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Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:46 pm
by redbullvodka
Hey all,

Can any current t14 high performers (I guess I'll just arbitrarily choose top 10%) divulge how their undergrad stats looked compared to their incoming class's medians? On this board I've seen anecdotes about people below both medians crushing it and above both only hitting median or even lower, but I've never seen undergrad information connected to members who have submitted "how to do well in law school" posts, or have clearly rocked law school (i.e. someone like G.T.L.Rev.) Anyone care to fill in these gaps? LSAT/GPA is what I'm thinking of.

This should be an informative thread..

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:53 pm
by 03121202698008
Undergrad is in no way a predictor for LS. I know people who squeaked into LS but are now top 5%. I know others with a 4.0/178 that are well well below the median.

I was above the median gpa from a joke of an online school and below the LSAT and I'm on law review.

Edit: The problem is, at a top schools everyone is smart to a point that differences are statistically insignificant. Throw in the randomness of grading and whole everyone is close, there is no prediction of outcome.

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:05 pm
by Errzii
Most schools' incoming class will contain people of very similar academic caliber so even if LSAT/GPA were a good indicator of LS performance it probably wouldn't matter. Think of it this way, even if you're a really skilled athlete that dominated a sport in your hometown it probably wouldn't accurately measure how you would compete in the olympics.

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:00 pm
by Perdevise
Studies by LSAC show that UGPA and LSAT do correlate to law school performance.

Anna Ivey, talking about a statistical study on law school grades, says

"that the LSAT is a better predictor of first-year law school performance
than your undergraduate GPA
• that your GPA does a better job of predicting overall law school
performance, and
• that the LSAT and GPA combined are better at predicting both
first-year performance and overall law school performance than
either one on its own.
(For people who really like statistics, here’s another study showing that the
LSAT has a correlation of .35 with 1L grades; that correlation jumps to .47
when LSAT is combined with undergraduate grades.)"

GPA has some effect on law school grades.

Edited to provide original data sources (Ivey mentions two):

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1184302
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/LSACR ... nal-12.pdf

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:06 pm
by bernaldiaz
Perdevise wrote:Studies by LSAC show that UGPA and LSAT do correlate to law school performance.

Anna Ivey, talking about a statistical study on law school grades, says

"that the LSAT is a better predictor of first-year law school performance
than your undergraduate GPA
• that your GPA does a better job of predicting overall law school
performance, and
• that the LSAT and GPA combined are better at predicting both
first-year performance and overall law school performance than
either one on its own.
(For people who really like statistics, here’s another study showing that the
LSAT has a correlation of .35 with 1L grades; that correlation jumps to .47
when LSAT is combined with undergraduate grades.)"

It seems inaccurate to state that GPA has no influence.

Edited to provide original data source:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1184302


Pretty cool. Thanks for that info

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:12 pm
by Cavalier
The students I know at the very top of the class were at or below the LSAT and GPA medians. Most don't have any scholarship money.

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:21 pm
by Perdevise
Sorry double post. Thanks for the thanks.

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:09 am
by Errzii
Perdevise wrote:Studies by LSAC show that UGPA and LSAT do correlate to law school performance.

Anna Ivey, talking about a statistical study on law school grades, says

"that the LSAT is a better predictor of first-year law school performance
than your undergraduate GPA
• that your GPA does a better job of predicting overall law school
performance, and
• that the LSAT and GPA combined are better at predicting both
first-year performance and overall law school performance than
either one on its own.
(For people who really like statistics, here’s another study showing that the
LSAT has a correlation of .35 with 1L grades; that correlation jumps to .47
when LSAT is combined with undergraduate grades.)"

GPA has some effect on law school grades.

Edited to provide original data sources (Ivey mentions two):

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1184302
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/LSACR ... nal-12.pdf


These stats are less meaningful when you take a few things into consideration.

First, LSAC has stated that the LSAT has a margin of error of 3 points. An individual who scored 170 could have just as likely scored as low as a 167 or as high as 173. This could be due to test day nerves, luck (if guessing), or any other number of reasons. It also just so happens that most schools' 25-75th percentile are within 6 pts of each other. My point is even given that the LSAT has been known to slightly correlate with 1L performance, it's likely that's more the case for differences beyond the margin of error, e.g., when someone with a 180 is compared to someone with a 150. Within schools where the classes are made up applicants whose LSAT scores are within the margin of error band (most schools) the predictive strength of the LSAT for 1L performance is likely to be greatly diminished. This is probably even more true at the higher end of the spectrum where the difference between scores are just a matter of one or two questions, hardly reliable or sufficient data to assume that such minor differences would indicate that one person is more likely to succeed than the other.

Second, GPA of applicants inevitably vary when considering a wide range of factors. The difficulty of the major, the curve of the particular undergrad, grade inflation, "fluff" classes, different GPA calculating methods (4.0 scale vs 4.3 scale) etc. are all things that will affect applicants GPA so that they cannot and should not be compared indiscriminately. Let's be honest, no one is going to seriously argue that a dance major with a 4.3 from an unknown university is somehow smarter or more capable than a hard science major with a 3.7 from a top tier university, or at least not on the basis of GPA alone, that would be absurd.

My main point is those correlations are more likely to be referring to the differences between law students as a whole, irrespective of school. But when applied to students of much closer academic caliber which tend to make up the classes as top law schools, they are less likely to be significant.

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:12 pm
by 03121202698008
He's also not considering that the fact they are a better indicator or correlate does not mean they are a good predictor...just better than the rest.

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:44 pm
by Perdevise
blowhard wrote:He's also not considering that the fact they are a better indicator or correlate does not mean they are a good predictor...just better than the rest.


Exactly, they are better than the rest. This is why admissions committees rely on them so much. They are not perfect, but its undeniable that they do have some effect, however slight.

the dancer/hard scientist example for GPA is limited. Most law school students graduate in liberal arts/social sciences/humanities, or majors where cognitive processes are used. Though individual schools and majors may vary in grading, there still IS some correlation between GPA and law school grades.

One study exclusively looks at students from one school (BYU) over many many years. Thus, they find grade differences WITHIN a school, dependent on GPA and LSAT. Plus BYU's interquartile ranges (161-167, 3.45-3.86) aren't at the very top of the spectrum, meaning less skew.

Slight, maybe, and probably not enough to make or break where you decide to go to school, but it does play a role. I'd also like to state that I am a 0L and have no first hand experience, but that any such experience would be anecdotal.

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:55 pm
by johansantana21
Law school finals are bullshit, I'm fairly certain the professors roll a dice and give out random grades.

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:43 pm
by mrloblaw
Perdevise wrote:
blowhard wrote:He's also not considering that the fact they are a better indicator or correlate does not mean they are a good predictor...just better than the rest.


Exactly, they are better than the rest. This is why admissions committees rely on them so much. They are not perfect, but its undeniable that they do have some effect, however slight.

the dancer/hard scientist example for GPA is limited. Most law school students graduate in liberal arts/social sciences/humanities, or majors where cognitive processes are used. Though individual schools and majors may vary in grading, there still IS some correlation between GPA and law school grades.

One study exclusively looks at students from one school (BYU) over many many years. Thus, they find grade differences WITHIN a school, dependent on GPA and LSAT. Plus BYU's interquartile ranges (161-167, 3.45-3.86) aren't at the very top of the spectrum, meaning less skew.

Slight, maybe, and probably not enough to make or break where you decide to go to school, but it does play a role. I'd also like to state that I am a 0L and have no first hand experience, but that any such experience would be anecdotal.


I'm digging that [exclusive] or.

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:46 pm
by ben4847
Didn't go to undergrad! hee hee hee

Re: Top Law School Performers and Incoming Position in Class

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:51 pm
by Perdevise
mrloblaw wrote:
I'm digging that [exclusive] or.


LOL.