Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

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cesium
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Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby cesium » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:00 pm

For most universities, is the law school generally difficult to get into than the corresponding undergraduate institution? Obviously, these are difficult to compare directly because they are two different pools of applicants with different selection criteria, but one observation I've had is that the average Harvard pre-law undergraduate has a tough time getting into HLS, the average Georgetown pre-law will probably not get into Georgetown Law, etc.

For which universities is this the most true? Most false?

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patogordo
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby patogordo » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:02 pm

here's an SAT question for you

apples is to oranges as...

sah
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby sah » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:30 pm

Well Gtown's average undergrad GPA is somewhere around 3.5, and its average LSAT (of undergrad students) is I believe in the low 160s, so yeah, the average person would have a harder time getting in.

It's all about the numbers though, regardless.

TigerDude
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby TigerDude » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:16 am

My daughter was not accepted to Harvard UG, was accepted to HLS. Similar percentages on the tests (99+%).

I think UG is more soft-focused for the top schools, law schools about the #'s.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby brotherdarkness » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:22 am

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Last edited by brotherdarkness on Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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McAvoy
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby McAvoy » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:00 pm

Getting into a top 14 law school is much, much easier than getting in to a top ~14 undergrad. No question.

notalobbyist
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby notalobbyist » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:33 pm

Will_McAvoy wrote:Getting into a top 14 law school is much, much easier than getting in to a top ~14 undergrad. No question.


That's not the same as the question OP is asking. Whats interesting is that in looking at score reports, the average undergrad student at many t-14s would not be a competitive applicant for their corresponding law schools.

Whether its "easier" is a subjective question, but you have to remember that there are schools like MIT and Cal-Tech that are for those brilliant math/engineering types which definitely skews the already weak comparison.

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patogordo
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby patogordo » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:37 pm

notalobbyist wrote:
Will_McAvoy wrote:Getting into a top 14 law school is much, much easier than getting in to a top ~14 undergrad. No question.


That's not the same as the question OP is asking. Whats interesting is that in looking at score reports, the average undergrad student at many t-14s would not be a competitive applicant for their corresponding law schools.

barring extreme grade inflation, the average undergrad anywhere is not going to be competitive for a T14 law school.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:27 pm

patogordo wrote:here's an SAT question for you

apples is to oranges as...


:lol:

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cinephile
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby cinephile » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:31 pm

sah wrote:Well Gtown's average undergrad GPA is somewhere around 3.5, and its average LSAT (of undergrad students) is I believe in the low 160s, so yeah, the average person would have a harder time getting in.

It's all about the numbers though, regardless.


Completely irrelevant. Far too many people take the LSAT on a whim with no real intention to apply. I recall most people at my first LSAT administration treating it as a practice test.

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McAvoy
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby McAvoy » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:07 pm

notalobbyist wrote:Whats interesting is that in looking at score reports, the average undergrad student at many t-14s would not be a competitive applicant for their corresponding law schools.


Right, and the average high school student would not be a competitive applicant for a top 15 undergrad.

What I'm arguing is that the pool of people who are trying to get into top undergrads is larger in proportion to the pool of people who are trying to get into top law schools.

It's easier, in my opinion, where you get the following result:
A high school student with a non-rigorous cumulative 3.5, zero significant softs, and a 95 percentile SAT has no shot to get into Cornell. A college student with a non-rigorous cumulative 3.5, zero significant softs, and a 95 percentile LSAT is close to an auto-admit at Cornell.

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patogordo
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby patogordo » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:13 pm

that's because the average high school gpa is like a 5.3 these days

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McAvoy
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby McAvoy » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:18 pm

patogordo wrote:that's because the average high school gpa is like a 5.3 these days


Well then modify it to "A-B average" student, not taking honors/AP classes.

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famousblueraincoat
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby famousblueraincoat » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:30 pm

I wonder if there are any undergrads that are less competitive/prestigious than their corresponding law schools. NYU comes to mind, but I'm not a snob. :P

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Kikero
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby Kikero » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:36 pm

famousblueraincoat wrote:I wonder if there are any undergrads that are less competitive/prestigious than their corresponding law schools. NYU comes to mind, but I'm not a snob. :P


Michigan & Virginia also come to mind, especially Michigan due to size.

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cinephile
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby cinephile » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:48 pm

Will_McAvoy wrote:

It's easier, in my opinion, where you get the following result:
A high school student with a non-rigorous cumulative 3.5, zero significant softs, and a 95 percentile SAT has no shot to get into Cornell. A college student with a non-rigorous cumulative 3.5, zero significant softs, and a 95 percentile LSAT is close to an auto-admit at Cornell.


Is it easier, though? The law student survived college, did relatively well, and whatever so that person is more accomplished or something than the high school student. That 3.5 high school kid might have gotten kicked out for binge drinking or plagiarism or whatever, so the pool of law school is already more competitive because we've weeded those people out.

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McAvoy
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby McAvoy » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:08 pm

cinephile wrote:
Will_McAvoy wrote:

It's easier, in my opinion, where you get the following result:
A high school student with a non-rigorous cumulative 3.5, zero significant softs, and a 95 percentile SAT has no shot to get into Cornell. A college student with a non-rigorous cumulative 3.5, zero significant softs, and a 95 percentile LSAT is close to an auto-admit at Cornell.


Is it easier, though? The law student survived college, did relatively well, and whatever so that person is more accomplished or something than the high school student. That 3.5 high school kid might have gotten kicked out for binge drinking or plagiarism or whatever, so the pool of law school is already more competitive because we've weeded those people out.


It's a reasonable point, and I'd say you are correct if you are confining the applicant pool to more rigorous/unforgiving UG institutions. As someone who attended a few pretty sketchy schools and finished up at (what some would call) a public ivy, I can at least testify anecdotally that the effort and competence required to get an AB average at the UG level varies at extreme levels. Reputation/rigor of UG is only a soft for law school -- if you meet the numbers outright, they don't care if you went to Harvard or U of Phoenix. I think it's fair to say that (on a 4.0 scale), high school grades are more meaningful when viewed at surface level.

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dnptan
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Re: Law school tougher admissions than corresponding undergrad?

Postby dnptan » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:17 pm

TigerDude wrote:My daughter was not accepted to Harvard UG, was accepted to HLS. Similar percentages on the tests (99+%).

I think UG is more soft-focused for the top schools, law schools about the #'s.


Statistics. Being 99% in the SAT means you are one of 16,000 kids (1.6million take the SATs, at least in 2012. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/educa ... .html?_r=0)

Being 99% for the LSAT means you are one of 1300 (130,000 LSAT takers, 2012. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/busin ... .html?_r=0)

That does not even take into account the retakers for either. I don't know if there's any solid statistic for that, so let's assume there are no retakers.

So your 1% SAT score means you are one of 16,000 kids competing for 1,675 slots (6,700 undergrads. Source: http://www.harvard.edu/harvard-glance)

Your 1% LSAT score means you are one of 1300 kids competing for 564 slots (source: http://www.law.harvard.edu/prospective/ ... ofile.html).

In other words, these top SAT/LSAT percentages are incomparable. Being 99% LSAT is much much much more competitive than 99% SAT. Just with raw numbers, assuming Harvard picks ONLY from the 1% of each set, Harvard can only take 10% of the 16,000 for undergrad, but it can take 43% of the 564 for Law School.

That doesn't mean it's easier to get into law school, it it may just mean it's harder to get to the 1%. Assuming test aptitude is a bell curve, there is less of a "cushion" for LSAT takers - you are already competing with a higher-caliber set than high school students. Almost all LSAT takers have, or will have graduated from college. Not all SAT takers graduate from high school.

Lastly, there are different majors in undergrad. If an abnormal amount of people applied to Harvard's English program, and your daughter was one of them, then that may be the reason they had no room. Law School, on the other hand, puts less emphasis on that (the residual effects of having a specialty is considered a "soft").

I'd have to say for the AVERAGE person, getting into a t14 LS is harder than getting into a t14 UG. For the AVERAGE LS APPLICANT, getting into a t14 LS MAY be easier than having gotten into a t14 UG, because they might have gotten the drive to succeed in college, or because non-sciencey people no longer had to take science classes, or vice versa for humanities etc.




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