Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

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hiltopp01
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Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby hiltopp01 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:29 am

I was wondering if there was a strong correlation between undergrad rigor and success in law school. I had a really easy undergrad experience and was wondering if I would find difficulties related to this in law school. (t14 law school, if all goes well)

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sinfiery
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby sinfiery » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:57 pm

Interested. My UG experience was also....not Uchicagoian.

mx23250
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby mx23250 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:09 am

I think it depends on a number of factors such as what your major was, how difficult/demanding your undergrad institution was in general, the rigor of your classes, whether you also had to deal with working during undergrad, etc. If you worked part-time and majored in biochemistry or physics and found it an easy experience, I would imagine you'll do fine in law school. Personally I struggled through undergrad (hard science major) but then breezed through two grad programs (masters and phd), so I'm sure it can go either way.

Lumieres
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby Lumieres » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:37 am

Post
Last edited by Lumieres on Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sinfiery
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby sinfiery » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:14 am

Tbf, every person at an ivy with a 3.5 thinks they are LEAGUES smarter than a person at a state U with a 3.8

Malapropism
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby Malapropism » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:51 am

I think it's less about intelligence and more about the effort required for grades. I transferred from a good private institution to an ivy for undergrad, and I've definitely felt like the bar is set higher in the latter case. Though I'm a 0L, I think the increased workload combined with the more rigorous requirements (for writing in particular) will definitely be useful in law school.

Lumieres
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby Lumieres » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:07 am

sinfiery wrote:Tbf, every person at an ivy with a 3.5 thinks they are LEAGUES smarter than a person at a state U with a 3.8


Nice
Last edited by Lumieres on Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sinfiery
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby sinfiery » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:18 am

It was an elitist joke :(


The ammount of effort I put in at my UG is laughable (missed 30-60% of classes, only crammed.to study, sleep in class, etc.) and something that I am actually worried about come 1L as not being properly prepared.

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Tekrul
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby Tekrul » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:47 am

I have the same worry. I slept from first to last period in high school 4 out of 5 days in a week. UG I had carried over my high school habits, kept afloat only by D1 eligibility concerns. Academically, I was idle 80% of the time. Sprinting to get work done and study in the 11th hour between practice and competition. Of course high school and UG was marred with some problems I no longer have. I'm hoping that makes a difference, along with the newfound care for school I have for the first time in my life.

Specialhawk
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby Specialhawk » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:14 pm

I found law school much easier than undergraduate. But my experience has been rather different, I had a 2.5 graduating high school, I was kicked out of most of the AP classes I tested into and my last semester in high school barely pulled a 1.0. I went into a easy college, they placed me in honors cause I did well on the SAT and I got kicked out of honors after my first semester in UG and placed on academic probation.

I averaged around a 2.0 for most of my college, with one semester at a 4.0. Dropping back down to around a 1.0 the semester after. I graduated college with around a 2.0, a 2.5 specifically for my major which was business. Of course my undergraduate was a mess, I missed exams, cut over 90% of my classes and just spent most of my time gambling in poker. I went to a tier 2 school, I got a 171 on my lsat, which made up for my GPA I suppose.

I excelled in law school and found law school much easier than undergraduate. The classes were more tolerable for me, and the fact that homework didn't count towards grades anymore, one of the reasons I did so poorly in undergraduate was because I found it so hard to just sit down and do assignments. Also the lack of papers were better for me. I transferred into a school around the top 20 my second year, and have came close to a 4.0 every semester I've had at law school, except this semester which there is a grade I am currently appealing. Perhaps if I ended up in a T14 it would be much harder.

I think law school is easier than undergraduate due to the degree of more freedom you have. There is more work but also less work, it's a lot more tailored. You don't find yourself refusing to do busywork simply just to get a good grade, if there is a case you think you don't need to read to understand the law, you don't have to. Just do well on exams, it's a lot less frustrating than undergraduate. Law school in this sense is also much easier to wing. I've been able to keep playing poker full time while finding more than enough time to do my studies.

Edit: I think in law school you just have to be intelligent and use a little wit, of course you need to be independent in your studies as well. In undergraduate, you actually have to be organized, do the work, and make sure you show up to all the exams (in law school there is generally only one), and keep track of a bunch of small assignments.

09042014
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:28 pm

Lumieres wrote:
sinfiery wrote:Tbf, every person at an ivy with a 3.5 thinks they are LEAGUES smarter than a person at a state U with a 3.8


Not smarter, but had to work harder... for a lower GPA.

My classes at my state school (not a top public like uva, umich, ucla, cal) were a joke. A lot of exams were open book and the expectations and standards from the profs/instructors were extremely low.


Ivy league schools are somewhat a joke too. There is a reason 3.5 is average there. And state flagships aren't usually a joke in general, but often have a ton of joke classes.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:45 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Lumieres wrote:
sinfiery wrote:Tbf, every person at an ivy with a 3.5 thinks they are LEAGUES smarter than a person at a state U with a 3.8


Not smarter, but had to work harder... for a lower GPA.

My classes at my state school (not a top public like uva, umich, ucla, cal) were a joke. A lot of exams were open book and the expectations and standards from the profs/instructors were extremely low.


Ivy league schools are somewhat a joke too. There is a reason 3.5 is average there. And state flagships aren't usually a joke in general, but often have a ton of joke classes.


Broad statement here. Brown classes are overwhelmingly a joke. Princeton courses are anything but.

This distinction has been hashed out time and time again on TLS. While I know from my own experience/anecdotal experience of others and what I've read here that my UG coursework was significantly more challenging than less competitive public & private colleges, it's mitigated by the fact that I chose rigorous majors, and there were certainly classes at my UG that you could blow off (some with multiple choice or open book exams and preb shit like that). So it's not like an entire school is easy or difficult.

I'm not sure exactly how any of this converts to law school, though. From what I've heard, the skills required on law exams are a world apart from was considered challenging (and for us, standard) in UG -- writing five 15 pg papers in one semester, advanced applied PDE's, graduate level p-chem labs, 100 pg theses w/ original archival research, ect. However, I have heard that law school classes assign ~250-300 pages of reading per week. This was roughly the expectation for an upper div history class at my college (sometimes we read more, like half of TJ clarks painting of modern life in a week), and so people who have that type of rigorous exposure might have an advantage over those who read far less. I split my time between math/other STEM and history courses in order to not overburden myself with either exams or reading. Reading 1000-1200 dense pages in one week would be tough for me even now due to my usual split as a college student -- then again, I've also been told that some law profs will overassign readings, and you have to pick your battles some weeks and in some courses no one is expected to be able to read EVERYTHING.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:59 pm

wrote senior thesis in 3 days. won academic dept.'s most prestigious annual award and graduated in top 1%. wrote recommendations for several professors. spent 98% of time tailgating and general buffoonery at State U. other 1% sleeping.

State U's are the way to go, brahs.
Last edited by FloridaCoastalorbust on Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tekrul
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby Tekrul » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:59 pm

I agree with the ivy league are somewhat of a joke statement. People are people. Kids will coast at ivy's and at TT. And kids will gun at ivy's and TT. There are ignorant scumbags at both and really pleasant people at both. But to put academic horsepower in a car metaphor - sitting at 2k rpms on fourth gear is not the same mph in different cars. And when you want to hit 8k in first, someones going to be going 40 and someone else is going 80.

This is not to say that a school is indicative of the person. I have a friend at a small polytech institute who got into MIT but couldn't go due to financial constraint. He is certainly MIT material simply going to a cheaper school. On the other hand, I know an MIT guy who was not up to snuff dropped out and took years to recover.

I would agree that the idle average at an ivy is set higher than a TT, but there's also the fact that some lower ranked school are "try hards". What do I mean by this: I recall a philosophy paper I did, took about 9 hours, and I got an A-. I provided ~20 hours of tutoring to a student writing on the same exact work (different essay topic but same text), essay construction and editing help, who was at a regional university. By the time he was done, it was at a quality I would have felt good handing in to my own professor - it got a C-. Apparently, even though I was supposedly ivy material, I couldn't cut it at a TT in my backyard.

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scifiguy
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby scifiguy » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:27 pm

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=206584

That was the long thread we had on this topic a while ago.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:41 pm

Tekrul wrote:I recall a philosophy paper I did, took about 9 hours, and I got an A-. I provided ~20 hours of tutoring to a student writing on the same exact work (different essay topic but same text), essay construction and editing help, who was at a regional university. By the time he was done, it was at a quality I would have felt good handing in to my own professor - it got a C-. Apparently, even though I was supposedly ivy material, I couldn't cut it at a TT in my backyard.


This anecdote probably has more to do with the focus of the course and specific material discussed and researched by that prof than the overall comparative rigor. I've done this for several friends, and in many university courses, addressing the themes in class and bent of the syllabus, not to mention soothing the ego of the prof in question, is essential -- i.e. you may have contradicted a point he made in his dissertation or something in your friends paper, hence the low grade. Also, at many large state schools, getting the students to read the material and show up is a key goal, and if you wrote a paper for a student without attending class, even if it was stylistically/syntactically up to par, it may have failed the basic "demonstrate your attendance via this assignment" criterion.

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scifiguy
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby scifiguy » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:49 pm

One thing to factor in is how something is hard.

Some classes are hard due to greater volume that must be mastered, but not necessarily anything intrinsically harder - just more of it.

My aunt was a professor at a local HBC (this is not at all meant to be racist and I understand concerns people may have about it, but it's simply a single case example of something I've heard about) and she mentioned that the department in computer science there had to make the curriculum easier than what would be expected at many other universities, because otherwise many of the students would not have graduated (or so they suspected). She said that the students had difficulty keeping up with the assigned work load (not sure if it was volume or complexity - or both) and that she had to trim her syllabus, in order to ensure that students could get through and graduate. But the curriculum, she said, was watered down from many other schools. This was a very small and relatively unknown HBC.

She's now almost retired, but has taught at other schools as well and there is varying levels of difficulty between schools. But there's also varying levels of difficulty between professors of the same school as well sometimes!

And, of course, how something is difficult varies. I've not really had any professors give "trick" questions (except one philosophy guy for my Intro Critical Thinking class), but I've heard of friends talking about profs who've given trick questions on exams.

Other profs may make something more difficult by asking you to apply your understanding (if you have any) of known problems and concepts to something you've never seen before, so that it's not just rote memorization or pattern recognition that you're tested on.

And, for others, it may be that they just go very fast in the class and pack in a lot of material w/o explaining it that deeply and leaving you to figure stuff out.

I think it's interesting to just consider how something can be difficult.

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sinfiery
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby sinfiery » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:54 pm

1200 dense pages in a week that isn't before finals? nopenopenope

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thatdude222
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby thatdude222 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:48 pm

scifiguy wrote:My aunt was a professor at a local HBC (this is not at all meant to be racist and I understand concerns people may have about it, but it's simply a single case example of something I've heard about) and she mentioned that the department in computer science there had to make the curriculum easier than what would be expected at many other universities, because otherwise many of the students would not have graduated (or so they suspected). She said that the students had difficulty keeping up with the assigned work load (not sure if it was volume or complexity - or both) and that she had to trim her syllabus, in order to ensure that students could get through and graduate. But the curriculum, she said, was watered down from many other schools. This was a very small and relatively unknown HBC.


Why mention at all that it was an HBC? Why not just say your aunt worked at a small, relatively unknown college?

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scifiguy
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby scifiguy » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:24 pm

thatdude222 wrote:
scifiguy wrote:My aunt was a professor at a local HBC (this is not at all meant to be racist and I understand concerns people may have about it, but it's simply a single case example of something I've heard about) and she mentioned that the department in computer science there had to make the curriculum easier than what would be expected at many other universities, because otherwise many of the students would not have graduated (or so they suspected). She said that the students had difficulty keeping up with the assigned work load (not sure if it was volume or complexity - or both) and that she had to trim her syllabus, in order to ensure that students could get through and graduate. But the curriculum, she said, was watered down from many other schools. This was a very small and relatively unknown HBC.


Why mention at all that it was an HBC? Why not just say your aunt worked at a small, relatively unknown college?


Yeah, I apologize. I think part of it was wanting to just sketch the exampe with details, but even after writing it I felt a little bad, b/c of possible generalizatoins people may make from that one case.

I do apologize. The point that we can take from this is that there is a difference of rigor sometimes that can be department-wide between schools.

I mean there are differences even within the same school and department just between professors. So, trying to gauge the academic rigor of some student's coursework from just their transcripts could be very tough at any school!.

I have friends who use Ratemyprofessor.com during every course selection phase. So, presumably, even a student at a so-called "top" school could come away with a somewhat easy course load, due to selecting easy graders.
Last edited by scifiguy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NYstate
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby NYstate » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:33 pm

scifiguy wrote:
thatdude222 wrote:
scifiguy wrote:My aunt was a professor at a local HBC (this is not at all meant to be racist and I understand concerns people may have about it, but it's simply a single case example of something I've heard about) and she mentioned that the department in computer science there had to make the curriculum easier than what would be expected at many other universities, because otherwise many of the students would not have graduated (or so they suspected). She said that the students had difficulty keeping up with the assigned work load (not sure if it was volume or complexity - or both) and that she had to trim her syllabus, in order to ensure that students could get through and graduate. But the curriculum, she said, was watered down from many other schools. This was a very small and relatively unknown HBC.


Why mention at all that it was an HBC? Why not just say your aunt worked at a small, relatively unknown college?


Yeah, I apologize. I think part of it was wanting to just sketch the exampe with details, but even after writing it I felt a little bad, b/c of possible generalizatoins people may make from that one case.

I do apologize. The point that we can take from this is that there is a difference of rigor sometimes that can be department-wide between schools.

I mean there are differences even within the same school and department just between professors. So, trying to gauge some student's academic rigor from just their transcripts could be very tough at any school!.

I have friends who use Ratemyprofessor.com during every course selection phase. So, presumably, even a student at a so-called "top" school could come away with a somewhat easy course load, due to selecting easy graders.


What is an HBC?

Here is another example: a family friend teaches upstate at Vassar and also at a local community college. She teaches the exact curriculum at both schools, guess who she says are better students- better prepared and more engaged? The community college.

Comparing is foolish. And besides the point to admission who care about numbers. For Yale, even numbers aren't enough. Better to go to a school where you can do well , not take on much debt, and be an exceptional person.

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scifiguy
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby scifiguy » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:19 pm

HBC stands for historically black colleges. But see my post above for why I think we shouldn't make any leaps of logic based on my one example.

NYState, we had a sociology professor talk about (but not have us read) a book by Daniel Golden titled The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates.
http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1400097975

I've not read it before, but am familiar with the gist of the book. It seems at least a plausible thesis. There are also many anecdotal examples of very average, if not below average, students getting into Harvard and Yale like former President GW Bush. His C averages in high school and undergrad wouldn't have even qualified him for something like SUNY campuses, let alone the Ivies for UG and grad school.

A lot of people who get into top schools did so via connections and/or family wealth that gave them advantages in prep.

I don't think comparisons are pointless, because we ultimately do want to have a good measure of people's talent, work ethic, obstacles overcome, etc., but it's jsut difficult to make those actual comparisons as you said. We don't start life with a level playing field, so making those comparisons is like comparing apples to oranges. We need an even playing field to see who really is "better."

But, again, I do think comparisons are still important since we have to have some way of judging people's abilities and potential.

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moonman157
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby moonman157 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:36 pm

Drunk TLSing, which I said I would never do again, but I am terrified that my experience at my non-elite Big 10 wouldn't prepare me for CLS

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chraruce
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby chraruce » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:43 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Lumieres wrote:
sinfiery wrote:Tbf, every person at an ivy with a 3.5 thinks they are LEAGUES smarter than a person at a state U with a 3.8


Not smarter, but had to work harder... for a lower GPA.

My classes at my state school (not a top public like uva, umich, ucla, cal) were a joke. A lot of exams were open book and the expectations and standards from the profs/instructors were extremely low.


Ivy league schools are somewhat a joke too. There is a reason 3.5 is average there. And state flagships aren't usually a joke in general, but often have a ton of joke classes.



I don't know if MIT is encompassed by the term "ivy league schools" as discussed ITT. However, this is my personal anecdotal experience: I went to MIT and took a hiatus 'cuz I got completely crushed by the physics department there. During my hiatus, I enrolled in the full-time computer engineering program at University of Florida. I came out with a 3.7 gpa after one semester. I felt pretty good with my performance so I went back to MIT and declared my major as electrical engineering and computer science (similar to computer engineering at UF; won't go into details regarding differences). One of the classes that I took at UF was signal processing, which I had to retake at MIT 'cuz I could not get that credit transferred. At UF, I got a B+ on this class; at MIT, I got a C and the material covered in one semester was twice as much, not to mention the incredibly difficult homework and tests. At UF, the problem solving needed to solve the homework would go maybe 3 or 4 steps beyond what the classroom covered; at MIT, it went about 7 steps beyond what the classroom covered. Final GPA from MIT? 2.4 (in a 4.0 scale) or so.
In my experience, an Ivy Plus education is much harder than a state flagship education.
Wish I could go back in time and stay at UF. Maybe I'd be choosing between a few T10 schools right now. Instead, I'm waitlisted at a T20, at one T14, and admitted at only one T30.

I'll report back regarding how law school compares to an Ivy Plus education and a state flagship education ;-)

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chraruce
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby chraruce » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:49 pm

hiltopp01 wrote:I was wondering if there was a strong correlation between undergrad rigor and success in law school. I had a really easy undergrad experience and was wondering if I would find difficulties related to this in law school. (t14 law school, if all goes well)


I have a friend who killed undergrad engineering at UCF. I think she came out with like a 3.8 or 3.9. She did not slack by any means, she's a pretty hard worker. She's doing quite well at NU Law nowadays.
Not sure if this answers your question, but at least it's a sample which could be used to make a correlation (you'd need a lot more samples though) between undergrad success at a non-elite school with success at an elite law school.
This does not directly answer what you asked, but at least I think it's more than mildly relevant.




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