Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

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samoby
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Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby samoby » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:56 am

I've had several people suggest to me that it might be smarter to pick a lower-ranked law school because I would theoretically have a better chance being at a higher ranking in the class. Is there any merit to that? I kind of thought there wasn't, with some schools not ranking and with there not necessarily being a correlation between ranking and motivation of the law school students.

Any thoughts on this? For jobs after school, is the prestige of the school more important or your position? I plan to work very hard but suppose I'm in the middle of my class at a T14 versus top of my class at a T20, which is a better choice?

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Lincoln
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby Lincoln » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:18 am

This has been discussed ad nauseum. Try the search function.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:20 am

Your instincts are correct. There is literally no merit whatsoever to that suggestion. It is impossible to predict how you'll rank.

BigZuck
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby BigZuck » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:43 am

In addition to the above, the T14 vs T20 thing is too theoretical and broad to address. For example, if you were a TX bro and wanted to work in TX, I would rather be in the middle of the pack at Harvard than at the top of the class at a school like Minnesota.

Anyway, I go to UT and I really can't imagine that the average caliber of student here is all that worse than, say, Cornell. The LSAT/GPA of the entering class is very similar (although maybe a higher percentage of splitters here than there but I'm not sure what that would matter). And just because its in Austin vs Ithica doesn't mean people are too distracted by things outside of school or partying or whatever to not work hard in class. By and large people seem to be intelligent and dedicated. I think my gpa here would be very similar to what it would have been had I gone to a T14.

IMO, the only reason to choose a non-T14 over a T14 is cost and personal factors (like needing to stay in a certain city/state).

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lawhopeful10
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby lawhopeful10 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:59 am

Lincoln wrote:This has been discussed ad nauseum. Try the search function.

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guano
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby guano » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:05 pm

It depends on which schools, and where you want to work.
If you want to work in TX and you're talking UT v Georgetown, pick UT.
If you want to work in NYC and you're talking Minnesota v Stanford, choose Stanford

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PepperJack
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby PepperJack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:15 pm

It would be easier to get high grades at a lower school, but not at v-14 vs v-20. Those schools are literally just as competitive.

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guano
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby guano » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:21 pm

PepperJack wrote:It would be easier to get high grades at a lower school, but not at v-14 vs v-20. Those schools are literally just as competitive.

Keep in mind that we're really talking about a big difference here, like T14 vs TTT. The difference between kids going to a T14 vs a T1 might not be that big (depending on the school) and you also need to take into account natural aptitude for law school exams. Every year, at every school, there are kids above the 75% on both scores who are below median and kids who barely got in off the waitlist in the top 10%

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PepperJack
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby PepperJack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:36 pm

That's very true. 2-3 LSAT points is way too small a sample to generalize IQ distinctions from. At that rate performance would be more impacted by grading style (i.e. A is a very philsophical thinker but slow typer and has 3 racehorse exams v. 2).

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby ScottRiqui » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:37 pm

guano wrote:Keep in mind that we're really talking about a big difference here, like T14 vs TTT. The difference between kids going to a T14 vs a T1 might not be that big


Agreed. When you're looking at third- and fourth-tier schools, it's probably a safe bet that the students' options were severely limited. But I'd wager there are a lot of seats at the strong regional tier-one schools being filled by students who would have been (or even were) accepted to the T14, but didn't go because of cost/family/life issues.

It would really suck to drop down to the 20s and 30s hoping to bust the curve, only to find out you're in the same section with a handful of strong performers who either blossomed once they got to law school, or passed up admittances at higher-ranked schools in order to stay close to home.

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jrf12886
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby jrf12886 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:40 pm

The correlation is very weak. Go to the highest ranked school that places graduates into your desired market. And try to get as much merit aid as possible. Everything else (competitiveness of students, specialty rankings, clinical offerings, weather) is very subjective and largely irrelevant to your decision.

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guano
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby guano » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:45 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
guano wrote:Keep in mind that we're really talking about a big difference here, like T14 vs TTT. The difference between kids going to a T14 vs a T1 might not be that big


Agreed. When you're looking at third- and fourth-tier schools, it's probably a safe bet that the students' options were severely limited. But I'd wager there are a lot of seats at the strong regional tier-one schools being filled by students who would have been (or even were) accepted to the T14, but didn't go because of cost/family/life issues.

It would really suck to drop down to the 20s and 30s hoping to bust the curve, only to find out you're in the same section with a handful of strong performers who either blossomed once they got to law school, or passed up admittances at higher-ranked schools in order to stay close to home.

Happened to me...

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samoby
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Re: Higher ranked vs. lower ranked

Postby samoby » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:08 pm

Thanks a lot for all of the input. I really appreciate it!




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