2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

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Horace2010
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2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby Horace2010 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:49 am

I am interested in how well, or poorly, the law school calculators an other forms of prediction did for our cycle. Overall I was slightly disappointed. The only schools I was accepted to were ones where both my LSAT and GPA were in the first quartile. Even though I was accepted to some T14 schools I can't help but feel that this cycle was abnormally abnormal. There were certainly some weaknesses in my application but I'd like to know what other people think about the factors that we can't control. Like:

What was the effect of unemployed applicants with post-graduate degrees on admissions?
What was the effect of people graduating with post-grad degrees and deciding to apply to law school?
How much will the LSAT and GPA medians change for the 2010 year?
Is it reasonable to assume that the 2010 standards will be the standard for 2011?
How well did the calculators predict this cycle?


Peace!
H

Generic20101L
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby Generic20101L » Sun May 09, 2010 1:27 am

I learned that all that matters is GPA and LSAT, unless your last name is Bush or Kennedy or you're black, latino, or an eskimo.

flyover
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby flyover » Sun May 09, 2010 1:48 am

Generic20101L wrote:I learned that all that matters is GPA and LSAT, unless your last name is Bush or Kennedy or you're black, latino, or an eskimo.


I wish this were true. I'm 3.5 / 174 and got WLed at the entire T14 (minus HYS ofc).

In hindsight, I'm thinking one of my LoRs might have hurt me - newly tenured prof who allegedly never wrote an LoR before and/or may have secretly despised me for not pursuing grad school in her field.

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gdane
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby gdane » Sun May 09, 2010 2:12 am

You know what? You got into T14's. Thats a great accomplishment in itself. I think many of us, especially those with the 4.0/180, have forgotten what it means to appreciate something. Ive gotten a nice reality check in the last year from losing my job to a bunch of other personal stuff and I've come to appreciate a lot of things. People on here need to realize that the opportunities that they have are immense and that they are already more succesful than most people. So what if you didnt get into Yale or Harvard or NYU?

With all that being said, the reality is that things dont always work out the way you want them to. You can plan, you can put yourself in the best position possible, but sometimes things just dont go your way. Make the best of what you have. In the case of Flyover, if you have a 3.5/174, you are a bright person and if you work hard there is no doubt that you will be at the top of your class wherever you go. Dont let the TLS hype of "HYS/T14 or youre a failure" get to you. Just take ahold of what you can control and that is your study habits and what you get out of law school.

To the OP: Good luck! You'll be fine.

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bk1
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby bk1 » Sun May 09, 2010 2:46 am

gdane5 wrote:You know what? You got into T14's. Thats a great accomplishment in itself. I think many of us, especially those with the 4.0/180, have forgotten what it means to appreciate something. Ive gotten a nice reality check in the last year from losing my job to a bunch of other personal stuff and I've come to appreciate a lot of things. People on here need to realize that the opportunities that they have are immense and that they are already more succesful than most people. So what if you didnt get into Yale or Harvard or NYU?

With all that being said, the reality is that things dont always work out the way you want them to. You can plan, you can put yourself in the best position possible, but sometimes things just dont go your way. Make the best of what you have. In the case of Flyover, if you have a 3.5/174, you are a bright person and if you work hard there is no doubt that you will be at the top of your class wherever you go. Dont let the TLS hype of "HYS/T14 or youre a failure" get to you. Just take ahold of what you can control and that is your study habits and what you get out of law school.

To the OP: Good luck! You'll be fine.


I have heard you make this argument time and time again. TBH, it is starting to grate.

Some people are in better positions than others. Certain people have better grades, a better LSAT, or better softs. Maybe it is because they worked harder, maybe they are genuinely smarter, maybe they just got lucky... maybe not. The point is that they are where they are. If they do not want to settle for worse than they can reasonably get, then it is in their right to do so. Criticizing them for being "ungrateful" is absurd. They weren't handed an invite to a T14 as if they were a Hilton getting the family fortune passed down, they put in genuine effort and worked hard. You are right, things don't always go according to plan, but you do talk about making "the best of what you have." These people have the option to wait a year and reapply.

If you want to be a lawyer, then choosing a LS is all about maximizing your chances at success. If you have the stats to get into HYS, then the opportunities presented to you from other schools pale in comparison. Maybe the OP applied late. Maybe his/her PS was a rough draft of Mein Kamp. Who knows. If he/she feels that waiting a year and reapplying is better than attending let's say NU at sticker, then I think that person may have the stats the back that up.

This is not a one size fits all approach to this sort of situation, but neither is the "be grateful that you at least got a T14." Should "inter-alia" kid decline HLS to reapply for YLS? Probably not. Should someone with a 4.0/180 decline NU at sticker to reapply to HYS? I could see it as reasonable.

Horace2010
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby Horace2010 » Sun May 09, 2010 2:55 am

gdane5 wrote:You know what? You got into T14's. Thats a great accomplishment in itself. I think many of us, especially those with the 4.0/180, have forgotten what it means to appreciate something. Ive gotten a nice reality check in the last year from losing my job to a bunch of other personal stuff and I've come to appreciate a lot of things. People on here need to realize that the opportunities that they have are immense and that they are already more succesful than most people. So what if you didnt get into Yale or Harvard or NYU?

With all that being said, the reality is that things dont always work out the way you want them to. You can plan, you can put yourself in the best position possible, but sometimes things just dont go your way. Make the best of what you have. In the case of Flyover, if you have a 3.5/174, you are a bright person and if you work hard there is no doubt that you will be at the top of your class wherever you go. Dont let the TLS hype of "HYS/T14 or youre a failure" get to you. Just take ahold of what you can control and that is your study habits and what you get out of law school.

To the OP: Good luck! You'll be fine.



You’re not wrong, but that’s not the point of this thread. I hesitated to put any of my information in the initial post because there is a real ‘take what you get and be happy’ attitude regarding law school admissions. I included my info in case people had information unique to that spread of schools. But whether your safety school was Cornell or Chapman I would like to know what information people have regarding the questions I posted.

There is value to the many philosophical discussions on being happy with where you go and being successful regardless of Alma matter. Personally I believe that even if I got a degree from a correspondent’s school that I would go out and kick ass in the legal word. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a clear eyed look at how the cycle turned out. Although this doesn't relate to the bigger issues regarding admissions, one of the reasons I am interested is that I also some interesting research and work opportunities for next year. Information on what happened this year will help me decide on whether or not to enroll or wait for things to change. If asking questions makes me seem like a malcontent; so be it.

Flyover did what most smart and productive people do; look at your individual weaknesses first. Then what? Eventually we have to look beyond ourselves and try to figure out ‘the state of the union’.

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voice of reason
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby voice of reason » Sun May 09, 2010 3:08 am

Generic20101L wrote:I learned that all that matters is GPA and LSAT, unless your last name is Bush or Kennedy or you're black, latino, or an eskimo.


I learned that sometimes this is not true.

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bk1
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby bk1 » Sun May 09, 2010 5:14 am

Horace2010 wrote:What was the effect of unemployed applicants with post-graduate degrees on admissions?
What was the effect of people graduating with post-grad degrees and deciding to apply to law school?

From what I hear, graduate degrees are a fairly common soft and not that helpful. While I don't think a majority of people who apply or even get accepted have them, I doubt they will significantly increase your chances. It also seems that there are probably not enough unemployed applicants with graduate degrees in any given LSAT/UGPA range to extrapolate a meaningful trend.

Horace2010 wrote:How much will the LSAT and GPA medians change for the 2010 year?
Is it reasonable to assume that the 2010 standards will be the standard for 2011?
How well did the calculators predict this cycle?

I doubt LSAT/GPA medians will change significantly. You can research past data online. What I think may vary from year to year is the amount of splitters taken, but as you are not a splitter I don't think affects you. As for the predictors, are you asking how reliable they are in general or how reliable they are for this cycle compared to previous cycles?

Horace2010
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby Horace2010 » Sun May 09, 2010 5:57 am

Bk, thanks for seeing the big picture.

What you said about post-grad degrees being another soft is interesting. It makes sense given the primacy of GPA and LSAT in admissions decisions. At the same time all of the class profiles I've looked at list the percentage of the entering class that has post-grad degrees, Columbia even lists the numbers for each type of degree. That makes me think that it's a bit more than a soft. In addition HSY have a reputation for valuing the "intellectual" qualifications of their admits. In academia intellectual means Phd...I think.

In terms of the numbers increase of unemployed post grads it seems like they would come from two main areas. (1) People with MBAs or Phds in economics or finance, and, (2) graduating humanities Phds who have no prospect of finding a teaching job next year.

The first group would disproportionate influence admissions at NYU, Columbia, Fordam, and to a lesser extent Yale. The second group will influence the spectrum of law schools according to how their UG GPAs were going into post-grad studies. However, I would bet that their influence will be felt most in T14s. Whether or not there is a meaningful trend will depend on the the numbers that apply. That's what we need to know.

Possible LSAT increases presents a similar question...we need DATA baby!

Cheers,
H

Horace2010
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby Horace2010 » Sun May 09, 2010 6:41 am

Last edited by Horace2010 on Sun May 09, 2010 3:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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TCScrutinizer
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby TCScrutinizer » Sun May 09, 2010 9:44 am

Speaking solely of LSP and actual results.

Minnesota: LSP says Consider, actually WL'd
UIUC: Strong Consider, Admitted with $$
UIB: Admit, WL'd
GW: Consider, WL'd
W&L: Strong Consider, Admitted with $$
SMU: Strong Consider, Admitted with $$
Lewis & Clark: Admit, Admitted with empty promises
Houston: Admit, Admitted with $-

So the only one technically wrong was UIB. I applied in January to most schools.

For my wife, who I'm sure won't bother to post ITT:

Minnesota: Consider, WL'd
UIUC: Consider, Admitted off of WL with $
UIB: Strong Consider, No response
GW: Consider, Rejected
W&L: Consider, WL'd
SMU: Consider, WL'd
L&C: Admit, Admitted
Houston: Admit, Admitted with $-

So I'd say UIB was slippery once again, and GW might be considered a wrong guess.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Sun May 09, 2010 10:46 am

voice of reason wrote:
Generic20101L wrote:I learned that all that matters is GPA and LSAT, unless your last name is Bush or Kennedy or you're black, latino, or an eskimo.


I learned that sometimes this is not true.
Same here.

I have an uncompleted graduate degree (never finished the program even though I was close to graduation, but left with a 3.9+), which I was really scared could hurt me. Everyone, on TLS and off, assured me it wouldn't, but something sure as hell hurt me (or not, see below), and I dunno what else it could be.

As far as LSP goes, I had Strong Consider at Yale and Admit everywhere else, whereas in reality I was Hasty Reject at Yale, Scornful WL at Harvard and Columbia, and in from NYU down.

Sometimes, however, I think that maybe there was no mystery negative soft that hurt me, and that TLS actually does overstate the extent to which it is a numbers game. If you look at Columbia's LSN graph, I'm not the only yellow in that corner. There's me, Coal, and Z3ro from TLS, but then there's also this guy:
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/Dionysius/jd
who applied a little late, I guess, and this guy:
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/KuroiTsuki/jd
and, mary jesus and joseph, this poor sod:
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/carterth/jd
We can't all have killed hookers! Maybe good numbers alone don't make you a lock.

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IAFG
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby IAFG » Sun May 09, 2010 11:04 am

i have a theory, not at all supported with hard numbers, that endowments lost value due to ITE, which in turn lead to less scholarship money being offered, which meant that the strongest applicants were not seduced away by lower-ranked but less expensive schools, which made the top programs a bit more competitive than last year.

i was a little disappointed in my cycle, but since i did not write why Xs and took the LSAT 3 times, my "surprising" disappointments may be explained away (WLs at schools known for valuing Why Xs, rejected at NYU).

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Sun May 09, 2010 11:23 am

I learned:

1) Applying early (I sent my apps late October) makes all of the difference in the world. I'm seeing folks with the same (or better) numbers applying 4 months later than I and having insanely worse cycles.

2) GPA/LSAT is *NOT* all that matters, at least not for everyone. My cycle went much better than the numbers predicted; only rejected from LawSchoolPredictor "Deny" schools and one "Weak Consider"...then was accepted at all of my other "Weak Consider", "Consider", "Strong Consider", and dodged YP at all "Admit" schools -- even got full-tuition at two "Consider" schools. I am 100% convinced that this is because of some combination of interesting/entrepreneurial work experience, strong LOR's, and busting my ass on all of my essays [including lots of "Why X" pieces]. And applying early.

Tautology
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby Tautology » Sun May 09, 2010 11:29 am

I applied late and am a fairly strong splitter. Ended up getting into only one school, but it was a "consider" on law school predictor. Waitlists and denies everywhere else despite many of them being "strong considers" and "accepts." Definitely apply early, and remember that splitters have a tougher time.

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IAFG
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby IAFG » Sun May 09, 2010 11:34 am

Tangerine Gleam wrote:I learned:

1) Applying early (I sent my apps late October) makes all of the difference in the world. I'm seeing folks with the same (or better) numbers applying 4 months later than I and having insanely worse cycles.

2) GPA/LSAT is *NOT* all that matters, at least not for everyone. My cycle went much better than the numbers predicted; only rejected from LawSchoolPredictor "Deny" schools and one "Weak Consider"...then was accepted at all of my other "Weak Consider", "Consider", "Strong Consider", and "Admit" schools -- even got full-tuition at two "Consider" schools. I am 100% convinced that this is because of some combination of interesting/entrepreneurial work experience, strong LOR's, and busting my ass on all of my essays [including lots of "Why X" pieces].

you're certainly an exceptional applicant, so probably not a good weathervane for the c/o 2013 cycle in general. congratulations on your cycle though, it is nice to see that people with sincerely impressive backgrounds are still rewarded.

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tintin
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby tintin » Sun May 09, 2010 11:34 am

did slightly better than LSP would indicate. Applying early probably helped, as did very strong LORS I'm guessing. taking the lsat twice didnt seem to hurt me at all.

hellokitty
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby hellokitty » Sun May 09, 2010 11:40 am

Despite applying late, like deadline late, I did better than expected. 3 in, two WL, and 2 rejections (1 still spending UC DAVIS!) I was expecting maybe 1 acceptance, mostly rejections, and a few waitlists. However, I didn't really get any schollys and the schools that accepted me might not be worth sticker to me. So I'm retaking and trying again.

cavebat2000
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby cavebat2000 » Sun May 09, 2010 11:44 am

Generic20101L wrote:I learned that all that matters is GPA and LSAT, unless your last name is Bush or Kennedy or you're black, latino, or an eskimo.


I learned this is most certainly not true.

februaryftw
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby februaryftw » Sun May 09, 2010 12:02 pm

Can those who are saying that things other than GPA/LSAT really seemed to affect their cycle suggest what it is they think helped/hurt?

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NU_Jet55
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby NU_Jet55 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:03 pm

februaryftw wrote:Can those who are saying that things other than GPA/LSAT really seemed to affect their cycle suggest what it is they think helped/hurt?


their warped sense of reality

miamiman
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby miamiman » Sun May 09, 2010 12:10 pm

februaryftw wrote:Can those who are saying that things other than GPA/LSAT really seemed to affect their cycle suggest what it is they think helped/hurt?


Strong writing. Early apps. Great LORs. Good softs. Those come to mind.

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Mroberts3
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby Mroberts3 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:32 pm

After finishing my cycle, I'm not too impressed with LSP. I think I did much better picking the result based on LSN and looking at GPA/LSAT medians. It's not that LSP was "wrong" per se, but it made it seem like I had more of a chance than I did. My GPA and LSAT are pretty well balanced, so I was just below both medians for most of the T14, but LSP said I was a consider at every school below Berkeley. I was flat rejected from 1 "deny" and 3 "considers" and got into everything below with $ (no WL at all).

Maybe other people had more interesting cycles, but as a non-splitter, early app, generic, white applicant, LSP didn't tell me anything I didn't know already by looking at a school's medians.

februaryftw
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby februaryftw » Sun May 09, 2010 12:56 pm

miamiman wrote:
februaryftw wrote:Can those who are saying that things other than GPA/LSAT really seemed to affect their cycle suggest what it is they think helped/hurt?


Strong writing. Early apps. Great LORs. Good softs. Those come to mind.


I meant more specific. Here is my guess at the admissions hierarchy:

1. LSAT/GPA (very important)
2. Date of Application (important)
3. Strength of writing/PS + Softs/presentation of softs (matters at the margins or more in cases where undergrad difficulty/relevance etc. are suspect, such as performance or pre-professional degrees; but a terribly written PS or involvement in white power organizations as a soft can also sink you)
4. LORs (a bad one will hurt you, otherwise rarely important)

Just wondering how those who think they are exceptions out there fared in relation to this hierarchy.

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tommytahoe
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Re: 2010 Cycle: Expectations vs. Reality

Postby tommytahoe » Sun May 09, 2010 2:26 pm

I learned that your expectations can be dashed by a number of factors.
I am 37, a 159/163/3.81. I wrote a very strong, thoughtful PS, and had decent LORs. I am a returning student, but my life before coming back to school was a lot of waiting tables and not listening to motivation. I started a little late with extracurriculars, but put in a year at school newspaper, 3-month DC internship, made Dean's List all but one semester. ie, OK softs.

In my estimation, my cycle was marred by (1) Late application (Jan. 14 or so); (2) Huge influx of applicants/applications (I think we ALL felt that); (3) That 159 first LSAT, which can easily affect even those adcomms who hold true to "Highest LSAT" policy, and (4) the subject of my PS.

I wrote candidly, and thoughtfully, about a drug arrest in 2003 that resulted in 18 months state-mandated rehab, expungement in 2005 in CA, but then "removal proceedings" from 2006 to 2009, initiated by the DHS, pursuant to above conviction. I won the case, and have since become motivated for giving meaning to my life, and becoming very interested in immigration law, and law more generally.
All of this went in a contrite, but no-excuses PS. But even though I think I addressed my past head-on (the only way I know how these days), I am CERTAIN that it gave pause to some, if not many, adcomms out there. UVA and GULC and UCLA put me on their WLs, however, which is a not-probabtive indication that for SOME adcomms, they saw my story as a sail, not an anchor.
Still, you combine the three reasons I listed above, and the subject of the PS, and the WLs I hoped for at GW and Fordham were rejects, W& Lee was a ding, and WLs at Davis, Hastings, W&M, UNC, Brooklyn Law and Cardozo even!
My lesson: LSAT and GPA are tha BIG factors. But when it comes down to the final round of Miss Universe, and all our applications are out there on the "Under Review" stage, those OTHER factors can be a deal-maker or a deal-breaker.




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