Leveraging a 2L scholarship

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mjp02002
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Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby mjp02002 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:44 pm

Hey guys-
I am at a 15-20 school and have really good 1st semester grades (4.07 GPA). I DON'T want to transfer but I am currently paying sticker :shock: . I was hoping to try and leverage a scholarship out of my school for my 2L and 3L years and I was wondering if anyone had some advice in regards to how to go about it? Do I really have to go through the whole "transfer" song and dance? Where do I begin? Who should I talk to? How do I find out if this is something that my school does? Etc.
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

270910
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby 270910 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:49 pm

Extraordinarily rare occurrence outside of crappy schools.

At good schools, the top of the class leaving means more room for others to get jobs, so they don't have much incentive to keep you on board. I have never heard of a T30ish school offering more than a few hundred bucks to high performing law students.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:59 pm

^ If that's true, then you should transfer to Yale.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby blsingindisguise » Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:00 pm

Dude, just transfer!

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ggocat
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby ggocat » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:17 pm

disco_barred wrote:Extraordinarily rare occurrence outside of crappy schools.

At good schools, the top of the class leaving means more room for others to get jobs, so they don't have much incentive to keep you on board. I have never heard of a T30ish school offering more than a few hundred bucks to high performing law students.

IMO, questionable assumption re: "more room for others to get jobs." Why do you think there's a difference based on different schools?

All schools want to maintain revenue and retain high-performing students.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:32 pm

ggocat wrote:
disco_barred wrote:Extraordinarily rare occurrence outside of crappy schools.

At good schools, the top of the class leaving means more room for others to get jobs, so they don't have much incentive to keep you on board. I have never heard of a T30ish school offering more than a few hundred bucks to high performing law students.


All schools want to maintain revenue and retain high-performing students.


This is just my pure speculation, but from a school's standpoint it seems to make sense to just let all the well performing students leave because that opens up spots for transfer students to come in, which generate a lot of revenues because they all pay sticker. Additionally, giving scholarships to high performing students makes little sense because the school gets nothing from US news for their rankings. It seems like it would make more sense to just give any extra money the school has for scholarships to an incoming 1L that has #s over the school's median. Perhaps shittier schools offer scholarships to higher performing students because they have less people wanting to transfer into their schools (e.g. it makes no sense for someone to transfer from a t4 to a t3 merely because it is ranked higher). Additionally, I can imagine shittier schools are more concerned with keeping their bar passage rates up than top schools where it is pretty much taken for granted that all their students will pass the bar.

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ggocat
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby ggocat » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:41 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:Additionally, giving scholarships to high performing students makes little sense because the school gets nothing from US news for their rankings. It seems like it would make more sense to just give any extra money the school has for scholarships to an incoming 1L that has #s over the school's median.

I generally agree with you; for most schools, it likely makes more financial sense to focus scholarship expenditures on LSAT/UGPA.

But it has been proven that law school performance (GPA) at any school is the strongest predictor of bar passage. Similarly, it seems like a reasonable assumption that students with higher 1L grades are more likely to be employed at graduation and after nine months (collectively 18% of the rankings).

Also, higher-ranked school actually get less bang for their buck when it comes to giving scholarships for LSAT scores. U.S. News uses percentiles rather than raw LSAT scores to compute the rankings. So a school that increases its median LSAT score from 153 to 154 gets a much larger boost in the rankings than a school that increases its score from 163 to 164. Thus, a scholarship to an incoming student is worth more to a lower-ranked school than it is to a higher-ranked school (at least in terms of how much they get in relative improvement in the U.S. News rankings).

When you combine the effect law school GPA has (or likely has) on placement success factors (bar passage and employment rates) with the fact that higher ranked schools don't get as much value out of having a high median LSAT, I would expect higher-ranked schools to actually offer more retention scholarships compared to lower-ranked schools.

There is also an unmeasurable factor that is likely relevant: higher performing students at every school are more likely to obtain the most prestigious jobs, thus over time impacting the judge-lawyer assessment factor.

I'm not saying all of this suggests schools should fund retention scholarships; but I simply do not think that lower-ranked schools have an increased incentive to do so.

XxSpyKEx wrote:Perhaps shittier schools offer scholarships to higher performing students because they have less people wanting to transfer into their schools (e.g. it makes no sense for someone to transfer from a t4 to a t3 merely because it is ranked higher).

I am at a third-tier school, and at my school this is not the case. From speaking with a prof who has experience on the admissions committee, I understand that we receive more than enough transfer applications to offset lost revenue from students who transfer out. There is no lack of students who want to transfer in. I have no reason to believe my school is special in this regard.

XxSpyKEx wrote:Additionally, I can imagine shittier schools are more concerned with keeping their bar passage rates up than top schools where it is pretty much taken for granted that all their students will pass the bar.

As I mentioned earlier, the strongest predictor for bar passage is law school GPA. For example, 60% of the students in the bottom 10% of the class at UCLA failed the bar in one recent study. This is comparable to another study showing that 75% of the students in the bottom 10% of the class at the University of St. Louis failed the bar. On the U.S. News rankings scale, these two schools are vastly different, yet bar passage results for students in the bottom of the class are similar.

Of course, you are correct that generally higher ranked schools have better bar passage rates, but this seems to only happen at the lower extreme. One LSAC study divided law schools into six clusters based on LSAT/UGPA of incoming students, and the bottom cluster had a noticeably low bar passage rate (66%) while the top four clusters ranged from 94% to 88% with cluster three being higher than cluster two.

Finally, we must remember that transferees generally have high (top quartile) 1L grades. Thus, they are probably not at a significant risk for failing the bar. So I don't think there would be much gain (compared to a higher-ranked school) for a lower-ranked school to retain high-performing students with scholarships.


Sources:
Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus, A Response to the Society of American Law Teachers Statement on the Bar Exam, 54 J. LEGAL EDUC. 442, 453 n.26 (2004).
Stephen P. Klein, Disparities in Bar Exam Passing Rates Among Racial/Ethnic Groups, 16 T. MARSHALL L. REV. 517, 523 (1991).
Douglas Rush & Hisako Matsuo, Does Law School Curriculum Affect Bar Examination Passage?, 57 J. LEGAL EDUC. 224, 236 (2007).
Richard H. Sander, A Systematic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools, 57 STAN. L. REV. 367, 443 (2004).
LINDA F. WIGHTMAN, LSAC NATIONAL LONGITUDINAL BAR PASSAGE STUDY 22-47 (1998), available at --LinkRemoved--.
EDIT: Theodore P. Seto, Understanding the U.S. News Law School Rankings, 60 SMU L. REV. 493 (2007)
Last edited by ggocat on Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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apper123
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby apper123 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:24 pm

did you just bluebook a TLS post

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ggocat
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby ggocat » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:33 pm

apper123 wrote:did you just bluebook a TLS post

Well, there are no italics, and I didn't cite after every proposition, so no.

They are somewhat in BB form because I wrote a report that tangentially related to this subject matter. I just copied the citations.

That being said, I am not above using BB on TLS. haha... ha. :? Now I am sad.

stad2234
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby stad2234 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:50 pm

Also curious to see what people have to say on this topic. Anybody have some personal experience with negotiating scholarships after their first year? I know that the school I will be attending (mid tier 2) has year-end achievment awards that are handed out to the top 25% of the class. Personally, if i were to be fortunate enough to be in the top 10-15% it would make little sense for me to transfer b/c my school is in the region I wish to practice and top grades / law review would probably serve me better then a JD from a higher ranked school.

chitown825
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby chitown825 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:00 am

blsingindisguise wrote:Dude, just transfer!


gross oversimplification of transfer process/efforts

mjp02002
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby mjp02002 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:01 pm

Hey guys,
Thanks for all the helpful information regarding the likelihood of getting a 2L scholarship. But I think Stad2234 has the right idea, that regardless of our chances of making this happen, they will be 0 if we don't at least try. So if other people who have been through this process are around (even if its from a lower ranked school), it would be really helpful and informative to hear about your experiences.

yabbadabbado
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Re: Leveraging a 2L scholarship

Postby yabbadabbado » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:46 am

Bottom line is that until you have a transfer acceptance in hand from a higher ranked school, you will not have any negotiating power. So I would looking into transfer applications before doing anything else. Oh, and this should be obvious, but you shouldn't make any noise to the school about transferring until AFTER second semester grades are posted.

Also, if your school isn't willing to cough up the cash and you are paying full sticker, why would you stay? It's not like you are saving any substantial money since the cost of a 15-20 ranked school is about the same as a top 5 school.




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