The weight of LSAT and GPA

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
american707
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:30 am

The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby american707 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:06 pm

So I thought I understood the acceptance process but after seeing charts like the ones on http://lawschoolnumbers.com/ I’m a little puzzled. From what I understand law school’s largest focus is on GPA and LSAT score and they don’t pay much attention to things like double majors/minors. So why is it that while looking at charts there are always people with much lower GPAs and LSAT scores that aren’t URMs that get accepted over people with higher scores? The same goes for scholarship money, why don’t the people with the highest scores get the most money? Do letters of recommendation and resumes really play that large of a role?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby Samara » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:09 pm

Can you give some examples? Because that doesn't sound like what I've seen on LSN.

LSAT/GPA is by far the most important factor, but you have to look at those in terms of medians. Maybe that's what you're missing?

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby Br3v » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:10 pm

american707 wrote:So I thought I understood the acceptance process but after seeing charts like the ones on http://lawschoolnumbers.com/ I’m a little puzzled. From what I understand law school’s largest focus is on GPA and LSAT score and they don’t pay much attention to things like double majors/minors. So why is it that while looking at charts there are always people with much lower GPAs and LSAT scores that aren’t URMs that get accepted over people with higher scores? The same goes for scholarship money, why don’t the people with the highest scores get the most money? Do letters of recommendation and resumes really play that large of a role?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Depending on school some could be accounted by people choosing to ED or not.

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

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby top30man » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:19 pm

There may be some outliers but scholarships are almost always done on the basis of Gpa and Lsat. The information you are trying to find out may be easier found at lawschoolnumbers. Also, letter of recommendations and other factors have little bearing on the process.

american707
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:30 am

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby american707 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:25 pm

Samara wrote:Can you give some examples? Because that doesn't sound like what I've seen on LSN.

LSAT/GPA is by far the most important factor, but you have to look at those in terms of medians. Maybe that's what you're missing?

Sure, I'll use WASHU as an example (http://washu.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats). On the graph you can see that one person had a 169 and 3.3 GPA and got rejected but someone with a 167 and 2.5 GPA was accepted. Similarly, if you look at how much scholarship money was given you can see that the user “c0ldestwinter” had a 177 LSAT & 3.84 GPA and received $45,000 and the user “dk2451”’ had a 175 LSAT and 3.6 GPA but received $90,000.

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby Samara » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:31 pm

american707 wrote:
Samara wrote:Can you give some examples? Because that doesn't sound like what I've seen on LSN.

LSAT/GPA is by far the most important factor, but you have to look at those in terms of medians. Maybe that's what you're missing?

Sure, I'll use WASHU as an example (http://washu.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats). On the graph you can see that one person had a 169 and 3.3 GPA and got rejected but someone with a 167 and 2.5 GPA was accepted. Similarly, if you look at how much scholarship money was given you can see that the user “c0ldestwinter” had a 177 LSAT & 3.84 GPA and received $45,000 and the user “dk2451”’ had a 175 LSAT and 3.6 GPA but received $90,000.

haha, you're cherrypicking the one red dot in a sea of green. That person is listed as a non-trad applicant, so they probably have some unique characteristic. Scholarship money is a little less predictable, but the 177/3.84 offer was likely YP-related.

Don't freak out over little blips, look at trends and probabilities.

rebexness
Posts: 4163
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:24 am

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby rebexness » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:36 pm

Last edited by rebexness on Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby Samara » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:39 pm

rebexness wrote:
american707 wrote:
Samara wrote:Can you give some examples? Because that doesn't sound like what I've seen on LSN.

LSAT/GPA is by far the most important factor, but you have to look at those in terms of medians. Maybe that's what you're missing?

Sure, I'll use WASHU as an example (http://washu.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats). On the graph you can see that one person had a 169 and 3.3 GPA and got rejected but someone with a 167 and 2.5 GPA was accepted. Similarly, if you look at how much scholarship money was given you can see that the user “c0ldestwinter” had a 177 LSAT & 3.84 GPA and received $45,000 and the user “dk2451”’ had a 175 LSAT and 3.6 GPA but received $90,000.


And that it is self-reported. Not everyone indicates URM. And some people report total scholly, some as "per year".

mhm And some people higher offers or get in off waitlists or whatever and don't update their profile. And some accounts are flames. And a lot of people fudge their numbers, which can be very misleading if their numbers are near the medians.

american707
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:30 am

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby american707 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Samara wrote:
american707 wrote:
Samara wrote:Can you give some examples? Because that doesn't sound like what I've seen on LSN.

LSAT/GPA is by far the most important factor, but you have to look at those in terms of medians. Maybe that's what you're missing?

Sure, I'll use WASHU as an example (http://washu.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats). On the graph you can see that one person had a 169 and 3.3 GPA and got rejected but someone with a 167 and 2.5 GPA was accepted. Similarly, if you look at how much scholarship money was given you can see that the user “c0ldestwinter” had a 177 LSAT & 3.84 GPA and received $45,000 and the user “dk2451”’ had a 175 LSAT and 3.6 GPA but received $90,000.

haha, you're cherrypicking the one red dot in a sea of green. That person is listed as a non-trad applicant, so they probably have some unique characteristic. Scholarship money is a little less predictable, but the 177/3.84 offer was likely YP-related.

Don't freak out over little blips, look at trends and probabilities.


Perhaps the people who were waitlisted are better example. If you look on the graph a person with 174/3.88 and someone with a 180/3.31 were both waitlisted while people with much lower scores were accepted. You make a good point that they might not update their acceptance but shouldn’t they be accepted the first time around? You’re right, I am cherry picking and I’m sorry, I’m just trying to better my understanding. If it is common for people to fudge there numbers than that explains it.

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby Samara » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:52 pm

american707 wrote:Perhaps the people who were waitlisted are better example. If you look on the graph a person with 174/3.88 and someone with a 180/3.31 were both waitlisted while people with much lower scores were accepted. You make a good point that they might not update their acceptance but shouldn’t they be accepted the first time around? You’re right, I am cherry picking and I’m sorry, I’m just trying to better my understanding. If it is common for people to fudge there numbers than that explains it.

You're cherrypicking again. Ignore the outliers and focus on the trends. When there are two waitlists in a sea of like 100 acceptances, it's dumb to try to figure out why those two are the exceptions. Submit a strong app and you'll be fine.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby 2014 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:58 pm

GPA and LSAT are the most important parts of your application and it isn't close but that doesn't mean they are the only important thing. That 169/3.3 might have had a PS that rubbed the admissions person the wrong way, or maybe non-traditional means they are in their 40s and they wrote a DS that came off as entitled. LSN makes it clear that at WUSTL if you have over a 168 the acceptance is yours to lose by a huge margin. How 2-3 stragglers managed to blow it should not be a real concern to you.

User avatar
LSATSCORES2012
Posts: 770
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:12 pm

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:22 pm

It definitely varies by school.

This is a ranking of the top 14 schools based upon how well numbers predict chances of admission (based upon LSN, using the pearson correlation coefficient).


1. Columbia (.78)
2. NYU (.72)
3. Georgetown (.69)
4. Duke (.66)
5. Northwestern (.66)
6. UVA (.61)
6. Harvard (.61)
8. Penn (.58)
8. Chicago (.58)
10. Michigan (.57)
11. Cornell (.54)
12. Berkeley (.49)
13. Stanford (.47)
14. Yale (.35)

User avatar
AntipodeanPhil
Posts: 1300
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:42 pm

LSATSCORES2012 wrote:This is a ranking of the top 14 schools based upon how well numbers predict chances of admission (based upon LSN, using the pearson correlation coefficient).

1. Columbia (.78)
2. NYU (.72)
3. Georgetown (.69)
4. Duke (.66)
5. Northwestern (.66)
6. UVA (.61)
6. Harvard (.61)
8. Penn (.58)
8. Chicago (.58)
10. Michigan (.57)
11. Cornell (.54)
12. Berkeley (.49)
13. Stanford (.47)
14. Yale (.35)

Wow - this is great, and ought to be a thread in itself. It also fits nicely with common wisdom on TLS - that Yale, Stanford, and Berkeley are the most holistic, for example.

I think it also shows that people over-emphasize the importance of numbers here, though. From what I recall, 0.4 to 0.7 is only considered a "moderate" correlation. People on TLS talk like the correlation is almost perfect at every school that's not Y, S, or B - an overly simple and cynical way of viewing admissions.

User avatar
JoeFish
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:43 am

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby JoeFish » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:02 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:I think it also shows that people over-emphasize the importance of numbers here, though. From what I recall, 0.4 to 0.7 is only considered a "moderate" correlation. People on TLS talk like the correlation is almost perfect at every school that's not Y, S, or B - an overly simple and cynical way of viewing admissions.


I'm not certain I agree with you. Maybe to an extent I do. I think, though, if you adjusted for other factors, though (such as ignore obvious YPs, factor in the fact that later applications generally have less chance of succeeding, EDs, and the like) the correlations would be even higher.

I think the real story is this:
Everyone's different, and has different stats and different factors affecting their possibilities of admission. But when TLSers are giving advice or evaluating chances, they're doing so in a somewhat static moment of time. At any given time, to any given person, the correct advice is always going to be "[without knowing more about you than you're telling us, and thus assuming you're an average candidate,] you need LSAT/GPA."

Or... something like that. It's really tired and, while I think the above was cogent, I'm not certain...

JohnV
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:29 am

Re: The weight of LSAT and GPA

Postby JohnV » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:48 pm

ED. Late App. Bad App (bad PS, bad LORs, while being borderline). Inaccurate numbers (some people fudge them a little for privacy). Fear by the school that they will attend a better school anyways (can't remember the term for that they use). Etc etc...

GPA/LSAT gets you in the door and they usually place you in designated piles (Probably admit, maybe admit, probably reject) and then they go over your app.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], cavalier1138, Google [Bot] and 4 guests