Weight of Undergrad University in Admissions

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studystudystudy
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Weight of Undergrad University in Admissions

Postby studystudystudy » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:19 am

Hi all,

Was wondering if law schools put any weight in the admissions process on where you went for undergrad? I'm in my third year at a private liberal arts college in So-cal with a 3.88 gpa and 1 year experience at small law firm, now as a legal assistant. Taking June 2017 LSAT. By the time I apply (fall 2017) hopefully the gpa will be 3.9+ and i'll have a wonderful LSAT under my belt, in addition to the 2 years work experience at that firm. Nonetheless, is it really just LSAT and GPA or do they take into consideration where you actually went to school? Shooting for USC, UCLA, in addition to Michigan and probably some others up there.

Thanks in advance! :)

cavalier1138
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Re: Weight of Undergrad University in Admissions

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:06 am

It's really just LSAT/GPA. You will find some (unsubstantiated) posts on this forum saying that lesser-known schools are treated less favorably, but those posts tend to ignore a whole bunch of other factors.

When you look at the numbers, you will see major universities represented more heavily in professional schools. That has very little to do with the perceived prestige of the institution. The reality is that people who go to those schools are likely people who were already going to do well on the LSAT, and since a lot of top schools inflate grades, their GPAs will also be high. But an adcomm is not going to read two apps with identical numbers and reject one just because the other went to Yale.

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KissMyAxe
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Re: Weight of Undergrad University in Admissions

Postby KissMyAxe » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:09 pm

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airwrecka
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Re: Weight of Undergrad University in Admissions

Postby airwrecka » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:20 pm

KissMyAxe wrote:
That said, YLS is very different. There is a distinct preference for certain institutions (roughly 25% of each class attended Yale college, 50% one of HYP, and 85% Ivy League schools + a few select others (Williams, Wellesley, Stanford, Oxbridge, etc.) Furthermore, because the role the professors play in admissions, it takes on a different dynamic. One of the most well-known professors has famously told students that he rejects any state schools student he gets in his applications because he thinks they are inferior. Another actually looks down on the "lesser" Ivies and docks every application that didn't go to HYP by one point.



Seriously?? Certainly glad I didn't even bother applying to Yale, then...my numbers weren't good enough anyway, but what the actual fuck?

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AvatarMeelo
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Re: Weight of Undergrad University in Admissions

Postby AvatarMeelo » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:46 pm

KissMyAxe wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:It's really just LSAT/GPA. You will find some (unsubstantiated) posts on this forum saying that lesser-known schools are treated less favorably, but those posts tend to ignore a whole bunch of other factors.

When you look at the numbers, you will see major universities represented more heavily in professional schools. That has very little to do with the perceived prestige of the institution. The reality is that people who go to those schools are likely people who were already going to do well on the LSAT, and since a lot of top schools inflate grades, their GPAs will also be high. But an adcomm is not going to read two apps with identical numbers and reject one just because the other went to Yale.


This is true for the most part. There just aren't enough high LSATs to go around, meaning most schools are stuck fighting over the highest LSATs and GPAs they can get in order to preserve their rankings. Harvard is a perfect example of this. They know they'll lose ~200 admits to YLS, a small number to Stanford (though most cross-admits do end up attending HLS), and then another group of students to the big scholarships at the other T14s. Because of how few 173+ LSATs are out there, HLS has to admit basically all of them (with halfway decent GPAs) in order to preserve their medians. This is how it works at basically 99% of schools.

That said, YLS is very different. There is a distinct preference for certain institutions (roughly 25% of each class attended Yale college, 50% one of HYP, and 85% Ivy League schools + a few select others (Williams, Wellesley, Stanford, Oxbridge, etc.) Furthermore, because the role the professors play in admissions, it takes on a different dynamic. One of the most well-known professors has famously told students that he rejects any state schools student he gets in his applications because he thinks they are inferior. Another actually looks down on the "lesser" Ivies and docks every application that didn't go to HYP by one point.

But cavalier is mostly right, any time the adcomms are in charge of admissions, a state schools isn't going to be an automatic rejection. With two identical applications number-wise, the graduate of the prestigious school very well might get a boost, but it will just be a soft like any other, and one that can be overcome.


I just read about that in the Vance memoir! I went to a state school because I couldn't afford a top tier one, and that sort of mentality crushes my hopes and ~~dreams~~.

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34iplaw
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Re: Weight of Undergrad University in Admissions

Postby 34iplaw » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:42 pm

I don't think it's a huge factor, but I think it is certainly there. It almost seems like its maybe one of the better softs (outside of the really unique insane stuff). I'm an alum of an Ivy, and a current UG sent me the admit information that the prelaw advisors use there.

The students definitely seemed to outperform their numbers by a bit... like it seemed more people in that 25%-50% got in than they should. Perhaps, a disproportionate number of particularly well connected but not so strong academically apply to law school from my UG, but I'm not really sure that's the case.

This following bit is 100% pure speculation on my end: I think part of this is that it could help in employment to a very vague extent down the road. Most have told me that lawyers are fairly obsessed with prestige, so I imagine it looks marginally better to say 'associate went to ___(prestigious UG)___' and '___(prestigious LS)____ than associate went to ___(some UG)___ and ___(prestigious LS)____.'




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