The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

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djgoldbe
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby djgoldbe » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:02 pm

Van: I respect your view and see your point. You seem to be a bit agitated about all of this so I'll make this my last post and let others chime in.

It's not a test of "intellectual ability", it's a test of analytical and reasoning skills.


I used intellectual ability to encompass such skills - since they are intellectual abilities. I think my point still stands.

Wait, you're saying fairness shouldn't be a concern? You don't care about fairness in law admissions? Your argument is entirely about fairness; you think it's unfair for schools to "like" these applicants but be "unable" to admit them.


Again, I still think it is not an issue of 'fairness'. I do not think law schools are being unfair by admitting based on ranking concerns, I simply think that it is not an ideal way to do so. There is a difference.

At least the current system is objective, transparent, and relatively straightforward. That makes it more fair.


You seem to favor a more rigid system of admissions that has a more standardized objective criteria. I disagree with this. I would rather have schools be able to use their discretion and be allowed to base admissions on a more flexible criteria that more greatly emphases a greater array of often intangible or unquantifiable factors. So be it, different strokes for different folks.

The most effective lawyers are the best lawyers, from an educational standpoint. It's not the job of law schools to play politics and choose students based on their political beliefs. We teach a diverse array of people with differing beliefs, and I'm offended by any notion that law schools should be pre-screening students based on political values. While you may think this is a good idea because a school that's in line with your values will keep out the people who you think are in the moral wrong, but the problem is that you're assuming that line will be fairly drawn. That goes back to the fairness argument I brought up, and which you seem incapable of understanding.

I don't like John Yoo either, but he is someone who will tell you he has deep moral convictions and believed he was doing the right thing for his country. How would you pre-screen against him? There's no way to do it, not without putting into place a terrifyingly discriminatory system that would be far more harmful to America than any single memo John Yoo could ever write.


I think we disagree on what exactly constitutes legitimate political/ideological differences from moral and good-practice ones. Of course I agree that no school ought to be doing litmus tests on students political beliefs. However, I think it is absolutely within a schools right, and in my view it is their obligation, to ensure that the people that they prepare to legally represent others espouse certain values and characteristics. Cornell's slogan is 'lawyers in the best sense'. I do not think they simply mean this as a benign statement of being academically legally prepared in the 'best' way. It quite clearly means more, and that is the values and characteristics that I speak of. Perhaps it is trite - but I think it need not and should not be. What if Goldman Sachs had hired 'Investment Bankers in the best sense'? I think we would be a lot better off for it.

As to how this is done - I think it obviously encompasses a more involved application process (perhaps mandatory interviews and multiple essays?) that can begin to really get insight into the applicant (which would also reduce the ballooning number of law school apps). I think such a system is possible, although I am sure some people who ought to have been admitted may not be, and I agree that those people will view it as unfair. But I would rather have some mistakes and inequality than a blind quantitative review.

Also, your argument that schools can afford to be both demanding qualitatively and quantitatively is understandable and legitimate - but I still feel that if the rankings were blind to student body, admissions officers would be making significantly different decisions.

I hope I did not belittle or offend you (sincerely). It is not my intent - I think we just disagree about fairness and what law school rankings and admissions ought to look like.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:03 pm

Holy shit, you two are going at it. Someone (not me) read those and pick a winner.

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JTX
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby JTX » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:06 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:Holy shit, you two are going at it. Someone (not me) read those and pick a winner.


reading is stupid. i pick VanWinkle because of superior name and higher post count.

r6_philly
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby r6_philly » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:02 am

jtxcounitah wrote:
D. H2Oman wrote:Holy shit, you two are going at it. Someone (not me) read those and pick a winner.


reading is stupid. i pick VanWinkle because of superior name and higher post count.


+101

The font is too small and letters are too many.

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hotdog123
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby hotdog123 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:11 am

This thread is still going? Jesus Christ on a bike. Let it go.

r6_philly
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby r6_philly » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:40 am

DonnyMost wrote:This thread is still going? Jesus Christ on a bike. Let it go.


What happened to your club? Still in it?

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vanwinkle
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:42 am

djgoldbe wrote:Again, I still think it is not an issue of 'fairness'. I do not think law schools are being unfair by admitting based on ranking concerns, I simply think that it is not an ideal way to do so. There is a difference.

I think this is where the misunderstanding is coming in. I'm not talking about whether you think law schools are being unfair now; my concern is that by doing away with an objective focus, admissions will become unfair and burdensome to applicants in entirely new ways. I agree with you that the current admissions system is not ideal, but few workable things in life are.

(God, I've changed. I used to be all ¡Viva la revolución! Now I'm like, How does your revolution improve things over the current system? Can you support your reasoning with evidence? Have you considered the long term policy effects of your revolution? I'm not sure if this is a result of going to law school, or just of getting older. Probably both.)

I'll agree to disagree at this point. I just wanted to explain that first so you'd understand where I'm coming from; I don't entirely like the current system either, but if someone's going to try to replace it, I want to make damn well sure it's not going to be replaced with something worse.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby SaintClarence27 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:56 am

¡Viva la revolución! (I propose beer for everyone as part of my revolution. Except children, of course.)

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Veyron
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby Veyron » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:43 pm

ITT - someone with a poor numbers tries to convince the world that he realy will be a good lawyer - promise!

OP has no appreciation for what life was like before the Cravath model and numbers based law school admissions. I assure you, it wasn't an AA wonderland, it was a good old boys club - no Jews or blacks need apply. Just because you want to replace racial and religious qualifications with ideological ones doesn't make you morally superior.

Lord, I actualy agree with Van Winkle, I'm going to go take a shower now.
Last edited by Veyron on Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.

09042014
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby 09042014 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:45 pm

I dunno it seems like GPA might be the problem ITT. Because that is what a couple of them were railing against.

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Veyron
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby Veyron » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:49 pm

edited

psychomohel
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby psychomohel » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:55 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I dunno it seems like GPA might be the problem ITT. Because that is what a couple of them were railing against.


GPA only seems to be a problem because majors and college differences are not considered. I'd like schools to release grade distributions per major so the GPA would mean something, but I'm sure schools or people would find a way to game that too.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby D. H2Oman » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:27 pm

psychomohel wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I dunno it seems like GPA might be the problem ITT. Because that is what a couple of them were railing against.


GPA only seems to be a problem because majors and college differences are not considered. I'd like schools to release grade distributions per major so the GPA would mean something, but I'm sure schools or people would find a way to game that too.


-1, I don't need my GPA looking even worse.

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T14_Scholly
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby T14_Scholly » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:31 pm

vanwinkle wrote:The fact that you can learn what answers are expected doesn't really change its predictive ability all that much, because what you're demonstrating is that you can learn logical reasoning skills, which are what are necessary for success in law.



Not really - you're just learning the mechanics of the test. It's like a game.

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vanwinkle
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:34 pm

T14_Scholly wrote:Not really - you're just learning the mechanics of the test. It's like a game.

But the mechanics of the test follow logical rules and require logical reasoning to apply. If someone can make a 170+ it means they have both the potential and the dedication to both learn and apply those logical rules. That's what a lawyer has to do, so why isn't that evaluative?

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T14_Scholly
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby T14_Scholly » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:50 pm

I always thought the LSAT was intended to be a test of innate logical reasoning ability, rather than of one's ability to learn to apply particular logical rules to a particular situation. It seems it would have much more predictive value as the former.
Last edited by T14_Scholly on Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

charlesjd
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby charlesjd » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:51 pm

Whatever I can't wait for next week Thursday.

US News is going to rain down fire on us.

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vanwinkle
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:56 pm

T14_Scholly wrote:I always thought the LSAT was intended to be a test of innate logical reasoning ability, rather than of one's ability to learn to apply particular logical rules to a particular situation. It seems it would have much more predictive value as the former.

1) Any test that tries to measure "logical reasoning ability" is going to be affected by some degree of logical reasoning training, whether that training is taking a formal logic class or studying the specific rules that typically occur on the test itself.

2) If you're learning how to take the test, then order to apply the particular logical rules you first have to learn what the particular logical rules are and when they apply. This seems like it would have predictive value for a lawyer, since what you're doing is learning particular rules and then deciding when those rules should apply, and then applying them.

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stratocophic
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby stratocophic » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:59 pm

charlesjd wrote:Whatever I can't wait for next week Thursday.

US News is going to rain down fire on us.
Perhaps admissions offices prep for it like retail stores do for Black Friday and December 26th?

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whuts4lunch
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby whuts4lunch » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:43 pm

vanwinkle wrote:Of course, if it doesn't take a lot of work for many as you say, what's the problem with using it as a differentiating factor? In that case everyone who's worth letting into a law school ought to have a high GPA because it's so easy to get one.


There are many reasons why it doesn't take much work for many to get high UG GPAs. If you are a high level student attending a college where the majority of students have poor grammar and barely made it out of high school (many schools like this exist), it will likely be easier for you to get a high GPA than it will be for someone who attends Princeton or is an engineering major at Purdue. A student who wanted to go into investment banking early on in her college career may have taken more challenging courses than did a student who always wanted to go to law school and knew that taking the courses that tend to give the highest grades is an advantage. Also, some schools have bullshit classes that give As to over 90% of those who enroll; others don't.

Also, UG GPA isn't a standardized measure. At some schools, a 3.6 is typical, while at others, a 3.6 places you at the top of the class. And even if USNews used class rank percentage instead of GPA (which would make a lot more sense), it is still incomplete to assume that the same rank percentage corresponds to the same level student. Just as a median student at Ave Maria Law doesn't = a median student at Harvard Law, a median student at ASU doesn't = a median student at Swarthmore.

It is very easy to get a high UG GPA if you go into and through college with the specific goal of maximizing your GPA by cherry picking for the easiest UG with the easiest classes and the most grade inflation.

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vanwinkle
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:49 pm

whuts4lunch wrote:It is very easy to get a high UG GPA if you go into and through college with the specific goal of maximizing your GPA by cherry picking for the easiest UG with the easiest classes and the most grade inflation.

How many people actually do this though?

GPA at least helps establish some baseline competence in academic potential; even someone who takes an "easy" major still ends up doing a significant amount of work and sticking to a plan for four years. I recognize some valid points in what you're saying, but top law schools place more emphasis on LSAT than GPA for probably those same reasons.

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PDaddy
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby PDaddy » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:00 pm

djgoldbe wrote:
PDaddy wrote:
redsox wrote:If we can get into law school data w/LSGPA, how about the LSAC developing (and the ABA instituting) a "1LSAT", where 1L's are tested at the end of their first year to see what they learned. That would be a useful way of grading the law schools not only on their ability to predict which students will learn the most during their 1L years, but their abilities to teach the core concepts. This would make schools directly accountable for students' learning and "standardize" the measurements. And it could help test, once and-for-all, whether or not any pre-law standardized test has predictive value.

The sexiest part is that schools could be directly compared with each other on material related to the study of law in core subjects (Con Law, Torts, Contracts, Civ Pro, etc), which would theoretically put all students and schools on a level playing field. And if that were the case, schools that admitted students with lower LSAT's would gain points for getting them up-to-speed. In that same vein, schools that admitted strong LSAT performers would be rewarded for admitting students who performed as predicted during 1L.


I think you're missing one of the more important points: law school rankings need not reflect how well law schools teach. Look at MBA programs. They hardly teach people anything. The value of an MBA from a top school is that it is evidence that, before getting the MBA, you were impressive enough to be admitted. Thats why UGPA and LSAT are legitimate factors in law school rankings. Who cares who teaches best? If the best professors in the world taught the best curriculum in the world, but they were teaching it to idiots, would that make you want to hire the idiots? The LSAT is just a mechanism for sorting candidates for the law schools, and the law schools are primarily a mechanism for sorting candidates for employment.



So basically your saying that a basic LSAT/GPA number is a better way of gauging student quality than what (could be) done by admissions officers? Which is strange because you already say in your post that if you are accepted - you were impressive enough to be admitted. If you already incorporate all of that work done by admissions officers you are adding a lot more value to employers than by forcing admissions officers to be bound to LSAT/GPA. So why restrict admission officers by tying them down to strict LSAT/GPA limitations via rankings?



Why did somebody reverse our statements in the above posts? The comments attributed to me are actually redsox's, and the comments attributed to redsox are mine! Not cool! Obviously, redsox likes the way I think or djgoldbe is playing a cruel joke!

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whuts4lunch
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby whuts4lunch » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:05 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
whuts4lunch wrote:It is very easy to get a high UG GPA if you go into and through college with the specific goal of maximizing your GPA by cherry picking for the easiest UG with the easiest classes and the most grade inflation.

How many people actually do this though?


I think a lot more than most people realize, though I can't quantify how many (perhaps its much more rare than I think; we can only guess). Quite a few people I knew in high school that were interested in medical school (where a high UG GPA is essential) GPA hunted (targeted high GPAs through means other than hard-work). It even happens at the very top levels; some people choose Harvard over Princeton, because Princeton curves more harshly.

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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby Panther7 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:51 pm

whuts4lunch wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
whuts4lunch wrote:It is very easy to get a high UG GPA if you go into and through college with the specific goal of maximizing your GPA by cherry picking for the easiest UG with the easiest classes and the most grade inflation.

How many people actually do this though?


I think a lot more than most people realize, though I can't quantify how many (perhaps its much more rare than I think; we can only guess). Quite a few people I knew in high school that were interested in medical school (where a high UG GPA is essential) GPA hunted (targeted high GPAs through means other than hard-work). It even happens at the very top levels; some people choose Harvard over Princeton, because Princeton curves more harshly.



Fuck it, if someone really cares that much, let them have their day. I wear my GPA as a badge of honor and I have no doubt I'm just as smart as those people, I'm just not as pathetic.


As quoted by LSAC, 16% of you grades can be predicted by the LSAT, 4% by GPA. I don't think it's by coincidence that schools use the LSAT so heavily.

psychomohel
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Re: The most cogent anti-rankings article ever!

Postby psychomohel » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:02 pm

Panther7 wrote:As quoted by LSAC, 16% of you grades can be predicted by the LSAT, 4% by GPA. I don't think it's by coincidence that schools use the LSAT so heavily.


What does it mean to predict 16% of your grades?




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