How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

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LSATSCORES2012
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:48 pm

elterrible78 wrote:I haven't yet, because I still wanted to talk to you about that. And I'm on vacation, so I won't be doing anything with it any time soon, so get back to me when you can, brother!

Oh, didn't realize! Hope you have a great time :D

(just a little bit jealous :P )

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elterrible78
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby elterrible78 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:07 am

LSATSCORES2012 wrote:
elterrible78 wrote:I haven't yet, because I still wanted to talk to you about that. And I'm on vacation, so I won't be doing anything with it any time soon, so get back to me when you can, brother!

Oh, didn't realize! Hope you have a great time :D

(just a little bit jealous :P )


About vacation? I'm just going where you already are, lol.

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banjo
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby banjo » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:02 am

Going to a top undergrad has done absolutely nothing for me this cycle.

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Rahviveh
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby Rahviveh » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:52 pm

Nelson wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I was admitted to CLS/NYU on an auto-admit timeline in spite of my sub-3.5 GPA due to my attendance at a non-Berkeley/UCLA/UCSD top UC.

:lol:


egregious UCSD trolling

Throttle
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby Throttle » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:22 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
Nelson wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I was admitted to CLS/NYU on an auto-admit timeline in spite of my sub-3.5 GPA due to my attendance at a non-Berkeley/UCLA/UCSD top UC.

:lol:


egregious UCSD trolling

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Crowing
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby Crowing » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:28 pm

I have a pretty unique personal situation that I think provides pretty strong evidence for the fact that UG prestige matters little or not at all. Feel free to PM if curious but the point is prestige should be very low on the priority level for choosing a UG (especially compared to cost and grading).

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jtabustos
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby jtabustos » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:12 pm

This is strictly re: Berkeley's status in CA.

I agree that it's Stanford > Berkeley and then UCLA/USC. I think the latter two are so close it might be equal. UCLA probably has more academic prestige, but USC seems to have strong alumni/business connections from what I hear that can add value and get graduates jobs.

I've even heard some place Berkeley = Stanford. Might sound crazy, but I've actually heard some people rate it that high. Just so many Nobel Laureates and practically every single academic department at Cal is rated TOP 10 (for Ph.D.). The faculty is world-class.

az21833
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby az21833 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:40 pm

i dont think its a big deal but i think it counts as much as any other significant soft. i find it hard to believe my UG isnt helping my cycle, but thats mainly a hunch. i guess the people who have crunched the numbers indicate otherwise

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andy261
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby andy261 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:33 am

jtabustos wrote:This is strictly re: Berkeley's status in CA.

I agree that it's Stanford > Berkeley and then UCLA/USC. I think the latter two are so close it might be equal. UCLA probably has more academic prestige, but USC seems to have strong alumni/business connections from what I hear that can add value and get graduates jobs.

I've even heard some place Berkeley = Stanford. Might sound crazy, but I've actually heard some people rate it that high. Just so many Nobel Laureates and practically every single academic department at Cal is rated TOP 10 (for Ph.D.). The faculty is world-class.

It's harder to get into Stanford due to its smaller size, but I don't think there's much difference between the two in terms of post-graduation prospects. I haven't encountered any employers in the Bay Area that would hire from Stanford and not Berkeley, and vice versa, or even give a strong preference to one over the other.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:52 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.)


I've seen the data on Harvard and Stanford undergrads, and there does appear to be a modest boost...the matriculant medians from Harvard and Stanford are lower than the overall matriculant medians. Also, schools with GPA floors will sometimes drop their floor for non-URM HYPSM grads...the only non-URMs I have known who went to HLS with below a 3.7 were all Harvard undergrads. I say 'appear to be a boost,' though, because HYPSM tend to take people with great softs, and they put people in a position to get a great job after college, both of which may boost people's applications, so it may not be that schools boost for the undergrad itself but for the things that come with it. I personally think it is okay to give somewhat of a boost for it because it is crazily hard to get into those schools and is a big accomplishment, but when it is, like, 3.9/179 state U guy versus 3.5/168 HYP guy, obviously state U guy should win out.

I have never heard anyone make those kinds of claims about UVA, Vandy, or GT, though. I thought it was more or less reserved for HYPSM, particularly when you are an HYS undegrad applying to your own college's law school.

Just want to clarify, in the case of OP, I heartily agree with this assessment as I don't think there is much of a boost for non-HYP schools:
The OP to this thread, at least, had the choice of a state school that was a good fit and a private "prestigious" school that caused a lot of apprehension. The only thing that OP seemed to like about the expensive private school was the prestige. In this case, I would definitely recommend the state school. And in reality, I think it'd be very difficult to prove that prestige of undergrad is more important than around .05 in GPA or 1 LSAT point, so it seems ill-advised to pay, in most cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars more to attend the private school.


TheThriller wrote:
doing_it_in_a_car wrote:sorry to hijack - but could anyone comment (or refer threads) on the weight given to undergrad reputation/prestige in biglaw hiring? I assume that by far, the most important factors are grades/law school attended/law review - but all things equal, how much of an edge would attending an ivy undergrad help


0


Thriller is wrong. In fact I am pretty sure he is not in law school yet. Caliber of law school, grades, and law review are more important than undergrad prestige, but undergrad prestige is not 0. Law firms are prestige-oriented. They want to be able to put on their website that you went to HYP or whatever. In fact, the whole profession is overly prestige-oriented, and the people interviewing you spend 60-70 hours a week on average with other people obsessed with prestige. It rubs off on you even if you aren't like that normally. Also, a lot of interviewers went to prestigious undergrads or their law school counterparts, so it gives you something easy to talk about and bond over. I would say that undergrad prestige, especially if you did well at the undergrad, can be a factor in some hiring decisions. It will vary wildly based on the people making the decisions. That is why you can't say it will categorically be zero. I know from personal experience that it can make a difference, but it isn't make-or-break. If grade onto law review and went to an unprestigious undergrad, you don't need to worry that the Yale grad at the bottom of your law school class will pull the mat out from under you.
Last edited by somewhatwayward on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

vzapana
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby vzapana » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:59 am

somewhatwayward wrote: I have never heard anyone make those kinds of claims about UVA, Vandy, or GT, though. I thought it was more or less reserved for HYPSM, particularly when you are an HYS undegrad applying to your own college's law school.


It may not even be exclusive to your own university's law school. I'm looking at the 70 or so members of the SLS 2016 Facebook, and one in 8 went to Yale UG.

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cinephile
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby cinephile » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:59 pm

I don't know why I'm replying to this thread again, but I just want to say this:

This cycle and even LAST cycle were waaaaaaaay, waaaaaaay, waaaaaay, waaaaaay, less competitive than it was a few years ago. So if you got into a school that was better than the range your numbers predicted I'm sure you thought, it must have been my soft factors. Not true, bro. You just applied during a less competitive year. Even a University of Phoneix grad will have better luck this year.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:08 pm

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 think it'd be awesome if we compiled some of this data to have a more substantive answer for the future. I tried to do a post like that for my undergrad (which is pretty much at the same level as Vandy/G'Town that BigZuck mentioned) and I definitely noticed a small boost. Of course even though I prefaced my post saying its an incredibly small sample size and measures mean not median, people kept pointing that out and using it to completely negate any pattern. I think part of the reason people on TLS really want to say that UG doesn't matter is that most people weren't at top undergrads. Yes, plenty of people have success on here without it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't help a little.

THis is the post I did. http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 2&t=193185

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

Postby star fox » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:27 pm

I haven't noticed any boost from my non VCM Top Public Ivy

:lol: :roll:

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alwayssunnyinfl
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:06 pm

I don't think that the controversy lies in whether or not there is a perceivable bump for prestige, it's that this bump, if it's even substantial, is in most cases not worth the extra money to most students. Sure, being an identical applicant from Giant-State-U or Vanderbilt, the Vanderbilt student will win. However, there are so many variables that go into what your LSAT and GPA will be (the two largest factors) and your selection of a school should be based on how you can get those numbers as high as possible while spending as little money as possible.

If you're a student dedicated enough to going to law school to do this kind of research before undergrad, then you probably already have the skills to get straight A's in college and just need to have as stable a life as possible so that you can actually get those A's and have time to study and kill the LSAT. Going to Vanderbilt, GULC, or ND is not going to better prepare you for the LSAT, and whatever bump that gives you could easily be outweighed by an internship or some other soft factor.

The debate is somewhat analogous to selecting law schools. Sure, school X may have a 5% better shot at employment, but is that worth $150k? Most likely, the prestige bump from a school is not going to be as important as taking that $100k+ in tuition savings and pouring into having a good life and preparing for the LSAT.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby shifty_eyed » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:44 pm

alwayssunnyinfl wrote:I don't think that the controversy lies in whether or not there is a perceivable bump for prestige, it's that this bump, if it's even substantial, is in most cases not worth the extra money to most students. Sure, being an identical applicant from Giant-State-U or Vanderbilt, the Vanderbilt student will win. However, there are so many variables that go into what your LSAT and GPA will be (the two largest factors) and your selection of a school should be based on how you can get those numbers as high as possible while spending as little money as possible.

If you're a student dedicated enough to going to law school to do this kind of research before undergrad, then you probably already have the skills to get straight A's in college and just need to have as stable a life as possible so that you can actually get those A's and have time to study and kill the LSAT. Going to Vanderbilt, GULC, or ND is not going to better prepare you for the LSAT, and whatever bump that gives you could easily be outweighed by an internship or some other soft factor.

The debate is somewhat analogous to selecting law schools. Sure, school X may have a 5% better shot at employment, but is that worth $150k? Most likely, the prestige bump from a school is not going to be as important as taking that $100k+ in tuition savings and pouring into having a good life and preparing for the LSAT.


/end of thread

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scifiguy
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby scifiguy » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:55 pm

How would this work if you really did have a case like:

MIT 3.7GPA/173LSAT/Chem Major
vs.
San Diego State 3.8GPA/171LSAT/Chem Major

Wouldn't the adcomm have to literally have these two apps back to back?

When they go through apps, don't they just say YES/NO admit...or WL?

Do they actually juxtapose them with others and comopare side by side? How would they even know if they had a pair like this one?

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cinephile
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby cinephile » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:19 pm

scifiguy wrote:How would this work if you really did have a case like:

MIT 3.7GPA/173LSAT/Chem Major
vs.
San Diego State 3.8GPA/171LSAT/Chem Major

Wouldn't the adcomm have to literally have these two apps back to back?

When they go through apps, don't they just say YES/NO admit...or WL?

Do they actually juxtapose them with others and comopare side by side? How would they even know if they had a pair like this one?


This is cray cray. You didn't keep enough variables consistent to make any kind of reasonable hypo.

Also, in real life you don't just have a gpa and lsat score and an undergrad, you also have work experience or something else compelling about you. Or maybe you have some kind of arrest record 5 pages long working against you.

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Crowing
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby Crowing » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:22 pm

cinephile wrote:
scifiguy wrote:How would this work if you really did have a case like:

MIT 3.7GPA/173LSAT/Chem Major
vs.
San Diego State 3.8GPA/171LSAT/Chem Major

Wouldn't the adcomm have to literally have these two apps back to back?

When they go through apps, don't they just say YES/NO admit...or WL?

Do they actually juxtapose them with others and comopare side by side? How would they even know if they had a pair like this one?


This is cray cray. You didn't keep enough variables consistent to make any kind of reasonable hypo.

Also, in real life you don't just have a gpa and lsat score and an undergrad, you also have work experience or something else compelling about you. Or maybe you have some kind of arrest record 5 pages long working against you.


TCR. Those small differences in GPA and LSAT could make all the difference. I guarantee you the first app has a far better shot at U of C and it has nothing to do with MIT vs. SDS but 171 vs. 173 compared to a 173 75th.

ETA: Or really, a far better example - CLS median @ 172

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scifiguy
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby scifiguy » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:25 pm

cinephile wrote:
scifiguy wrote:How would this work if you really did have a case like:

MIT 3.7GPA/173LSAT/Chem Major
vs.
San Diego State 3.8GPA/171LSAT/Chem Major

Wouldn't the adcomm have to literally have these two apps back to back?

When they go through apps, don't they just say YES/NO admit...or WL?

Do they actually juxtapose them with others and comopare side by side? How would they even know if they had a pair like this one?


OKAY, let's make them all the same!
MIT 3.7GPA/172LSAT/Chem Major
San Diego State 3.7GPA/172LSAT/Chem Major

There! Done! :D

This is cray cray. You didn't keep enough variables consistent to make any kind of reasonable hypo.

Also, in real life you don't just have a gpa and lsat score and an undergrad, you also have work experience or something else compelling about you. Or maybe you have some kind of arrest record 5 pages long working against you.

WorldsEndGirlfriend
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby WorldsEndGirlfriend » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:56 am

,..
Last edited by WorldsEndGirlfriend on Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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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 14, 2013 4:57 am

WorldsEndGirlfriend wrote:I don't want to hijack this thread, but how much does it matter for patent law?

I go to UMD. It's EE ranking is pretty high, but the school itself is ranked outside USNews top 50.
Will I be disadvantaged even if I go to a T14 because my undergrad school isn't prestigious? Should I try to transfer to a fancier private?


http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=EWyVKoMO ... WyVKoMOh_Y

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northwood
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby northwood » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:10 am

OP: whether or not it affects your cycle or not, and how it will affect your cycle is unknown. IF I read everythign correctly, you just started undergrad? You still have 3 years to figure out if you even want to deal with the hassles of law school, and applying to law school. Sure, right now you do, but you may find that your views change, your career ambitions change, and decide, ahh eff it, im going to do this instead of going to law school. Now is the time to figure out what you want to do, and take classes that a) interest you, b) you can do well in and c) are geared for jobs that are available ( since you are possibly considering life after UG). MY advice is now thus- keep your costs down, your grades up, and your mindset and options open. Who knows, maybe youll end up joining top-engineering-schools.com and leaving law behind ( or some other professonal internet board)

enjoy college while you can, ( and dont get arrested)

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Gunnar Stahl
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.

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:38 pm

.
Last edited by Gunnar Stahl on Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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alwayssunnyinfl
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Re: How Much Does Your Undergrad School Matter?

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:48 pm

I still see these hypotheticals as mind-numbingly dumb. Go to the school where you see yourself enjoying your education the most, try to go as cheaply as possible, and focus on doing well on the LSAT and studying something you enjoy so you have a good fall back if you make the wise decision to forgo law school.




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