New data (finally) here. This update was long overdue!I hope to get some more, updated material on the law school rankings site during the summer. And I hope to expand the listing of schools by student LSAT scores over the summer as well.
Bear in mind that numerical credentials have increased dramatically the last few years--partly due to U.S. News pressures, but mainly due to increases in the applicant pool. Today's UT class was the Penn class of five years ago.
UPDATE: Correspondence with readers makes it clear I should clarify the last remark: UT's class now has LSAT scores at the 75th percentile and median like Penn's class roughly five years ago. It is still my impression, as it was five years ago (when I was considering moving to Penn), that the top end of our class is at least as strong, and probably stronger, since we don't suffer from the tight clustering of competitive schools in the Northeast corridor. Roughly 10% of last year's UT class, for example, had LSAT scores above 170--about the same number of students with those credentials enrolled at places like Penn and Northwestern. Of course, because of differences in class size, that statistic doesn't show up in any of the measures used in the ranking linked above. (LSAT scores are also crude measures, but that's a different story.)
A law professor elsewhere wrote:
A gaming system perhaps growing in popularity is to offer lower LSAT students a seat in a “part time” class. One way of doing this is to admit lower LSAT students into evening programs, then allowing them to transfer into the day the following year. Another way is to have the student take one less class in the first year, which they make up in the summer of the first year, and then enter the second year on track with everyone else. Students given this offer are told that this is because they are “at risk” (in many cases a laughable claim given the student’s statistics), and that the reduced load will help them adjust and succeed.
I suspect that “part time” programs (evening or day variety) are the new mechanism of choice for schools interested in massaging their LSAT scores. The only way to expose this practice is to fold all part time numbers into the overall measure. It is a huge loophole that (based upon anecdotal evidence) more and more schools appear to be utilizing.
Note that Fordham, that does rather well in this study, also has a large part-time class (much larger, as a percentage of total enrollment, than Georgetown's, as was pointed out to me by a reader).