I just graduated from the University of Buffalo and I would like to know if the name of my school helps me? I have been told by my counselor that the name of this school will help me and will make my Grade Point Average look better because my school is more rigorous than a no name state school. Is this true? Am in a better position than people who go to small schools that are not ranked at all? And other ranked school because of the prestige of my school? Also, my school is ranked 111th in the best colleges in the United States and 54th in best public schools in the United States. Those are just a couple of the rankings.
No. Don't count anything from it because the name of your school is mostly negligible as far as adcoms are concerned. The exceptions are Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and only a few others
- but even then, still not anything to waste a glimmer of a thought on. As you'll find, LS admissions is primarily a numbers game (GPA and LSAT). The only other thing I can think of that would be more than marginally beneficial is being a URM.
This bit of TLS lore has always bothered me. HYP are generally prestigious schools, but LS adcomms probably also make exceptions for prestigious programs at other schools. A high GPA in Electrical Engineering from Berkeley, MIT, CalTech, or Stanford is a lot more meaningful than a high engineering GPA from HYP.
ETA: I realize btw that you left it open ended--"and only a few others." The general consensus seems to be HYP have an edge. I don't think that makes any sense.
It may not make sense to you, but with years of LSN, the CW has enough evidence to get this right. Schools don't evaluate candidates the way you think they should.
Actually while its definitely true that HYP get a boost beyond most other UGs, the general wisdom on TLS is a little bit too simplistic. When you really examine admissions, there are a couple things that you can find:
1. HYP get a boost, but H's boost is by far the most useful in the fact that H UG grad's have extra leeway in being admitted to HLS (the largest of the T6). Looking at the H admission charts for H UG's shows that you can be a few points lower on your LSAT or say have a 3.8 GPA and still have the same admission chances as people from schools other than H.
2. Princeton does not get a smilar boost as H -> HLS and also has a lower GPA median. Thus even though there is a boost, P is definitely the least represented out of HYP in the T6 law schools.
3. It's not just HYP and everyone else. Like other posters have mentioned, Adcoms will give consideration to what school you come from. Stanford UGs have a similar boost like HYP. Doing well at a T20 UG with a high GPA will also give you a leg up in terms of comparison to relatively similar applicants. Of course the dominant factors are still GPA and LSAT, but the University you attend for UG can definitely be more than just another soft in certain cases.
(Note: For the OP, once you're down in the T100 colleges there really are no distinctions anymore. Here it's all about just your grades and score. The final exception is T4 colleges and online schools. At the very, very low end your school will detract from your application.)