Median Application Method (MAM)!

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sumus romani
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Median Application Method (MAM)!

Postby sumus romani » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:43 am

While lawschoolpredictor and lawschoolnumbers are great resources for those trying to determine which schools to apply to, there is another important resource that every applicant should also use.

Schools fight hard for their medians for the LSAT and undergradGPA. This is so because these are central statistics in how they are ranked by US News. However, for some reason, median scores are often not listed on most websites: rather, just the 25th and 75th percentiles are listed. Now, the 25th and 75th percentiles are good, but median numbers are much more helpful. The medians I list here are from LSAC's page for each school. Call what follows 'the median application method', or 'MAM' for short. MAM is to some extent cynical, because it implies that schools' claims to a holistic application process are misleading. I feel it is realistic.

Here are the top schools in t14 order (P and B are tied):

Y 3.90 173
H 3.89 173
S 3.88 170

Co 3.72 172
Ch 3.76 171
N 3.72 171

P 3.82 170
B 3.83 168
M 3.70 169
V 3.85 170
D 3.76 169
Nw 3.72 170
C 3.63 167
G 3.65 169


Adjust LSAT score for URM status, if appropriate. Each applicant will fall into exactly one of three categories for each of the schools listed above: (1) at or above both medians, (2) at or above just one median, and (3) below both medians. While there are no universal rules that apply to these categories, we can make some generalizations which largely, though not always, hold.

For those who fall into category (1) for a given school, your chances of admission are between good and very good, depending on the particulars of the school. You should apply to that school. Schools with large class sizes, such as H, NYU and G simply have to admit a large percentage of those above both medians. In some rare cases, applicant are so far above the medians at a given school that they feel that applying would be a waste of time.

For those who fall into category (2), there are two important sub-groups here: group (2a) is composed of those who are at or above median LSAT, while group (2b) is for those who are at or above median uGPA. In general, those in group (2a) have a better shot of admissions than those who fall into group (2b); though some schools, such as B and S, are said to emphasize uGPA. Chances of admission will vary in (2), depending on how far above the applicant is in one category, and how far below in the other category. Also, certain schools are known to take high LSATs accompanied by low uGPAs. Lastly, some schools have "floors" for certain numbers (below which they will not accept) no matter how high the other number. With the conditions above understood, those who fall in category (2a) can have from very good to acceptable chances of admission, while those who fall into (2b) can have from good to minimally possible chances of admission.

For those who fall into category (3), admission is possible. Chances of admission becomes more unlikely the further one gets from the medians. Schools don't necessarily know what their medians will be during the early and middle phases of the admissions cycle. Nevertheless, the LSAT medians have become very stable at each school, only varying a point from year to year if at all, but the uGPA medians do change somewhat from year to year. It helps here to look at medians over, say, the past three years. Accordingly, those who are just below both medians might have a fair chance of admission. With regard to those who are significantly below both medians, all I can say to you here is: good luck!

There are of course certain caveats to the generalizations above, but I hope that any applicant who stumbles across the MAM will find it helpful. I recommend that you use many sources for information in generating your list of schools; so don't rely entirely on the MAM!

Thoughts?

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juevonate
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Re: Median Application Method (MAM)!

Postby juevonate » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:00 pm

Good information--thanks for the post. It's too bad there's not a website that lists the medians.

lawls
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:52 am

Re: Median Application Method (MAM)!

Postby lawls » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:45 pm

Nice summary.

Not sure if anyone has run the numbers, but I suspect that the "at" vs. "above" is actually two different categories that shouldn't be collapsed (one potentially improves the school's medians, the other solidifies them).

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capitalacq
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Re: Median Application Method (MAM)!

Postby capitalacq » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:56 pm

sigh

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im_blue
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Re: Median Application Method (MAM)!

Postby im_blue » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:36 am

Law Schools Ranked by Median LSAT and GPA (class size also listed)

Top 14
1. Yale University 3.82 3.90 3.96 170 173 176 214
2. Harvard University 3.76 3.89 3.96 171 173 176 559
4. Columbia University 3.60 3.72 3.81 170 172 175 397
5. University of Chicago 3.63 3.76 3.84 169 171 173 191
6. New York University 3.57 3.72 3.86 169 171 173 450
3. Stanford University 3.77 3.88 3.97 167 170 172 170
10. University of Virginia 3.54 3.85 3.92 165 170 171 368
7. University of Pennsylvania 3.57 3.82 3.90 166 170 171 255
11. Northwestern University 3.40 3.72 3.81 166 170 172 271
14. Georgetown University 3.42 3.68 3.81 168 170 172 463
11. Duke University 3.60 3.76 3.84 167 169 171 228
9. University of Michigan 3.55 3.70 3.84 167 169 170 371
7. University of California – Berkeley 3.68 3.83 3.95 165 168 170 292
13. Cornell University 3.48 3.63 3.80 165 167 168 205

Top 16
15. University of California – Los Angeles 3.57 3.75 3.88 164 168 169 320
17. Vanderbilt University 3.50 3.71 3.86 164 168 169 195

Top 21
20. George Washington University 3.45 3.77 3.86 163 167 168 456
15. University of Texas 3.54 3.71 3.87 164 167 168 379
19. Washington University in St. Louis 3.30 3.70 3.80 161 167 168 261
22. University of Minnesota 3.30 3.64 3.85 160 167 168 213
18. University of Southern California 3.47 3.60 3.71 165 167 167 215

Top 28
21. University of Illinois 3.20 3.80 3.90 160 166 167 232
22. Boston University 3.50 3.70 3.83 164 166 167 271
34. Fordham University 3.44 3.64 3.77 164 166 167 318
14. Georgetown University (Part Time) 3.42 3.62 3.78 163 166 168 127
22. University of Notre Dame 3.36 3.60 3.74 163 166 167 186
22. Emory University 3.37 3.57 3.68 165 166 167 248
28. Boston College 3.34 3.53 3.68 163 166 167 264
34. Washington and Lee University 3.28 3.53 3.78 160 166 167 135

Top 29
28. College of William and Mary 3.42 3.66 3.77 161 165 166 209
20. George Washington University (Part Time) 3.16 3.53 3.83 162 165 167 50

Top 35
38. University of Alabama 3.42 3.77 3.91 160 164 166 164
48. Southern Methodist University 3.30 3.76 3.87 158 164 165 178
28. University of Georgia 3.40 3.70 3.80 161 164 165 241
27. Indiana University Bloomington 3.26 3.70 3.83 156 164 165 220
52. Cardozo (Yeshiva University) 3.39 3.60 3.75 161 164 166 268
42. University of California – Hastings 3.39 3.58 3.71 161 164 165 469

Top 42
42. Brigham Young University 3.52 3.74 3.85 160 163 165 147
38. University of Colorado 3.42 3.68 3.78 160 163 165 166
34. University of Washington 3.47 3.66 3.80 160 163 166 181
42. George Mason University 3.20 3.65 3.83 158 163 165 190
28. University of California – Davis 3.23 3.51 3.72 160 163 165 213
67. Brooklyn Law School 3.26 3.47 3.64 160 163 164 406
34. Fordham University (Part Time) 3.28 3.42 3.66 161 163 165 158
48. American University 3.14 3.39 3.59 158 163 164 385

Top 52
34. Ohio State University 3.49 3.64 3.81 158 162 164 225
52. Pepperdine University 3.43 3.61 3.79 160 162 163 230
48. Tulane University 3.34 3.60 3.75 160 162 164 284
38. Wake Forest University 3.20 3.60 3.70 160 162 164 154
28. University of Wisconsin 3.31 3.60 3.76 156 162 163 278
28. University of North Carolina 3.43 3.58 3.73 157 162 164 262
48. University of Maryland 3.29 3.50 3.67 161 162 167 226
67. Villanova University 3.17 3.44 3.63 160 162 163 255
54. University of Connecticut 3.22 3.43 3.59 160 162 163 120
60. University of Houston 3.08 3.37 3.63 160 162 164 205

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bk1
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Re: Median Application Method (MAM)!

Postby bk1 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:00 am

I was about to post something snarky, but I reconsidered it.

While for 99% of TLS'ers this is obvious, this sort of info is greatly beneficial for people new to the application process.

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Knock
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Re: Median Application Method (MAM)!

Postby Knock » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:25 am

Tagged.

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Indebted
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Re: Median Application Method (MAM)!

Postby Indebted » Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:00 am

Nice post/thread. Thanks OP.




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