What happens to people who get 170 and above?

tomwatts
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby tomwatts » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:22 pm

robotclubmember wrote:i'm still curious what tomwatt's rap sheet has on it. a 180 and the guy doesn't go to law school? i think he actually killed somebody or something.

They'll never prove it! 8)

mala2
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby mala2 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:52 pm

Interesting. Makes me want to retake and get 4 more points and re apply next cycle

Scrivener
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby Scrivener » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:03 pm

I appreciate Tom's work, but I think he is filling in a lot of gaps with assumptions. The broad outline of his post is mostly correct though, that most 170+ scorers go to T17.

I would like to know the exact percentage, but we'd need more data points to find that out.

tomwatts
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby tomwatts » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:41 pm

Scrivener wrote:I appreciate Tom's work, but I think he is filling in a lot of gaps with assumptions.

Well, that was part of the point. How many of them are there, and how many can we account for with certainty? Then what can we speculate about the rest? With certainty, we can say that at least 2193 go to the t14 (neglecting Cornell), and we can say that there are about 4000 of them total. It's what to do with the other 1800 or so that gets a little sketchy.

Probably a sizable chunk of the ones I can't account for go to Harvard (under 25th), Chicago (under median), Duke (under 75th), Cornell (over 75th), Georgetown (over median), UCLA (over 75th), UT Austin (over 75th), and Vanderbilt (over 75th), but the exact number involved there is hard to determine (though I suppose we could place upper limits on it — that would be an interesting exercise in itself; see below).

Probably a sizable chunk of them don't go to law school, and probably a sizable chunk go elsewhere in Tier 1. In what proportions? Well, that's where we start getting into speculation.

Okay, what are the upper limits for the unknowns in the t14? Well, based on Harvard's numbers, roughly 139 people are below the 25th percentile, so no more than 139 people with 170+ could go to Harvard (here I'm just taking matriculants and dividing by 4, rounded down). A quartile at Chicago is 47 people, so there can't be more than 47 people with 170+ at Chicago who I'm not accounting for, or else the 25th percentile would be too big. Here are the upper limits for the schools with unknowns in the t17:

Harvard: 139
Chicago: 47
Duke: 57
Cornell: 51
Georgetown: 147
UCLA: 80
UT Austin: 94
Vanderbilt: 48

That's a total of 663. Just for a frame of reference, of those 139 possible people at Harvard, only 4 on LSN last cycle had 170's — out of a total of I believe 138 people who listed getting into Harvard last cycle. If LSN were representative, we'd expect about 24 or so people to get in with 170's... but it's not representative, so who knows. (Nor do I entirely know what direction the bias would go — would more people on LSN with 170's get in, or would fewer?) Furthermore, those are acceptances, not matriculants, which further screws with the data. Granted, Harvard's yield is very high, but what about, say, Georgetown's? I don't immediately see an LSN search for matriculants (rather than accepted), which increases uncertainty.

Either way, it means that the estimate of 20-30 people per school is probably within the bounds of reason (fewer for Chicago/Duke/Cornell/Vanderbilt, more for Harvard/Georgetown? maybe?), which still only accounts for (assuming high levels of uncertainty) 100-200 more people in the t17. So as many as 2400 people might go to the t17 with 170's.

But what about the other 1600 people? Presumably they distribute themselves among the rest of Tier 1 or don't go to law school, but in what ratios? Not a clue. There were estimates of people admitted who did not attend (and for that matter, there are percentages of people who applied but got in nowhere — one might expect that to be rare for a 170+ scorer, but perhaps some people get a rockin' score and then only apply to, say, HYS? Would be sort of silly, but could happen). But do those estimates hold for the 170+ crowd? Probably not.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby tomwatts » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:32 pm

So I thought I might use this document to calibrate some of this a little. On page 4, it indicates that 24,146 applicants for Fall 2010 had applied as of 12/3/2009, whereas 21,615 had applied for Fall 2011 as of 12/3/2010. Obviously, these numbers differ somewhat; the number of applicants was down 10% this cycle, as of 12/3. Still, they're in the same ballpark.

Now, according to LSAC's volume summary, 87,500 people applied for Fall 2010, which means that 27.6% of people had applied by 12/3. (Kind of eye-opening, isn't it? Nearly 3/4 of people who apply send their apps in well after Thanksgiving.) Anyway, the publication linked above mentions that 2,479 people with a 170 or above had applied as of 12/3. If 170+ scorers don't apply disproportionately early or late (more on that in a sec), then we'd expect 8,983 applicants with a 170 or above on the full year.

That number is ridiculously higher than the number that I considered early (around 4,000) — which was drawn from applying the percentile to the number of test-takers, which is an absolute upper limit for the number of applicants with a 170+ (no more than about 4,000 scores of 170+ were handed out to different people in that cycle, so there could not possibly have been more applicants with those numbers — unless there were sizable numbers of applicants who'd been sitting on a 170+ score for more than a cycle but didn't retake, which I guess is possible but unlikely to occur in droves).

In any case, apparently 170+ scorers do apply disproportionately early, and specifically, over half of them apply before 12/3. This makes some sense, because people who are with it enough to study hard enough to get a 170 or above on the LSAT probably are not by and large just realizing in late December that they want to go to law school and then taking the February test and applying at the very last second. The 170+ crowd probably has wanted to go to law school for some time, and the 170+ score is an indication of commitment to studying and practicing to get a really competitive score, which a last-minute applicant is significantly less likely to have the time to do.

From that, there's another interesting test we can run. What about the 175+ crowd? LSAC says that there were 567 of them who had applied as of 12/3 last cycle, and from the above estimation, we'd expect about 1,000 total for the cycle. Looking at percentiles, I see that 175 is 99.5 percentile, so 0.5% of test-takers get 175 or above. Now, 171,500 administrations of the LSAT took place, which suggests that 857 scores of 175 or above were handed out. According to LSAC's repeater data, 18 people with a 175 or above retook the test; one person got a score in the 160's, but everyone else got a 170+ score again, so that's 17 duplicates; thus, we get 840 different people with 175 or above. That fits with previous estimates of around 1,000 (and suggests that 175+ scorers apply even more disproportionately early than 170+ scorers do; roughly 62% of 170+ scorers had applied by 12/3, but roughly 67.5% of 175+ scorers had applied by the same date).

So what happens to them? Using the same data as in the OP, I can say three schools take a sizable number of them:

Yale (75th %ile: 176) takes at least 53 of them (which is about 6.3% of them).
Harvard (75th %ile: 176) takes at least 139 of them (which is about 16.5% of them).
Columbia (75th %ile: 175) takes at least 100 of them (which is about 11.9% of them).

That accounts for 292 of them, which is about 35% of them. Just to fill out the third quartile (between median and 75th percentile), Yale and Harvard must take a few more with exactly a 175, although it's hard to say exactly how many. It's probably no more than 10-20 to Yale — given that the median is 173, probably no more than 1/3 of the people in the third quartile have exactly a 175 — and no more than 40-50 to Harvard by the same reasoning, which would account for maybe another 50 people, give or take, which is about another 6%. That is, of the people who score 175 or above, about 35%-40% go to Yale, Harvard, or Columbia.

What about the other 60%-65%? Well, presumably some go to Stanford, but as Stanford's 75th percentile is 172, it's impossible to know how many (other than to say that it's under 45). Likewise, under 47 go to Chicago, and under 112 go to NYU. This suggests to me that the rest of the 175+ scorers scatter throughout the top tier as well, just as 170+ scorers do, although maybe a little more concentrated at the top.

Strikingly, over 200 people claimed to have a 175 or above on LSN last cycle, which, if true, means that about a quarter of all people with a score that high were on LSN. I don't immediately see how to search where they ended up going, though, at least not without going through one-by-one.

genrader
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby genrader » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:30 pm

Is there a way to factor in URM status? how many people don't "make the cut" but get in with URM of some sort?

tomwatts
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby tomwatts » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:47 am

genrader wrote:how many people don't "make the cut" but get in with URM of some sort?

It sounds as though you're phrasing this the opposite direction as I was looking. If we examine some particular top law school, or top law schools as an aggregate, how many of them had lower numbers but got in due to some other factor(s) — e.g. URM status? The tricky thing in answering that question is that we don't have data — as far as I know — that I identify LSAT scores with GPAs, so while we know (for example) that 25% of people who get into Harvard have a 176 or above, and 25% of people who get into Harvard have a 3.76 or below, but we don't know how many people get in with a 176+ and a 3.76-. Same problem with Yale, Stanford, etc. Much less can we identify them with any other factors, such as URM status.

genrader wrote:Is there a way to factor in URM status?

However, if we just take this question, the answer might be yes. One of LSAC's Research Reports puts the number of African-American test-takers at 12,152 and gives the mean score as about 142, with a standard deviation of about 8 or so. The mean for all test-takers is about 150, with about the same standard deviation, which suggests that an African-American getting a 170 or above is about as common as a generic test-taker getting about a 178 or so. (A graph on later pages shows that this holds true for a comparison between African-Americans and "Caucasians," where the percentage getting a score is equal for scores that are about 8-10 apart between those two groups. This suggests that 99.8% or 99.9% of African-Americans score below a 170 (since that's the percentile associated with a 178 generally). That means that... good lord. Even if it's only 99.8%, that still puts the number of African-Americans with a 170+ at a solid 24. That seems ridiculously low. Even if we take a 170 to be 99.5th percentile for African Americans (equivalent to a 175 for the general population), that's still only about 60 African-Americans each year who score 170 or above.

Just to get some idea how ridiculous that is, if the test didn't show racial bias, we'd expect over 300 African-Americans each year to score 170+.

Of course, we have no way of connecting that to individual admissions decisions. I don't believe that any law school releases its percentile for each ethnic group. However, we can say that, for example, Harvard Law enrolls about 70 African-Americans per year, which means that even if Harvard wanted to fill those spots with every single African-American who scored 170+ in a given year (regardless of GPA), there just wouldn't be enough people with the right background/score combination.

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well-hello-there
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby well-hello-there » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:44 am

cool thread. I know of someone with a 172 who ended up at a school in the second tier. 80's or so.

I would like to know the score breakdown for different socioeconomic groups. I bet there aren't too many (relatively) from the lower socioeconomic classes who score 170+.

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The Stig
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby The Stig » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:04 am

I just stumbled across this thread, and I find tomwatts's analysis fascinating. Great work as usual!

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby r2b2ct » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:02 am

tomwatts wrote:
genrader wrote:Is there a way to factor in URM status?

However, if we just take this question, the answer might be yes. One of LSAC's Research Reports puts the number of African-American test-takers at 12,152 and gives the mean score as about 142, with a standard deviation of about 8 or so. The mean for all test-takers is about 150, with about the same standard deviation, which suggests that an African-American getting a 170 or above is about as common as a generic test-taker getting about a 178 or so. (A graph on later pages shows that this holds true for a comparison between African-Americans and "Caucasians," where the percentage getting a score is equal for scores that are about 8-10 apart between those two groups. This suggests that 99.8% or 99.9% of African-Americans score below a 170 (since that's the percentile associated with a 178 generally). That means that... good lord. Even if it's only 99.8%, that still puts the number of African-Americans with a 170+ at a solid 24. That seems ridiculously low. Even if we take a 170 to be 99.5th percentile for African Americans (equivalent to a 175 for the general population), that's still only about 60 African-Americans each year who score 170 or above.

Just to get some idea how ridiculous that is, if the test didn't show racial bias, we'd expect over 300 African-Americans each year to score 170+.

Your estimates here seem pretty accurate. We know how many blacks got 170+ in 2004:
Journal of Blacks in Higher Education wrote:In 2004, 10,370 blacks took the LSAT examination. Only 29 blacks, or 0.3 percent of all LSAT test takers, scored 170 or above. In contrast, more than 1,900 white test takers scored 170 or above on the LSAT. They made up 3.1 percent of all white test takers. Thus whites were more than 10 times as likely as blacks to score 170 or above on the LSAT. There were 66 times as many whites as blacks who scored 170 or above on the test.

http://www.jbhe.com/news_views/51_gradu ... _test.html

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haus
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby haus » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:21 am

Thanks for sharing Tom.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby tomwatts » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:54 pm

r2b2ct wrote:Your estimates here seem pretty accurate. We know how many blacks got 170+ in 2004:
Journal of Blacks in Higher Education wrote:In 2004, 10,370 blacks took the LSAT examination. Only 29 blacks, or 0.3 percent of all LSAT test takers, scored 170 or above. In contrast, more than 1,900 white test takers scored 170 or above on the LSAT. They made up 3.1 percent of all white test takers. Thus whites were more than 10 times as likely as blacks to score 170 or above on the LSAT. There were 66 times as many whites as blacks who scored 170 or above on the test.

http://www.jbhe.com/news_views/51_gradu ... _test.html

Wow, interesting. To continue with the discrepancy:
"There were 108 blacks scoring 165 or better on the LSAT in 2004. They made up 1 percent of all black test takers. For whites, there were 6,689 test takers who scored 165 or above. They made up 10.6 percent of all white students who took the LSAT examination."
That's... dramatic.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby stargazin » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:24 pm

well-hello-there wrote:cool thread. I know of someone with a 172 who ended up at a school in the second tier. 80's or so.


Why? Below average GPA or softs?

Interesting analysis, TomWatts.

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well-hello-there
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby well-hello-there » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:25 am

stargazin wrote:
well-hello-there wrote:cool thread. I know of someone with a 172 who ended up at a school in the second tier. 80's or so.


Why? Below average GPA or softs?

I have no clue.

Second-hand info from dean of admissions there, to my friend, to me.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:05 am

Soooooo I'm kinda slow with numbers and it looks like the people in this thread especially tomwatts (thanks for the wonderful work!) are pretty on it and can probably answer my dumb question super fast.

So with applications down by about 10% compared to last year are there enough 170+ people to fill all the seats in the t14?

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby beachbum » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:16 am

FlanAl wrote:Soooooo I'm kinda slow with numbers and it looks like the people in this thread especially tomwatts (thanks for the wonderful work!) are pretty on it and can probably answer my dumb question super fast.

So with applications down by about 10% compared to last year are there enough 170+ people to fill all the seats in the t14?


Yes, but not all 170+ applicants will head to the T14, and the T14 will not exclusively take 170+ applicants.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby tomwatts » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:49 pm

beachbum wrote:
FlanAl wrote:Soooooo I'm kinda slow with numbers and it looks like the people in this thread especially tomwatts (thanks for the wonderful work!) are pretty on it and can probably answer my dumb question super fast.

So with applications down by about 10% compared to last year are there enough 170+ people to fill all the seats in the t14?


Yes, but not all 170+ applicants will head to the T14, and the T14 will not exclusively take 170+ applicants.

To fill this out a little further...

According to LSAC as of December 3rd, the number of people applying with a 170-174 was down approximately 2.7%, and the number of people applying with a 175-180 was down approximately 23.3% (wow, really?), for a total of being down 7.4%. LSAC notes that lower scorers are down by more and higher scorers are down by less: "What seems to be happening is that we may be losing from the test-taking pool some of the people who were never very committed to the study of law."

I estimated that the t17 takes about 2500 out of 4000 applicants with a 170+ each year (about a 60% acceptance rate). If we take the 4000 and decrease it by 7%, we get 3720 applicants with a 170+ for 2500 or so spots, forcing about a 67% acceptance rate. The t17 can't be quite as choosy about softs and stuff, but there are still more than enough high-scoring applicants to take as many as they used to take.

Especially given that the low 170's are barely down at all, the people who this will affect are the ones who bank on taking lots of 175+ people (Yale, Harvard, and Columbia). Either those 75th percentiles are going to fall, or they're going to have to be distinctly less choosy. Normally those three take about 300-350 applicants with a 175+, which is about 35%-40% of the estimated 840 of them. This year, if they want to take the same number of them, and if they continue to be down 23%, there will only be about 650 of them, so they'll have to accept 45%-55% of them.

That's an interesting effect that I hadn't really paid attention to before. I wonder what the profile of those 175+ people is. Do most of them have high GPAs? I imagine probably not. What this means, then, is that having an ultra-high score (175+) and a reasonably high GPA (3.8+, high enough not to bring down the 25th percentile; Yale 3.82, Harvard 3.76, Columbia 3.6 and med 3.72) might be a nearly sure ride into at least one of those three schools this year, whereas in years past, it just made the odds reasonably good.

Last cycle, I counted 99 (out of somewhat over 200) LSN users who reported 175+ scores with 3.8+ GPAs. That's somewhat under half, which intuitively seems not totally unreasonable, even if it's not a representative sample. If that holds up (under half of the 175+ scorers have a 3.8+ GPA), then we're talking about slightly over 300 people with those numbers. Even Yale (small) wants to matriculate 53 or so of those, and only 80% of those accepted actually attend (presumably lower at higher numbers, because those people tend to be cross-admits at other top schools), so they probably want to accept at least 70-80 of them. In a normal year, that'd be about 15%-20% of them, but this year that's probably about 25% of them... and that's a minimum.

Once we get through all the holds and crap, I wonder what the performance of ultra-high scorers will be at those three schools. I'm betting they're going to clean up. (I'm also betting that 75th percentiles will fall slightly for those three schools.)

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FlanAl
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:14 pm

hey thanks! darn I was kinda hoping there weren't going to be enough 170+ers to go around probably would have made this cycle way more fun.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby lastch2 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:35 am

great post! i am interested in the difference in early and late applications as well. presumably 30 days should not have much (if any) of an effect on an application. the numbers are the same, the softs are the same, etc... but for some reason it's a pretty big factor in applying to law school. I have a 175+, and a strong upward gpa trend (3.8+ gpa minus my freshman year) but i applied mid-december and am receiving waitlists. after scouring LSN and TLS i've found that unless i made a huge error on my applications (typo, misspelled my name, some other idiot thing) my lack-luster cycle can mostly be boiled down to lower GPA and later application date. but how late is too late? and does each day have some value of negative effect after a certain date? i don't know, maybe i'm grasping at straws but it is interesting to me.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby tomwatts » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:13 am

lastch2 wrote:after scouring LSN and TLS i've found that unless i made a huge error on my applications (typo, misspelled my name, some other idiot thing) my lack-luster cycle can mostly be boiled down to lower GPA and later application date. but how late is too late? and does each day have some value of negative effect after a certain date?

Hmm, this is another thing I don't know that we can know. As noted above, we can say that 175+ scorers apply WAY disproportionately early (2/3 of them are in by December 3rd), but we also have good reason to believe that some top schools (Stanford, Yale) don't really care when you apply and take forever to tell just about everyone anyway. But I don't believe that schools release much of anything about the complete dates of the people they accept or, well, anything that would give any sort of clue as to how much applying early really helps. (ED is another thing, I suppose; I imagine that some schools do release information about how much ED helps. I should look that up.)

I do notice that you indicate that most of the highest-ranked schools you applied to are big schools (Harvard, Columbia, NYU), not small schools (Yale, Stanford, Chicago). I wonder if that has any effect. I also imagine that it depends on how low your GPA actually is; if it was just 3.4 for freshman year and then 3.8 or so for the rest of it, that averages to a 3.7, which is not bad for most of these schools. If it was, like, 2.6, that puts you at an overall 3.5, which is a little low for many of these schools.

But you know, some of it may just be that this is not completely numbers-based. Law school admission is largely statistical, but not entirely. We can talk about probabilities and odds, but in any given case, unlikely things could happen.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby dabbadon8 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:19 am

I think applying early was over rated. I saw people who applied later much later then me having similar cycles w/ similar numbers. I think instead of applying early being an advantage I think applying super late is a disadvantage. I mean I applied to schools the first day apps came out and I can't think it made any difference in my cycle.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby MangoCinnamon » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:36 am

tomwatts wrote:
r2b2ct wrote:Your estimates here seem pretty accurate. We know how many blacks got 170+ in 2004:
Journal of Blacks in Higher Education wrote:In 2004, 10,370 blacks took the LSAT examination. Only 29 blacks, or 0.3 percent of all LSAT test takers, scored 170 or above. In contrast, more than 1,900 white test takers scored 170 or above on the LSAT. They made up 3.1 percent of all white test takers. Thus whites were more than 10 times as likely as blacks to score 170 or above on the LSAT. There were 66 times as many whites as blacks who scored 170 or above on the test.

http://www.jbhe.com/news_views/51_gradu ... _test.html

Wow, interesting. To continue with the discrepancy:
"There were 108 blacks scoring 165 or better on the LSAT in 2004. They made up 1 percent of all black test takers. For whites, there were 6,689 test takers who scored 165 or above. They made up 10.6 percent of all white students who took the LSAT examination."
That's... dramatic.



What do you guys think this would mean for a Black or URM student with above a 170, but below median GPA? I know there is a big mystery box about how things are considered for URMs, but I would assume this rarity would make the candidate very attractive.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby lastch2 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:47 pm

dabbadon8 wrote:I think applying early was over rated. I saw people who applied later much later then me having similar cycles w/ similar numbers. I think instead of applying early being an advantage I think applying super late is a disadvantage. I mean I applied to schools the first day apps came out and I can't think it made any difference in my cycle.



hmmm...i guess there really is just that level of unknown variable when it come to applying to LS. it's good to know that applying later won't 100% screw you up then, thanks.

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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby LSATWIZ » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:50 pm

tomwatts wrote:So I was curious if I could data mine an answer to the question, "What happens to people who get 170+ on the LSAT?" That is, do people who score 170 and above virtually all go to t14 schools, or what? Here's what I found.

From my IRR from my 2010 LSAT, for 2006-2009, a 170 is 97.5th percentile, so 2.5% of LSAT test-takers get 170+. I assume that this doesn't change radically from moment to moment. According to LSAC's Volume Summary, there were roughly 87,500 applicants to law school for Fall 2010 (the most recent year for which data is available). Of those, 2.5% would mean that 2187.5 should have 170 or higher on the LSAT — or maybe more, because applicants probably are disproportionately higher-scoring than test-takers, but probably not by much.

Just to put an upper bound, LSAC says that about 171,500 tests were administered in the 2009-2010 cycle, and in 2008-2009 68.9% took the test once, 25.3% twice, and 5.9% more than twice. If we take those numbers to be relatively stable (70% once, 25% twice, 5% three times, let's say for simplicity), that means that there were roughly 134,000 independent test-takers in the cycle, which would give 3,350 people with 170 or above, and if we take all of those 171,500 LSATs, there were 4287.5 scores of 170 or above handed out (presumably several to the same people). At the end of the day, I'd guess that there were 2500-3000 people applying with scores of 170 or above, though the number could be higher.

Now, here are the 75th-25th percentiles for top schools (and median where useful), with number of matriculants (from LSAC's Official Guide to ABA schools):
Yale: 176-170, 214
Harvard: 176-171, 559
Stanford: 172-167 (median 170), 180
Columbia: 175-170, 400
Chicago: 169-173 (median 171), 191
NYU: 169-173 (median 171), 450
Berkeley: 165-170, 292
Penn: 166-171 (median 170), 255
Michigan: 167-170, 371
Virginia: 165-171 (median 170), 368
Duke: 167-171 (median 169), 228
Northwestern: 166-172 (median 170), 271
Cornell: 165-168, 205
Georgetown: 168-172 (median 169), 590
UCLA: 164-169, 320
UT Austin: 164-168, 379
Vanderbilt: 164-169, 195

Nothing below this has 170 or above as any part of the percentiles, though all the way down to Washington & Lee, there are schools with a 75th percentile within spitting distance of 170 (in that case, 167 — and that's for a school ranked 34th).

Now the calculations begin. Here's the basic concept of the methodology: Yale, for example, has a 25th percentile of 170. That means that 75% of matriculants have 170 or better. Since it has 214 matriculants, that's 160.5 people with 170's accounted for (round that up to 161 for sanity). At Harvard, the 25th percentile is 171, which means more than 75% have 170 or above, so I'll calculate a lower limit number of 170's by taking the 559 matriculants and finding 75% of that, which is 419.25 (so 420). Here are the lower limits for the relevant schools:

Yale: 161
Harvard: 420
Stanford: 90
Columbia: 300
Chicago: 96
NYU: 225
Berkeley: 73
Penn: 128
Michigan: 93
Virginia: 184
Duke: 57
Northwestern: 134
Cornell: 0
Georgetown: 232 (the median for the FT program is 170, and there are 463 in that)

That accounts for 2193 people altogether, which is pretty darn near the number of people with 170's that I estimated there were in a given application cycle at the beginning. Also, I'm probably underestimating the number of people with 170's at Harvard, Chicago, NYU, and Duke, all of which have a percentile at 171 instead of 170, but that's probably not more than 100 additional people. For that matter, obviously, some people with 170 and above go to Cornell and to the schools outside the t14, though interestingly we can put upper limits on that (for example, it's fewer than 80 people at UCLA, or else the 75th percentile would be higher). If I had to guess randomly, I'd probably put it at 40-50 each at UCLA and UT Austin and maybe 20-30 at Cornell and Vanderbilt, which accounts for another 100+ people. At that point, I've accounted for something like 2400-2500 people.

Thus, I'd estimate that roughly 2500-3000 people apply with scores of 170 or above each year, and at least 85% (and perhaps nearly every single one) matriculates to a school in the t17. If the number really is 2500, something like one in six of them go to Harvard, and nearly half of them go to Harvard, Columbia, NYU, or Georgetown.

I imagine that this is not a surprise to anyone, but this is what happens to people who get 170+ on the LSAT.

Not all 170s are so fortunate. You can argue that people who score over a 170 are more likely to have a high GPA because of raw intelligence, but a lot of times there are subpar GPAs and criminal records/academic records that come into play. A 170 is more necessary than it is sufficient.

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LSATWIZ
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Re: What happens to people who get 170 and above?

Postby LSATWIZ » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:52 pm

dabbadon8 wrote:I think applying early was over rated. I saw people who applied later much later then me having similar cycles w/ similar numbers. I think instead of applying early being an advantage I think applying super late is a disadvantage. I mean I applied to schools the first day apps came out and I can't think it made any difference in my cycle.

I don't think there's a huge gap between the day apps come out and November 30. It is really just being there before the first giant batch of acceptances and money comes out, but it's impossible to know when this date is.




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