Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

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slsplease
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Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby slsplease » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:52 am

After spending a lot of time on LSN and going over purely anecdotal evidence on TLS, I've come to the conclusion that Berkeley, although being ranked lower than Michigan, will be much more of a reach for me with an LSAT of 169 and 3.92 GPA. On LSN it seems you need a 171 and 3.85+ to really have anything close to a "shoe-in", whereas a 169 and 3.85+ has a similar wall for UMich...

Any thoughts?

paulinaporizkova
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby paulinaporizkova » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:02 pm

/golf clap

CanadianWolf
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:03 pm

Michigan is more predictable.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby SemperLegal » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:15 pm

Berk is famous for allegedly being a "black box." Although it is still a numbers game, they pride themselves on occasionally accepting subpar numbers and declining stronger numbers for "soft" reasons.

I am not sure that I buy that explanation, my theory is that the numbers are skewed a bit because of two factors:

1. Berkeley is one of the most selective law schools in the country, due to the fact that it is the flagship school of a huge state and has none of the deal-breaker factors that eliminate applicants (cold climate, middle of nowhere, scarily elite/"rigorous," or a big city). It has more double upper-ninety percentile applicants than it can handle, and so it can be more selective at the 169-172ish level then its peers.

2. Its two-stage admissions system which has the Dean screen the applications prior to the committee, gives applicants with amazing, but less well-known softs, a chance to convince the boss. Committees tend to be conservative and methodical, individuals are more likely to "feel" for an unorthodox applicant.

slsplease
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby slsplease » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:19 pm

Your point about Berkeley's appeal seems dead-on.

All the better, I suppose, if Michigan is a top choice for me.

keg411
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby keg411 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:23 pm

Berkeley is also much more of a GPA-whore.

slsplease
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby slsplease » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:58 pm

hope so. I feel like I need a 172 with a 3.92 to really feel good about my chances, and even then...

Boggs
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkeley... is this true?

Postby Boggs » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:50 am

slsplease wrote:After spending a lot of time on LSN and going over purely anecdotal evidence on TLS, I've come to the conclusion that Berkeley, although being ranked lower than Michigan, will be much more of a reach for me with an LSAT of 169 and 3.92 GPA. On LSN it seems you need a 171 and 3.85+ to really have anything close to a "shoe-in", whereas a 169 and 3.85+ has a similar wall for UMich...

Any thoughts?


Your question really isn't about which school is easier to get into. Rather, you're asking what numbers will make you a "shoe in" at each school. Because Berkeley is less predictable, you're probably correct that the "shoe in threshold" is higher even though Berkeley's median Lsat is lower. That said, I'd say Berk has a broader "you have a good shot" range than Michigan. Apply. I think you have a good shot (I had similar numbers-slightly higher Lsat/slightly lower GPA).

I would stress though that you do need softs for Berk. People like to scoff at this and insist it's still a numbers game. I'm not so convinced. They really want interesting people who are going places. I've been really impressed with the people here and I enrolled with pretty high expectations. One of the most interesting things to ask people here is: "What do you think made you Berkeley material?"

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smokeylarue
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby smokeylarue » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:36 am

It's probably true. Michigan is one of the "easiest" T-14's to get into. I would say third easiest behind Cornell and Georgetown. Hasn't hurt the school reputation or quality wise though I'm guessing.

slsplease
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkeley... is this true?

Postby slsplease » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:00 am

Boggs wrote:I would stress though that you do need softs for Berk. People like to scoff at this and insist it's still a numbers game. I'm not so convinced. They really want interesting people who are going places. I've been really impressed with the people here and I enrolled with pretty high expectations. One of the most interesting things to ask people here is: "What do you think made you Berkeley material?"


Well that's too bad because I'm not a Rhodes Scholar, didn't join the peace corp, and don't intend on doing TFA... As TLS has made very clear, these are the only real softs that make a difference... :roll:

Sarcasm aside, can you give me some anecdotal examples?

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smokeylarue
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby smokeylarue » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:40 am

I don't know about the "being Berkeley material." I can tell you I got in with about a year of work experience at a very ordinary job, but nothing amazing so my softs are very average in my estimation.

My gut tells me what they care about the most is the personal statement. I think they really like people who have shown interesting past experiences and/or people who show a commitment to wanting to do public service. Thats just my guess, no one really knows what Berkeley is looking for, they are definitely not a predictable number's whore like most of the T14 though (as you can tell by their lower LSAT median).

Boggs
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkeley... is this true?

Postby Boggs » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:04 pm

slsplease wrote:
Boggs wrote:I would stress though that you do need softs for Berk. People like to scoff at this and insist it's still a numbers game. I'm not so convinced. They really want interesting people who are going places. I've been really impressed with the people here and I enrolled with pretty high expectations. One of the most interesting things to ask people here is: "What do you think made you Berkeley material?"


Well that's too bad because I'm not a Rhodes Scholar, didn't join the peace corp, and don't intend on doing TFA... As TLS has made very clear, these are the only real softs that make a difference... :roll:

Sarcasm aside, can you give me some anecdotal examples?


Fair enough. Here are three examples (though I don't want to be very specific).

1. Worked for a well-known/well-respected NGO doing environmental work (also was an "agitator" during undergrad, involved in student govt. etc.)
2. Founded a small non-profit that funds schooling for children overseas
3. Dealt with sudden economic hardship in the family during college years then worked on political campaigns

I'd disagree that the three softs you mentioned are the only ones that matter. Write a good PS showing how you are driven and willing to take initiatives.

slsplease
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby slsplease » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:20 pm

Does it seem like most people have had work experience before going to LS?

bhan87
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby bhan87 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:33 pm

Definitely check out Dean Tom's interview in the law school applicants section. Everything said above is generally true about Berkeley willing to sacrifice numbers to get more well-rounded candidates. This, btw, seems to create a very laid back and down to earth community (totally anecdotal and based on my visit to their ASP). It seems what Dean Tom is looking for is what you can uniquely contribute to the student body. As he says, he's looking for 270 individual voices. Thus, you should definitely take advantage of Berkeley's extended PS page length to tell a strong narrative.

Boggs
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Re: Michigan seems to be easier than Berkely... is this true?

Postby Boggs » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:07 am

slsplease wrote:Does it seem like most people have had work experience before going to LS?


Yes! Having said that, I do know folks who came straight from undergrad.

bhan87 wrote:Definitely check out Dean Tom's interview in the law school applicants section. Everything said above is generally true about Berkeley willing to sacrifice numbers to get more well-rounded candidates. This, btw, seems to create a very laid back and down to earth community (totally anecdotal and based on my visit to their ASP). It seems what Dean Tom is looking for is what you can uniquely contribute to the student body. As he says, he's looking for 270 individual voices. Thus, you should definitely take advantage of Berkeley's extended PS page length to tell a strong narrative.


I completely agree.




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