How important is undergrad prestige?

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reasonable_man
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby reasonable_man » Wed May 04, 2011 8:13 am

rad law wrote:UG prestige barely matters, if at all.



Very true. I went to a mildly prestegious (and I do mean mildly), undergrad (top 25), and I have always felt it gave me a tiny, fraction of a bump in the post law school hiring context. Lawyers are prestige whores, so any bit of prestige always helps a tiny little bit. That said, if I had gone to a much better LS, the UG probably wouldn't even be noticed.

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Grond
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby Grond » Wed May 04, 2011 11:29 am

FWIW, years ago I read an article concerning Boalt Hall's modification of GPAs based on their opinion of the UG. I just did a quick search and found this:

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/col ... tions.html
I know of at least one other law school that used to do the same thing.

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ahduth
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby ahduth » Wed May 04, 2011 11:35 am

The only prestigious schools are the ones that give out an A+ grade. LSDAS GPA over 4.0 FTW.

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Cade McNown
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby Cade McNown » Wed May 04, 2011 12:35 pm

Cade McNown wrote:No undergraduate institution will hurt you. However in certain circumstances I think TLSers (who if nothing else prefer things in white & black) underestimate the GPA bump you get from a prestigious undergrad. A Boalt adcom told me "we consider a 3.7 GPA from X undergrad a 4.0", where X is not one of HYPS. Berkeley of course is more the exception than the rule, but I've heard this sentiment reiterated by others as well, most notably a USC faculty member.

Really though, it's just about your numbers as people here have stated.


Grond wrote:FWIW, years ago I read an article concerning Boalt Hall's modification of GPAs based on their opinion of the UG. I just did a quick search and found this:

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/col ... tions.html
I know of at least one other law school that used to do the same thing.


Thank you Gond, I have been looking for this.

PriOSky
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby PriOSky » Wed May 04, 2011 4:17 pm

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Last edited by PriOSky on Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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acrossthelake
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed May 04, 2011 5:17 pm

PriOSky wrote:It doesn't seem like Yale undergrads get big boosts: http://ucs.yalecollege.yale.edu/sites/d ... istics.pdf


This wouldn't show up in this. What you want to check to see is how they do individually listed with their GPAs. I'd argue that sometimes there might be some sort of GPA adjustment (the way it was explicitly done at UC-Berkeley), which is hard to see when they're aggregated.

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acrossthelake
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed May 04, 2011 5:20 pm

MrKappus wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:If you believe this, then you must think that the gap in softs between the students count for 0.2-0.3 GPA points.


Not sure why this is unreasonable to assume. People who are concentrating on amazing softs may be more likely to get less-than-stellar GPAs.

Edit: people from a UG with a ~3.5 mean GPA (i.e., Harvard undergrads) are decidedly not more likely to have less-than-stellar GPAs.


I just don't see people often acknowledge it on TLS, wanted to see it happen.

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skers
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby skers » Wed May 04, 2011 5:39 pm

Grond wrote:FWIW, years ago I read an article concerning Boalt Hall's modification of GPAs based on their opinion of the UG. I just did a quick search and found this:

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/col ... tions.html
I know of at least one other law school that used to do the same thing.



Using a chart from 97 doesn't exactly do much to advance arguments regarding current admissions processes, especially when the chart is from a school that is widely acknowledged as one that is atypical.

This chart isn't even necessarily all about prestige. Schools like USC, UCLA, and Berk, which are usually seen as prestigious are not given a bump, even compared against other schools that a peers. There's also a serious bias in favor of liberal arts schools. Does anyone really think that Smith College or Whitman College are especially prestigious?

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Cade McNown
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby Cade McNown » Thu May 05, 2011 2:12 pm

TemporarySaint wrote:
Grond wrote:FWIW, years ago I read an article concerning Boalt Hall's modification of GPAs based on their opinion of the UG. I just did a quick search and found this:

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/col ... tions.html
I know of at least one other law school that used to do the same thing.



Using a chart from 97 doesn't exactly do much to advance arguments regarding current admissions processes, especially when the chart is from a school that is widely acknowledged as one that is atypical.

This chart isn't even necessarily all about prestige. Schools like USC, UCLA, and Berk, which are usually seen as prestigious are not given a bump, even compared against other schools that a peers. There's also a serious bias in favor of liberal arts schools. Does anyone really think that Smith College or Whitman College are especially prestigious?


Uhh, yes (although admittedly schools like Whitman and Colgate are not as strong, and presumably the Boalt grade scales have changed since 1997). The top private liberal arts colleges are very prestigious when comparing undergrads. Much of the prestige that schools like Berkeley and UCLA get is attached to their top-tier graduate and research programs. The top-end liberal arts colleges have higher admissions standards generally than the UC system at least, which is necessarily generous to California natives. Not to mention that the small size of liberal arts colleges translates to smaller classes and a stronger, more rounded education, and more per-capita resources for job-seeking juniors and seniors. There is a good reason, after all, that the top liberal arts schools are so damn expensive.

Also, I don't think anyone was drawing conclusions outside of the scope of Boalt. The only thing we can really take from it is that Boalt (for the best IMO) does not take LSDAS GPA at face value. Boalt tries to adjust based on strength of undergraduate education and grade inflation, and since other law schools are mum on the issue, maybe other top law schools adjust GPAs by undergrad institution as well.

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skers
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby skers » Thu May 05, 2011 8:00 pm

Cade McNown wrote:
TemporarySaint wrote:
Grond wrote:FWIW, years ago I read an article concerning Boalt Hall's modification of GPAs based on their opinion of the UG. I just did a quick search and found this:

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/col ... tions.html
I know of at least one other law school that used to do the same thing.



Using a chart from 97 doesn't exactly do much to advance arguments regarding current admissions processes, especially when the chart is from a school that is widely acknowledged as one that is atypical.

This chart isn't even necessarily all about prestige. Schools like USC, UCLA, and Berk, which are usually seen as prestigious are not given a bump, even compared against other schools that a peers. There's also a serious bias in favor of liberal arts schools. Does anyone really think that Smith College or Whitman College are especially prestigious?


Uhh, yes (although admittedly schools like Whitman and Colgate are not as strong, and presumably the Boalt grade scales have changed since 1997). The top private liberal arts colleges are very prestigious when comparing undergrads. Much of the prestige that schools like Berkeley and UCLA get is attached to their top-tier graduate and research programs. The top-end liberal arts colleges have higher admissions standards generally than the UC system at least, which is necessarily generous to California natives. Not to mention that the small size of liberal arts colleges translates to smaller classes and a stronger, more rounded education, and more per-capita resources for job-seeking juniors and seniors. There is a good reason, after all, that the top liberal arts schools are so damn expensive.

Also, I don't think anyone was drawing conclusions outside of the scope of Boalt. The only thing we can really take from it is that Boalt (for the best IMO) does not take LSDAS GPA at face value. Boalt tries to adjust based on strength of undergraduate education and grade inflation, and since other law schools are mum on the issue, maybe other top law schools adjust GPAs by undergrad institution as well.


You're sort of jumbling a ton of issues here. Prestige of a school =/= difficulty of achieving a degree at that school. They may be related, but they're certainly not the same thing. Prestige isn't really represented well in this resource unless you really want believe UVA should be viewed as more prestigious than Yale based on their scores. Grade inflation isn't even addressed in this chart. Schools like Yale and Harvard, which are prime examples of grade inflation, still get a boost. Again, this is a chart for 1997, a time when numbers weren't nearly as important to admissions. As a resource it's worthless.

dkt4
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby dkt4 » Thu May 05, 2011 8:40 pm

are numbers more relevant now than in 1997? someone tell maths!

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skers
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby skers » Thu May 05, 2011 8:58 pm

dkt4 wrote:are numbers more relevant now than in 1997? someone tell maths!


no

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Veyron
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby Veyron » Thu May 05, 2011 9:38 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
rad law wrote:UG prestige barely matters, if at all.



Very true. I went to a mildly prestegious (and I do mean mildly), undergrad (top 25), and I have always felt it gave me a tiny, fraction of a bump in the post law school hiring context. Lawyers are prestige whores, so any bit of prestige always helps a tiny little bit. That said, if I had gone to a much better LS, the UG probably wouldn't even be noticed.


Yah, I think the hiring context is different. I've had my UG mentioned favorably in interviews and I've been advised by attorneys to mention it in cover-letters.

david787
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Re: How important is undergrad prestige?

Postby david787 » Mon May 09, 2011 11:49 pm

It's better to have steller grades from a low-prestige UG than mediocre grades from a high-prestige UG, primarily because of how medians drive the admissions process (due to USNWR rankings). However, mediocre grades from a high-prestige UG are better than mediocre grades from a low-prestige UG.




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