control over 1L class rank

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taf889
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control over 1L class rank

Postby taf889 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:04 pm

Before i pick a school that is 'over my head', i want to know i will be relatively high up in class rankings so i can get a job. im prepared to work like crazy, but so is every other 1L. that being said, how much control do i have over my class rank? does it come down to being smart, or is it really possible to work harder than everyone else?

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bk1
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:26 pm

You cannot guarantee your class rank in any way. You can and should work hard, but that does not mean you will do well. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up below median.

Gorki
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby Gorki » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:10 pm

bk1 wrote:You cannot guarantee your class rank in any way. You can and should work hard, but that does not mean you will do well. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up below median.

This. We had people who took it easy all the time in the top 10%, and people who studied their asses off and took tons of practice tests at median.

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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:20 pm

bk1 wrote:You cannot guarantee your class rank in any way. You can and should work hard, but that does not mean you will do well. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up below median.


This isn't exactly true. Attend a school where you are above the 75th percentile of LSAT and GPA, and you will be getting a lot of scholarship money + much better chance of high class rank.

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sunynp
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby sunynp » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:33 pm

Gorki wrote:
bk1 wrote:You cannot guarantee your class rank in any way. You can and should work hard, but that does not mean you will do well. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up below median.

This. We had people who took it easy all the time in the top 10%, and people who studied their asses off and took tons of practice tests at median.

I think this is true at every school.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:39 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
bk1 wrote:You cannot guarantee your class rank in any way. You can and should work hard, but that does not mean you will do well. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up below median.


This isn't exactly true. Attend a school where you are above the 75th percentile of LSAT and GPA, and you will be getting a lot of scholarship money + much better chance of high class rank.

oh not this bullshit again

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theavrock
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby theavrock » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:43 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
bk1 wrote:You cannot guarantee your class rank in any way. You can and should work hard, but that does not mean you will do well. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up below median.


This isn't exactly true. Attend a school where you are above the 75th percentile of LSAT and GPA, and you will be getting a lot of scholarship money + much better chance of high class rank.


This is not true, and is awful advice.

OP. There is no way of predicting your grades. Just because you did well on the LSAT and undergrad relative to your classmates has no bearing on where you will place rank wise.

Go to the best school you can get in to. Then work your ass off and let the chips fall where they may. There are obviously other concerns (cost, market you want to practice in), but your GPA and LSAT relative to classmates is not one of them.

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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:12 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
bk1 wrote:You cannot guarantee your class rank in any way. You can and should work hard, but that does not mean you will do well. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up below median.


This isn't exactly true. Attend a school where you are above the 75th percentile of LSAT and GPA, and you will be getting a lot of scholarship money + much better chance of high class rank.

oh not this bullshit again


you know, it's annoying to have this type of idiotic response. I have news for TLSers: if you are 4.0 180 LSAT and you attend Thomas Jefferson Law School you have a better than 50% chance of being above median. In fact you have an excellent chance of top 10%.

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blurbz
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby blurbz » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:17 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
bk1 wrote:You cannot guarantee your class rank in any way. You can and should work hard, but that does not mean you will do well. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up below median.


This isn't exactly true. Attend a school where you are above the 75th percentile of LSAT and GPA, and you will be getting a lot of scholarship money + much better chance of high class rank.

oh not this bullshit again


you know, it's annoying to have this type of idiotic response. I have news for TLSers: if you are 4.0 180 LSAT and you attend Thomas Jefferson Law School you have a better than 50% chance of being above median. In fact you have an excellent chance of top 10%.


No, you don't. You've already proven you're an idiot if you go to TJ with a 4.0/180.

I recognize hyperbole, but you're just wrong.

Swimp
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby Swimp » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:19 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:if you are 4.0 180 LSAT and you attend Thomas Jefferson Law School you have a better than 50% chance of being above median. In fact you have an excellent chance of top 10%.


Where are you getting these percentages from?

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sunynp
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby sunynp » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:20 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
bk1 wrote:You cannot guarantee your class rank in any way. You can and should work hard, but that does not mean you will do well. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up below median.


This isn't exactly true. Attend a school where you are above the 75th percentile of LSAT and GPA, and you will be getting a lot of scholarship money + much better chance of high class rank.

oh not this bullshit again


you know, it's annoying to have this type of idiotic response. I have news for TLSers: if you are 4.0 180 LSAT and you attend Thomas Jefferson Law School you have a better than 50% chance of being above median. In fact you have an excellent chance of top 10%.


Have you even completed a semester of law school yet? Have you had finals and grades yet?

I can't tell but you sound like a 1l who just started school a few weeks ago. Sorry if I'm wrong.

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bk1
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:28 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:you know, it's annoying to have this type of idiotic response. I have news for TLSers: if you are 4.0 180 LSAT and you attend Thomas Jefferson Law School you have a better than 50% chance of being above median. In fact you have an excellent chance of top 10%.


Nice straw man.

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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:35 pm

I'm a 1L, you're right. This is what I'm basing my claim on:

1. At my school every student who has attended as a full merit scholar in the last 10 years has finished top 25%.

2. Every thread in TLS about full ride v. T14 has people who have done this weighing in to say they finished top of their class. I have yet to hear anyone on this site or elsewhere who attended full ride and ended up below median.

3. Professors on both sides (t14 and lower school) told me that anecdotally students in this situation do well.

4. It makes sense. If you are top 5% in grades and Lsat coming in, it really doesn't make sense to think your chance of doing well is the same as everyone else's.


BUT obviously I'm biased. I want to do well and I have an incentive for thinking I have an edge. I believe this is true. All of the listed above lead me to think this is the case.

WahooLaw
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby WahooLaw » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:38 pm

The best predictor for grades is how you have fared in a similar environment. If you have consistently gotten A's in writing-heavy classes in undergrad (poli sic, philosophy, history, etc.) at a school like an Ivy, Duke, Chicago, UVa, Michigan, Cal, or one of the top liberal arts colleges, there's no reason why hard work shouldn't get you well into the top half of a T14. In this circumstance, undergrad GPA has a decent correlation to law school GPA.

As much as it might help your admission, high GPAs from less consistent schools or majors that don't require analytical writing on timed exams have much less predictive value. LSAT by itself is meaningless because it doesn't test your writing ability or work ethic.

I have no sources for any of this other than personal experience and observation at my law school.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:39 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
bk1 wrote:You cannot guarantee your class rank in any way. You can and should work hard, but that does not mean you will do well. Plenty of smart, hard-working people end up below median.


This isn't exactly true. Attend a school where you are above the 75th percentile of LSAT and GPA, and you will be getting a lot of scholarship money + much better chance of high class rank.

oh not this bullshit again


you know, it's annoying to have this type of idiotic response. I have news for TLSers: if you are 4.0 180 LSAT and you attend Thomas Jefferson Law School you have a better than 50% chance of being above median. In fact you have an excellent chance of top 10%.

two things, though BK already basically told you what I'm gonna say:
1) although there is a decent chance that you'd be above median at TJ if you have a 180/4.0, no one is making that choice. People who are making decisions between big scholly and best school are typically comparing places like WUSTL to UVA. There simply is not enough of a difference in the quality of student body to make that estimation. So while you may be right if you take your theory to its extreme, in practice, it's not a comparison that is worth making. If you are picking between schools that are far enough apart in terms of student quality, you're doing it wrong.
2) If you are doing it that way, ending up at top 1% at TJ is not as good of a scenario in terms of career prospects as ending up below median at Duke. So, good job getting a much higher class rank because you went to a shitty school, but you still get no job.

Either way, doing it this way is asinine.

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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:46 pm

Well look--we'll see. A hypo close to me: let's say you are 3.75/170. Excellent undergrad. You want to practice in the southeast preferably Georgia. You have ties to the state. You can attend vandy/duke with 125/150k in debt or UGA with named fellowship with full tuition, books, stipend. I don't believe this person has the same chance of below median as the average student.

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bk1
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:02 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Well look--we'll see. A hypo close to me: let's say you are 3.75/170. Excellent undergrad. You want to practice in the southeast preferably Georgia. You have ties to the state. You can attend vandy/duke with 125/150k in debt or UGA with named fellowship with full tuition, books, stipend. I don't believe this person has the same chance of below median as the average student.


I agree with you on the bolded. Your odds are better. That being said, there are two issues:

1. Odds are not a guarantee. While you are more likely than not to end up above median, you still have a decent chance of ending up below median.

2. (as jam pointed out) It's questionable whether the better odds are worth the drop in job placement power. I'm of the mind that they are not for someone who wants biglaw (as, in your example, the difference between Duke/UVA and UGA i/r/t biglaw placement is quite large).

Even if you come in as a merit scholar with dominating stats, you aren't the only one. There are a bunch of other people who you are competing with who have made a similar choice to you.

WahooLaw
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby WahooLaw » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:19 pm

bk1 wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Well look--we'll see. A hypo close to me: let's say you are 3.75/170. Excellent undergrad. You want to practice in the southeast preferably Georgia. You have ties to the state. You can attend vandy/duke with 125/150k in debt or UGA with named fellowship with full tuition, books, stipend. I don't believe this person has the same chance of below median as the average student.


I agree with you on the bolded. Your odds are better. That being said, there are two issues:

1. Odds are not a guarantee. While you are more likely than not to end up above median, you still have a decent chance of ending up below median.

2. (as jam pointed out) It's questionable whether the better odds are worth the drop in job placement power. I'm of the mind that they are not for someone who wants biglaw (as, in your example, the difference between Duke/UVA and UGA i/r/t biglaw placement is quite large).

Even if you come in as a merit scholar with dominating stats, you aren't the only one. There are a bunch of other people who you are competing with who have made a similar choice to you.


Numbers for you. Associates at A&B Atlanta / Law school class size / # with tech degrees. Also consider how many people at each school are gunning for Atlanta big law.

UGA - 10 / 189 / 5
Emory - 10 / 246 / 0
Georgia State - 8 / 223 / 1
Duke - 5 / 211 / 1
Vanderbilt - 10 / 194 / 0
UVA - 2 / 357 / 0

Edited for accuracy.
Last edited by WahooLaw on Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:23 pm

bk1 wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Well look--we'll see. A hypo close to me: let's say you are 3.75/170. Excellent undergrad. You want to practice in the southeast preferably Georgia. You have ties to the state. You can attend vandy/duke with 125/150k in debt or UGA with named fellowship with full tuition, books, stipend. I don't believe this person has the same chance of below median as the average student.


I agree with you on the bolded. Your odds are better. That being said, there are two issues:

1. Odds are not a guarantee. While you are more likely than not to end up above median, you still have a decent chance of ending up below median.

2. (as jam pointed out) It's questionable whether the better odds are worth the drop in job placement power. I'm of the mind that they are not for someone who wants biglaw (as, in your example, the difference between Duke/UVA and UGA i/r/t biglaw placement is quite large).

Even if you come in as a merit scholar with dominating stats, you aren't the only one. There are a bunch of other people who you are competing with who have made a similar choice to you.


Well, to be honest I think I have zero chance of being below median, but there is a danger of ending up between top 25% and median. And in response to the OP, the question is: how can I control class rank? All of us know that where you finish in your class plays a huge role in your career prospects. I have heard many people say essentially that grades are pure randomness, so and so never worked and is top of class, other people worked 24/7 below median, and I do think that can be true. If you have 1 LSAT point above median or .05 above GPA median you would be misguided to think you have a huge edge. But based on what I've seen at my school I think that a random person has an average chance of median, and I think a full scholarship student is working with the top half of the grade curve. They have an average chance of top 25%, and they may underperform that (25%-50%) or over perform (1-25%). I know this sounds boastful and naive (I am a 1L, no doubt) but i literally cannot find one person who is full ride and bottom half of the class anywhere, from talking to dozens of people who have made this choice, consulting law school stats, looking through threads on TLS, etc etc.

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stillwater
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby stillwater » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:25 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
Well, to be honest I think I have zero chance of being below median, but there is a danger of ending up between top 25% and median. And in response to the OP, the question is: how can I control class rank? All of us know that where you finish in your class plays a huge role in your career prospects. I have heard many people say essentially that grades are pure randomness, so and so never worked and is top of class, other people worked 24/7 below median, and I do think that can be true. If you have 1 LSAT point above median or .05 above GPA median you would be misguided to think you have a huge edge. But based on what I've seen at my school I think that a random person has an average chance of median, and I think a full scholarship student is working with the top half of the grade curve. They have an average chance of top 25%, and they may underperform that (25%-50%) or over perform (1-25%). I know this sounds boastful and naive (I am a 1L, no doubt) but i literally cannot find one person who is full ride and bottom half of the class anywhere, from talking to dozens of people who have made this choice, consulting law school stats, looking through threads on TLS, etc etc.


Special snowflake.

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sunynp
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby sunynp » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:40 pm

I hope it works out for you. But I would not advise other people about controlling law school grades until you actually have some.


Not everyone is in your situation. I'm personally debt averse so I understand going for free plus a stipend. But to take that betting on being the top of class may not work out. The advantage is that you have no debt to repay not that you are controlling your class placement by going to a lower ranked school.

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grrrstick
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby grrrstick » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:43 pm

If you think you are a special snowflake and have any control over class rank you have almost certainly fallen for the scam. Grades are not arbitrary, but understand that the difference between an A- or B+ on a curve where 95% of people are working hard and relatively smart is largely arbitrary. And that A- or B+ can have a large impact on how you perform at OCI.

Law school will be many, many peoples' first epic fail in life. There are major structural problems in the legal market and if you think you are immune you are fooling yourself.

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bk1
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:45 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Well, to be honest I think I have zero chance of being below median, but there is a danger of ending up between top 25% and median. And in response to the OP, the question is: how can I control class rank? All of us know that where you finish in your class plays a huge role in your career prospects. I have heard many people say essentially that grades are pure randomness, so and so never worked and is top of class, other people worked 24/7 below median, and I do think that can be true. If you have 1 LSAT point above median or .05 above GPA median you would be misguided to think you have a huge edge. But based on what I've seen at my school I think that a random person has an average chance of median, and I think a full scholarship student is working with the top half of the grade curve. They have an average chance of top 25%, and they may underperform that (25%-50%) or over perform (1-25%). I know this sounds boastful and naive (I am a 1L, no doubt) but i literally cannot find one person who is full ride and bottom half of the class anywhere, from talking to dozens of people who have made this choice, consulting law school stats, looking through threads on TLS, etc etc.


You're deluding yourself if you don't think you can finish below median. You probably have around a 1/4 chance of being below median. This should help clear things up for you (by former LSAC chair): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c&t=15m0s (Ironically you're actually right that someone who dominates their school's medians probably will end up somewhere around top quartile.)

OP asked "how can I control class rank?" You can't control rank. You can control what you do (studying) but at the end of the day you cannot guarantee you will fall anywhere in the curve (except at the bottom if you choose to fail your finals). Grades are not purely random, but that doesn't mean you can guarantee any outcome (even as simple an outcome as top 75%).

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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:50 pm

bk1 wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Well, to be honest I think I have zero chance of being below median, but there is a danger of ending up between top 25% and median. And in response to the OP, the question is: how can I control class rank? All of us know that where you finish in your class plays a huge role in your career prospects. I have heard many people say essentially that grades are pure randomness, so and so never worked and is top of class, other people worked 24/7 below median, and I do think that can be true. If you have 1 LSAT point above median or .05 above GPA median you would be misguided to think you have a huge edge. But based on what I've seen at my school I think that a random person has an average chance of median, and I think a full scholarship student is working with the top half of the grade curve. They have an average chance of top 25%, and they may underperform that (25%-50%) or over perform (1-25%). I know this sounds boastful and naive (I am a 1L, no doubt) but i literally cannot find one person who is full ride and bottom half of the class anywhere, from talking to dozens of people who have made this choice, consulting law school stats, looking through threads on TLS, etc etc.


You're deluding yourself if you don't think you can finish below median. You probably have around a 1/4 chance of being below median. This should help clear things up for you (by former LSAC chair): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c&t=15m0s (Ironically you're actually right that someone who dominates their school's medians probably will end up somewhere around top quartile.)

OP asked "how can I control class rank?" You can't control rank. You can control what you do (studying) but at the end of the day you cannot guarantee you will fall anywhere in the curve (except at the bottom if you choose to fail your finals). Grades are not purely random, but that doesn't mean you can guarantee any outcome (even as simple an outcome as top 75%).


Listen, I'm curious. If you can put me in touch with someone who attended a top 50 school with a full ride + scholarship and ended up bottom 50%, I'll give you $20. just PM your address and I'll send you a bill. I'm not saying this to be an asshole at all, but literally I can't find any counter-evidence to the position I'm advocating.

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bk1
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Re: control over 1L class rank

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:52 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:literally I can't find any counter-evidence to the position I'm advocating.


Watch about 5 minutes of that video I posted from the point I started it at (15 min mark). Ideally I'd say watch all of it.




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