March Madness : Which Law Schools Would You Consider To Be “Cinderella” Schools?

Posted on 03-09-2016 by
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The NCAA Basketball Tournament is well known for its’ “Cinderella” teams, or teams that are capable of achieving far greater success than what would be expected. For instance, in 2013, the fifteenth -seeded Florida Gulf Coast’s men’s basketball team became a Cinderella after they beat the no. 2 and no. 7 seeded teams before being ousted by the no. 3 – seeded Florida in the Sweet Sixteen. In both instances, Florida Gulf Coast was subjected to underestimation by peers.

Likewise, law schools can be seen in the same light as these Cinderella teams. When I think of law schools my mind shifts over to the likes of Yale University, Harvard University and Columbia University. However I was shocked to learn that according to the U.S. News Top Law Schools of 2016, University of Cincinnati was ranked the 82nd on the list and would be considered a “second tier” school.

So which law schools would you consider a “Cinderella”? Why do you consider them a Cinderella?

Comments


jtomevi
jtomevi
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:06 PM

Drexel Law. New, but with great faculty and name recognition may cause some upsets!

Anonymous
Anonymous
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:07 PM

Given that law school doesn't impart very much practical knowledge, I think any school could be a Cinderella. I spoke a at s an NLT CLE last weekend, and all they wanted was to hear about how to open a practice and get clients because all they learned in law school was theory which isn't too useful in the real world.

karacormier
karacormier
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:10 PM

I think schools that offer night programs to working professionals can be considered Cinderella schools.  Some of those students have a lot to contribute to the profession, but the schools that have night programs aren't usually ranked that high or are dragged down in the rankings because of the night program.  I'm not really sure why that happens.

SWolfe1345
SWolfe1345
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:11 PM

Oops I forgot to log in...Given that law school doesn't impart very much practical knowledge, I think any school could be a Cinderella. I spoke at an NLT CLE last weekend, and all they wanted was to hear about how to open a practice and get clients because all they learned in law school was theory which isn't too useful in the real world.

kschroeder219
kschroeder219
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:11 PM

A Cinderella school would be one that has a high employment rate (using an honest statistic) and a low cost.

MVIsola
MVIsola
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:11 PM

King Hall at UC Davis.  It is a great school with great faculty and programs, but for a variety of reasons, it doesn't get the respect it deserves.  So, unless they win their conference, they are always on the bubble hoping to get an invite to the Big Dance . . .

jeffd
jeffd
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:13 PM

Local/state schools are often highly competitive with national schools in their markets and produce highly qualified lawyers with very strong connections to their legal communities and judiciary.  I'm not surprised by U. Cincinnati's law school's ranking, for example, it historically has fed into Cincinnati's prominent firms.  Go Bearcats!

eveross
eveross
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:16 PM

Charleston Law is a potential Cinderella school. It successfully beat back an Infilaw takeover, and seems to be a cut above other new law schools with flexible admissions standards.

smiegal
smiegal
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:16 PM

Cooley.  They're ragtag, don't get no respect...but they're hungry.

bbrapunzel
bbrapunzel
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:18 PM

I agree with the commenter that mentioned evening programs--as non-traditional routes to the JD gain acceptance, these types of programs should begin to shine.

Mohammad Amer
Mohammad Amer
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:19 PM

Those law schools that may not be high in the rankings, but are great for placing attorneys in the surrounding area.

Susan_Jackson
Susan_Jackson
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:20 PM

I went to law school (Cleveland Marshall) as a night student back in the early 2000 that offered an eDiscovery course.  That single course changed my entire career trajectory and now I get to teach eDiscovery as an adjunct professor at a similarly diverse law school in Atlanta (Atlanta's John Marshall Law School).  The first law school in the state to each eDiscovery.  

Laura A. Foggan
Laura A. Foggan
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:21 PM

I agree with those who flagged schools with night programs, and state/local public schools. I believe that there has been a shift away from "prestige" as the sole determining factor, at least once the very top schools ("final 4"?) are taken out of the mix.

BJM
BJM
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:26 PM

I like the comment about schools with night programs.  I will also add that there are many schools that do not have the national reputation of Harvard and Yale, but they are responsible for educating most of the lawyers in their respective metropolitan areas.  Many of these are great schools, but are often overlooked as "less glamorous".  Some of the schools that come to my mind are Marquette University (Milwaukee), Saint Louis University, and U of Cincinnati.

JohnVG
JohnVG
Posted on : 11 Mar 2016 2:32 PM

These days tuition is more important than names.

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