LSAT bash

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
niederbomb
Posts: 962
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:07 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby niederbomb » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:00 pm

bk1 wrote:
swfangirl wrote:Ugh, this is a common misconception I feel the need to clear up:
1) POOR PEOPLE CAN AFFORD THE IVY LEAGUE DUE TO VERY GENEROUS FINANCIAL AID. In fact, it's often cheaper than their state school alternative.
2) The lower upper middle class usually can't or find it to be a sacrifice.
3) Legacies only make up ~10% of most incoming classes. Though their admissions rates tend to be double that of non-legacies, this is partially due to the fact that they are often strong applicants anyway.


1. Poor people tend not to have the grades/SAT scores to get in.

2. The lower upper middle class? Seriously?


+1. Or cool extracurriculars, like trips to Africa to help orphans paid for by Daddy. Some of us had to work through high-school to help support family. If all you have is an ordinary country blue collar job and a high ACT score/GPA, you're not getting in anywhere super elite. Gotta love "holistic admissions."
Last edited by niederbomb on Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

taxguy
Posts: 307
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby taxguy » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:02 pm

I have been a lawyer for many years. For what it's worth, I agree with you. The LSAT is one of the worst standardized tests in existence. I have seen FAR to many outliers, both ways, for me to accept that test as a valid indicator of law school performance or how you will perform in law. I personally know two lawyers who scored at the bottom of their law school class, LSAT wise, yet graduated in the top5%. I know folks who aced the LSAT and did horribly in law school. The corelation statisics mentioned do not show how wide the outliers can be. Moreover, any test that is as time senstive as the LSAT, can't be that accurate a predictor. After all, law students do get plenty of time for outlines, briefs and final prep.

Most lawyers privately agree with my attitude as well.In fact, even the American Bar Association has problems with the LSAT. A committee designed to study the effect of the LSAT has recommended that it no longer be absolutely required by law schools but can be an optional test due to its "lack of reliability."

However, with all that said above, law schools place GREAT emphasis on it and will continue to do so in the near future. Why?
First, there just isn't another test to compare applicants. As noted, GPAs vary from school to school and by major. It is the one test that does attempt some sort of standarization.
Second, law schools use the scores to try to attract recruiters.
Third, rankings are partly based on admission statistics,which are inturn, LSAT related.

I agree that the whole admission system stinks. However, for the reasons given, it isn't going to change soon

User avatar
swfangirl
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby swfangirl » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:03 pm

niederbomb wrote:
bk1 wrote:
swfangirl wrote:Ugh, this is a common misconception I feel the need to clear up:
1) POOR PEOPLE CAN AFFORD THE IVY LEAGUE DUE TO VERY GENEROUS FINANCIAL AID. In fact, it's often cheaper than their state school alternative.
2) The lower upper middle class usually can't or find it to be a sacrifice.
3) Legacies only make up ~10% of most incoming classes. Though their admissions rates tend to be double that of non-legacies, this is partially due to the fact that they are often strong applicants anyway.


1. Poor people tend not to have the grades/SAT scores to get in.

2. The lower upper middle class? Seriously?


+1. Or cool extracurriculars, like trips to Africa to help orphans paid for by Daddy. Some of us had to work through high-school to help support family. If all you have is an ordinary country blue collar job and a high ACT score/GPA, you're not getting in anywhere super elite. Gotta love "holistic admissions."


This isn't true. There are people at my undergrad whose families are on welfare. Some whose families have been homeless. Many who had to work through high-school to help support the family who got in. Super cool extracurriculars are expected of the very wealthy applicants, but the bar is slightly different for those who come from different backgrounds. My extracurriculars were never special--I was president of a club, wrote for the school newspaper, and played some JV tennis. This is just a very ignorant view of how admissions work and who goes here.
Last edited by swfangirl on Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
niederbomb
Posts: 962
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:07 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby niederbomb » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:05 pm

taxguy wrote:I have been a lawyer for many years. For what it's worth, I agree with you. The LSAT is one of the worst standardized tests in existence. I have seen FAR to many outliers, both ways, for me to accept that test as a valid indicator of law school performance or how you will perform in law. I personally know two lawyers who scored at the bottom of their law school class, LSAT wise, yet graduated in the top5%. I know folks who aced the LSAT and did horribly in law school. The corelation statisics mentioned do not show how wide the outliers can be. Moreover, any test that is as time senstive as the LSAT, can't be that accurate a predictor. After all, law students do get plenty of time for outlines, briefs and final prep.

Most lawyers privately agree with my attitude as well.In fact, even the American Bar Association has problems with the LSAT. A committee designed to study the effect of the LSAT has recommended that it no longer be absolutely required by law schools but can be an optional test due to its "lack of reliability."

However, with all that said above, law schools place GREAT emphasis on it and will continue to do so in the near future. Why?
First, there just isn't another test to compare applicants. As noted, GPAs vary from school to school and by major. It is the one test that does attempt some sort of standarization.
Second, law schools use the scores to try to attract recruiters.
Third, rankings are partly based on admission statistics,which are inturn, LSAT related.

I agree that the whole admission system stinks. However, for the reasons given, it isn't going to change soon


The LSAT doesn't account for work ethic. Work ethic may have been the sole distinguishing factor among the outliers you describe.

That doesn't mean it doesn't measure aptitude. GPA=work ethic/dedication. LSAT=aptitude for law school. Together, you've got an ok combination to rank applicants. But either by itself gives incomplete information.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:05 pm

swfangirl wrote:1. Sure, it's a valid argument to say that they are disadvantaged in getting the credentials to get in. That's a separate argument that is plenty valid. But, it is not because they can't afford it once they do get in--I know several people who get full ride everything and even make money because they're given more than they need.
2. Fairly good financial aid exists up until family income hits $180K. Not quite sure what middle is, but if the family is making $90K, Financial Aid will probably make up enough for it to still be affordable.


I was commenting on the ridiculous nature of your phrase using all 3 words (lower/middle/upper) to delineate a certain income bracket.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:07 pm

taxguy wrote:I have been a lawyer for many years. For what it's worth, I agree with you. The LSAT is one of the worst standardized tests in existence. I have seen FAR to many outliers, both ways, for me to accept that test as a valid indicator of law school performance or how you will perform in law. I personally know two lawyers who scored at the bottom of their law school class, LSAT wise, yet graduated in the top5%. I know folks who aced the LSAT and did horribly in law school. The corelation statisics mentioned do not show how wide the outliers can be. Moreover, any test that is as time senstive as the LSAT, can't be that accurate a predictor. After all, law students do get plenty of time for outlines, briefs and final prep.


Ignoring whether or not the LSAT is worthy of being used in law school admissions or whether it is good enough...

Do you realize how flawed this analysis is?

User avatar
niederbomb
Posts: 962
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:07 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby niederbomb » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:11 pm

swfangirl wrote:
niederbomb wrote:
bk1 wrote:
swfangirl wrote:Ugh, this is a common misconception I feel the need to clear up:
1) POOR PEOPLE CAN AFFORD THE IVY LEAGUE DUE TO VERY GENEROUS FINANCIAL AID. In fact, it's often cheaper than their state school alternative.
2) The lower upper middle class usually can't or find it to be a sacrifice.
3) Legacies only make up ~10% of most incoming classes. Though their admissions rates tend to be double that of non-legacies, this is partially due to the fact that they are often strong applicants anyway.


1. Poor people tend not to have the grades/SAT scores to get in.

2. The lower upper middle class? Seriously?


+1. Or cool extracurriculars, like trips to Africa to help orphans paid for by Daddy. Some of us had to work through high-school to help support family. If all you have is an ordinary country blue collar job and a high ACT score/GPA, you're not getting in anywhere super elite. Gotta love "holistic admissions."


This isn't true. There are people at my undergrad whose families are on welfare. Some whose families have been homeless. Many who had to work through high-school to help support family who got in. Super cool extracurriculars are expected of the very wealthy applicants, but the bar is slightly different for those who come from different backgrounds. My extracurriculars were never special--I was president of a club, wrote for the school newspaper, and played some JV tennis. This is just a very ignorant view of how admissions work and who goes here.


Well, that's another problem. Low income applicants have less access to accurate information. This was especially true before the internet became widespread, but it lives on in the form of misconceptions. When your parents are uneducated, you are less likely to grow up researching things intelligently. Thankfully, college is a great opportunity to correct such shortcomings, but by then, it's too late to choose an undergraduate institution. I had a 3.9/32 but didn't even think to apply to anything higher than my state school.

I still think doing away with the LSAT would make the law school admissions process more unequal with respect to lower-income applicants, especially lower-income white applicants.

d34d9823
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby d34d9823 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:12 pm

albusdumbledore wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:Sure, but English is harder than Engineering for nobody.


You clearly have no idea how many engineers can't write.

You clearly have no idea how many engineers can't do engineering.

User avatar
arkansawyer
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:11 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby arkansawyer » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:13 pm

It's probably more valuable to spend your time studying for the lsat than debating its validity. It's important to adcomms, so it should be important to you.

Debating the point is like getting pissed off that your electric company demands money instead of bricks. Get over it, adapt to the world instead of expecting it to adapt to you.

I'd also disagree that lower income students are particularly disadvantaged. We all have access to lsatblog.blogspot.com. I did it, so could anyone else.

User avatar
swfangirl
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby swfangirl » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:14 pm

niederbomb wrote:
Well, that's another problem. Low income applicants have less access to accurate information. This was especially true before the internet became widespread, but it lives on in the form of misconceptions. When your parents are uneducated, you are less likely to grow up researching things intelligently. Thankfully, college is a great opportunity to correct such shortcomings, but by then, it's too late to choose an undergraduate institution. I had a 3.9/32 but didn't even think to apply to anything higher than my state school.

I still think doing away with the LSAT would make the law school admissions process more unequal with respect to lower-income applicants, especially lower-income white applicants.


This I can get behind as a disadvantage. That they don't know that these misconceptions are misconceptions. But the problem isn't that the poor can't afford it(they can), or can't afford special extracurriculars(they don't need them)...it's that they're unlikely to know that this is true, more likely to receive a horrible K-12 education that leaves them unprepared, etc. These other disadvantages are very real, but those 2 aren't.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:15 pm

niederbomb wrote:Well, that's another problem. Low income applicants have less access to accurate information. This was especially true before the internet became widespread, but it lives on in the form of misconceptions. When your parents are uneducated, you are less likely to grow up researching things intelligently. Thankfully, college is a great opportunity to correct such shortcomings, but by then, it's too late to choose an undergraduate institution. I had a 3.9/32 but didn't even think to apply to anything higher than my state school.

I still think doing away with the LSAT would make the law school admissions process more unequal with respect to lower-income applicants, especially lower-income white applicants.


Just fyi, almost 1/4 of the U.S. still doesn't have internet access. I'd assume these being the poorest.

User avatar
niederbomb
Posts: 962
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:07 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby niederbomb » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:16 pm

arkansawyer wrote:It's probably more valuable to spend your time studying for the lsat than debating its validity. It's important to adcomms, so it should be important to you.

Debating the point is like getting pissed off that your electric company demands money instead of bricks. Get over it, adapt to the world instead of expecting it to adapt to you.

I'd also disagree that lower income students are particularly disadvantaged. We all have access to lsatblog.blogspot.com. I did it, so could anyone else.


The argument wasn't that lower income applicants are disadvantaged by the LSAT. Rather, removing the LSAT would create more inequality because it would cause adcomms to consider more seriously the prestige of one's undergraduate institution. Poor kids at state schools who might have done well on the LSAT would get shut out.

User avatar
arkansawyer
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:11 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby arkansawyer » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Lack of access at home does not mean that you lack internet access. Abundant resources exist (libraries, courthouses, churches) to those who are intrepid enough to seek them out.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:25 pm

arkansawyer wrote:Lack of access at home does not mean that you lack internet access. Abundant resources exist (libraries, courthouses, churches) to those who are intrepid enough to seek them out.


Not having internet access at home means you are unfamiliar with it. It means that you are less likely to realize how valuable it and less likely to be able to use it well (thus more likely to be frustrated with it or unable to find information from it).

Yes you have access to it, but the whole pull yourself up by your bootstraps "those who are intrepid enough" argument is a load of horse shit. Those without it are at a serious disadvantage and are likely already pretty poor (not to mention that poor neighborhoods are less likely to have as many places like the library to get access to it).

User avatar
arkansawyer
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:11 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby arkansawyer » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:30 pm

bk1 wrote:
arkansawyer wrote:Lack of access at home does not mean that you lack internet access. Abundant resources exist (libraries, courthouses, churches) to those who are intrepid enough to seek them out.


Not having internet access at home means you are unfamiliar with it. It means that you are less likely to realize how valuable it and less likely to be able to use it well (thus more likely to be frustrated with it or unable to find information from it).

Yes you have access to it, but the whole pull yourself up by your bootstraps "those who are intrepid enough" argument is a load of horse shit. Those without it are at a serious disadvantage and are likely already pretty poor (not to mention that poor neighborhoods are less likely to have as many places like the library to get access to it).


I'll concede that it's likely for a person without home internet access to be unaware of its value.

However, my argument above is just a sliver of what I think is the larger truth of the admissions process: it's transparent. By this, I mean that schools make it clear what it is they expect. Anyone that figures these parameters out should put forth maximum effort to meet them. It's not hard to order the appropriate lsat materials, internet or not.

Sandro
Posts: 2526
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:12 am

Re: LSAT bash

Postby Sandro » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:48 pm

arkansawyer wrote:
bk1 wrote:
arkansawyer wrote:Lack of access at home does not mean that you lack internet access. Abundant resources exist (libraries, courthouses, churches) to those who are intrepid enough to seek them out.


Not having internet access at home means you are unfamiliar with it. It means that you are less likely to realize how valuable it and less likely to be able to use it well (thus more likely to be frustrated with it or unable to find information from it).

Yes you have access to it, but the whole pull yourself up by your bootstraps "those who are intrepid enough" argument is a load of horse shit. Those without it are at a serious disadvantage and are likely already pretty poor (not to mention that poor neighborhoods are less likely to have as many places like the library to get access to it).


I'll concede that it's likely for a person without home internet access to be unaware of its value.

However, my argument above is just a sliver of what I think is the larger truth of the admissions process: it's transparent. By this, I mean that schools make it clear what it is they expect. Anyone that figures these parameters out should put forth maximum effort to meet them. It's not hard to order the appropriate lsat materials, internet or not.


Unaware of the internet ? Cmon. If someone has gone to college and is deciding to embark on 3 more years of grad school and can't use the internet I'm calling BS. A simple google search of "Law School Rankings" yields TLS as the first result - whether or not they click on forums/read the profiles is up to them.

User avatar
Kurt Cobain
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby Kurt Cobain » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:55 pm

I'm not a fan of the LSAT either, I got >700 on two SAT sections and I couldn't crack 153 on the LSAT. And I actually did some practice tests for the LSATs and nothing for the SATs. Unreal.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:33 pm

LOL at people who advocate using what college you go to determine what law school you go to, when what college you go to is mostly determined by what SAT score you get.

Trading one standardized test for another taken at age 17.

User avatar
swfangirl
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby swfangirl » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:34 pm

Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who advocate using what college you go to determine what law school you go to, when what college you go to is mostly determined by what SAT score you get.

Trading one standardized test for another taken at age 17.


Nobody was advocating that.

goldenbearrec
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:09 am

Re: LSAT bash

Postby goldenbearrec » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:42 pm

@Op,

Have you ever been in a class with extremely intelligent individuals curved at a B-/C+? In such a setting, it means that if you're average-extremely intelligent, you receive a 2.7/2.3 average.

It would unfair to translate his GPA in the same way as is treated for someone enrolled in a class curved at B+, as many non-science/engineering classes are, furthermore at a college that is not as academically rigorous.

I, having worked full-time throughout my undergraduate years, received a 2.8 as a Mathematics major -- and even the 2.8 was not an easy feat. Also, while I don't intend to discount the intelligence and hard-work required from students studying social sciences, I think it's also important to note that I have a 3.6 non-science/math GPA even though I spent significantly less time for these classes.

This is why we need a method such as the LSAT to standardize these differences. If he was able to achieve 3 points higher than you, then by all means, he deserves to be credited for his accomplishments just as you deserve to be credited for your hard work in school.

Also, the logical flaw in your post is completely awful. What makes you think he didn't work full-time, as you did. What makes you think that sub 3.0's "spend" their time studying for the LSAT? If you think it's unfair, then by all means try increasing your own score rather than undermining others' achievements. It's still a fair game because if your GPA is higher than his, your GPA allows you to get into better schools than him by matching his LSAT score.

Blame yourself for not being able to score higher, not the test.
Last edited by goldenbearrec on Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:35 pm, edited 9 times in total.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:47 pm

swfangirl wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who advocate using what college you go to determine what law school you go to, when what college you go to is mostly determined by what SAT score you get.

Trading one standardized test for another taken at age 17.


Nobody was advocating that.


Whoosh.

User avatar
swfangirl
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby swfangirl » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:53 pm

bk1 wrote:
swfangirl wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who advocate using what college you go to determine what law school you go to, when what college you go to is mostly determined by what SAT score you get.

Trading one standardized test for another taken at age 17.


Nobody was advocating that.


Whoosh.


Correcting 2 misconceptions is not the same as advocating for actually moving to such a system.

User avatar
edgarfigaro
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby edgarfigaro » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:11 pm

StillHerexxx wrote:I have seen plenty of math or science oriented students struggle in 100 level english classes in college. I am in no way saying anything is harder than anything else. I just think it is hard to say that one major is harder than another because it is all relative.


Hard sciences tend to be graded on a strict curve, whereas humanities courses are usually not. That's why hard sciences/engineering majors are considered harder than english/polisci/etc.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:14 pm

edgarfigaro wrote:
StillHerexxx wrote:I have seen plenty of math or science oriented students struggle in 100 level english classes in college. I am in no way saying anything is harder than anything else. I just think it is hard to say that one major is harder than another because it is all relative.


Hard sciences tend to be graded on a strict curve, whereas humanities courses are usually not. That's why hard sciences/engineering majors are considered harder than english/polisci/etc.


It's not just that. You can't bullshit your way to an A- in engineering classes.

User avatar
edgarfigaro
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: LSAT bash

Postby edgarfigaro » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:16 pm

Kurt Cobain wrote:I'm not a fan of the LSAT either, I got >700 on two SAT sections and I couldn't crack 153 on the LSAT. And I actually did some practice tests for the LSATs and nothing for the SATs. Unreal.


I'll be honest, I find it hard to believe this...unless you were allotted extra time on the SATs for a learning disorder.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], EvanWilliams2, Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests