How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
Na_Swatch
Posts: 472
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:40 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby Na_Swatch » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:03 am

ResolutePear wrote:If I was hiring a lawyer, my frame of thought would be: How does this person run his life? On mediocrity or on perfection? Think about this; did the person 'just get by'? Or did he make the best possibility of the situation(law school)?

Why should I ask those questions? Well, it all boils down to two things: rainmaking and billable hours.

Why should I hire somebody interested in taking on cases, doing a mediocre job at it, and only for as long as he get the minimum amount of billable hours required? Your grades are by and far an extension of who you are in the eyes of any employer. In UG, did you ace all your LA classes but 'C' your way through the technical classes? Chances are a patent law firm isn't going to be a good fit for you, etc. You can see where I'm going with this I hope.


Umm, I don't think this is the only criteria they use, for example both work product and rainmaking isn't just based on "hard work" and "trying to do your best."

For example Einstein came up with the most groundbreaking discoveries of the past century while daydreaming at his patent office job and reaching out with clients/ rainmaking might involve a lot of interpersonal skills that aren't the forte of people who excel in technical classes.

User avatar
TheTopBloke
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby TheTopBloke » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:05 am

Na_Swatch wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:If I was hiring a lawyer, my frame of thought would be: How does this person run his life? On mediocrity or on perfection? Think about this; did the person 'just get by'? Or did he make the best possibility of the situation(law school)?

Why should I ask those questions? Well, it all boils down to two things: rainmaking and billable hours.

Why should I hire somebody interested in taking on cases, doing a mediocre job at it, and only for as long as he get the minimum amount of billable hours required? Your grades are by and far an extension of who you are in the eyes of any employer. In UG, did you ace all your LA classes but 'C' your way through the technical classes? Chances are a patent law firm isn't going to be a good fit for you, etc. You can see where I'm going with this I hope.


Umm, I don't think this is the only criteria they use, for example both work product and rainmaking isn't just based on "hard work" and "trying to do your best."

For example Einstein came up with the most groundbreaking discoveries of the past century while daydreaming at his patent office job and reaching out with clients/ rainmaking might involve a lot of interpersonal skills that aren't the forte of people who excel in technical classes.


Yes, and those that are rainmakers might prove it in another way other than GPA and LSAT scores. Or, do the GPA/LSAT scores somehow reflect attributes of a rainmaker? I doubt it.

User avatar
Cleareyes
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby Cleareyes » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:06 am

TheTopBloke wrote:
Cleareyes wrote:
TheTopBloke wrote:I understand your point, but I'm not focused on biglaw or getting a job, or legal routine, I'm talking about lawyering.


And I'm saying that the most prized jobs go to people with the best grades because the gatekeepers to those jobs think that grades indicate something about lawyering ability. It seems likely they are on to something, since they have had the chance to observe hundreds or thousands of lawyers during their various careers. If they are properly measuring lawyering ability then those with top grades are, as a group though not necessarily individuals, doing the best job of representing the schools. If LSAT, then, predicts grades, it indirectly is predicting lawyering ability to some degree and measuring, however bluntly, how a candidate is likely to represent the school after they graduate.


Is there room then for those individuals that would have lower GPA/LSAT scores and still make great lawyers?

There was a thread on TLS about famous lawyers, and many of them did not go to the top schools. So it seems like lawyering skills may not be what the top law schools are interested in, but rather paper pushing skills. Don't mind to sound abrasive, but how them would you count for those attorneys? What other things might illustrate that those attorneys will be very good attorneys regardless of the quality or prestige of their law school? Shit, now I sound like the OP.


There will always be outliers and late bloomers. There are many more lawyers who did not go to top schools than lawyers who went to top schools, and even gatekeepers acknowledge that those who are the best of the best at somewhat lower ranked schools are still quite likely to be good. In terms of what would predict who will be an outlier or a late bloomer, I don't really know.

That being said something nebulous like "Lots of famous lawyers didn't go to top schools is sort of meaningless." Famousness doesn't always correlate to skill. John Roberts was apparently one of the best appellate litigators ever, but he wasn't necessarily super famous before he became chief justice. Famous lawyers tend to be flashy courtroom guys and/or self promoters. Someone who spends 30 years as an associate and then partner at Sulcrom isn't likely to get famous but that doesn't mean he's not quietly doing spectacular legal work.

User avatar
TheTopBloke
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby TheTopBloke » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:09 am

I agree with your point about being famous. I was just attempting to use it as an example, not the end all be all. I have no doubt there are many brilliant successful lawyers that are not famous.

User avatar
Cleareyes
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby Cleareyes » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:10 am

PKSebben wrote:
Cleareyes wrote:
TheTopBloke wrote:I understand your point, but I'm not focused on biglaw or getting a job, or legal routine, I'm talking about lawyering.


And I'm saying that the most prized jobs go to people with the best grades because the gatekeepers to those jobs think that grades indicate something about lawyering ability. It seems likely they are on to something, since they have had the chance to observe hundreds or thousands of lawyers during their various careers. If they are properly measuring lawyering ability then those with top grades are, as a group though not necessarily individuals, doing the best job of representing the schools. If LSAT, then, predicts grades, it indirectly is predicting lawyering ability to some degree and measuring, however bluntly, how a candidate is likely to represent the school after they graduate.


I like how you called the gatekeepers "smart." I'm not so sure about that.


I'm pretty arrogant and pretty dismissive of authority, but I think most people in uberprestigious positions in the law are pretty smart. Maybe not all geniuses and maybe bind to certain things, but smart as a group.

User avatar
Cleareyes
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby Cleareyes » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:15 am

TheTopBloke wrote:
Na_Swatch wrote:
Umm, I don't think this is the only criteria they use, for example both work product and rainmaking isn't just based on "hard work" and "trying to do your best."

For example Einstein came up with the most groundbreaking discoveries of the past century while daydreaming at his patent office job and reaching out with clients/ rainmaking might involve a lot of interpersonal skills that aren't the forte of people who excel in technical classes.


Yes, and those that are rainmakers might prove it in another way other than GPA and LSAT scores. Or, do the GPA/LSAT scores somehow reflect attributes of a rainmaker? I doubt it.



First of all, you don't sit around waiting for lightning to strike with an Einstein. For every Einstein there are a thousand physics professors at good schools who made incremental discoveries. Those are the people this process is meant to find. The geniuses and natural talents will out.

Secondly, you guys are underestimating the value of connections and pedigree when it comes to 'rainmaking.'

"Hi there CEO guy. Oh, you went to Andover and then Harvard? I went to Andover and then Yale. What year? Do you know Person X?..." Etc...

There's always room for the natural talent and the great schmoozer and it's not all run by people who went to top schools or got top grades or whatever. Elizabeth Warren, one of the most respected and important profs at HLS went to Rutgers. Like I said, there are always outliers. But the system isn't designed to sift for outliers because they tend to be unpredictable and hard to find until they show themselves through accomplishment. The system is designed to find populations who will be reliably productive and mostly very good, rather than unexpectedly great.

User avatar
ResolutePear
Posts: 8614
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:16 am

TheTopBloke wrote:"Why should I ask those questions? Well, it all boils down to two things: rainmaking and billable hours."

This statement more accurately reflects my point. How does the law school determine based on your GPA/LSAT that you are a rainmaker type and not a billable hours type?


Well, I don't think it's too much the law school's problem as people go to law school for various reasons. I think that question rests more upon the prospective employer, in which case you'll need to sell yourself.

I'd imagine, they do take rainmaking ability into account. If you've worked and excelled in any position akin to a lawyer's pay framework goes like a hair stylist, accountant, etc. then it'd be a *yawn* great soft, but more importantly something a firm wants to see when OCI time comes around.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:17 am

Cleareyes wrote:
TheTopBloke wrote:
Na_Swatch wrote:
Umm, I don't think this is the only criteria they use, for example both work product and rainmaking isn't just based on "hard work" and "trying to do your best."

For example Einstein came up with the most groundbreaking discoveries of the past century while daydreaming at his patent office job and reaching out with clients/ rainmaking might involve a lot of interpersonal skills that aren't the forte of people who excel in technical classes.


Yes, and those that are rainmakers might prove it in another way other than GPA and LSAT scores. Or, do the GPA/LSAT scores somehow reflect attributes of a rainmaker? I doubt it.



First of all, you don't sit around waiting for lightning to strike with an Einstein. For every Einstein there are a thousand physics professors at good schools who made incremental discoveries. Those are the people this process is meant to find. The geniuses and natural talents will out.

Secondly, you guys are underestimating the value of connections and pedigree when it comes to 'rainmaking.'

"Hi there CEO guy. Oh, you went to Andover and then Harvard? I went to Andover and then Yale. What year? Do you know Person X?..." Etc...

There's always room for the natural talent and the great schmoozer and it's not all run by people who went to top schools or got top grades or whatever. Elizabeth Warren, one of the most respected and important profs at HLS went to Rutgers. Like I said, there are always outliers. But the system isn't designed to sift for outliers because they tend to be unpredictable and hard to find until they show themselves through accomplishment. The system is designed to find populations who will be reliably productive and mostly very good, rather than unexpectedly great.


I don't even know what the hell we are talking about, but is credited.

User avatar
PKSebben
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:35 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby PKSebben » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:22 am

Cleareyes wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
Cleareyes wrote:
TheTopBloke wrote:I understand your point, but I'm not focused on biglaw or getting a job, or legal routine, I'm talking about lawyering.


And I'm saying that the most prized jobs go to people with the best grades because the gatekeepers to those jobs think that grades indicate something about lawyering ability. It seems likely they are on to something, since they have had the chance to observe hundreds or thousands of lawyers during their various careers. If they are properly measuring lawyering ability then those with top grades are, as a group though not necessarily individuals, doing the best job of representing the schools. If LSAT, then, predicts grades, it indirectly is predicting lawyering ability to some degree and measuring, however bluntly, how a candidate is likely to represent the school after they graduate.


I like how you called the gatekeepers "smart." I'm not so sure about that.


I'm pretty arrogant and pretty dismissive of authority, but I think most people in uberprestigious positions in the law are pretty smart. Maybe not all geniuses and maybe bind to certain things, but smart as a group.


Good for you.

User avatar
Na_Swatch
Posts: 472
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:40 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby Na_Swatch » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:27 am

Cleareyes wrote:
TheTopBloke wrote:
Na_Swatch wrote:
Umm, I don't think this is the only criteria they use, for example both work product and rainmaking isn't just based on "hard work" and "trying to do your best."

For example Einstein came up with the most groundbreaking discoveries of the past century while daydreaming at his patent office job and reaching out with clients/ rainmaking might involve a lot of interpersonal skills that aren't the forte of people who excel in technical classes.


Yes, and those that are rainmakers might prove it in another way other than GPA and LSAT scores. Or, do the GPA/LSAT scores somehow reflect attributes of a rainmaker? I doubt it.



First of all, you don't sit around waiting for lightning to strike with an Einstein. For every Einstein there are a thousand physics professors at good schools who made incremental discoveries. Those are the people this process is meant to find. The geniuses and natural talents will out.

Secondly, you guys are underestimating the value of connections and pedigree when it comes to 'rainmaking.'

"Hi there CEO guy. Oh, you went to Andover and then Harvard? I went to Andover and then Yale. What year? Do you know Person X?..." Etc...

There's always room for the natural talent and the great schmoozer and it's not all run by people who went to top schools or got top grades or whatever. Elizabeth Warren, one of the most respected and important profs at HLS went to Rutgers. Like I said, there are always outliers. But the system isn't designed to sift for outliers because they tend to be unpredictable and hard to find until they show themselves through accomplishment. The system is designed to find populations who will be reliably productive and mostly very good, rather than unexpectedly great.


Hmm, I didn't say anything about connections or pedigree as tied to rainmaking. I was just referring to the fact that rainmaking belongs heavily under social or emotional intelligence which isn't always tied to the types of skills that allow you to excel in LSAT/ Law School/ etc.

And your point is definitely true, just not seeing how it differs from mine haha... clearly I was using Einstein as an extreme example, but sometimes people who can just breeze through class/ score a 180 without studying (all not me by the way) will do just as well in a firm.

thisguy456
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:42 am

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby thisguy456 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:51 am

Na_Swatch wrote:
Cleareyes wrote:
TheTopBloke wrote:
Na_Swatch wrote:
Umm, I don't think this is the only criteria they use, for example both work product and rainmaking isn't just based on "hard work" and "trying to do your best."

For example Einstein came up with the most groundbreaking discoveries of the past century while daydreaming at his patent office job and reaching out with clients/ rainmaking might involve a lot of interpersonal skills that aren't the forte of people who excel in technical classes.


Yes, and those that are rainmakers might prove it in another way other than GPA and LSAT scores. Or, do the GPA/LSAT scores somehow reflect attributes of a rainmaker? I doubt it.



First of all, you don't sit around waiting for lightning to strike with an Einstein. For every Einstein there are a thousand physics professors at good schools who made incremental discoveries. Those are the people this process is meant to find. The geniuses and natural talents will out.

Secondly, you guys are underestimating the value of connections and pedigree when it comes to 'rainmaking.'

"Hi there CEO guy. Oh, you went to Andover and then Harvard? I went to Andover and then Yale. What year? Do you know Person X?..." Etc...

There's always room for the natural talent and the great schmoozer and it's not all run by people who went to top schools or got top grades or whatever. Elizabeth Warren, one of the most respected and important profs at HLS went to Rutgers. Like I said, there are always outliers. But the system isn't designed to sift for outliers because they tend to be unpredictable and hard to find until they show themselves through accomplishment. The system is designed to find populations who will be reliably productive and mostly very good, rather than unexpectedly great.


Hmm, I didn't say anything about connections or pedigree as tied to rainmaking. I was just referring to the fact that rainmaking belongs heavily under social or emotional intelligence which isn't always tied to the types of skills that allow you to excel in LSAT/ Law School/ etc.

And your point is definitely true, just not seeing how it differs from mine haha... clearly I was using Einstein as an extreme example, but sometimes people who can just breeze through class/ score a 180 without studying (all not me by the way) will do just as well in a firm.


Stop saying the word rainmaking.

User avatar
Na_Swatch
Posts: 472
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:40 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby Na_Swatch » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:32 am

thisguy456 wrote:Stop saying the word rainmaking.



Ok instead of saying r***m****** i will instead express it through interpretive artwork:

Image

schnoodle
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:57 am

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby schnoodle » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:01 am

na_swatch- people who make claims like "rainmaking is tied much more to emotional/social intelligence therefore i will be wildly successful" are the people who can't hack the lsat but still want a reason to think they will be rich a-holes someday. am i putting a mirror in front of you right now?

and btw- criteria is a plural word. criterion is singular. christ.

shastaca
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:00 pm

Re:

Postby shastaca » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:28 am

. .
Last edited by shastaca on Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fenway
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:30 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby fenway » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:30 am

to respond to the OP's OP:

*if the adcom had a crystal ball and could see into the future, why would he or she be an adcom? there have got to be better things for someone with psychic powers to do than sort through the supposed "shining stars" of Generation Y's legal crop...

figuring out a "rubric" for admissions is going to drive you insane. if you (think) you have a good hand coming out of college, throw it on the table. if not, take some time to build a resume. but once you are in relax (try at least), sit back, and let the cards fall where they may.

i hope everyone appreciates my vapid poker analogy. it speaks to how truly one-dimensional and simple-minded I am. maybe someday I'll write a 3 page book on all the cliches I've muddled over the years.

User avatar
TheTopBloke
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby TheTopBloke » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:40 am

schnoodle wrote:na_swatch- people who make claims like "rainmaking is tied much more to emotional/social intelligence therefore i will be wildly successful" are the people who can't hack the lsat but still want a reason to think they will be rich a-holes someday. am i putting a mirror in front of you right now?

and btw- criteria is a plural word. criterion is singular. christ.


I can't hack the LSAT, and I'm already a rich asshole, so where do I fit in?

fenway
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:30 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby fenway » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:56 am

TheTopBloke wrote:
schnoodle wrote:na_swatch- people who make claims like "rainmaking is tied much more to emotional/social intelligence therefore i will be wildly successful" are the people who can't hack the lsat but still want a reason to think they will be rich a-holes someday. am i putting a mirror in front of you right now?

and btw- criteria is a plural word. criterion is singular. christ.


I can't hack the LSAT, and I'm already a rich asshole, so where do I fit in?




haha, right where one would hope to fit. go to a "lower-ranked" school, gun it out, then take your best shot at transferring. but if you fall short, enjoy riding out your families bankroll while everyone else strives/toils for what you already have. ITE, lsat doesn't really play much of a role in your future, you rich asshole.

User avatar
Na_Swatch
Posts: 472
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:40 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby Na_Swatch » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:51 pm

schnoodle wrote:na_swatch- people who make claims like "rainmaking is tied much more to emotional/social intelligence therefore i will be wildly successful" are the people who can't hack the lsat but still want a reason to think they will be rich a-holes someday. am i putting a mirror in front of you right now?

and btw- criteria is a plural word. criterion is singular. christ.



lol your not reading my posts correctly are you? I'm just trying to offer a balanced opinion... definitely not claiming that social intelligence is a larger element to success than factors that allow you to score well on the LSAT. I think your just projecting your natural bias or issues onto whatever I'm saying.

I mean personally I wish that all it took was a high LSAT to succeed as a lawyer... after all i have a 99% LSAT score but probably closer to average in terms of social factors.

User avatar
HarveyBirdman
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:25 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby HarveyBirdman » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:34 pm

TheTopBloke wrote:
Cleareyes wrote:
TheTopBloke wrote:There was a thread on TLS about famous lawyers, and many of them did not go to the top schools. So it seems like lawyering skills may not be what the top law schools are interested in, but rather paper pushing skills.


this is an excellent point and is in the neighborhood of what i am trying to get across here. it seems like a lot of posters here are focused on the all-mighty list of law schools, not on their own personal abilities. what is stopping us from doing anything we want? ourselves. not our schools.

i know what it takes to get into a top ranked law school, but for me the universe began collapsing on itself when i started wondering "what does a high LSAT score mean? how is it relevant to law school or working in the law profession?" as well as the same questions regarding GPA, extra-curriculars, recommendations, etc etc.

and then there's the questions of "why is a particular law school better ranked than another?" and "should i blindly follow these rankings trying to claw my way to the top?"

it might be evident why harvard law is a much better school than hollywood upstairs law school, but when you compare two schools like harvard and cincinnati that have both been around forever and obviously neither are run by idiots, what is the tangible difference here? biglaw firms from across the country will recruit at harvard but not at cincinnati? why? because they don't have the resources to go to every mom and pop law school or because they honestly think students from those law schools will make inferior employees compared to the harvard ones?

hypothetical situation: hard working student from 4th tier law school is recruited by biglaw firm, offered huge starting salary compared to what his classmates get. he's a proven hard worker even if he didn't have the money or LSAT/GPA numbers to get into a top school. to me it would seem like that person would be so thankful for that opportunity he would work his ass off at that firm and be the most loyal employee they could hope for.

anyway, back to what law admissions people are looking for...some people here made good points that they are aiming to increase their rankings and add diversity to the class. but if i were to call a top law school's admissions office and bluntly ask them "what do you look for in an applicant?" and they said "good LSAT scores, GPA, etc" and then i said "why do those things matter?" what would be the answer to that?

User avatar
ResolutePear
Posts: 8614
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:56 pm

HarveyBirdman wrote:hard working student from 4th tier law school is recruited by biglaw firm


You lost me there. Biglaw isn't going to hire T4; much less actively seekout this T4 law student.

You can't ask for a Federal Clerkship. They'll laugh.

These schools are ranked by their student body and their alumni. Obviously since Harvard attracts the best, they'll be placed in front of most other schools. Also, Harvard puts a lot of effort into OCI - namely those *alumni* who are now big law firm partners.

You probably won't see as many T4 grads be a big law partner, where Harvard students have an instilled advantage.

acrossthelake
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:30 pm

HarveyBirdman wrote:this is an excellent point and is in the neighborhood of what i am trying to get across here. it seems like a lot of posters here are focused on the all-mighty list of law schools, not on their own personal abilities. what is stopping us from doing anything we want? ourselves. not our schools.

i know what it takes to get into a top ranked law school, but for me the universe began collapsing on itself when i started wondering "what does a high LSAT score mean? how is it relevant to law school or working in the law profession?" as well as the same questions regarding GPA, extra-curriculars, recommendations, etc etc.

and then there's the questions of "why is a particular law school better ranked than another?" and "should i blindly follow these rankings trying to claw my way to the top?"

it might be evident why harvard law is a much better school than hollywood upstairs law school, but when you compare two schools like harvard and cincinnati that have both been around forever and obviously neither are run by idiots, what is the tangible difference here? biglaw firms from across the country will recruit at harvard but not at cincinnati? why? because they don't have the resources to go to every mom and pop law school or because they honestly think students from those law schools will make inferior employees compared to the harvard ones?

hypothetical situation: hard working student from 4th tier law school is recruited by biglaw firm, offered huge starting salary compared to what his classmates get. he's a proven hard worker even if he didn't have the money or LSAT/GPA numbers to get into a top school. to me it would seem like that person would be so thankful for that opportunity he would work his ass off at that firm and be the most loyal employee they could hope for.

anyway, back to what law admissions people are looking for...some people here made good points that they are aiming to increase their rankings and add diversity to the class. but if i were to call a top law school's admissions office and bluntly ask them "what do you look for in an applicant?" and they said "good LSAT scores, GPA, etc" and then i said "why do those things matter?" what would be the answer to that?


High LSAT: You're good at reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logic. All skills that are pretty good and dandy when studying law.
High GPA: You had the combination of talents/work ethic(/gradeinflation/easycourseelection/etc.) to not do poorly in undergrad. You are more likely to pull the same off in law school than someone who flunked undergrad(there are exceptions, systems are never designed for the odd exception, nor should they be).
Extracurriculars: You have done things in your life besides play video games! You have possibly accomplished things outside of the classroom that can demonstrate important skills for success (leadership, involvement, a propensity to do something besides sitting around...)
Recommendations: Demonstrate that you're not such a totally insufferable twat that even your professors hate you!

Big Law prefers top schools for several reasons:
1) They're mostly alums from there.
2) They do believe that the average Harvard student is going to be better than the average T4 student. Sureee there might be an exception, but it is impractical and inefficient to do an exhaustive search for an exception, when you could just do a narrow search to find many people who are good enough for your needs.
Law firms aren't the only ones to do this. Consulting companies, finance companies, etc. do this as well at the undergrad level.

User avatar
HarveyBirdman
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:25 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby HarveyBirdman » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:31 pm

the deloggio website someone posted earlier has some interesting things on it. here's kind of what i was looking for originally:

In choosing its students a law school is trying to meet a number of different goals:

* It is looking for qualified applicants -- simply put, people who are not likely to fail.
* It is looking for diversity in its student body: people who will add to the quality of the educational experience of all students by offering a viewpoint learned through their unusual, perhaps unique, life experiences.
* It is attempting to compare students whose experiences may not make them directly comparable (for instance, two students may have the same grades, but one had to work full-time during college while the other was able to devote all his time to studies).
* It may be attempting to expand the opportunities of groups traditionally disadvantaged in our society.
* In a few rare instances, it is attempting to return favors to someone with influence at the school.
* It is seeking students who show the interest, dedication, and character that make good lawyers.
* It is looking for the best students it can attract, since the median grades and LSAT scores of a school's students are often viewed as an indicator of the quality of the school.
* And most importantly, it is jockeying for position in the USNews rankings.


i also found http://www.martindale.com through that website, which lists attorney educational backgrounds at firms nationally.

let's see...there are over 7000 firms in NYC listed. limiting them to firms with over 1000 lawyers, there are 9. choosing the first one, Greenberg Traurig, which has its main office in Miami apparently, and looking through some random associates listed for the NYC office we see schools across the top 100 such as:

brooklyn law school
columbia university
cardoza school of law, yeshiva university
duke
university of miami
boston university
hofstra
new york university
george washington university
penn
temple

hmm.

User avatar
ResolutePear
Posts: 8614
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:42 pm

HarveyBirdman wrote:the deloggio website someone posted earlier has some interesting things on it. here's kind of what i was looking for originally:

In choosing its students a law school is trying to meet a number of different goals:

* It is looking for qualified applicants -- simply put, people who are not likely to fail.
* It is looking for diversity in its student body: people who will add to the quality of the educational experience of all students by offering a viewpoint learned through their unusual, perhaps unique, life experiences.
* It is attempting to compare students whose experiences may not make them directly comparable (for instance, two students may have the same grades, but one had to work full-time during college while the other was able to devote all his time to studies).
* It may be attempting to expand the opportunities of groups traditionally disadvantaged in our society.
* In a few rare instances, it is attempting to return favors to someone with influence at the school.
* It is seeking students who show the interest, dedication, and character that make good lawyers.
* It is looking for the best students it can attract, since the median grades and LSAT scores of a school's students are often viewed as an indicator of the quality of the school.
* And most importantly, it is jockeying for position in the USNews rankings.


i also found http://www.martindale.com through that website, which lists attorney educational backgrounds at firms nationally.

let's see...there are over 7000 firms in NYC listed. limiting them to firms with over 1000 lawyers, there are 9. choosing the first one, Greenberg Traurig, which has its main office in Miami apparently, and looking through some random associates listed for the NYC office we see schools across the top 100 such as:

brooklyn law school
columbia university
cardoza school of law, yeshiva university
duke
university of miami
boston university
hofstra
new york university
george washington university
penn
temple

hmm.


You're not making a correct analysis. You can't assume because they're associates that they're OCI's or recruited grads.

Besides, you have NYU, Columbia, UM, Penn... not T4 schools. You also do not have any percentages.

Now, I know of a lawyer that graduated UM and made partner with a big law firm.. even at being ranked #60ish, everybody tells me it's a miracle in every aspect of life. She is truly a diamond in the rough - dedicating every living second of her life aside from child birth to the law firm.

Now, if she got a "eh, hire" out of UM - what chance does a T4 grad have? I'll tell you: none.

User avatar
ResolutePear
Posts: 8614
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:44 pm

HarveyBirdman wrote:the deloggio website someone posted earlier has some interesting things on it. here's kind of what i was looking for originally:

In choosing its students a law school is trying to meet a number of different goals:

* It is looking for qualified applicants -- simply put, people who are not likely to fail.
* It is looking for diversity in its student body: people who will add to the quality of the educational experience of all students by offering a viewpoint learned through their unusual, perhaps unique, life experiences.
* It is attempting to compare students whose experiences may not make them directly comparable (for instance, two students may have the same grades, but one had to work full-time during college while the other was able to devote all his time to studies).
* It may be attempting to expand the opportunities of groups traditionally disadvantaged in our society.
* In a few rare instances, it is attempting to return favors to someone with influence at the school.
* It is seeking students who show the interest, dedication, and character that make good lawyers.
* It is looking for the best students it can attract, since the median grades and LSAT scores of a school's students are often viewed as an indicator of the quality of the school.
* And most importantly, it is jockeying for position in the USNews rankings.


i also found http://www.martindale.com through that website, which lists attorney educational backgrounds at firms nationally.

let's see...there are over 7000 firms in NYC listed. limiting them to firms with over 1000 lawyers, there are 9. choosing the first one, Greenberg Traurig, which has its main office in Miami apparently, and looking through some random associates listed for the NYC office we see schools across the top 100 such as:

brooklyn law school
columbia university
cardoza school of law, yeshiva university
duke
university of miami
boston university
hofstra
new york university
george washington university
penn
temple

hmm.


Anyways, why is this even an issue? If you wanted to - with enough training and knowledge, you can score a 180. It makes the point moot.

User avatar
HarveyBirdman
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:25 pm

Re: How do law school admissions people evaluate applicants?

Postby HarveyBirdman » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:11 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
HarveyBirdman wrote:what chance does a T4 grad have? I'll tell you: none.


why though? is the quality of the education at a lower ranked school really lower than at a top school? if a student excels on a personal level, why does it matter where they went to school? i understand logistical limitations in recruiting, but you expect me to believe an average top law school student is going to be a better lawyer/employee than someone graduating from an unranked law school who was at the top of their class?

i just don't like the non-individual view of the process. i feel like the rankings are flawed and illogical and the whole system just makes me want to throw shit off my desk.

what this comes down to is i think as i finish my undergrad degree in the next year and a half or so, assuming my academic success continues, i'm eventually going to have to make a choice between going to the best law school i will get into at a high price, or a possibly unranked in-state school for free (the two extremes). and i don't like the idea of thinking that if my choice reflects fiscal responsibility that my career is then going to suck and be limited to the 3 block radius around the law school, when my personal abilities would be the same either way.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dcc617 and 3 guests