Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

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imchuckbass58
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:58 am

OperaSoprano wrote:Is there general consensus about this? I ask because, well, you know why I ask. If someone meets an employer's criteria for a screening interview based upon law school performance, is undergrad never a factor at all? Given the prestige-mad nature of the profession, I can't imagine that it couldn't at least be a tie breaker between candidates at the same school with similar academic records during 1L year. I could be wrong, but I would like someone to play the devil's advocate here. Thank you.


Anecdotally, what I've heard from career services and a couple of associates I know at NY firms is that a great undergrad (HYP, maybe Stanford and MIT and a few others too) can give you a small bump at a select few firms that care about such things. It's not strictly correlated with prestige - I've hear MTO, WLRK, Cravath and S&C mentioned as firms that care more about undergrad (MTO explicitly says this in their materials), but I've heard Weil, Skadden and Cleary could care less.

That said, I think it's more of a thing where a good undergrad will help you, but a so-so undergrad will not disqualify you. Similarly, I think it's a very secondary consideration to grades and interviewing skills. If you went to Harvard UG but have median grades, you're not going to beat the kid from generic state U in the top 25%, all other things equal. Think of it as analogous to a strong soft in LS admissions, except that unlike law school admissions, some firms actually care more about softs.

Anyways - this is what I've heard. Maybe some people have different experiences.

12262010
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby 12262010 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:05 am

I view UG as a potential icebreaker with an interviewer.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:44 am

These are some illuminating responses- thanks, guys! I seriously have no idea how employers will look at my UG, but consensus seems to be that there is none.

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MrKappus
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:53 am

NYAssociate wrote:Shoot. Some of you might be taking RVP seriously, so I should probably say this:

If you have the grades for Davis Polk, bid on them. Davis Polk is an excellent firm. They're one of the best at what they do. They're safe. The summer program is a nice and 13 weeks long. The people there, for the most part, are great. It's just a great firm. And yes, I think the culture is different from the rest of the V5. People say it's the "nice" firm, and this is definitely true. From the beginning of the recruiting process to the end, Davis Polk values the personality. While good grades are almost a necessary condition (I say almost because there are some rare situations where personality will win the day here), they are most certainly not a sufficient condition.

There are many reasons not to work there, too. While the firm is nice, I also think it's passive aggressive. The firm is huge, and the DPW-growth machine shows barely any signs of slowing down. While I know this is petty, I'm slightly annoyed that one wouldn't get their own office until maybe their second or third year as an associate, maybe even as a 4th. I think the firm can be cheap, since it's a total market-follower. Because of hierarchical it is, you might find it difficult to get the kind of work you want early on.

Undergraduate school quality is not a factor at all in the decision-process, aside from the freak chance you have an interviewer like the one I mentioned above. But that's out of your control. It's a matter of chance. I had an interviewer at Thacher Profitt back in the day who griped over a B I had on my transcript. There are so many other ways to explain the higher quantity of top UGs at Davis Polk and peer firms that it really doesn't make sense to think that UG matters. Aside from that, I know many students who received offers from there, summer associates there, and associates there. Most of them did not go to a top undergraduate school.

Bottom line: If you have the grades, bid on them.


Can you name 3 of 4? (Edit: "of" = "or.")

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thecilent
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby thecilent » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:56 am

NYAssociate wrote:Shoot. Some of you might be taking RVP seriously, so I should probably say this:

If you have the grades for Davis Polk, bid on them. Davis Polk is an excellent firm. They're one of the best at what they do. They're safe. The summer program is a nice and 13 weeks long. The people there, for the most part, are great. It's just a great firm. And yes, I think the culture is different from the rest of the V5. People say it's the "nice" firm, and this is definitely true. From the beginning of the recruiting process to the end, Davis Polk values the personality. While good grades are almost a necessary condition (I say almost because there are some rare situations where personality will win the day here), they are most certainly not a sufficient condition.

There are many reasons not to work there, too. While the firm is nice, I also think it's passive aggressive. The firm is huge, and the DPW-growth machine shows barely any signs of slowing down. While I know this is petty, I'm slightly annoyed that one wouldn't get their own office until maybe their second or third year as an associate, maybe even as a 4th. I think the firm can be cheap, since it's a total market-follower. Because of hierarchical it is, you might find it difficult to get the kind of work you want early on.

Undergraduate school quality is not a factor at all in the decision-process, aside from the freak chance you have an interviewer like the one I mentioned above. But that's out of your control. It's a matter of chance. I had an interviewer at Thacher Profitt back in the day who griped over a B I had on my transcript. There are so many other ways to explain the higher quantity of top UGs at Davis Polk and peer firms that it really doesn't make sense to think that UG matters. Aside from that, I know many students who received offers from there, summer associates there, and associates there. Most of them did not go to a top undergraduate school.

Bottom line: If you have the grades, bid on them.


You should write a TLS article on the top firms.

Also: what's the website a lot of people here use to check out firms? I know I've seen Romo post it a bunch of times

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Matthies
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby Matthies » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:57 am

Put it this way, if you get to the interview stage and the only reason they make or don't make you an offer comes down to what UG you went to then interviewing/selling your strengths = you are doing it wrong.

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Matthies
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby Matthies » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:06 am

MrKappus wrote:
NYAssociate wrote:Shoot. Some of you might be taking RVP seriously, so I should probably say this:

If you have the grades for Davis Polk, bid on them. Davis Polk is an excellent firm. They're one of the best at what they do. They're safe. The summer program is a nice and 13 weeks long. The people there, for the most part, are great. It's just a great firm. And yes, I think the culture is different from the rest of the V5. People say it's the "nice" firm, and this is definitely true. From the beginning of the recruiting process to the end, Davis Polk values the personality. While good grades are almost a necessary condition (I say almost because there are some rare situations where personality will win the day here), they are most certainly not a sufficient condition.

There are many reasons not to work there, too. While the firm is nice, I also think it's passive aggressive. The firm is huge, and the DPW-growth machine shows barely any signs of slowing down. While I know this is petty, I'm slightly annoyed that one wouldn't get their own office until maybe their second or third year as an associate, maybe even as a 4th. I think the firm can be cheap, since it's a total market-follower. Because of hierarchical it is, you might find it difficult to get the kind of work you want early on.

Undergraduate school quality is not a factor at all in the decision-process, aside from the freak chance you have an interviewer like the one I mentioned above. But that's out of your control. It's a matter of chance. I had an interviewer at Thacher Profitt back in the day who griped over a B I had on my transcript. There are so many other ways to explain the higher quantity of top UGs at Davis Polk and peer firms that it really doesn't make sense to think that UG matters. Aside from that, I know many students who received offers from there, summer associates there, and associates there. Most of them did not go to a top undergraduate school.

Bottom line: If you have the grades, bid on them.


Can you name 3 of 4? (Edit: "of" = "or.")



I have no idea if this is true, since I don't know anyone who went to a "top UG. But my hunch would be that if you did and can afford LS then you likely don't have as much UG debt since I guess top UG are probably expensive.

So you were either really smart and got scholarships which likely means you have the grades to get into a top LS, or you have family money so could afford lots of expensive prep classes and the such. I dunno, that would be a factor to me.

Also self selection, I can say in my LS there was nowhere near the level of prestige whoring that goes on like there is here on TLS. BUT I think a big reason for that was I went PT, the average age in my class was 35 or so. These people all had things in their lives (family, a business they started, whatever) that was far more important to them then what UG or LS they went to. My classmates where not the kind to get their self worth from who they worked for, so I can't think of anyone who was shooting for a top firm.

At 24-25 all alot of people got to be proud about is their UG/LS prestige. If you're 35 and that's all you got to be proud about, well life- you're doing it wrong.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby Grizz » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:24 am

Cilent21 wrote:Also: what's the website a lot of people here use to check out firms? I know I've seen Romo post it a bunch of times


NALP directory. Google it.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby thecilent » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:03 am

rad law wrote:
Cilent21 wrote:Also: what's the website a lot of people here use to check out firms? I know I've seen Romo post it a bunch of times


NALP directory. Google it.


Gotya. Thanks

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby edcrane » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:04 am

MrKappus wrote:
RVP11 wrote:If you assume that adcomms actually factor in the strength of UG to their admissions decisions, then the logic is far from airtight. I know - it's a big assumption.

From what I've witnessed, at least, the people who went to worse (see: non-prestigious public) UGs often have bigger chips on their shoulders, and fewer rich friends/relatives to fall back on, so that might compensate for whatever minute difference there is in past educational quality.


No worries. You could be right. Which part of my logic isn't airtight though?
(1) Top UG grads are more likely, on avg, to be high academic performers
(2) Ppl who've performed at high levels in the past are more likely, on avg, to perform well in LS
(3) Law firms are more likely to hire ppl who did well during 1L
(Ergo) Grads of top UG's are more likely to end up in biglaw.

Haha I'm only asking b/c you're not addressing my argument! You're just kind of saying "well that hasn't been my experience so it's probably wrong."

*Edited for unintentional douchiness. I'm really interested in this causation/correlation issue.


Omitted variable bias. The omitted variable is LSAT performance.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby markymark » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:06 am

It probably is not more than a tiebreaker in most instances (although, to be fair, I hate the concept of tiebreaker but no two candidates will ever be so alike after a callback that one's undergrad will be the sole factor in determining who gets the job).

That being said, I think/have seen that undergrads have a general influence on the hiring process for the following reasons: 1. Connections (NOT local connections, but cultural ones. For example, Harvard UG is a connection to NYC); 2. Pedigree; 3. If you went to an elite school, there is a chance your interviewer went there/knows enough people there to talk about it.

One more note: I'm not going to out them here, but during the course of my research, I found a 200 person office of a V20 Firm in either LA/Chi/NYC where an attorney search revealed that 20% of the lawyers went to 1 Undergrad. This undergrad wasn't even in the same city as the firm (Like UCLA in LA or Columbia in NY). 20% is more than just a fluke.
Last edited by markymark on Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:00 pm

markymark wrote: 20% is more than just a fluke.


To expand, firms that have UG school searches on their website (or general school searches that allow you to separate out undergrads):

WLRK: 232 total attorneys, 31 Harvard UG, 20 Yale UG, 16 Penn UG, 11 Columbia UG, 11 Cornell UG = close to 40% of the attorneys from 5 undergrads.

Simpson Thacher: ~ 800 lawyers, 46 Penn, 39 Yale, 38 Cornell, 35 Dartmouth 34 Harvard, 31 Columbia = close to 30% of the attorneys from 6 undergrads.

Covington: ~750 lawyers, 66 Yale, 53 Harvard, 27 Penn, 26 Princeton, 23 Columbia = 25% of the attorneys from 5 schools

Debevoise: ~650 lawyers, 48 Harvard, 43 Yale, 39 Columbia, 25 Penn, 21 Cornell = close to 30% of the attorneys from 5 schools

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Matthies
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby Matthies » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:05 pm

Cilent21 wrote:
rad law wrote:
Cilent21 wrote:Also: what's the website a lot of people here use to check out firms? I know I've seen Romo post it a bunch of times


NALP directory. Google it.


Gotya. Thanks


Aslo martinadale, NALP only lists firms that pay the NALP fee

rando
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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby rando » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:19 pm

edcrane wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
RVP11 wrote:If you assume that adcomms actually factor in the strength of UG to their admissions decisions, then the logic is far from airtight. I know - it's a big assumption.

From what I've witnessed, at least, the people who went to worse (see: non-prestigious public) UGs often have bigger chips on their shoulders, and fewer rich friends/relatives to fall back on, so that might compensate for whatever minute difference there is in past educational quality.


No worries. You could be right. Which part of my logic isn't airtight though?
(1) Top UG grads are more likely, on avg, to be high academic performers
(2) Ppl who've performed at high levels in the past are more likely, on avg, to perform well in LS
(3) Law firms are more likely to hire ppl who did well during 1L
(Ergo) Grads of top UG's are more likely to end up in biglaw.

Haha I'm only asking b/c you're not addressing my argument! You're just kind of saying "well that hasn't been my experience so it's probably wrong."

*Edited for unintentional douchiness. I'm really interested in this causation/correlation issue.


Omitted variable bias. The omitted variable is LSAT performance.


OVB really should only affect the regression in terms of how much UG affects biglaw, not whether or not the above syllogism is correct in absolute terms. Since both affect biglaw placement in the same direction the ug-->biglaw placement syllogism can still be correct without accounting for the LSAT. Strictly speaking, EDCrane is right that leaving out LSAT would screw up a regression because LSAT & UG are correlated and both affect the dependent variable.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby edcrane » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:43 pm

rando wrote:
edcrane wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
RVP11 wrote:If you assume that adcomms actually factor in the strength of UG to their admissions decisions, then the logic is far from airtight. I know - it's a big assumption.

From what I've witnessed, at least, the people who went to worse (see: non-prestigious public) UGs often have bigger chips on their shoulders, and fewer rich friends/relatives to fall back on, so that might compensate for whatever minute difference there is in past educational quality.


No worries. You could be right. Which part of my logic isn't airtight though?
(1) Top UG grads are more likely, on avg, to be high academic performers
(2) Ppl who've performed at high levels in the past are more likely, on avg, to perform well in LS
(3) Law firms are more likely to hire ppl who did well during 1L
(Ergo) Grads of top UG's are more likely to end up in biglaw.

Haha I'm only asking b/c you're not addressing my argument! You're just kind of saying "well that hasn't been my experience so it's probably wrong."

*Edited for unintentional douchiness. I'm really interested in this causation/correlation issue.


Omitted variable bias. The omitted variable is LSAT performance.


OVB really should only affect the regression in terms of how much UG affects biglaw, not whether or not the above syllogism is correct in absolute terms. Since both affect biglaw placement in the same direction the ug-->biglaw placement syllogism can still be correct without accounting for the LSAT. Strictly speaking, EDCrane is right that leaving out LSAT would screw up a regression because LSAT & UG are correlated and both affect the dependent variable.


The omission of LSAT gets to the heart of what's wrong with the syllogism. It fails to consider that UG stature and GPA as well as LSAT are factored in during law school admissions. There's no reason to assume that any of these things matter much at all once people have enrolled in a particular law school, where they are surrounded by peers with largely the same intellectual capacity and drive. A more satisfactory explanation of why there are so many people from top UGs at big firms is that top law schools are disproportionately populated by such people.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby NYAssociate » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:59 pm

.
Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby markymark » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:48 pm

NYAssociate wrote:
A more satisfactory explanation of why there are so many people from top UGs at big firms is that top law schools are disproportionately populated by such people.


Bingo.


True, but it still doesn't explain why a V20 Office with 200 attorneys has 20% of its attorneys from 1 Undergrad. This undergrad isn't even in the city of the V20.

Also, see the above post by ChuckBass. Certain undergrads are likely favored at certain firms.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:58 pm

edcrane wrote:A more satisfactory explanation of why there are so many people from top UGs at big firms is that top law schools are disproportionately populated by such people.


So grads from top UG's are more likely to have high academic performance, which translated well to law school, and led to a biglaw offer.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby edcrane » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:25 pm

MrKappus wrote:
edcrane wrote:A more satisfactory explanation of why there are so many people from top UGs at big firms is that top law schools are disproportionately populated by such people.


So grads from top UG's are more likely to have high academic performance, which translated well to law school, and led to a biglaw offer.


I'm not sure what "which translated well to law school" means. I don't think there's any reason to believe that students from top UG's are more likely to do well in a particular law school than their counterparts from less well regarded UGs.Of course this is because law school admissions criteria tend to ensure that the vast majority of any given law school class have similar academic/analytical abilities.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby edcrane » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:42 pm

markymark wrote:
NYAssociate wrote:
A more satisfactory explanation of why there are so many people from top UGs at big firms is that top law schools are disproportionately populated by such people.


Bingo.


True, but it still doesn't explain why a V20 Office with 200 attorneys has 20% of its attorneys from 1 Undergrad. This undergrad isn't even in the city of the V20.

Also, see the above post by ChuckBass. Certain undergrads are likely favored at certain firms.


I wouldn't read too much into the varying distributions of UGs at big law firms. First, given the composition of top law schools, one would expect that top UGs would be overrepresented at top firms. Second, even if UG were never weighed in the decision to extend offers to particular law students, one would expect to see "clumping" of different UGs at different firms rather than a similar distribution of UGs across most firms--this is just elementary combinatorics at work.

This is not to say the UG doesn't matter at all, but I think there are good reasons to be skeptical about conclusions drawn from law firm UG demographics. The earlier suggestion to not bid on DPW if you're not from a top UG, for example, was misguided in my view.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby BioEBear2010 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:46 pm

I've heard that the quality of UG matters less than the location of the UG. Firms want to hire associates who want to stick around, and if one's UG or law school is located near the office he/she wants to work, that is a big plus (assuming he/she can adequately sell that location is a critical factor).

That being said, some employers care a lot about quality of UG. That is simply luck of the draw. I've heard it mostly matters for IP anyway (my field of interest).

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:59 pm

edcrane wrote:I wouldn't read too much into the varying distributions of UGs at big law firms. First, given the composition of top law schools, one would expect that top UGs would be overrepresented at top firms. Second, even if UG were never weighed in the decision to extend offers to particular law students, one would expect to see "clumping" of different UGs at different firms rather than a similar distribution of UGs across most firms--this is just elementary combinatorics at work.

This is not to say the UG doesn't matter at all, but I think there are good reasons to be skeptical about conclusions drawn from law firm UG demographics. The earlier suggestion to not bid on DPW if you're not from a top UG, for example, was misguided in my view.


So in the "composition of top law schools," top UG's are "overrepresented," meaning that top law schools are willing to go deeper into a top UG's class for admits than they are willing to go in TTT UG classes. For example, HLS might believe that the top 25% of an Ivy's class is qualified for admission, while only the top 5% of a TTT is acceptable.

This means, using your argument, that HLS believes the 75th percentile of a top UG can compete with the 95th percentile of a TTT UG (since you say top law school's admit students of roughly equal abilities). So unless a 75th percentile Ivy grad and a 95th percentile Ivy grade are equal in ability (which their UG performance clearly rules out), then the 95th percentile Ivy student is more likely to be more capable than the 95th percentile TTT grad.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby edcrane » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:25 pm

MrKappus wrote:
edcrane wrote:I wouldn't read too much into the varying distributions of UGs at big law firms. First, given the composition of top law schools, one would expect that top UGs would be overrepresented at top firms. Second, even if UG were never weighed in the decision to extend offers to particular law students, one would expect to see "clumping" of different UGs at different firms rather than a similar distribution of UGs across most firms--this is just elementary combinatorics at work.

This is not to say the UG doesn't matter at all, but I think there are good reasons to be skeptical about conclusions drawn from law firm UG demographics. The earlier suggestion to not bid on DPW if you're not from a top UG, for example, was misguided in my view.


So in the "composition of top law schools," top UG's are "overrepresented," meaning that top law schools are willing to go deeper into a top UG's class for admits than they are willing to go in TTT UG classes. For example, HLS might believe that the top 25% of an Ivy's class is qualified for admission, while only the top 5% of a TTT is acceptable.

This means, using your argument, that HLS believes the 75th percentile of a top UG can compete with the 95th percentile of a TTT UG (since you say top law school's admit students of roughly equal abilities). So unless a 75th percentile Ivy grad and a 95th percentile Ivy grade are equal in ability (which their UG performance clearly rules out), then the 95th percentile Ivy student is more likely to be more capable than the 95th percentile TTT grad.


I think this is basically right, but I'm not sure what your point is.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:27 pm

edcrane wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
edcrane wrote:I wouldn't read too much into the varying distributions of UGs at big law firms. First, given the composition of top law schools, one would expect that top UGs would be overrepresented at top firms. Second, even if UG were never weighed in the decision to extend offers to particular law students, one would expect to see "clumping" of different UGs at different firms rather than a similar distribution of UGs across most firms--this is just elementary combinatorics at work.

This is not to say the UG doesn't matter at all, but I think there are good reasons to be skeptical about conclusions drawn from law firm UG demographics. The earlier suggestion to not bid on DPW if you're not from a top UG, for example, was misguided in my view.


So in the "composition of top law schools," top UG's are "overrepresented," meaning that top law schools are willing to go deeper into a top UG's class for admits than they are willing to go in TTT UG classes. For example, HLS might believe that the top 25% of an Ivy's class is qualified for admission, while only the top 5% of a TTT is acceptable.

This means, using your argument, that HLS believes the 75th percentile of a top UG can compete with the 95th percentile of a TTT UG (since you say top law school's admit students of roughly equal abilities). So unless a 75th percentile Ivy grad and a 95th percentile Ivy grade are equal in ability (which their UG performance clearly rules out), then the 95th percentile Ivy student is more likely to be more capable than the 95th percentile TTT grad.


I think this is basically right, but I'm not sure what your point is.


Large type, as a response to:

edcrane wrote:I don't think there's any reason to believe that students from top UG's are more likely to do well in a particular law school than their counterparts from less well regarded UGs.

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Re: Strenght of Undergrad in OCI

Postby D. H2Oman » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:32 pm

Is Mr. Kappus intentionally dense?




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