How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

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dontrogerthat
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How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby dontrogerthat » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:13 pm

How important is the type of undergrad you attended to schools like HYS? I was looking at an old Yale Law undergrad representation and nearly everyone went to a top notch undergrad.

I went to BU, is this school good enough to get into those type on institutions?

I know that LSAT/GPA play the absolute largest role, but it's hard to ignore the undergrad representation of being elite at these schools. I'm nervous my undergrad won't be on that level.
Last edited by dontrogerthat on Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sls17
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby Sls17 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:37 pm

100% irrelevant.

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landshoes
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby landshoes » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:39 pm

My understanding is that it doesn't matter much at all at Harvard. They let in people from an insane variety of schools. I don't know about Yale or Stanford, though.

Patent2014
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby Patent2014 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:15 pm

I went to an Ivy League school and it didn't seem to matter at all. Merely a tie breaker among otherwise identical candidates.

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RZ5646
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:21 pm

Doesn't really matter. Look at those schools' "class profile" pages and they usually have a list of represented colleges. You'll see plenty of state schools and the like. (Obviously prestigious colleges will be overrepresented but that's more correlation than causation.)

WolfOf127WallStreet
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby WolfOf127WallStreet » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:27 pm

It's pretty important. Nearly half of my class went to an Ivy. Most went to Ivy or Stanford/Duke/Chicago (I'm a 3L at Y)

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RZ5646
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:31 pm

WolfOf127WallStreet wrote:It's pretty important. Nearly half of my class went to an Ivy. Most went to Ivy or Stanford/Duke/Chicago (I'm a 3L at Y)


Assuming you're not trolling, Y is in its own special snowflake world and doesn't really count. Everywhere else, including at H and S, Ivy undergrad is a decent soft at best. Also, correlation != causation.

Instinctive
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby Instinctive » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:34 pm

Sls17 wrote:100% irrelevant.

I disagree to some extent.


There are a lot of people at SLS from elite undergrads. Feels like a decent chunk more than there are from state UG (although maybe I just notice more because I'm a state UG). I don't know how much of that is just a correlation (arguing that people likely to get into SLS as high schoolers are more likely to go to elite schools for UG) versus an advantage, but it feels like the latter.

That said, there are also pleeeeeenty of people from non-Ivy, non-East Coast Liberal Arts schools. There are a decent number of us from state UG across the country.

Perhaps more importantly, Stanford definitely seems to prefer people from California. LOTS of USC/UCLA/Cal/other California UG like Claremont, Occidental, etc...

Someone above me called it a "decent soft." I think that's a good way to put it. By no means necessary, but anecdotally seems to help.

Instinctive
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby Instinctive » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:37 pm

RZ5646 wrote:Doesn't really matter. Look at those schools' "class profile" pages and they usually have a list of represented colleges. You'll see plenty of state schools and the like. (Obviously prestigious colleges will be overrepresented but that's more correlation than causation.)


The problem with those lists, at least when I looked, was that it didn't say how many people went to the represented colleges. It's like:

State UG A: 1
State UG B: 1
State UG C: 1
Harvard: 9
Dartmouth: 8
Yale: 6
Cornell: 5

And so on. Correlation/causation still an important thing to consider, but I wouldn't attribute it to that entirely.

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RZ5646
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:47 pm

Well the way I read OP's question was "Does going to an average college close the door on HYS?" and the answer to that is definitely no.

Especially at H, it seems like being above both medians = admitted, as long as you're not a complete weirdo or botch your interviews. YS are more sensitive to softs, but even they admit plenty of people from average colleges, so I don't think OP needs to worry about his college ruining his chances. (Though perhaps he should be worried about paying $250k+ for HYS after attending an infamously expensive private college.)

dontrogerthat
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby dontrogerthat » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:15 pm

@rz
I attend BU on a very large scholarship like most of the students here do. Not sure why it has such a bad rep especially when the tuition is within a mere few thousand of most other private colleges.
Last edited by dontrogerthat on Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hill1334
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby hill1334 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:29 pm

RZ5646 wrote:Doesn't really matter. Look at those schools' "class profile" pages and they usually have a list of represented colleges. You'll see plenty of state schools and the like. (Obviously prestigious colleges will be overrepresented but that's more correlation than causation.)


Students from top colleges are going to be overrepresented at top law schools, for the most part, because students from top colleges are, on the average, going to score higher on the LSAT. The average student at Harvard undergrad is smarter and harder working than the average student at SUNY Oswego, and intelligence and effort, together, are largely determinative of LSAT success.

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RZ5646
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:41 pm

dontrogerthat wrote:@rz
I attend GW on a very large scholarship like most of the students here do. Not sure why it has such a bad rep especially when the tuition is within a mere few thousand of most other private colleges.


GWU pioneered the "amenities arms race" business strategy that has made college so unaffordable: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/arc ... ng/263032/

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Sls17
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby Sls17 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:56 am

If anything, I would think coming from an underrepresented school is going to slightly help you, if you have the GPA/LSAT to be admitted. Top schools want a diverse class, not a bunch of grads from the same three schools. My guess is that the prevalence of elite private school / Ivy grads at top law schools is totally correlation, not causation.

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Sls17
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby Sls17 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:59 am

Instinctive wrote:Perhaps more importantly, Stanford definitely seems to prefer people from California. LOTS of USC/UCLA/Cal/other California UG like Claremont, Occidental, etc...


This too definitely seems like correlation over causation. Those of us lucky enough to be in CA tend to want to stay here.

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middlebear
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby middlebear » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:03 am

I'm going to be this person. :(

I'd argue that having an Ivy undergrad on your transcript makes the admissions game a bit easier. My undergrad's career/grad school office put together a PDF of the average stats our graduates had to be accepted/matriculate to law schools, and they indicate there is generally a lower GPA/LSAT threshold. The differences are definitely smaller when it comes to HYS, but… to my quick, amateur glance, are still present.

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RZ5646
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby RZ5646 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:12 am

middlebear wrote:I'm going to be this person. :(

I'd argue that having an Ivy undergrad on your transcript makes the admissions game a bit easier. My undergrad's career/grad school office put together a PDF of the average stats our graduates had to be accepted/matriculate to law schools, and they indicate there is generally a lower GPA/LSAT threshold. The differences are definitely smaller when it comes to HYS, but… to my quick, amateur glance, are still present.


You still have the correlation/causation problem. Maybe it's not the Ivy UG that is giving them an admissions bump, but (other) strong softs that Ivy people are more likely to have.

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koalacity
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby koalacity » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:27 am

Instinctive wrote:
Sls17 wrote:100% irrelevant.

I disagree to some extent.


There are a lot of people at SLS from elite undergrads. Feels like a decent chunk more than there are from state UG (although maybe I just notice more because I'm a state UG). I don't know how much of that is just a correlation (arguing that people likely to get into SLS as high schoolers are more likely to go to elite schools for UG) versus an advantage, but it feels like the latter.

That said, there are also pleeeeeenty of people from non-Ivy, non-East Coast Liberal Arts schools. There are a decent number of us from state UG across the country.

Perhaps more importantly, Stanford definitely seems to prefer people from California. LOTS of USC/UCLA/Cal/other California UG like Claremont, Occidental, etc...

Someone above me called it a "decent soft." I think that's a good way to put it. By no means necessary, but anecdotally seems to help.

I think for Harvard it matters slightly (but if you've got the numbers and can interview decently well, it certainly won't hold you back at all), for Yale it matters a huge amount, and for Stanford it matters quite a bit.

The vast majority of SLS (I would say maybe 80%, but I haven't counted) went to Ivies/other elite private schools (S, Chicago, etc.)/elite LACs/"public Ivies."

Of the unprestigious state school kids, I know of only two (one of whom is URM) who got in during the regular cycle. The rest got in off the waitlist, which I think is fairly telling (and unfortunate-I think the school would benefit from more UG diversity).

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BigZuck
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby BigZuck » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:38 am

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Iroh
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Re: How important is undergrad for top schools like HYS?

Postby Iroh » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:31 am

I think it's important to realize that a state UG and an "elite" UG are not mutually exclusive. A little over 20% of Stanford's class of 2017 went to public universities, but many of those people attended schools like UC Berkeley, which I consider elite. Likewise, elite and "private" are not mutually inclusive; a number of us went to privates that are generally considered less prestigious than the very top state schools.

If you added up all the people at SLS who went to modest public and private schools, you'd have anywhere from 10 to 30 people, depending on how elitist you want to be.

Also, I looked through the last three years in our directory and couldn't find anyone from GW, but don't let that discourage you. It's a small school, so random UGs appear and disappear every year.




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