3.65/164...playing the average game?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:30 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
rebexness wrote:
gotsomequestions wrote:Confidence in my abilities to do well means nothing in terms of having a sense of entitlement or uniqueness.


You have a 50% chance of being below median. Thinking otherwise is indeed thinking that you are a special snowflake.


I'm still figuring out how to articulate my thoughts, but I feel that the truth lies somewhere between "roll a die and that's where you'll end up on the curve" and "I've always been above-average before, why not in law school too?" I think the basis of my argument is that a school's incoming 1L class isn't as homogenous as some people would believe, but like I said, I'm still working on it.

Above average compared to what? All the slackers at your undergrad or your workplace? You're right that it's not a pure dice roll, but for 200k you better play it safe.

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midwest17
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby midwest17 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:51 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
rebexness wrote:
gotsomequestions wrote:Confidence in my abilities to do well means nothing in terms of having a sense of entitlement or uniqueness.


You have a 50% chance of being below median. Thinking otherwise is indeed thinking that you are a special snowflake.


I'm still figuring out how to articulate my thoughts, but I feel that the truth lies somewhere between "roll a die and that's where you'll end up on the curve" and "I've always been above-average before, why not in law school too?" I think the basis of my argument is that a school's incoming 1L class isn't as homogenous as some people would believe, but like I said, I'm still working on it.


Of course the incoming class isn't homogenous. But that doesn't change the fact that almost everyone in the class has always been above average up to that point.

In order to have any reasonable degree of confidence that you're going to end up above median at your school, I think you probably have to have both GPA and LSAT above median, and one of them above 75. Not that those dictate 1L success, but they're the only objective and statistically correlated factors you have that aren't tainted by optimism bias.

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sublime
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby sublime » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:01 pm

..

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:05 pm

sublime wrote:I feel like exams in LS are so different than the LSAT, that it doesn't matter that much. Same thing for classes compared to UG classes.

They both correlate with grades though. LSAT to me really isn't that different.

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midwest17
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby midwest17 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:07 pm

sublime wrote:I feel like exams in LS are so different than the LSAT, that it doesn't matter that much. Same thing for classes compared to UG classes.


There are plenty of reasons to think this wouldn't work, but in point of fact there is a correlation between LSAT/uGPA and 1L performance. http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... rmance.pdf

I'm not saying that the scores are dispositive. But they're objective, and they're probably the best way of coming to a somewhat accurate self-evaluation of your likely outcomes.

Here's what I would say: most people should expect to be at median. People with top scores relative to their classmates should expect to be slightly above (maybe somewhere around 60th percentile). People with scores below both medians should expect to end up below median in grades (maybe 40th percentile). None of these are set in stone, but they seem to provide a slightly better way of managing your expectations then saying "expect to be at median." Especially since there are people for whom expecting to be at median is probably still excessive optimism.

ETA: numbers were, in fact, pulled out of thin air.

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sublime
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby sublime » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:12 pm

..

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ScottRiqui
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:14 pm

midwest17 wrote:
Of course the incoming class isn't homogenous. But that doesn't change the fact that almost everyone in the class has always been above average up to that point.

In order to have any reasonable degree of confidence that you're going to end up above median at your school, I think you probably have to have both GPA and LSAT above median, and one of them above 75. Not that those dictate 1L success, but they're the only objective and statistically correlated factors you have that aren't tainted by optimism bias.


This part sounds like the old joke where a guy's looking for his lost car keys near a streetlamp, and a buddy asks him "I thought you lost your keys in the club?", to which the searcher responds "yes, but I'm looking here because the light's better". You can't say "I know the correlation between uGPA/LSAT and 1L grades is only 0.4, but it's the only objective, quantifiable dispassionate data we have, so we're going to treat it as dispositive, or nearly so."

To use another example, the median LSAT score for takers my age is 144. I beat that by about 25 points, not because I'm a genius or an LSAT god (I'm neither), but because other than the dispassionate, quantifiable criteria of age, I'm probably in a different situation than most of the group I'm being compared to. Just because the researchers chose to segregate the takers by age, that doesn't magically normalize all of the other non-quantifiable, "soft" factors.

Simply put, I question the value of historical aggregate data when it comes to predicting an individual's future performance. It's a tautology that only half of the class will be above median, but I don't believe that makes it true that every individual in the class has an exact 50% chance of landing above median.

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midwest17
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby midwest17 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:36 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
midwest17 wrote:
Of course the incoming class isn't homogenous. But that doesn't change the fact that almost everyone in the class has always been above average up to that point.

In order to have any reasonable degree of confidence that you're going to end up above median at your school, I think you probably have to have both GPA and LSAT above median, and one of them above 75. Not that those dictate 1L success, but they're the only objective and statistically correlated factors you have that aren't tainted by optimism bias.


This part sounds like the old joke where a guy's looking for his lost car keys near a streetlamp, and a buddy asks him "I thought you lost your keys in the club?", to which the searcher responds "yes, but I'm looking here because the light's better". You can't say "I know the correlation between uGPA/LSAT and 1L grades is only 0.4, but it's the only objective, quantifiable dispassionate data we have, so we're going to treat it as dispositive, or nearly so."

To use another example, the median LSAT score for takers my age is 144. I beat that by about 25 points, not because I'm a genius or an LSAT god (I'm neither), but because other than the dispassionate, quantifiable criteria of age, I'm probably in a different situation than most of the group I'm being compared to. Just because the researchers chose to segregate the takers by age, that doesn't magically normalize all of the other non-quantifiable, "soft" factors.

Simply put, I question the value of historical aggregate data when it comes to predicting an individual's future performance. It's a tautology that only half of the class will be above median, but I don't believe that makes it true that every individual in the class has an exact 50% chance of landing above median.


Of course it's not true that "every individual in the class has an exact 50% chance of landing above median." But what we're talking about is the best way of forming expectations based on available data, not determining chances from an omniscient perspective.

LSAT/uGPA aren't great evidence that you have the capacity to do well. But they are evidence, and they do bias your expectations upwards. Thinking/being sure that you will be good at law, though, is probably not correlated with actual performance at all, though, so it shouldn't actually impact your expectation of future performance. Once you look at actual objective softs, there probably are things that correlate with performance. But even then you'd want to be cautious about using those to adjust your expectations. People are more likely to think about their positive attributes/softs when evaluating their success. So the degree to which you think of positive soft factors in your self-evaluation is probably less well correlated with 1L performance than actually having positive soft factors is.

Once all those caveats are thrown in, I would caution everyone to be very cautious about thinking that anything other than test scores are going to predict their 1L grades at all, or that even the test scores are going to do so to a huge degree.

(Also: I'm not great at statistics: given a median correlation of 0.48 for combined LSAT/uGPA, what's the probability that someone who ends up above median will have had combined LSAT/uGPA in, say, the top 25%?)

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ScottRiqui
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:53 pm

midwest17 wrote:
Of course it's not true that "every individual in the class has an exact 50% chance of landing above median." But what we're talking about is the best way of forming expectations based on available data, not determining chances from an omniscient perspective.

LSAT/uGPA aren't great evidence that you have the capacity to do well. But they are evidence, and they do bias your expectations upwards. Thinking/being sure that you will be good at law, though, is probably not correlated with actual performance at all, though, so it shouldn't actually impact your expectation of future performance. Once you look at actual objective softs, there probably are things that correlate with performance. But even then you'd want to be cautious about using those to adjust your expectations. People are more likely to think about their positive attributes/softs when evaluating their success. So the degree to which you think of positive soft factors in your self-evaluation is probably less well correlated with 1L performance than actually having positive soft factors is.

Once all those caveats are thrown in, I would caution everyone to be very cautious about thinking that anything other than test scores are going to predict their 1L grades at all, or that even the test scores are going to do so to a huge degree.

(Also: I'm not great at statistics: given a median correlation of 0.48 for combined LSAT/uGPA, what's the probability that someone who ends up above median will have had combined LSAT/uGPA in, say, the top 25%?)


I agree with all of this in general - it's just always bothered me when TLSers smugly throw around stuff like "you (as in, a specific poster) only have a 50% chance of being above median" as if it's sacrosanct ground truth, while simultaneously shouting down any consideration of one's soft factors as "special snowflake syndrome".

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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:06 am

ScottRiqui wrote:I agree with all of this in general - it's just always bothered me when TLSers smugly throw around stuff like "you (as in, a specific poster) only have a 50% chance of being above median" as if it's sacrosanct ground truth, while simultaneously shouting down any consideration of one's soft factors as "special snowflake syndrome".

I get your point and mostly agree with it, in the sense that the historical aggregate isn't helpful for determining how a given individual is going to do. But based on the range of grades I saw different people get, I don't think it's easy to draw any direct correlation between specific softs and performance on law school exams. It's not that they (grades) are entirely arbitrary, just that the curve puts so much out of that given individual's control.

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midwest17
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby midwest17 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:52 am

ScottRiqui wrote:I agree with all of this in general - it's just always bothered me when TLSers smugly throw around stuff like "you (as in, a specific poster) only have a 50% chance of being above median" as if it's sacrosanct ground truth, while simultaneously shouting down any consideration of one's soft factors as "special snowflake syndrome".


My impression has been that the "special snowflake" thing is mostly aimed at people who either (a) claim to have "superb" softs without giving any hint of what they are, or (b) say that they know they're going to succeed "because I'll work harder than everyone else."

The criticism of category (a) is justified, I think, by how many times people make claims like that, only later to state what their softs are and have them severely under-impress. And (b) is self-explanatory.

Obviously there are exceptions, and people are probably a bit overly skeptical of self-assessments of potential success. But I think the tendency is in the right direction, from what I've seen.

ltrego
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Re: 3.65/164...playing the average game?

Postby ltrego » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:40 am

HYSenberg wrote:Question: do people who get accommodations for the LSAT get accommodations for law school exams?


Just did a quick search, and it looks like schools will give exam accommodations for disability.




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