"Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:18 am

PepperJack wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:
PepperJack wrote:On the 5 point variation for 90% of the class, it's mentioned here: Alex M. Johnson Jr., African Americans, Law Schools and the LSAT. Charlottesville, Virginia (UVA BLSA: February 15, 2010), available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c

As for Sealocust's classmate, the 25th is still like a 165 vs a 170 median - that's 5 questions.


I haven't watched the video yet, but if he's talking about 90% of the students being within 5 points of some particular score, that's a ten-point spread, which I could totally believe. I thought you were saying that 90% of the students were within 5 points of each other, which would only be a five-point spread (and impossible at most schools).

Yes, within one another. I'm not writing a brief for the Supreme Court. Chill out. Where did I imply within some score?


I'm chill - just confused. If you're saying that 90% of a school's students scored within five points of each other on the LSAT, that's only a five-point spread, which is patently impossible just about anywhere.

arklaw13
Posts: 1704
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby arklaw13 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:19 am

Tl;dr

Don't go to a school with scholarship stips.

Every respectable school just requires good standing (that I'm aware of).

User avatar
PepperJack
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby PepperJack » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:19 am

ScottRiqui wrote:
PepperJack wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:
thesealocust wrote:It is generally taken for granted that overall GPA is how students are ranked and that rankings are comparable from section to section.


If stips are based on ranking, and rankings are based on overall GPA and are comparable from section to section, doesn't that mean that the students who missed the stip cutoff in the "stacked" section likely would have missed the stip cutoff regardless of which section they were in?

It seems like the real danger is if you end up in a section full of shit-hot students, such that an objectively stellar performance that would have put you near the top of any other section actually lands you at median in your section (and therefore, median in the overall rankings).

No, you don't get how it works.

Let's say out of 10 kids, there's 5 B+'s, 2 A's, 2 B's and 1 C+.

the 2 A's are pacing a 4.0.

Doesn't matter if they're in Section xx or Section yy. I suppose if firms KNEW there was section stacking and a kid writes XXXX Scholarship on the resume, they'd know about the stacked section so wouldn't treat them the same as a student with an identical GPA not in that section. Contrarily, it'd still say Shit School XXX on their website.


But doesn't the fact that the firms would care if they knew imply that GPAs aren't comparable between sections? That's the point where I'm stuck, mentally. If the same quality of work would get you the same GPA (and therefore, the same overall class ranking) no matter which section you're in, then "section stacking" wouldn't really weed out any more scholarship students compared to spreading them evenly across all of the sections.

It seems like section stacking only works if the stacked section is full of overly-bright students compared to the class as a whole. I guess that would be the case for a school that attaches stips to ALL of its scholarships, though.

Dude, it's not that difficult. Think about it like if college football teams never played out of conference. Ever.

Now let's say Alabama were 11-1.

Let's say Shittttity McShit East-West State is 12-0.

East-West State now ranks above Alabama.

User avatar
PepperJack
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby PepperJack » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:20 am

arklaw13 wrote:Tl;dr

Don't go to a school with scholarship stips.

Every respectable school just requires good standing (that I'm aware of).

If this concept blows his mind logically I'm not sure section stacking should be such a concern.

User avatar
Nova
Posts: 9116
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby Nova » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:25 am

arklaw13 wrote:Tl;dr

Don't go to a school with scholarship stips.

Every respectable school just requires good standing (that I'm aware of).

Mostly true

there are solid regionals with stips

Bama...Florida... Florida State... Utah...

its unlikely they section stack tho. Section stacking is TTT

User avatar
PepperJack
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby PepperJack » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:25 am

ScottRiqui wrote:
PepperJack wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:
PepperJack wrote:On the 5 point variation for 90% of the class, it's mentioned here: Alex M. Johnson Jr., African Americans, Law Schools and the LSAT. Charlottesville, Virginia (UVA BLSA: February 15, 2010), available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c

As for Sealocust's classmate, the 25th is still like a 165 vs a 170 median - that's 5 questions.


I haven't watched the video yet, but if he's talking about 90% of the students being within 5 points of some particular score, that's a ten-point spread, which I could totally believe. I thought you were saying that 90% of the students were within 5 points of each other, which would only be a five-point spread (and impossible at most schools).

Yes, within one another. I'm not writing a brief for the Supreme Court. Chill out. Where did I imply within some score?


I'm chill - just confused. If you're saying that 90% of a school's students scored within five points of each other on the LSAT, that's only a five-point spread, which is patently impossible just about anywhere.

No, it is not. It is very possible, the way it is, the way it has been and the way it will be.

The LSAT, particularly in extremes, is very predictable of law school performance. However, the best predictor of law school performance far and far and far away is prior law school performance so at these schools if you don't rock it, you gotta drop it.
Last edited by PepperJack on Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:25 am

arklaw13 wrote:Tl;dr

Don't go to a school with scholarship stips.

Every respectable school just requires good standing (that I'm aware of).


Mine only requires "good standing" as well - I'm just asking because this is something I've read about on TLS for three years and have never really understood.

User avatar
PepperJack
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby PepperJack » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:27 am

ScottRiqui wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:Tl;dr

Don't go to a school with scholarship stips.

Every respectable school just requires good standing (that I'm aware of).


Mine only requires "good standing" as well - I'm just asking because this is something I've read about on TLS for three years and have never really understood.

Socrates pondered the concept for a lifetime. Mine only requires good standing in the top 20% so I'm cool.
Last edited by PepperJack on Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:28 am

PepperJack wrote:No, it is not. It is very possible, the way it is, the way it has been and the way it will be.


At what schools? Like I said earlier, many (most?) schools have a five-point spread or more just in the middle 50% of the class. Tack on another 40% of the class, and the spread is only going to get bigger.
Last edited by ScottRiqui on Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

arklaw13
Posts: 1704
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby arklaw13 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:29 am

PepperJack wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:Tl;dr

Don't go to a school with scholarship stips.

Every respectable school just requires good standing (that I'm aware of).

If this concept blows his mind logically I'm not sure section stacking should be such a concern.


Pretty much.

I don't think stacking is a real thing, but I admit that random assignments can result in classes with different score distributions per section. In my class we have 4 people with full ride + stipend scholarships. One section has one, one has three, one has zero. Seems stacked, I guess, but the difference isn't going to matter in terms of the curve really. If three were 12 full rides and all of them ended up in one section of 60 people, then maybe you'd have an argument.

arklaw13
Posts: 1704
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby arklaw13 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:31 am

Nova wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:Tl;dr

Don't go to a school with scholarship stips.

Every respectable school just requires good standing (that I'm aware of).

Mostly true

there are solid regionals with stips

Bama...Florida... Florida State... Utah...

its unlikely they section stack tho. Section stacking is TTT


I see no reason for stips at a regional. If you're smart enough to get a decent scholarship at a regional, you should be smart enough to realize that without great grades your job prospects are going to suck. So there's no need to incentivize people with scholarships to put in effort. Stips are purely predatory IMO.

User avatar
ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:31 am

PepperJack wrote:Dude, it's not that difficult. Think about it like if college football teams never played out of conference. Ever.

Now let's say Alabama were 11-1.

Let's say Shittttity McShit East-West State is 12-0.

East-West State now ranks above Alabama.


Okay, but that's the football equivalent of GPAs not being comparable across sections, which runs counter to earlier posts. If you're saying that a certain quality of work will get you a different GPA depending on which section you're in, then stacking makes sense to me - you're putting the "hot runners" in the same section together, so that a quality of work that might get you a 3.6 in another section only gets you a 3.2 in the stacked section.

User avatar
PepperJack
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby PepperJack » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:58 am

ScottRiqui wrote:
PepperJack wrote:Dude, it's not that difficult. Think about it like if college football teams never played out of conference. Ever.

Now let's say Alabama were 11-1.

Let's say Shittttity McShit East-West State is 12-0.

East-West State now ranks above Alabama.


Okay, but that's the football equivalent of GPAs not being comparable across sections, which runs counter to earlier posts. If you're saying that a certain quality of work will get you a different GPA depending on which section you're in, then stacking makes sense to me - you're putting the "hot runners" in the same section together, so that a quality of work that might get you a 3.6 in another section only gets you a 3.2 in the stacked section.

It's not really possible to measure the quality, because part of doing well is tailoring an analysis to match the subjective preferences the professor has. It's not that confusing. Stop requiring dumbed down explanations, and then criticizing me for dumbing them down. But it's very hard to place above a certain percentile if you have many people as smart or smarter than you in your section. Anecdotally, I set some curves in my section when I had good days (feeling good, working good, coffee was made well, etc.) I've also had bad days where I was sick, misread something, etc. Because I go to a school with predominately 170+'s, some of which are ridiculously quick witted, thoughtful, etc., if I had a bad day, it's very easy to fall into the median. With those median tests, at a TTT, I have no doubt I may have set the curve. This is also what makes predicting a high class ranking so difficult, i.e. I'll be top 5%, because there's too much variance you can't control for. I'm in the minority who believes that you can control being above median at any school in the US, if you could get into that school. However, absurd GPA's in a stacked/top 14 section require consistency you can't predict, and not just an aptitude, work ethic and ability to manage stress.
Last edited by PepperJack on Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:04 am

PepperJack wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:
PepperJack wrote:Dude, it's not that difficult. Think about it like if college football teams never played out of conference. Ever.

Now let's say Alabama were 11-1.

Let's say Shittttity McShit East-West State is 12-0.

East-West State now ranks above Alabama.


Okay, but that's the football equivalent of GPAs not being comparable across sections, which runs counter to earlier posts. If you're saying that a certain quality of work will get you a different GPA depending on which section you're in, then stacking makes sense to me - you're putting the "hot runners" in the same section together, so that a quality of work that might get you a 3.6 in another section only gets you a 3.2 in the stacked section.

It's not really possible to measure the quality, because part of doing well is tailoring an analysis to match the subjective preferences the professor has. It's not that confusing. Stop requiring dumbed down explanations, and then criticizing me for dumbing them down.


No criticism - I thought it was a good analogy. It drives home the fact that the only way section stacking costs more students their scholarships compared to random distribution of scholarship students is if, on the average, a particular level of effort/ability gets you a lower GPA in the stacked section than it would in the other sections.

User avatar
PepperJack
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby PepperJack » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:09 am

ScottRiqui wrote:
PepperJack wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:
PepperJack wrote:Dude, it's not that difficult. Think about it like if college football teams never played out of conference. Ever.

Now let's say Alabama were 11-1.

Let's say Shittttity McShit East-West State is 12-0.

East-West State now ranks above Alabama.


Okay, but that's the football equivalent of GPAs not being comparable across sections, which runs counter to earlier posts. If you're saying that a certain quality of work will get you a different GPA depending on which section you're in, then stacking makes sense to me - you're putting the "hot runners" in the same section together, so that a quality of work that might get you a 3.6 in another section only gets you a 3.2 in the stacked section.

It's not really possible to measure the quality, because part of doing well is tailoring an analysis to match the subjective preferences the professor has. It's not that confusing. Stop requiring dumbed down explanations, and then criticizing me for dumbing them down.


No criticism - I thought it was a good analogy. It drives home the fact that the only way section stacking costs more students their scholarships compared to random distribution of scholarship students is if, on the average, a particular level of effort/ability gets you a lower GPA in the stacked section than it would in the other sections.

Sorry, I have some stress from exam period I may be taking out. Yes, I don't know. My school doesn't section stack, but overall it's just a bad proposition. Everyone on here sees it from the scholarship lens. That's not the issue I have with it. If you know they section stack, you're making a conscience decision. Maybe section stacking and giving stips is the only way to be able to offer a full ride vs. a half ride. You're essentially betting on yourself. All seems fair, good faith, etc.

My problem with the concept is that in this economy, even if you "win" you lose because you keep your scholarship but are fucked for jobs because you're now top 25% vs. top 5% because you got median on a test you'd have gotten an A- on if you were not in a stacked section.

User avatar
ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:17 am

PepperJack wrote:Sorry, I have some stress from exam period I may be taking out. Yes, I don't know. My school doesn't section stack, but overall it's just a bad proposition. Everyone on here sees it from the scholarship lens. That's not the issue I have with it. If you know they section stack, you're making a conscience decision. Maybe section stacking and giving stips is the only way to be able to offer a full ride vs. a half ride. You're essentially betting on yourself. All seems fair, good faith, etc.

My problem with the concept is that in this economy, even if you "win" you lose because you keep your scholarship but are fucked for jobs because you're now top 25% vs. top 5% because you got median on a test you'd have gotten an A- on if you were not in a stacked section.


No worries, your posts have finally gotten me to "see the light". Whenever I've been reading about section stacking, I've been missing the underlying assumption that the competition is going to be tougher in a "stacked" section, and that a particular combination of ability/effort/luck that would get you a good enough GPA to keep your scholarship in a class of randomly-assigned sections might not get you a good enough GPA in a section full of "better/smarter" students.
Last edited by ScottRiqui on Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
PepperJack
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby PepperJack » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:19 am

arklaw13 wrote:
Nova wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:Tl;dr

Don't go to a school with scholarship stips.

Every respectable school just requires good standing (that I'm aware of).

Mostly true

there are solid regionals with stips

Bama...Florida... Florida State... Utah...

its unlikely they section stack tho. Section stacking is TTT


I see no reason for stips at a regional. If you're smart enough to get a decent scholarship at a regional, you should be smart enough to realize that without great grades your job prospects are going to suck. So there's no need to incentivize people with scholarships to put in effort. Stips are purely predatory IMO.

The stips alone aren't the issue. Clearly, there's some economics model at play that allows the schools to give more of these scholarships than they'd give without any stipulations. It's not a scam. Some students will win the game, some will lose. The stips itself aren't a cause for saying dismiss A's full ride and take B's half ride with no stips. The fact is you should likely take A, and drop out if you can't be top third at a third tier. Section stacking changes the analysis, though.

User avatar
grungy89
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:05 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby grungy89 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:06 am

PepperJack wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:
Nova wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:Tl;dr

Don't go to a school with scholarship stips.

Every respectable school just requires good standing (that I'm aware of).

Mostly true

there are solid regionals with stips

Bama...Florida... Florida State... Utah...

its unlikely they section stack tho. Section stacking is TTT


I see no reason for stips at a regional. If you're smart enough to get a decent scholarship at a regional, you should be smart enough to realize that without great grades your job prospects are going to suck. So there's no need to incentivize people with scholarships to put in effort. Stips are purely predatory IMO.

The stips alone aren't the issue. Clearly, there's some economics model at play that allows the schools to give more of these scholarships than they'd give without any stipulations. It's not a scam. Some students will win the game, some will lose. The stips itself aren't a cause for saying dismiss A's full ride and take B's half ride with no stips. The fact is you should likely take A, and drop out if you can't be top third at a third tier. Section stacking changes the analysis, though.


I've been wondering this. So is the TLS wisdom that if a student loses their scholarship for 2L because of stips, then discontinuing law school and pursuing something else could/would? be best course of action?? Cut your losses while their at their smallest? Like leaving yourself an out.

User avatar
stillwater
Posts: 3811
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:59 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby stillwater » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:09 am

grungy89 wrote:
I've been wondering this. So is the TLS wisdom that if a student loses their scholarship for 2L because of stips, then discontinuing law school and pursuing something else could/would? be best course of action?? Cut your losses while their at their smallest? Like leaving yourself an out.


losing your scholarship probably means you arent getting a job from the TTT youre at. plan accordingly.

User avatar
PepperJack
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Re: "Section Stacking" and Class Ranking Question

Postby PepperJack » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:55 pm

Yeah, the reason I am not anti-stips if there's no section stacking is the worst I have heard of is top 25 percent, and if you are not top at least 10 percent at a TTTT you're done so the stip is moot. Even if you kept the scholly if you can place highly at any law school you can acquire a skill that'd get you a 50k job, and that's not ever going to happen in law for 90 percent of these school's grads.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests