Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
cyxdev17
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:53 am

Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby cyxdev17 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:51 pm

Is law school admissions more numbers-driven? When I was applying to college, I had stellar numbers (perfect GPA, near perfect SAT), but I wasn't a shoo-in for top schools. I got into one and not into others, and in no way did my numbers carry me all the way.

This forum gives me the impression that numbers, especially your LSAT, are pretty much everything, and as long as your softs are decent you'll be fine. Thoughts?

Mal
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:06 pm

Re: Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby Mal » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:54 pm

Law school is very much numbers driven.

User avatar
billyez
Posts: 868
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:19 pm

Re: Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby billyez » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:57 pm

With the caveat that none of us, I presume, are admission officers, there's a lot of evidence and motive for this to be a really numbers-driven process. TLS is a little more certain about this then it should be...but if you look at LSN, for the most part there are very few miracles that occur in the admissions process.

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:58 pm

obviously its not only numbers driven...and i do believe that many adcomms at many schools do take time to really sift through the middle of the pack applicants, etc.

but i would say law school is more numbers driven than college admissions are

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2395
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby nealric » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:26 pm

Here's the basic difference between law school and undergrad admissions:

In undergrad admissions, test scores mostly act as qualifiers. Your SAT score needs to be high enough- once it is, getting higher doesn't help you that much. In law school, the admissions, the LSAT acts as an affirmative credential- a much higher LSAT, with a few exceptions, can generally overcome otherwise weak credentials. Conversely, undergrad admissions seems to be much more willing to ignore bad test scores for an otherwise glowing application. In law school, a bad LSAT will sink you no matter what else you have done in life (within reason).

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby dakatz » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:32 pm

In the average undergraduate class, there are a fairly large number of students. Hell, there are big public schools where you can have many thousands of people in a single class year. So if you take one student who has a terrible high school GPA but a wonderful back story and soft factors, it doesn't affect your median numbers. With law schools, the overall classes are MUCH smaller in most cases, so each student has a fairly significant effect on the total medians for the school. It will take a far greater story or soft factors for these ranking-obsessed schools to take a bad GPA or LSAT, since doing so may put their precious medians in jeopardy. Thus, law schools inevitably end up being more numbers-driven.

User avatar
dooterdude11
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:49 am

Re: Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby dooterdude11 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:41 pm

Let's not forget that the LSAT, among standardized tests, is a remarkably good predictor of first year Law school performance. MUCH better than the SAT.

User avatar
hoopsguy6
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:46 pm

Re: Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby hoopsguy6 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:46 pm

I don't think the difference is that great. The top law schools (HYS) care about softs, just like the top UG schools. Most of the UG schools after the top 15-20ish are numbers driven too. I remember splitting into a few of the 15-25ish UG schools despite a low gpa and weak softs. Personally, for my UG cycle, I got into every school where my numbers were at median or above, and rejected at every place where they were below median.

User avatar
brochocinco
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:47 am

Re: Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby brochocinco » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:47 pm

dakatz wrote:In the average undergraduate class, there are a fairly large number of students. Hell, there are big public schools where you can have many thousands of people in a single class year. So if you take one student who has a terrible high school GPA but a wonderful back story and soft factors, it doesn't affect your median numbers. With law schools, the overall classes are MUCH smaller in most cases, so each student has a fairly significant effect on the total medians for the school. It will take a far greater story or soft factors for these ranking-obsessed schools to take a bad GPA or LSAT, since doing so may put their precious medians in jeopardy. Thus, law schools inevitably end up being more numbers-driven.


This.

User avatar
jtemp320
Posts: 481
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:27 pm

Re: Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby jtemp320 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:54 pm

I am not an admissions officer but having heavily researched both processes while going through them my conclusion is that there is a consensus that law school is signficantly more numbers driven. The SAT is a critical factor in undergraduate admissions but for law schools the LSAT seems to frequently account for as much 50% of their decisionmaking. Berkeley a school which is always touted as having a highly holisitic admissions process makes the claim that GPA and LSAT only account for 2/3 of their criteria - only 2/3!

I also find it especially revealing that where you went to school as an undergraduate does not really seem to matter much nor does your major (with a few exceptions).

If you look at the admissions grids you can see that offers of admission seem to be highly predictable based on the applicants LSDAS GPA and LSAT score except for a small middle area where softs make the difference.

Even certain non GPA/LSAT factors such as URM status are given quantitative bonsus at most schools.

What does this mean? 1. Law school is more numbers based then undergraduate admissions, 2. take your numbers (to the extent you can still affect them) very seriously 3. Don't slack on your softs either - you might just one of those applicants on the line at your dream school

User avatar
jtemp320
Posts: 481
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:27 pm

Re: Numbers driven: Law school vs. college admissions

Postby jtemp320 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:10 pm

hoopsguy6 wrote:I don't think the difference is that great. The top law schools (HYS) care about softs, just like the top UG schools. Most of the UG schools after the top 15-20ish are numbers driven too. I remember splitting into a few of the 15-25ish UG schools despite a low gpa and weak softs. Personally, for my UG cycle, I got into every school where my numbers were at median or above, and rejected at every place where they were below median.


Both numbers (UGPA and LSAT) at/above Median? Just checking I am a minor splitter and am always curious how schools react to someone at their 25 on one and 75 on the other.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Dcc617, JoshLyman13, NUDad and 5 guests