Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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NYC2014
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:48 pm

Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s

Postby NYC2014 » Sun May 06, 2012 12:08 am

The consistent theme we find throughout this analysis is that performance in law school – as measured by law school grades – is the most important predictor of career success. It is decisively more important than law school “eliteness.” . . . Since the dominant conventional wisdom says that law school prestige is all‐important, and since students who “trade‐up” in school prestige generally take a hit to their school performance, we think prospective students are getting the wrong message...higher performance produces a much larger dividend than eliteness does.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/07/30/new ... raight-as/

I don't even.

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3|ink
Posts: 7331
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s

Postby 3|ink » Sun May 06, 2012 12:09 am

NYC2014 wrote:
The consistent theme we find throughout this analysis is that performance in law school – as measured by law school grades – is the most important predictor of career success. It is decisively more important than law school “eliteness.” . . . Since the dominant conventional wisdom says that law school prestige is all‐important, and since students who “trade‐up” in school prestige generally take a hit to their school performance, we think prospective students are getting the wrong message...higher performance produces a much larger dividend than eliteness does.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/07/30/new ... raight-as/

I don't even.

This article is nearly 2 years old.

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dingbat
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s

Postby dingbat » Sun May 06, 2012 12:12 am

I think it depends on the transfer. Transferring From a TTT to another TTT this is probably true, but going from a non T14 into Yale is a different matter

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quiver
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:46 pm

Re: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s

Postby quiver » Sun May 06, 2012 3:51 am

dingbat wrote:but going from a non T14 into Yale is a different matter
It also doesn't happen. But I get your point.

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JoeFish
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:43 am

Re: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s

Postby JoeFish » Sun May 06, 2012 4:26 am

Lots of things could go wrong with this study. I haven't looked at their data, so I'm not saying any of these infirmities are present (maybe this is absolutely true and should've brought about a paradigm shift in the lawl school world), but the following spring to mind:

1. I just don't buy, off the bat, the assumption that a student who gets a 3.5 at UF would get a 3.75 at Rutgers and a 2.75 at Boalt (or the equivalent thereof; they don't have numerical GPAs, do they?).

2. The discussion of that (in the blurb, at least) betrays a real confounding effect between GPA and School Rank. Generally, better schools curve to higher GPA medians. I know it's not true all the time, but there's definitely a trend as you move up. So, maybe in a bizarre way, it makes sense to say that a student with a 3.75 at Rutgers Newark is going to do as well, earning-wise, as someone with a 3.75 at Cornell, because the first student's top, what... 2%?

3. It's much less useful to talk about lawyer salaries in terms of averages than it is in terms of percentiles. It's not like jumping from a 3.4 to a 3.6 increases your earnings by 13%; it's that at a 3.4 at a given school you have 80% chance of making $50k off the bat and 20% chance of making ~$160k, and a 3.6 changes it to 50/50 or something. When taking the average of the salaries and trying to draw that across the board, it just becomes more likely the real thrust of a conclusion like "If student had gone to Rutgers, she'd make 13% more than if she'd've gone to UF" loses its meaning, especially with different schools attracting student bodies that focus on different things.

4. As was said, this article is 2 years old, and probably based on data from the boomtimes. I still wouldn't trust most of it, but its conclusions probably make more sense if we're in a time when there's not a shortage of jobs.

Cinderella
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:04 pm

Re: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s

Postby Cinderella » Sun May 06, 2012 4:33 am

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=182021#p5383272

Been there, done that. Strivers gonna strive, and students from higher ranked schools have exit options that students from lower ranked schools don't. You can't measure "success" in terms of pay.

IsTheFatLadySinging
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:06 am

Re: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s

Postby IsTheFatLadySinging » Sun May 06, 2012 7:24 am

Blasphemy!! Lock these professors up.

Haha, this ought to shake up the TLSers.

concurrent fork
Posts: 669
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:40 am

Re: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s

Postby concurrent fork » Sun May 06, 2012 9:06 am

These studies are always garbage. They tend to rely on anonymous or self-reported data and (more importantly) fail to control for self-selection.

It's like arguing that GULC is better for biglaw than Yale because GULC places a higher percentage in biglaw.


09042014
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s

Postby 09042014 » Sun May 06, 2012 9:52 am

The study basically finds that making money in law going to a t10 is basically the same as having a 3.5+ in other schools. That's not very controversial. 3.5 at most not-t20's is very good, especially back from 1999 data which what they took it from.

How they make their conclusion is by trying to figure out how much your grades would go up from a t10 to a t2. They concluded almost half a gpa point. So someone at Virgina would get .5 higher than someone at American. That's BS! They'd do better, but they are basically saying median kids at UVA would be Top 5% at schools like American. I really fucking doubt it. Especially since it would mean T2 -> T14 trasnfers would end up around median at best, and many do very well.

This study is using data 13 years old.

If you want to see how going to an elite school helps, just look at the Nlj250 numbers. The variation year to year at top schools bigger than the % from each t2 and below schools.

Firms will hire UVA students below median and DING America kids who aren't top 10%. Rankings matter.




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