comparing applicants below the 25%

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comparing applicants below the 25%

Postby trqdor » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:05 pm

this is just a thought experiment

let's say we have two harvard applicants. One is at 160 and the other at 168. Harvard's bottom 25% for LSAT is 170.

Now, I know common sense tells me they will favor the 168 over the 160, but I don't see why one having a higher LSAT score would be perceived as 'better' in the eyes of adcomms when both are below the 25%. let's assume for a second that harvard really only cares about maintaining numbers and not so much inferring what the number indicates about the applicants' ability to succeed in law school. and let's also assume that harvard is at no risk of dropping it's 25% LSAT lower than 170. i know at this point i'm asking for a lot of assumptions, but it's necessary for this thought experiment!

what reasons would harvard have for favoring one applicant over the other? at this point, would you say the tipping point comes down to softs/recommendations/PS? can a splitter applicant with a 160/3.94 (harvard's 75th%) jump ahead of a more well-rounded applicant with 168/3.8? or, as common sense might indicate, does the 168 have the edge by virtue of having the higher score?

im interested in your reasoning and responses! there's no real reason im asking but being at or below everyone's 25% might be why i thought about it in the first place. lol.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: comparing applicants below the 25%

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:00 pm

I think adcomms can be concerned that the lower LSAT suggests someone who will struggle with advanced work, compared to the higher LSAT/the rest of the class (which is to say that I don't think your first assumption holds water).

But if you take that out of the equation, yes, softs, essays, and LORs are going to make the difference. The question is how much difference they make, which is going to depend on a ton of factors (including who else applies).


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Re: comparing applicants below the 25%

Postby LawschoolHopeful2k16 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:47 am

Maybe if it was a 166 vs. a 169 your scenario might kick in. But as you mention they take "softs" into account instead if just numbers. And that would include how well they think the candidate will do in their law school and beyond, which means that Harvard would definitely be hesitant to accept a 160. However, if harvard somehow gleaned enough information about the candidate with a 160 and thought they would do as well or better than the candidate with a 168, and didn't have to disclose that they let in someone with a 160, then yeah, they wouldnt care probably. But it'd be hard for them to imagine someone with a 160 as a good fit and if they had to report it, they'd look bad.

Same thing for someone above the 75ths. A 175 and a 180 might both affect the stats the same way, but Harvard would take the 180 as an indication that the person studied their ass off or is a genius, which weighs into their decision.

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