Legal Eagles study. A lot. Maybe.

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 22, 2009 in Randomness | Subscribe

Yesterday the good folks over at Above the Law (a must-read site for killing time in class) posted this entry on Princeton Review’s law school rankings, which was actually linked to an entry at the TaxProf Blog (which I had previously never heard of but will be adding to the must-read list) containing the underlying data.

Those of you who’ve been here before — or new folks who happened to see my new centerpiece ;) — know that I’m a proud Legal Eagle of the N.C. Central University School of Law, which shows up as the #11 most-studious campus on the list. So my curiosity was piqued and I poked around a little bit more.

The TaxProf’s archived Princeton Review data indicates students at lower-ranked schools study harder, which on its face (if accurate) validates my opinions on the frivolity of law school rankings and the public service provided by T4 law schools.

But then I noticed the NCCU School of Law was ranked dead last for study hours on that 2007 list. And it was ranked second-to-last in the 2008 list too.

That low ranking in turn reminded me of this summer’s lower-than-normal bar passage rate for first-time testers at my school.  Historically we outperform the state average by a pretty sizable margin (a large reason why the NCCU School of Law was ranked #1 Best Value in the country for 2 years in a row). But the folks taking the bar this past summer actually fell short of the state average by about half a percentage point.

Which leads me to a few questions: (1) are the aggregate survey responses used by the Princeton Review an accurate reflection of study hours for Legal Eagles? (2) were NCCU’s hours pre-2007 just as low, or were those 2 years an anomaly? and (3) if an anomaly, were responses for those years dominated by the same class of students who ultimately went on to underperform their predecessors on the bar exam this summer?

Not sure if any of those questions can be answered accurately.  But I do know this — when the July 2012 bar exam rolls around, I refuse to be a factor if we fall short ;)

Off to study for a quiz in LRA tomorrow morning. Have a good night everybody :D

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2 Comments

John
Oct 24, 2009 at 11:18 AM

To answer question 1, I think at the super high end of the scale and the super low end of the scale, the numbers weren’t accurate. There’s no way an entire school was averaging either 8 hours a day or 1.5 hours a day of studying. If you’re averaging 8 hours a day, that means most students are probably reporting 8-12 hours a day. If you’re averaging 1.5 hours a day, that means a good chunk of students are reporting zero. And I have a hard time believing there’s a school where either is true.


 

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