Randomness from a 2005 graduate of The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University


Monday, April 05, 2004

I've decided it's my turn to share my thoughts on rankings. When I was deciding where to apply to law schools I looked at the rankings obsessively, but they were far from the decisive factor. After talking to a lot of attorneys, I decided to only apply to top 50 schools, because it was clear from what they told me that I would have far more opportunities if I went to a higher ranked school. Looking back, I am glad that I considered ranking, but that I did not give it undue weight.

From among the top 50, the first factor I considered was location, because I did not want to be miserable for 3 years living in the middle of nowhere. I also thought about where I wanted to end up, and considered what sort of reputation individual schools had in those areas. Then I eliminated any school that did not consider a student's financial status independently of the parents'. Next, I looked at faculty/student ratio and any other information I could find about interaction with faculty, because that was the most important quality I was looking for. Then I looked at size of the school, because I had an idea of what I thought would be the ideal size. I ended up applying to several schools throughout the top 50. My choice to attend Ohio State was ultimately based on location, price, and the feeling I got from the professors. So far I have not been disappointed.

I worried when I selected OSU that I would have certain opportunities closed to me because it was not ranked high enough. Now, with nearly two years of law school behind me, I think that was a valid concern. But I also think that Ohio State is where the most of my needs and desires in a law school could be met. And I never doubt that passion, dedication, hard work, and faith can make all things possible. I worry that people (students) who focus too much on rankings create unnecessary obstacles and close their minds to opportunities. Yes, employers may focus too much on rankings as well, but I think that as long as the student does not do so, the employer bias can be overcome, in one way or another. We need to have positive attitudes and believe that we can conquer the world.

Last week our dean sent out an email discussing OSU's ranking. I understand that she was trying to emphasize the positive growth OSU has experienced recently and encourage us not to take the rankings too seriously. But by her sending the email, for me at least, it only emphasized how much credence the school gives the rankings. We should all have a little more faith in our own capabilities and the quality of the education we are receiving, and the rankings will cease to matter quite so much. |
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