Columbia 2010

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tesoro
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby tesoro » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:21 pm

dreaming wrote:That makes me feel better. Thanks! Yeah, I keep dreaming of being able to get an admit and shock everyone haha. They must semi be considering someone to place them on hold or reserve, right? Do you think there's a chance they could decide they like someone so much once they see their LOCI and accept a hold or reserve person early? :wink:


This is what I've deduced. Any school could admit 24.99% of their class below both 25th percentiles without harming the percentiles at all. There's an opportunity cost to doing this, though. Namely, when discussing T6 schools, for every 1 person below both quartiles admitted, there's a high probability that someone above at least one quartile or median will be denied. As such, this one person will move to another school (say, NYU). This lends aid to NYU's medians/quartiles, and will help NYU overtake Columbia in the long run. Therefore, it does not benefit Columbia to ignore the fact that their own numbers will remain unharmed - they must also focus on the competition.

As such, Columbia may admit students with lower numbers, but only if they contribute something very tangible to the school. For example, URMs are often admitted to add to diversity. I have a feeling that I'm on hold because my professional experience is a 99.99% guarantee of entry to a very high paying job (sounds self inflating, but there are less than 50 people out there with my professional experience and a JD, and they're all in super high demand). In this economy, employment statistics are killing schools rankings (see: GWU). That's the only real reason I could see myself being admitted - a guaranteed boost to a different stat pool despite what my class rank ends up being.

LOCIs and such are nice, but they're meaningless as far as I can tell. Imagine in a curved class, a professor offers extra credit. Obviously, everyone's going to do the extra credit, and thus the curve will remain unchanged. The few that don't do the extra credit are actually going to have their grades drop on the curve. This is analogous to LOCI - everyone does it, so why would it aid anyone? It just hurts those who don't submit them.

edit: I forgot the main point, which is don't hold your breath. It's really, really, really unlikely, so make other plans and let CLS be an unbelievable surprise if it happens, rather than something you are pushing any hope on.

edit2: main point not fully furnished by first edit. They're weighing what we can contribute to the school in a tangible way right now. If not LSAT or GPA, why us? If there's a good reason, would it help them more than letting a 175 or 4.0 go to NYU, or would NYU gain more on them? I think these are the questions going through their minds right now. Either that, or Avacodo is right and we're being softly rejected :)
Last edited by tesoro on Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby AngryAvocado » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:23 pm

I believe that schools actually do care about softs/essays more than we tend to give them credit for, but I'd caution against assuming a school cares about such things just because they "held" people with good softs--at least until some of those same people actually get in. Remember: schools sacrifice absolutely nothing by holding/waitlisting people, and potentially gain a reputation as a "holistic" school when actually their LSN indicates that they're just as numbers-based as anyone else (if not more so).

I know that sounds exceptionally critical, but I say that as someone on hold myself. I happen to think this "hold/reserve hundreds of people" business is a tactic by CLS to soften the sting of rejection and make a bunch of people feel like they had a shot, when they probably didn't. It's both smart (since they sacrifice nothing) and cruel (since they sort of manipulate people's feelings), but I think that's just the truth of the matter. The fact that they actually end up taking so few off these lists, especially when you see that those lucky few tend to have the numbers to begin with, just reaffirms that.

r6_philly
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby r6_philly » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:44 pm

tesoro wrote:LOCIs and such are nice, but they're meaningless as far as I can tell. Imagine in a curved class, a professor offers extra credit. Obviously, everyone's going to do the extra credit, and thus the curve will remain unchanged. The few that don't do the extra credit are actually going to have their grades drop on the curve. This is analogous to LOCI - everyone does it, so why would it aid anyone? It just hurts those who don't submit them.


Just because you do the extra credit, doesn't mean that you will get the credit. Just because you write a LOCI, doesn't make it a good/convincing LOCI. Quality has to mean something at least in what you said.

tesoro
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby tesoro » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:49 pm

r6_philly wrote:
tesoro wrote:LOCIs and such are nice, but they're meaningless as far as I can tell. Imagine in a curved class, a professor offers extra credit. Obviously, everyone's going to do the extra credit, and thus the curve will remain unchanged. The few that don't do the extra credit are actually going to have their grades drop on the curve. This is analogous to LOCI - everyone does it, so why would it aid anyone? It just hurts those who don't submit them.


Just because you do the extra credit, doesn't mean that you will get the credit. Just because you write a LOCI, doesn't make it a good/convincing LOCI. Quality has to mean something at least in what you said.


maybe...

I honestly think the schools are more concerned about other tangible contributions prospective students might make to their USNWR ranking when considering sub-median applicants. I don't know that a nicely written love letter is going to be exactly enough.

At the end of the day it's all moot. I just don't think that in any more than the most isolated of incidents sub-median applicants are admitted at all (when considering non-URMs). I'm certainly not counting on it. And there isn't a person on this board that wouldn't call me a fool if I was counting on it due to a really, really good LOCI. There's gotta be something more.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby SaintClarence27 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:53 pm

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Last edited by SaintClarence27 on Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Jacinda
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby Jacinda » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:55 pm

SaintClarence27 wrote:Really, I think the best way to determine lip service vs. softs is to take a look at the numbers. Here's Columbia's graph:

http://columbia.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0708/

Looks pretty well defined if you draw lines for green/yellow/red. The out-of-range greens are all URMs. I would say that they *do* seem to be more liberal with the waitlists than with acceptances. They also seem to waitlist a few people that seem to have auto-accept numbers. This does seem to show that they *do* pay attention to softs, but only seem to put importance on them in waitlisting people, not accepting. There don't seem to be any auto-denies. Or auto-admits, for that matter.

Here's NYU:

http://nyu.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0910/

Basically, it seems that NYU strictly eliminates anyone whose numbers aren't considered good enough, and auto-denies them. Then they determine waitlist/reject/admit from the remaining apps - I think they haven't done much waitlist this year and are holding instead. If you don't have the numbers (and aren't URM), you aren't even being considered.

Minnesota seems to focus on LSAT:

http://minnesota.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0910/

With a few exceptions (maybe those with red flags or EXCEEDINGLY low GPAs), EVERYONE that scored a 167 or higher was admitted.

Cornell last year:

http://cornell.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0809/

I didn't use this year's because they have been INSANELY slow. This does seem to justify their softs-focused reputation, as there are at least a few that one would expect to be auto-denies that were accepted. The out of range acceptances are still the exception, rather than the rule.

Michigan was interesting:

http://michigan.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0910/

I'm not sure what to make of this one. It seems that they focus on softs when deciding admit vs. waitlist.

And for completeness, here's American, who OBVIOUSLY practices YP:

http://american.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0910/

Click through. Every year since 2006 is like this.

I got into UMN and AU with a 163 although both schools were extremely rude and unhelpful. So I rejected them.

r6_philly
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby r6_philly » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:06 pm

I am the last one to be admitted at Michigan, and I have crazy softs. I think others with similiar numbers are being waitlists. So it lends evidence to your theory. My numbers are >75% GPA and @ 75% LSAT.

starsong
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby starsong » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:10 pm

SaintClarence27 wrote:Basically, it seems that NYU strictly eliminates anyone whose numbers aren't considered good enough, and auto-denies them. Then they determine waitlist/reject/admit from the remaining apps - I think they haven't done much waitlist this year and are holding instead. If you don't have the numbers (and aren't URM), you aren't even being considered.

Compare this year's LSN to last year's. NYU always waitlists everyone in one fell swoop sometime in April, so the above makes no sense. You can't derive meaningful conclusions w/o comparing to data from previous years.

SaintClarence27 wrote:Here's Columbia's graph:...Looks pretty well defined if you draw lines for green/yellow/red.

Your CLS link was from 07-08. I don't see any clear-cut lines on the 08-09 data:
http://columbia.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0809/

Which calls into question much of your theory.

starsong
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby starsong » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:17 pm

AngryAvocado wrote:I believe that schools actually do care about softs/essays more than we tend to give them credit for, but I'd caution against assuming a school cares about such things just because they "held" people with good softs--at least until some of those same people actually get in. Remember: schools sacrifice absolutely nothing by holding/waitlisting people, and potentially gain a reputation as a "holistic" school when actually their LSN indicates that they're just as numbers-based as anyone else (if not more so).

I know that sounds exceptionally critical, but I say that as someone on hold myself. I happen to think this "hold/reserve hundreds of people" business is a tactic by CLS to soften the sting of rejection and make a bunch of people feel like they had a shot, when they probably didn't. It's both smart (since they sacrifice nothing) and cruel (since they sort of manipulate people's feelings), but I think that's just the truth of the matter. The fact that they actually end up taking so few off these lists, especially when you see that those lucky few tend to have the numbers to begin with, just reaffirms that.

IMO this is rather meaningless. Schools make decisions in real-time. They put you in different categories based on their internal needs. It's almost pointless to talk about "having a shot"--one day the adcomm thinks you're too boring, the next day he/she wants you b/c the medians are under pressure. It's a far more random process than we would like to admit.

starsong
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby starsong » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:27 pm

tesoro wrote:This is what I've deduced. Any school could admit 24.99% of their class below both 25th percentiles without harming the percentiles at all. There's an opportunity cost to doing this, though. Namely, when discussing T6 schools, for every 1 person below both quartiles admitted, there's a high probability that someone above at least one quartile or median will be denied. As such, this one person will move to another school (say, NYU). This lends aid to NYU's medians/quartiles, and will help NYU overtake Columbia in the long run. Therefore, it does not benefit Columbia to ignore the fact that their own numbers will remain unharmed - they must also focus on the competition.

This whole chain of reasoning is highly problematic. For example, there's no reason to assume a significant number of above-median Columbia denies will attend NYU or Chicago (the two T6 schools capable of overtaking CLS). Many may attend HYS or non T6 schools, which does nothing to help NYU in your example. Furthermore, quartiles are irrelevant for the rankings (assuming that's the "overtaking" you're referring to), and admitting a student has nothing to do with whether another student will be denied. You're ignoring yield probabilities and a host of other factors. We can only say with certainty that a matriculated student with a below-median # will take the place of a potential matriculated student with a # equal to or above the median. Be very careful with deducing more than that.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby SaintClarence27 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:32 pm

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Last edited by SaintClarence27 on Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

legalnoeagle
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby legalnoeagle » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:24 am

When is the deposit deadline for scholarship recipients?

nax425
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby nax425 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:51 am

SaintClarence27 wrote:Really, I think the best way to determine lip service vs. softs is to take a look at the numbers. Here's Columbia's graph:

http://columbia.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0708/

Looks pretty well defined if you draw lines for green/yellow/red. The out-of-range greens are all URMs. I would say that they *do* seem to be more liberal with the waitlists than with acceptances. They also seem to waitlist a few people that seem to have auto-accept numbers. This does seem to show that they *do* pay attention to softs, but only seem to put importance on them in waitlisting people, not accepting. There don't seem to be any auto-denies. Or auto-admits, for that matter.

Here's NYU:

http://nyu.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0910/

Basically, it seems that NYU strictly eliminates anyone whose numbers aren't considered good enough, and auto-denies them. Then they determine waitlist/reject/admit from the remaining apps - I think they haven't done much waitlist this year and are holding instead. If you don't have the numbers (and aren't URM), you aren't even being considered.


True to a point. But they are also considering people for four + months and then rejecting them (that is, holding them over from ED and reevaluating and keeping early apps inexplicably until late March/early April), which is not an auto-reject. So softs are coming in to play big time.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby SaintClarence27 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:58 am

nax425 wrote:
SaintClarence27 wrote:Really, I think the best way to determine lip service vs. softs is to take a look at the numbers. Here's Columbia's graph:

http://columbia.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0708/

Looks pretty well defined if you draw lines for green/yellow/red. The out-of-range greens are all URMs. I would say that they *do* seem to be more liberal with the waitlists than with acceptances. They also seem to waitlist a few people that seem to have auto-accept numbers. This does seem to show that they *do* pay attention to softs, but only seem to put importance on them in waitlisting people, not accepting. There don't seem to be any auto-denies. Or auto-admits, for that matter.

Here's NYU:

http://nyu.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0910/

Basically, it seems that NYU strictly eliminates anyone whose numbers aren't considered good enough, and auto-denies them. Then they determine waitlist/reject/admit from the remaining apps - I think they haven't done much waitlist this year and are holding instead. If you don't have the numbers (and aren't URM), you aren't even being considered.


True to a point. But they are also considering people for four + months and then rejecting them (that is, holding them over from ED and reevaluating and keeping early apps inexplicably until late March/early April), which is not an auto-reject. So softs are coming in to play big time.


I agree that softs seem to be coming into play, but I think it's more of a determination between admission/rejection *after* they have passed the acceptable numbers test.

starsong
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby starsong » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:19 am

SaintClarence27 wrote:I agree that softs seem to be coming into play, but I think it's more of a determination between admission/rejection *after* they have passed the acceptable numbers test.

Again, this is a largely meaningless statement IMO. Adcomms have many different interests to reconcile; they want strong #s for the rankings, diversity/interesting stories for PR, raw intelligence for bar passage rates, etc. As these considerations vary across time, they will necessarily vary across applicants. One day, an adcomm feels that the medians are weak so admits the higher # student; another day, the adcomm wants more diversity, so he/she admits the URM. We often forget that these decisions are often made across 6+ months and adcomms receive feedback throughout the entire process (i.e. accepting offers/withdrawing/etc.). This feedback, along with statistical yield predictions and other intangible factors, affects the decision-making process as well.

Hence it makes little sense to talk about softs after numbers, or numbers as the primary factor--it depends largely on what interest is dominating at the moment the adcomm evaluates your app. We can talk about general policy considerations, i.e. maximizing #s for the USNWR rankings, but the weight of that varies by the school's priorities and by the # of applicants. More applicants + less desire to move up the rankings = #s are less important as a matter of policy (that equation has characterized this cycle at many schools).

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scribelaw
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby scribelaw » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:27 am

starsong wrote:
tesoro wrote:This is what I've deduced. Any school could admit 24.99% of their class below both 25th percentiles without harming the percentiles at all. There's an opportunity cost to doing this, though. Namely, when discussing T6 schools, for every 1 person below both quartiles admitted, there's a high probability that someone above at least one quartile or median will be denied. As such, this one person will move to another school (say, NYU). This lends aid to NYU's medians/quartiles, and will help NYU overtake Columbia in the long run. Therefore, it does not benefit Columbia to ignore the fact that their own numbers will remain unharmed - they must also focus on the competition.

This whole chain of reasoning is highly problematic. For example, there's no reason to assume a significant number of above-median Columbia denies will attend NYU or Chicago (the two T6 schools capable of overtaking CLS). Many may attend HYS or non T6 schools, which does nothing to help NYU in your example. Furthermore, quartiles are irrelevant for the rankings (assuming that's the "overtaking" you're referring to), and admitting a student has nothing to do with whether another student will be denied. You're ignoring yield probabilities and a host of other factors. We can only say with certainty that a matriculated student with a below-median # will take the place of a potential matriculated student with a # equal to or above the median. Be very careful with deducing more than that.


I dunno. I think Tesoro is right.

Especially with schools no longer averaging LSAT scores, numbers have been rising everywhere. With applications up ~20 percent this year, I assume many schools will increase their numbers. I wouldn't be surprised to see Columbia's 25th GPA rise to 3.6 and the median LSAT go to 173. I guarantee they want to stay a step ahead of NYU and Chicago numbers-wise.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby SaintClarence27 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:36 am

starsong wrote:
SaintClarence27 wrote:I agree that softs seem to be coming into play, but I think it's more of a determination between admission/rejection *after* they have passed the acceptable numbers test.

Again, this is a largely meaningless statement IMO. Adcomms have many different interests to reconcile; they want strong #s for the rankings, diversity/interesting stories for PR, raw intelligence for bar passage rates, etc. As these considerations vary across time, they will necessarily vary across applicants. One day, an adcomm feels that the medians are weak so admits the higher # student; another day, the adcomm wants more diversity, so he/she admits the URM. We often forget that these decisions are often made across 6+ months and adcomms receive feedback throughout the entire process (i.e. accepting offers/withdrawing/etc.). This feedback, along with statistical yield predictions and other intangible factors, affects the decision-making process as well.

Hence it makes little sense to talk about softs after numbers, or numbers as the primary factor--it depends largely on what interest is dominating at the moment the adcomm evaluates your app. We can talk about general policy considerations, i.e. maximizing #s for the USNWR rankings, but the weight of that varies by the school's priorities and by the # of applicants. More applicants + less desire to move up the rankings = #s are less important as a matter of policy (that equation has characterized this cycle at many schools).


First of all, I specifically excepted URMs in my original post. Secondly, you may be right about the fluid nature of the application process, though, excepting URMs, I don't see that there is a lean towards softs. I think it would usually be more increase median GPA or increase median LSAT. That said, if the school was comfortable with both GPA and LSAT medians, I could see them adding in people with strong soft considerations. I don't think that happens all that often at most schools, though. My entire argument is that, excluding URMs, numbers *ARE* the primary factor to a significant degree for the entirety of the cycle.

I would also like to know what schools have less desire to move up in the rankings. Not saying you're wrong - I'm just curious.

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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby starsong » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:36 am

scribelaw wrote:I dunno. I think Tesoro is right.

Especially with schools no longer averaging LSAT scores, numbers have been rising everywhere. With applications up ~20 percent this year, I assume many schools will increase their numbers. I wouldn't be surprised to see Columbia's 25th GPA rise to 3.6 and the median LSAT go to 173. I guarantee they want to stay a step ahead of NYU and Chicago numbers-wise.

Of course. It's common knowledge that schools want to stay ahead numbers-wise. But that's not what Tesoro said. Here's his quote again:
tesoro wrote:Namely, when discussing T6 schools, for every 1 person below both quartiles admitted, there's a high probability that someone above at least one quartile or median will be denied. As such, this one person will move to another school (say, NYU). This lends aid to NYU's medians/quartiles, and will help NYU overtake Columbia in the long run.

This reasoning is clearly erroneous...

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scribelaw
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby scribelaw » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:41 am

starsong wrote:
scribelaw wrote:I dunno. I think Tesoro is right.

Especially with schools no longer averaging LSAT scores, numbers have been rising everywhere. With applications up ~20 percent this year, I assume many schools will increase their numbers. I wouldn't be surprised to see Columbia's 25th GPA rise to 3.6 and the median LSAT go to 173. I guarantee they want to stay a step ahead of NYU and Chicago numbers-wise.

Of course. It's common knowledge that schools want to stay ahead numbers-wise. But that's not what Tesoro said. Here's his quote again:
tesoro wrote:Namely, when discussing T6 schools, for every 1 person below both quartiles admitted, there's a high probability that someone above at least one quartile or median will be denied. As such, this one person will move to another school (say, NYU). This lends aid to NYU's medians/quartiles, and will help NYU overtake Columbia in the long run.

This reasoning is clearly erroneous...


Yeah. Plus, I doubt CLS admits anyone below both 25ths -- maybe a URM or two, but not many. If you're below one 25th, you have to be above the other 75th.

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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby starsong » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:46 am

SaintClarence27 wrote:First of all, I specifically excepted URMs in my original post. Secondly, you may be right about the fluid nature of the application process, though, excepting URMs, I don't see that there is a lean towards softs. I think it would usually be more increase median GPA or increase median LSAT. That said, if the school was comfortable with both GPA and LSAT medians, I could see them adding in people with strong soft considerations.

My point exactly. In my terminology, I would say when the GPA/LSAT medians look solid, other interests--interesting life experience, URM status, legacy status, etc.--receive greater weight. But since this is a continuous process of re-evaluating the school's needs, it's impossible to talk about one factor as "primary" over others.

SaintClarence27 wrote:I don't think that happens all that often at most schools, though. My entire argument is that, excluding URMs, numbers *ARE* the primary factor to a significant degree for the entirety of the cycle.

I would also like to know what schools have less desire to move up in the rankings. Not saying you're wrong - I'm just curious.

Here's a few examples of schools that are obviously less concerned with raising their medians:
http://uva.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats (extreme example)
http://michigan.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats
http://berkeley.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats

Not every school has a strong desire to move up in the rankings, some desire simply to preserve their medians while improving diversity, etc. I know you mentioned this in your original post, so that's why I think we largely agree, but I would just argue that since this process is a dynamic re-evaluation of a school's interests across the passage of time, it makes little sense to speak of a factor that is always "primary".

r6_philly
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby r6_philly » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:48 am

scribelaw wrote:Yeah. Plus, I doubt CLS admits anyone below both 25ths -- maybe a URM or two, but not many. If you're below one 25th, you have to be above the other 75th.


That's probably what they want, but I am not convinced that there are in fact that many applicants with sufficient numbers for them to fullfill that goal.

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IAFG
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby IAFG » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:13 pm

tesoro wrote:Any school could admit 24.99% of their class below both 25th percentiles without harming the percentiles at all.

i don't think any school could maintain their 50th/75th LSATs with a splitter-free class.

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crackberry
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby crackberry » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:40 pm

scribelaw wrote:With applications up ~20 percent this year...

FYI - I have it on good authority that applications at Harvard and Stanford are just barely up this year over last year. Yale is up a little more, but still well under 10 percent. I don't know the numbers for CCN, but I can't imagine they're much higher.

tesoro
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby tesoro » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:22 pm

IAFG wrote:
tesoro wrote:Any school could admit 24.99% of their class below both 25th percentiles without harming the percentiles at all.

i don't think any school could maintain their 50th/75th LSATs with a splitter-free class.


Yup. That's the opportunity cost I was talking about.

You guys are right, there's a lot of assumptions in my logic. It's not necessarily false, but it is shaky. The main theme stands, though: there's good reason to not admit sub-median applicants, despite quality of LOCI.

jobless2Lguy
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Re: Columbia 2010

Postby jobless2Lguy » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:27 pm

Hey guys,

I'm a CLS 2L without an SA. My GPA is slightly above median. As a small word of warning, be careful how much debt you take on. I'm going to end up with around 190k in debt, and without an SA I don't know if I will be able to ever get biglaw to pay it off. From what I've heard, it's extremely difficult to get into biglaw or even decent midlaw without doing a 2L SA.

I've applied to 20 public interest and government gigs and I finally got something for the summer. However, the odds of getting an offer from that are not very high, and if I don't, I have no idea what I'm going to do. I will probably end up spamming smaller and midsize firms and government, particularly in my home market, and pray that I get lucky.

Don't take this as a total downer, as class of 2013 will be better of than class of 2011. I thought I'd inject a little skepticism here, because I went in foolishly with blinders on and didn't consider the possibility of having no job, or a low-paid job, and lots of debt.

If you have any questions for me, shoot.

-CLS 2L




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