plurilingue wrote:No, I actually considered this point and anticipated that someone would respond with that. Columbia's 25th was 169 just 2 years ago, which means that 25% of the class had a 169 or less. Now it's 170, but I'd be very skeptical that another 5-15% of the class had a 170 based on the fact that this was not the case in recent memory. (As I was saying earlier, I don't think ANY of the schools believe that an extra LSAT point makes a whole lot of difference in the quality of the student, but for ranking purposes it's important to stay competitive. So once that 25th percentile student can be placed with a 170, I hardly think that they're going to waste any more of their slots on people with OK scores and little else to offer, and in the process refuse admission to some people who have done interesting stuff and can bring those perspectives to the classroom.)
Also, Stanford's 25th is 167, so we already know that 25% of the class is 167 or below -- and yet virtually none of these applicants show up on LSN, especially if they're non-URM. Additionally, Stanford and Columbia are peer schools, so many of the people who are competitive at the former are considering the latter too. I think it is clear that many of the matriculants at Stanford and Columbia have excellent resumes/WE/softs, do not post online, and are simply not visible on TLS/LSN. This is probably why many here overstate the impact of numbers.
This is actually a really interesting point. Certainly there isn't enough consideration of sample size when people discuss LSN on this site.
LSN's records from last year show 5 Stanford acceptances for people 167 and below. 4 are URMs with what looks like exceptional experiences. The one non-URM is a combat vet with a 3.89.
So I don't think that TLS overstates the importance of numbers for the vast majority of people. It seems that the kind of people who are going to get somewhere where their numbers say they shouldn't get (lets say someone at best below one median AND below one 25%) are people who have such substantial experience that they could continue with whatever they are currently doing, not go to law school and still be highly successful people. They dont need another major experience.
For most of us who are within 3 years or graduating, thats not really the case, something else is going to go on in your life that determines where you end up...grad school, a job, joining an organization, w/e.
It is absolutely logical to say that once 75% of a class is over 170, a law school is more likely to look for the those applicants who can bring more depth, but you have to remember that the cycle is not a static process, they dont know who is going to come as they are sending acceptances. They rely on history and depending on their projections might be more or less conservative.
And yes, there are people missing from TLS, but you also have to consider that the few people who beat out LSP projections are also a lot louder on this site. Ultimately the numbers do matter most and are the best possible projection of where someone can get into school. Like the one non-URM who got into Furd last year says in his profile, if you have the money go ahead an apply the worst they can say is no.