Top School Admissions Rates

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Borg
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Top School Admissions Rates

Postby Borg » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:55 am

Does it strike anyone else as odd that any law school maintains a really low acceptance rate? If people were really paying attention and doing their research online, the lowest acceptance rate would be like 25%. It's probably pointless to apply to Yale or Stanford if you don't think you'd have at least a 50/50 chance at Harvard based on LSN. That leaves roughly 1100 qualified applicants for HYS. Moving down, you shouldn't apply to Columbia, Chicago, or NYU unless you are solidly in at MVBP. Same thing on down the line. It's amazing to me that these top schools have such low acceptance rates, because it means that there are just that many people who are applying to schools that they would never, ever have a chance at actually getting into.

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TripTrip
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby TripTrip » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:59 am

Borg wrote:Does it strike anyone else as odd that any law school maintains a really low acceptance rate? If people were really paying attention and doing their research online, the lowest acceptance rate would be like 25%. It's probably pointless to apply to Yale or Stanford if you don't think you'd have at least a 50/50 chance at Harvard based on LSN. That leaves roughly 1100 qualified applicants for HYS. Moving down, you shouldn't apply to Columbia, Chicago, or NYU unless you are solidly in at MVBP. Same thing on down the line. It's amazing to me that these top schools have such low acceptance rates, because it means that there are just that many people who are applying to schools that they would never, ever have a chance at actually getting into.

That's terrible advice. I did not get in to Berk, Mich, Penn, Columbia, Chicago, or NYU, but I got in to Harvard. Cast your net far and wide; it's worth $100 for a 5% chance at any of HYSCCN.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:02 am

It's extremely easy and relatively cheap to apply to lots of schools. It's also a cost-benefit thing: even with only a 10% chance to get into Harvard you might as well toss them an app for a hundred bucks. And moving down the line as you suggest is problematic given the amount of waitlisting many of these schools do. I got in to 2 of CCN but probably had no business even applying to UVA. Given this it can be hard to know where to draw the line, and with a cost of only $21 after a fee waiver at most places it often makes sense to just apply.

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TripTrip
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby TripTrip » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:10 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:Given this it can be hard to know where to draw the line, and with a cost of only $21 after a fee waiver at most places it often makes sense to just apply.

Exhibit A: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=195381

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sinfiery
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby sinfiery » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:12 am

My cycle also taught my the importance of applying widely.

Also, there is always a chance. Law school admissions are solvable to a high probability, but not anywhere near an absolute degree.
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/kingsfield69

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:17 am

Don't forget that school often manipulate the process - wooing students, sending out fee waivers - to ensure high numbers of applicants, because selectivity (percent of applicants accepted) is part of the USNWR ranking. And part of the value of the top school brands is selectivity. So no, it's not at all surprising to me that acceptance rates are so low.

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Borg
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby Borg » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:30 am

Interesting, I guess I'm an outlier then because I had predicted my outcomes with 100% accuracy and assumed the same held for everyone else.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:20 pm

Borg wrote:Interesting, I guess I'm an outlier then because I had predicted my outcomes with 100% accuracy and assumed the same held for everyone else.

Think about how many applicants do NOT hang out on TLS, and aren't aware of the resources for doing this kind of thing. Tons of people in the non-TLS world apply based on very poor information.

Also, I too predicted my outcomes with 100% accuracy - but it didn't stop me from sending a hail mary application to Harvard just on the off chance (hey, they sent me e-mails telling me every year they accept people who never thought they'd get in to Harvard - why not??). I mean, I wasn't at all surprised not to get in, but I applied anyway.

Finally, predictions are straightforward if you're a straightforward applicant, where your GPA and LSAT kinda line up and give you a very clear expectation of where you'll get in. But splitters, URMs, and some non-trads with unique softs can have very unpredictable cycles, so those applicants may well apply much more broadly and widely.

meowlaw
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby meowlaw » Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:47 pm

I looked on LSN and it seems harvard is not very splitter friendly.

Even so, would you say it is a good idea to toss them an app? Do they look at the PS and softs at all when looking at splitters? There's a ton of people who applied and were rejected so I'm unsure if I should even bother.

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TripTrip
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby TripTrip » Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:52 pm

meowlaw wrote:I looked on LSN and it seems harvard is not very splitter friendly.

Even so, would you say it is a good idea to toss them an app? Do they look at the PS and softs at all when looking at splitters? There's a ton of people who applied and were rejected so I'm unsure if I should even bother.

I'm sorry, I don't really understand why you think it wouldn't be worth it. If you're over either median and not under the floor, it's almost always worth it.

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LSATSCORES2012
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:13 pm

IIRC a 165/3.9 non-URM got in to H early this cycle. It's not all numbers, and people who don't come on TLS might even think that numbers only play a small part in admissions. So I agree with others. Personally, I applied to HYS and didn't ED anywhere despite minuscule chances at CC RD, against what I thought was optimal based on my numbers, for one reason: I didn't ever want to wonder what would have happened if...

Since I got in to my top non-HYS choice, I lost very little and I gained peace of mind, which means alot. It was worth a few hundred bucks to me.

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Cicero76
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby Cicero76 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:20 pm

I (and many others) would easily pay up my $300 in app fees for a shot at HYS, whether it was 50/50 or 5%.

chrispyreddit
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby chrispyreddit » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:03 am

Not to hijack this thread, but I have a question that I think is very applicable to this discussion. As a super-splitter, things like LSN don't help as much as they might for other, more traditional applicants.

I've always wondered: for schools with a floor, how hard is this floor? I look on LSN and see schools like, say, Stanford, a very splitter-unfriendly school, and they have literally nobody in the last few years under a 3.0 and nobody who's non-urm under like a 3.4 or something.

Does this mean that it just DOESN'T happen? The problem is that LSN is self-selected, and so it's hard to tell with outliers if the data is non-existent because of stats or because that's just how it is. I can't tell if people say that you won't get in because you actually wont, or because your chances are just really slim. This thread that talks about people applying with a 5% chance is even much too high for super splitters, the chance would be much less than 1%. But, every year, do people with less than a 3.0 get into HYS/CCN? And it's just that they are so rare that they don't get talked about? or are these schools just actually not letting people in with sub 3.0 GPA's?

Sorry, but it's hard to tell given the number of <3.0, 170+ applicants out there. But, the answer to this would help explain (or not explain) the reasons so many people apply over their numbers

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Clearly
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby Clearly » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:15 am

I just don't agree with the 'cost' side of your cost benefit analysis. Its not irrational to apply to a school that you don't have much of a shot at, if the benefit in even having that shot is often worth the $70. Plus fee waivers screw up this argument as well, I applied for 5 T14s and paid for one of them...

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:22 am

I dunno... every once in a while theres that applicant with a 5% chance that gets in, and special snowflake syndrome means that everyone thinks that they are that person

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:58 am

TripTrip wrote:
Borg wrote:Does it strike anyone else as odd that any law school maintains a really low acceptance rate? If people were really paying attention and doing their research online, the lowest acceptance rate would be like 25%. It's probably pointless to apply to Yale or Stanford if you don't think you'd have at least a 50/50 chance at Harvard based on LSN. That leaves roughly 1100 qualified applicants for HYS. Moving down, you shouldn't apply to Columbia, Chicago, or NYU unless you are solidly in at MVBP. Same thing on down the line. It's amazing to me that these top schools have such low acceptance rates, because it means that there are just that many people who are applying to schools that they would never, ever have a chance at actually getting into.

That's terrible advice. I did not get in to Berk, Mich, Penn, Columbia, Chicago, or NYU, but I got in to Harvard. Cast your net far and wide; it's worth $100 for a 5% chance at any of HYSCCN.


You didn't get Berk or Columbia with a 175/4.0? Damn.

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TripTrip
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby TripTrip » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:47 am

chrispyreddit wrote:Not to hijack this thread, but I have a question that I think is very applicable to this discussion. As a super-splitter, things like LSN don't help as much as they might for other, more traditional applicants.

I've always wondered: for schools with a floor, how hard is this floor? I look on LSN and see schools like, say, Stanford, a very splitter-unfriendly school, and they have literally nobody in the last few years under a 3.0 and nobody who's non-urm under like a 3.4 or something.

Does this mean that it just DOESN'T happen? The problem is that LSN is self-selected, and so it's hard to tell with outliers if the data is non-existent because of stats or because that's just how it is. I can't tell if people say that you won't get in because you actually wont, or because your chances are just really slim. This thread that talks about people applying with a 5% chance is even much too high for super splitters, the chance would be much less than 1%. But, every year, do people with less than a 3.0 get into HYS/CCN? And it's just that they are so rare that they don't get talked about? or are these schools just actually not letting people in with sub 3.0 GPA's?

Sorry, but it's hard to tell given the number of <3.0, 170+ applicants out there. But, the answer to this would help explain (or not explain) the reasons so many people apply over their numbers

The outliers are Olympic gold medal winners, POTUS, and astronauts who walked on the moon. If one of them wants to go to Stanford law with a 2.5 GPA, they can still get in. Otherwise that floor is pretty solid.

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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby chrispyreddit » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:27 am

TripTrip, thanks for the response. I know it's hard to tell via the written word, but I am appreciative and I'm not meaning to sound snarky.
However, your reply is a great example of what I'm talking about as far as ambiguity surrounding the numbers.

See, when I read your post, it implies that some people have a great (or, should I say, decent) chance at top splitter-unfriendly schools, but they have to be, as you say, coming in with amazing softs. I expected as much,
Then, you go on to say that otherwise, the floor is "pretty" solid. This implies that in 99.999% of other cases, the floor is solid, but it still leaves room for that one applicant a year (or every three years, or whatever) who doesn't have amazing softs to get in.

While I definitely have snowflake syndrome, I have no plans of applying to, let alone getting into, these top schools. I've been lurking around TLS for too long to have many of my unrealistic expectations left :) But i am curious nonetheless, because in my mind, having that floor (barring extraordinary softs) set at 99.99999999999999999% solid and 100% solid are very, very different and have implications all the way down the first tier.

Does anyone know about this? I am aware of the conventional wisdom that says things like "hard GPA floor" (are there hard lsat floors, for reverse splitters?) on one end of the spectrum, or "there's an exception to every rule" on the other, but I'm curious about actual data. From what I can see, it's never happened. but my data is incredibly skewed.

thoughts?

BigZuck
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:39 am

chrispyreddit wrote:TripTrip, thanks for the response. I know it's hard to tell via the written word, but I am appreciative and I'm not meaning to sound snarky.
However, your reply is a great example of what I'm talking about as far as ambiguity surrounding the numbers.

See, when I read your post, it implies that some people have a great (or, should I say, decent) chance at top splitter-unfriendly schools, but they have to be, as you say, coming in with amazing softs. I expected as much,
Then, you go on to say that otherwise, the floor is "pretty" solid. This implies that in 99.999% of other cases, the floor is solid, but it still leaves room for that one applicant a year (or every three years, or whatever) who doesn't have amazing softs to get in.

While I definitely have snowflake syndrome, I have no plans of applying to, let alone getting into, these top schools. I've been lurking around TLS for too long to have many of my unrealistic expectations left :) But i am curious nonetheless, because in my mind, having that floor (barring extraordinary softs) set at 99.99999999999999999% solid and 100% solid are very, very different and have implications all the way down the first tier.

Does anyone know about this? I am aware of the conventional wisdom that says things like "hard GPA floor" (are there hard lsat floors, for reverse splitters?) on one end of the spectrum, or "there's an exception to every rule" on the other, but I'm curious about actual data. From what I can see, it's never happened. but my data is incredibly skewed.

thoughts?


Two thoughts:

1.What's your point?
2.Who cares?

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TripTrip
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby TripTrip » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:42 am

chrispyreddit wrote:in my mind, having that floor (barring extraordinary softs) set at 99.99999999999999999% solid and 100% solid are very, very different and have implications

That's why I said (earlier ITT) apply everywhere, but don't expect to get in everywhere.

chrispyreddit
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby chrispyreddit » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:43 pm

my point is that for a lot of people, I would argue for almost everyone applying to law school, this is an incredibly important distinction.

Some people are in. Others have a good shot. But most people are in the vast minority who have average or even bad numbers or have one decent number and one poor number.

Think of it like the lottery. Obviously, people pay money for the one-in-5-billion chance they get lucky. But if the lottery was such that NOBODY ever wins, nobody would ever do it because then it actually becomes a waste of money. for 99% of people applying to law school, we are under hsyccn numbers. And yet, a percentage of them will get in. The question of whether or not there's a possibility of getting in given a certain number is extremely important because if there is a chance, a cost/benefit analysis could be defensible because your cost might be so low and the potential reward so high. However, as soon as your chances move from .000000001% to actually zero percent, there's no cost that's so low as to make it worth it. even with a fee waiver, you have time and energy costs. it becomes, not just an individual cost/benefit analysis that is variably defensible, but actively stupid in all cases.

That's the difference. There's zero point in applying if there's actually a 0% chance. I understand not caring about the distinction between even a 40% chance and a 60% chance of acceptance, but when you're moving between binary options (i.e. some chance vs no chance), even minuscule amounts of change make a huge difference in the reasonableness of one's decision.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby beepboopbeep » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:02 pm

chrispyreddit wrote:my point is that for a lot of people, I would argue for almost everyone applying to law school, this is an incredibly important distinction.

Some people are in. Others have a good shot. But most people are in the vast minority who have average or even bad numbers or have one decent number and one poor number.

Think of it like the lottery. Obviously, people pay money for the one-in-5-billion chance they get lucky. But if the lottery was such that NOBODY ever wins, nobody would ever do it because then it actually becomes a waste of money. for 99% of people applying to law school, we are under hsyccn numbers. And yet, a percentage of them will get in. The question of whether or not there's a possibility of getting in given a certain number is extremely important because if there is a chance, a cost/benefit analysis could be defensible because your cost might be so low and the potential reward so high. However, as soon as your chances move from .000000001% to actually zero percent, there's no cost that's so low as to make it worth it. even with a fee waiver, you have time and energy costs. it becomes, not just an individual cost/benefit analysis that is variably defensible, but actively stupid in all cases.

That's the difference. There's zero point in applying if there's actually a 0% chance. I understand not caring about the distinction between even a 40% chance and a 60% chance of acceptance, but when you're moving between binary options (i.e. some chance vs no chance), even minuscule amounts of change make a huge difference in the reasonableness of one's decision.


It's obviously not a 0% chance. Some people do squeak in.

I think all people are really saying is that you can tell pretty easily that with a given set of sub-25% numbers, the odds on MyLSN are very, very low. Like winning-the-lottery low. Maybe there will be one acceptance for your numbers, ever, at each of HYS. Is it worth lighting $300 on fire to have a shot at being the second? For me it was. Make that call on your own.

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Crowing
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby Crowing » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:40 pm

chrispyreddit wrote:my point is that for a lot of people, I would argue for almost everyone applying to law school, this is an incredibly important distinction.

Some people are in. Others have a good shot. But most people are in the vast minority who have average or even bad numbers or have one decent number and one poor number.

Think of it like the lottery. Obviously, people pay money for the one-in-5-billion chance they get lucky. But if the lottery was such that NOBODY ever wins, nobody would ever do it because then it actually becomes a waste of money. for 99% of people applying to law school, we are under hsyccn numbers. And yet, a percentage of them will get in. The question of whether or not there's a possibility of getting in given a certain number is extremely important because if there is a chance, a cost/benefit analysis could be defensible because your cost might be so low and the potential reward so high. However, as soon as your chances move from .000000001% to actually zero percent, there's no cost that's so low as to make it worth it. even with a fee waiver, you have time and energy costs. it becomes, not just an individual cost/benefit analysis that is variably defensible, but actively stupid in all cases.

That's the difference. There's zero point in applying if there's actually a 0% chance. I understand not caring about the distinction between even a 40% chance and a 60% chance of acceptance, but when you're moving between binary options (i.e. some chance vs no chance), even minuscule amounts of change make a huge difference in the reasonableness of one's decision.


Yet as unpredictable as the LS admissions process can be, it still can be to a degree rationalized. Buying a lottery ticket is just taking a universal chance, but when it comes to applying to HYS, individuals have different odds. You have to try to as objectively as possible compare your numbers and softs to established results.

Ultimately though, if you are far below both medians and have no amazing softs, I don't see why a distinction between a 0.0000000001% chance and a 0% chance of success is relevant. Winning the loterry is a far more life-altering event than getting accepted to HYS, yet it is still generally accepted as a waste of money to buy lottery tickets. Why would it be a better investment to apply to HYS in that case?

BigZuck
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:45 pm

Crowing wrote:
chrispyreddit wrote:my point is that for a lot of people, I would argue for almost everyone applying to law school, this is an incredibly important distinction.

Some people are in. Others have a good shot. But most people are in the vast minority who have average or even bad numbers or have one decent number and one poor number.

Think of it like the lottery. Obviously, people pay money for the one-in-5-billion chance they get lucky. But if the lottery was such that NOBODY ever wins, nobody would ever do it because then it actually becomes a waste of money. for 99% of people applying to law school, we are under hsyccn numbers. And yet, a percentage of them will get in. The question of whether or not there's a possibility of getting in given a certain number is extremely important because if there is a chance, a cost/benefit analysis could be defensible because your cost might be so low and the potential reward so high. However, as soon as your chances move from .000000001% to actually zero percent, there's no cost that's so low as to make it worth it. even with a fee waiver, you have time and energy costs. it becomes, not just an individual cost/benefit analysis that is variably defensible, but actively stupid in all cases.

That's the difference. There's zero point in applying if there's actually a 0% chance. I understand not caring about the distinction between even a 40% chance and a 60% chance of acceptance, but when you're moving between binary options (i.e. some chance vs no chance), even minuscule amounts of change make a huge difference in the reasonableness of one's decision.


Yet as unpredictable as the LS admissions process can be, it still can be to a degree rationalized. Buying a lottery ticket is just taking a universal chance, but when it comes to applying to HYS, individuals have different odds. You have to try to as objectively as possible compare your numbers and softs to established results.

Ultimately though, if you are far below both medians and have no amazing softs, I don't see why a distinction between a 0.0000000001% chance and a 0% chance of success is relevant. Winning the loterry is a far more life-altering event than getting accepted to HYS, yet it is still generally accepted as a waste of money to buy lottery tickets. Why would it be a better investment to apply to HYS in that case?


Not to mention a lottery ticket costs like 100X less than a law school application and takes no time to prepare.

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LSATSCORES2012
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:01 pm

Last year Yale got around 3,000 applications. There were a total of about 130,000 LSAT test takers. This seems pretty reasonable: there are approximately 3,000 LSAT takers who get a 170+ every year, and there are URM's, too, who will apply with lower LSAT scores. So a lot of these applicants probably think that they have a non-negligible chance of admission.

IMO, some schools are different, especially those that are extremely numbers focused, like Columbia or NYU. Other schools, I think, intentionally (and misleadingly, too applicants) lower their 25th percentile in order to get more applications. An applicant with a 3.6/166 looking here, who isn't very familiar with how law school admissions work, might think that an application to Chicago is fairly reasonable (though we, being more knowledgeable, know that it would be a hail mary).

Stanford, Chicago, and Berkeley get applicants with massive LSAT and GPA ranges by lowering their 25th percentile - and, in doing so, they also are able to admit more URM's and unique applicants who are below both medians because they intentionally do so. To these schools, it almost makes sense to draw a little bit over half of their class from their high numbered candidates, and then revert entirely to softs - because the lower you can get your 25th percentile, the more applicants you will get, and by looking at the softs you will be creating a more impressive and unique class profile.

Then again, I suppose this is a "just so" story. But if I were on an adcomm, this is how I would do it, and if I were an applicant who hadn't done my research that's how I think I would react to the strategy. And it seems to match up with the facts pretty well at some schools, too.




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