What is the URM curve?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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lisjjen
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What is the URM curve?

Postby lisjjen » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:17 pm

Hey, it's me and I'm back to talk about uncomfortable things again.

So we all know that there's a huge URM bump in undergrad admissions i.e. being an African American, Mexican, Native American or member of any other underrepresented minority group will bump your LSAT by ~8-10 points. But once you're in law school everyone is on the same curve and their performance is relative to their peers.

Does anybody have any idea what the numbers would look like if you could pull all of the URM GPA's out of the larger curve? What would that curve look like?

To some extent, I feel like law firms already do this at OCI.

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howlery
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Re: What is the URM curve?

Postby howlery » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:25 pm

lisjjen wrote:Hey, it's me and I'm back to talk about uncomfortable things again.

So we all know that there's a huge URM bump in undergrad admissions i.e. being an African American, Mexican, Native American or member of any other underrepresented minority group will bump your LSAT by ~8-10 points. But once you're in law school everyone is on the same curve and their performance is relative to their peers.

Does anybody have any idea what the numbers would look like if you could pull all of the URM GPA's out of the larger curve? What would that curve look like?

To some extent, I feel like law firms already do this at OCI.


Can you explain why this information would be relevant or helpful to anyone? Or are you just curious? I feel like this thread has great potential to be offensive without a constructive outcome.

:|

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: What is the URM curve?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:59 pm

There is going to be little data on this, at least at UT. You can get an idea of the very top end of the "urm curve" by looking to see what the composition of past chancellors has been (but you'll have to base your conclusions on appearance and name). Actually, the more I think about it, there really isn't going to help any useful data on this topic for multiple reasons, two of which are: 1) "urm" is too vague of a term (it has sharper edges when it comes to application boosts, but trying to figure out what schools, like UT, mean when they say "31% minority" in their quick facts is hopeless); 2) if you try to break down the urm category into smaller categories (like say, AA), the sample sizes will be too small to be significant and you'll need data over the years (or over multiple law schools) to try and get a better sample size.

A better approach might be trying to talk to urm 2L's and 3L's and see how they performed at OCI relative to their GPA. (I'm assuming that is what the point of this thread is right? To see how you stand for spring and fall OCI?)

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lisjjen
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Re: What is the URM curve?

Postby lisjjen » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:17 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:There is going to be little data on this, at least at UT. You can get an idea of the very top end of the "urm curve" by looking to see what the composition of past chancellors has been (but you'll have to base your conclusions on appearance and name). Actually, the more I think about it, there really isn't going to help any useful data on this topic for multiple reasons, two of which are: 1) "urm" is too vague of a term (it has sharper edges when it comes to application boosts, but trying to figure out what schools, like UT, mean when they say "31% minority" in their quick facts is hopeless); 2) if you try to break down the urm category into smaller categories (like say, AA), the sample sizes will be too small to be significant and you'll need data over the years (or over multiple law schools) to try and get a better sample size.

A better approach might be trying to talk to urm 2L's and 3L's and see how they performed at OCI relative to their GPA. (I'm assuming that is what the point of this thread is right? To see how you stand for spring and fall OCI?)


I'm not stressing about OCI but that's because of my resume and work experience. I was actually asking from a much broader basis of curiosity. Because of the bump, there is the theory that URMs underperform once they actually get to law school, but based on the students that I've been talking to that doesn't seem true. I was just wanting to hear back from others who might have a wider perspective. Obviously, people are motivated to be less than honest when you ask them about their grades.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: What is the URM curve?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:17 pm

lisjjen wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:There is going to be little data on this, at least at UT. You can get an idea of the very top end of the "urm curve" by looking to see what the composition of past chancellors has been (but you'll have to base your conclusions on appearance and name). Actually, the more I think about it, there really isn't going to help any useful data on this topic for multiple reasons, two of which are: 1) "urm" is too vague of a term (it has sharper edges when it comes to application boosts, but trying to figure out what schools, like UT, mean when they say "31% minority" in their quick facts is hopeless); 2) if you try to break down the urm category into smaller categories (like say, AA), the sample sizes will be too small to be significant and you'll need data over the years (or over multiple law schools) to try and get a better sample size.

A better approach might be trying to talk to urm 2L's and 3L's and see how they performed at OCI relative to their GPA. (I'm assuming that is what the point of this thread is right? To see how you stand for spring and fall OCI?)


I'm not stressing about OCI but that's because of my resume and work experience. I was actually asking from a much broader basis of curiosity. Because of the bump, there is the theory that URMs underperform once they actually get to law school, but based on the students that I've been talking to that doesn't seem true. I was just wanting to hear back from others who might have a wider perspective. Obviously, people are motivated to be less than honest when you ask them about their grades.


It's an interesting question, but one that's going to be hard to answer. Talking to a few people is not going to be too revealing because it will be just too small of a sample. You might want to start a poll on TLS, though that will probably have a response skew towards those who did well.

PMan99
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Re: What is the URM curve?

Postby PMan99 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:57 pm

lisjjen wrote:Hey, it's me and I'm back to talk about uncomfortable things again.

So we all know that there's a huge URM bump in undergrad admissions i.e. being an African American, Mexican, Native American or member of any other underrepresented minority group will bump your LSAT by ~8-10 points. But once you're in law school everyone is on the same curve and their performance is relative to their peers.

Does anybody have any idea what the numbers would look like if you could pull all of the URM GPA's out of the larger curve? What would that curve look like?

To some extent, I feel like law firms already do this at OCI.


Two things.

First, I'm not sure where the idea (that's been perpetuated on all of the forums here) that URMs only get an LSAT boost comes from. Maybe its the fact that most people have more competitive GPAs than LSATs, but if you look at any of the LSN graphs you see plenty of people who got a rather substantial GPA boost, provided that their LSAT was competitive. I'm not saying you were guilty of perpetuating it, but just putting it out there for other people to see.

Second, statistically speaking, since GPA and LSAT at least have some correlation with law school success, the average URM GPA should be somewhat lower than the average non-URM GPA. This only follows from the fact that URM GPA and LSATs are, on average, lower than non-URMs. So the bell curve should be shifted x amount of GPA points left, although I'm not sure how much. To help avoid discouraging people, though, a personal anecdote: I was medianish at my undergrad and am now in the top 10-5% at HS. So whatever the bell curve may be there's no reason to get discouraged...

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johansantana21
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Re: What is the URM curve?

Postby johansantana21 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:15 pm

duno but if you are a urm at a respectable t14 (not u gt or LOLtexas) then you should get biglaw easy unless u r mentally retarded.

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lisjjen
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Re: What is the URM curve?

Postby lisjjen » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:47 pm

johansantana21 wrote:duno but if you are a urm at a respectable t14 (not u gt or LOLtexas) then you should get biglaw easy unless u r mentally retarded.


Oh hai. I'm at LOLtexas

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bk1
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Re: What is the URM curve?

Postby bk1 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:20 pm

lisjjen wrote:I'm not stressing about OCI but that's because of my resume and work experience. I was actually asking from a much broader basis of curiosity. Because of the bump, there is the theory that URMs underperform once they actually get to law school, but based on the students that I've been talking to that doesn't seem true. I was just wanting to hear back from others who might have a wider perspective. Obviously, people are motivated to be less than honest when you ask them about their grades.


I'm fairly sure there's been evidence that URM's tend to do worse in law school. That being said, that's when looking at it from a broad perspective and of course from an individual perspective things won't necessarily shake out that way.

GMVarun
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Re: What is the URM curve?

Postby GMVarun » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:30 pm

This is a pretty interesting and actually informative discussion on this topic, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c

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vanwinkle
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Re: What is the URM curve?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:48 pm

This sounds suspiciously like an AA debate.

Pro tip: If your stated goal is to "talk about uncomfortable things", it weighs against giving you the benefit of the doubt.




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