Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

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keg411
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Re: Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

Postby keg411 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:18 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:whenever i see super splitters on here, i do wonder what the hell happened. of course there are legitimate reasons, but when i read people's GPA addendums, the reasons given are usually things that many, many other students faced and managed to pull off good grades anyway.


9/10 it was extreme laziness. It was in my case. Though I was retarded, I majored in a very difficult field, worked more than the vast majority of college students, but still not nearly as hard as the people in my major. I should have just gone into poli sci. I still wouldn't have 4.0'd, but I'd have probably gotten 3.3ish.


if you worked harder than most college students, then i don't think you were lazy (or maybe we're all super-lazy).

aside from extremely difficult majors that will bring your GPA way down, the only other reason i can think of that someone with a 170+ would have a really low GPA is that they basically never went to class. i was terrible about doing the reading for class, and i tended to not study much for exams, but i made it to probably 80% of classes. between what i remembered from the classes and what i gleaned about the epistemology of the discipline, i was able to do well on exams. (also, i wrote good papers although it was always at the last minute).

yes, that is totally not possible with a hard science or engineering major.


I'm not a super-splitter, but my GPA was torpedoed because I didn't go to class (had health problems). Found overall that schools either didn't buy it, or worse, thought it was a "red flag".

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:20 pm

I don't disagree with Boalt.

I mean the difference between low 170s to a 180 can be as little as 5 or so questions. Whereas a high GPA signifies continued hard work over a long period of time. Though GPA is trickier due to other factors (rigor of major, difficulty of school, how long ago GPA was achieved, etc.)

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r2b2ct
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Re: Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

Postby r2b2ct » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:17 pm

creatinganalt wrote:The PROBLEM with applying that same principle to a high LSAT splitter is that the high LSAT could or could not be the result of a budding brilliant legal mind diamond in the rough or someone who has taken a prep course or studied for 1 year to bring themselves up to a high 170s. As the Dean said, 'they could have just taken a prep course'. I think we can all agree that a cold 170 is more impressive (and more indicative of the aptitude that the LSAT is meant to test for) than a 170 post 8 months of study. I say this as someone who studied! But the point is that the Dean can't know which the LSAT is.

I don't see how this is a problem. Why is work ethic a positive if it applies to non-law school related UG work, but not when it applies to the law school admissions test? If someone studies for 8 months for the law school admissions test, I think it's a good bet he's taking law school seriously and has a strong work ethic.

BTW, the whole idea that 170+s are easy as long as someone "just takes a prep course" is ridiculous.

edited to clarify

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Dr. Strangelove
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Re: Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:42 pm

creatinganalt wrote:How is Boalt retarded? The OP is retarded and can't effing read. Neither can all of the whinging low GPA types on this thread.

The book is Montauk I'm assuming cos I've read the same quote.

Putting aside Boalt's LSAT/GPA medians - did anyone actually read the quote? The Dean isn't saying that he'd take high GPA splitters and not high LSAT splitters. He's saying that for a particular subset of high GPA splitters - those who had a history of underperforming on standardised tests and still being successful in class - the effects of that LSAT *could* be mitigated. Not every GPA splitter, a particular subset. Because, fairly reasonably, the previous standardised tests had in this instance proven to be poorly predictive of this particular student's success. Not every high GPA splitter - just this particular person. Presumably Boalt can look case by case for each student to determine whether they have the intellectual ability to join the class.

What is wrong with that? How is this even unfair to high LSAT splitters?

The PROBLEM with applying that same principle to a high LSAT splitter is that the high LSAT could or could not be the result of a budding brilliant legal mind diamond in the rough or someone who has taken a prep course or studied for 1 year to bring themselves up to a high 170s. As the Dean said, 'they could have just taken a prep course'. I think we can all agree that a cold 170 is more impressive (and more indicative of the aptitude that the LSAT is meant to test for) than a 170 post 8 months of study. I say this as someone who studied! But the point is that the Dean can't know which the LSAT is.

I also find it amusing that a bunch of 0Ls are so sure that they know better than law school Deans what makes the best law students and lawyers. How dare Boalt have a admissions systems that *we* can't know. Crazy thought: maybe the people who spend their time on admissions and at teaching at law schools for class after class actually have some idea of what they are doing? Maybe they actually spend time with students and develop an idea of what kinds of people fit in at Boalt and do well there. Maybe they actually want their school to be successful and so pick the people who may do that. I forgot - TLS knows better and the Dean is retarded.


*shrug*, think what you want.
I agree with you that the effects of the LSAT *could* be mitigated for a high GPA splitter for the reasons Dean Tom mentioned but the person with the low GPA and high LSAT could have a similar story- it's not just that they all take prep courses...
The high GPA/low LSAT splitter could also be some arrogant asshole who thought he could get a good score on the test cold and is enjoying his straight A's as a Theater major. I'm not saying Boalt's admissions policy is wrong! The school can do what it wants. I don't want to live in California anyway...
I'm saying that the whole "oh, this splitter probably took a prep course and sucks at life" rationale is retarded.

creatinganalt
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Re: Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

Postby creatinganalt » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:02 am

Desert Fox wrote:
creatinganalt wrote:How is Boalt retarded? The OP is retarded and can't effing read. Neither can all of the whinging low GPA types on this thread.

The book is Montauk I'm assuming cos I've read the same quote.

Putting aside Boalt's LSAT/GPA medians - did anyone actually read the quote? The Dean isn't saying that he'd take high GPA splitters and not high LSAT splitters. He's saying that for a particular subset of high GPA splitters - those who had a history of underperforming on standardised tests and still being successful in class - the effects of that LSAT *could* be mitigated. Not every GPA splitter, a particular subset. Because, fairly reasonably, the previous standardised tests had in this instance proven to be poorly predictive of this particular student's success. Not every high GPA splitter - just this particular person. Presumably Boalt can look case by case for each student to determine whether they have the intellectual ability to join the class.

What is wrong with that? How is this even unfair to high LSAT splitters?

The PROBLEM with applying that same principle to a high LSAT splitter is that the high LSAT could or could not be the result of a budding brilliant legal mind diamond in the rough or someone who has taken a prep course or studied for 1 year to bring themselves up to a high 170s. As the Dean said, 'they could have just taken a prep course'. I think we can all agree that a cold 170 is more impressive (and more indicative of the aptitude that the LSAT is meant to test for) than a 170 post 8 months of study. I say this as someone who studied! But the point is that the Dean can't know which the LSAT is.

I also find it amusing that a bunch of 0Ls are so sure that they know better than law school Deans what makes the best law students and lawyers. How dare Boalt have a admissions systems that *we* can't know. Crazy thought: maybe the people who spend their time on admissions and at teaching at law schools for class after class actually have some idea of what they are doing? Maybe they actually spend time with students and develop an idea of what kinds of people fit in at Boalt and do well there. Maybe they actually want their school to be successful and so pick the people who may do that. I forgot - TLS knows better and the Dean is retarded.


Saying the high LSAT person might have studied hard for the LSAT, would be like saying the High GPA person might just have studied hard to compensate for their stupidity.


But that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that a high GPA person in *some circumstances* could show that standardised tests were generally not predictive of their success in class. A high LSAT person cannot show the same thing.

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tru
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Re: Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

Postby tru » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:06 am

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Last edited by tru on Fri May 20, 2016 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

creatinganalt
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Re: Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

Postby creatinganalt » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:11 am

Dr. Strangelove wrote:
creatinganalt wrote:How is Boalt retarded? The OP is retarded and can't effing read. Neither can all of the whinging low GPA types on this thread.

The book is Montauk I'm assuming cos I've read the same quote.

Putting aside Boalt's LSAT/GPA medians - did anyone actually read the quote? The Dean isn't saying that he'd take high GPA splitters and not high LSAT splitters. He's saying that for a particular subset of high GPA splitters - those who had a history of underperforming on standardised tests and still being successful in class - the effects of that LSAT *could* be mitigated. Not every GPA splitter, a particular subset. Because, fairly reasonably, the previous standardised tests had in this instance proven to be poorly predictive of this particular student's success. Not every high GPA splitter - just this particular person. Presumably Boalt can look case by case for each student to determine whether they have the intellectual ability to join the class.

What is wrong with that? How is this even unfair to high LSAT splitters?

The PROBLEM with applying that same principle to a high LSAT splitter is that the high LSAT could or could not be the result of a budding brilliant legal mind diamond in the rough or someone who has taken a prep course or studied for 1 year to bring themselves up to a high 170s. As the Dean said, 'they could have just taken a prep course'. I think we can all agree that a cold 170 is more impressive (and more indicative of the aptitude that the LSAT is meant to test for) than a 170 post 8 months of study. I say this as someone who studied! But the point is that the Dean can't know which the LSAT is.

I also find it amusing that a bunch of 0Ls are so sure that they know better than law school Deans what makes the best law students and lawyers. How dare Boalt have a admissions systems that *we* can't know. Crazy thought: maybe the people who spend their time on admissions and at teaching at law schools for class after class actually have some idea of what they are doing? Maybe they actually spend time with students and develop an idea of what kinds of people fit in at Boalt and do well there. Maybe they actually want their school to be successful and so pick the people who may do that. I forgot - TLS knows better and the Dean is retarded.


*shrug*, think what you want.
I agree with you that the effects of the LSAT *could* be mitigated for a high GPA splitter for the reasons Dean Tom mentioned but the person with the low GPA and high LSAT could have a similar story- it's not just that they all take prep courses...
The high GPA/low LSAT splitter could also be some arrogant asshole who thought he could get a good score on the test cold and is enjoying his straight A's as a Theater major. I'm not saying Boalt's admissions policy is wrong! The school can do what it wants. I don't want to live in California anyway...
I'm saying that the whole "oh, this splitter probably took a prep course and sucks at life" rationale is retarded.


But that's not what he said. And yes the high LSAT splitter could be an asshole but the Dean already accounted for that by saying that it was a particular subset of high GPA/LSAT splitters who were being discussed. I don't know why you are so offended by the fact that some smart people might actually perform badly on standardised tests despite their intelligence and the Dean of ONE law school may cut them some slack and only weight that 4 hour test 50% of their law school future rather than 70%.

As an example the other way round, he could say that students who have a very good reason for their low GPA (illness etc) could write an addendum. But that this addendum would not extend to the low LSAT splitters because (as we know) you can retake/cancel the LSAT. So this particular subset of high LSAT splitters would be better off.

If anything what he is saying is helpful to all splitters because it proves that they differentiate within splitter groups and are holistic in their admissions.

creatinganalt
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Re: Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

Postby creatinganalt » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:18 am

r2b2ct wrote:
creatinganalt wrote:The PROBLEM with applying that same principle to a high LSAT splitter is that the high LSAT could or could not be the result of a budding brilliant legal mind diamond in the rough or someone who has taken a prep course or studied for 1 year to bring themselves up to a high 170s. As the Dean said, 'they could have just taken a prep course'. I think we can all agree that a cold 170 is more impressive (and more indicative of the aptitude that the LSAT is meant to test for) than a 170 post 8 months of study. I say this as someone who studied! But the point is that the Dean can't know which the LSAT is.

I don't see how this is a problem. Why is work ethic a positive if it applies to non-law school related UG work, but not when it applies to the law school admissions test? If someone studies for 8 months for the law school admissions test, I think it's a good bet he's taking law school seriously and has a strong work ethic.

BTW, the whole idea that 170+s are easy as long as someone "just takes a prep course" is ridiculous.

edited to clarify


Because it doesn't show anything other than a high LSAT. A high LSAT doesn't 'mitigate' a low GPA - it defeats it (generally). So those two numbers are still (presumably) predictive. But someone who shows that the LSAT is not likely to be predictive for them lessens the value of that number in the admissions process for them at Berkeley.

There's also no way to separate someone who could score higher than a 180 if allowed and finished the LSAT in half the time and so is a genuine LSAT genius from someone who is just a high scorer. But presumably the Harvard valedictorian/insane publications/LOR which say 'best student I've ever seen type stuff can (hypothetically) separate the crappy college crappy subject people from those people who have the ability but just not on standardized tests.

Btw - this is from a person who has a higher LSAT than GPA and studied hard for it. I think I'm bright BUT having a high LSAT is not like being a Rhodes Scholar or something. I really don't believe that every single person who scores lower on the LSAT than me is dumber than me or will do worse at law school.

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r2b2ct
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Re: Why does Boalt admissions treat LSAT this way?

Postby r2b2ct » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:24 pm

creatinganalt wrote:
r2b2ct wrote:
creatinganalt wrote:The PROBLEM with applying that same principle to a high LSAT splitter is that the high LSAT could or could not be the result of a budding brilliant legal mind diamond in the rough or someone who has taken a prep course or studied for 1 year to bring themselves up to a high 170s. As the Dean said, 'they could have just taken a prep course'. I think we can all agree that a cold 170 is more impressive (and more indicative of the aptitude that the LSAT is meant to test for) than a 170 post 8 months of study. I say this as someone who studied! But the point is that the Dean can't know which the LSAT is.

I don't see how this is a problem. Why is work ethic a positive if it applies to non-law school related UG work, but not when it applies to the law school admissions test? If someone studies for 8 months for the law school admissions test, I think it's a good bet he's taking law school seriously and has a strong work ethic.

BTW, the whole idea that 170+s are easy as long as someone "just takes a prep course" is ridiculous.

edited to clarify


Because it doesn't show anything other than a high LSAT. A high LSAT doesn't 'mitigate' a low GPA - it defeats it (generally). So those two numbers are still (presumably) predictive. But someone who shows that the LSAT is not likely to be predictive for them lessens the value of that number in the admissions process for them at Berkeley.

There's also no way to separate someone who could score higher than a 180 if allowed and finished the LSAT in half the time and so is a genuine LSAT genius from someone who is just a high scorer. But presumably the Harvard valedictorian/insane publications/LOR which say 'best student I've ever seen type stuff can (hypothetically) separate the crappy college crappy subject people from those people who have the ability but just not on standardized tests.

Btw - this is from a person who has a higher LSAT than GPA and studied hard for it. I think I'm bright BUT having a high LSAT is not like being a Rhodes Scholar or something. I really don't believe that every single person who scores lower on the LSAT than me is dumber than me or will do worse at law school.

If this is your point then I basically agree. I feel that your earlier post made much stronger claims, but I may have misinterpreted. I originally interpreted it to mean that being a high LSAT splitter could potentially be rendered completely uninformative simply because they could have taken a prep course or studied extensively. I don't think that either of these possibilities is sufficient to marginalize a high LSAT splitter. First, prep courses are simply not that good. Second, studying extensively and scoring in the 99th percentile still shows a telling combination of talent and motivation.

That said, I think that Boalt's preference for high GPAs is actually a smart move for several reasons. The most convincing of which is that most top tier law schools marginalize high GPA splitters and Boalt being one of the few that doesn't probably means they snatch up a sizable proportion of the subset of whom would perform well in a top tier law school. It is also true that a GPA provides a more detailed trail for an admissions committee to follow, which allows Boalt to more accurately separate those with the most meaningful academic records from the 4.0s in fluff majors.

However, the difference here is that a high LSAT naturally requires a lot less separating by virtue of it being standardized. Of course it's impossible to separate those who studied extensively from those who barely studied or took it cold (like you said, all you get is a number), but I don't think either possibility systematically lessens the predictive quality of the LSAT (both show positive qualities).




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