Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

From Harvard, etc. to Loyola, etc. Why does it happen?

Poll ended at Wed May 12, 2010 4:58 am

Bad Grades
134
28%
Low LSAT scores
248
53%
Geography
20
4%
Fincancial Concerns
26
6%
Programs
3
1%
School Culture
3
1%
Satisfied w/elite UG degree
13
3%
Some other reason
25
5%
 
Total votes: 472

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PDaddy
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Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby PDaddy » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:52 am

I am not making any judgments about this, but I am always curious when I see students from elite undergrads going to T2 and even TTT schools. How does this happen? Is it failure on the LSAT? Average of bad grades? Self-selected regional concerns or school programs that, in the mind of the student(s), outweigh concerns regarding career prospects? I know at least a few Ivy or otherwise elite grads who chose to go to Howard Law (and other "non-elite" law schools) b/c they wanted a more welcoming environment(s). They also cited a belief that having the Ivy/elite degree from undergrad opened enough doors already.

FTR, I applaud such graduates for being open-minded enough to go schools considered to be "non-elite" or "lower rung", as I don't think rankings always reflect the quality of education. But rankings do affect job prospects. If you are a graduate of an elite undergraduate school who is attending or plans to attend a school not necessarily considered a power, weigh in on this topic. What factored into it?

For the rest of you not in this situation, would you still be "T14 or bust" had you attended an elite undergrad? And, do you think grads of elite schools who wound up at non-elite law schools are bottom-feeders who couldn't cut it? I only ask that question b/c I believe someone will say it anyways.

What do you think? Is it insanity to just want to go to a non-elite school after having gone to Columbia, MIT or Tufts for UG?
Last edited by PDaddy on Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:44 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Harvard UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby D. H2Oman » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:55 am

Bad LSAT and/or grades.

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underachiever
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby underachiever » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:04 am

Overly broad generalization here. I would say that LSAT or $ was the limiting factor. I know some HYP kids who had lower LSAT scores and just didn't care or really just wanted to go to the local law school b/c they wanted a local job or b/c they didn't want to take on anymore loans (full ride at a the T2, after 150K in UG debt). Most didn't have low grades (i.e. sub 3.0) and all had great UG experiences compared to mine.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:14 am

PDaddy wrote: "lower wrung"


:lol: Hahaha


PDaddy wrote:Is it insanity to just want to go to a non-elite school after having gone to Columbia, MIT or Tufts for UG?


Blatant Tufts trolling?

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of Benito Cereno
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby of Benito Cereno » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:28 am

its important to realize that probably half of harvard's class has a gpa below 3.3. the same goes for most top10 schools.
if the average gpa is around 3.3 and the average lsat is around 165, and assuming that the students with lower gpa probably aren't getting the highest lsats (dumber and study less) i'd say you're looking at plenty of 3.3 165 applicants from harvard.

rando
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby rando » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:41 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:its important to realize that probably half of harvard's class has a gpa below 3.3. the same goes for most top10 schools.
if the average gpa is around 3.3 and the average lsat is around 165, and assuming that the students with lower gpa probably aren't getting the highest lsats (dumber and study less) i'd say you're looking at plenty of 3.3 165 applicants from harvard.


Also less likely to go to law school though

rando
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby rando » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:45 am

PDaddy wrote: "lower wrung"


The phrase is "lower rung," as in "rung on a ladder." :)

DeepSeaLaw
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby DeepSeaLaw » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:21 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:its important to realize that probably half of harvard's class has a gpa below [strike]3.3.[/strike] 3.5 the same goes for most top10 schools.
if the average gpa is around [strike]3.3[/strike] 3.5 and the average lsat is around 165, and assuming that the students with lower gpa probably aren't getting the highest lsats (dumber and study less) i'd say you're looking at plenty of 3.3 165 applicants from harvard.



FTFY. Grade inflation baby...

imisscollege
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby imisscollege » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:47 am

prezidentv8 wrote:
PDaddy wrote: "lower wrung"


:lol: Hahaha


PDaddy wrote:Is it insanity to just want to go to a non-elite school after having gone to Columbia, MIT or Tufts for UG?


Blatant Tufts trolling?


IMO, the most academically underrated UG LA school in the country. For example, see current admissions stats

BenJ
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby BenJ » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:03 am

I appreciated the Tufts trolling, although Columbia and MIT are no doubt way above us. We are a little underranked by USNWR, but I think that's mostly because Tufts is a weird LA/research hybrid: too big to be an LAC, but too small (and too limited in graduate programs outside of medicine and IR) to rank well as a research school. The small alumni base from once having been a tiny LA commuter school hurts, too. Certainly we have a much higher SAT median and much lower admission rate than similarly ranked schools.

Anyway, back on topic. The median GPA at Harvard in a 3.5. The median LSAT for LSAT-taking Harvard students is a 166. A 166/3.5 isn't doomed to T2 necessarily, but they're not going to an elite school, either. Numbers doom a lot of undergrads from elite schools.

dk84
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby dk84 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:24 am

I went to an elite UG that doesn't grade inflate (sucks considering our peers do), and the fact is not everyone can get into the top law schools. If you don't get a 170+, your median, or even above the median GPA at a school of achievers just isn't enough. I would not trade my experience at my UG for anything, but it does suck to see kids who couldn't (and didn't) get into our UGs have skyhigh GPAs next to respectable and even mediocre GPAs that still took a lot of work. Law schools, largely our own institutions, are still looking to protect their rankings. It is a case of a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond. Doesn't necessarily matter how large the pond is, but the bigger fish still fetches a higher price.


A few caveats/notes:
- Quite a few of our grads end up at the top 10 law schools, but I think one of the strongest majorities of these grads end up at the schools ranked 10-25 or so (the 3.5/166 for instance that BenJ stated is spot on). There are some in 25-40, and a smattering in 50-100.
- I know one grad at a TTTT not yet fully ABA approved law school and everyone says wtf is he thinking
- Rankings aren't everything, and are highly suspect. I hated the 'highest ranked' school I got into
- Some people want a new experience. For me, the choice is a school very similar to my UG, or something completely foreign. Trying something new is kind of appealing.
- I fully appreciate the 'oh wow' I get without fail when I say where I went to UG. From current high school students, employers, interviewers, even law school admissions deans- THAT is why I believe UG plays a role in hiring for firms etc, for the following two reasons:
1-The formative years of your life are during UG, and more of an attachment is made to that school (all the lawyers I know root for their UG first, LS second). There tends to be huge pride/adoration/will kill your first born for the school ... hence the huge endowments, btw. Older grads love to meet younger grads and talk about what dorm/greek organization/eating club/house they were in. Firms/companies want connections to big name schools. It is also a talking point- how was ---, oh I loved it! No one really stops when they read 'okay school or Joe Schmo University' unless they're an alum, which is why regional schools use those alumni connections.
2- An impressive UG means you did well on the first standardized test/excelled in HS. They want driven, 'smart' people from the start.


I will say the thing that irks me most is when someone from a really crappy school (HS approx. GPA sub 3.0, SAT less than 1050) has a good GPA and didn't get a job this year and had the time to just study for the LSAT 24-7. I'm not saying anyone can get that good GPA, but I've had too many people at that kind of school tell me all it takes is some effort. You can put a lot of effort in at elite UG and still come out with a 3.0 because all of the nerds put in the effort. But hey, those elite UGs tend to breed elitism

toolfan
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby toolfan » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:43 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:its important to realize that probably half of harvard's class has a gpa below 3.3. the same goes for most top10 schools.
if the average gpa is around 3.3 and the average lsat is around 165, and assuming that the students with lower gpa probably aren't getting the highest lsats (dumber and study less) i'd say you're looking at plenty of 3.3 165 applicants from harvard.


Listen, the lsat is hard. Havard's UG lsat average of 165, if that is true, is probably the highest you will find from any university. We all know a 3.3 from Harvard UG is a 4.3 at many, if not most, UG institutions. To say that the Harvard kids with a 3.3 UGPA are dumber and study less and therefore less likely to do well on the lsat is asinine.

There are only so many seats in the T-14. Also, the beauty of the lsat is that it gives kids from less pretigious schools the opportunity to compete with those from the ivy. I know plenty of people that had Ivy numbers out of high school, but chose state schools to avoid a shit ton of UG debt when they knew they were going to pursue a JD/MD/MBA/PHD anyways. My brother, who scored a bloody 1530 on his SAT (bastard out scored me), is at FSU-Honors program majoring in Physics (tough program and FSU ranks well in this field). He loves it. He gets paid to go to school. He will most likely graduate with a 3.8+. He's a smart kid, regardless of UG institution, and I'm sure he will do very well on whatever standarized-entry test he will need to take for grad school.

09042014
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby 09042014 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:45 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:its important to realize that probably half of harvard's class has a gpa below 3.3. the same goes for most top10 schools.
if the average gpa is around 3.3 and the average lsat is around 165, and assuming that the students with lower gpa probably aren't getting the highest lsats (dumber and study less) i'd say you're looking at plenty of 3.3 165 applicants from harvard.


Change that to 3.5, and then this.

09042014
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby 09042014 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:49 am

toolfan wrote:
Listen, the lsat is hard. Havard's UG lsat average of 165, if that is true, is probably the highest you will find from any university. We all know a 3.3 from Harvard UG is a 4.3 at many, if not most, UG institutions. To say that the Harvard kids with a 3.3 UGPA are dumber and study less and therefore less likely to do well on the lsat is asinine.


Not true. I bet if you take a 3.3 from Harvard and put them in any other top 50 university in the US, and they probably still end up 3.3 +/- .3 gpa points.

Most undergrad programs are about effort, not intelligence.

toolfan
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby toolfan » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:51 am

I admit, I was exaggerating for effect.

rando
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby rando » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:54 am

Desert Fox wrote:
toolfan wrote:
Listen, the lsat is hard. Havard's UG lsat average of 165, if that is true, is probably the highest you will find from any university. We all know a 3.3 from Harvard UG is a 4.3 at many, if not most, UG institutions. To say that the Harvard kids with a 3.3 UGPA are dumber and study less and therefore less likely to do well on the lsat is asinine.


Not true. I bet if you take a 3.3 from Harvard and put them in any other top 50 university in the US, and they probably still end up 3.3 +/- .3 gpa points.

Most undergrad programs are about effort, not intelligence.


Truth. I went to a top UG (not harvard) and a 3.3 would have been ridiculously easy. Just sayin...

09042014
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby 09042014 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:57 am

rando wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
toolfan wrote:
Listen, the lsat is hard. Havard's UG lsat average of 165, if that is true, is probably the highest you will find from any university. We all know a 3.3 from Harvard UG is a 4.3 at many, if not most, UG institutions. To say that the Harvard kids with a 3.3 UGPA are dumber and study less and therefore less likely to do well on the lsat is asinine.


Not true. I bet if you take a 3.3 from Harvard and put them in any other top 50 university in the US, and they probably still end up 3.3 +/- .3 gpa points.

Most undergrad programs are about effort, not intelligence.


Truth. I went to a top UG (not harvard) and a 3.3 would have been ridiculously easy. Just sayin...


I'm smarter than most Harvard undergrads and I still got pwnd by kids at my public school.

toolfan
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby toolfan » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm

Nit-picking details instead of the message itself. I hope my over generalization does not prevent you guys from seeing my point. In a nutshell, there are plenty of Ivy-worthy undergrads at less pretigious schools for many of reasons... So, a FSU grad with, say, a 3.8/170 should be looked at from many angles instead of the popular "his gpa is due to easy UG, and he was able to study 24/7 for the lsat." Indeed this may be the case for some, but not for all.

09042014
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby 09042014 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:08 pm

toolfan wrote:Nit-picking details instead of the message itself. I hope my over generalization does not prevent you guys from seeing my point. In a nutshell, there are plenty of Ivy-worthy undergrads at less pretigious schools for many of reasons... So, a FSU grad with, say, a 3.8/170 should be looked at from many angles instead of the popular "his gpa is due to easy UG, and he was able to study 24/7 for the lsat." Indeed this may be the case for some, but not for all.


I would take a 3.8 FSU/ 170 over a 3.3 Harvard grad no matter what his lsat was.

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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby dk84 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:11 pm

toolfan wrote:
of Benito Cereno wrote: I know plenty of people that had Ivy numbers out of high school, but chose state schools to avoid a shit ton of UG debt when they knew they were going to pursue a JD/MD/MBA/PHD anyways.


True, but the majority of Harvard UG receive aid (not student loan etc), very few pay full price, or even close to it at Harvard and peer elite private schools. It is the top state Univs that don't give out a lot of scholarship money- UCLA, UMich, UVa- that pay full price (or a great bargain if you're in-state) for that degree.

Additionally, if you're speaking to the post about being able to study 24-7 for the LSAT, your logic doesn't follow with "his gpa is due to easy UG, and he was able to study 24/7 for the lsat." I never said that, I spoke of graduates without jobs who therefore said I guess I'll just study for the LSAT and were able to do so.

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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby KimmyGibbler » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:12 pm

PDaddy wrote:What do you think? Is it insanity to just want to go to a non-elite school after having gone to Columbia, MIT or Tufts for UG?


Tufts? Ha. I went to Columbia for UG and am going to a T2 next year, so I can offer some perspective. My GPA wasn't that good; I was recruited as an athlete and even though I worked very hard, I couldn't hang with the kids who were accepted solely on academic merits and also didn't have sports practice twice a day. I am proud of my GPA, but it isn't that good. Even so, the best schools I got into were Fordham and BU. I still chose a T2 with scholarship because, coming from Columbia, I knew that Fordham would always be "not Columbia or NYU" and BU is "not Harvard". If I am going to get a second-rate law school education, I might as well go for next to nothing at a T2 in the region I want to practice. Also, in my mind, when a perspective employer looks at my resume and sees the dominant regional state law school with a named scholarship, he'll wonder what other schools I turned down in order to make a financially wise decision; hell, maybe I turned down UPenn and UVA to avoid the debt. If he sees BU or Fordham, he'll think "Oh, this kid got rejected from Harvard, NYU, and Columbia; what a loser".

rando
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby rando » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:19 pm

KimmyGibbler wrote: If I am going to get a second-rate law school education, I might as well go for next to nothing at a T2 in the region I want to practice. Also, in my mind, when a perspective employer looks at my resume and sees the dominant regional state law school with a named scholarship, he'll wonder what other schools I turned down in order to make a financially wise decision; hell, maybe I turned down UPenn and UVA to avoid the debt. If he sees BU or Fordham, he'll think "Oh, this kid got rejected from Harvard, NYU, and Columbia; what a loser".


The logic here is stretched. A lot.

Good luck with having employers make the assumption that you got Penn or UVA to go to a T2 but thinking you are stupid if you went to Fordham.

09042014
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby 09042014 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:21 pm

rando wrote:
KimmyGibbler wrote: If I am going to get a second-rate law school education, I might as well go for next to nothing at a T2 in the region I want to practice. Also, in my mind, when a perspective employer looks at my resume and sees the dominant regional state law school with a named scholarship, he'll wonder what other schools I turned down in order to make a financially wise decision; hell, maybe I turned down UPenn and UVA to avoid the debt. If he sees BU or Fordham, he'll think "Oh, this kid got rejected from Harvard, NYU, and Columbia; what a loser".


The logic here is stretched. A lot.

Good luck with having employers make the assumption that you got Penn or UVA to go to a T2 but thinking you are stupid if you went to Fordham.


I agree that the logic is a stretched, but I think taking a full ride at a regional school in the region you want is many times a better bet than taking the sticker price at T30 in a crowded legal market, during the worst legal market in a long time.

Most fordham grads don't get a high paying job.

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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby viking138 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:24 pm

Someone mentioned that median GPAs for law school attending students are typically higher which is definitely true at my school. Median GPA is a 3.2 but the median GPA for those applying to law school is a 3.4 (this is at a lower tier Ivy, not Cornell).

Also, there might be some elite schools with 3.5 GPA medians but I'm pretty certain most have around a 3.3 or less, at least from what I've seen.

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KimmyGibbler
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Re: Harvard/Princeton (etc) UG winding up at T2 Law schools

Postby KimmyGibbler » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:25 pm

rando wrote:
KimmyGibbler wrote: If I am going to get a second-rate law school education, I might as well go for next to nothing at a T2 in the region I want to practice. Also, in my mind, when a perspective employer looks at my resume and sees the dominant regional state law school with a named scholarship, he'll wonder what other schools I turned down in order to make a financially wise decision; hell, maybe I turned down UPenn and UVA to avoid the debt. If he sees BU or Fordham, he'll think "Oh, this kid got rejected from Harvard, NYU, and Columbia; what a loser".


The logic here is stretched. A lot.

Good luck with having employers make the assumption that you got Penn or UVA to go to a T2 but thinking you are stupid if you went to Fordham.


I was using Penn and UVA as extreme examples; I was hoping the "hell, maybe" would convey that meaning. My point is that the T2 at near full-ride means I did or could have turned down much better schools, that is all. If you go to Fordham at sticker, there is no mystery; you couldn't do better. Fordham is a great school though, don't get me wrong




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