UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

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andry

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UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby andry » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:50 pm

$0 UNC - $80K Wake - can't say UW, but by far the best scholarship offer of the 3. I'm lucky enough to not have to worry about personally paying tuition, but I also want to find a compromise between personal fit and a choice that saves my parents money.

I'd planned on UNC, but there are some factors that really worry me, the main one being their steep decline in funding/ranking. I think Chapel Hill, and the general vision of UNC are the most compatible with my tastes, but I'm seriously concerned about their reputation/employment capabilities going into freefall. It already seems like while most peer schools have FTLT/bar req employment climbing into the 70%s, theirs is in the mid-60s, constantly. The mental image of sitting in a class, and counting off every 3rd student that won't be getting a real legal job is chilling.

Wake gave me a great impression when they toured. Their $ offer is incredibly generous, and apparently their career office is totally revamped, and their employment numbers show it. The biggest downside is Winston-Salem - I've been there, and it seriously bums me out, as a city. It feels like it just hasn't caught up with the other southern metro areas experiencing growth. I know that I'll likely be spending most of my time studying, but to me, that means it's really important that I can make the most out of my relaxation time.

UW's offer is the most generous by far - I'm not sharing it out of respect for their request. Madison's probably the coolest out of the three cities, and I have connections up there. However, I'm seriously concerned about the climate. The only way I'd be alright with that cold of a climate is if I was able to stay in Madison, where the culture and variety in entertainment options would likely offset gloomy winter days. I'm not sure how likely that is - it seems like they place about 45% of their in state grads in Madison. Also not sure of the degree of self-selection there - entirely possible that all the people going to Milwaukee and random other towns in WI want to end up in them.


Any insight? This is an incredibly tough decision, so any alternative viewpoints are much appreciated.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby beinghuman » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:47 am

Well what are you career goals? Because legal employment outcomes are not great coming out from the 3 schools you are considering.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:17 am

beinghuman wrote:Well what are you career goals? Because legal employment outcomes are not great coming out from the 3 schools you are considering.


Agreed. What do you want to do and where do you want to do it? For UNC/Wake, the most likely outcome is small/shitlaw in rural NC. For UW, its small/shitlaw in Wisconsin. There isn't any overlap here. Further, all these schools are mediocre at best. You wont get a good paying job from any of them (if you get a legal job at all) and you are gonna be stuck in that area for the rest of your career.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby deansmith » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:45 pm

I'd advise staying away from UNC. The law school is completely inept. You've probably seen this already from the admissions side--the stupid "Why Carolina" statement, the incredibly slow responses, and the weak scholarship offers. That pales in comparison to how awful the career development office is. It's not a coincidence that the law school underperforms in every conceivable metric--from US News ranking to employment to bar passage. It's run by morons. The latest example is this: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/201 ... ools-rates. Unbelievably, UNC's ultimate bar passage rate is 82.6% barely higher than dumpster fire UNC-Central and way, way, way below Wake and Campbell. The place is an utter disaster. The ranking, which 15 years ago was in the lower 20s, is now falling exponentially and the gap between it and its current competitors (Wake, W&M, UGA, Alabama, Florida, W&L) is growing. Stay as far away as possible. 5 years from now it will be interchangeable with Tennessee and Kentucky.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby Pomeranian » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:18 pm

deansmith wrote:I'd advise staying away from UNC. The law school is completely inept. You've probably seen this already from the admissions side--the stupid "Why Carolina" statement, the incredibly slow responses, and the weak scholarship offers. That pales in comparison to how awful the career development office is. It's not a coincidence that the law school underperforms in every conceivable metric--from US News ranking to employment to bar passage. It's run by morons. The latest example is this: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/201 ... ools-rates. Unbelievably, UNC's ultimate bar passage rate is 82.6% barely higher than dumpster fire UNC-Central and way, way, way below Wake and Campbell. The place is an utter disaster. The ranking, which 15 years ago was in the lower 20s, is now falling exponentially and the gap between it and its current competitors (Wake, W&M, UGA, Alabama, Florida, W&L) is growing. Stay as far away as possible. 5 years from now it will be interchangeable with Tennessee and Kentucky.


UNC below Campbell in Bar Passage??? :shock:

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby HangingAround » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:33 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
beinghuman wrote:Well what are you career goals? Because legal employment outcomes are not great coming out from the 3 schools you are considering.


Agreed. What do you want to do and where do you want to do it? For UNC/Wake, the most likely outcome is small/shitlaw in rural NC. For UW, its small/shitlaw in Wisconsin. There isn't any overlap here. Further, all these schools are mediocre at best. You wont get a good paying job from any of them (if you get a legal job at all) and you are gonna be stuck in that area for the rest of your career.


This started out not terrible, then took a very exaggerated turn. I don't have much of an issue with the first part of what you said. Sure, you shouldn't expect a great job from UNC. Sure, the most likely outcome may be small firm, or state government or county DA/public defender (to be fair, a lot of people want those things and go to UNC for the low debt load to reach them). I go to UNC and know very few people who seem like they will end up at small firms, though they will probably make the same amount as if they did, just in government or PI work of some sort.

On the other hand, UNC does, according to Law School Transparency put 19.4% in large firms and 5.2% into federal clerkships. That is just under a fourth of the class - so a fourth of the class does, in fact, "get a good paying job from" UNC. Wake, with an overall higher employment score, only puts 16.3% in large firms and 3.8% in federal clerkships.Those are also "good paying jobs". Those numbers represent 2016 graduates, so I would keep an eye on how they change - UNC will probably drop a bit, and Wake will probably rise a bit. A couple of years ago UNC had double the federal clerkship+large firm as Wake, and the gap has closed as UNC has struggled with funding from the legislature. Wake also dropped ~15 spots in the rankings in one year and has worked their way back up - it happens. The non discounted debt from UNC is listed as $70,000 cheaper than Wake per LST, though Wake's willingness to give scholarships may make this a nominal difference.

I go to UNC and know 2Ls going to Skadden, Davis Polk, Clearly, Ropes, King & Spalding, Cahill, Orrick, plenty of others up in New York; a big group going to King & Spalding in AT with others going to Alston & Bird; some going to Ropes and some other firms around DC; for NC people, typically multiple people, going to Robinson Bradshaw, MVA, McGuireWoods, Winston&Strawn, Smith Anderson, Brooks Pierce, Mayer Brown, Wyrick Robbins, Womble, Parker Poe, Katten and wherever else.

In short, don't go to UNC expecting to get a big firm or federal clerkship, but don't pretend like it's out of the question. Also, while you're most likely to stay in NC, it's not necessarily your destiny. With UNC's low tuition, getting a big firm job with smaller debt payments is pretty sweet if you're in the fourth of people who land one. For the people who got into T10 or T6 schools, even with scholarships, and turned them down for full or almost full rides at UNC, this is definitely a risky, but when it works out, a really nice outcome.

Also to this end, UNC is ranked 28th in the last ATL ranking, which focuses on the employment outcomes that TLS is focused on. Wake Forest is 49th. Surely Wake will do better this year, and UNC will fall, but UNC had already fallen a good deal by the time this 28 ranking came out.

Go find the numbers yourself, UNC publishes full ABA reports unlike most other schools, including Wake, so for better or for worse you will be informed. Use Law School Transparency, talk to people at places you want to work,


Also for the person who pointed out the Campbell bar passage rates, the common perception around NC is that the school puts an emphasis on teaching the bar exam. I don't know (or care) if that's true or what it looks like in terms of required classes, and I can see arguments for why that is a good or shortsighted approach, but just so that is out there.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby HangingAround » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:47 am

HangingAround wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
beinghuman wrote:Well what are you career goals? Because legal employment outcomes are not great coming out from the 3 schools you are considering.


Agreed. What do you want to do and where do you want to do it? For UNC/Wake, the most likely outcome is small/shitlaw in rural NC. For UW, its small/shitlaw in Wisconsin. There isn't any overlap here. Further, all these schools are mediocre at best. You wont get a good paying job from any of them (if you get a legal job at all) and you are gonna be stuck in that area for the rest of your career.


This started out not terrible, then took a very exaggerated turn. I don't have much of an issue with the first part of what you said. Sure, you shouldn't expect a great job from UNC. Sure, the most likely outcome may be small firm, or state government or county DA/public defender (to be fair, a lot of people want those things and go to UNC for the low debt load to reach them). I go to UNC and know very few people who seem like they will end up at small firms, though they will probably make the same amount as if they did, just in government or PI work of some sort.

On the other hand, UNC does, according to Law School Transparency put 19.4% in large firms and 5.2% into federal clerkships. That is just under a fourth of the class - so a fourth of the class does, in fact, "get a good paying job from" UNC. Wake, with an overall higher employment score, only puts 16.3% in large firms and 3.8% in federal clerkships.Those are also "good paying jobs". Those numbers represent 2016 graduates, so I would keep an eye on how they change - UNC will probably drop a bit, and Wake will probably rise a bit. A couple of years ago UNC had double the federal clerkship+large firm as Wake, and the gap has closed as UNC has struggled with funding from the legislature. Wake also dropped ~15 spots in the rankings in one year and has worked their way back up - it happens. The non discounted debt from UNC is listed as $70,000 cheaper than Wake per LST, though Wake's willingness to give scholarships may make this a nominal difference.

I go to UNC and know 2Ls going to Skadden, Davis Polk, Clearly, Ropes, King & Spalding, Cahill, Orrick, plenty of others up in New York; a big group going to King & Spalding in AT with others going to Alston & Bird; some going to Ropes and some other firms around DC; for NC people, typically multiple people, going to Robinson Bradshaw, MVA, McGuireWoods, Winston&Strawn, Smith Anderson, Brooks Pierce, Mayer Brown, Wyrick Robbins, Womble, Parker Poe, Katten and wherever else.

In short, don't go to UNC expecting to get a big firm or federal clerkship, but don't pretend like it's out of the question. Also, while you're most likely to stay in NC, it's not necessarily your destiny. With UNC's low tuition, getting a big firm job with smaller debt payments is pretty sweet if you're in the fourth of people who land one. For the people who got into T10 or T6 schools, even with scholarships, and turned them down for full or almost full rides at UNC, this is definitely a risky, but when it works out, a really nice outcome.

Also to this end, UNC is ranked 28th in the last ATL ranking, which focuses on the employment outcomes that TLS is focused on. Wake Forest is 49th. Surely Wake will do better this year, and UNC will fall, but UNC had already fallen a good deal by the time this 28 ranking came out.

Go find the numbers yourself, UNC publishes full ABA reports unlike most other schools, including Wake, so for better or for worse you will be informed. Use Law School Transparency, talk to people at places you want to work,


Also for the person who pointed out the Campbell bar passage rates, the common perception around NC is that the school puts an emphasis on teaching the bar exam. I don't know (or care) if that's true or what it looks like in terms of required classes, and I can see arguments for why that is a good or shortsighted approach, but just so that is out there.


Sidley, Covington, Squire Patton Boggs, and Goodwin also among the DC ones. Guess the edit feature is gone?

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby deansmith » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:53 am

More hot-off-the-presses proof of how UNC Law is an underperforming mess: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm ... id=3154111.

The paper shows that, based on incoming student credentials, UNC had the 50th best 1L class, behind garbage law schools like Nebraska and Northeastern (but at least it's ahead of Campbell and Elon in this study, unlike the ultimate bar pass study!). That's only going to get worse this year, as the school's scholarship offers to prospective students are even lower than previous years. The place is in free-fall. As they say on Wall Street, don't try to catch a falling knife!

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby TheReal1 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:20 pm

I agree with everything HangingAround said. I’m also a UNC student. Most everyone I know (including myself) is going to a good size firm (regional NC firms or traditional big law firms in NY, DC, ATL) and those that aren’t are not going out of their own personal preference (they want to to PD, DA, etc.).

UNC is a great value. I interviewed and had offers from big firms up and down the east coast with no issues and I’m not even close to top 10%. Sure it’s hard and you have to hustle but going to UNC hasn’t closed any doors for me. It’s well respected (evidenced by our peer ranking in US News - somewhere in the 20s). The professors are approachable and incredibly smart. The career services office has been nothing short of spectacular for me. Overall, I’m thankful for my opportunity at UNC and couldn’t be happier.

Also I should note - Not one interviewer has said a single thing about our US News ranking. Most likely because the rankings matter more to applying students and school administrators and not actual employers. Employers know the quality of the school and what it’s reputation is. Bouncing around in the rankings isn’t going to change that too much. It’s unfortunate but the legislature keeps cutting the funding for the school and hopefully that will change, but I think UNC is trying to up their private donations for now in response.

PM me if you want to talk more details or if you have questions!

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby beinghuman » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:54 pm

No offense but are you for real?
I am having a hard time believing this. You're not even close to the top 10% AND have several offers from big firms! IF that is correct, you are probably an unlikely exception... Even students in the lower T-13 schools need to make grades, to some extent.

No one is saying it is completely impossible to get biglaw from UNC but it's EXTREMELY difficult, and I think your advice is skewed at best.


TheReal1 wrote:I agree with everything HangingAround said. I’m also a UNC student. Most everyone I know (including myself) is going to a good size firm (regional NC firms or traditional big law firms in NY, DC, ATL) and those that aren’t are not going out of their own personal preference (they want to to PD, DA, etc.).

UNC is a great value. I interviewed and had offers from big firms up and down the east coast with no issues and I’m not even close to top 10%. Sure it’s hard and you have to hustle but going to UNC hasn’t closed any doors for me. It’s well respected (evidenced by our peer ranking in US News - somewhere in the 20s). The professors are approachable and incredibly smart. The career services office has been nothing short of spectacular for me. Overall, I’m thankful for my opportunity at UNC and couldn’t be happier.

Also I should note - Not one interviewer has said a single thing about our US News ranking. Most likely because the rankings matter more to applying students and school administrators and not actual employers. Employers know the quality of the school and what it’s reputation is. Bouncing around in the rankings isn’t going to change that too much. It’s unfortunate but the legislature keeps cutting the funding for the school and hopefully that will change, but I think UNC is trying to up their private donations for now in response.

PM me if you want to talk more details or if you have questions!

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby TheReal1 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:27 pm

I am for real. Maybe I’m an outlier. I said I’m not close to top 10%, but that doesn’t mean my grades aren’t good...don’t know what my classmates grades are. I mean I’m talking about people who are definitely at least top 50%/Top 1/3... sorry if there was any confusion. But yes you still have to work hard and have good grades.

It’s not like the positions were just handed to me. I worked hard, networked, mass mailed. It’s not 100% about grades. Hands down that helps, I’m not denying that but others things like personality, etc. matter in my opinion.

I also wouldn’t call it “extremely difficult.” As the above poster mentioned, UNC’s LST score says ~25% it the class has large firms + fed clerk. 1/4 of the class doing that isn’t exactly extremely difficult when you consider that not every single person in the top 25% wants big law.

Granted, if big law is 110% your goal, I wouldn’t have UNC as my top choice. I was just saying from my own experience that the opportunities are there if you work hard, mass mail, do everything these threads all suggest. If original poster has a better offer at a higher ranked school and is dead set on big law then take that, but I was just responding to his direct question.

beinghuman wrote:No offense but are you for real?
I am having a hard time believing this. You're not even close to the top 10% AND have several offers from big firms! IF that is correct, you are probably an unlikely exception... Even students in the lower T-13 schools need to make grades, to some extent.

No one is saying it is completely impossible to get biglaw from UNC but it's EXTREMELY difficult, and I think your advice is skewed at best.


TheReal1 wrote:I agree with everything HangingAround said. I’m also a UNC student. Most everyone I know (including myself) is going to a good size firm (regional NC firms or traditional big law firms in NY, DC, ATL) and those that aren’t are not going out of their own personal preference (they want to to PD, DA, etc.).

UNC is a great value. I interviewed and had offers from big firms up and down the east coast with no issues and I’m not even close to top 10%. Sure it’s hard and you have to hustle but going to UNC hasn’t closed any doors for me. It’s well respected (evidenced by our peer ranking in US News - somewhere in the 20s). The professors are approachable and incredibly smart. The career services office has been nothing short of spectacular for me. Overall, I’m thankful for my opportunity at UNC and couldn’t be happier.

Also I should note - Not one interviewer has said a single thing about our US News ranking. Most likely because the rankings matter more to applying students and school administrators and not actual employers. Employers know the quality of the school and what it’s reputation is. Bouncing around in the rankings isn’t going to change that too much. It’s unfortunate but the legislature keeps cutting the funding for the school and hopefully that will change, but I think UNC is trying to up their private donations for now in response.

PM me if you want to talk more details or if you have questions!

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby deansmith » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:50 pm

These UNC lackeys are either dishonest or stupid, probably both. Based on its own data, a UNC grad has a 1/3 chance of decent to good outcome, a 1/3 chance of shitlaw for at best $60k per year, and a 1/3 chance of waiting tables at Chili's (and a full half of those Chili's servers can't pass the bar in 2 years): http://www.law.unc.edu/career/employmentdata/

Note also that UNC CDO website link above says that the data is for 9 months after graduation when it's been 10 months past graduation since the ABA changed the reporting rule 2014. C'mon man, the CDO website can't even get the basic facts right on its website four years after the change! I bet you won't find another one CDO website that is making that mistake in 2018. They've got 8 full-time staffers in the CDO office twiddling their thumbs day after day and their website has a blatant error at the top of the most important page. Fully indicative of the entire place's ineptitude.

Anyone that pays more for UNC over Wake deserves to be in the 18% of UNC grads that will never pass any bar exam.

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HangingAround

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby HangingAround » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:17 pm

deansmith wrote:These UNC lackeys are either dishonest or stupid, probably both. Based on its own data, a UNC grad has a 1/3 chance of decent to good outcome, a 1/3 chance of shitlaw for at best $60k per year, and a 1/3 chance of waiting tables at Chili's (and a full half of those Chili's servers can't pass the bar in 2 years): http://www.law.unc.edu/career/employmentdata/

Note also that UNC CDO website link above says that the data is for 9 months after graduation when it's been 10 months past graduation since the ABA changed the reporting rule 2014. C'mon man, the CDO website can't even get the basic facts right on its website four years after the change! I bet you won't find another one CDO website that is making that mistake in 2018. They've got 8 full-time staffers in the CDO office twiddling their thumbs day after day and their website has a blatant error at the top of the most important page. Fully indicative of the entire place's ineptitude.

Anyone that pays more for UNC over Wake deserves to be in the 18% of UNC grads that will never pass any bar exam.


You seem pleasant to be around. I'm not sure if I am one of your lackeys, but the essence of my post is that it is objectively false that you definitely will not get a good job from UNC as one posted posited. About a fourth of students get what people on TLS consider good jobs. You even gave us credit for a full 1/3 for good and decent jobs. Also everything else I mentioned was from TLS or students I know, so is not dishonest/stupid.

Further, UNC has a reputation as a public interest-focused school - perhaps your second one third in the 60k range includes people who want to be DAs or Public Defenders or work in state govt - not everyone cares to bill their life away at a big firm. Maybe they did want to work at a big firm - I'm as in the dark about their personal preferences as you are. Regardless, I think you are absolutely right in that I would not want to be in the bottom third, and you'd face an uphill battle.

I do think there is some selection bias in perceiving everyone getting work at big/regional firms. If that's the crowd you're around it seems like everyone is getting one. But the fact is it's still not going to be more than a third of our class.

I think there's a good argument to not being willing to pay MORE for UNC than Wake at this point, but when the cost is equal I think it is a tougher call but would like to see the more recent big firm+fed clerkship figures.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby HangingAround » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:22 pm

deansmith wrote:I'd advise staying away from UNC. The law school is completely inept. You've probably seen this already from the admissions side--the stupid "Why Carolina" statement, the incredibly slow responses, and the weak scholarship offers. That pales in comparison to how awful the career development office is. It's not a coincidence that the law school underperforms in every conceivable metric--from US News ranking to employment to bar passage. It's run by morons. The latest example is this: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/201 ... ools-rates. Unbelievably, UNC's ultimate bar passage rate is 82.6% barely higher than dumpster fire UNC-Central and way, way, way below Wake and Campbell. The place is an utter disaster. The ranking, which 15 years ago was in the lower 20s, is now falling exponentially and the gap between it and its current competitors (Wake, W&M, UGA, Alabama, Florida, W&L) is growing. Stay as far away as possible. 5 years from now it will be interchangeable with Tennessee and Kentucky.


Interested to see where your bar passage rates come from. Here is ATL from September of last year. Not quite just above NCCU, or way way below Wake. Also above Campbell.

Here are the first-time passage rates from North Carolina’s seven law schools:

Wake Forest University School of Law: 89.71 percent
Duke University School of Law: 87.50 percent
UNC School of Law: 85.48 percent
Campbell Law School: 83.33 percent
N.C. Central University School of Law: 56.73 percent
Elon University School of Law: 53.49 percent
Charlotte School of Law: 45.45 percent (up slightly from last July’s 45.24%)

https://abovethelaw.com/2017/09/bar-exa ... s-closure/

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby deansmith » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:55 pm

Ultimate bar passage study: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/201 ... ools-rates

82.6% of UNC grads pass the bar within 2 years (meaning that more than 1 in 6 don't)
82.2% of NC-Central grads pass the bar within 2 years
97.9% of Campbell grads pass the bar within 2 years

The bottom line is that, compared to similar schools (Wake, W&L, W&M, UGA, Alabama, Florida), UNC is just extremely poorly managed and it's been that way for years, hence the low US rankings, the low bar passage rates, the low employment rates, the low 1L credentials rankings, and so on. These are not coincidences. And it's all on downward momentum. (The ATL ranking is an aberration. It shows that the very top of the class at UNC does pretty well, but that's in spite of management not because of it. Mismanagement affects the rest of the class who need all the help they can get, but with Dean Martin and his ignorant slackass cronies in change, they get far less than their compatriots at peer schools.) The OP says that he was impressed with Wake's operations when he visited; that surely would not be the case if he visited UNC.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby HangingAround » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:56 am

deansmith wrote:Ultimate bar passage study: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/201 ... ools-rates

82.6% of UNC grads pass the bar within 2 years (meaning that more than 1 in 6 don't)
82.2% of NC-Central grads pass the bar within 2 years
97.9% of Campbell grads pass the bar within 2 years

The bottom line is that, compared to similar schools (Wake, W&L, W&M, UGA, Alabama, Florida), UNC is just extremely poorly managed and it's been that way for years, hence the low US rankings, the low bar passage rates, the low employment rates, the low 1L credentials rankings, and so on. These are not coincidences. And it's all on downward momentum. (The ATL ranking is an aberration. It shows that the very top of the class at UNC does pretty well, but that's in spite of management not because of it. Mismanagement affects the rest of the class who need all the help they can get, but with Dean Martin and his ignorant slackass cronies in change, they get far less than their compatriots at peer schools.) The OP says that he was impressed with Wake's operations when he visited; that surely would not be the case if he visited UNC.


Use of the past tense when referencing past statistics is helpful for future readers. Those numbers represent 2015 grads, who actually graduated before Dean Brinkley got the position. I don't think those statistics are more useful than the recent first year passage and repeat passage rates from ATL. For example, one would assume that everyone who graduates from UNC law in 2017 took the bar after graduation. Since 87% or whatever of them passed as indicated by that link, that makes the ultimate passing rate already well above the number you cited for 2015 grads before even factoring in any additional people who pass from retakes.

I'm not sure how you would explain how two years ago UNC had twice the fed clerkship+big firm placement of Wake while being tied or close to tied in the ranking - is that mismanagement? How is the top of the class doing better at UNC in spite of management? Dumb luck? People who root for our basketball team? Maybe management is good at maintaining relationships with large firms and UNC grads are doing well at those firms when they get to them. I don't know, but neither do you. The ATL ranking may differ from other rankings but it is a helpful one nonetheless - it focuses on a certain set of information that is often important to people on TLS. It gives a clear indication that if you are looking for that type of job, UNC places better than its USN ranking. It doesn't show the downside of choosing UNC, but that's not what it is built for.

Again, Wake may be the better choice. I don't know where I would go at this point.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby hipcatdaddio » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:23 pm

HangingAround wrote:
deansmith wrote:Ultimate bar passage study: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/201 ... ools-rates

82.6% of UNC grads pass the bar within 2 years (meaning that more than 1 in 6 don't)
82.2% of NC-Central grads pass the bar within 2 years
97.9% of Campbell grads pass the bar within 2 years

The bottom line is that, compared to similar schools (Wake, W&L, W&M, UGA, Alabama, Florida), UNC is just extremely poorly managed and it's been that way for years, hence the low US rankings, the low bar passage rates, the low employment rates, the low 1L credentials rankings, and so on. These are not coincidences. And it's all on downward momentum. (The ATL ranking is an aberration. It shows that the very top of the class at UNC does pretty well, but that's in spite of management not because of it. Mismanagement affects the rest of the class who need all the help they can get, but with Dean Martin and his ignorant slackass cronies in change, they get far less than their compatriots at peer schools.) The OP says that he was impressed with Wake's operations when he visited; that surely would not be the case if he visited UNC.


Use of the past tense when referencing past statistics is helpful for future readers. Those numbers represent 2015 grads, who actually graduated before Dean Brinkley got the position. I don't think those statistics are more useful than the recent first year passage and repeat passage rates from ATL. For example, one would assume that everyone who graduates from UNC law in 2017 took the bar after graduation. Since 87% or whatever of them passed as indicated by that link, that makes the ultimate passing rate already well above the number you cited for 2015 grads before even factoring in any additional people who pass from retakes.

I'm not sure how you would explain how two years ago UNC had twice the fed clerkship+big firm placement of Wake while being tied or close to tied in the ranking - is that mismanagement? How is the top of the class doing better at UNC in spite of management? Dumb luck? People who root for our basketball team? Maybe management is good at maintaining relationships with large firms and UNC grads are doing well at those firms when they get to them. I don't know, but neither do you. The ATL ranking may differ from other rankings but it is a helpful one nonetheless - it focuses on a certain set of information that is often important to people on TLS. It gives a clear indication that if you are looking for that type of job, UNC places better than its USN ranking. It doesn't show the downside of choosing UNC, but that's not what it is built for.

Again, Wake may be the better choice. I don't know where I would go at this point.


Good grief, this thread is a disaster.

According to "ultimate bar passage" every student should be applying to Baylor because they have 100% passage within two years. There's a reason that the only bar passage rate that matters is first-time takers, because those are the people that will actually be employed by, or within a limited amount of time of, graduation. I don't care if you passed on the bar on your third try and all your friends did too because none of you will get a job as an attorney unless you hang a shingle or have a family member who practices that is going to hire you.

Additionally, rankings should not ever determine what law school you attend. Rankings are a lovely yearly indicator for admission deans to get into a pissing contest over. There are only three things that matter when deciding what law school to attend: 1) how much debt will you have to take on to attend said law school; 2) what are your legal goals; and 3) are your legal goals realistically attainable from said law school.

OP: since money is not much of a factor, your legal employment goals, and their attainability from the various schools, should determine where you attend.

All three schools are regional. Although it's slightly possible to land Chicago out of UW and DC/ATL/NY out of Wake/UNC, it is absolutely the exception. Not a great idea to bet on being the exception.

If you're public interest minded, do you have NC/WI ties? If climate is a concern for going to law school in Wisconsin, how does spending the next 13 years in Wisconsin sound?

You can land PI out of Wake or UNC, but UNC has a stronger PI emphasis than Wake does. Again, your legal goals should determine where you attend. Just know that your options are all very regional schools.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby deansmith » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:07 pm

My point is simple: Even though these schools appear to be very similar (leaving aside obvious geographic differences between Wake/UNC and UW) in jobs output (though UNC is substantially weaker on overall legal employment), two subtle difference are that UNC is extremely poorly managed and it is on a downward trend. The evidence of this is in all of the rankings I have cited where UNC woefully underperforms its peers. The OP can take his own personal experience with the UNC admissions office, which was surely abysmal and extrapolate it to all the other offices of the UNC law school, including the CDO. While most other law schools are working their asses off to gain any advantage whatsoever to improve their rankings, enroll the best students they can, and get their students employed, UNC is completely lackadaisical.

Plus, it is the worst performing unit on the entire UNC-CH campus by far and it continues to cause all sorts of grief with the powers that be. Things can't go on like this for very much longer. I wouldn't be surprised to see the law school shut down or relocated to Charlotte in the near future. The dean is surely on his last legs, though that might actually be a good development for the school.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby HangingAround » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:52 pm

deansmith wrote:My point is simple: Even though these schools appear to be very similar (leaving aside obvious geographic differences between Wake/UNC and UW) in jobs output (though UNC is substantially weaker on overall legal employment), two subtle difference are that UNC is extremely poorly managed and it is on a downward trend. The evidence of this is in all of the rankings I have cited where UNC woefully underperforms its peers. The OP can take his own personal experience with the UNC admissions office, which was surely abysmal and extrapolate it to all the other offices of the UNC law school, including the CDO. While most other law schools are working their asses off to gain any advantage whatsoever to improve their rankings, enroll the best students they can, and get their students employed, UNC is completely lackadaisical.

Plus, it is the worst performing unit on the entire UNC-CH campus by far and it continues to cause all sorts of grief with the powers that be. Things can't go on like this for very much longer. I wouldn't be surprised to see the law school shut down or relocated to Charlotte in the near future. The dean is surely on his last legs, though that might actually be a good development for the school.


The oldest law school in NC drops 13 spots in rankings over 3 years, still is in the top 50, still is better than the vast majority of law schools (and not even remotely in the same conversation as the law schools that have actually been shut down unless you're so zealous about how bad it is that you make a Dean Smith account (go Heels) solely to post about it) ---> shut down in the near future is quite the thing to be able to type with a straight face. Our current governor is a grad, along with 5 of the 7 members of the Supreme Court. I know, don't bother to tell me they graduated when we were ranked higher. Still, the law school isn't going anywhere. I don't know if it can reverse its bad trend, nor do I think it has been anything but a disappointing few years as we deal with this, nor do I doubt that among UNC's incredibly well regarded undergrad and graduate programs it is not measuring up to the typical rankings, but it is not going to shut down or move to Charlotte. What major law schools even substantially worse than UNC have shut down? Until you get to the level of Charlotte, Savannah, etc I don't believe you will find them. If anything, hopefully the drop in the rankings encourages the university as a whole to support the law school to bring it back up.


As to the CDO, I admire your passion, but how do you know about the CDO other than by using the rankings as a proxy? Did you go to UNC? The CDO constantly has panels, programming, emails opportunities and makes calls. They seem fairly helpful. I don't know how they compare, maybe they're bad by comparison using the rankings as a proxy. I hesitate to use them as some perfect proxy though, because I saw that a major difference in this year's ranking was a 5% drop of some sort on employment - 5% is 10 students on the fringe of employment/not employment with a class size of 200. While I understand it's still important, the employability/work to find a job of 10 students may not necessarily reflect your doomsday scenario or an incompetent CDO.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby deansmith » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:11 pm

It won't be the governor or the NC SCT that shuts the law school down; it will be the Board of Trustees. The same BOT that fired the last law school dean due to frustration with the underperformance of the school and the intransigence of the faculty and installed Dean Martin as the supposed savior. That (needless to say) hasn't worked out, so I wonder what the next step will be.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby HangingAround » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:51 pm

deansmith wrote:It won't be the governor or the NC SCT that shuts the law school down; it will be the Board of Trustees. The same BOT that fired the last law school dean due to frustration with the underperformance of the school and the intransigence of the faculty and installed Dean Martin as the supposed savior. That (needless to say) hasn't worked out, so I wonder what the next step will be.


Yea it was brutally underperforming at 32 in the rankings when the switch was being made in 2015. What a MASSIVE drop from its older spot in the mid 20s. Oh wait even back in 2009 we were at 30. But that 2 spot drop in those 6 years is pretty ridiculous and clearly indicates the need for drastic changes up top. The BOT was certainly demanding top 3 or bust. You are 100% right, and clearly an informed commentator.

Also, surely he was "fired" and didn't just retire since he was ~65 years old.

Next step = shut down. They may also burn down the facility to collect on insurance. I have this on good authority.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby JeebsDeadshot » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:14 pm

deansmith wrote:My point is simple: Even though these schools appear to be very similar (leaving aside obvious geographic differences between Wake/UNC and UW) in jobs output (though UNC is substantially weaker on overall legal employment), two subtle difference are that UNC is extremely poorly managed and it is on a downward trend. The evidence of this is in all of the rankings I have cited where UNC woefully underperforms its peers. The OP can take his own personal experience with the UNC admissions office, which was surely abysmal and extrapolate it to all the other offices of the UNC law school, including the CDO. While most other law schools are working their asses off to gain any advantage whatsoever to improve their rankings, enroll the best students they can, and get their students employed, UNC is completely lackadaisical.

Plus, it is the worst performing unit on the entire UNC-CH campus by far and it continues to cause all sorts of grief with the powers that be. Things can't go on like this for very much longer. I wouldn't be surprised to see the law school shut down or relocated to Charlotte in the near future. The dean is surely on his last legs, though that might actually be a good development for the school.


Why do you have such a vendetta against UNC? Where do you go to law school? Wake?

Saying the law school woefully underperforms its peers and is the worst performing unit on UNC's campus (which is probably the football team) is an extreme exaggeration. If you look at the USNWR rankings more in depth, you'd see that UNC is a top 25 law school in the view of judges and lawyers. If you looked at the rankings of law reviews, you'd see that UNC has a top 25 law review. Sure the ranking has dropped, but that is in large part due to the massive decline in funding, and how much funding and facilities factor into the USWNR ranking. Our dean (his name is Dean Brinkley, not Dean Martin, btw) is not a slackass, in fact, he is running a massive alumni fundraising campaign and has already raised millions of dollars.

The former Dean, his name is Dean Boger (since you will probably call him Dean Jack) did not get fired. He stepped down, taught race, poverty, and con law courses for a few years and still holds an office at the law school. So you're also wrong about that.

It is also ridiculous that you say that UNC has been "extremely poorly mismanaged" compared to its peers. Let's not forget that Wake dropped ~16 spots two or three years ago and that W&L experienced a similar significant drop in the rankings a few years earlier. I think you are overreacting in interpreting two bad years to mean that UNC has had terrible management "for years". Does that mean Wake & W&L have had terrible management "for years" too?

Seems you either didn't get into UNC, or you didn't get a good scholarship offer, as you hinted at above. Good thing you aren't a part of the "low 1L credentials rankings"

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby HangingAround » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:54 am

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=276222

Most recent biglaw+fed clerkship. Wake had an over 7% jump and UNC had an almost 3% decline. But still:
UNC 24.4%
Wake 20.1%

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:41 am

HangingAround wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=276222

Most recent biglaw+fed clerkship. Wake had an over 7% jump and UNC had an almost 3% decline. But still:
UNC 24.4%
Wake 20.1%


And just to be clear on the school down tobacco road from UNC- Duke has a 85% biglaw and fed clerk rate. Just to emphasize that Wake's numbers may be increasing and UNC's declining, but they are still putrid.

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Re: UNC vs Wake vs UW Madison

Postby HangingAround » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:02 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
HangingAround wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=276222

Most recent biglaw+fed clerkship. Wake had an over 7% jump and UNC had an almost 3% decline. But still:
UNC 24.4%
Wake 20.1%


And just to be clear on the school down tobacco road from UNC- Duke has a 85% biglaw and fed clerk rate. Just to emphasize that Wake's numbers may be increasing and UNC's declining, but they are still putrid.


Some people who are not deadset on biglaw or fed clerkship would rather have a 1/4 chance at those opportunities with little debt, rather than an 85% chance with massive debt. Plenty of people would not make that choice, which is also fair. It's interesting how many people who do well change their tune to biglaw who originally said they wanted to do something PI at a school like UNC.

Still, as you point out, it is important to keep in mind the huge differential between a school like Duke and UNC/Wake. If you absolutely require biglaw, pay up/get a higher LSAT score for a better school than UNC/Wake. But if you think you probably want to do big law in NC (with the opportunity to go do it elsewhere) and would rather that not work out than to have a really good chance of whatever debt you get from a T14 and a spot in NY biglaw, Wake/UNC might be the right choice for you.

It is also important to keep in mind that absolute statements - like "you wont get a good paying job from any of them (if you get a legal job at all) and you are gonna be stuck in that area for the rest of your career" - are as unhelpful as they are untrue. The people with full scholarships going to NY biglaw are, I imagine, pretty happy with that choice at this point and with the benefit of hindsight. Unless the point of saying it is to shock someone out of their impulse to think they are special and will be in whatever percentile needed, then I don't understand why you say it.



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