Law School News Roundup


  • Northwestern University School of Law announced it has appointed a new dean, Daniel B. Rodriguez, effective January 1, 2012. Rodriguez was previously the Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law and former dean at the University of San Diego Law School.
  • Harvard Law School has launched the new Harvard Law School Mobile App.  The app is available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, and provides HLS students and the public with information about the school. There is even a  “News” tab with all the latest HLS news, as well as a list of “Tweets” from 30 different Harvard related Twitter feeds.
  • Have you ever wondered what to do about your criminal record when applying to law school? Blueprint Prep explains why one should always be open with the school about any misdemeanors.  One should be in control of the facts so that the school doesn’t find out about your record in the wrong way.
  • The National Law Journal reports that law school grads’ salaries have dropped tremendously, according to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). The average salary went from $93,454 to $84,111 for the class of 2010. However, NALP Executive Director James Leipold explains that it is not that large firm salaries are dropping, but that more recent grads are working at small firms that pay lower salaries.

law-school-personal-statements ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Law School News Roundup


  • An article in Hartford Business Journal looks at how repaying law school loan debts has developed into a new “legal specialty.” As a result, law school graduates are opening their own law practices just to help graduates pay off their student loans. This situation is another cautionary sign of the damage caused by exorbitant school debt and inadequate means to pay it off.
  • The National Law Journal reports that 40% of the law school deans appointed in the past few months have been women. This figure is a big change—the ABA report in 2009 found that only 21% of law deans were women.
  • New York Law Journal writes about the challenges facing lawyers who want to balance their legal practice with their family life. Although this issue is not unique to the field of law, one of the New York State Bar Association’s priorities this year will be making the bar “more family friendly.”
  • The National Law Journal announced that The University of California’s Irvine School of Law will partner with the School of Management at Fudan University in Shanghai to start the first ever bilateral US-China center concentrating on business and law.  The center is the first of its kind.
  • Harvard Law School and Sciences Po Law School (SPLS) have jointly launched a new and exciting program involving short- and long-term exchanges of faculty and students, both pre-doctoral and post-doctoral. The two universities will also co-sponsor joint conferences on US and European legal issues. You can find more information on the exchange program here. ~ Helping You Write Your Best

U.S. News’ Best Law Schools 2012, Ranked Two Ways


U.S. News released its law school rankings today, with few surprises among the top 20. Yale Law School took its place at the top of the list (where it has been for the last two decades) and was followed by the rest of the top 5 regulars—Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and Chicago.

There is one new school on the T14 (top 14) horizon this year—the University of Texas’ Austin School of Law tied for 14th place alongside the Georgetown Law Center. Significant jumpers in the top 50 this year include the University of Maryland School of Law which jumped from 48th to 42nd and the University of California’s Davis School of Law which leapt from 28th to 23rd.

Here are the top 14 law schools of 2012:

1. Yale University

2. Harvard University

3. Stanford University

4. Columbia University

5. University of Chicago

6. New York University

7. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

7. University of Pennsylvania

9. University of California, Berkeley

11. Duke University

12. Northwestern University

13. Cornell University

14. Georgetown University

14. University of Texas, Austin

You’ll see below that U.S. News added a new perspective to the law school rankings. This year, in addition to the regular rankings (above), new rankings based on a five-point “average reputation” scale judged by recruiters at the top law firms (as determined by the 2010 Best Law Firms rankings) were added. Please see the U.S. News‘ article, “Law School Rankings Methodology,” for more details on how the law school rankings were determined.

2012 Best Law Schools Ranked by Recruiters (average reputation score, 5.0=highest, in parentheses)

1. Harvard University (4.9)

2. Stanford University (4.8)

2. Yale University (4.8)

4. Columbia University (4.7)

4. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (4.7)

6. New York University (4.6)

6. University of Virginia (4.6)

8. Cornell University (4.5)

8. Duke University (4.5)

8. Northwestern University (4.5)

8. UC Berkeley (4.5)

8. University of Chicago (4.5)

13. Georgetown University (4.4)

13. University of Pennsylvania (4.4)

Learn the latest in law school admissions news and access insightful advice and tips on the law school application process. Subscribe to our blog today and receive these critical updates right to your inbox or RSS reader. ~ Helping You Write Your Best

A Few of the Mostest at

This is the time of year to look back at the most, best, (worst), etc. I am going to stick to the positive.

Top Ten Most Visited Accepted Admissions Almanac Posts of 2010:

In a nutshell, rankings and application tip posts rule. (I am only listing the current tip post when last year’s tip post also made the list):

  1. Financial Times Global 2010 MBA Rankings
  2. Forbes ROI MBA Rankings for 2010
  3. Harvard HBS 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  4. INSEAD 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  5. NYU Stern 2011 MBA Application Questions, Tips, Deadlines
  6. Common Application Essay Tips
  7. Columbia 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  8. 2010 MBA Rankings Released by BusinessWeek
  9. Kellogg 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  10. London Business School 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips

Three Most Commented Accepted Admissions Almanac Posts of 2010

  1. Harvard HBS 2010 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (269)
  2. INSEAD 2010 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (246)
  3. INSEAD 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (60)

Keep ‘em coming! (Please post your questions about this year’s applications on this year’s tips.)

Five Most Popular Articles on of 2010:

  1. Go for the Goals in your Statement of Purpose
  2. Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation for Medical School
  3. 4 Must-Haves in Residency Personal Statements
  4. MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA 
  5. Sample MBA Interview Questions

Most Popular Resources of 2010:

Our Absolute, Best, Most Superlative Asset: YOU, our readers, followers, fans, subscribers, and most of all, our clients.

On behalf of Accepted’s staff, this post is where I

Thank you, all of you Acceptees, for making 2010 our best year ever!

By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of

Dealing with Rejection

What do investor Warren Buffett, entrepreneur Ted Turner, Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy, American television journalists Meredith Vieira & Tom Brokaw, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger and Nobel laureate Harold Varmus all have in common?

All were rejected by Harvard.

In a Wall Street Journal article of March 24, 2010, these (and other) thought and business leaders discuss being rejected by their first choice university. Obviously, none of their lives ended when they did not get into Harvard. On the contrary, several of them can draw a solid line between the rejection and their subsequent successful careers. Indeed, Buffett and Vieira, who both admit to being utterly devastated by the rejection, met life-changing mentors at the schools where they ended up (Columbia and Tufts, respectively). And McNealy finally got into Stanford –after applying three times– where he met his Sun co-founder.

Others learnt to turn the rejection into a success by attending lesser-known universities where they could thrive. Bollinger, who came from a small town in Oregon, says the rejection by Harvard “cemented his belief that it was up to him alone to define his talents and potential.” He ended up at the University of Oregon and later graduated from Columbia Law School. And John Schlifske, president of insurance giant Northwestern Mutual, who was rejected by Yale, went on to receive a “phenomenal” education at Minnesota’s Carleton College. “Being wanted is a good thing,” he says. Four years ago, when his son was rejected by his own first choice school, Schlifske Sr. told him, “Just because somebody says no, doesn’t mean there’s not another school out there you’re going to enjoy, and where you are going to get a good education.”

And then there is Ted Turner. Rejected by both Princeton and Harvard, but accepted to Brown, Turner left college after his father cut off his financial support. He joined his father’s billboard company and built it into the media empire that became CNN. He pointed out that even though having a degree may be better, “I did everything I did without a college degree.”

With a 2009-2010 admissions season shaping up to be another record-breaker, and acceptances to the top b-schools hovering at 8-15%, this means that 85-92% of applicants will be rejected from their first choice schools. And perhaps their second -and third- choices as well. This shouldn’t be the end of your dream. Whether it means looking at a school with a lower slot in this year’s rankings, or recognizing that rejection is a sign that you might not be ready, or have to work harder, don’t let the rejection control your life. To “allow other people’s assessment of you to determine your own self-assessment is a very big mistake,” says Columbia’s Bollinger. According to him, the question really should be: “Who at the end of the day is going to make the determination about what your talents are, and what your interests are? That has to be you.”

Tanis Kmetyk has been helping clients get into their dream schools for well over one decade.  If you are already thinking about reapplying to your dream school, or are ready to look into how other schools can help you reach your dreams, it’s never too early to get started.

US News Grad Rankings Are Out!

The US News just released its 2009 Grad School Rankings. I’m going to list the top ten for business school, law school, and medical school (research) and provide links to the ranking methodology for each category. For other graduate specialties, please visit the US News site.

Business School Rankings and methodology

1. Harvard
2. Stanford
3. Northwestern Kellogg
3. Wharton
5. MIT Sloan
5. Univ. of Chicago
7. UC Berkeley Haas   
8. Dartmouth Tuck
9. Columbia
10. Yale

Law School Rankings and  Methodology
1. Yale
2. Harvard
2. Stanford
4. Columbia
5. NYU
6. UC Berkeley
6. Univ. of Chicago
8. Penn
9. Univ. of Michigan
10. Duke
10. Northwestern
10. University of Virginia

Medical School Rankings (Research) and Methodology
1. Harvard
2. Johns Hopkins
3. Penn
3. Washington U (St. Louis)
6. Duke
6. Stanford
6. Univ. of Washington
6. Yale
10. Columbia

A few caveats: My strong recommendation is to use the rankings as a library of raw data conveniently compiled in one location and not as a tried and true guide of educational quality. They are not the latter. They are the former. To the extent you are going to use the rankings as a guide to school reputation and brand value, you must understand the methodology behind them and what they are measuring. Be cognizant of the differences between what is important to you and what is important to the rankings.

A few observations on the rankings themselves:

  1. There are many ties in the rankings, which implies that the differences in reputation are almost imperceptible when talking about closely ranked programs. For example the difference between being “in the top ten” and out of the top ten (i.e. #11) for medical (research) programs is 1 point, for the top law and business schools it’s  2 points. Don’t get hung up on these differences.
  2. The “top ten” changes little from year to year. In most cases, if you compare these rankings to the 2009 version, it looks as if US News just reshuffled the deck a tiny bit.

For more on rankings, please see:

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Law Schools Adopting New Grading Policies

In order to fairly depict student achievement, law schools across the country are reviewing their grading systems and implementing changes. For example, Harvard and Stanford Law Schools are switching from the letter grade system to a pass/fail system. Stanford Law School Dean, Larry Kramer explains the benefits of the new system:

One, the new system conveys more accurate information to employers without diminishing student incentive to work; two, it reduces needless grading anxiety; and three, it encourages faculty to experiment more with evaluative things they do in their classes.

Columbia which combines the letter grade system with a credit/fail standard is reviewing its grading policies as well. NYU has already implemented changes, allowing professors to give more A’s. Some schools, such as Chicago, Northwestern, Penn and Berkeley have no intentions of changing their grading systems.

Although the grading systems vary greatly, ranging from pass/fail to traditional letter grades to a combination of the two, University of Pennsylvania Law School Dean Michael A. Fitts emphasizes that whatever system law schools choose, it must be useful to potential employers. “When you have a less refined grading system, people who are employing your graduates are going to make distinctions, but they’ll make them on their grounds.”

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Happy New Year and Help!

As we say good-bye to 2008 and welcome 2009, I want to thank you all for your loyal following of this blog, your participation in events, and of course, your patronage.  Accepted  has enjoyed its best year ever. Thanks to all of you.

Looking ahead to 2009, we plan to make this web site and our services even better. We will roll out changes on the site throughout 2009.

We are currently wrestling with a question:  Whether or not to continue publishing recent posts from this blog on the home page.  What do you think?

We would really appreciate your taking a minute to answer a quick, 3-question survey and help us design this site in a way that suits you — or at least a majority of you. Thank you very much for your time.

Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!

Hastings Law School Cuts Raises and Hiring

NY Lawyer reports that Hastings College of Law in California is limiting raises, curtailing hiring and asking department heads to reduce their operating budgets by 5%. Last year the school received $10 million from the state, which represents over 25% of its operating budget. However, Hastings Dean, Nell Newton, explains that the school expects significant cuts this fiscal year and must prepare accordingly.

Despite the cuts, academic dean Shauna Marshall, says that the students will receive the same educational experience. “The changes I’m making are really not noticeable…I’ll probably not take one trip that I would’ve taken.” However, professor Joel Paul, head of Hastings’ international programs, expressed concern regarding the 5% cut, which means less money for international student scholarships and summer stipends.

Hastings is not the only school of higher education to announce cuts for the upcoming year. Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences announced that it will keep current salaries flat and it will postpone recruiting. UC Berkeley School of Law is considering a hiring freeze, as well.

Harvard Law on the Rise

In “Crimson TideThe Boston Globe provides a recent history of Harvard’s Law School and its ups and downs during the past thirty years. It also highlights the significant impact of its highly effective current dean, Elena Kagan, and changes percolating in the normally static world of legal education. A must-read for those applying to HLS and recommended for those interested in top law schools.