Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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vanwinkle
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:32 pm

hopefulhorn wrote:rando-
I get that it has deeper implications and the point is to have certain populations represented equally in the legal world, but I just don't understand why URMs shouldn't be held to the same standards of entry.

rando gave the long answer, so I'll give the short one: Holding URMs to the "same standards of entry" results in their continued under-enrollment.

There are many possible explanations for this (some type of bias in standardized tests, historical prejudices against minorities in education, socioeconomic disparities as a result of past racism, etc.) but no matter which reason you pick to justify it, it all has the same result: URM status, according to Grutter v. Bollinger, is held to be necessary to serve schools' narrow and compelling interest to enroll those minority groups at levels approaching a ratio to the overall population.

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby hopefulhorn » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:36 pm

rando wrote:
hopefulhorn wrote:rando-
I get that it has deeper implications and the point is to have certain populations represented equally in the legal world, but I just don't understand why URMs shouldn't be held to the same standards of entry.


This is a tough question to answer. For one, it really depends on your point of view; liberal/conservative slant, meritocratic principles, background, SES etc.

Some very good arguments are made that testmakers just don't know how to make an unbiased test. One that accounts for backgrounds equally and doesn't create disparities between populations. Considering the statistical analyses on this issue control for SES etc. the only other argument is that URM's are just not as intelligent (biologically). Many, including myself, do not believe this to be the case. So the answer is to account for the disparity in the test by handicapping the numbers instead of changing the test. That is AA.

Others simply argue that the racial prejudices that existed for so long entitle URM's to get their legup until the point where that legup is no longer needed. I think the Grutter v. Bollinger opinion set a sunset date for 25yrs in the future, to "re-evaluate." (it has been a long time since i've read that opinion, forgive inaccuracies).

My view is more in line with the statistical, test production theory. While the sordid racial history of our country is nothing to shove under the rug, reverse discrimination is not the answer IMO.


Thanks for the response! I definitely can agree with the idea/argument that making a COMPLETELY unbiased test is near impossible. There are definitely things that I as a first-generation American haven't grown up around and just don't know about as opposed to a 3rd or 4th generation American. (but again I am not considered a URM). The second argument that URMs are just not as intelligent just seems somewhat backwards to me, but hell I am not a scientist. When was the Grutter vs. Bollinger opinion set? I am sure I can just google it, but I am interested to see when this sunset date is set for! I don't disagree with the idea of URM, but I just believe who should be classified as one needs to be redefined.

rando
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby rando » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:41 pm

hopefulhorn wrote:
rando wrote:
hopefulhorn wrote:rando-
I get that it has deeper implications and the point is to have certain populations represented equally in the legal world, but I just don't understand why URMs shouldn't be held to the same standards of entry.


This is a tough question to answer. For one, it really depends on your point of view; liberal/conservative slant, meritocratic principles, background, SES etc.

Some very good arguments are made that testmakers just don't know how to make an unbiased test. One that accounts for backgrounds equally and doesn't create disparities between populations. Considering the statistical analyses on this issue control for SES etc. the only other argument is that URM's are just not as intelligent (biologically). Many, including myself, do not believe this to be the case. So the answer is to account for the disparity in the test by handicapping the numbers instead of changing the test. That is AA.

Others simply argue that the racial prejudices that existed for so long entitle URM's to get their legup until the point where that legup is no longer needed. I think the Grutter v. Bollinger opinion set a sunset date for 25yrs in the future, to "re-evaluate." (it has been a long time since i've read that opinion, forgive inaccuracies).

My view is more in line with the statistical, test production theory. While the sordid racial history of our country is nothing to shove under the rug, reverse discrimination is not the answer IMO.


Thanks for the response! I definitely can agree with the idea/argument that making a COMPLETELY unbiased test is near impossible. There are definitely things that I as a first-generation American haven't grown up around and just don't know about as opposed to a 3rd or 4th generation American. (but again I am not considered a URM). The second argument that URMs are just not as intelligent just seems somewhat backwards to me, but hell I am not a scientist. When was the Grutter vs. Bollinger opinion set? I am sure I can just google it, but I am interested to see when this sunset date is set for! I don't disagree with the idea of URM, but I just believe who should be classified as one needs to be redefined.


2003 - so 2028. From what I recall, this isn't exactly a countdown... more of a thoughtful explanation for the decision and its future implications for judicial review of AA

junelsat
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby junelsat » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:52 pm

To clarify my stance, I am not necessarily against AA as a policy. I think the initial question regarding how well those with sub-par numbers perform at a given school is a good one, and a key to determining if AA should exist. If individuals that benefit from AA in admissions than go on to perform poorly, perhaps it would be better if everyone were held to the same standard. On the other hand, if AA succeeds in producing lawyers that actually get better jobs and do well in them than if they had gone to the schools their numbers qualified them for, then it is probably a good policy for society. But to say that non-URMs should ignore the issue is actually insulting.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:04 pm

junelsat wrote:But to say that non-URMs should ignore the issue is actually insulting.

I don't think people are saying that non-URMs should ignore the issue, but that they're often very, how should I put this... wrong about how big of an impact it has on their own admissions, among other things.

To get to the rest of what you were saying, studies have shown that URMs tend to perform more poorly in law schools than non-URMs in terms of GPA in schools, but that they have similar bar passage rates. This sounds a little odd, but it makes sense; law school is graded on a curve, and those who are given the skills and resources to do better on standardized tests like the LSAT are likely to do better on later exams than those that weren't. However, this doesn't mean that the URMs don't learn anything while in law school, or that they don't learn enough to succeed. It seems apparent that URMs, even those who don't excel on the LSAT or law school exams, still benefit from access to these law schools.

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:15 pm

This thread is dangerously close to being an AA discussion in the URM forum!

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby prezidentv8 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:30 pm

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dakatz
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby dakatz » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:39 pm

This thread touches on a subject I've certainly considered in my own head, but almost never hear mentioned on TLS. I've read articles on the "mismatch" theory of law schools, and can certainly see it happening to quite a few of us in the next year or two. Its one of the main things that worry me about accepting an offer from a reach school that I don't feel like I should have been admitted to simply on my own merits. I wonder if its just too tough competition for me to handle, and that finishing bottom of my class at a T-6 may end up being worse than finishing much higher at a T-20 (with the T-20 leaving me with almost 0 debt).

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby rando » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:44 pm

dakatz wrote:This thread touches on a subject I've certainly considered in my own head, but almost never hear mentioned on TLS. I've read articles on the "mismatch" theory of law schools, and can certainly see it happening to quite a few of us in the next year or two. Its one of the main things that worry me about accepting an offer from a reach school that I don't feel like I should have been admitted to simply on my own merits. I wonder if its just too tough competition for me to handle, and that finishing bottom of my class at a T-6 may end up being worse than finishing much higher at a T-20 (with the T-20 leaving me with almost 0 debt).


Don't overestimate the intelligence ascribed to a few extra questions answered correctly on the LSAT.

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:47 pm

rando wrote:
dakatz wrote:This thread touches on a subject I've certainly considered in my own head, but almost never hear mentioned on TLS. I've read articles on the "mismatch" theory of law schools, and can certainly see it happening to quite a few of us in the next year or two. Its one of the main things that worry me about accepting an offer from a reach school that I don't feel like I should have been admitted to simply on my own merits. I wonder if its just too tough competition for me to handle, and that finishing bottom of my class at a T-6 may end up being worse than finishing much higher at a T-20 (with the T-20 leaving me with almost 0 debt).


Don't overestimate the intelligence ascribed to a few extra questions answered correctly on the LSAT.

tcr. The predictive value of the LSAT is predicated on a sample population with a huge range of LSAT scores. Don't think that you would be bottom at a T6 but top at a T20.

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby dakatz » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:49 pm

rando wrote:
dakatz wrote:This thread touches on a subject I've certainly considered in my own head, but almost never hear mentioned on TLS. I've read articles on the "mismatch" theory of law schools, and can certainly see it happening to quite a few of us in the next year or two. Its one of the main things that worry me about accepting an offer from a reach school that I don't feel like I should have been admitted to simply on my own merits. I wonder if its just too tough competition for me to handle, and that finishing bottom of my class at a T-6 may end up being worse than finishing much higher at a T-20 (with the T-20 leaving me with almost 0 debt).


Don't overestimate the intelligence ascribed to a few extra questions answered correctly on the LSAT.


Hmm, I see what you mean. I just can't mentally accept that level of competition would be the same at both Chicago and BU. I mean, I know they are both top notch and that there will be a ton of bright people no matter which school I choose, but the two schools just seem to be words apart with regard to intellectual rigor.

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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby Borhas » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:52 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:http://web3.cc.utexas.edu/law/academics/centers/clbe/assets/Sanderpaper.pdf


so the answer seems to be yes

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby rando » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:57 pm

dakatz wrote:
rando wrote:
dakatz wrote:This thread touches on a subject I've certainly considered in my own head, but almost never hear mentioned on TLS. I've read articles on the "mismatch" theory of law schools, and can certainly see it happening to quite a few of us in the next year or two. Its one of the main things that worry me about accepting an offer from a reach school that I don't feel like I should have been admitted to simply on my own merits. I wonder if its just too tough competition for me to handle, and that finishing bottom of my class at a T-6 may end up being worse than finishing much higher at a T-20 (with the T-20 leaving me with almost 0 debt).


Don't overestimate the intelligence ascribed to a few extra questions answered correctly on the LSAT.


Hmm, I see what you mean. I just can't mentally accept that level of competition would be the same at both Chicago and BU. I mean, I know they are both top notch and that there will be a ton of bright people no matter which school I choose, but the two schools just seem to be words apart with regard to intellectual rigor.


Absolutely. ON AVERAGE. But not necessarily for you. Just saying...

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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby dakatz » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:02 pm

Borhas wrote:
D. H2Oman wrote:http://web3.cc.utexas.edu/law/academics/centers/clbe/assets/Sanderpaper.pdf


so the answer seems to be yes


Wow, thats some eye opening stuff. Among the total black population at all Tier 1 schools, 82.5% were in the bottom 30% of their classes.

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby phoenix323 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:14 pm

.
Last edited by phoenix323 on Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby dakatz » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:18 pm

phoenix323 wrote:Hi there! Welcome to top-law-schools.com. Are you looking for an AA thread today? Great! We have huge variety here. We have overt threads, thinly veiled threads (like this one), roundabout threads.

Oh...You're looking for an intelligent, civil, logically based AA thread? We're fresh out of those... Have been for months.

Why don't you come again next cycle. We'll have a whole new batch in!


I haven't read this whole thread, but as a URM, I am very concerned about the original topic because I find it very pertinent to what school I end up choosing. Sure, these types of threads always end with the wrong kind of debates, but that doesn't mean that URM's shouldn't converse on these topics.

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby phoenix323 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:22 pm

dakatz wrote:
phoenix323 wrote:Hi there! Welcome to top-law-schools.com. Are you looking for an AA thread today? Great! We have huge variety here. We have overt threads, thinly veiled threads (like this one), roundabout threads.

Oh...You're looking for an intelligent, civil, logically based AA thread? We're fresh out of those... Have been for months.

Why don't you come again next cycle. We'll have a whole new batch in!


I haven't read this whole thread, but as a URM, I am very concerned about the original topic because I find it very pertinent to what school I end up choosing. Sure, these types of threads always end with the wrong kind of debates, but that doesn't mean that URM's shouldn't converse on these topics.


What's is productive or informative about speculating about how URM's are going to perform at reaches when essentially all of us are 0L's with no firsthand experience?

Seems like another AA bottomless pit to me.

But, have fun "conversing".

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby krogers » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:25 pm

you know... T1 to T14 transfers are a good case study. the t14 was definitely a reach for them as a 1L, but i wonder how they perform as 2Ls at their new schools.

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby dakatz » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:25 pm

phoenix323 wrote:
dakatz wrote:
phoenix323 wrote:Hi there! Welcome to top-law-schools.com. Are you looking for an AA thread today? Great! We have huge variety here. We have overt threads, thinly veiled threads (like this one), roundabout threads.

Oh...You're looking for an intelligent, civil, logically based AA thread? We're fresh out of those... Have been for months.

Why don't you come again next cycle. We'll have a whole new batch in!


I haven't read this whole thread, but as a URM, I am very concerned about the original topic because I find it very pertinent to what school I end up choosing. Sure, these types of threads always end with the wrong kind of debates, but that doesn't mean that URM's shouldn't converse on these topics.


What's is productive or informative about speculating about how URM's are going to perform at reaches when essentially all of us are 0L's with no firsthand experience?

Seems like another AA bottomless pit to me.

But, have fun "conversing".


What is productive about it? It is precisely because we are 0L's that we look at these amazing acceptances we get and say "Sweet! I'll go there!" But if this strategy may actually hurt me in the long run, then I would most certainly like to know about the arguments for not doing so. No one is just speculating. There are countless studies on this topic, so I think it can only help for us to at least be informed on them in order to make decisions that most help us in the long run.

It only becomes a bottomless pit of AA debate when people chime in their opinions on AA itself. But if the topic at hand is merely a discussion of actual URM performance backed up by concrete statistics, then I think it is helpful for us URM's to see and converse over.

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby phoenix323 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:30 pm

dakatz wrote:
phoenix323 wrote:
dakatz wrote:
phoenix323 wrote:Hi there! Welcome to top-law-schools.com. Are you looking for an AA thread today? Great! We have huge variety here. We have overt threads, thinly veiled threads (like this one), roundabout threads.

Oh...You're looking for an intelligent, civil, logically based AA thread? We're fresh out of those... Have been for months.

Why don't you come again next cycle. We'll have a whole new batch in!


I haven't read this whole thread, but as a URM, I am very concerned about the original topic because I find it very pertinent to what school I end up choosing. Sure, these types of threads always end with the wrong kind of debates, but that doesn't mean that URM's shouldn't converse on these topics.


What's is productive or informative about speculating about how URM's are going to perform at reaches when essentially all of us are 0L's with no firsthand experience?

Seems like another AA bottomless pit to me.

But, have fun "conversing".


What is productive about it? It is precisely because we are 0L's that we look at these amazing acceptances we get and say "Sweet! I'll go there!" But if this strategy may actually hurt me in the long run, then I would most certainly like to know about the arguments for not doing so. No one is just speculating. There are countless studies on this topic, so I think it can only help for us to at least be informed on them in order to make decisions that most help us in the long run.


Wow. Just...wow. You really haven't read this thread. Anyway, I'm not going to argue with you. If you want to take advice about law school from people who have never been to law school, then have at it.

That being said, if you really want to know about these things, go out and do some independent research. Talk to some ACTUAL law students, etc. Although, I'm sure if you asked a law student "Hey, have you struggled in law school because it was a reach for you?" they wouldn't appreciate it because it is an asinine question that is loaded with the sentiment that they are somehow under-qualified.

So all I am saying is that taking anything said on TS without about 1,000 grains of salt is pretty risky.

And your comment about people not simply posting their opinions about AA is just naive in light of the hundreds of AA threads on TLS.
Last edited by phoenix323 on Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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r2b2ct
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby r2b2ct » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:34 pm

MissCongeniality wrote:I'll never quite understand why unaffected non-URMs care so much about this and can't just worry about their own lives.

If it were true that URMs tend to perform worse in law school, then non-URMs would be affected by an improved class rank. But I do understand that this is generally not why they are interested in AA.

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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby PDaddy » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:33 am

evilgenius wrote:From what I've heard many schools stack sections with students that have similar scores (or receive merit scholarships, etc.) and base the grading curve on individual sections - not the entire 0L class. Thus, if a URM scored poorly on the LSAT, in many schools its unlikely that he/she will be in a section with a high scorer.

I'd also add that there are many articles written on the subject of URM admittance to law school vs. law school performance, etc. TLS doesn't seem like the appropriate source to get information on this topic. At most you'll get unsubstantiated opinions, anecdotes, and a few helpful (or unhelpful) links to information. So if you're genuinely curious, you should probably seek out answers elsewhere.


I have read that schools are NOT stacking students by numbers, and instead create sections according to a "blind lottery" just to avoid that perception. In the past, schools were doing it, but I believe most schools, particularly the more prestigious ones (arguable t50 and above), do not stack or match their students.

Furthermore, it is quite possible that most law students, regardless of demography, are mismatched for their schools because of the manner in which they choose them, i.e., I'm going to school X b/c it is ranked higher in USNWR. Nevermind that the rankings are highly flawed and do not take many important aspects of a school into account. Prestige should be important, as should job prospects, clerkships, pipeline to academia and "student quality". But culture, location, alumni networks, specialized programs, clinics, etc are equally important, as are the quality of the UG and other grad programs.

Moreover, student quality is measured by more than GPA/LSAT; it is intangible and cannot be discerned until one matriculates at a school. This is why schools like Northwestern, Arizona, W & L, W & M, Emory, Tulane, Pepperdine, Miami, and others get students excited. The students who pick such schools are well-qualified, diverse and multitalented, and seem to take a more holistic approach to the process and to their lives. The adcoms at those schools - and there are some in the t30 and above that also fit the mold - seem to do the same.
Last edited by PDaddy on Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:02 am, edited 3 times in total.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:59 am

I think this is a great question and there should be data available on it, if there isn't already.

As for the URM aspect, I don't think it ultimately matters since URMs further benefit from hiring at firms. Which is surely part of affirmative action, which I am for.

What I am against is people who agree with affirmative action on an intellectual level but then pretend it does not exist or get angry at others curious of its outcomes.

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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby PDaddy » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:15 am

singingvontrapp wrote:
junelsat wrote:
MissCongeniality wrote:I'll never quite understand why unaffected non-URMs care so much about this and can't just worry about their own lives.


Every non-URM who applies to law school is affected, because there are limited spots and many are filled by less-qualified candidates. So its a valid question to ask whether or not URMs succeed once at law schools for which they have below average qualifications, because if so then it would raise questions about the merits of AA. Its absurd to claim that all non-URMs ought to ignore the issue.


Maybe I am contributing to some massive trolling thread, but why do you think URMs are less qualified? It's been shown in studies that many standardized tests are stacked against certain minority groups, and GPA is a horrible indicator of future or past success (I say this as someone who has taught classes and given out grades like candy in a major university).


If these URM's are "less qualified", it sure doesn't show when they get into the field. In fact, statistics are showing the exact opposite: they thrive! Richard Sander would have you believe that URM attrition from BigLaw firms is ultimate vindication of the anti-AA position, when, in reality, URM's at prestigious firms often perform so well that they are poached into more satisfying in-house corporate positions by headhunters working for corporate clients who patronize the top firms, many often doubling their firm salaries.

URM's leave BigLaw and other prestigious firms not because they cannot cut the mustard, but because they can. And the racial politics that persist in those environments make it an easy decision to do so.

And I still have a problem with Whites saying someone is "less qualified" for law school or the profession when the best data availabnle shows that the people with the best grades and test scores often make terrible lawyers. Did you see how Erin Brockovich did circles around her Ivy League counterpart? those clients didn't even want that lady back in their homes. She had no people skills, and that made her a poor lawyer. Boalt is not spending every breath to come up with a better law admissions test for no reason. All of the top schools (the ones admitting students with the best numbers and gaming the rankings) know that it's BS.

GPA/LSAT is about as accurate an indicator of potential for law practice as athletic ability is for success in pro sports. There are just too many intangibles left unexplained: staying injury free, tenacity, coachability, persistence, work ethic, luck, ability to work with others, etc. Having skills is a good start, but it doesn't predict much.

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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby Ayeshabelle » Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:03 am

Why are there so many spontaneous AA debates here?

The law review article that someone posted earlier showed some interesting information about underperformance of students who got into schools they were numerically unsuited for. That is a frightening prospect. If I could not keep up at the school I decide to matriculate at I would probably have no choice but to transfer or find a new vocation, which would suck. Does anyone here have any advice on what a student should do prior to attending law school if they are afraid they are in over their head at the school they picked, or for someone who realizes it after they start? I'm choosing between a school in which I'm in the median range and another where I'm a couple of points below on the LSAT.

It is always fun to have another worry to keep you up at night.




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