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An exciting weekend of "March Madness" is upon us, as the 2012 Final Four pursue the NCAA Championship in basketball in New Orleans.
But we'd be remiss if we failed to mention another type of "March Madness" that also involves mysterious number-crunching -- the annual U.S. News law school rankings.
U.S. News released its 2012 law school rankings March 12 -- just one day after the NCAA's "Selection Sunday" revealed college basketball's top-seeded teams.
But if you're curious how the Final Four's full court press compares to their law schools' moot court preps, here's what our stats department was able to dig up:
In the first Final Four national semifinal -- set for Saturday at 6:09 p.m. Eastern Time -- the South's top-seeded University of Kentucky takes on West No. 4-seeded University of Louisville.
But as far as their law school rankings are concerned, UK's College of Law has the edge at No. 62, according to U.S. News. Louisville's Brandeis School of Law comes in at No. 89.
Despite the rankings, the schools have similar profiles. Both have more male law students than female (UK is 57% male, Louisville is 55%), and have similar employment rates at graduation (about 66%). Tuition is also similar: about $18,000/year for in-state students and $32,000/year for out-of-state students.
US News, however, picks up on two differences: UK's law school boasts a journal that focuses, quite fittingly, on equine law. (Insert equine law joke here.) Still, UK law students are apparently entitled to group seats at UK basketball games. Based on that fact alone, give the edge to the Kentucky Wildcats.
The second Final Four game pits the East's No. 2 Ohio State University against the Midwest's No. 2 University of Kansas.
In the U.S. News rankings, Kansas' School of Law is tied with Louisville at No. 89; Ohio State's Moritz College of Law surpasses both at No. 39.
Both Kansas and Ohio State students are predominantly male (61% male at Kansas, 57% male at OSU). But tuition and employment rates are different: Kansas, with a 46% employment rate, charges $16,000/year for in-state students and $29,000/year for out-of-staters. Ohio State boasts a high 83% employment rate and charges $26,000/year for in-state students, $41,000/year for out-of-state. Based on none of this and just a blind gambling hunch, pick Kansas Law in the upset.
FindLaw says Kentucky would cut down the nets in the law school Final Four. Enjoy the competition, folks. And as always, please, no wagering.
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