NDLS drops out of Top 25 in rankings

The new U.S. News and World Report law-school rankings have been leaked, and Notre Dame Law School has plummeted from a tie for #22 to a tie for #28. Says Olin Kerr: “The magazine always changes the numbers around enough to make the issue seem newsy, and this year is no exception.” Recent experience seems to back him up. NDLS’s ranking has been ping-ponging up and down since I’ve been here: from #22 to #20 in the 2005 rankings, from #20 to #24 in 2006, from #24 to #22 in 2007, and now from #22 to #28 in the 2008 rankings. What does this mean? Arguably nothing (except perhaps that NDLS fares better in odd years). Everyone always says law-school rankings are meaningless and misleading. Of course, everyone follows them religiously anyway. :)

(Hat tip: Watcher of Rankings.)

[PLEASE NOTE: This post previously also contained discussion of Professor Kelley’s role in the U.S. Attorney firing controversy, as well as his mid-semester departure from NDLS in spring 2005. Because the Kelley controversy and the U.S. News rankings are both proving to be hot topics of discussion, I have now split them into separate posts — and moved prior comments around accordingly — in order to facilitate a clearer, more focused discussion. Also, I’ve bumped this post, which originally appeared at 3:40 PM on Thursday, to the top of the blog for now. Anyway, if you want to talk about the rankings, please comment here; if you want to talk about Professor Kelley, please comment on the other post. Also, in both cases, please try to keep your comments at least somewhat respectful, and keep it constructive and topical rather than personal. I know the blogosphere is a giant bitchfest and Internet anonymity turns people into jerks, but let’s at least try to be civil…]

UPDATE: Dean O’Hara has responded, at some length, to the rankings drop.

66 Responses to “NDLS drops out of Top 25 in rankings”

  1. JT says:

    Considering the fact that half of the professors are visiting elsewhere this semester it seems like a legitimate slip in the rankings.

  2. Derek says:

    Brendan, as I’d elaborated, it’s not so much the drop itself as the reasons behind the drop. Here, we have a handful of very serious problems directly attributable to major administrative errors. It’s the not the drop itself that’s so disconcerting; it’s the reason why we dropped (or, the reason we were lucky we didn’t actually drop farther) that’s the issue. So I’d say it’s a far cry from “arguably nothing” given the screwups.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Fire Dean O’Hara!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here is some of Derek’s commentary:

    The more shocking statistics are the following.

    First, in 2005, for 3507 applications, the school admitted 638, an 18% acceptance rate. In 2006, for 3502 applications, the school admitted 853, a shockingly high 24% acceptance rate. And then we wonder why we have the largest 1L class in recent memory, coupled with an inordinate number of paid deferrals.

    Second, the employment at graduation rate for 2005 grads was a reported 78.8%, plummeting from 2004’s 86.7%, which suggests that either CSO wasn’t getting numbers or wasn’t finding folks jobs. Add that to the employment at 9 months statistic of 94.8% for 2005 grads, down from 98.3% for 2004, which means about 10 kids are wandering around a full 9 months after graduation without a job or not telling Career Services what they’re doing.

    Third, while ND’s prestige among lawyers and judges continues to rise (from 2.7 to 3.8), its peer prestige remains a stagnant (and unjustifiably low) 3.3, despite numerous young faculty additions that are often the envy of other schools. Apparently, not enough work is being done from the higher-ups to ensure that the accomplishments of these faculty members are being highlighted to ND’s peers.

    Finally, Notre Dame has not dropped this low (28) in the rankings since 1995.

  5. Watcher of Rankings says:

    “Considering the fact that half of the professors are visiting elsewhere this semester it seems like a legitimate slip in the rankings.”

    While I certainly won’t quarrel with the notion that substantively, NDLS is a lesser-tier place this semester without the Bellias, Garnetts, Bauer, O’Connell, Dutile, etc., there is no reason to think that this semester’s prof shortage is in any way directly related to this slip in the rankings.

    Indeed, the fact that four of our best profs are visiting at top-ten schools this semester ideally ought to help improve that peer prestige score: when people at UC and UVA fill out their surveys for next year’s rankings, they will hopefully remember those outstanding faculty they taught alongside this spring, and move NDLS up accordingly. But we won’t see that effect, if it happens, until next year at the earliest.

    Similarly, the faculty-student ratio in the just-released rankings almost certainly refers to actual official permanent full-time faculty, regardless of who is or isn’t teaching on campus in any given semester. Even if it does correspond to an actual semester, it wouldn’t be this one.

    On the other hand, the mere fact that such a severe shortage happened in a single semester, and the strange lack of sufficient visiting profs to make up for their absence — that is just another example of the many administrative shortcomings that have contributed to this significant decline.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Nothing like attending a second tier law school

  7. Derek says:

    To be fair, the second tier doesn’t start until 51.

    And I made a typo: it was 3.7 to 3.8, not 2.7. As a point of reference, the peer ranking in 1999 was 3.4, it’s now 3.3; whereas the judge/lawyer ranking was 3.6, and is now 3.8. Which means that our law school peers, for some reason, have slightly dropped their impression of us, despite having an outstanding young faculty, and while judges and lawyers continue to gain respect for graduates who’re practicing before them and working for them. The former is directly attributable to administrative promotion; the latter to law students going out and being great lawyers.

  8. David Mathues says:

    Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t care that much about rankings/prestige so to me this is not that big a deal (but maybe that’s just the mindset of someone who only got accepted by one school in the top 80). The rankings go up and down on the smallest of matters so it’s not reasonable to make judgments based on a single year. If ND dropped again next year, and again after that, *then* we would have a serious problem.

    I don’t see this single drop impacting current students that much. I worked for a big Chicago firm this summer, and I heard through the grapevine that the firm is much more favorable towards ND students than students from several schools ranked between ND and the purported “t14.” I suspect that most employers will be far more responsive to a good or bad experience with an ND student than a couple USNWR slots.

    If there’s a problem right now, its that we have too many people in the ND administration who need the USNWR rankings to see a problem with the Law School administration. Derek has chronicled the parade of incompetence well, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The current administration is squandering all the assets ND has, and its almost surprising that the mismanagement hasn’t made us drop even lower on the charts. Maybe this will wake some people up. All I can say is that when a team loaded with talented players starts losing, the coach, his staff, or both, start looking for new jobs.

  9. David Mathues says:

    Derek’s point about the difference between, and reason for, academic and “real world” perceptions of ND is well taken. That’s why I am not that worried about this single drop.

  10. anon says:

    The Dean will keep limping around until she can claim credit for the completed Law Building. A more accomplished scholar or fundraiser from a non-hick peer law school is sorely needed to make the school more national and excellent and less good-for-Indiana.

  11. Anonymous says:

    my apologies about saying we are 2nd tier, i guess i am just accustomed to football and basketball where there is just some psychological pain in dropping out of the top 25 and no longer being ranked

  12. Brian Foster says:

    Dave,

    I agree with you, and Derek, and the Watcher, that whether NDLS is 22 last year or 28 this year or whatever, doesn’t in the end amount to much of anything real. But I also agree that the actual, directly traceable, objective and quantifiable circumstances that explain the shift in numbers is representative of a larger problem that has much more of a real impact on the quality of the law school than the number assigned to it by a national news-magazine. For that reason, I do believe this is a worthwhile discussion to have, and indeed, it may be the best way to put these rankings to use.

    That said, I’m not convinced that we’re not in fact experiencing “ND dropp[ing] again next year, and again after that.” Consider that the rankings released in 2004 had us at #20; three years later we’re 8 spots down. Prior to that, we had been on a four-year upward path, from #27 in 2001 to the aforementioned #20 in 2004. The trendline from 1990 to today, and into the future, shows us slowly but steadily declining. Again, the trend goes from 23 to 25 over a period of 20 years, so it’s not that objectively that big a deal. But it’s still not the direction we’d prefer to head.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Both the students and the faculty are unhappy with the administration of the law school. It has been completely inadequate in admissions, CSO, course offerings, management style, and the general tone / approachability. So, what do we do about these complaints? The Dean either has to do a complete 180 or we need a new one. How do we voice our complaints to the proper people?

  14. Derek says:

    I think a petition would be eminently effective in this situation, Anonymous.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Anon #19 (absent the sailor talk). I thought the experience was horrible and I would have preferred Erin Gallagher over Kelley any day, especially if it meant an entire semester.

  16. Matt says:

    Derek, before a petition, wouldn’t a private letter to the Provost / Jenkins / Ohara be appropriate?

  17. Brendan Loy says:

    Matt, I’m pretty sure Derek was being sarcastic.

  18. Matt says:

    My bad – if a petition were to happen, remember that it’s effectiveness is directly proportional to the number of Hoynes Code cites…

  19. Seth says:

    About the drop in the law school rankings: I do believe that they do matter when it comes to finding jobs. Case in point: At a call back interview, I saw a list on a partner’s desk, where that firm has a lower G.P.A. and class rank requirements for students from higher ranked law schools. Example Harvard, they would take anyone in the top 50%, Notre Dame (at that time ranked 22) they would only interview the top 15% of students. Even though Notre Dame does not rank students.

  20. anonymous says:

    It is a shame that it will take a drop in the rankings to call out O’Hara on her performance. Her biggest problem is that she has 100% faith that she will be Dean forever since no one (neither faculty or student) has ever truly challenged her. Simply put, she is not a good fundraiser (Eck made the donation in spite of O’Hara), she is not friendly (she is not a good “face” for the law school), and she has not done anything risky enough to push ND to the next level. Everyone knows that she needs to go, but who has the voice to challenge her?

  21. anon says:

    We could use some cartoons, op-eds, or other mentions of this dissatisfaction in the Observer. No one in the community outside of our little building knows about this dissatisfaction.

  22. sb says:

    why did the acceptance rate jump so high last year? and why did roboski leave?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Roboski left over “differences” with the administration.

  24. sb says:

    “differences” is a bit vague. can you elaborate on that?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Roboski was asked to leave for reasons I have been unable to discern. I’m working on getting more info. But he was not looking to get out mid-cycle, until it was suggested to him that he head somewhere else.

    I can only divine two theories to explain the huge acceptance spike. Either:

    a) in the wake of chaos generated by forcing out your admissions director in the middle of the cycle, while his excellent assistant director was preparing for a maternity leave, the administrators who stepped in to fill the void didn’t know what they were doing, or didn’t communicate with one another very well, leading to many more acceptances than they were intending to extend.

    OR

    b) a conscious decision was made to ramp up acceptances. Why might that have been? I don’t know — but tuition dollars come with all those extra students. And maybe an overcrowded building would help convince the university to make the new building a higher priority.

  26. sb says:

    that seems insane to force someone out mid-cycle, i can’t imagine why that sounded like a good idea. i heard (but haven’t checked) that roboski’s the admissions guy at ave maria now.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Seems insane = sounds like our administration…

  28. Melissa says:

    Seth is right. Firms definitely look at the rankings. Maybe in Chicago this type of thing isn’t a big deal because so many ND alumns work there and they just have a longer/tighter relationship with Notre Dame. But firms in California (and, I am sure the East Coast) make decisions about where they are going to do on campus interviews based in large part on the rankings. This is obvious just from looking at the Nalp directory. Firms won’t travel out of state to interview at schools with low rankings. Seth’s point about making it harder to get the job is also right on. A partner at my firm (after a few drinks) told me that I was very lucky to get a job at the firm given that I go to Notre Dame, which he didn’t consider impressive.

    Not to mention, many law school applicants put plenty of emphasis on these rankings in deciding where to go to law school. A drop out of the top 25 will likely decrease the calibur of the incoming students, which perpetuates a downward cycle in rankings.

  29. anon says:

    Regarding last year’s admissions, I can say that it was 100% option A: the administration didn’t know what they were doing in the admissions cycle. There are a lot more sordid details, which I’ll refrain from posting out of courtesy to those involved but it was NOT good. (I will admit that I am a bit biased b/c I really loved Chuck and thought his ouster was indicative of the problems here.)

  30. anon says:

    I would sincerely like to see something more than Internet chitchat come of this in terms of the Dean situation. Maybe the same 1Ls who crafted the Property class complaint can rally around this cause.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I agree. I think that someone needs to gather a petition to push in front of the President’s face.

  32. Watcher of Rankings says:

    Nothing against the 1Ls, but given how successful they were in their effort, I’m not sure that their personnel or tactics are the best way to go here.

    Individual letters. Clearly original, not form- or chain- or group-coordinated letters, to the appropriate persons in the university hierarchy (Fr. Jenkins for sure; who else?), conveying our concerns and disappointment, and underscoring that no contributions to the law school or university will be forthcoming from our lawyer salaries until we are satisfied with the response to our concerns and the leadership changes that are made.

    That would be my best thought.

  33. anonymous says:

    A “petition?” Is that the best you guys can do? Petitions do not mean anything in higher education. Everyone knows that O’Hara is still in power because she is best friends with Jenkins. Your best bet is to put pressure on Burrish and/or the Board that you will make her failures public if she continues in that capacity.

  34. Watcher of Rankings says:

    Also, I’d point out that one thing we can do as students, particularly 3Ls, is ACTUALLY RESPOND TO THE CSO SURVEY. One of the reasons our employment numbers look so bad is because so many of us are so disgusted with CSO that we don’t tell them what we’re doing. If we don’t tell them, they can’t tell US News, and we get reported as unemployed.

    Unlike some other schools who assume all their non-responders DO have jobs. I suppose CSO could make that assumption too, but for whatever reason, they don’t, so if we want to not look like we’re turning out unemployable imbeciles, we need to tell CSO that we do in fact have a job.

    (And report your salary too! I’ll never understand why only 60 or 80 people — not percent, PEOPLE — in each class report that info.)

  35. anon says:

    I think just that it’s so widely talked about among the law school community — students and faculty alike — that it is at least worthy of Observer reporting at this point. Maybe email its editors?

    An article on the rankings drop that would include some musings about what caused it and what the ongoing problems of the law school are?

  36. anon says:

    What’s your sense of the employment rate of 3Ls as it stands RIGHT NOW? I’m not really sure. 75% or so?

  37. anonymous says:

    Everything Watcher of Rankings said is exactly right. Individual letters to Fr. Jenkins, Provost Burish, and maybe someone on some alumni committee or board. I don’t know enough about ND’s structure to recommend others. And they need to come soon, or else they won’t happen at all.

  38. alexmcandy says:

    Over the years, NDLS has competed very, very closely with GWU and Wash U (St. Louis). How have they fared this year? If NDLS has stayed competitive with them, alarm bells should not be going off. On the other hand, if NDLS is trailing by more than 1 or 2 or 3 spots, then there is cause for alarm. You can see that I’ve yet to review the rankings for this year.

  39. anonymous says:

    Wash U: 19
    GWU: 22
    ND: 28

  40. NDLS2006 says:

    Okay, honestly — any current ND student can walk into any professor’s office and ask them about these issues point blank and get a straight answer. Continuing to post misinformation and speculation in the comments boxes on this blog isn’t getting anyone anywhere.

    Roboski was not “asked to leave.” He left entirely of his own volition. He felt that he was being micromanaged by the Dean and that he needed to get out. For example, the Dean at one point required all transfer applications to be handled by her office. Why? Who the hell knows. But how would you feel as the admission director when the Dean is slowly stripping your job away?

    When Chuck left, the Dean hired an admission “consultant” who had never worked at a law school before. Despite the fact that Chuck, not a magician, always managed to admit just enough students to yield a gender-balanced class with just the right number of students. For some unknown reason, the “consultant” decided that NDLS needed to admit far more people. And, so, far more people deposited — up to 285, by one estimate (that number related by a faculty member). Which resulted in the current clusterfuck. Not to mention the fact that more than 75% of the people who deposited were men. And so they started offering insane financial benefits to guys.

    And let’s all say a prayer of thanksgiving for Erika Harriford McLaren, who single-handedly ran CSO at one point. She’s the only reason those numbers didn’t fall even further.

  41. Watcher of Rankings says:

    “Roboski was not “asked to leave.” He left entirely of his own volition. ”

    This is true, but only in the most technical sense that no one is ever literally asked to leave, and in that he was not fired outright. He was, however, very clearly shown the writing on the wall. The message was unmistakable, and he received it loud and clear. Sure, no one in the administration called Chuck into their office and said point-blank, “We think you should look for another opportunity elsewhere,” but he was told to “keep his options open” and, when he informed them of the Ave Maria offer and of his strong desire to stay at NDLS, they told him he should really think about accepting the offer.

    What does that sound like to you?

  42. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone ever tried to talk to O’Hara about her management (mis-management is more accurate) of the law school?

  43. NDLS2006 says:

    Watcher: I don’t know where you got that story, but I’m going to assume my source is better. O’Hara was not in a position to tell people to go and I have never heard that anyone told Chuck to “keep his options open.”

    Anon: Like whom? She won’t talk to students. Like, abjectly refuses. The EIC of Law Review my 3L year tried to schedule a meeting with her to discuss the upcoming volume and she refused to meet with him.

  44. NDLS2006 says:

    And Burish is the proper person to whom to direct letters. Jenkins’ office will forward letters to Burish. He’s been very responsive in the past, notably on the issue of the closure of the immigration clinic.

  45. alum says:

    There was an incident in 2004-05 in which, after an incident involving the disclosure of a ‘secret policy’ handed down by the dean to the CSO which affected the employment opportunities of many students, a large petition was successfully circulated and the dean was forced to speak to students in a public meeting. She was publicly embarrassed and criticized by many students but she did not change the policy, and it remains in effect. In other words, it’s fucking useless to confront her, write to Burish, explain your problems with the law school in no uncertain terms, and tell him you will not donate so long as POH is dean.

  46. alum says:

    Oh, I should mention that petition was CCed to the then-provost.

    Anything directed toward POH will end in a trash bin.

  47. anonymous says:

    Was this “secret policy” about refusing to make available on the CSO Web site job opportunities (e.g., with abortion rights organizations) that conflicted with the “Catholic character” of the law school? Because I think that petition was about as useful and well-regarded as the 1L Property petition.

  48. alum says:

    It was a secret policy that CSO staff were required to keep secret under threat of losing their jobs that barred them from informing students about specific, named feminist and gay rights organizations seeking to hire ND law students. It had nothing to do with abortion rights organizations; there were no abortion rights organizations on that list.

    And the petition was signed by over 1/3 of the law school and had the direct result that this policy is no longer secret, so I’d say it was far more useful and well-regarded than a poorly worded e-petition concerning roughly 90 students.

  49. anonymous says:

    Actually, 90 students in a class of 100 is even better than 1/3 of the school. And I really can’t comment on the wording of the other petition.

  50. alexmcandy says:

    Take a look at Wash U. What factors have prompted this school to make it into the top 20? They have a new dean — a guy who had been dean at Vandy. From what I know, in just two years he has made some great changes to their program. What has O’Hara done in the time she has been here (7 years)? Has the quality of the program improved? Has the reputation? What new programs has she initiated? Have career options improved?

    Here’s some comparative info from other years:
    2001: NDLS (ranked 27); Wash U (27)
    2002: NDLS (ranked 24; Wash U (25)

  51. Watcher of Rankings says:

    NDLS2006 — you know what they say about assuming.

  52. Anonymous says:

    What a great letter she sent out…

    “As I mentioned, however, we will be analyzing all the data in an effort to determine in what ways we may be able to improve as a school in a manner consistent with our goals.”

    It’s probably wishful thinking, but I wonder if any of this “analyzing” would involve actually talking to the students.

    I would encourage all the 3Ls to write the Provost, and cc O’Hara as well.

  53. Krista says:

    I just wanted to second Melissa’s comment above. The rankings certainly matter. On two interviews with Top 100 East Coast firms, I was asked by on campus interviewers trying to evaluate other candidates what the cut off grade point average for law review was and what percentage of students were on law review so that they could determine an apx. top 15%/20% GPA for ND. On my call back interview dinner with one partner (who has since been promoted to hiring partner and is a NDLS alum) he explained how his firm had different GPAs based upon rankings. Therefore, careerwise, I think the rankings make a HUGE difference for people looking for jobs at top firms in large cities.

    Another area where rankings definitely matter is in shaping the applicant pool and the individuals who ultimately commit to coming to Notre Dame. I can say that I applied to exactly one school outside the top 25 and never seriously considered it. Currently, Notre Dame is occasionally able to compete with top 15 law schools by offering attractive financial packages. It is realistic to think that someone might pick a Top 20/25 school over a school ranked higher if financing is a significant issue for that person. The further we drop, the less realistic that scenario becomes.

    In addition, schools like GW and W&L practice the same policy — offer attractive financial aid policies to top tier candidates in order to “steal” them away from top 10 schools. Among other things, this practice allows schools to bolster the incoming average LSAT scores of its incoming class (and thus bolster its ranking). At 28, we are no longer in a position to appear an equivalent to those schools. Right or wrong — the rankings do play a large part in people’s decision making. I know I personally did very little research into individual law schools – I let USNWR do the work for me – and many of my undergrad friends did the same.

    Agree with all above who said that changes need to be made…

  54. Brian says:

    It is unlikely that anyone will force Dean O’Hara to step down as several people have mentioned. However, there are a number of things that the law school could do right now in an attempt to improve some of the numbers used in rankings (starting salaries, employment percentage, and admissions selectivity).

    (1) Fix the problems with salary reporting. Here are two suggestions. Fist, in each of the last two years, law firms in major cities have significantly increased salaries in the spring. The CSO survey occurs in the fall. Presumably the CSO numbers do not reflect these increases due to the timing of the survey. Fix that by following up in the late spring. Second, participation in the survey also seems low given the number of people reading and posting here about this issue. How about creating an incentive to participate? Maybe something like a ten dollar coupon toward graduation academic apparel. It would cost the school a couple thousand dollars if everyone participates, but it might encourage more participation. There could be better incentives, but that’s just off the top of my head.

    (2) Help the 3Ls without employment find it. CSO needs to learn the difference between interviewing strategies and etiquette. At every CSO event I’ve attended (not many in the last two years) the focus has been on interview etiquette without any tangible focus on strategy. While some students may need help with interview etiquette, being told not to chew gum in an interview does not provide useful insight in how to properly conduct a job search. What firms should a person consider and in what markets? What does it take to get in the door for an interview? How can interviewees present their best qualities in a way that helps them get hired? Help students with these issues.

    (3) Fix the admissions problem. Hopefully the deferred admissions last year will result in increased selectivity for the next class. Take steps to make sure that is the case.

    (4) Raise the average GPA to 3.3 from 3.1. At first I thought this was a superficial problem, employers must know about means at different schools. However, Notre Dame Law School is not special enough to merit that sort of close scrutiny. The lack of class rank may (and probably does) provide some tangible benefit that outweighs the need to explain it to employers. A GPA shift, however, probably won’t significantly impact the upper portion of the curve. There will still be enough separation for purposes of determining who should be on law review, dean’s list, graduation honors, compete for clerkships, etc. It happens elsewhere and could happen here. If necessary, adjust the GPA levels necessary for awards and accolades. For students not at the top of the curve, the comparison with peer law schools becomes a little clearer if NDLS grades compare favorably. For example, when comparing one student from Wash U. with a 3.3 versus a student from NDLS with a 3.1, a busy attorney might not have any specific knowledge about the difference in curves (Wash U. may be a poor example, if so insert a peer school with a higher curve than NDLS). If this is true, the attorney and the attorney must choose between the two candidates, the numbers sound better on the Wash U. student. Given the lack of class rank, the NDLS student can’t even say that he or she is in the top half of the class. Why should the employer care about NDLS, unless the employer has significant ties to NDLS or a reason to care? Moving toward the bottom of the class, why should anyone who graduates from NDLS have below a 3.0 GPA? How does it help that student find a job (or in any other way)? How does it help NDLS? Grade inflation is here to stay and the refusing to participate doesn’t significantly help NDLS. I think it hurts some students and doesn’t really help others.

    (5) Work with employers to improve participation the OCI process. Notre Dame has a significant asset in the fall, home football games. NDLS should use the heck out of it. Invite alumni back to interview and then spend some time at a game, maybe even in the skybox. Let them attend the press conference after the game. Show them a great time. Politely ask for contributions to the school at the same time. It isn’t rocket science, but it probably takes some hard work to get the university to sanction. Do the work. Use the same process for faculty interviews, etc. Every time I hear about Dean O’Hara’s office offering tickets to the law school community, I’m upset. Each of those tickets represents a missed opportunity. NDLS may not be that special, but Notre Dame football is another story. Find a better way to leverage that asset. It’s no secret that at least some employers schedule their interviews around home games. Encourage it. Find tickets for these people. Give bonus tickets to firms that hired recent graduates. Maybe that goes too far, but NDLS isn’t going far enough with it. I like NDLS and think it has plenty to offer students, even without football. South Bend, however, isn’t a convenient place for employers to interview. Let’s give them a great reason to come to Notre Dame. Empower CSO to really create a great incentive to come interview our students.

  55. Meg says:

    Hey, seems like a lot of people are blaming this on the admit snafu and our high acceptance rate…look at Vandy…same LSAT’s, higher acceptance rate…maybe O’Hara has a bigger role than she’d like to admit…think she added another lock and a chair in front of her door to keep students out this morning?

  56. Brendan Loy says:

    Maybe I’m overplaying this, but as I say in my new post, I find it extremely interesting that O’Hara wrote such a lengthy, detailed e-mail — and then tried to spin her decision to do so as being “because the direction of the movement is negative,” even though she had previously sent out the exact same short, boilerplate e-mails in 2005 (when the direction of the movement was negative, by 4 spots) and in 2006 (when it was positive, by 2 spots).

    I think she’s feeling the heat.

  57. Brendan Loy says:

    being told not to chew gum in an interview does not provide useful insight in how to properly conduct a job search

    Heh.

  58. alexmcandy says:

    Again, what HAS O’Hara done since she’s been at NDLS????

  59. NDLS2006 says:

    alexmcandy — theoretically, raised enough money ot build a new law school building, the specific task for which she was given the job.

    Watcher of Rankings — whatever helps you sleep at night.

  60. Watcher of Rankings says:

    “theoretically, raised enough money ot build a new law school building, the specific task for which she was given the job”

    And only three years behind schedule. And only then because of a single $21 million chunk that she had very little to do with, and without which she’d still be hopelessly far from her goal.

    “whatever helps you sleep at night”

    The smugness with which you try to mask your insecurity is amusing.

  61. alexmcandy says:

    If people believe that the new/expanded law building will change the rankings, I think they are wrong. Certainly the building will make a nice impression on visitors (esp. prospective students), but when it is all said and done, it will have little or no impact on rankings. After all, 40% of the rankings relate to the perception of attorneys and academicis…are they so shallow that they will think our program is stronger than it is b/c of building? Come on.

    I don’t know how much are rankings reflect substance and how much they reflect something else. On a substantive level, I simply don’t see how the Law School – under O’Hara – has been strengthened. Clearly, many great faculty have come here during her tenure. However, I get the sense that she’s not well respected among them and, in fact, not well thought of by them.

    So, again, what has she done to propel the Law School to the next level? New academic programs? Increased areas of expertise? New journals? Greater visibility?

    I think it’s time for new leadership.

  62. anon 87 says:

    Those of us who graduated this school with an average GPA have had trouble finding jobs since the dark ages when I went there. Everyone of my classmates wondered why we didn’t go to a local school where our GPAs would have been higher when we did not have the slightest advantage (and sometimes were at a disadvantage) because of where we went. This school always relied on their rankings to get students as the placement office was horrible and the professors couldn’t care less what happened to you once you were gone. I was lucky enough to clerk for the state Supreme Court and couldn’t believ how low the caliber of my fellow clerks were whose GPAs were miles above mine. While O’Hara didn’t cause this situation, from my perspective, she did nothing to correct it. Our law alumni in this east-coast state are invisible. I have met only 3 in twenty years of practice. A change cannot come fast enough, because without it, I won’t contribute another dime.