afford to do more whole-person reviews after the median LSAT is locked in.

3) Lots of students apply to schools in both Tier 1 and Tier 2. If a student fails to get into a Tier 1 school, the next best shot at BigLaw employment is a Tier 2 school in a major market.

All this theories, of course, are mere speculation.

Gary Rosin

Nice work, Bill.

I see that, for each tier, schools in Top 10 MSAs have lower mean interquartile ranges (IQR) than other schools in that tier. What I find interesting is the differences in the mean IQR of Top 10 MSA schools as between tiers. The lowest mean IQR is for Tier 2,and the highest mean IQR is for Tier 1. Does your analysis suggest why that might be so?

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