What DOES predict law school success?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)

What is the best predictor of success (grades) in law school?

1. Undergraduate GPA
11
8%
2. LSAT score
47
33%
3. Work experience
8
6%
4. Amount of time spent studying
29
20%
5. Pure luck
17
12%
6. Something else
30
21%
 
Total votes: 142

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emkay625
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What DOES predict law school success?

Postby emkay625 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:34 pm

So, people on TLS frequently say that GPA/LSAT do not predict law school success. So, my question is, what do you think does?

Specifically:
1. What do you think is the most important predictor of who will/won't succeed in law school?
2. If you had to choose between LSAT or GPA, which one did you pick?
3. Luck vs. hard work?

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SaintClarence27
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby SaintClarence27 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:36 pm

emkay625 wrote:So, people on TLS frequently say that GPA/LSAT do not predict law school success. So, my question is, what do you think does?

Specifically:
1. What do you think is the most important predictor of who will/won't succeed in law school?
2. If you had to choose between LSAT or GPA, which one did you pick?
3. Luck vs. hard work?


I think neither LSAT nor GPA matter one whit. But that doesn't mean there isn't any correlation. Once someone is reasonably intelligent, writes reasonably well, and works very hard, it all comes down to luck. And that's about 70% of most law school classes.

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rinkrat19
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:37 pm

LSAT score is the best predictor, statistically, but it's still a pretty bad predictor.

kaiser
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby kaiser » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:42 pm

Ability to perform well under pressure, organized and logical/analytical mindset, good writing skills and ability to convey your logical/analytical thoughts quickly and clearly, level of preparation for the exam (i.e. practice exams taken, thorough understanding of exactly what the professor wants, etc.)

All of the above would correlate with exam success. There is no tangible measure (i.e. GPA or LSAT) that evidences any of the above. I know tons of people with strong LSAT's who bombed law school exams, and I know people who did poorly on the LSAT and killed it on the law school exams. The skills are very different, and there is no way to predict law school success.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:43 pm

If you want one predictor, it's probably LSAT score, but no predictor is very accurate

Renzo
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Renzo » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:45 pm

You are asking two very different questions. Do you want to know what is the best predictor of law school success, or what meaningfully predicts law school success?

The answer to the first the the combination of LSAT and GPA. The answer to the second is nothing that has yet been determined.

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Borhas
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Borhas » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:46 pm

typing speed + LSAT is probably best predictor

Transferthrowaway
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Transferthrowaway » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:50 pm

Sorting Hat.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:00 pm

Combo of working hard and studying smart puts you in the best position to succeed. Of course figuring out what is "smart studying" is half the battle, since there is not one magic method that works perfectly for everyone.

But that's all things during law school. If I were to try and figure out who was going to do well based on pre-law school characteristics, I would look for people who either have: a chip on their shoulder, sadomasochistic tendencies, or highly motivated for other reasons. Those things + a high LSAT score.

Renzo
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Renzo » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:42 pm

y= 0.2(effort)+0.2(typing speed)+0.2(LSAT)+E

Transferthrowaway
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Transferthrowaway » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:44 pm

Renzo wrote:y= 0.2(effort)+0.2(typing speed)+0.2(LSAT)+E

+ Sorting Hat

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Tim0thy222
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Tim0thy222 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:56 pm

Is typing speed really that big of a deal?

I type about 75 WPM right now. Should I find a way to get faster before I start LS?

Renzo
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Renzo » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:00 pm

Tim0thy222 wrote:Is typing speed really that big of a deal?

I type about 75 WPM right now. Should I find a way to get faster before I start LS?


No, you're probably good. Slow typing equals death, and at mid-ranges a little better is a little better, but at higher speeds there isn't any real advantage.

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emkay625
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby emkay625 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:05 pm

Now I am worried about typing speed too. I only type between 55/60 words a minute.

Renzo
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Renzo » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:13 pm

emkay625 wrote:Now I am worried about typing speed too. I only type between 55/60 words a minute.


I think you're in the "a little better is a little better" category, just like me. Don't stress about it too much, but if you catch yourself playing B'loons, in class, switch it up for Typershark instead.

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Veyron
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Veyron » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:17 pm

Going to Yale.

BeenDidThat
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby BeenDidThat » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:30 pm

emkay625 wrote:So, people on TLS frequently say that GPA/LSAT do not predict law school success. So, my question is, what do you think does?

Specifically:
1. What do you think is the most important predictor of who will/won't succeed in law school?
2. If you had to choose between LSAT or GPA, which one did you pick?
3. Luck vs. hard work?


You're misunderstanding the TLS common wisdom on using GPA/LSAT for predicting law school success. They do predict law school success, to a degree. What people object to is people who get into CCN, but ask if, just maybe, they ought to go to Fordham with a fully, presuming that they will out perform the Fordhamites based on the fact that they have a higher GPA/LSAT than most Fordhamites. That's not a foolproof assumption, and questioning that assumption does not mean that one thinks GPA/LSAT doesn't predict law school success on average.

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johansantana21
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby johansantana21 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:34 pm

LSAT+Effort is my prediction, but I'm just a 1L

Transferthrowaway
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby Transferthrowaway » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:45 pm

Renzo wrote:
emkay625 wrote:Now I am worried about typing speed too. I only type between 55/60 words a minute.


I think you're in the "a little better is a little better" category, just like me. Don't stress about it too much, but if you catch yourself playing B'loons, in class, switch it up for Typershark instead.


Just took a typing speed test. 116 WPM. Too bad I only think at about 40 WPM.

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IAFG
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby IAFG » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:46 pm

I bet the answer is different in a strong economy than a weak one. My prof who graduated in 2006 has some stories about law school that I find just totally unrelatable.

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beach_terror
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby beach_terror » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:51 pm

A combination of a) hard work and b) realizing you're an idiot, accepting that, and changing the way you think and write accordingly.

I don't think I responded to your question, though.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:52 pm

Renzo wrote:
emkay625 wrote:Now I am worried about typing speed too. I only type between 55/60 words a minute.


I think you're in the "a little better is a little better" category, just like me. Don't stress about it too much, but if you catch yourself playing B'loons, in class, switch it up for Typershark instead.

50-60. I'm screwed :P
Last edited by JamMasterJ on Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bdubs
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby bdubs » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:55 pm

Quick reading, fast typing, somewhat organized thinking, sense for timing/tempo, and conceptual understanding.

Here is how the tests that I have been given work so far:

1) Read a long passage with a bunch of odd detail. Some portions will be critical, some completely extraneous.
2) Pick out issues as you read fact pattern
3) Furiously type up a discussion of those issues
4) Pray that you don't forget things as you go by attacking the problem in a somewhat methodical/organized manner (checklist, etc.)
5) Insert policy arguments and less than obvious issues as you go to pick up extra points
6) Recognize you cannot do 1-5 in their entirety during the allotted time, be cognizant of the time you exert on any component piece of the exam

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IAFG
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby IAFG » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:03 pm

The problem with this question and most of the responses is that it ignores that in any given section, most people will be similarly equipped to do well on exams (in terms of GPA+LSAT as an index) and dedicating similar amounts of effort. What differentiates people is going to be a lot more nuanced than UGPA.

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dailygrind
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Re: What DOES predict law school success?

Postby dailygrind » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:47 pm

I wonder to what degree prior exposure to the law helps. I know at least 2 people here who come from lawyer families, and both absolutely obliterated 1L year. Although to some degree that could be an "I need to see if I can measure up to the family" motivation rather than a competitive advantage from better insight.




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