is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
deblaw
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:15 am

is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby deblaw » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:38 pm

When applying to T-14 law schools, is getting a B.A from a prestigious university a factor that determines the chance of being accepted?

User avatar
MrPapagiorgio
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:36 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:41 pm

A very tiny boost. At best, it's negligible.

User avatar
LiveFreeOrLaw
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:39 pm

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby LiveFreeOrLaw » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:53 pm

Prestigious university = ?

User avatar
ladybug89
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:57 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby ladybug89 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:45 pm

HYP definitely helps, maybe a small boost for people who go to other schools of similar reputation. (Reputation, not caliber.) But going to a non-prestigious school doesn't hurt you.

bhan87
Posts: 850
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:08 pm

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby bhan87 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:55 pm

4.0 from a TTT state university > 3.0 from HYP. Minimize your debt and rack up those A's. Don't worry too much about your school's reputation.

User avatar
The Gentleman
Posts: 670
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:25 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby The Gentleman » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:12 pm

bhan87 wrote:4.0 from a TTT state university > 3.0 from HYP. Minimize your debt and rack up those A's. Don't worry too much about your school's reputation.


True, but going to a lower tiered UG can definitely hold you back in the admissions process. I got a >3.9 from a TTTT and I'm pretty sure it's kept me out of some schools that I would have otherwise gotten into. (U Chi in particular)

neonx
Posts: 1025
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby neonx » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:24 pm

It's a soft. But it can work in your favor if you have a high GPA from said prestigious university.

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby ahduth » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:04 pm

ladybug89 wrote:HYP definitely helps


Why do you say that?

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:06 pm

ahduth wrote:
ladybug89 wrote:HYP definitely helps


Why do you say that?

There has been some anecdotal evidence that people from harvard have gotten into harvard law school with lower than median numbers, but I haven't seen anything beyond that.

User avatar
MTal
Posts: 854
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby MTal » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:13 pm

It's actually spelled "presTTTige."

User avatar
ladybug89
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:57 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby ladybug89 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:21 pm

ahduth wrote:
ladybug89 wrote:HYP definitely helps


Why do you say that?


I go to one (unfortunately) and I've seen people outperform their lower numbers (like people on the lower ends of a school's ranges are much more likely to get in than the average person on the lower end). In a lot of threads like these TLSers say it's because people at HYP have access to more internships/prestigious programs/other softs, which is probably partly true, but I think the affiliation itself helps too.

User avatar
Stanford4Me
Posts: 6049
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:23 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby Stanford4Me » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:34 pm

Not as much as people here think it does.

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby ahduth » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:57 pm

I'll grant this stuff can matter at the margins. But if you're really looking to beef up your application try... serving in the military, for example. As a soft HYP is meh at best I'd think. Are the HYPers who outperformed on LSN? There's no easy way to search for them that I can think of.

In the end it's almost entirely a numbers game. I know I'm going to get neonx in here telling me it's not, but for the vast majority of people, these softs only matter if you're exactly at the median.

neonx
Posts: 1025
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby neonx » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:05 pm

ahduth wrote:I'll grant this stuff can matter at the margins. But if you're really looking to beef up your application try... serving in the military, for example. As a soft HYP is meh at best I'd think. Are the HYPers who outperformed on LSN? There's no easy way to search for them that I can think of.

In the end it's almost entirely a numbers game. I know I'm going to get neonx in here telling me it's not, but for the vast majority of people, these softs only matter if you're exactly at the median.


I could agree that, on average, it's mostly a numbers game.

As for HYPers outperforming, I am unsure. However, I think that, in general, students are these schools are the type of applicants that would have excellent softs/stories/backgrounds already.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:08 pm

I think going to HYP or other Ivies can help you do other impressive things that may actually help. In school, you will have more impressive and interesting opportunities and as a graduate you should be able to find better career options immediately before law school. At the same time it probably isn't worth debt nor the the likely increase in competition so I'd choose (I actually did) the state school.

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby ahduth » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:14 pm

neonx wrote:
ahduth wrote:I'll grant this stuff can matter at the margins. But if you're really looking to beef up your application try... serving in the military, for example. As a soft HYP is meh at best I'd think. Are the HYPers who outperformed on LSN? There's no easy way to search for them that I can think of.

In the end it's almost entirely a numbers game. I know I'm going to get neonx in here telling me it's not, but for the vast majority of people, these softs only matter if you're exactly at the median.


I could agree that, on average, it's mostly a numbers game.

As for HYPers outperforming, I am unsure. However, I think that, in general, students are these schools are the type of applicants that would have excellent softs/stories/backgrounds already.


Sweet, I got him within 8 minutes. :lol: IIRC, you're an example of someone drastically outperforming their numbers, which is why I brought you up. But you're obviously a smart guy who communicates well and has an interesting story. People with your cycle are pretty few and far between though. And I'm rather skeptical that many of them are outperforming because of HYP.

I'll agree with you that it's on average a numbers game, but only because so few people outperform or underperform their numbers. This is why you apply to reach schools after all. They're reaches - you don't count on them.

bhan87
Posts: 850
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:08 pm

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby bhan87 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:40 pm

neonx wrote:
ahduth wrote:I'll grant this stuff can matter at the margins. But if you're really looking to beef up your application try... serving in the military, for example. As a soft HYP is meh at best I'd think. Are the HYPers who outperformed on LSN? There's no easy way to search for them that I can think of.

In the end it's almost entirely a numbers game. I know I'm going to get neonx in here telling me it's not, but for the vast majority of people, these softs only matter if you're exactly at the median.


I could agree that, on average, it's mostly a numbers game.

As for HYPers outperforming, I am unsure. However, I think that, in general, students are these schools are the type of applicants that would have excellent softs/stories/backgrounds already.


I think this point is dead on. The type of people who gets into Ivies are, in general, already top quality material. But this doesn't mean that going to a lower-tier school disadvantages you significantly.

User avatar
SisyphusHappy
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:46 pm

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby SisyphusHappy » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:30 pm

No. HTH.

User avatar
tallboone
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 12:27 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby tallboone » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:35 pm

bhan87 wrote:
neonx wrote:
ahduth wrote:I'll grant this stuff can matter at the margins. But if you're really looking to beef up your application try... serving in the military, for example. As a soft HYP is meh at best I'd think. Are the HYPers who outperformed on LSN? There's no easy way to search for them that I can think of.

In the end it's almost entirely a numbers game. I know I'm going to get neonx in here telling me it's not, but for the vast majority of people, these softs only matter if you're exactly at the median.


I could agree that, on average, it's mostly a numbers game.

As for HYPers outperforming, I am unsure. However, I think that, in general, students are these schools are the type of applicants that would have excellent softs/stories/backgrounds already.


I think this point is dead on. The type of people who gets into Ivies are, in general, already top quality material. But this doesn't mean that going to a lower-tier school disadvantages you significantly.


This seems to be right. At the top schools, there are a lot more people from prestigious schools (Ivies/equivalent, selective liberal arts colleges, top public universities) than schools nobody has ever heard of. Causation or correlation? Impossible to tell.

User avatar
fatduck
Posts: 4186
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby fatduck » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:35 pm

it's much more important to have wealthy parents.

User avatar
KibblesAndVick
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:29 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:37 pm

subtle anti-B.S. trolling

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby Patriot1208 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:39 pm

tallboone wrote:
bhan87 wrote:
neonx wrote:
ahduth wrote:I'll grant this stuff can matter at the margins. But if you're really looking to beef up your application try... serving in the military, for example. As a soft HYP is meh at best I'd think. Are the HYPers who outperformed on LSN? There's no easy way to search for them that I can think of.

In the end it's almost entirely a numbers game. I know I'm going to get neonx in here telling me it's not, but for the vast majority of people, these softs only matter if you're exactly at the median.


I could agree that, on average, it's mostly a numbers game.

As for HYPers outperforming, I am unsure. However, I think that, in general, students are these schools are the type of applicants that would have excellent softs/stories/backgrounds already.


I think this point is dead on. The type of people who gets into Ivies are, in general, already top quality material. But this doesn't mean that going to a lower-tier school disadvantages you significantly.


This seems to be right. At the top schools, there are a lot more people from prestigious schools (Ivies/equivalent, selective liberal arts colleges, top public universities) than schools nobody has ever heard of. Causation or correlation? Impossible to tell.

I imagined the guy from unsolved mysteries saying this.

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

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:41 pm

There is no single answer because each admissions committee/dean handle soft factors differently. It's not worth worrying about because it's at best a slight factor and in most cases it doesn't exist. In any case, there isn't a damn thing you can do now.

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

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:43 pm

tallboone wrote:
This seems to be right. At the top schools, there are a lot more people from prestigious schools (Ivies/equivalent, selective liberal arts colleges, top public universities) than schools nobody has ever heard of. Causation or correlation? Impossible to tell.


If you had good data it would be trivial to calculate.

I'd bet most of it is correlation between SAT and LSAT scores though.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: is getting a degree from a prestigious university important?

Postby bp shinners » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:31 pm

tallboone wrote:
bhan87 wrote:
neonx wrote:
ahduth wrote:
As for HYPers outperforming, I am unsure. However, I think that, in general, students are these schools are the type of applicants that would have excellent softs/stories/backgrounds already.


I think this point is dead on. The type of people who gets into Ivies are, in general, already top quality material. But this doesn't mean that going to a lower-tier school disadvantages you significantly.


This seems to be right. At the top schools, there are a lot more people from prestigious schools (Ivies/equivalent, selective liberal arts colleges, top public universities) than schools nobody has ever heard of. Causation or correlation? Impossible to tell.


There was a study published a few months ago (which I can't find to link, though Ezra Klein discussed it on his blog if you feel like digging) that analyzed the careers of people who went to different universities, analyzing the value of an Ivy League education. As I recall, the conclusion was that the ability to get accepted into an Ivy League University was worth more than the education itself; if you got into Yale but went to OU, for instance, you still made as much as a Yale grad. The authors drew from this that the qualities that got you accepted into Yale were the ones that eventually led you to succeed in your career.

Not the exact same thing, but I think that it parallels this discussion enough to be relevant. I also agree that it's more the qualities inherent in people who could get into these places than the education one receives there itself that gives them a boost in law school applications.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot] and 7 guests