gpa vs. school attended

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tapout
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gpa vs. school attended

Postby tapout » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:00 pm

Sorry if this is answered, did a search could not find...

I am wondering if law schools rank the undergrad schools. How would a 3.5 from Harvard compare to a 3.9 from state U. etc. Is there some weighting system, and if so, is it public. (if there is a thread already, just point it to me).

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scribelaw
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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby scribelaw » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:02 pm

this thread might have a little of what you're looking for:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=98625

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Cupidity
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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby Cupidity » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:18 pm

A 3.5 is a 3.5 is a 3.5

UG institution counts as a soft, it might make the difference if you are borderline, but bottomline, I'd take a 3.7 from a state school over a 3.5 Harvard. :( sucks for all us well educated folks.

tapout
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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby tapout » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:08 pm

Cupidity wrote:A 3.5 is a 3.5 is a 3.5

UG institution counts as a soft, it might make the difference if you are borderline, but bottomline, I'd take a 3.7 from a state school over a 3.5 Harvard. :( sucks for all us well educated folks.


Thanks. Any diff in coursework? I would have to think that a 3.0 in theoretical physics from Princeton can't look the same as a 3.0 in phys ed from state u?

If this is the case, everyone who wants to get into top school should be taking basket weaving at their local school!

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby Flanker1067 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:15 pm

tapout wrote:
Cupidity wrote:A 3.5 is a 3.5 is a 3.5

UG institution counts as a soft, it might make the difference if you are borderline, but bottomline, I'd take a 3.7 from a state school over a 3.5 Harvard. :( sucks for all us well educated folks.


Thanks. Any diff in coursework? I would have to think that a 3.0 in theoretical physics from Princeton can't look the same as a 3.0 in phys ed from state u?

If this is the case, everyone who wants to get into top school should be taking basket weaving at their local school!


I have no idea how they actually deal with this. It seems though that in the case of the 3.0 students, a really large bump should be given to the princeton student, because to get that 3.0 was much harder. I think it becomes really unclear when you are talking about something like a 3.7 (hard school) vs a 3.9 (easy school). Just because the former did more work in undergrad says nothing about the latter who recieved an A in nearly every course they took. It's still impossible to see who is better, plus schools have the motivation to take the high stats.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby Flanker1067 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:19 pm

Oh and I forgot to mention, if I had planned on going to law school when I was in UG, I would have taken basket weaving.

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tinman
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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby tinman » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:22 pm

Cupidity wrote:A 3.5 is a 3.5 is a 3.5

UG institution counts as a soft, it might make the difference if you are borderline, but bottomline, I'd take a 3.7 from a state school over a 3.5 Harvard. :( sucks for all us well educated folks.


I would most definitely not take a 3.7 from a state school over a 3.5 from Harvard. I didn't go to Harvard for undergraduate, but I taught their for a bit. Some of the students getting A- were absolutely phenomenal. A lost of students who get Bs at Harvard would get As many, many other places.

But I am not an admissions officer, and what most people have said is true. Quality of undergraduate matters a little, but very little. I think it can make the difference for borderline cases, but most of the decisions seem to be based on numbers.

It's a strong soft, but only a soft. A 3.4 from an Ivy league school closes you out of a lot of places that would be open to you with a 3.7 from a state school.

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tinman
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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby tinman » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:25 pm

Flanker1067 wrote:Oh and I forgot to mention, if I had planned on going to law school when I was in UG, I would have taken basket weaving.


haha, me too! basketweavers (or people with similar non-rigorous majors that I will decline to specifically identify) do very well in law school admissions! HLS, SLS, and YLS are full of basketweavers. Sad, very sad in my opinion. But true.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby Helmholtz » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:31 pm

Flanker1067 wrote:Oh and I forgot to mention, if I had planned on going to law school when I was in UG, I would have taken basket weaving.


If I could go back and do it again, I would probably have double majored in a couple of difficult subjects and just applied myself more and worked harder.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby Flanker1067 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:37 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Flanker1067 wrote:Oh and I forgot to mention, if I had planned on going to law school when I was in UG, I would have taken basket weaving.


If I could go back and do it again, I would probably have double majored in a couple of difficult subjects and just applied myself more and worked harder.


Really?

When I look back I definately agree as a generalization, and I have the upward trend to prove it. But I also think there are considerable diminishing returns to the 'working harder' solution to your GPA. I mean, I had alot of fun in UG and thinking about how little more I actually would have learned and how much more time you have to put in to get (as an example) a 3.7 vs a 3.9, I would completely disagree with that statement. I mean, spending time figuring out exactly what a stubborn as hell (insert any useless course, because there is no escaping them) teacher wants to hear vs. pursuing what interests you and is stimulating is something I wouldn't consider.

I guess you can have stubborn as hell teachers in basket weaving too, but I would think you could still get an A without
wasting too much time.

After reading my own post like three times to see if it made sense, I see what I am trying to say is that if I had known I was going to law school when I was in UG, I would have considered taking an approach based on efficiency. That is, how much work to put in vs. how much you get out + GPA considerations. I did this, but minus the GPA part.
Last edited by Flanker1067 on Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:55 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby 09042014 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:37 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Flanker1067 wrote:Oh and I forgot to mention, if I had planned on going to law school when I was in UG, I would have taken basket weaving.


If I could go back and do it again, I would probably have double majored in a couple of difficult subjects and just applied myself more and worked harder.


+1

Even if I did basket weaving, I'd probably only pull a 3.3, because I'd be trying to the minimum, instead of being the best.

My shitty GPA doesn't embarrass me, its the total lack of effort I put into it. I tried to do the minimum and that is no way to live a life.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby rundoxierun » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:16 am

Desert Fox wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
Flanker1067 wrote:Oh and I forgot to mention, if I had planned on going to law school when I was in UG, I would have taken basket weaving.


If I could go back and do it again, I would probably have double majored in a couple of difficult subjects and just applied myself more and worked harder.


+1

Even if I did basket weaving, I'd probably only pull a 3.3, because I'd be trying to the minimum, instead of being the best.

My shitty GPA doesn't embarrass me, its the total lack of effort I put into it. I tried to do the minimum and that is no way to live a life.


Dude.. you kept work to the minimum AND got into Northwestern Law. I say you lived life perfectly. Dont call it lack of effort, call it high efficiency.

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Helmholtz
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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby Helmholtz » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:16 am

tkgrrett wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
Flanker1067 wrote:Oh and I forgot to mention, if I had planned on going to law school when I was in UG, I would have taken basket weaving.


If I could go back and do it again, I would probably have double majored in a couple of difficult subjects and just applied myself more and worked harder.


+1

Even if I did basket weaving, I'd probably only pull a 3.3, because I'd be trying to the minimum, instead of being the best.

My shitty GPA doesn't embarrass me, its the total lack of effort I put into it. I tried to do the minimum and that is no way to live a life.


Dude.. you kept work to the minimum AND got into Northwestern Law. I say you lived life perfectly. Dont call it lack of effort, call it high efficiency.


On TLS, it's not where you got in, it's where you could have gotten in.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby GeePee » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:20 am

tinman wrote:A 3.4 from an Ivy league school closes you out of a lot of places that would be open to you with a 3.7 from a state school.

This isn't really true. A 3.4 from an Ivy League, in general, opens a hell of a lot more doors than even a 4.0 from a state school. It just so happens that law school isn't one of those doors.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby Cupidity » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:23 am

Look its nice you all "think" that the princeton student is better, or that "you would take" the harvard grad, but the point stands that the 3.7 basketweaving from State U trumps a 3.5 from Harvard in Biomedical Engineering. Now if it were a 3.6, I'd say toss up, but I'll give you no more than a point. Quality of undergrad and difficulty of coursework are softfactors for borderlines.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby tinman » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:41 am

GeePee wrote:
tinman wrote:A 3.4 from an Ivy league school closes you out of a lot of places that would be open to you with a 3.7 from a state school.

This isn't really true. A 3.4 from an Ivy League, in general, opens a hell of a lot more doors than even a 4.0 from a state school. It just so happens that law school isn't one of those doors.


haha. True. I was thinking about law schools only. But you are right, of course. For most things people are much more likely to care about where you went to school rather than how you did there. I think that's sad too!

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby b.j. » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:32 am

Two thoughts.

1. Isn't that why we have the LSAT, or at least one of the big reasons? Like any standardized test, it's a way to (very) roughly even out the differences between GPAs between schools.

2. I have to wonder if they (a) more or less know what to expect from each school, because of the distribution on top of the summary report and (b) because a lot of schools tend to get the same type of applicants, for the most part. I also have to wonder if there's a point at which they don't give the school a second thought, unless it's (a) really well known, like Princeton, or (b) really unknown, like Southeastern Central Bumblefuck State University. If that's the case, then perhaps they really do treat all GPAs the same (not counting major, of course), since most schools fall into that category.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby tinman » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:04 pm

b.j. wrote:Two thoughts.

1. Isn't that why we have the LSAT, or at least one of the big reasons? Like any standardized test, it's a way to (very) roughly even out the differences between GPAs between schools.

2. I have to wonder if they (a) more or less know what to expect from each school, because of the distribution on top of the summary report and (b) because a lot of schools tend to get the same type of applicants, for the most part. I also have to wonder if there's a point at which they don't give the school a second thought, unless it's (a) really well known, like Princeton, or (b) really unknown, like Southeastern Central Bumblefuck State University. If that's the case, then perhaps they really do treat all GPAs the same (not counting major, of course), since most schools fall into that category.


This is just an anecdote, but here is a personal example of why I still don't think it's fair. One of friends who went to Harvard undergrad has just below a 3.5 GPA with a LSAT in the mid-170s. She will not get into Harvard Law, even though she is probably the smartest person I know (and I have been around smart people, including at Harvard and Yale). She just never studied that much and took really difficult classes. She always managed to do fine (mid-3s at Harvard), but with the same approach at a state school, I am sure she would have nearly a 4.0. Her IQ is off the charts, even by HY standards. I mean, yes, she should have done better on the LSAT. But you can't really retake a score in the mid-170s. But I think it is possible she will not get into any of the top 5 schools (she is applying now). I think if she went to a different undergrad, she would get into Harvard for law school.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby scribelaw » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:22 pm

tinman wrote:
b.j. wrote:Two thoughts.

1. Isn't that why we have the LSAT, or at least one of the big reasons? Like any standardized test, it's a way to (very) roughly even out the differences between GPAs between schools.

2. I have to wonder if they (a) more or less know what to expect from each school, because of the distribution on top of the summary report and (b) because a lot of schools tend to get the same type of applicants, for the most part. I also have to wonder if there's a point at which they don't give the school a second thought, unless it's (a) really well known, like Princeton, or (b) really unknown, like Southeastern Central Bumblefuck State University. If that's the case, then perhaps they really do treat all GPAs the same (not counting major, of course), since most schools fall into that category.


This is just an anecdote, but here is a personal example of why I still don't think it's fair. One of friends who went to Harvard undergrad has just below a 3.5 GPA with a LSAT in the mid-170s. She will not get into Harvard Law, even though she is probably the smartest person I know (and I have been around smart people, including at Harvard and Yale). She just never studied that much and took really difficult classes. She always managed to do fine (mid-3s at Harvard), but with the same approach at a state school, I am sure she would have nearly a 4.0. Her IQ is off the charts, even by HY standards. I mean, yes, she should have done better on the LSAT. But you can't really retake a score in the mid-170s. But I think it is possible she will not get into any of the top 5 schools (she is applying now). I think if she went to a different undergrad, she would get into Harvard for law school.


Your friend will still get into a great law school, definitely T-10, and she'll have Harvard on your resume for the rest of her life. I'd say she'll do just fine.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby Pearalegal » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:27 pm

tinman wrote:This is just an anecdote, but here is a personal example of why I still don't think it's fair. One of friends who went to Harvard undergrad has just below a 3.5 GPA with a LSAT in the mid-170s. She will not get into Harvard Law, even though she is probably the smartest person I know (and I have been around smart people, including at Harvard and Yale). She just never studied that much and took really difficult classes. She always managed to do fine (mid-3s at Harvard), but with the same approach at a state school, I am sure she would have nearly a 4.0. Her IQ is off the charts, even by HY standards. I mean, yes, she should have done better on the LSAT. But you can't really retake a score in the mid-170s. But I think it is possible she will not get into any of the top 5 schools (she is applying now). I think if she went to a different undergrad, she would get into Harvard for law school.


So she got into a great school, but then didn't put the effort in to get a higher GPA even though her IQ (which doesn't mean shit) is "off the charts."

Yeah, real unfair. There are hard classes in lower ranked schools too, you know.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby scribelaw » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:27 pm

I think you have to consider the alternative -- which is placing a heavy emphasis on what UG applicants went to.

Under that system, the privileged class who went to the best prep schools, and then went to the best UGs, would be in the first-class cabin.

I like how it is. The quality of UG matters -- it's a good soft factor, if you went to an Ivy or other elite UG. But you still have to have the grades and the LSAT, same as everybody else.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby Flanker1067 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:31 pm

I completely agree that she will do fine, and that is one reason that this thread doesn't matter. You never know when having that more prestigious UG degree will benefit you even if you were forced out of the "what could have been" law school. When we started it though we were just talking about what we would have done. So for instance, if she knew she wanted to go to Harvard law she could have done a shitty UG instead.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby Campagnolo » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:31 pm

I think people on this forum are just a little too into rankings. Law school admissions people know that going to an Ivy for undergrad is not reflective of what you will do later on, or even reflective of how difficult your undergraduate experience was. While it is difficult to gain admissions to an Ivy for undergrad, that says nothing about your academic qualities. It speaks only to your ability to play the game in high school.

A great majority of PhD's come from rigorous and small liberal arts colleges for their undergrad. The Ivy's and other top schools are notorious for grade inflation, and their reputation for excellence comes in large measure from their graduate programs. If anything, going to an Ivy for undergrad might hurt you.

These thoughts come from the admissions people at Chicago (where I am interested in going), and Lewis & Clark (I'm from Portland and know two law professors there).

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby tinman » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:59 pm

First, I think what at lot of you are saying is correct. Prestigious undergraduate degrees will come in handy throughout life. Perhaps the great mass of us should be happy that they don't matter so much for law school and other graduate schools.

Campagnolo wrote:While it is difficult to gain admissions to an Ivy for undergrad, that says nothing about your academic qualities. It speaks only to your ability to play the game in high school


I mostly thinking of the people at places like Harvard with 3.4-3.6 GPAs. Some of them are superstars. At Harvard it's very hard to get a GPA below a 3.0 (because of grade inflation) but, at least for some majors, it is also very hard to get in the 3.7-4.0 range (which is what you need for some of the top law schools).

But I also think the biggest inequality is between different majors rather than different schools. An engineering major with a 3.5 at a school like Cornell is much different than a political science major with a 3.5.


A great majority of PhD's come from rigorous and small liberal arts colleges for their undergrad. The Ivy's and other top schools are notorious for grade inflation, and their reputation for excellence comes in large measure from their graduate programs. If anything, going to an Ivy for undergrad might hurt you.


I am not sure what you are suggesting here. I am not sure that a majority of Ph.D.'s come from rigorous and small liberal arts colleges. If fact, I would bet against this statement. I think you are right, however, that places like Reed send the highest percentage of their students to Ph.D. programs. But Ph.D. programs are not swarming with Reed graduates.

Further, it's arguably easier to get into PhD programs than to get many other things, and I don't think that Ivy undergrads are disadvantaged in getting into PhD programs. I think many of them decide to go down other paths (medicine, law, consulting, etc.).

Finally, I completely agree with your statement that schools' reputation for excellence come largely from their graduate programs, especially, law, medicine, and Ph.D. programs. I think Harvard is the perfect example of this.

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Re: gpa vs. school attended

Postby b.j. » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:07 am

tinman wrote:
b.j. wrote:Two thoughts.

1. Isn't that why we have the LSAT, or at least one of the big reasons? Like any standardized test, it's a way to (very) roughly even out the differences between GPAs between schools.

2. I have to wonder if they (a) more or less know what to expect from each school, because of the distribution on top of the summary report and (b) because a lot of schools tend to get the same type of applicants, for the most part. I also have to wonder if there's a point at which they don't give the school a second thought, unless it's (a) really well known, like Princeton, or (b) really unknown, like Southeastern Central Bumblefuck State University. If that's the case, then perhaps they really do treat all GPAs the same (not counting major, of course), since most schools fall into that category.


This is just an anecdote, but here is a personal example of why I still don't think it's fair. One of friends who went to Harvard undergrad has just below a 3.5 GPA with a LSAT in the mid-170s. She will not get into Harvard Law, even though she is probably the smartest person I know (and I have been around smart people, including at Harvard and Yale). She just never studied that much and took really difficult classes. She always managed to do fine (mid-3s at Harvard), but with the same approach at a state school, I am sure she would have nearly a 4.0. Her IQ is off the charts, even by HY standards. I mean, yes, she should have done better on the LSAT. But you can't really retake a score in the mid-170s. But I think it is possible she will not get into any of the top 5 schools (she is applying now). I think if she went to a different undergrad, she would get into Harvard for law school.


How do you know she won't get into Harvard Law?

And as you said, she really studied that much. If that's the case, then does she have anyone but herself to blame? I mean, if she studied more, would she have done better?

Of course, I do understand what you are saying. For a long time, I wanted to be an economist. I took a bunch of economics classes but also a bunch of math classes, since math is supposedly a big part of getting a PhD in that subject. I did terribly, for a few reasons, but one of which was that my strengths are more in non-technical social sciences like history and political science. I took a gamble and crashed and burned. Meanwhile, a friend took the lightest course load possible with a fair amount of easy classes mixed in, didn't seem to study all that much, and ended up doing much better than me. He didn't end up going to a particularly great law school, although he is ranked at the top of the class, but the point is, he had a much higher GPA than I did. If I did what he did, I'd probably have a 3.9, minimum. But instead, I have a 2.47.




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