Law School Reviews on Yelp?

This week, the attorney blog Above the Law paosted about Yelp’s new law school rankings.

While gaining an accurate understanding of the pros and cons of various law schools is a good idea before investing a six figure sum of money, I’m not sure relying on Yelp reviewers is the way I would go. Talking to alumni and current students is likely to be much more valuable.

Still, if you want to use Yelp reviews in your evaluation, there are some things to keep in mind:

1) Look for trends.

You should discount claims made in any single review, but rather consider the review corpus in its entirety. Do you see the same issues over and over again? Then those might well be real.

Of course, if a law school only has three reviews, it’s hard to do this. The numbers should improve over time.

2) Watch for competitors and self-reviews.

If it looks like it was written by a competitor or someone from the law school itself, it probably was. I don’t know if law school reps will spend much time reviewing other law schools, but I suspect self reviewing will be all to common.

3) Discount the lunatics.

You know the type. You read the review and think, I sure am glad I don’t have this person as a client/customer.

Some people can’t be pleased, and some are just looking for problems. Take what they say with a grain of salt.

4) Read the responses (if any).

Yelp allows companies to respond to reviews. I’m not of the opinion that every review must be responded to, but a response to negative reviews certainly shows that the company is monitoring their social profile, and might suggest a better customer service mentality than most.

Any law school is going to have students with bad experiences. Like all businesses, it’s how you handle these problems that matters.

Pro Tip: All of these recommendations apply to any Yelp listing.