How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

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Void
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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby Void » Sun May 06, 2012 9:44 pm

rayiner wrote:I'll put it another way. The people at Columbia had LSAT scores in the top 2.5% of all test takers. Since law school admissions culls most people below 150, they had LSAT scores in the top ~5% of all law school enrollees. In other words, even on the LSAT itself folks at Columbia didn't beat the overall pool by as much as y'all are claiming when you say they'd be #1 at a TTTT.


Ohhhhh. Thanks for this. English is easier for me than math. :)

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rayiner
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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby rayiner » Sun May 06, 2012 9:47 pm

Void wrote:I'm no math whiz, but this seems to suggest that using these numbers to represent anything remotely resembling "accuracy" is kind of a waste of time... But seriously- I'll defer to your obviously superior math skillz.


I'm saying that people are overestimating how median people at a Columbia would do at a Tier 4. I'm using a high correlation (0.7, one of the higher ones that appears in the literature) because I'm trying to show that even if you assume that law school grades are highly correlated with LSAT score, it still doesn't suggest that someone who was median at Columbia would be far above median at Georgetown, much less #1 at a Tier4.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby Void » Sun May 06, 2012 9:48 pm

rayiner wrote:
Void wrote:I'm no math whiz, but this seems to suggest that using these numbers to represent anything remotely resembling "accuracy" is kind of a waste of time... But seriously- I'll defer to your obviously superior math skillz.


I'm saying that people are overestimating how median people at a Columbia would do at a Tier 4. I'm using a high correlation (0.7, one of the higher ones that appears in the literature) because I'm trying to show that even if you assume that law school grades are highly correlated with LSAT score, it still doesn't suggest that someone who was median at Columbia would be far above median at Georgetown, much less #1 at a Tier4.


Thanks- I get it now. I wasn't being sarcastic before when I asked if it was a joke (or at any other time)- I was legitimately trying to understand. :)

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TTTLS
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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby TTTLS » Sun May 06, 2012 9:52 pm

I think the ivy league would have catered to my incompetence.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Sun May 06, 2012 9:58 pm

redsoxfan2495 wrote:
Lawl Shcool wrote:
redsoxfan2495 wrote:if you took ten students from the top of the class at a TTTT most of them would struggle to hit median at a T6.


I'd bet all my SA money that each would be well above median (with a few in the top 5-10%) in that situation, assuming by "top" you mean "top 5%"
Maybe you're right. Smart people end up at awful schools for a variety of reasons. I guess I just meant to imply that there are schools where it doesn't take much to achieve a high class rank.


I don't even know about that. I was at what many would consider to be a TTTT of TTTT's, have done well at a t10 post-transfer, and I had to work my ass off (I'd even say as hard as I could have possibly worked - as opposed to a moderate/low level of effort at the t10) at said TTTT and didn't finish #1, or even in the top 5 students. There are smart, hard-working, and good at exams type people at every school top to bottom, there's just more at higher ranked schools.

I think it is more fair to say that at certain schools you can "out hustle" people for a higher class rank. You have to remember too that at TTTT-type schools, the exams are closed book, so to do well you NEED to memorize the rules to maximize point getting (in addition to proper analysis and good overall writing).

EDIT - I know my story is anecdotal and I'm not trying to make myself sound sweet or smart (I don't think I'm either). I just really believe that law school success is based more on hard-work + a baseline level of competence than it is raw ability.
Last edited by Lawl Shcool on Sun May 06, 2012 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sun May 06, 2012 10:04 pm

Plenty of students at T14's, despite their intelligence, don't know what they're doing on a law school exam. Those at the top 10% of a TTT do, and I'd bet they'd finish comfortably above median. To do that well shows you have an aptitude for taking law school exams, which isn't necessarily guaranteed by a good LSAT score.

Furthermore, most TTT/TTTT schools have all closed book exams (mine does minus CivPro), so these students are trained to not rely on outlines. I think that gives them a nice boost when transferring.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Sun May 06, 2012 10:08 pm

AVBucks4239 wrote:Plenty of students at T14's, despite their intelligence, don't know what they're doing on a law school exam. Those at the top 10% of a TTT do, and I'd bet they'd finish comfortably above median. To do that well shows you have an aptitude for taking law school exams, which isn't necessarily guaranteed by a good LSAT score.

Furthermore, most TTT/TTTT schools have all closed book exams (mine does minus CivPro), so these students are trained to not rely on outlines. I think that gives them a nice boost when transferring.


Well said.

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redsoxfan2495
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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby redsoxfan2495 » Sun May 06, 2012 10:21 pm

Lawl Shcool wrote:
redsoxfan2495 wrote:
Lawl Shcool wrote:
redsoxfan2495 wrote:if you took ten students from the top of the class at a TTTT most of them would struggle to hit median at a T6.


I'd bet all my SA money that each would be well above median (with a few in the top 5-10%) in that situation, assuming by "top" you mean "top 5%"
Maybe you're right. Smart people end up at awful schools for a variety of reasons. I guess I just meant to imply that there are schools where it doesn't take much to achieve a high class rank.


I don't even know about that. I was at what many would consider to be a TTTT of TTTT's, have done well at a t10 post-transfer, and I had to work my ass off (I'd even say as hard as I could have possibly worked - as opposed to a moderate/low level of effort at the t10) at said TTTT and didn't finish #1, or even in the top 5 students. There are smart, hard-working, and good at exams type people at every school top to bottom, there's just more at higher ranked schools.

I think it is more fair to say that at certain schools you can "out hustle" people for a higher class rank. You have to remember too that at TTTT-type schools, the exams are closed book, so to do well you NEED to memorize the rules to maximize point getting (in addition to proper analysis and good overall writing).

EDIT - I know my story is anecdotal and I'm not trying to make myself sound sweet or smart (I don't think I'm either). I just really believe that law school success is based more on hard-work + a baseline level of competence than it is raw ability.
You certainly have better insight into this topic than I do.

My perception that it would be easy to succeed at a TTTT comes mostly from having gone to a pretty unspectacular undergrad that served as the number one feeder school for our local TTTT. Having known plenty of lazy, not particularly bright students who went on to that TTTT I figured that out-competing those people in law school couldn't be any harder than it was in undergrad.

Now that I've thought about it a bit more I think you're right. I think that law school success is more about effort than inherent ability. There's also a pretty sizable element of chance given the infrequency of grading and the subjective nature of most of the tests.

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dailygrind
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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby dailygrind » Sun May 06, 2012 10:23 pm

redsoxfan2495 wrote:I think that law school success is more about effort than inherent ability. There's also a pretty sizable element of chance given the infrequency of grading and the subjective nature of most of the tests.


I think effort is necessary, but not sufficient. Being brilliant is pretty awesome (or so I assume. I would not know :().

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby Sapientia » Sun May 06, 2012 10:25 pm

dailygrind wrote:
redsoxfan2495 wrote:I think that law school success is more about effort than inherent ability. There's also a pretty sizable element of chance given the infrequency of grading and the subjective nature of most of the tests.


I think effort is necessary, but not sufficient. Being brilliant is pretty awesome (or so I assume. I would not know :().


It's pretty awesome

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sun May 06, 2012 10:30 pm

redsoxfan2495 wrote:My perception that it would be easy to succeed at a TTTT comes mostly from having gone to a pretty unspectacular undergrad that served as the number one feeder school for our local TTTT. Having known plenty of lazy, not particularly bright students who went on to that TTTT I figured that out-competing those people in law school couldn't be any harder than it was in undergrad.

Now that I've thought about it a bit more I think you're right. I think that law school success is more about effort than inherent ability. There's also a pretty sizable element of chance given the infrequency of grading and the subjective nature of most of the tests.

Don't get me wrong. There are some complete idiots who are at TTT's. Finishing above median isn't difficult. That said, once you get into the top third, you're generally talking about hard-working, smart people who went to good undergrands who just couldn't figure out WTF they were doing with the LSAT.

Which is why I stand behind my "top 5-10%" prediction.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Sun May 06, 2012 10:34 pm

dailygrind wrote:
redsoxfan2495 wrote:I think that law school success is more about effort than inherent ability. There's also a pretty sizable element of chance given the infrequency of grading and the subjective nature of most of the tests.


I think effort is necessary, but not sufficient. Being brilliant is pretty awesome (or so I assume. I would not know :().


Not to rehash an argument from another thread and just to be clear, by "hard work" I really mean working smart, not just long hours. Taking the time the learn how to take the exams is just as important as learning that material. For example, taking a practice exam under exam conditions and having a prof grade it during office hours > 4 extra hours reading notes/outline/supplement.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby ilovesf » Sun May 06, 2012 10:35 pm

ninereal wrote:
gdane wrote:This isnt a very nice thread.

Intelligence doesnt always determine whether or not someone will do better at one school. Work ethic plays a large, maybe larger, role too.


Obviously work ethic plays a role, but the thing is, almost everyone works hard in law school (during 1L, at least) and GPA is a reasonable predictor of work ethic anyway.

redsoxfan2495 wrote:I'm also pretty sure that if you took ten students from the top of the class at a TTTT most of them would struggle to hit median at a T6.


I doubt this. Top of the class at a TTT is more likely to mean you have a natural aptitude for law (or at least for test-taking), but slipped through the cracks in the application process for one reason or another - LSAT is a good predictor, but it's not perfect. I don't know exactly where those students would be, but I think it's be pretty solidly above median.

GPA is to a certain degree a good determiner for work ethic, but not always and not consistently. I rocked a 2.8 the first semester of college in 2005. I have no memory whatsoever of doing any work. I continued not working/going to class for the next 3 semesters. Junior year, and particularly senior year, I took things more seriously and in senior year I had around a 3.75. Overall I had a 3.35 or so. In my first semester of law school I made top 5%. People mature throughout college and after. I didn't take anything seriously for the first two years of school. Take into consideration that most people take around 2 years off, and often more, then I do not think your college GPA is that great of a determination for success. It is if you can keep up your good study habits, but a lot of people simply did not give a shit in college. I had no idea I wanted to go to graduate school until after I graduated. By then it was too late to do anything about my GPA.

The LSAT could be a good indicator. But some people end up at top schools because they studied for a year and took it three times. Some people don't realize how important the LSAT is and only take it once. Maybe if they had retaken it another two times they would have ended up in the 170's like some posters here after a retake. I don't everyone at TTTs are stupid, they're there because they haven't found TLS. No one told them retake as many times as possible and no one told them to study for 6 months ahead of time. That being said, I'm sure there are a lot of stupid people at TTTs, but that doesn't mean everyone is, and that definitely doesn't mean someone from a higher rank school would be #1.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun May 06, 2012 10:39 pm

I blew away my post-transfer doctrinal classes--actually got higher marks in those classes than I got in "grade inflation"-type classes. I think it's hard to say where I would have landed had I started at my transfer school. Too many variables--including luck.

As others already pointed out, the transfer annecdotes are imperfect because 2L/3L =/ 1L. Even in the doctrinal classes, in 2L/3L, the really high performers from 1L who are legitimately shooting for top of the class (and continue to do so in 2L/3L because they're clerkship gunning) are dragged down by law review obligations and so on. Once you're outside of the group of people gunning for clerkships, many (perhaps most) people stop caring because they have jobs lined up. Importantly, in 2L/3L you can avoid classes that have final exam structures (i.e. closed book, take-home, strict word limit, etc.) that don't play to your strengths. 2L/3L just isn't the same game, even when you cut out the grade inflation possibilities (which everyone has equal access to).
Last edited by ToTransferOrNot on Sun May 06, 2012 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby Extension_Cord » Sun May 06, 2012 10:39 pm

I don't think it really matters. I think the people who have a high class rank will have a similar class rank at any of the other schools from Harvard to Cooley. Law School is not difficult, the concepts are relatively simple its just learning how to apply the principals. The people who get high grades put in more effort than the others.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun May 06, 2012 10:41 pm

Extension_Cord wrote:I don't think it really matters. I think the people who have a high class rank will have a similar class rank at any of the other schools from Harvard to Cooley. Law School is not difficult, the concepts are relatively simple its just learning how to apply the principals. The people who get high grades put in more effort than the others.


Not true in many, many cases.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby dailygrind » Sun May 06, 2012 10:46 pm

Lawl Shcool wrote:
dailygrind wrote:
redsoxfan2495 wrote:I think that law school success is more about effort than inherent ability. There's also a pretty sizable element of chance given the infrequency of grading and the subjective nature of most of the tests.


I think effort is necessary, but not sufficient. Being brilliant is pretty awesome (or so I assume. I would not know :().


Not to rehash an argument from another thread and just to be clear, by "hard work" I really mean working smart, not just long hours. Taking the time the learn how to take the exams is just as important as learning that material. For example, taking a practice exam under exam conditions and having a prof grade it during office hours > 4 extra hours reading notes/outline/supplement.


I think a very large percentage of people at top schools know how to work smart. Though I seriously doubt a lot of them continue to do so after 1L year.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby IAFG » Sun May 06, 2012 10:48 pm

AVBucks4239 wrote:Plenty of students at T14's, despite their intelligence, don't know what they're doing on a law school exam. Those at the top 10% of a TTT do, and I'd bet they'd finish comfortably above median. To do that well shows you have an aptitude for taking law school exams, which isn't necessarily guaranteed by a good LSAT score.

Furthermore, most TTT/TTTT schools have all closed book exams (mine does minus CivPro), so these students are trained to not rely on outlines. I think that gives them a nice boost when transferring.

This quite falsely assumes all law exams test and reward the same things. My friend at Catholic's exams look NOTHING like mine. And UChi exams also appear to be a world apart from mine.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sun May 06, 2012 10:58 pm

IAFG wrote:
AVBucks4239 wrote:Plenty of students at T14's, despite their intelligence, don't know what they're doing on a law school exam. Those at the top 10% of a TTT do, and I'd bet they'd finish comfortably above median. To do that well shows you have an aptitude for taking law school exams, which isn't necessarily guaranteed by a good LSAT score.

Furthermore, most TTT/TTTT schools have all closed book exams (mine does minus CivPro), so these students are trained to not rely on outlines. I think that gives them a nice boost when transferring.

This quite falsely assumes all law exams test and reward the same things. My friend at Catholic's exams look NOTHING like mine. And UChi exams also appear to be a world apart from mine.

Of course exams vary from school to school. But I use T14 exam banks all the time (they actually have model answers, where the ones posted at my school just have the questions), and I can say that they are strikingly similar.

Really, though, exams don't change that much. For torts, you might have a professor who just wants you to drill on one issue and analyze it thoroughly. Another torts professor at the same school might write a race exam where you basically just have to vomit the semester back at him.

Also, a person who finishes high up in the class can type quickly and write well on the fly. This is a skill that transfers from Chicago to Cooley.

Point is, people who know what they're doing look at the professor's past exams, know what the professor wants (thorough issue analysis/vomit all over the page/somewhere in between, look issues they will likely cover, whether there's a word limit, etc.), and that is a skill that transfers from school to school.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Sun May 06, 2012 11:03 pm

dailygrind wrote:
Lawl Shcool wrote:
dailygrind wrote:
redsoxfan2495 wrote:I think that law school success is more about effort than inherent ability. There's also a pretty sizable element of chance given the infrequency of grading and the subjective nature of most of the tests.


I think effort is necessary, but not sufficient. Being brilliant is pretty awesome (or so I assume. I would not know :().


Not to rehash an argument from another thread and just to be clear, by "hard work" I really mean working smart, not just long hours. Taking the time the learn how to take the exams is just as important as learning that material. For example, taking a practice exam under exam conditions and having a prof grade it during office hours > 4 extra hours reading notes/outline/supplement.


I think a very large percentage of people at top schools know how to work smart. Though I seriously doubt a lot of them continue to do so after 1L year.


I totally agree about them not trying after 1L, there is really no incentive to if all you want is a big firm job. My personal effort has definitely dipped in each successive semester of law school. I hedged what I said initially based on this, however, besides transfers, their aren't any data points to look at, only LSAT correlation speculation.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun May 06, 2012 11:10 pm

Do want to echo someone's thoughts about the LSAT from above. People who just trip into lower-ranked schools frequently could have done better on the LSAT. Personally, I "studied" for the December LSAT 2007 for three weeks in November--and by "study", I mean "flipped through a Kaplan book during my prep hours."

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby blsingindisguise » Sun May 06, 2012 11:14 pm

I was top 5% at a T2, and I've worked with enough HYS and CCN grads to know that I could probably hang in there at a top school but I'd probably be median if not below. There is definitely a marked difference in aptitude.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby dailygrind » Sun May 06, 2012 11:18 pm

I do think that, at UVA at least, the bottom of the curve can get kinda mushy. I have the impression that the people who land at the bottom stop trying, and it's really difficult to tell how well they would do at any school. People at the higher end of the curve (say, top third? (by this, I do not mean to imply that lower than top third is the bottom end of the curve)) I would be comfortable betting would do pretty damn well if they went lower down the rankings.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby Void » Sun May 06, 2012 11:50 pm

The only thing that this thread demonstrates is that it makes no sense to make broad assumptions about any group of people with regard to law school success.

Every one of the following statements is true:

-Some people are brilliant, and get great grades without much effort.
-Some people are brilliant, but also put in a lot of effort to get great grades.
-Some people are brilliant, but don't get great grades at all.
-Some people aren't brilliant, but get great grades without much effort.
-Some people aren't brilliant, but put in a lot of effort to get great grades.
-Some people aren't brilliant, and don't get great grades at all.

This is starting to feel like an LSAT problem.

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Re: How successful do you think you'd be at a better school?

Postby $$$$$$ » Mon May 07, 2012 12:06 am

It is just hard to tell. At a T10, I would guess some people at the bottom of the curve are not extremely naturally intelligent, but at the same time I am sure that some are smarter than kids on law review in terms of innate ability, they just either don't put in the effort, or are used to a completely different subject matter and way of learning and didn't adjust well. As someone who never wrote a paper longer than 8 pages in my life, and hadn't taken a history, poli sci, social science class in 5 years, law school was a hugeeee adjustment.




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