Planned Transfer

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:29 pm

Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:.You should be happy your first year was at an easier, cheaper school, and that the world has let you know, without waisting anything else, that you're simply not fit to be an attorney.

Not being the top of your class in law school means you're not good at law school, not that you're not fit to be an attorney.

Admittedly it will be a lot harder to get a job as an attorney, but class rank measures only your ability to do well in school. Being an attorney entails way more than that.


True, but not being able to get a 3.16 (median transfer GPA to Emory) at Atlanta's John Marshall (by far the most common feeder for the Emory transfer whale), then you don't have the work ethic or natural intellect to be what I'd define as a successful attorney. If there's a surplus of lawyers, standards need to be increased. I'm just pointing out some slack in the rope.

I think you have a narrow definition of successful attorney.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:32 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:What about when all your classmates - or at least 15-20% of them - also work hard and effectively and you're graded on a curve?


Clearly, our definitions of "effectively" are different. How do you think LSAT scores are given?

So, I thought the whole point of this was that you didn't want to retake to get a higher LSAT. How do you know your classmates weren't in the same position you were in? Why didn't you work effectively on the LSAT to start with yourself then?

There are also many many reasons why someone doesn't live up to their potential on the LSAT that would not necessarily affect their chances of success in law school. Every year lots of people who didn't do well on the LSAT do what you did, kill it in law school and transfer. You're gambling that there won't be enough of them in your school to affect your own position. Because it worked out for you didn't make it anything other than a risky choice.


Because I can read the 509 reports to see I was significantly above the 75th percentile LSAT. I did well on the LSAT, but I didn't do well enough to get a good scholarship from a t10. You do realize I just said you can't really study for the LSAT, right?

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:33 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:.You should be happy your first year was at an easier, cheaper school, and that the world has let you know, without waisting anything else, that you're simply not fit to be an attorney.

Not being the top of your class in law school means you're not good at law school, not that you're not fit to be an attorney.

Admittedly it will be a lot harder to get a job as an attorney, but class rank measures only your ability to do well in school. Being an attorney entails way more than that.


True, but not being able to get a 3.16 (median transfer GPA to Emory) at Atlanta's John Marshall (by far the most common feeder for the Emory transfer whale), then you don't have the work ethic or natural intellect to be what I'd define as a successful attorney. If there's a surplus of lawyers, standards need to be increased. I'm just pointing out some slack in the rope.

I think you have a narrow definition of successful attorney.


Absolutely

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby mjb447 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:38 pm

Apple4321 wrote:
mjb447 wrote:Eh, it's not just "mistakes" like misreading a question - a stacked section, a prof that you just can't figure out, a badly timed illness or a death in the family can hurt your grades just as easily. You were lucky, and that's great, but as numerous others have said throughout this thread, it's a better plan to beat your potential classmates on the LSAT initially once (with multiple tries, no law-school style curve, and lots and lots of available study materials) rather than bank on your performance on a series of largely "black box" exams over two semesters with a lot more at stake.


I think the problem is in the notion that you "figure out" a law school professor. In my experience, you don't play the professor; you learn the law. Figuring out black letter law is easier and more predictable than the characters that are law professors. Refer to my prior comment about the LSAT.

Even assuming that knowing the black letter law is generally enough to set you apart (doubtful), you're still very lucky that more of your classmates didn't figure that out.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:41 pm

mjb447 wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
mjb447 wrote:Eh, it's not just "mistakes" like misreading a question - a stacked section, a prof that you just can't figure out, a badly timed illness or a death in the family can hurt your grades just as easily. You were lucky, and that's great, but as numerous others have said throughout this thread, it's a better plan to beat your potential classmates on the LSAT initially once (with multiple tries, no law-school style curve, and lots and lots of available study materials) rather than bank on your performance on a series of largely "black box" exams over two semesters with a lot more at stake.


I think the problem is in the notion that you "figure out" a law school professor. In my experience, you don't play the professor; you learn the law. Figuring out black letter law is easier and more predictable than the characters that are law professors. Refer to my prior comment about the LSAT.

Even assuming that knowing the black letter law is generally enough to set you apart (doubtful), you're still very lucky that more of your classmates didn't figure that out.


Just for clarification, when you say, "figure that out," what does "that" refer to?

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:42 pm

Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:What about when all your classmates - or at least 15-20% of them - also work hard and effectively and you're graded on a curve?


Clearly, our definitions of "effectively" are different. How do you think LSAT scores are given?

So, I thought the whole point of this was that you didn't want to retake to get a higher LSAT. How do you know your classmates weren't in the same position you were in? Why didn't you work effectively on the LSAT to start with yourself then?

There are also many many reasons why someone doesn't live up to their potential on the LSAT that would not necessarily affect their chances of success in law school. Every year lots of people who didn't do well on the LSAT do what you did, kill it in law school and transfer. You're gambling that there won't be enough of them in your school to affect your own position. Because it worked out for you didn't make it anything other than a risky choice.


Because I can read the 509 reports to see I was significantly above the 75th percentile LSAT. I did well on the LSAT, but I didn't do well enough to get a good scholarship from a t10. You do realize I just said you can't really study for the LSAT, right?

The LSAT is learnable - you absolutely can study for it.

Again, you didn't know how many of your classmates were in the same position you were, or how many of them were entirely capable of doing well on law school exams regardless of how they did on the LSAT.

Mostly though you can't claim that you knew you were going to work more "effectively" than your classmates based on LSAT score distributions.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:47 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:What about when all your classmates - or at least 15-20% of them - also work hard and effectively and you're graded on a curve?


Clearly, our definitions of "effectively" are different. How do you think LSAT scores are given?

So, I thought the whole point of this was that you didn't want to retake to get a higher LSAT. How do you know your classmates weren't in the same position you were in? Why didn't you work effectively on the LSAT to start with yourself then?

There are also many many reasons why someone doesn't live up to their potential on the LSAT that would not necessarily affect their chances of success in law school. Every year lots of people who didn't do well on the LSAT do what you did, kill it in law school and transfer. You're gambling that there won't be enough of them in your school to affect your own position. Because it worked out for you didn't make it anything other than a risky choice.


Because I can read the 509 reports to see I was significantly above the 75th percentile LSAT. I did well on the LSAT, but I didn't do well enough to get a good scholarship from a t10. You do realize I just said you can't really study for the LSAT, right?

The LSAT is learnable - you absolutely can study for it.

Again, you didn't know how many of your classmates were in the same position you were, or how many of them were entirely capable of doing well on law school exams regardless of how they did on the LSAT.

Mostly though you can't claim that you knew you were going to work more "effectively" than your classmates based on LSAT score distributions.


What makes you think LSAT scores were my only considerations?

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:52 pm

Because you brought up LSAT when I asked how you knew there wouldn't be enough people who also worked hard and effectively to interfere with your plans. I have no idea what all your considerations were, I just think you placed too much faith in them and the fact that it worked out doesn't mean it wasn't a huge risk to start with. In fact I don't think you can call it a plan, just a hope/aspiration.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Gunner19 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:52 pm

I’ll toss my $0.02 out there since I was in a similar situation as you. I decided late in my college career that I wanted to go to law school and to be honest didn’t really do my due diligence. I had roughly a 2.7 gpa and after one shot ended with a 160 lsat. Got into a few T1 and figured it wasn’t really worth too many retakes since my gpa would always hold me back- decided I’d just transfer up after a year, same as you did. Despite my piss poor gpa and vanilla lsat performance I know I’m above average intelligence and figured I could outwork/outsmart everyone.

Fast forward several months and after 1L fall I’m roughly top 5-10 people (not %) in the class. I absolutely worked my balls off and it paid- I focused on learning how to take a law exam rather than only learning the law yada yada yada (Shoutout TheSealocust). Fast forward another several months and I’ve slid to roughly top 15%. My longterm relationship ended just before second semester started and it absolutely devastated me along with my A average.

While I’ll also be transferring into the t14, I did not reach the T6 I was hoping for. I’m sure most, including myself, would still consider this a success, but I’m sharing just to show how one little unseen road bump can completely derail your plans. In the grand scheme, what happened to me was pretty minor, and it still managed to completely destroy my chances of reaching the T6- imagine my outcome had I started at a TT-TTT school. While I agree it can be done, the current me, knowing what I know now, would shudder at what I took on last fall.

TL;DR- I would strongly advise anyone planning a transfer to reconsider. I did it myself, and it certainly can be done, but the risks are astronomical.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:58 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Because you brought up LSAT when I asked how you knew there wouldn't be enough people who also worked hard and effectively to interfere with your plans. I have no idea what all your considerations were, I just think you placed too much faith in them and the fact that it worked out doesn't mean it wasn't a huge risk to start with. In fact I don't think you can call it a plan, just a hope/aspiration.


I'm glad we have the chance to clarify. The LSAT was only one variable.

It appears you define "plan" very narrowly. In this context, plan was synonymous with goal and aspiration. However, you couldn't have ever found me sitting around hoping I'd do well.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:00 pm

Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Because you brought up LSAT when I asked how you knew there wouldn't be enough people who also worked hard and effectively to interfere with your plans. I have no idea what all your considerations were, I just think you placed too much faith in them and the fact that it worked out doesn't mean it wasn't a huge risk to start with. In fact I don't think you can call it a plan, just a hope/aspiration.


I'm glad we have the chance to clarify. The LSAT was only one variable.

It appears you define "plan" very narrowly. In this context, plan was synonymous with goal and aspiration. However, you couldn't have ever found me sitting around hoping I'd do well.

Nor has anyone suggested that. It's just that calling it a plan tends to understate the riskiness and imply you have more control over it than you do. I can plan what I'm going to eat for breakfast, I can plan how I'm going to study, but I can't plan to get an A on a law school exam.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:01 pm

Gunner19 wrote:I’ll toss my $0.02 out there since I was in a similar situation as you. I decided late in my college career that I wanted to go to law school and to be honest didn’t really do my due diligence. I had roughly a 2.7 gpa and after one shot ended with a 160 lsat. Got into a few T1 and figured it wasn’t really worth too many retakes since my gpa would always hold me back- decided I’d just transfer up after a year, same as you did. Despite my piss poor gpa and vanilla lsat performance I know I’m above average intelligence and figured I could outwork/outsmart everyone.

Fast forward several months and after 1L fall I’m roughly top 5-10 people (not %) in the class. I absolutely worked my balls off and it paid- I focused on learning how to take a law exam rather than only learning the law yada yada yada (Shoutout TheSealocust). Fast forward another several months and I’ve slid to roughly top 15%. My longterm relationship ended just before second semester started and it absolutely devastated me along with my A average.

While I’ll also be transferring into the t14, I did not reach the T6 I was hoping for. I’m sure most, including myself, would still consider this a success, but I’m sharing just to show how one little unseen road bump can completely derail your plans. In the grand scheme, what happened to me was pretty minor, and it still managed to completely destroy my chances of reaching the T6- imagine my outcome had I started at a TT-TTT school. While I agree it can be done, the current me, knowing what I know now, would shudder at what I took on last fall.

TL;DR- I would strongly advise anyone planning a transfer to reconsider. I did it myself, and it certainly can be done, but the risks are astronomical.


We can both agree that planning on transferring isn't ideal in a literal sense. However, what was your alternative to your transfer plan? Optimization is all about maximizing your expected outcome given your actual circumstances.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:05 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Because you brought up LSAT when I asked how you knew there wouldn't be enough people who also worked hard and effectively to interfere with your plans. I have no idea what all your considerations were, I just think you placed too much faith in them and the fact that it worked out doesn't mean it wasn't a huge risk to start with. In fact I don't think you can call it a plan, just a hope/aspiration.


I'm glad we have the chance to clarify. The LSAT was only one variable.

It appears you define "plan" very narrowly. In this context, plan was synonymous with goal and aspiration. However, you couldn't have ever found me sitting around hoping I'd do well.

Nor has anyone suggested that. It's just that calling it a plan tends to understate the riskiness and imply you have more control over it than you do. I can plan what I'm going to eat for breakfast, I can plan how I'm going to study, but I can't plan to get an A on a law school exam.


That sounds like a personal problem. What do you call a business plan? Startups have a success rate of less than one percent (if you include ideas that are acted on to a degree that would satisfy an actus reus element [can't believe I just said that]), yet we call them business plans. Any suggestions on how you'd like to fill this new void in the English language?

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby mjb447 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:06 pm

Apple4321 wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
mjb447 wrote:Eh, it's not just "mistakes" like misreading a question - a stacked section, a prof that you just can't figure out, a badly timed illness or a death in the family can hurt your grades just as easily. You were lucky, and that's great, but as numerous others have said throughout this thread, it's a better plan to beat your potential classmates on the LSAT initially once (with multiple tries, no law-school style curve, and lots and lots of available study materials) rather than bank on your performance on a series of largely "black box" exams over two semesters with a lot more at stake.


I think the problem is in the notion that you "figure out" a law school professor. In my experience, you don't play the professor; you learn the law. Figuring out black letter law is easier and more predictable than the characters that are law professors. Refer to my prior comment about the LSAT.

Even assuming that knowing the black letter law is generally enough to set you apart (doubtful), you're still very lucky that more of your classmates didn't figure that out.


Just for clarification, when you say, "figure that out," what does "that" refer to?

Figure out that they should know the black letter law (and I suppose figure out the black letter law itself) - at the school I attended and in other classes/at other schools where I've talked to students, knowing the black letter law was minimum competence and would earn you a place somewhere in the fat middle of the curve.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:13 pm

Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Because you brought up LSAT when I asked how you knew there wouldn't be enough people who also worked hard and effectively to interfere with your plans. I have no idea what all your considerations were, I just think you placed too much faith in them and the fact that it worked out doesn't mean it wasn't a huge risk to start with. In fact I don't think you can call it a plan, just a hope/aspiration.


I'm glad we have the chance to clarify. The LSAT was only one variable.

It appears you define "plan" very narrowly. In this context, plan was synonymous with goal and aspiration. However, you couldn't have ever found me sitting around hoping I'd do well.

Nor has anyone suggested that. It's just that calling it a plan tends to understate the riskiness and imply you have more control over it than you do. I can plan what I'm going to eat for breakfast, I can plan how I'm going to study, but I can't plan to get an A on a law school exam.


That sounds like a personal problem. What do you call a business plan? Startups have a success rate of less than one percent (if you include ideas that are acted on to a degree that would satisfy an actus reus element [can't believe I just said that]), yet we call them business plans. Any suggestions on how you'd like to fill this new void in the English language?

I'm good with my approach to law school admissions, thanks. A business plan is a term of art addressing completely different circumstances.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby poptart123 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:15 pm

Apple4321 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:What about when all your classmates - or at least 15-20% of them - also work hard and effectively and you're graded on a curve?


Clearly, our definitions of "effectively" are different. How do you think LSAT scores are given?


How did you know what working effectively would be in law school? Again, forgetting confirmation bias, how did you know what working effectively meant as a 0L? Was your plan read a lot, read carefully, take excellent notes, read supplements, participate in class discussion, outline early and rigorously, and go to office hours when you didn't understand something? Because most people do some/most of these things to the best of their abilities. So they're probably "working effectively" in their own personal understanding of what that means. And a decent percentage of them will come to learn that what they did will not equal success in law school. That's how a forced curve works, and there's not much room for debate in that.

This isn't a discussion about whether choosing to go to a low-ranked school for free is a good idea anymore, because it's more about the extent to which you can understand in advance that you'll do well in law school. If you look at it objectively and realistically, you couldn't predict your performance with any amount of certainty. So no, going to the lower-ranked law school is not the risk-averse option when you remove the assumption that you can predict your own performance.


These blanket statements are rudimentary--just like me saying "effectively" is a cheap way for me to say I performed well because actually articulating what it takes would be harder than actually doing it. Since none of us have crystal balls, you just have to know yourself and be as objective as possible when comparing yourself to others. A full ride scholarship is a strong indicator by people who do this for a living that you are overqualified for the school--at least in the sense you could go to a higher ranked school (except t3).

The curve is even more restrictive and forced with the LSAT.

Planning on transferring under my circumstances was risk averse because (1) I saved tens of thousands of dollars, which was certain, went to an (2) easier school where I was overqualified, which was certain and made it easy to (3) perform well. I'm starting to feel bad for Emory, but the numbers are fresh in my mind. Can you honestly say you deserve to be at a good school if you can't get a 1L GPA of 3.16 at Atlanta's John Marshall? I understand you can predict with absolute certainty precisely how well you'll do, but there's a huge gap between that and knowing you'll keep your things in order well enough to go to Georgetown or Emory.


I get it now. You think this is a good idea because you don't know how the LSAT works.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby UVA2B » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:17 pm

mjb447 wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
mjb447 wrote:Eh, it's not just "mistakes" like misreading a question - a stacked section, a prof that you just can't figure out, a badly timed illness or a death in the family can hurt your grades just as easily. You were lucky, and that's great, but as numerous others have said throughout this thread, it's a better plan to beat your potential classmates on the LSAT initially once (with multiple tries, no law-school style curve, and lots and lots of available study materials) rather than bank on your performance on a series of largely "black box" exams over two semesters with a lot more at stake.


I think the problem is in the notion that you "figure out" a law school professor. In my experience, you don't play the professor; you learn the law. Figuring out black letter law is easier and more predictable than the characters that are law professors. Refer to my prior comment about the LSAT.

Even assuming that knowing the black letter law is generally enough to set you apart (doubtful), you're still very lucky that more of your classmates didn't figure that out.


Just for clarification, when you say, "figure that out," what does "that" refer to?

Figure out that they should know the black letter law (and I suppose figure out the black letter law itself) - at the school I attended and in other classes/at other schools where I've talked to students, knowing the black letter law was minimum competence and would earn you a place somewhere in the fat middle of the curve.


And maybe not even that. Learning the black letter law is the bare minimum for displaying mere competence with the subject matter. But identifying every issue in a fact pattern, analyzing that issue persuasively, and writing in a way that shows clear mastery of how the black letter law fits into fact patterns is what takes you from meh to mediocre to good and to better than the rest of your classmates.

I've posted this elsewhere, but it's relevant to this discussion.

UVA2B wrote:It's not that it's all based on one exam exactly, it's that you're working on a forced curve. So while drive, work ethic, and intelligence are necessary, they aren't sufficient to guarantee you end up on the right side of that median. Imagine you're given a fact pattern that has 16 different legal issues that should be discussed. You identify 13 of them, and discuss them to 60% of what the professor was looking for. Objectively you may have done pretty well on that exam. But then it so happens that this was a pretty easy exam and 60% of your classmates identified 14 issues and discussed them to 75% of what the professor was looking for. You know what just happened? You very possibly ended up below median on that exam. It wasn't because you underprepared, and it wasn't because you aren't smart enough. The reality is too many of your classmates either identified issues you missed in the fact pattern or articulated the legal issues slightly better than you did, but as a result your grade drops to a B (or whatever grade is considered below median at that school).

And just because you sound very optimistic and might think to yourself, "well why am I not identifying all 16 issues and why am I not able to discuss 100% of what the professor wanted to see?" I'll just answer that question now. Few to no students will ever accomplish this. One of my 1L professors said 70% on an exam is fantastic, 60% is really good, 50% is still doing well, 40% meh, 30% you're starting to get in trouble. Separately he mentioned that the best raw grade he's ever given was an 85%, and he felt like the student was sitting on his shoulder when he wrote the exam.

ETA: The numbers in the first paragraph are entirely illustrative and grading will be significantly more nuanced than that, but it paints the picture of what grading will look like in law school


If a 0L can predict this type of performance in advance, it would become widely known enough that the forced curve would respond by just increasing what a median test looks like. There is a weak positive correlation between uGPA/LSATs and law school grades, but nothing approaching statistics that suggest with certainty a person can predict their performance in advance.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby mjb447 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:33 pm

UVA2B wrote:

Hah, one of my profs said something similar about an A exam being about a 70 or 75% and a fairly "typical" exam being about 50% - wonder if they compare notes at conferences.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:35 pm

Did all of your classmates who had as big a scholarship as you or as high a LSAT as you perform as well as you did?

Did you have friends who studied as hard as you did, were smart, but have substantially lower grades?

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:18 pm

mjb447 wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
mjb447 wrote:Eh, it's not just "mistakes" like misreading a question - a stacked section, a prof that you just can't figure out, a badly timed illness or a death in the family can hurt your grades just as easily. You were lucky, and that's great, but as numerous others have said throughout this thread, it's a better plan to beat your potential classmates on the LSAT initially once (with multiple tries, no law-school style curve, and lots and lots of available study materials) rather than bank on your performance on a series of largely "black box" exams over two semesters with a lot more at stake.


I think the problem is in the notion that you "figure out" a law school professor. In my experience, you don't play the professor; you learn the law. Figuring out black letter law is easier and more predictable than the characters that are law professors. Refer to my prior comment about the LSAT.

Even assuming that knowing the black letter law is generally enough to set you apart (doubtful), you're still very lucky that more of your classmates didn't figure that out.


Just for clarification, when you say, "figure that out," what does "that" refer to?

Figure out that they should know the black letter law (and I suppose figure out the black letter law itself) - at the school I attended and in other classes/at other schools where I've talked to students, knowing the black letter law was minimum competence and would earn you a place somewhere in the fat middle of the curve.


I read Getting to Maybe during orientation. The book does a great job covering strategy. If you read and understand that book (assuming your professors don't contradict what's in the book), have a strong intellect, and know the law, you'll generally do all right. Of course, if that's the standard, I agree, it's going to be tough. All I know is the circumstances of my planned transfer. There are certain schools and other variables that could make this a disaster.

Keeping everything else constant, uGPA is a decent indicator for work ethic, and the LSAT is a decent indicator for intelligence. I'd take a high LSAT score student that has read Getting to Maybe over a relatively lower LSAT score student who has also read the book and has talked and thought about what the professor wants to see on the exam.

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:21 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Because you brought up LSAT when I asked how you knew there wouldn't be enough people who also worked hard and effectively to interfere with your plans. I have no idea what all your considerations were, I just think you placed too much faith in them and the fact that it worked out doesn't mean it wasn't a huge risk to start with. In fact I don't think you can call it a plan, just a hope/aspiration.


I'm glad we have the chance to clarify. The LSAT was only one variable.

It appears you define "plan" very narrowly. In this context, plan was synonymous with goal and aspiration. However, you couldn't have ever found me sitting around hoping I'd do well.

Nor has anyone suggested that. It's just that calling it a plan tends to understate the riskiness and imply you have more control over it than you do. I can plan what I'm going to eat for breakfast, I can plan how I'm going to study, but I can't plan to get an A on a law school exam.


That sounds like a personal problem. What do you call a business plan? Startups have a success rate of less than one percent (if you include ideas that are acted on to a degree that would satisfy an actus reus element [can't believe I just said that]), yet we call them business plans. Any suggestions on how you'd like to fill this new void in the English language?

I'm good with my approach to law school admissions, thanks. A business plan is a term of art addressing completely different circumstances.


Your rationale for saying it's not a plan was based exclusively on its speculative nature and alleged shaky probabilities, which is heightened in business plans. They're similar in that they are both significant investments.

Apple4321

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:23 pm

poptart123 wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:What about when all your classmates - or at least 15-20% of them - also work hard and effectively and you're graded on a curve?


Clearly, our definitions of "effectively" are different. How do you think LSAT scores are given?


How did you know what working effectively would be in law school? Again, forgetting confirmation bias, how did you know what working effectively meant as a 0L? Was your plan read a lot, read carefully, take excellent notes, read supplements, participate in class discussion, outline early and rigorously, and go to office hours when you didn't understand something? Because most people do some/most of these things to the best of their abilities. So they're probably "working effectively" in their own personal understanding of what that means. And a decent percentage of them will come to learn that what they did will not equal success in law school. That's how a forced curve works, and there's not much room for debate in that.

This isn't a discussion about whether choosing to go to a low-ranked school for free is a good idea anymore, because it's more about the extent to which you can understand in advance that you'll do well in law school. If you look at it objectively and realistically, you couldn't predict your performance with any amount of certainty. So no, going to the lower-ranked law school is not the risk-averse option when you remove the assumption that you can predict your own performance.


These blanket statements are rudimentary--just like me saying "effectively" is a cheap way for me to say I performed well because actually articulating what it takes would be harder than actually doing it. Since none of us have crystal balls, you just have to know yourself and be as objective as possible when comparing yourself to others. A full ride scholarship is a strong indicator by people who do this for a living that you are overqualified for the school--at least in the sense you could go to a higher ranked school (except t3).

The curve is even more restrictive and forced with the LSAT.

Planning on transferring under my circumstances was risk averse because (1) I saved tens of thousands of dollars, which was certain, went to an (2) easier school where I was overqualified, which was certain and made it easy to (3) perform well. I'm starting to feel bad for Emory, but the numbers are fresh in my mind. Can you honestly say you deserve to be at a good school if you can't get a 1L GPA of 3.16 at Atlanta's John Marshall? I understand you can predict with absolute certainty precisely how well you'll do, but there's a huge gap between that and knowing you'll keep your things in order well enough to go to Georgetown or Emory.


I get it now. You think this is a good idea because you don't know how the LSAT works.


"How the LSAT works"... Please tell me LSAT guru. I was referring to the fact that the raw scores place you into a percentile, which determines your score. It's all about how you do relative to everyone else taking the same LSAT. Is that competitive dynamic and limitation for grades/scores not precisely what some of the others are saying is so difficult in law school?

Gunner19

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Gunner19 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:26 pm

It seems as if neither side will agree here. At the end of the day we can all agree that there are many of variables in this planned transfer scenario that you just can't account for which can completely destroy your plans to transfer, leaving you shit out of luck. OP seems to think he took a calculated enough risk to make the risk worth it. We're all glad it worked out in your favor, but for others reading this, please realize you're taking an enormous (and I mean enormous) gamble with your future.

Apple4321

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:27 pm

UVA2B wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
Apple4321 wrote:
mjb447 wrote:Eh, it's not just "mistakes" like misreading a question - a stacked section, a prof that you just can't figure out, a badly timed illness or a death in the family can hurt your grades just as easily. You were lucky, and that's great, but as numerous others have said throughout this thread, it's a better plan to beat your potential classmates on the LSAT initially once (with multiple tries, no law-school style curve, and lots and lots of available study materials) rather than bank on your performance on a series of largely "black box" exams over two semesters with a lot more at stake.


I think the problem is in the notion that you "figure out" a law school professor. In my experience, you don't play the professor; you learn the law. Figuring out black letter law is easier and more predictable than the characters that are law professors. Refer to my prior comment about the LSAT.

Even assuming that knowing the black letter law is generally enough to set you apart (doubtful), you're still very lucky that more of your classmates didn't figure that out.


Just for clarification, when you say, "figure that out," what does "that" refer to?

Figure out that they should know the black letter law (and I suppose figure out the black letter law itself) - at the school I attended and in other classes/at other schools where I've talked to students, knowing the black letter law was minimum competence and would earn you a place somewhere in the fat middle of the curve.


And maybe not even that. Learning the black letter law is the bare minimum for displaying mere competence with the subject matter. But identifying every issue in a fact pattern, analyzing that issue persuasively, and writing in a way that shows clear mastery of how the black letter law fits into fact patterns is what takes you from meh to mediocre to good and to better than the rest of your classmates.

I've posted this elsewhere, but it's relevant to this discussion.

UVA2B wrote:It's not that it's all based on one exam exactly, it's that you're working on a forced curve. So while drive, work ethic, and intelligence are necessary, they aren't sufficient to guarantee you end up on the right side of that median. Imagine you're given a fact pattern that has 16 different legal issues that should be discussed. You identify 13 of them, and discuss them to 60% of what the professor was looking for. Objectively you may have done pretty well on that exam. But then it so happens that this was a pretty easy exam and 60% of your classmates identified 14 issues and discussed them to 75% of what the professor was looking for. You know what just happened? You very possibly ended up below median on that exam. It wasn't because you underprepared, and it wasn't because you aren't smart enough. The reality is too many of your classmates either identified issues you missed in the fact pattern or articulated the legal issues slightly better than you did, but as a result your grade drops to a B (or whatever grade is considered below median at that school).

And just because you sound very optimistic and might think to yourself, "well why am I not identifying all 16 issues and why am I not able to discuss 100% of what the professor wanted to see?" I'll just answer that question now. Few to no students will ever accomplish this. One of my 1L professors said 70% on an exam is fantastic, 60% is really good, 50% is still doing well, 40% meh, 30% you're starting to get in trouble. Separately he mentioned that the best raw grade he's ever given was an 85%, and he felt like the student was sitting on his shoulder when he wrote the exam.

ETA: The numbers in the first paragraph are entirely illustrative and grading will be significantly more nuanced than that, but it paints the picture of what grading will look like in law school


If a 0L can predict this type of performance in advance, it would become widely known enough that the forced curve would respond by just increasing what a median test looks like. There is a weak positive correlation between uGPA/LSATs and law school grades, but nothing approaching statistics that suggest with certainty a person can predict their performance in advance.


There are some good points in your post that are very true, but see my response to MJB for where I think some of this may be too general.

Apple4321

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Re: Planned Transfer

Postby Apple4321 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:31 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Did all of your classmates who had as big a scholarship as you or as high a LSAT as you perform as well as you did?

Did you have friends who studied as hard as you did, were smart, but have substantially lower grades?


To be completely honest, I think there were only a couple students ahead of me in rank that had a full ride. Some of them came in on small scholarships. I did know people that had full ride scholarships that did poorly. However, I attribute that to complacency and laziness. I didn't see them fight for it. You have control over how much work you put in. The control decreases the amount of speculation needed.

Probably, but apparently not smart enough. Just saying, if we keep effort constant, it's a question of how smart you are.



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