Ivy v. Public v. CC

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
ladybug89
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:57 am

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby ladybug89 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:45 am

justinp wrote:Disclaimer: clueless 0L here.

That said, based on conversations with various law students and lawyers from a variety of backgrounds (big state schools of various reputations, Ivies, top liberal arts, etc.) there are a TON of folks from elite colleges/universities in the top schools. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that there's an advantage in admissions; it could be that those people are overrepresented due to the fact that they are extremely smart, disciplined, and good at standardized tests-- which allows them to attend an elite college/university in the first place.

So they're at T14 schools because they're smart disciplined people who do well on standardized tests, not because they went to a top UG institution. And conversely, there are plenty of people from less-prestigious institutions who are also smart and disciplined, but for whatever reason didn't go to a highly selective UG institution.

That said, I've got no idea what I'm talking about.


Also, I do not think the reason for the HYP boost is because those students are inherently more awesome. I don't really think this is true; several people I know who outperformed their numbers had pretty average softs (though many of course were awesome, with awesome softs).

chasgoose
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:18 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby chasgoose » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:52 am

It probably helps a little bit if you are on the margins for an acceptance at law school, especially if your top UG is the law school you are applying to (ie, the GPA floor for H is a bit lower for H grads, if you went to Yale and your LOR comes from someone who is close to professors at YLS that can make a difference since YLS faculty review most apps). Mostly this does seem to boost people with high (75%+) LSATs but lower than usual GPAs. If the school wants your LSAT enough (this happens most at CLS/NYU) going to a top UG can help them justify your lower GPA. For people whose numbers suggest they will be accepted, UG isn't going to make a difference.

I do think that one reason why the top law schools have more students from top UGs is that although the LSAT is a great equalizer, there is definitely a correlation between high LSAT and high SAT/ACT (there are obviously outliers, but ultimately they are both standardized tests). A lot of the skills you need for a high LSAT score are the same skills you need to get a high SAT/ACT, obviously the top UGs are going to have more people that are innately good at standardized tests than lower ranked schools and thus more people from those schools are going to get the high LSAT scores required to get into the top law schools. It's not that people are necessarily smarter or have better softs or more awesome, but that there are more people at top UG schools who are good at standardized tests in general. They aren't getting into the top law schools BECAUSE they went to a top UG, they are getting into those schools for the same reasons that they got into the top UG when they applied to college.

As far as big law hiring goes, with the exception of a few top firms, GPA floors can be flexible depending on how well you interview. Remember unlike applying for school, law firms are looking for people that will be good employees. While they definitely rely on GPA heavily (some more than others), they also want someone who will do a good job and that they would want to work with. Thus other factors like prior WE and UG come into play. Once again the benefit of the top UG will be felt mostly by people at the margins. If your GPA is lower than a firm usually wants from your law school, but you rock the screener interviews (although this is easier for people with good personalities, sometimes its a matter of luck/whether you click with the recruiter), the recruiter will WANT to find a reason to justify giving you a callback to people who only see your resume. If the recruiter is willing to go to bat for you because he/she thinks you will make a good employee, the top UG will be a tool he/she can use when convincing the rest of the recruiting committee who hasn't met you that you should get a callback. If you rock the screener AND your GPA is where the firm wants it to be for your law school, then the top UG doesn't really need to come into play.

User avatar
amc987
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:58 am

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby amc987 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:35 am

Anecdotally, I think that your UG does matter. And it matters in the sense that law schools-- particularly the top law schools-- know what they're getting when they get applicants from HYPS and some of the other Ivies. It's easier for them to quantify what a 3.8 or 3.9 from HYPS means vs. a 3.9 from some random school whose graduates don't frequently apply to top law schools. I think it is possible for some of the HYPS applicants, especially those with strong LSAT scores or strong GPAs but not both, to sneak into top schools that would have been harder for them to get into numbers wise had they gone to a less prestigious school. For example, I went to HYPS undergrad and have a few friends at HYS law schools with GPAs around 3.7 and 173-177 LSAT scores. That does sometimes happen with applicants from state schools, but I think it's a tougher sell. To me, the numerical advantage for HYPS grads is given because of the competitiveness of the pool of students at HYPS UGs. It is very possible to be an extremely gifted and capable student at those places and end up with a 3.7ish GPA. That can't necessarily be said for someone at a less competitive institution because the quality of students who attend those schools isn't as high. We could have debates about the measures of this "quality", but in order to get into HYPS to begin with, one usually has to have very high grades, test scores, and interesting extra-curricular achievements in HS. And amongst that pool, some of those high quality students come out in the middle of the class. That's not necessarily true of less prestigious schools. If a student scores very high on the LSAT in addition to having a solid but not spectacular GPA from a reputable school, I think adcomms are more likely to give that person the benefit of the doubt than a candidate with similar numbers who hails from a less well-known academic pedigree.

Similarly, I have friends with GPAs in the 3.9+ range who have LSAT scores in the 168-171 range who have also made it into HYS. According to LSN that doesn't happen as often for students at state schools. I think the reason it happens for HYPS applicants is because, again, getting a 3.95 GPA at HYPS UG is impressive. Regardless of what people may say about grade inflation, those schools don't give out A's for free. The standard of work is very high and there are a lot of super-qualified people to compete against for grades in courses. Someone who does that well has shown that they are consistently close to the top of the class in a lot of different arenas. I think the adcomms feel that having this sort of record speaks volumes about those students' ability to succeed academically in challenging environments similar to those found at the most selective law schools. Thus, the adcomms more willing to disregard a less competitive LSAT score (for HYS) in favor of the stellar work that those applicants have already completed.

There are also some intangible factors involved. For example, going to HYPS UG gives a lot of students advantages (internships, extra-curriculars, jobs, etc.) that they wouldn't have had access to normally. The name of your school does get you into the door at some places, which helps in terms of building up your resume. It's much less likely that a graduate of Univ. of Washington, say, would have had an opportunity to present at a parliament as a summer internship or would have worked at McKinsey. There are people like that at HYPS because those schools have established internship programs that send students to do those things each summer. Those kinds of softs get people bonus points in admissions. I'm sure some of it is just an old world, inside baseball kind of deal. Schools like their own graduates. It's not an accident that the GPA floor for Harvard applicants at HLS or Yale applicants at YLS (et. al.) is lower than for applicants from other schools. I would guess that some of that discrepancy accounts for the competitiveness of HYPS students. Some of the favoritism also probably comes from the fact that schools want to make money. It is in Stanford's interest when a Stanford graduate does well and comes back to the Farm for law school. That student is much more likely to donate money to the Stanford than they might be if they went somewhere else for their graduate studies. So, accepting some more borderline candidates to the law school who went to the same school for UG could be a boon for the university. I also feel that a big part of admissions is convincing the adcomms that you can do well at a given institution. It's much easier to make that argument if you've already succeeded at Harvard and want to go to HLS for law school than if you went somewhere else. There was something about that environment that brought out your best work and allowed you to thrive and make positive contributions to that community. If you went to University of Alabama and are applying to HLS, how you'll fare in that particular environment is less certain simply because you haven't experienced it before. Those things get taken into account by adcomms as well.

I will say that I think the boost only generally helps borderline candidates at top schools. I think it the UG boost only comes into play for applicants who are within a few tenths of each other in GPA and a few points of each other on the LSAT. So a 3.8/171 Harvard and a 4.0/173 state school might have a similar chances at the HYS even if it doesn't seem like it from the numbers. A 4.0/175 state schooler will probably always be a much more competitive applicant than a 3.5/ 165 from Yale. And justifiably so. I also think that law schools are interested in people who have made the most of the environments that they are in. They seek to enroll classes made up of students who come from varying types of undergraduate institutions. So, as long as you've done well where you are, schools won't hold it against you that you didn't go to a big name undergraduate school. In fact, being a strong applicant from the University of Wyoming might help you contribute to the geographic diversity of a law school. Bottom line: Law school admissions is mostly a numbers game, so high numbers (GPA +LSAT) are probably still your best bet no matter where you went to college.

Total Litigator
Posts: 695
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:17 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby Total Litigator » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:27 am

Really only three kinds of schools that will affect admissions, great (think 1 - 30 ranked undergrads on USNews), in the middle (think 21 -175ish), and ouch (175 and below). 4 year community college grads in any decent law school is all but unheard of.

The boost for a great school will be small, no boost for schools in the middle, and ouches will give you a small negative.

But yes, have a good GPA and schools will usually tend to look the other way if your undergrad is shitty.

User avatar
bport hopeful
Posts: 4913
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby bport hopeful » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:41 am

After a page of anecdotal back up to a question I didnt ask, Im going to assume its anecdotal. Thanks guys.

User avatar
amc987
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:58 am

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby amc987 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:16 pm

bport hopeful wrote:After a page of anecdotal back up to a question I didnt ask, Im going to assume its anecdotal. Thanks guys.


Sorry dude. My post turned into a soliloquy. I think all evidence of "boosts" in admissions is purely anecdotal, though. There aren't many who have worked on admissions committees who know for sure. And there are probably even fewer of those people who have statistics to support their assertions. Yet another reason NOT to use TLS as a cure for insomnia.

Total Litigator
Posts: 695
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:17 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby Total Litigator » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:48 pm

Do your own god damn research.

User avatar
ThreeRivers
Posts: 1142
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:54 am

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby ThreeRivers » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:56 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Matters more for hiring than it does for admissions.

<Upsetting to me :(

I went to the biggest joke of an UG you could imagine, I was hoping hiring process would mainly be about the LS you attend lol

User avatar
ThreeRivers
Posts: 1142
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:54 am

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby ThreeRivers » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:00 pm

FWIW, as stated in my post above I went to a joke undergrad

In my lsac report 45 of 80 kids scored in the bottom 19 percentile / almost EVERYONE was lower scores even after that

Only 1 other kid besides me scored in 95th or above percentile on LSAT...

I think this explains why good LS have more individuals from quality undergrads than them caring about the UG

User avatar
bport hopeful
Posts: 4913
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby bport hopeful » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:59 pm

Total Litigator wrote:Do your own god damn research.

Dont say stupid shit like this in on topic forums.

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4432
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:20 am

ThreeRivers wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Matters more for hiring than it does for admissions.

<Upsetting to me :(

I went to the biggest joke of an UG you could imagine, I was hoping hiring process would mainly be about the LS you attend lol


I don't have any stats to back this up, though. I've heard anecdotes, and more recently an alumnus from my law school currently in biglaw told me directly that it helps, but I don't know how much he knew. Even if it does matter, it's probably more likely that some undergrads help, rather than going to an unknown undergrad hurting.

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

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby bk1 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:44 am

ThreeRivers wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Matters more for hiring than it does for admissions.

<Upsetting to me :(

I went to the biggest joke of an UG you could imagine, I was hoping hiring process would mainly be about the LS you attend lol


Your LS will be more important than your UG. But people at your LS who have a prestigious undergrad will likely be in better shape than people who didn't. But of course you have to factor in the other important things as well (grades/personality) so it's not like you're automatically losing out to the prestigious undergrad kids.

User avatar
top30man
Posts: 1224
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:11 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby top30man » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:28 am

Pato_09 wrote:many of the top firms ONLY will hire Ivy League law school grads.

Lol. This is ridiculously wrong.

For sure. For example, Wachtell did OCI at HYSCCNP last year. Three of those are not ivy. Also they did not at Cornell, which is.

User avatar
PennQuaker
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:12 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby PennQuaker » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:21 pm

top30man wrote:
Pato_09 wrote:many of the top firms ONLY will hire Ivy League law school grads.

Lol. This is ridiculously wrong.

For sure. For example, Wachtell did OCI at HYSCCNP last year. Three of those are not ivy. Also they did not at Cornell, which is.

You're using way too many acronyms, however it appears two of the schools you're referring to are Stanford and Northwestern-WOW you really got me there :roll: (I did say Ivy League, so I apologize but I meant for that to include Stanford, NYU, and possibly even NW.)

User avatar
20130312
Posts: 3842
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby 20130312 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:25 pm

PennQuaker wrote:
top30man wrote:
Pato_09 wrote:many of the top firms ONLY will hire Ivy League law school grads.

Lol. This is ridiculously wrong.

For sure. For example, Wachtell did OCI at HYSCCNP last year. Three of those are not ivy. Also they did not at Cornell, which is.

You're using way too many acronyms, however it appears two of the schools you're referring to are Stanford and Northwestern-WOW you really got me there :roll: (I did say Ivy League, so I apologize but I meant for that to include Stanford, NYU, and possibly even NW.)


HYSCCNP = Harvard Stanford UChi Columbia NYU Penn

User avatar
PennQuaker
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:12 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby PennQuaker » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:26 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
PennQuaker wrote:
top30man wrote:
Pato_09 wrote:many of the top firms ONLY will hire Ivy League law school grads.

Lol. This is ridiculously wrong.

For sure. For example, Wachtell did OCI at HYSCCNP last year. Three of those are not ivy. Also they did not at Cornell, which is.

You're using way too many acronyms, however it appears two of the schools you're referring to are Stanford and Northwestern-WOW you really got me there :roll: (I did say Ivy League, so I apologize but I meant for that to include Stanford, NYU, and possibly even NW.)


HYSCCNP = Harvard Stanford UChi Columbia NYU Penn

Thanks for making my point for me :mrgreen:

User avatar
ThomasMN
Posts: 300
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:38 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby ThomasMN » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:43 pm

Obviously Duke, UVA, UC Berkeley, and Michigan are TTT. Ivy league stands for schools in a particular athletic conference. It does not describe all top tier academic institutions.

justinp
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:33 am

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby justinp » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:02 pm

PennQuaker wrote:
top30man wrote:
Pato_09 wrote:many of the top firms ONLY will hire Ivy League law school grads.

Lol. This is ridiculously wrong.

For sure. For example, Wachtell did OCI at HYSCCNP last year. Three of those are not ivy. Also they did not at Cornell, which is.

You're using way too many acronyms, however it appears two of the schools you're referring to are Stanford and Northwestern-WOW you really got me there :roll: (I did say Ivy League, so I apologize but I meant for that to include Stanford, NYU, and possibly even NW.)


"Ivy League" doesn't just mean "prestigious institutions." It's an athletic conference made up of schools that are traditionally prestigious: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia, and UPenn. Nobody else is Ivy League. Chicago and Stanford are prestigious institutions, but they aren't Ivy League. Even if they were MORE prestigious than e.g. Harvard/Yale, they still wouldn't be Ivy League.

And it's pretty irrelevant with reference to law schools; obviously many non-Ivies are extremely prestigious, and some Ivies (Cornell) are good but not incredible.

User avatar
MachineLemon
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:47 am

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby MachineLemon » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:36 pm

PennQuaker wrote:(many of the top firms ONLY will hire Ivy League law school grads)

Princeton Law grads usually get the biggest boost.

User avatar
Opie
Posts: 1356
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:27 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby Opie » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:24 pm

TylerM wrote:
PennQuaker wrote:(many of the top firms ONLY will hire Ivy League law school grads)

Princeton Law grads usually get the biggest boost.


Love it.

Also, FWIW, I have a 164/3.57 and got into Iowa from a terrible UG. 35 in the bottom 19 percentiles, only 20 in the top 50 percentiles. I was the only person to break 90th percentile. This is out of 99 takers.

I'm in state and a non-trad with good softs and lots of WE (at a school where softs matter more than most law schools) but I don't think my UG hurt me (and it's in the same state, so they should be familiar with it). My UG is even so bad that we just barely kept accreditation.

justinp
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:33 am

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby justinp » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:26 pm

TylerM wrote:
PennQuaker wrote:(many of the top firms ONLY will hire Ivy League law school grads)

Princeton Law grads usually get the biggest boost.


Well, what do you expect with their nationally acclaimed bird law program?

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby Ludo! » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:34 pm

PennQuaker wrote:Thanks for making my point for me :mrgreen:


This exchange was great. Somebody points out how ridiculously wrong your statement is by using the top vault firm as an example. Then you claim you meant Ivy League PLUS Stanford NYU and NW. But you are still completely wrong.

Name another top firm that exclusively hires from those schools? Cravath hires from my shitty midwestern T25, so I would really love this list of the "MANY top firms" that ONLY hire from Ivy leagues.

E: btw, to throw my experience into the anecdotal pile, I went to community college for years then transferred to terrible state UG. Had no apparent effect on my law school admissions or getting an SA.

Total Litigator
Posts: 695
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:17 pm

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby Total Litigator » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:36 am

bport hopeful wrote:
Total Litigator wrote:Do your own god damn research.

Dont say stupid shit like this in on topic forums.


I just hate it when I try to help and it turns out that the OP is a douche.

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

Re: Ivy v. Public v. CC

Postby ahduth » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:55 am

bport hopeful wrote:I was wondering if the idea that it doesnt matter what kind of UG institution you went to was anecdotal or if there were some statistic behind this?

This is to settle a bet.


Anecdotal, per all the BS that was spewed in this thread. The splitter argument has some legs though - schools aren't going to care about softs (which is how I'd categorize your UG institution), until they've finalized the 25-75 percentile block of their class.

I don't know about 2L OCI, but for 1L internships, UG institution seems to have come up during some interviews - from what I hear anecdotally. :D




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests