Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

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Korey
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Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby Korey » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:10 pm

Hello,

Although my post count doesn't really show it I have been reading these forums a bit and it seems that it is generally accepted that one's undergrad inst. has very little or no influence upon their admission to law school?

If this is correct can anyone elaborate on the reasoning behind this?
I am sure there are MANY cases where the following doesn't apply, but it seems that in general the workload and difficulty of the courses at my University X are far beyond those of my friend at University Z.

This irritates me because if I had read TLS prior to choosing a college I would have chosen the one where I got a scholarship rather than paying this BS 50,000+ a year.

LSU Undergrad
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby LSU Undergrad » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:17 pm

Ding ding ding, you've found the magic truth. It's too bad you're a little late. I for one am happy I did my research before entering undergrad.

I guess the most obvious reason would be that there is absolutely no foolproof way of comparing the difficulty and/or grade inflation at different schools. Truthfully though, the actual reason more likely is that schools report median GPAs or 25th/75th percentile grades. Accepting lower GPAs from "tougher" schools will bring down these numbers.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:28 pm

Yale Law School & Harvard Law School like their undergraduates, although I am not sure about Stanford Law School, Columbia & Chicago.

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Bosque
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby Bosque » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:53 pm

Part of the reason is that because your undergraduate major does not matter for law (since you learn it all in law school), the school you went to for undergrad does not either for legal hiring. Employers only really care about the school which indicates your ability to practice law (albeit a very poor indicator), and the one they are going to use to sell you to clients. That is your law school alma mater. So, since the name of the undergrad wont help your law school employ you, they don't particularly care what it is.

Also, it is a numbers game. US News does not parse out GPAs by the schools people went to for undergrad when they are making the rankings, so the law schools have no incentive to either. But they do have an incentive to fill their classes with the candidates with the best numbers. So they take the best numerically they can find from all over.

Law schools don't care because they have no reason to care. Simple carrots and sticks.

r6_philly
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:55 pm

If you went to the same school for both UG and Law, you will be giving to the same school. There has to be some advantages in keeping alumni in house. But that doesn't necessarily translate to any meaningful relevance in admission I suppose.

In other words, I don't really have anything to offer on this topic :D

FTS
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby FTS » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:04 pm

Im glad I chose to pay 50,000 a year for undergrad instead of take the scholly to state school. No way I wouldve been as prepared for the LSAT or law school without my past 3 years. And paying made me take school a hell of a lot more seriously than if i wouldve gone to my state school. Summer job opportunities are amazing too from my school

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OGR3
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby OGR3 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:11 pm

Truthfully, I can't understand why anyone would pay so much for a private education. I certainly don't think that my education at a public regional school was as good as top private schools, but there's no way I could justify spending an additional $30,000 annually in tuition for that higher quality.

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Lonagan
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby Lonagan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:13 pm

Your rich kid private school didn't make you better at the LSAT. If you want to pay 50k/yr to make yourself think your poop smells like raspberries go for it I guess, but don't pretend it confers benefits that it doesn't.

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im_blue
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby im_blue » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:14 pm

Bosque wrote:the school you went to for undergrad does not either for legal hiring.

Some posters have claimed in the legal employment forum that their top UG helped them at OCI. Anyone know if this is true?

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rayiner
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby rayiner » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:16 pm

FTS wrote:Im glad I chose to pay 50,000 a year for undergrad instead of take the scholly to state school. No way I wouldve been as prepared for the LSAT or law school without my past 3 years. And paying made me take school a hell of a lot more seriously than if i wouldve gone to my state school. Summer job opportunities are amazing too from my school


ROFL.

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rayiner
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby rayiner » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:17 pm

Only credited private schools are HYPS+M/C. Maybe Columbia/Penn. I think those schools give you substantively different opportunities (top consulting, top finance, top engineering) jobs that you can't get from the top state schools (Michigan, Virginia, California, etc).

showNprove
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby showNprove » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:29 pm

.
Last edited by showNprove on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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OGR3
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby OGR3 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:35 pm

showNprove wrote:The "undergrad doesn't matter" mantra is an utter myth, both in admissions and employment. It doesn't matter enough to justify paying $50,000/yr, but if you think the Berkeley guy with a 172/3.7 isn't going to beat the U. Kentucky guy with a 173/3.8 more times than not, you are mistaken. And if you think the Princeton/UVA Law guy isn't going to do better than the Rutgers/UVA Law guy in hiring, all else being relatively equal, you are very mistaken.


Umm...

Berkeley and Kentucky are both public. The point of this thread was a guy paid a ton for his private education and felt he should be rewarded for that in his law school applications.

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bk1
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:36 pm

showNprove wrote:The "undergrad doesn't matter" mantra is an utter myth, both in admissions and employment. It doesn't matter enough to justify paying $50,000/yr, but if you think the Berkeley guy with a 172/3.7 isn't going to beat the U. Kentucky guy with a 173/3.8 more times than not, you are mistaken. And if you think the Princeton/UVA Law guy isn't going to do better than the Rutgers/UVA Law guy in hiring, all else being relatively equal, you are very mistaken.


I think the UKentucky is guy is going to do better than a Berkeley guy at a school whose medians are 173/3.75, or a realistic example of someplace like UMich or NYU where the Kentucky grad is over both medians whereas the Berkeley kid is over only one.

And with hiring, everything else being equal is very rare so why even bother discussing it? You really think that the instances of extremely disparate UG's but very similar grades and very similar interviewing skills and very similar work experience are common enough to even bother mentioning?

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paratactical
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby paratactical » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:40 pm

showNprove wrote:The "undergrad doesn't matter" mantra is an utter myth, both in admissions and employment. It doesn't matter enough to justify paying $50,000/yr, but if you think the Berkeley guy with a 172/3.7 isn't going to beat the U. Kentucky guy with a 173/3.8 more times than not, you are mistaken. And if you think the Princeton/UVA Law guy isn't going to do better than the Rutgers/UVA Law guy in hiring, all else being relatively equal, you are very mistaken.


This post only proves that you've never looked at a facebook for a srs bsns firm.

thegor1987
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby thegor1987 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:47 pm

Life is not about numbers alone. A good undergrad is important, it is true that you will have to work a lot harder for lower grades. But this is the cost of educating yourself in a competitive environment. With a little bit of time you will discover the advantages of going to a prestigious UG.

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RVP11
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby RVP11 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:50 pm

FTS wrote:Im glad I chose to pay 50,000 a year for undergrad instead of take the scholly to state school. No way I wouldve been as prepared for the LSAT or law school without my past 3 years. And paying made me take school a hell of a lot more seriously than if i wouldve gone to my state school. Summer job opportunities are amazing too from my school


Yeah dude, $50k/year is totally worth your awesome summer internships.

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charlesxavier
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby charlesxavier » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:55 pm

RVP11 wrote:
FTS wrote:Im glad I chose to pay 50,000 a year for undergrad instead of take the scholly to state school. No way I wouldve been as prepared for the LSAT or law school without my past 3 years. And paying made me take school a hell of a lot more seriously than if i wouldve gone to my state school. Summer job opportunities are amazing too from my school


Yeah dude, $50k/year is totally worth your awesome summer internships.


No, $25k a year was for summer internships and the other $25k a year was for LSAT prep.

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bedefan
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bedefan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:59 pm

OGR3 wrote:Truthfully, I can't understand why anyone would pay so much for a private education. I certainly don't think that my education at a public regional school was as good as top private schools, but there's no way I could justify spending an additional $30,000 annually in tuition for that higher quality.


Best kept secret about top private schools is they drastically reduce their tuition, effectively, through grants (once they admit you, and assuming your family isn't rich). I paid 12k/yr including rm & bd to go to a "top 10 liberal arts college." At the time I went to college this was only 2-3k/yr more expensive than my home state's best public uni. It was a no-brainer.

"Top 10 liberal arts college" is in quotes because it's in one way a dumb thing to say. Like, are Dartmouth grads smarter than UNH grads? Maybe--maybe not--who knows? Do they have better professors? Well, they might get professors more dedicated to teaching, since they're a liberal arts college. But there are great teachers and scholars at every state school.

So why go to Dartmouth (for example) over UNH (for example)? The alumni network. My experience coming out of a "top 10 liberal arts college" is that alums of my school WATCH MY BACK in a way that alums at my brother's big state school alma mater just don't do for him. Job opportunities, informal career counseling, etc.

Privilege begets privilege. You go to Dartmouth, you have access to a national (or at least regional) network of privilege that UNH does not provide access to. Other things being equal, you will have better access to jobs, research opportunities, travel opportunities, networking opportunities, etc. etc. etc. if you go to a rich-people (aka private) school rather than an everybody-people (aka public) school. If you go to a school with a culture of extreme school loyalty (Dartmouth, Harvard, Oberlin, Carleton, many more actually) these benefits do not dissipate much as you get further from graduation.

Now as for big firms... Meh. I don't know, IANAL. For all I know everything I've said above is only relevant for the business/big non-profit world, where one's network is extremely important.

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im_blue
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby im_blue » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:02 pm

It's worth noting that many top UGs are able to give very generous financial aid to low-income and middle-income families, making the cost comparable to or even lower than lower-ranked publics. Anyone paying the full $40k tuition at expensive privates likely has a household income of at least $150k-$200k.

For example:
Harvard and Stanford: free tuition for income under $100k, free room/board also for income under $60k
MIT and Dartmouth: free tuition and room/board for income under $75k
Columbia and Brown: free tuition and room/board for income under $60k

HeavenWood
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:05 pm

Go somewhere you can get a good education, academically succeed, and be happy.

My friends laughed at me when I went to Pitt and they went to Penn. I laughed right back when I got a 3.9 and they struggled to break 3.5...

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Lonagan
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby Lonagan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:08 pm

HeavenWood wrote:Go somewhere you can get a good education, academically succeed, and be happy.

My friends laughed at me when I went to Pitt and they went to Penn. I laughed right back when I got a 3.9 and they struggled to break 3.5...


Plus you got that frickin awesome building. Much jealousy.

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MrKappus
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby MrKappus » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:10 pm

Bosque wrote:Part of the reason is that because your undergraduate major does not matter for law (since you learn it all in law school), the school you went to for undergrad does not either for legal hiring. Employers only really care about the school which indicates your ability to practice law (albeit a very poor indicator), and the one they are going to use to sell you to clients. That is your law school alma mater. So, since the name of the undergrad wont help your law school employ you, they don't particularly care what it is.


Attorneys' UGs are on every lawyer profile of every V100 firm website I've seen. I'm not sure they would do that if UG had not marketing value.

HeavenWood
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:16 pm

Lonagan wrote:
HeavenWood wrote:Go somewhere you can get a good education, academically succeed, and be happy.

My friends laughed at me when I went to Pitt and they went to Penn. I laughed right back when I got a 3.9 and they struggled to break 3.5...


Plus you got that frickin awesome building. Much jealousy.


By and large, college is what you make of it. Most large, research-oriented public universities can give you the same quality of education as the ivies. You just need to seek out the right people. The right professors and advisers can make a world of difference. Go to an ivy if you prefer the environment and can pay the tuition. Don't go thinking you'll have a magical leg up over everyone else. Four years down the line, you'll be quite disappointed.

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MrKappus
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby MrKappus » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:19 pm

^ All true unless you want to do banking/consulting. Then go the best UG you can.




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