URM performance in Law School

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
Thrive
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URM performance in Law School

Postby Thrive » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:07 am

I am not sure whether this topic has been broached here. I am an AA male and I've gotten into several t-14s. I certainly appreciate the urm boost and its alleged influence in law school admissions but two things concern me:

1) how do URMs perform at these top schools? Sure they get in but that's just the start of the uphill climb. Are they able to compete?

2) why do people believe there is a correlation between lsat performance and law school performance, especially at the 160-170+ level? A test that many people spend years prepping for and taking numerous practice tests to the point where the test almost becomes easily predicted (and then taking the actual test numerous times) shouldn't correlate with how one does on one subjective test posing question that you have never seen in your life based on 3 months of study. I have always wondered if the proponents of the lsat/law school theory use the 1st retake, the 3rd, or maybe an average of all LSAT scores.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: URM performance in Law School

Postby ScottRiqui » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:48 am

I won't address your first question, since the mods want to keep Affirmative Action discussions in one particular thread, and probably for good reason.

But for your second question, the evidence of a correlation comes from LSAC's own research. The correlation is there, but it's stronger at some schools than others, and it's not particularly strong anywhere. But the important thing is that it's only a correlation, not causation. No one is saying that material on the LSAT is representative of the material you'll learn in law school, or that the LSAT bears any resemblance to a law school exam. The data just says that as a group, the people who do better on the LSAT tend to do better in their 1L year, grades-wise.

subtle
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Re: URM performance in Law School

Postby subtle » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:06 am

WGAF? Work hard when you get to school. You'll be fine. Friend of mine had 170+ and a 3.8. I think I had like a 162 or something. I got higher grades than him last semester and both of us did well. You'll be fine.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: URM performance in Law School

Postby Lacepiece23 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:00 am

Just work as hard as you can and let the chips fall where they may. I did well first semester of law school just doing that. Read all the guides/advice you can get your hands on and ball out.

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saintsfan200
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Re: URM performance in Law School

Postby saintsfan200 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:05 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:But for your second question, the evidence of a correlation comes from LSAC's own research. The correlation is there, but it's stronger at some schools than others, and it's not particularly strong anywhere. But the important thing is that it's only a correlation, not causation. No one is saying that material on the LSAT is representative of the material you'll learn in law school, or that the LSAT bears any resemblance to a law school exam. The data just says that as a group, the people who do better on the LSAT tend to do better in their 1L year, grades-wise.


Most people here agree that the LSAT is somewhat learnable, but not entirely so. Law school exams and LSAT both are representative of g (largely how fast can you think), thus why time pressure is a big factor on both. Law school exams also test you on how creative you think, in the sense that to do well often you need to spot issues that may not be immediately apparent.

Usually, a school's 25th and 75th are pretty narrow. LSAT isn't very predictive in that environment for those in that 25-75th range, because everyone has roughly the same abilities, and even using the LSAT as a proxy for ability is a mixed bag because people commonly over or underperform on the LSAT by a few points.

If you have a pretty big bump, you may have some reason for concern. I guess you could ask the school for some data on how people with similar LSATs or rather LSAT differentials from median have done. My guess is that they will deny that request, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

tangelo
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Re: URM performance in Law School

Postby tangelo » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:10 pm

I would also like to suggest that yes, the lsat can be studied for and eventually mastered through months of diligent training and therefore, those who master it and have 170+ scores are indeed the type of person who will be successful at LS, if only for the reason they are willing to do anything to succeed, like spending months training for one test.

So yes, I think it's a direct reflection of those who get into a T-14.

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rinkrat19
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Re: URM performance in Law School

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:25 pm

Also recognize that your URM boost doesn't just get you into a top school and then abandon you there. It will also provide a nice boost during the interviewing/hiring process, insulating you a bit from less-than-optimal grades.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: URM performance in Law School

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:49 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Also recognize that your URM boost doesn't just get you into a top school and then abandon you there. It will also provide a nice boost during the interviewing/hiring process, insulating you a bit from less-than-optimal grades.



I think this is more of a matter of opinion. However, I do kind of agree.

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okaygo
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Re: URM performance in Law School

Postby okaygo » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:51 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:Also recognize that your URM boost doesn't just get you into a top school and then abandon you there. It will also provide a nice boost during the interviewing/hiring process, insulating you a bit from less-than-optimal grades.



I think this is more of a matter of opinion. However, I do kind of agree.


From every law student I've spoken with: It's fact. The degree to which it boosts is a matter of opinion.

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MoMettaMonk
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Re: URM performance in Law School

Postby MoMettaMonk » Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:02 pm

okaygo wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:Also recognize that your URM boost doesn't just get you into a top school and then abandon you there. It will also provide a nice boost during the interviewing/hiring process, insulating you a bit from less-than-optimal grades.



I think this is more of a matter of opinion. However, I do kind of agree.


From every law student I've spoken with: It's fact. The degree to which it boosts is a matter of opinion.


I see no reason for there not to be an URM boost in hiring (although advancement might be a totally different story). The boost happens because the supply of high scoring (by the usual LSAT/GPA matrix) URMs is dwarfed by the demand for URMs in top law schools, and even with the boost URMs have been and are STILL underrepresented greatly in every top school. Assuming employers care about hiring a class representative of the general population, then that supply/demand gulf will play out again in entry level hiring.


TL;DR

URMs don't stop being underrepresented once they get to law school so there's probably a hiring boost.




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