Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

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Dmini7
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby Dmini7 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:51 pm

chraruce wrote:
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 ;-)


I really shouldn't speak here but I wanted to clear up, MIT, CIT and schools like that are not Ivy's and are much much more difficult than the average Ivy league school. These schools have very harsh curves unlike Ivy leagues. Be proud of even getting a degree from MIT, but why go to law school when you got an engineering degree from MIT?

toothbrush
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby toothbrush » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:56 pm

tag.

i agree with everything sinfiery ever writes that sometimes it makes me question if he is me.

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scifiguy
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby scifiguy » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:58 pm

Interesting experience.

I wasn't thinking of the top tech schools like MIT, Caltech, Georgia Tech, etc., but I think they'd definitely be up there in prestige and rigor with the Ivies.

I've actually watched some MIT physics lectures on Youtube ...and a few other series. Open Courseware at MIT rocks!
Last edited by scifiguy on Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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scifiguy
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby scifiguy » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:00 am

Oh!!! and Sadoway's Chemistry class (3.091) is the absolute BEST!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPQ9a_xIqRg

He's so entertaining!
Last edited by scifiguy on Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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chraruce
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby chraruce » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:04 am

scifiguy wrote:Oh!!! and Sadoway's Chemistry class (3.091) is the absolute BEST!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPQ9a_xIqRg

He's so entertaining!


=) Everyone loves Sadoway! He's (or was when I was there) a celebrity on campus. I believe there is one lecture where he talks about the chemistry of acid (i.e. the illegal substance).
I'll definitely watch that youtube vid later today.

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scifiguy
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby scifiguy » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:09 am

chraruce wrote:
scifiguy wrote:Oh!!! and Sadoway's Chemistry class (3.091) is the absolute BEST!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPQ9a_xIqRg

He's so entertaining!


=) Everyone loves Sadoway! He's (or was when I was there) a celebrity on campus. I believe there is one lecture where he talks about the chemistry of acid (i.e. the illegal substance).
I'll definitely watch that youtube vid later today.



DUDE! I think I watched that one!!! This sounds weird and nerdy, but I actually watched his lectures from 3.091 on Youtube/Open Courseware from two different semesters, hahahahaha!

He was often repeating the same stuff and same jokes, but just a few different nuances here and there that made it worthwhile for me I guess. I stopped after a while, since it was mostly a repeat, but I was just curious if his lectures or jokes, etc. were any different.

Even Bill Gates commented that Sadoway is terrific!

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sinfiery
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby sinfiery » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:54 am

toothbrush wrote:tag.

i agree with everything sinfiery ever writes that sometimes it makes me question if he is me.

:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

arklaw13
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby arklaw13 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:35 pm

Graduated from a small state college no one has ever heard of. It's mostly made up of commuters and the average age is around 27. Also a very high minority population due to it being in a metropolitan area. I finished with a 4.0 and could have done it with half the effort I put in because there were no grade curves. I've been in a few 20 person classes with only 2 A's given out, but generally it was because only 2 people deserved A's. In most of my classes, grades were curved upward in order to bring the average up to around 80.

In hindsight, I'm not sure whether or not I would have rather attended a more difficult school. On the one hand, I would probably be more prepared for law school. On the other hand, my GPA would definitely have been much lower and I might not even have been admitted to the school I'm attending in the fall, let alone with a respectable scholarship. The general wisdom is that adcoms take undergrad rigor into account, but I'm not so sure. If I had kids who wanted to go to law school and knew it before starting undergrad (like I did), I would probably tell them to go the same route as I did so that they end up with higher GPA's and better opportunities for scholarships. I'll report back after 1L and see how it works for me.

jwinaz
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby jwinaz » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:55 pm

From the stories I've read of MIT (not sure how true they are or how generalizable they are), I wouldn't think it unfair if law schools gave .x bump to students' GPAs from there.

Of course it would be hard to precisely say how much of a GPA boost students should get, but I would buy that an MIT engineering or computer science degree what have you is more difficult than almost anywhere else.

Some of the stories I saw discussed how the work is both voluminous and tough. The volume was said to make you feel like you're in the ocean trying to tread water and keep your head afloat above the water and every day/week you have these large crashing waves come at you (homework problem sets) that are tall and difficult to handle and just when you feel you've barely recovered that week is another set of voluminous and tough assignments that keep coming all semester long, such that it feels like you get a relentless storm of wave after wave of difficult and voluminous work that makes you feel as though you cannot breathe or keep your head afloat. It's as if someone or something is pushing your head down below the water and you're desparate for air and don't know if you can hold on.

Not sure how much of that is hyperbole, but I would imagine it's probably somewhat more true than not. It probably varies from person to person?

I attended a variety of schools: a community college, an unknown public non-flagship state U, transferred to a flagship state U (USNWR Top 40), and summer school at an Ivy.

The volume of the work at my community college and unknown public non-flagship state U was definitely less than at the other two. That was unquestionably true.

The rigor issue was a bit more uneven. Overall, the better schools had higher expectations, but there were some pretty easy professors at those schools too. So you could course select to find some of these easy guys.

I don't know if I'd say that the volume or work and rigor were so much higher that I gained some kind of insurmountable advantage in prep over someone else who may have attended an "easier" school. But I did feel like I pushed myself, learned a bit about my strengths/weakenesses, and gained some skills I may not have otherwise picked up from being challenged. But, again, I'm not sure if it was that much of an advantage gained from going through a more rigorous curriculum the later half of my UG. I'd have to think more about it.

But one thing that was invaluable was being able to work with a top-notch professor at my more prestigiosu UG when I was a junior and senior. The quality of his teaching and his approach to learning and trying to solve problems was very helpful for me. I'm not sure if I would have gotten that same level of personal instruction at my first UG.

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chraruce
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby chraruce » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:10 pm

jwinaz wrote:From the stories I've read of MIT (not sure how true they are or how generalizable they are), I wouldn't think it unfair if law schools gave .x bump to students' GPAs from there.

Of course it would be hard to precisely say how much of a GPA boost students should get, but I would buy that an MIT engineering or computer science degree what have you is more difficult than almost anywhere else.

Some of the stories I saw discussed how the work is both voluminous and tough. The volume was said to make you feel like you're in the ocean trying to tread water and keep your head afloat above the water and every day/week you have these large crashing waves come at you (homework problem sets) that are tall and difficult to handle and just when you feel you've barely recovered that week is another set of voluminous and tough assignments that keep coming all semester long, such that it feels like you get a relentless storm of wave after wave of difficult and voluminous work that makes you feel as though you cannot breathe or keep your head afloat.
It's as if someone or something is pushing your head down below the water and you're desparate for air and don't know if you can hold on. Not sure how much of that is hyperbole, but I would imagine it's probably somewhat more true than not. It probably varies from person to person?

I attended a variety of schools: a community college, an unknown public non-flagship state U, transferred to a flagship state U (USNWR Top 40), and summer school at an Ivy.

The volume of the work at my community college and unknown public non-flagship state U was definitely less than at the other two. That was unquestionably true.

The rigor issue was a bit more uneven. Overall, the better schools had higher expectations, but there were some pretty easy professors at those schools too. So you could course select to find some of these easy guys.

I don't know if I'd say that the volume or work and rigor were so much higher that I gained some kind of insurmountable advantage in prep over someone else who may have attended an "easier" school. But I did feel like I pushed myself, learned a bit about my strengths/weakenesses, and gained some skills I may not have otherwise picked up from being challenged. But, again, I'm not sure if it was that much of an advantage gained from going through a more rigorous curriculum the later half of my UG. I'd have to think more about it.

But one thing that was invaluable was being able to work with a top-notch professor at my more prestigiosu UG when I was a junior and senior. The quality of his teaching and his approach to learning and trying to solve problems was very helpful for me. I'm not sure if I would have gotten that same level of personal instruction at my first UG.


Wow, that's the best description that I have ever heard of what it feels like to go through a tough undergrad program. That was definitely my experience.
And honestly, the experience doesn't vary that much from person to person. Just some people learn techniques to stay afloat more effectively than others; and others, like me, learn the techniques but are lazy enough not to want to apply them day in and day out for the entire semester (so if you apply them like 80% of the time, then you get that crappy 2.4 gpa =P )

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UVAIce
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby UVAIce » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:58 pm

Law school is not that hard. If you read the cases, pay attention in class, take some notes, you'll do fine. I went to an UG that is not highly ranked and did well while I was there. I never worked that hard in UG, but I also haven't killed myself in law school. If you pay attention you'll get the material. Remember, the law is the law. You are going to read the same con law cases at Yale, that you read at UVa, that you read at your local TTT school. A great professor can really help the learning process, but you are learning the same stuff.

As per the difference between an Ivy education and a random undergrad, it's all about what you make of it. In the end you're studying the same topics, out of the same books. Sure, your exams might be more difficult at an Ivy. They may have higher standards on what your written product has to look like, but none of this matters if you set standards for yourself that aren't complete crap.

I do feel that you get a major networking bonus out of attending an Ivy caliber institution. That alone is the price of admission and it's the one reason that I regret not attending a prestigious undergrad. Also, you get to interact with a large group of smart people at a top school, which can be an awesome experience. I hate being the smart person in the room; it's much nicer to be surrounded by equally talented people.

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chraruce
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby chraruce » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:51 am

UVAIce wrote:Law school is not that hard. If you read the cases, pay attention in class, take some notes, you'll do fine. I went to an UG that is not highly ranked and did well while I was there. I never worked that hard in UG, but I also haven't killed myself in law school. If you pay attention you'll get the material. Remember, the law is the law. You are going to read the same con law cases at Yale, that you read at UVa, that you read at your local TTT school. A great professor can really help the learning process, but you are learning the same stuff.


Thanks for the comments regarding law school. It makes me feel a bit at ease.
I do have one question, I thought (although I may be wrong since I'm a 0L) that a big part of law school was to be able to think/reason like a lawyer and not so much to just understand the material (as in being able to just regurgitate what was learnt).
Do you think that the law professors and the case books do a good job of teaching this reasoning? Or do you think that you are either born with it or you are not?

UVAIce wrote: As per the difference between an Ivy education and a random undergrad, it's all about what you make of it. In the end you're studying the same topics, out of the same books. Sure, your exams might be more difficult at an Ivy. They may have higher standards on what your written product has to look like, but none of this matters if you set standards for yourself that aren't complete crap.

I do feel that you get a major networking bonus out of attending an Ivy caliber institution. That alone is the price of admission and it's the one reason that I regret not attending a prestigious undergrad. Also, you get to interact with a large group of smart people at a top school, which can be an awesome experience. I hate being the smart person in the room; it's much nicer to be surrounded by equally talented people.


I agree with you that one of the big benefits about a good undergrad is the networking. Another nice benefit are the doors that a big name on your resume can open. Not to mention that nice opportunities for collaboration with professors or for working in top-notch labs and projects can become available while studying at a good institution.
I think that the resources available at the "richer" schools are great for nurturing the future contributors of whatever academic fields of research the institution focuses on. A good undergrad can also be an incubator for entrepreneurs (this involves both, the resources and the networking).

However, with regards to learning, I think that the big value of going to a top engineering program was not so much the material learnt but the problem-solving skills acquired through years of being challenged to solve "unsolvable" problems.
In fact, I thought that I absorbed the material much better while at UF than while at MIT. This is because at UF, the professors and the homework actually wanted to teach the material; they gave students enough time and enough repeated exposure to key concepts to allow the students to absorb those. On the other hand, MIT doesn't care much to give you a solid foundation of the materials. All they care about is that you acquire the ability to learn on your own and to solve really hard problems... or so was my impression.
But I agree with you that you don't *have* to go to a top engineering program in order to develop top-notch problem-solving skills. You can do that from home, but it would require a lot of discipline and a drive to challenge yourself. Kinda like the Good Will Hunting movie.

Sorry for the super long responses!

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Scarlett66
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby Scarlett66 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:53 am

I was accepted into ivy league institutions for UG, but my family is middle class and I couldn't even get the loans to pay for it.

Went to a small regional on a full ride, did a hard science major, kept a 3.99 gpa, worked two jobs and a research fellowship during school. The curriculum was difficult, but I'm hoping this prepares me a little more. Maybe it didn't prepare me as much as an ivy education would have, but if I (and any of us) had the ability to get in before, we're usually up to the mental caliber of the people who earned their admission (not the ones who got in through connections and $).

I'm starting at NU this fall with $$. We can report back to this thread in 3 years haha.

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sinfiery
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby sinfiery » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:01 am

Let's report back next year

Only need those 1L grades really

ironharvest
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby ironharvest » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:45 pm

I cruised hard at my ("public ivy") undergrad w/ an easy language major.

I'm near the top of my class at a school in the bottom of the T14, but my study habits are very different than undergrad. If you are disciplined in your studies and have aptitude for writing law school exams I don't think it matters what your undergrad experience was like. Problem is, you won't know if you're any good at taking law school exams until after you've committed.

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jtabustos
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Re: Easy Undergrad experience and law school success

Postby jtabustos » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:09 am

ironharvest wrote:I cruised hard at my ("public ivy") undergrad w/ an easy language major.

I'm near the top of my class at a school in the bottom of the T14, but my study habits are very different than undergrad. If you are disciplined in your studies and have aptitude for writing law school exams I don't think it matters what your undergrad experience was like. Problem is, you won't know if you're any good at taking law school exams until after you've committed.


:(

ironharvest,

Were there any exams or classes you took in UG that utilized any of the same skills needed for a law school exam? I'm not talking about simply typing, but more like the thinking process involved?

This is something I'm actually worried about and wrote thread on in the Law Stud/Grads forum section.

Is there anything at all that may be a good indicator of a person's ability at taking a law school exam?




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