rayiner wrote:kritarch wrote:

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this math is both wrong and misleading.

The explanatory power of LSAT and GPA cannot be compared across schools, period. The fact of the matter is, the only group of people for which we have any even remotely comparable data at all would be transfer students, and do to significant selection bias and endogeneity problems that sample will never have enough students in it to yield anything like comparative data.

Georgetown takes students with high LSATs and high GPAs that Columbia does not take. Often, those GPAs at Georgetown mean less than the GPAs of comparable students at Columbia. Moreover, GPA/LSAT splitting (i.e. "gaming the medians") is much more common, and much more possible, the lower the law school's rank.

A student at Yale or Harvard is not only more likely to have done extremely well both on the LSAT and in undergrad, but is much more likely to have gone to a school from which their high GPA is an extremely strong indicator of ability. Yet, of course, because of the nature of the data that LSAC can collect, all that we can discern is that those with 4.2/180s do better than 3.8/173s more often by some amount (explained by the correlation coefficient). What we cannot say, at all (and should not say) is that a 3.8/173 at Georgetown would have done just as well in the counter-factual situation, since that combination at Georgetown actually puts you near the tippy-top of their incoming GPA/LSATs, as opposed to the middle (moreover, that student's GPA is more likely to be from University of Phoenix, on average).

What this simple example should show (I hope) is that at best we can discern nothing about how students would do comparatively from the GPA/LSAT correlation data. Moreover, if anything, we should in fact conclude precisely the opposite of what you're saying. That is, if you think about it, given that 4.2/178s are doing better than 3.8/172s in comparable ratios to the ratios at lower ranked schools where the distribution is more likely comparing 4.2/165s and 2.1/175s we should be more apt to conclude, at least heuristically, that these data indicate that at HYS/CCN, on average, students would absolutely destroy students at schools ranked significantly lower.

Food for thought. This is Top-Law-Schools.com. You would expect more love for top law schools, no?

Undergraduate GPA is correlated for shit with law school grades. That's empirical fact.

Here's what you math-challenged retards don't seem to understand. Being in the top 2-3% of a law school class (much less #1) involves being two standard deviations above the mean. Yet, the average student at HY was only one standard deviation above the average student at U Alabama on the LSAT. Even the highest figures for LSAT + GPA correlation do not give you numbers higher than about 0.7, which means a one standard

Again, this tells us that

within the incoming class at Harvard, the highest LSATs are going to do better by some amount, and those with higher LSATs and higher GPAs are going to do even better on average than anyone else in some proportion. We know that this trend will hold up

within the class at HLS, at CLS, at Georgetown, and NYLS, and everywhere.

What that correlation does not tell us, indeed cannot tell us, is what the outcome would have been if you had put the median Harvard student up against the median Georgetown student. For a variety of reasons I have already outlined (HLS students come from much tougher majors and better schools than students at lower ranked schools with the same numbers, and often also have stronger extracurricular achievements) it is likely they are not generally comparable. Moreover, and most important of all, the 173 students are "losing" in direct competition with the 180 students at higher ranked schools at about the same rate as the 165 students are losing to the 173 students at lower ranked schools. This should tell us, I think, that we should be very careful about saying that a 3.8/173 student who is median at Harvard is

even remotely similar to a 3.8/173 student that is median at Georgetown. One of them came in and did as expected. The other underperformed.

Why would we

ever think that the median 173 student who did about as expected at Harvard would underperform at a lower ranked school?