Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

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Anonymous User
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Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:58 pm

The conventional wisdom regarding transfer is that the two main factors taken into account at school considering a transfer applicant are the student's ranking within the class at their current school as well and the rank of the school at which he or she attended the first [edited from "semester"] year. I realize the data on this is likely rather limited, but might in some circumstances schools consider the school's rank on matriculation rather then the present one, in circumstances with considerable drops?

It doesn't seem reasonable to expect a student to be able to predict drastic ranking drops and the rank and matriculation may more closely represent the selectivity of the class.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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jessuf
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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby jessuf » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:39 am

Were you drunk when you typed this?

And I doubt it matters that much, depending on how much of a drop. You should be more specific. My 1L school dropped 15 spots or something, but I doubt that had any effect on anything.

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Aawaldrop
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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby Aawaldrop » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:58 am

I'm confused as well. Did you matriculate at one school, then move to another school second semester and now you want to transfer?

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby jessuf » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:29 am

Aawaldrop wrote:I'm confused as well. Did you matriculate at one school, then move to another school second semester and now you want to transfer?

I assumed they were referring to a US News ranking drop

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:01 pm

When I matriculated to UIUC, it was ranked 35. After the recent ranking, it is ranked 47. And I meant first year,rather than first semester. Sorry for the confusion.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When I matriculated to UIUC, it was ranked 35. After the recent ranking, it is ranked 47. And I meant first year,rather than first semester. Sorry for the confusion.


I think it would mostly be based on other schools' perception of the school you went to. They don't need USNWR to know about a school in the T50

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby guano » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When I matriculated to UIUC, it was ranked 35. After the recent ranking, it is ranked 47. And I meant first year,rather than first semester. Sorry for the confusion.

Nobody cares

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:13 pm

Whether adcomms care about recent fluctuations probably depends on what a certain combination of a law school rank/rank within school indicates to them about the transfer candidate. You don't think a combination that considered the rank of the school when the class which the student competed with decided to matriculate would tell them something more meaningful about the candidate than the rank at present?

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby guano » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Whether adcomms care about recent fluctuations probably depends on what a certain combination of a law school rank/rank within school indicates to them about the transfer candidate. You don't think a combination that considered the rank of the school when the class which the student competed with decided to matriculate would tell them something more meaningful about the candidate than the rank at present?

guano wrote:Nobody cares

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby jessuf » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:58 pm

ManOfTheMinute wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When I matriculated to UIUC, it was ranked 35. After the recent ranking, it is ranked 47. And I meant first year,rather than first semester. Sorry for the confusion.


I think it would mostly be based on other schools' perception of the school you went to. They don't need USNWR to know about a school in the T50

This.


Though I noticed one school went T2 to unranked/TTTT, so maybe that would have an impact?

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby KidStuddi » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:The conventional wisdom regarding transfer is that the two main factors taken into account at school considering a transfer applicant is the student's ranking within the class at their current school as well and the rank of the school at which he or she at he or she attended the first [edited from "semester"] year. I realize the data on this is likely rather limited, but might in some circumstances schools consider the school's rank on matriculation rather then the present one, in circumstances with considerable drops?

It doesn't seem reasonable to expect a student to be able to predict drastic ranking drops and the rank and matriculation may more closely represent the selectivity of the class.


This is probably the best argument against the conventional wisdom around here that UGPA and LSAT do not matter when transferring. Even though there's a clear correlation between UGPA/LSAT and transfer success, most people here argue it's the rank of the institution you're transferring from. I think it's kind of silly to believe that law schools care about USNews Rankings but not your UGPA and LSAT (even though they all ask for your UGPA and LSAT and half of them put out press deriding USNews' methodology on a yearly basis), in large part for the reason you just highlighted (you have no control over your school's rankings).

You're probably fine so long as your pre-law school numbers are appropriate for the school range of where your school used to be ranked.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby Uncle.Joe » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:55 am

KidStuddi wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The conventional wisdom regarding transfer is that the two main factors taken into account at school considering a transfer applicant is the student's ranking within the class at their current school as well and the rank of the school at which he or she at he or she attended the first [edited from "semester"] year. I realize the data on this is likely rather limited, but might in some circumstances schools consider the school's rank on matriculation rather then the present one, in circumstances with considerable drops?

It doesn't seem reasonable to expect a student to be able to predict drastic ranking drops and the rank and matriculation may more closely represent the selectivity of the class.


This is probably the best argument against the conventional wisdom around here that UGPA and LSAT do not matter when transferring. Even though there's a clear correlation between UGPA/LSAT and transfer success, most people here argue it's the rank of the institution you're transferring from. I think it's kind of silly to believe that law schools care about USNews Rankings but not your UGPA and LSAT (even though they all ask for your UGPA and LSAT and half of them put out press deriding USNews' methodology on a yearly basis), in large part for the reason you just highlighted (you have no control over your school's rankings).

You're probably fine so long as your pre-law school numbers are appropriate for the school range of where your school used to be ranked.


You really don't know what your talking about. They do not care about your ugpa LSAT when transferring. Likewise they do not care about your school ranking, rather they care about the general reputation of the school. 0Ls and 1Ls far overestimate the importance placed on the rankings by anyone other than law students.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby KidStuddi » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:00 am

Uncle.Joe wrote:You really don't know what your talking about. They do not care about your ugpa LSAT when transferring. Likewise they do not care about your school ranking, rather they care about the general reputation of the school. 0Ls and 1Ls far overestimate the importance placed on the rankings by anyone other than law students.



Just parrotting the same shit everyone else says doesn't mean you know what you're talking about. The general reputation of the school? What the hell is that? Why would they use some vague, nebulous and vapid measure of "reputation" in place hard numbers that are readily available.

The groupthink on this board amazes me sometimes.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby pat4redick » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:05 pm

Just to add to the discussion, here are statements directly from admission officers about what they look at for transfers:

Northwestern:
When reviewing transfer applications, the rigor of an applicant’s current law school is relevant to the Admissions Committee. However, your performance while at school is also a given great consideration.

Georgetown:
The most important aspect of the transfer application is your law school performance. The Committee will also look at which school you are transferring from.

Columbia:
Your first-year law school performance is paramount; also, in assessing an applicant's law school transcript, one factor is the reputation of the school. Strong grades in a competitive program are factors that can be quite compelling.

By the way, these came directly from my email inquiries with these schools. NYU also said the same when I spoke with them over the phone. Not one mentioned LSAT or undergraduate GPA as a primary factor in their decisions and the only one that even mentioned them as a factor was Colombia (included as part of their holistic review of applications). Anyways, thought I'd share.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby KidStuddi » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:28 am

pat4redick wrote:By the way, these came directly from my email inquiries with these schools. NYU also said the same when I spoke with them over the phone. Not one mentioned LSAT or undergraduate GPA as a primary factor in their decisions and the only one that even mentioned them as a factor was Colombia (included as part of their holistic review of applications). Anyways, thought I'd share.


Well, first of all, I'm not arguing that LSAT or UGPA matter more than or as much as law school performance. Obviously LS GPA is #1 by a mile and then everything else is factored in and weighted differently to put the LS GPA in perspective. I'm arguing that the conventional wisdom that UGPA/LSAT doesn't matter at all is fairly baseless because they're clearly used to supplement the decision making process. That being said, your claim that only school that mentioned LSAT/GPA was Columbia is half-assed at best.

Taken from the first four school's transfer admission sites I searched for:

Columbia:
Most successful transfer students are in the top 5 percent to 10 percent of their law school class, and transfer admission is indeed based on the entire applicant profile. Your first-year law school performance is paramount; however, the Admissions Committee does consider all other information in your file, such as your undergraduate and any other graduate transcripts, LSAT performance, letters of recommendation, and a statement regarding why you are seeking transfer.


As expected, LS GPA is #1 and then they potentially give UGPA/LSAT as much weight as your LOR/PS. Unless you don't believe either of those things matter either, I don't see how UGPA/LSAT is unimportant.

Harvard:
The competition for transfer admission is high. Many successful transfer candidates typically place very near the top of their first-year law class and would have also been admitted or wait-listed as first-year students on the basis of their pre-law-school credentials.


Seems pretty incontrovertible to me. UGPA/LSAT is considered by and matters to H.

Standford - Website does not discuss specifically how they make their decision other than to say they look for outstanding candidates but the requirements include:
Law School Admission Test. Stanford applicants for fall 2013 transfer admission must have taken the LSAT no later than the June 2013 administration. Tests taken prior to February 2007 will not be accepted.

Undergraduate and Non–Law Graduate Transcripts. The official undergraduate transcript on file at LSAC must show conferral of your degree. Official transcripts for any graduate work (non–law) should also be on file at LSAC. If a graduate degree was granted, the transcript must show conferral of your degree.

Sure, UG transcript could just be a due diligence thing, but requiring graduate transcripts and a recent LSAT score? What reason is there for that unless it is part of the consideration. Notably, they even accept LSAT scores from as recent as when the transfer applicant would have already been enrolled in law school (clearly indicates that fall 2013 transfer applicants can submit June 2013 LSAT scores). Seems to indicate that they care about LSAT scores, doesn't it?

Chicago:
We base our transfer admission decisions primarily on an evaluation of the applicant's law school performance, including the law school attended and a letter of recommendation from a law school professor. While the LSAT and undergraduate record are still considered, they are not as critical to the application as the applicant's current law school record.


Not as critical as law school performance, but still important and considered.

Look, these are the same admission people who treat UGPA and LSAT as gospel when making their admission decisions for their school's 1L class, why would they abandon them entirely as being helpful metrics just a year later? Yes 1L GPA is more indicative, but it doesn't render the other two meaningless. Even just looking at the quotes you pulled from wherever, the admissions people are talking about factors such as "rigor" or "competitiveness" of the 1L program. What do you think that means to admissions deans if not median LSAT/UGPA of your 1L school?

The vast majority of law students attend schools commensurate with their UGPA/LSAT range making it easy to group their chances of success based on their 1L school. I don't think that's unreasonable nor do I think it doesn't happen. It's just that people have gone too far with this simplification and now actually believe that if a 4.0/180 decided to attend a T2 for some reason, that her transfer cycle would be exactly the same as her classmate with the same LS grades but a 3.3/154. I don't think it would.
Last edited by KidStuddi on Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby IAFG » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:33 am

KidStuddi wrote:
Uncle.Joe wrote:You really don't know what your talking about. They do not care about your ugpa LSAT when transferring. Likewise they do not care about your school ranking, rather they care about the general reputation of the school. 0Ls and 1Ls far overestimate the importance placed on the rankings by anyone other than law students.



Just parrotting the same shit everyone else says doesn't mean you know what you're talking about. The general reputation of the school? What the hell is that? Why would they use some vague, nebulous and vapid measure of "reputation" in place hard numbers that are readily available.

The groupthink on this board amazes me sometimes.

What the fuck do you mean "hard numbers." Do you even know what bullshit USNWR uses to calculate rank? No way schools are breaking out the most recent rankings to decide which transfers to take.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby KidStuddi » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:38 am

IAFG wrote:What the fuck do you mean "hard numbers." Do you even know what bullshit USNWR uses to calculate rank? No way schools are breaking out the most recent rankings to decide which transfers to take.


That's what I'm suggesting. When determining how to weight an applicants law school GPA, why would a school use "reputation" aka rankings in place of a metric such as median UGPA/LSAT?

Unless they think being preftigious makes a school more competitive, I wouldn't think anything but the quality of the student body matters.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby IAFG » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:47 am

GPA and LSAT are predictors of LS performance. What does that matter once you've preformed? Especially since employers don't look at LSAT and rarely consider UGPA.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby KidStuddi » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:13 am

IAFG wrote:GPA and LSAT are predictors of LS performance. What does that matter once you've preformed? Especially since employers don't look at LSAT and rarely consider UGPA.


UGPA/LSAT matter because while performing well in law school is necessary for transferring, it is not always sufficient. It's not as if they're deciding between someone with great grades and someone who has horrible grades. Presumably, the transfer applicants who are being considered seriously have all done very well in law school. Without additional measures how do you pick between them? UGPA/LSAT provide additional points of comparison to supplement the decision, just as LoRs and essays do.

Firms consider your law school, which is a proxy for UGPA/LSAT. It's not uncommon to see firms dip below median at H but refuse to touch top 15% at a T30. And just as selective law schools consider your pre-law-school record, selective firms do consider undergrad transcripts themselves too. I haven't personally come across a firm that asked for LSAT score, but apparently they exist. Generally speaking though, law schools have more of a need to utilize additional on-paper points of comparison than firms do given that the former very rarely interviews applicants while the latter categorically does.

It doesn't end with transferring either. Head hunters will tell you that which law school you went to and your GPA matter for lateral opportunities as well. I'm sure people ask why LS/ LS grades (supposedly a predictor of success at firms) matter once you've already performed at a firm and the answer is still because they need more ways to compare you with another candidate who also has performed well at a different firm.

It's like some of you guys have never written a resume before. People rarely only care about the last thing you did.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:49 am

But the thing is, every year people transfer to schools that they didn't have the UGGPA/LSAT to get into in the first place. Most people don't transfer because they suddenly decided they like the other coast better - they transfer because they didn't have good enough UGGPA/LSAT to get into a better school, but then rock 1L and are able to show that they can do the work. (People who turned down higher-ranked schools for lower-ranked schools with $$$ are not that likely to transfer because their goal is to avoid debt and transfers don't generally get money.)

I don't have a crystal ball into the workings of adcomms so I'm not going to say no, they never look at UGGPA/LSAT. But it's clear schools can't actually expect transfers to have had the stats to get into the school in the first place, or those transfers would have gone to the better school from the beginning.

Maybe if a school is comparing the top student from a TTT school v. top 10% at T1, UGGPA and LSAT play some role. But you could also attribute that to the reputation of the school the student's coming from. It's sort of a chicken-vs.-egg thing.

(I have to confess I don't really believe what law schools say on their web pages about what weight they give to various things in the admissions process - everyone claims to be holistic.)

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:08 pm

The LSAT and UGPA, taken together, are the best indicators of 1L success. So schools whose classes are comprised of students with these scores in higher numbers will tend to be more competitive. A given rank would have greater significance as the LSAT/GPA index of their class goes up. Why the "reputation" of a school- that is, the primary factor along with your class rank- would be based on anything other than the LSAT/GPA #s of that applicant's class eludes me.

And taking LSAT or UGPA as that much of a factor does not make sense either, unless one values them intrinsically, not as a predictor of law school performance. The transfer applicant has demonstrated to what degree the predictive power of the LSAT/GPA applies to him or her.

IAFG: You indicate that you don't think a ranking shift one's 1L year would not play a significant part in a transferor's app. What do you think they would look at regarding the school to evaluate the significance of the student's rank in class?

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby stillwater » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The LSAT and UGPA, taken together, are the best indicators of 1L success. So schools whose classes are comprised of students with these scores in higher numbers will tend to be more competitive. A given rank would have greater significance as the LSAT/GPA index of their class goes up. Why the "reputation" of a school- that is, the primary factor along with your class rank- would be based on anything other than the LSAT/GPA #s of that applicant's class eludes me.

And taking LSAT or UGPA as that much of a factor does not make sense either, unless one values them intrinsically, not as a predictor of law school performance. The transfer applicant has demonstrated to what degree the predictive power of the LSAT/GPA applies to him or her.

IAFG: You indicate that you don't think a ranking shift one's 1L year would not play a significant part in a transferor's app. What do you think they would look at regarding the school to evaluate the significance of the student's rank in class?


Do you think adcomms have never heard of other law schools before? Your last paragraph is particularly vexing. Adcomms are in the business of law school admissions that occur not in a vacuum but a competitive environment. To think they watch yearly fluctuations as some indication of yearly changes in reputational strength is beyond laughable. I am laughing right now actually.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:54 pm

I think it's laughable too. But if the combo of current LS ranking and one's rank in class isn't a reliable way to predict whether or not one will be accepted as a transfer app, then what is? The understanding that 1L grades and your school's rank were the main factors was based on the stickied transfer thread, which gave approximate chances based on your school's ranking and your % in class.

I also don't understand what a law school's reputation, other than that law school's GPA/LSAT for the applicants class, tells us that is particularly meaningful about the particular applicant.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby stillwater » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think it's laughable too. But if the combo of current LS ranking and one's rank in class isn't a reliable way to predict whether or not one will be accepted as a transfer app, then what is? The understanding that 1L grades and your school's rank were the main factors was based on the stickied transfer thread, which gave approximate chances based on your school's ranking and your % in class.

I also don't understand what a law school's reputation, other than that law school's GPA/LSAT for the applicants class, tells us that is particularly meaningful about the particular applicant.


Ah, I agree with that they are a proxy for strength of class, etc. But I am just objecting to yearly fluctuations. Those fluctuations sell magazines, they don't tell us anything meaningful about strength of class.

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Re: Present school rank or school rank at matriculation?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:10 pm

So, we don't dispute that rank in class is a major factor in transfer prospects. But there's also something about the school you're transferring from that adcomms will treat as an indicator of that rank in class's strength. Let's call this thing reputation. What, that we who cannot visit the minds or meetings of the adcomms, about a school could predict strength of reputation?




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