Doing Better at a "Worse" School

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woosah
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Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby woosah » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:06 pm

All other things being equal, it seems to me that a person should account for the likelihood that they'll do better if they attend a worse school.

Taken from LSAC:

Correlation is stated as a coefficient for which 1.00 indicates an exact positive correspondence [between the two attributes in question]. A coefficient of zero would indicate nothing more than a coincidental relationship

Correlations between LSAT scores and first-year law school grades ranged from .12 to .56 (median is .36). The correlations between UGPA and first-year law grades ranged from .09 to .45 (median is .28). However, correlations between LSAT scores combined with undergraduate grade-point averages and first-year law school grades ranged from .30 to .62 (median is .48).


If a school has a lower LSAT/GPA median, then it seems more likely that the average student will be less "talented" (for lack of a better word) than the average student at a school with a higher LSAT/GPA median. If that's true, then it seems to me that you would likely be in a higher percentage of the class rank if you went to the school with the lower LSAT/GPA median.

I'm sure I've gone wrong somewhere in my reasoning. Particularly in my interpretation of the data to my premises. I would love to hear why I'm wrong.

arklaw13
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby arklaw13 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:32 pm

LSAT score and undergrad GPA don't predict how well you will take law school exams vs. your peers at a given school, no matter what LSAC says.

Undergrad GPA is useless because of variance in grade inflation. A 3.5 STEM grad from MIT worked a lot harder for his/her grades than I did for my 4.0 at my shit state undergrad.

Everyone at a given law school will be within one or two standard deviations from each other as far as LSAT scores. I doubt there is any difference in performance at a given school between people at the 75th percentile and the 25th. The difference between a 169 and a 163 could be nothing more than a headache on test day. Maybe a 170 and a 159 and you see some difference in the aggregate, maybe not. Don't make the mistake of thinking that if you're above 75th percentile LSAT at your school that you will do better on exams.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby ScottRiqui » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:35 pm

The problem is, by the time you go far enough down in the rankings to find a school where you're fairly likely to outperform most of the class, you're talking about the schools where even the "winners" have a hard time finding lucrative legal employment.

daryldixon
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby daryldixon » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:36 pm

LOL, good luck with this theory.

FYI: Doing better at a worse school isn't worth it because the amount of students big law firms are looking to hire goes down exponentially as the rankings decrease. If there was a straight line correlation between school rank and big law jobs this would be a valid strategy.

daleearnhardt123
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby daleearnhardt123 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:40 pm

It would be interesting to see if the qualified prospective Yale 1L (say, 3.9/178) decided to go to GTown instead. Should this person be Top-5 in their class, the doors opened for them are likely to be a LOT better than where they'd have ended up, on average, at Yale.

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bryanjbay12
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby bryanjbay12 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:41 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:The problem is, by the time you go far enough down in the rankings to find a school where you're fairly likely to outperform most of the class, you're talking about the schools where even the "winners" have a hard time finding lucrative legal employment.


Exactly, the employment prospects drop much faster than quality of student as you go down the rankings. Not to mention that your grades are based entirely on exams, which makes the likelihood of you performing exactly in line with your "talent" level much less likely.

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ph14
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby ph14 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:42 pm

daleearnhardt123 wrote:It would be interesting to see if the qualified prospective Yale 1L (say, 3.9/178) decided to go to GTown instead. Should this person be Top-5 in their class, the doors opened for them are likely to be a LOT better than where they'd have ended up, on average, at Yale.


The average Yale law student is very unlikely to be a top 5 person at, say, Georgetown.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby ManoftheHour » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:56 pm

woosah wrote:All other things being equal, it seems to me that a person should account for the likelihood that they'll do better if they attend a worse school.

Taken from LSAC:

Correlation is stated as a coefficient for which 1.00 indicates an exact positive correspondence [between the two attributes in question]. A coefficient of zero would indicate nothing more than a coincidental relationship

Correlations between LSAT scores and first-year law school grades ranged from .12 to .56 (median is .36). The correlations between UGPA and first-year law grades ranged from .09 to .45 (median is .28). However, correlations between LSAT scores combined with undergraduate grade-point averages and first-year law school grades ranged from .30 to .62 (median is .48).


If a school has a lower LSAT/GPA median, then it seems more likely that the average student will be less "talented" (for lack of a better word) than the average student at a school with a higher LSAT/GPA median. If that's true, then it seems to me that you would likely be in a higher percentage of the class rank if you went to the school with the lower LSAT/GPA median.

I'm sure I've gone wrong somewhere in my reasoning. Particularly in my interpretation of the data to my premises. I would love to hear why I'm wrong.


You're right. You should go to a shitty law school and become the best. Just do it.

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AT9
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby AT9 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:21 pm

Disclaimer: 0L perspective

I'm slightly less pessimistic about this most would argue here. I think if you're at/above both 75ths at a given school, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that you'll do better than most in your class. If you have a 75th LSAT or GPA, there are about 25% of students in your class with an equal or greater score/GPA. But if both your LSAT and GPA are above the 75ths, combining those factors you're probably in the top, what, 15% or so of the class in two best (albeit not great) predictors of law school success? I think the danger comes when you decide to go to a crappy school amusing that you WILL finish in top 15 or whatever percent and be able to snag some desirable job; you may end up around top 40% and end up with some shitlaw job. It's more likely you'll finish higher in the class, but not a strong enough indicator upon which you should base your decision.

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sublime
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby sublime » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:24 pm

..

NYstate
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby NYstate » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:34 pm

I wish the damn LSATs would add a section on understanding the impact of a mandatory curve.They should add a game about it in every exam.

Only so many people are getting As no matter how well they prepare or how much they study or what LSAT they had.

NYstate
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby NYstate » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:35 pm

daleearnhardt123 wrote:It would be interesting to see if the qualified prospective Yale 1L (say, 3.9/178) decided to go to GTown instead. Should this person be Top-5 in their class, the doors opened for them are likely to be a LOT better than where they'd have ended up, on average, at Yale.


What are you even talking about?

daleearnhardt123
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby daleearnhardt123 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:37 pm

NYstate wrote:
daleearnhardt123 wrote:It would be interesting to see if the qualified prospective Yale 1L (say, 3.9/178) decided to go to GTown instead. Should this person be Top-5 in their class, the doors opened for them are likely to be a LOT better than where they'd have ended up, on average, at Yale.


What are you even talking about?


In regards to what? A 3.9/178 being a favorite to finish Top-5 at Gtown? Is that really outlandish? Or that Top-5 at Gtown opens more doors than "average" at Yale? Ya, I think SCOTUS clerkship *possibilities* qualify as an extra "door".

daleearnhardt123
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby daleearnhardt123 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:41 pm

akg144 wrote:
NYstate wrote:
daleearnhardt123 wrote:It would be interesting to see if the qualified prospective Yale 1L (say, 3.9/178) decided to go to GTown instead. Should this person be Top-5 in their class, the doors opened for them are likely to be a LOT better than where they'd have ended up, on average, at Yale.


What are you even talking about?


Obv trollin 2 the max


Not trolling. Not exactly advocating that an admitted student at Yale take his chances at Georgetown, just that all of you who think GPA and LSAT have no correlation to law school performance are, in fact, morons. Ya, the 75th and the 25th at any *single* school are going to be so close so as to make predictions on class rank difficult. But even then, I guarantee you there is some correlation. And when you're talking about an LSAT that exceeds a school's 90th percentile, you better damn believe that student has a decided advantage.

NYstate
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby NYstate » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:44 pm

daleearnhardt123 wrote:
NYstate wrote:
daleearnhardt123 wrote:It would be interesting to see if the qualified prospective Yale 1L (say, 3.9/178) decided to go to GTown instead. Should this person be Top-5 in their class, the doors opened for them are likely to be a LOT better than where they'd have ended up, on average, at Yale.


What are you even talking about?


In regards to what? A 3.9/178 being a favorite to finish Top-5 at Gtown? Is that really outlandish? Or that Top-5 at Gtown opens more doors than "average" at Yale? Ya, I think SCOTUS clerkship *possibilities* qualify as an extra "door".


I think that is stupid. My stats were close to that when I was an 0 L at C CN and there is no way I would have been a top 5 student at Georgetown or another school. Law school just doesn't work that way. I know this is a humble brag so I apologize in advance.

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lawhopeful10
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby lawhopeful10 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:46 pm

This question is answered on these forums like once a week at least. There is some correlation between LSAT score and grades and your odds of doing better might be slightly higher at a lower ranked school but the employment prospects drop much faster than any advantage gained by going to a lower ranked school. If your choices were going to a state flagship for cheap vs. t-14 at sticker maybe this would come into play but no matter what you should understand that even being above a schools 75th percentile in GPA and LSAT score might leave you below median if law exams just aren't your skill set.

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AT9
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby AT9 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:55 pm

sublime wrote:
AT9 wrote:Disclaimer: 0L perspective

I'm slightly less pessimistic about this most would argue here. I think if you're at/above both 75ths at a given school, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that you'll do better than most in your class. If you have a 75th LSAT or GPA, there are about 25% of students in your class with an equal or greater score/GPA. But if both your LSAT and GPA are above the 75ths, combining those factors you're probably in the top, what, 15% or so of the class in two best (albeit not great) predictors of law school success? I think the danger comes when you decide to go to a crappy school amusing that you WILL finish in top 15 or whatever percent and be able to snag some desirable job; you may end up around top 40% and end up with some shitlaw job. It's more likely you'll finish higher in the class, but not a strong enough indicator upon which you should base your decision.



In most schools the difference between a median LSAT and 75th are within the LSAT's own margin of error.

GPA's are so different across majors and schools that it doesn't matter except at the extremes.


Right, and that's mainly why I say you can't base your decision on this. But at a school with 25/75 splits of 160/166 and 3.3/3.7, I'd be willing to bet that someone with a 167/3.8 would finish better than someone with a 161/3.2 in probably 75%+ of scenarios. But yeah, that person shouldn't bank on finishing in the top X% and landing biglaw or anything.

Here's where I think this could come into play. Let's say you're in at school A with better job prospects, little $, and your LSAT/GPA percentile is median or slightly lower. You're also in at school B with lesser but still decent job prospects, lots of $, and are above both 75ths. Perhaps at School A you're likely to finish around 40-60th percentile, and at School B you're likely to finish in the top 20-40%. If the difference in quality of jobs between 30th at B and 50th at A is small, is A really worth considerably more debt? Again, not saying you should base your decision on something like this, but I don't think you should necessarily ignore it as a factor.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby ScottRiqui » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:56 pm

daleearnhardt123 wrote:
akg144 wrote:
NYstate wrote:
daleearnhardt123 wrote:It would be interesting to see if the qualified prospective Yale 1L (say, 3.9/178) decided to go to GTown instead. Should this person be Top-5 in their class, the doors opened for them are likely to be a LOT better than where they'd have ended up, on average, at Yale.


What are you even talking about?


Obv trollin 2 the max


Not trolling. Not exactly advocating that an admitted student at Yale take his chances at Georgetown, just that all of you who think GPA and LSAT have no correlation to law school performance are, in fact, morons. Ya, the 75th and the 25th at any *single* school are going to be so close so as to make predictions on class rank difficult. But even then, I guarantee you there is some correlation. And when you're talking about an LSAT that exceeds a school's 90th percentile, you better damn believe that student has a decided advantage.


The problem is, even a Yale-worthy student can't count on beating out ~540 of his classmates at Georgetown in order to land one of the top five slots - there are just too many variables in play. Would I bet money on him being in the top 20%, or even top 15%? Possibly, but that's not an objectively better position than median at Yale.

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Clearly
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby Clearly » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:24 pm

Oh this argument again.

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cron1834
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby cron1834 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:28 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
daleearnhardt123 wrote:
akg144 wrote:
NYstate wrote:
What are you even talking about?


Obv trollin 2 the max


Not trolling. Not exactly advocating that an admitted student at Yale take his chances at Georgetown, just that all of you who think GPA and LSAT have no correlation to law school performance are, in fact, morons. Ya, the 75th and the 25th at any *single* school are going to be so close so as to make predictions on class rank difficult. But even then, I guarantee you there is some correlation. And when you're talking about an LSAT that exceeds a school's 90th percentile, you better damn believe that student has a decided advantage.


The problem is, even a Yale-worthy student can't count on beating out ~540 of his classmates at Georgetown in order to land one of the top five slots. There are just too many variables in play. Would I bet money on him being in the top 20%, or even top 15%? Possibly, but that's not an objectively better position than median at Yale.


This seems so obviously true to me. Why do people refuse to believe this?

It's also flabbergasting how often people ignore the ecological fallacy. A 178 doesn't mean you get a pass through school.

Our brains just want clean explanations. People willingly accept a lot of bullshit so they can tell good stories.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:27 pm

This debate comes up all the time. There is not a single person who made it through 1L that thinks this is a good idea. That should tell you all you need to know.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:28 pm

I love how the OP posts real data showing there is a correlation between LSAT/GPA and first year grades and numerous posters respond that there is no correlation between LSAT/GPA and first year grades.

ScottRiqui's response was the correct one.

resilience99
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby resilience99 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:36 pm

.
Last edited by resilience99 on Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:37 pm

resilience99 wrote:I am under my school's 25th LSAT percentile, and I am in the top 4%. THERE IS LITTLE TO NO CORRELATION WITH LAW SCHOOLS EXAMS AND LSAT SCORES

You've got to be kidding me.

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Attax
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Re: Doing Better at a "Worse" School

Postby Attax » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:42 pm

resilience99 wrote:I am under my school's 25th LSAT percentile, and I am in the top 4%. THERE IS LITTLE TO NO CORRELATION WITH LAW SCHOOLS EXAMS AND LSAT SCORES


One anecdotal story isn't statistically significant.

You should retake.




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