How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

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BigZuck
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:23 am

RodneyRuxin wrote:
BigZuck wrote:I too went to a prestigiousish UG like dsn's and I think I have also outperformed my numbers but TLS tells me I'm wrong so I'm probably wrong.



Thanks for that.


NP brobro, hth.

My problem with this argument is that people will try to glean something from LSN that says prestige matters and TLS screams "sample size." Then a bro who goes to Vandy will come back with data from his prelaw counselor that says his classmates outperform their numbers and TLS screams "sample size!" Then a Georgetown bro comes back with similar data and TLS screams "sample size!" Then a UVA bro, etc., etc.

I agree that sample size, URMs, etc could mean that one school's example might not tell the whole story. But if a number of different prestigious schools are reporting similar results I think we should give credence to the notion.

Also I agree that the epicness of this cycle might account for some outperforming their numbers. But we have barely seen the epicness yet (I think that comes near the end of the cycle, especially with waitlist movement). And I personally feel I have been outperforming my numbers for two cycles now in regards to acceptances and especially scholarships. But who am I to question TLS so I'm probably wrong.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:39 am

BigZuck wrote:
RodneyRuxin wrote:
BigZuck wrote:I too went to a prestigiousish UG like dsn's and I think I have also outperformed my numbers but TLS tells me I'm wrong so I'm probably wrong.



Thanks for that.


NP brobro, hth.

My problem with this argument is that people will try to glean something from LSN that says prestige matters and TLS screams "sample size." Then a bro who goes to Vandy will come back with data from his prelaw counselor that says his classmates outperform their numbers and TLS screams "sample size!" Then a Georgetown bro comes back with similar data and TLS screams "sample size!" Then a UVA bro, etc., etc.

I agree that sample size, URMs, etc could mean that one school's example might not tell the whole story. But if a number of different prestigious schools are reporting similar results I think we should give credence to the notion.

Also I agree that the epicness of this cycle might account for some outperforming their numbers. But we have barely seen the epicness yet (I think that comes near the end of the cycle, especially with waitlist movement). And I personally feel I have been outperforming my numbers for two cycles now in regards to acceptances and especially scholarships. But who am I to question TLS so I'm probably wrong.

I guess I just want to know where these people are? I haven't seen anyone (else) say their prelaw counselor says that at their school people outperform their numbers - the vast majority of people say their school didn't make a difference, and the ones who do simply say they believe that their school made the difference, not that someone with data told them their school outperforms. Which prestigious schools are reporting these similar results?

(In any case, it's not like most people can change their UG by the time they're applying to law school, and relying on the UG to make up for deficiencies in grades/LSAT seems a poor move.)

BigZuck
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:43 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
RodneyRuxin wrote:
BigZuck wrote:I too went to a prestigiousish UG like dsn's and I think I have also outperformed my numbers but TLS tells me I'm wrong so I'm probably wrong.



Thanks for that.


NP brobro, hth.

My problem with this argument is that people will try to glean something from LSN that says prestige matters and TLS screams "sample size." Then a bro who goes to Vandy will come back with data from his prelaw counselor that says his classmates outperform their numbers and TLS screams "sample size!" Then a Georgetown bro comes back with similar data and TLS screams "sample size!" Then a UVA bro, etc., etc.

I agree that sample size, URMs, etc could mean that one school's example might not tell the whole story. But if a number of different prestigious schools are reporting similar results I think we should give credence to the notion.

Also I agree that the epicness of this cycle might account for some outperforming their numbers. But we have barely seen the epicness yet (I think that comes near the end of the cycle, especially with waitlist movement). And I personally feel I have been outperforming my numbers for two cycles now in regards to acceptances and especially scholarships. But who am I to question TLS so I'm probably wrong.

I guess I just want to know where these people are? I haven't seen anyone (else) say their prelaw counselor says that at their school people outperform their numbers - the vast majority of people say their school didn't make a difference, and the ones who do simply say they believe that their school made the difference, not that someone with data told them their school outperforms. Which prestigious schools are reporting these similar results?

(In any case, it's not like most people can change their UG by the time they're applying to law school, and relying on the UG to make up for deficiencies in grades/LSAT seems a poor move.)


Bernaldiaz started a thread about this and was shouted down, I have seen others mention it as well.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:52 am

BigZuck wrote:Bernaldiaz started a thread about this and was shouted down, I have seen others mention it as well.

Ah, he's in at HYS. (Well, HS, I forget if I saw Y.) Personally, I do think undergrad matters at those schools, because they can fill the class with 4.0/180 if they want, so they can look at other factors. I'm more thinking about the other 98% applying to schools chasing high medians.

BigZuck
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:59 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Bernaldiaz started a thread about this and was shouted down, I have seen others mention it as well.

Ah, he's in at HYS. (Well, HS, I forget if I saw Y.) Personally, I do think undergrad matters at those schools, because they can fill the class with 4.0/180 if they want, so they can look at other factors. I'm more thinking about the other 98% applying to schools chasing high medians.


And I'm not talking about him, I'm talking about the boost he saw for people applying from his prestigious undergrad who were applying to top schools in general, not just HYS.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:00 pm

BigZuck wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Bernaldiaz started a thread about this and was shouted down, I have seen others mention it as well.

Ah, he's in at HYS. (Well, HS, I forget if I saw Y.) Personally, I do think undergrad matters at those schools, because they can fill the class with 4.0/180 if they want, so they can look at other factors. I'm more thinking about the other 98% applying to schools chasing high medians.


And I'm not talking about him, I'm talking about the boost he saw for people applying from his prestigious undergrad who were applying to top schools in general, not just HYS.

Okay, dude. Couldn't find the link, so...

BigZuck
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:08 pm


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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:14 pm

Thanks, interesting data. I would like to see URMs separated out, because we already know they definitely get a boost.

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elterrible78
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby elterrible78 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:28 pm

BigZuck wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=193185


It's awfully difficult to say much of anything about it with the data we have available to us. I do have some anecdotal evidence (based on a conversation with an admissions person) that UG institution can definitely play a role, and I have a hard time believing that for some schools it doesn't (especially if you're talking Ivies or whatever). That said, there's just no way it's just going to "stand in" for a subpar LSAT or GPA. I think it's probably one of those difference makers at the margin, like any other soft factor. Probably more important than some, probably less important than others, and not even approaching the level of importance of the applicant's numbers.

In short, the "Numbers are all that matter, brah" argument is not sound, but anyone who tries to say that UG institution reputation plays a major role in admissions decisions is wrong (and I don't think I've seen anyone make that argument).

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:35 pm

In light of this discussion, then, how do you (collectively - not calling any one person out here) respond to something like the OP here? Personally, I would never recommend that the OP, who has "more or less straight As" at a "lower ranked state college," transfer solely for the sake of going to a more "prestigious" UG for the purpose of getting into law school, especially not to "a private school that is pretty expensive" (especially given that I think the USNWR UG rankings are even more problematic than the LS ones). There are certainly other reasons to transfer, but to have a more prestigious name on the diploma for applying to LS, no. But do others disagree? Or does it depend on which school it is? And where is it worth transferring from/to?

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elterrible78
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby elterrible78 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:40 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:In light of this discussion, then, how do you (collectively - not calling any one person out here) respond to something like the OP here? Personally, I would never recommend that the OP, who has "more or less straight As" at a "lower ranked state college," transfer solely for the sake of going to a more "prestigious" UG for the purpose of getting into law school, especially not to "a private school that is pretty expensive" (especially given that I think the USNWR UG rankings are even more problematic than the LS ones). There are certainly other reasons to transfer, but to have a more prestigious name on the diploma for applying to LS, no. But do others disagree? Or does it depend on which school it is? And where is it worth transferring from/to?


Yeah, transferring would be a horrible idea, period. The potential upside is beyond marginal, and doesn't even come close to offsetting the downside.

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star fox
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby star fox » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:43 pm

Just speculating, but I feel like it matters more at the top where the schools have their pick of students with 3.9/175. Even at lower T14s though I don't think it matters. They just want the numbers that will raise their medians.

Fish127
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby Fish127 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:26 am

I'm really more concerned that not going to a prestigious UG will hurt me than I am with any kind of boost I may or may not get from a private school.

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elterrible78
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby elterrible78 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:57 am

Fish127 wrote:I'm really more concerned that not going to a prestigious UG will hurt me than I am with any kind of boost I may or may not get from a private school.


It won't.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:05 am

elterrible78 wrote:
Fish127 wrote:I'm really more concerned that not going to a prestigious UG will hurt me than I am with any kind of boost I may or may not get from a private school.


It won't.


El, you probably have a good handle on the answer to this question - outside HYPS (and maybe the top 10 undergrads) say, T25, schools rate that "prestige" by USNWR right?

I ask because Berkeley for example is ranked 1 or 2 spots ahead of USC/UCLA but seems to be referred to a lot in elite rankings on this site (haven't really seen that stratification anywhere other than TLS). In CA, those 3 schools are UG peers in a tier right below Stanford.

ETA: please don't quote if you don't mind, thanks!

juzam_djinn
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby juzam_djinn » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:12 am

Highly doubt it matters much in LS admissions (maybe 1% of the total application, if that)

Going to a top UG can help in job hunt though, esp. 1L year, as it can turn heads in a resume that doesn't include much law school stuff yet

Golden Bear 11
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby Golden Bear 11 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:21 am

Slightly biased of course :D , but in CA, I think it usually goes Stanford > Berkeley > UCLA => USC. I think Berkeley is referred to as "elite" sometimes on TLS b/c some of the school's undergrad programs are very strong. engineering; same tier as Stanford and MIT, business: #2 behind Wharton, chemistry, physics, econ, math, etc.

Prestige by USNWR? probably, but then again most people think Washington University is in Washington state.

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mattviphky
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby mattviphky » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:42 am

depends on what school you're applying to, cuz some schools just like certain things. I have military experience, and SMU gave me nearly a full-ride, they even highlighted my military exp on my acceptance letter. Similarly ranked Tulane rejected me...although I tell myself it was because of some f'd up yield protect.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:50 am

That makes sense.

In SoCal, the longer I've lived here I've seen that USC actually tends to take the cake over UCLA, especially after they leapfrogged them in the USNWR UG rankings. It shows in overall city spirit, employers, greater community support, etc.

I've always heard the lay take on CA schools is Stanford > Berkeley/USC/UCLA > Everywhere else. But TLS's take on Berkeley makes sense now in that context.

I was asking because I turned down Berk to go to SC/LA so I was wondering if I made a mistake regarding how LS admissions would see it lol

*no quoting please, plan on deleting this as it outs my UG*

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alwayssunnyinfl
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:56 am

The slight boost, if any, that you'd get from going to a "more prestigious" school (has OP even specified which schools he's talking about? If it's not HYSP, no one cares) is significantly outweighed by the extra stress that would go along with switching to a new school, adjusting to a new system, paying rent, and incurring loads of extra debt for a degree that is only marginally better, if at all better, to you than the one you're currently pursuing. If you're able to maintain your GPA above a 3.8, it's really only going to matter on the margins, which, in my opinion, isn't worth the extra cost.

If you're really concerned with making yourself a better candidate for law school, then get involved with a professor or two. Try to get some kind of research position over the summer, or get a cool job or internship. Have fun, use the resources you have and the free time you get living at home and not having to work to pay expenses, and enjoy being a kid.

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warandpeace
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby warandpeace » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:58 am

go to the school that won't bleed you dry of $$$

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dr123
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby dr123 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:00 am

Is there really much of a prestige drop from Berkeley UG to USC UG. I always thought they were both well regarded schools. Ranking for chem, econ, whatever, don't really matter too much for undergrad.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:02 am

dr123 wrote:Is there really much of a prestige drop from Berkeley UG to USC UG. I always thought they were both well regarded schools. Ranking for chem, econ, whatever, don't really matter too much for undergrad.


That's what I thought as well. Didn't see any difference until I came to TLS.

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star fox
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby star fox » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:36 am

I don't think there's any difference between Cal-Berkely, USC, and UCLA as far as prestige. Only difference is if you live in Cali the UCs are affordable while USC costs an arm and a leg. Never understood why anyone would ever choose to go to USC. UC-Davis, UC-San Diego, UC-Santa Barbara, and UC-Irvine are all also great in-state options for Cali residents.

I personally think anyone who wants to go to Law School should almost always go for state school though. For many that's the difference between graduating with substantial UG debt or little to no debt. Given all the debt you'll take out in Law School this should not be overlooked. Only exception I would say would be to attend Harvard, Yale, or Princeton just because that type of prestige carries a weight that goes beyond Law School.

MrHairyLegs
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby MrHairyLegs » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:42 am

As a California resident, I can tell you that within California, at least, there's a noticeable prestige gap between Berkeley, USC, and UCLA.

Berkeley>UCLA=USC and I do believe most admission officers note this distinction in evaluating UGPA. Berkeley is known for its grade deflation.




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