Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

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WaltGrace83
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Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby WaltGrace83 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:37 pm

This is something that I was wondering about this morning. If we look at the type of people that do really well on the LSAT (170+), they typically break down into three categories: those that studied a LOT in order to go from high 140s/low 150s to 170s, those that studied just a bit (a month or two) to break into the 170+ threshold, and those that hardly studied at all. Let's say that one gets a 170+ on the LSAT while starting from a high 140s/low 150s diagnostic (like me). Does that mean that said person would not do as well in law school in relation to the majority of 170+ test takers that just had the innate intellectual capacity to do well almost immediately? Or is it the case that studying for the LSAT will make you better at the kind of thinking that law school rewards? Or, perhaps, is the LSAT a fairly useless indicator of how well you do in law school?

Personal anecdotes are even helpful here!

rubberplant2020
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby rubberplant2020 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:02 pm

So your asking if the person who works hard will not do as well as the person who uses natural talent?

Tomasz
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby Tomasz » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:06 pm

since there is no objective measure, to my knowledge, that is available to assess talent VS effort, there's no way to answer this.

LSAC publishes a report on the correlation of LSAT, GPA, and LSAT/GPA to 1L performance. LSAT is moderately predictive of law school performance. Law school performance is strongly predictive of first year post-grad job placement.

Anecdotes are not data points. The biggest, dumbest jerk I knew as a teenager makes like $500k right now as a corporate executive. You can't fit that into any predictive model.

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Hand
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby Hand » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:10 pm

I'm inclined to think that someone who has (allegedly) been preparing for the lsat for two years and still hasn't taken the damn test will be too fucking chickenshit to do well on anything whatsoever, but that's just my opinion waltgrace

either way, this dumb thread already exists viewtopic.php?f=6&t=229324

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Sirius Blackstone
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby Sirius Blackstone » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:12 pm

The answer is that there are so many other variables going into how well someone will do in law school that this isn't worth trying to determine. If you're worried that you'll be at a disadvantage in law school because you studied longer for your 170+ then someone else, don't be.

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RZ5646
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby RZ5646 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:17 pm

Desert Fox had an enormous thread like this awhile ago. Basically you're asking if it's better to be talented or to have a good work ethic, and there's no good answer to that except that both are necessary to some extent. The same question has been discussed ad nauseam in many different domains for hundreds of years. I doubt anyone here is going to have some great insight that all those other people missed.

ilikebaseball
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby ilikebaseball » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:20 pm

At the end of the day, if you have the work ethic to raise your LSAT 20-30 points to be above a school's 75th, you should have the work ethic to succeed in law school. LSAT is somewhat effective at predicting how well you'll do, but I think that's more based upon that the test doesn't really set a ceiling on anyone. Its not concrete facts, its strategies and strengthening your reasoning skills through hard work. That's probably where the predictiveness comes in.

If you have the same work ethic that drove up your LSAT 20 points and apply it in law school, you're more than likely to succeed (relative to the law school's numbers, that is). If you work really hard on your LSAT but don't apply yourself in law school, you're more than likely not. I know its a broad answer, and there are a few naturally gifted exceptions and a few exceptions where someone just wasn't broad enough on final exams and did poorly, despite working their tail off, but just work hard. You won't be at a disadvantage just because you worked your ass off to strengthen your reasoning skills.

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ymmv
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby ymmv » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:33 pm

Law school grades are precisely 20% natural ability, 20% hard work and 60% luck, HTH.

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Auxilio
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby Auxilio » Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:17 pm

I have also wondered if there would be a stronger correlation in LSAC's data between LSAC/law school performance or (if they could get this data) diagnostic LSAT/law school performance.

I personally think that they are both about equal, as others have said. Lack of work ethic will not be made up fully by natural talent and vice versa, both are at least somewhat necessary.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby iamgeorgebush » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:26 pm

Anecdote: I went from the high 150s to the mid 170s after 300+ hours of studying for the LSAT, and I am currently a 1L at a top school. I did very well my first semester. That is the only data point I have, though. I don't know many of my classmates' grades, let alone their LSAT scores, let alone how much they improved from their diagnostic. Nevertheless, my intuition leads me to believe a person who raises their LSAT score through hard work is no less likely to do well in law school than a person who naturally scores high. Still, take this with a pound of salt.

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MagicMike80
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby MagicMike80 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:36 pm

I went from a 149 on my first diagnostic to a 166 on test day. I would say I realistically spent 150-200 hours studying. Only took it once. Entered my 1L school at the median. Worked much harder 1L than I did for the LSAT. Thats what I would recommend.

TheoO
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby TheoO » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:59 am

The very nature of the LSAT is not really comparable to a law school exam. The LSAT is entirely multiple choice; with some exception, most law school exams are written. This changes the dynamic a lot. Law school exam grading can be far from objective. While the LSAT does create some kind of haziness with regard to the right answer, at the end of the day there is a right and wrong. This doesn't really work on a law school exam... So I don't know what you can actually say about how much you studied vis-a-vis performance in law school.

However, if there's one thing you've learned from the LSAT to carry into law school: practice tests and their review will ultimately help improve performance.

thisone2014
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby thisone2014 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:21 pm

I could also imagine the opposite being true. In other words, people with the "innate" talent who never had to work hard to get good UG grades get into a law school where their peers are almost all somewhat talented and much more hard working than they are. They then are graded on a curve against people who are used to going the extra mile to do well on tests.

Not saying I believe this to be true, just think it's probably as plausible as the alternatives OP suggested.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:24 pm

ilikebaseball wrote:At the end of the day, if you have the work ethic to raise your LSAT 20-30 points to be above a school's 75th, you should have the work ethic to succeed in law school. LSAT is somewhat effective at predicting how well you'll do, but I think that's more based upon that the test doesn't really set a ceiling on anyone. Its not concrete facts, its strategies and strengthening your reasoning skills through hard work. That's probably where the predictiveness comes in.

If you have the same work ethic that drove up your LSAT 20 points and apply it in law school, you're more than likely to succeed (relative to the law school's numbers, that is). If you work really hard on your LSAT but don't apply yourself in law school, you're more than likely not. I know its a broad answer, and there are a few naturally gifted exceptions and a few exceptions where someone just wasn't broad enough on final exams and did poorly, despite working their tail off, but just work hard. You won't be at a disadvantage just because you worked your ass off to strengthen your reasoning skills.


bolded is total bullshit

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Dog
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby Dog » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:11 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
ilikebaseball wrote:At the end of the day, if you have the work ethic to raise your LSAT 20-30 points to be above a school's 75th, you should have the work ethic to succeed in law school. LSAT is somewhat effective at predicting how well you'll do, but I think that's more based upon that the test doesn't really set a ceiling on anyone. Its not concrete facts, its strategies and strengthening your reasoning skills through hard work. That's probably where the predictiveness comes in.

If you have the same work ethic that drove up your LSAT 20 points and apply it in law school, you're more than likely to succeed (relative to the law school's numbers, that is). If you work really hard on your LSAT but don't apply yourself in law school, you're more than likely not. I know its a broad answer, and there are a few naturally gifted exceptions and a few exceptions where someone just wasn't broad enough on final exams and did poorly, despite working their tail off, but just work hard. You won't be at a disadvantage just because you worked your ass off to strengthen your reasoning skills.


bolded is total bullshit


I think one problem with the bolded is that in law school students won't be able to succeed simply by outworking their classmates. With the LSAT, there isn't a time constraint - you can study for it as long as you wish. You can take it when you're ready, and you can retake it when you under-perform. A hard working student with a relative lack of talent could study 5 or 10 times as much as some of the students that scored similarly to them. They will not be able to study 5 or 10 times as much in law school, as everyone has to take exams on the same schedule and there wouldn't be enough hours in the day for that.

TheoO
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby TheoO » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:16 am

Dog wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
ilikebaseball wrote:At the end of the day, if you have the work ethic to raise your LSAT 20-30 points to be above a school's 75th, you should have the work ethic to succeed in law school. LSAT is somewhat effective at predicting how well you'll do, but I think that's more based upon that the test doesn't really set a ceiling on anyone. Its not concrete facts, its strategies and strengthening your reasoning skills through hard work. That's probably where the predictiveness comes in.

If you have the same work ethic that drove up your LSAT 20 points and apply it in law school, you're more than likely to succeed (relative to the law school's numbers, that is). If you work really hard on your LSAT but don't apply yourself in law school, you're more than likely not. I know its a broad answer, and there are a few naturally gifted exceptions and a few exceptions where someone just wasn't broad enough on final exams and did poorly, despite working their tail off, but just work hard. You won't be at a disadvantage just because you worked your ass off to strengthen your reasoning skills.


bolded is total bullshit


I think one problem with the bolded is that in law school students won't be able to succeed simply by outworking their classmates. With the LSAT, there isn't a time constraint - you can study for it as long as you wish. You can take it when you're ready, and you can retake it when you under-perform. A hard working student with a relative lack of talent could study 5 or 10 times as much as some of the students that scored similarly to them. They will not be able to study 5 or 10 times as much in law school, as everyone has to take exams on the same schedule and there wouldn't be enough hours in the day for that.


This is pretty much what me and DF were saying in that LSAT retake debate thread. Although, to be honest, I don't know what to say with regard to law school ecams and intelligence. They seem to be all over the fuckin place. No doubt the dude who ranks in the top 10% is smart as shit and may just naturally be better at life than those below, but outside of such definitive leads, I don't really know what law school exams say.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Too much LSAT = poor performance in law school?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:51 am

I don't think the statement DF called out was controversial at all unless "succeed" meant "finish top of the class."




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