Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Sua Sponte has a post about law school rankings that links to a post by Glorfindel, and Waddling Thunder and Heidi have related posts. More than about the rankings, they're about how students at higher-ranked schools have more opportunities than students at lower-ranked schools, at least if you look beyond the top student or two at the lower-ranked places, and how sometimes having more opportunities isn't really that great because there are also more costs and more pressures to take certain jobs, and also how the rankings can distort stuff because what's really the difference between #15 and #18 yet sometimes people make decisions based on that, and how it's bad to go to law school not knowing what you want to do and get sucked into doing what everyone else is doing, but it's not that bad to go do what everyone else is doing if that's what you really want to do. I'm making a mess of their posts, so go read them if any of this interests you. I wouldn't be linking if I didn't think they were worth it.

For now, I'm just going to point you over there and leave it at that. I started typing to see if anything useful came out as far as my own feelings and thoughts, but I'm not there yet. It's a muddle of stuff like "we all have lots of choices and no choices, both at the same time," and "the risk/reward threshold falls at different places for different people," and "it would suck to spend three years in law school and not be able to get a job -- but I'm not sure it would suck more than spending three years not in law school and not being able to get a job, so I don't know what that means." Many of my friends are not in law school. Not many of them are thrilled with what they're doing, although lots of them are doing things that are reasonably interesting. One of the things I like about law school is that it's not really stopping me from doing too many things, and at the end I get a degree, which will let me do all sorts of things I couldn't have done before, will make it easier to get to do some things I could have done before, and even if it turns out I end up doing something I didn't need the law degree to do, I can make the argument that it took the three years here to figure out that what I wanted to do was whatever that is, and so I needed this to find that -- and I can also make the argument that if I'm wrong, I've still got the degree. Because my opportunity cost is unclear to me -- I don't know what it is exactly I'd be doing if I wasn't here, and certainly I have no idea how successful I'd be at it, and whether I really am losing three years that I'd have otherwise used much better if I wasn't here, and so I'm happy to keep myself in the dark about that, assume I'm losing very little (except for the cost, which is obviously really really non-negligible), and stay convinced that even if this doesn't end up being the only possible decision I might have made, it was at least a good and reasonable one. I don't know how that relates to the U.S. News rankings at all. And, yeah, I realize that for the second post in a row I've apologized for having nothing to say and then written a paragraph. Whoops again. What else can I do?

UPDATE: See here. A guy who's going to be a 1L at Harvard next year, and has a week-old weblog, comments.