How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

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PrezRand
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How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby PrezRand » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:53 pm

Or does it really just depend on your achievements, GPA, and LSAT?

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:56 pm

PrezRand wrote:Or does it reallyjust depend on your achievements, GPA, and LSAT?

There ya go.

UpandDown97
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby UpandDown97 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:01 pm

Capitol_Idea wrote:
PrezRand wrote:Or does it reallyjust depend on your achievements, GPA, and LSAT?

There ya go.


I think it's one of those things that's a nice soft, but can pretty much be overcome by LSAT, GPA, and other important factors.

Also, your undergrad may help you land other extracurriculars/jobs that boost your resume in other ways, so it at least has a causal effect in that way.

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Calbears123
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby Calbears123 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:07 pm

UC Berkeley, top teir school that lags behind the top teir private schools in grade inflation. Didn't matter one bit, law school predictor was right on the money for me

UpandDown97
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby UpandDown97 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:11 pm

Calbears123 wrote:UC Berkeley, top teir school that lags behind the top teir private schools in grade inflation. Didn't matter one bit, law school predictor was right on the money for me


Does Law School Predictor base its prediction on Law School Numbers, or the profiles according to the schools? There might be an explanation then if the former is the case.

abl
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby abl » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:13 pm

Calbears123 wrote:UC Berkeley, top teir school that lags behind the top teir private schools in grade inflation. Didn't matter one bit, law school predictor was right on the money for me


It matters some. UCB is probably right around median in terms of grade inflation and in terms of undergrad prestige for top law schools, so it'd make sense that the predictor was right on the money for you. See, e.g., http://web.archive.org/web/20000829094953/http://www.pcmagic.net/abe/gradeadj.htm.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:14 pm

Conventional TLS wisdom is that your undergraduate school doesn't matter. Current & former law school admissions deans offer convoluted responses to this question which amounts to "it may be a deciding factor in a tie among several applicants."

Although it may matter to a small extent to certain adcomms, their jobs are kept & lost primarily on USNews rankings, and USNews rates LSAT scores & GPAs most heavily.

UpandDown97
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby UpandDown97 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:17 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Conventional TLS wisdom is that your undergraduate school doesn't matter. Current & former law school admissions deans offer convoluted responses to this question which amounts to "it may be a deciding factor in a tie among several applicants."

Although it may matter to a small extent to certain adcomms, their jobs are kept & lost primarily on USNews rankings, and USNews rates LSAT scores & GPAs most heavily.


Would you agree that it makes a difference insofar as it affects other softs, namely employment opportunities? Much more likely to get Goldman out of Harvard than West Virginia for example, and that soft could be important in making admissions decisions.

myspiritanimal
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby myspiritanimal » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:21 pm

UpandDown97 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Conventional TLS wisdom is that your undergraduate school doesn't matter. Current & former law school admissions deans offer convoluted responses to this question which amounts to "it may be a deciding factor in a tie among several applicants."

Although it may matter to a small extent to certain adcomms, their jobs are kept & lost primarily on USNews rankings, and USNews rates LSAT scores & GPAs most heavily.


Would you agree that it makes a difference insofar as it affects other softs, namely employment opportunities? Much more likely to get Goldman out of Harvard than West Virginia for example, and that soft could be important in making admissions decisions.

Yes, of course. Undergrad matters, but, as others have stated, it's not the most important factor.

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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:44 pm

@UP & DOWN: Interesting question which I cannot answer. I know law adcomms who are very impressed by certain undergraduate schools & I suspect that they tolerate lower LSAT scores for these applicants if they don't get many applications from these highly ranked undergraduate schools. But these are not T-14 law schools--which are flooded with apps from those holding degrees from very prestigious undergraduate universities & colleges. I also suspect that some regional schools want applicants from prestigious undergraduate schools to get a better in with their market as some markets only give nominal respect to their regional law school (and seek out T-14 grads instead ).

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KMart
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby KMart » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:52 pm

Capitol_Idea wrote:
PrezRand wrote:Or does it reallyjust depend on your achievements, GPA, and LSAT?

There ya go.

It won't get you in anywhere you wouldn't have gotten in otherwise. Feather on the scale.

UpandDown97
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby UpandDown97 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:54 pm

KMart wrote:
Capitol_Idea wrote:
PrezRand wrote:Or does it reallyjust depend on your achievements, GPA, and LSAT?

There ya go.

It won't get you in anywhere you wouldn't have gotten in otherwise. Feather on the scale.


So you know better than adcomms?

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KMart
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby KMart » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:37 am

UpandDown97 wrote:So you know better than adcomms?

You answered your view, I answered mine. I'm just confused why they would care what the college was when they have to report the GPA as a part of their ranking. The university has no bearing. It might affect the application through grade inflation/deflation. A 4.0 is a not a 4.0 at every school, but ultimately they report the GPA; they want the GPA. Who really cares where it's from?

UpandDown97
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby UpandDown97 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:13 am

KMart wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:So you know better than adcomms?

You answered your view, I answered mine. I'm just confused why they would care what the college was when they have to report the GPA as a part of their ranking. The university has no bearing. It might affect the application through grade inflation/deflation. A 4.0 is a not a 4.0 at every school, but ultimately they report the GPA; they want the GPA. Who really cares where it's from?


My bet: at a certain point, perhaps relatively early, the numbers become locked in (regardless of whether they stay locked in or not). From that point, they care about the composition of the class, especially for employment purposes.

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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby TheBananaStand » Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:20 am

In a rare move for me, I posted on a TLS discussion about this a couple weeks ago with my perspective. I'll paste it here if you have any interest (might as well get some decent mileage out of one of my few posts):

"Generally, I think the case for each side of the argument is somewhat overstated. While I don't think UG provides an significant boost, I also don't think it's a negligible one. Numbers are numbers regardless of where they come from, but there are few things that have led me to believe that UG has a bigger impact that many TLS posters let on. That's my view based on first-hand knowledge and some hearsay (which I've come to believe):

1. I just graduated from a (quote unquote) Top 10 school and having met with our pre-law advisor a few times, I do think that being from one of these schools can give applicants a noticeable bump in admissions. The advisor gave us the average LSAT/GPA combos for applicants from my undergrad who were accepted to T14 schools, and for nearly all of them, the average LSAT, GPA, or both were slightly below those law schools' published medians (E.g. admitted avg GPA to HLS from my school was more like a 3.8 than a 3.9, etc.). The advisor gave me averages, which I compared to medians, so that could have skewed it somewhat. Also, the advisor seemed to have formed relationships with many of these schools' adcomms, which I would guess would help in instances where applicants push hard, with the help of the advisor, to get off the waitlist. I wouldn't be surprised if that occurs given how frequent it is in undergrad admissions (the book The Gatekeepers illustrates just how much sway the college counselors at prestigious prep schools have at getting their students into top UGs, and I'd think the same dynamics could come into play with law school).
2. The other thing I've heard is that UG prestige can help with getting that first 1L summer job, but thereafter, the difference of UG has no discernible effect on career prospects. Not sure if that's true or not. :?: But if it is, I could see adcomms maybe giving an edge to certain UG degrees.
3. I have no idea if this is a thing, but I could also see adcomms preferring a 3.7 from princeton to a 3.7 from JohnDoe given the differences in LSAT averages at that school. If the princeton average LSAT is a 165, and the JohnDoe average is a 153, it might suggest that the Princeton student had greater competition to secure that GPA because of his/her talented classmates (obviously, this is assuming both schools grade on a similar curve, which might not be a reasonable assumption).

Just my 2 cents. Some evidence, even more speculation :wink: "

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alexjinye
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby alexjinye » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:05 am

Prolly matters for 1% in the admission process.

Hahalollawl
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby Hahalollawl » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:16 pm

I think thebananastand is either close to the truth or right on it. I attended a law school panel as an undergrad (HYPS undergrad) with people from T14 schools that I think were from admissions from Cornell, Duke, Stanford, and NYU. IIRC at least one of them mentioned something about the median or mean LSAT from the undergrad as being something they would take into account.

Also, anecdotally, my GPA from undergrad was below 3.3 and I got into a couple of T14 schools. I'm not sure that would have happened if I had gone to a different undergrad.

So I think it might be something that matters to some extent, though maybe not a lot.
Last edited by Hahalollawl on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KMart
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby KMart » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:17 pm

Hahalollawl wrote:I think thebananastand is either close to the truth or right on it. I attended a law school panel as an undergrad (HYPS undergrad) with people from T14 schools that I think were from admissions (Cornell, Duke, Stanford, and NYU I think) and I think at least one of them mentioned something about the median or mean LSAT from the undergrad as being something they would look at.

I don't want to be dismissive, but people at the panels say lots of things about a holistic app. While some may be earnest, these claims are often exaggerated. You will never hear them say, "your numbers are what matters". They are selling you on their school; they are about as truthful as a car salesman.

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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby Hahalollawl » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:31 pm

@Kmart

Maybe, but on the other hand that was probably one of the most specific/memorable things that was said at the panel so I guess I was inclined to believe it lol. They could've just been saying what they thought we wanted to hear though, seeing as IIRC my UG had a median or mean (not sure which) LSAT in the mid to high 160s...I dunno, I guess I thought that there was at least some truth to it.

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KMart
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby KMart » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:36 pm

Hahalollawl wrote:@Kmart

Maybe, but on the other hand that was probably one of the most specific/memorable things that was said at the panel so I guess I was inclined to believe it lol. They could've just been saying what they thought we wanted to hear though, seeing as IIRC my UG had a median or mean (not sure which) LSAT in the mid to high 160s...I dunno, I guess I thought that there was at least some truth to it.

There might be, I just think otherwise. In truth no one really knows and those who do know, because of their experience working at one school, can only speak to that school because it is so school-specific and each one is a little different.

As long as no one in the future reads this and chooses their UG, or transfers to an UG, in the hopes of bettering their admission chances. A 4.0 at the 150th school will beat a 3.0 at Harvard.

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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby Kinky John » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:39 pm

KMart wrote:As long as no one in the future reads this and chooses their UG, or transfers to an UG, in the hopes of bettering their admission chances. A 4.0 at the 150th school will beat a 3.0 at Harvard.


People might want to avoid schools that don't inflate grades, though

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KMart
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby KMart » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:42 pm

Kinky John wrote:
KMart wrote:As long as no one in the future reads this and chooses their UG, or transfers to an UG, in the hopes of bettering their admission chances. A 4.0 at the 150th school will beat a 3.0 at Harvard.


People might want to avoid schools that don't inflate grades, though

Valid point, but that's because of the GPA concern and not the prestige factor.

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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby chuckbass » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:52 pm

KMart wrote:
Hahalollawl wrote:I think thebananastand is either close to the truth or right on it. I attended a law school panel as an undergrad (HYPS undergrad) with people from T14 schools that I think were from admissions (Cornell, Duke, Stanford, and NYU I think) and I think at least one of them mentioned something about the median or mean LSAT from the undergrad as being something they would look at.

I don't want to be dismissive, but people at the panels say lots of things about a holistic app. While some may be earnest, these claims are often exaggerated. You will never hear them say, "your numbers are what matters". They are selling you on their school; they are about as truthful as a car salesman.

Yeah, the holistic thing is a farce generally and you should be able to tell this from gleaming over things like law school numbers.

UpandDown97
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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby UpandDown97 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:02 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:
KMart wrote:
Hahalollawl wrote:I think thebananastand is either close to the truth or right on it. I attended a law school panel as an undergrad (HYPS undergrad) with people from T14 schools that I think were from admissions (Cornell, Duke, Stanford, and NYU I think) and I think at least one of them mentioned something about the median or mean LSAT from the undergrad as being something they would look at.

I don't want to be dismissive, but people at the panels say lots of things about a holistic app. While some may be earnest, these claims are often exaggerated. You will never hear them say, "your numbers are what matters". They are selling you on their school; they are about as truthful as a car salesman.

Yeah, the holistic thing is a farce generally and you should be able to tell this from gleaming over things like law school numbers.


Where I think truth lies when it comes to hollistic review is this: if you meet the numerical criteria for acceptance, then from that point on its holistic. It's why reverse splitters get into good law schools for example. Also why some people with acceptable scores are waitlisted while others with lower scores are accepted.

For example: if you have a 150 and a 4.0, Gtown will throw out your app. If you have a 162, have great app, and a 4.0, they might accept you while a person with a 164, 4.0 will be waitlisted if they are overall shitty.

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Re: How much does the merit of your undergrad matter for law school admissions?

Postby chuckbass » Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:39 pm

UpandDown97 wrote:
scottidsntknow wrote:
KMart wrote:
Hahalollawl wrote:I think thebananastand is either close to the truth or right on it. I attended a law school panel as an undergrad (HYPS undergrad) with people from T14 schools that I think were from admissions (Cornell, Duke, Stanford, and NYU I think) and I think at least one of them mentioned something about the median or mean LSAT from the undergrad as being something they would look at.

I don't want to be dismissive, but people at the panels say lots of things about a holistic app. While some may be earnest, these claims are often exaggerated. You will never hear them say, "your numbers are what matters". They are selling you on their school; they are about as truthful as a car salesman.

Yeah, the holistic thing is a farce generally and you should be able to tell this from gleaming over things like law school numbers.


Where I think truth lies when it comes to hollistic review is this: if you meet the numerical criteria for acceptance, then from that point on its holistic. It's why reverse splitters get into good law schools for example. Also why some people with acceptable scores are waitlisted while others with lower scores are accepted.

For example: if you have a 150 and a 4.0, Gtown will throw out your app. If you have a 162, have great app, and a 4.0, they might accept you while a person with a 164, 4.0 will be waitlisted if they are overall shitty.

Sure, it matters at the fringes, but again, it's a numbers game. Adcomms can't say it's a numbers game.




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