Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

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01020304050607
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Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby 01020304050607 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:08 pm

So, my dream was to attend Penn Law and become a trial attorney. I have now taken the LSAT 2 times. The first score was not very high. The second time, this past Monday, was also not good. With that being said, I think Penn can be tossed out of the window. My dreams of becoming a trial attorney are clearly still intact; however, it appears that tier 2 will be the road I take.

As the title mentions, do you think the LSAT and subsequent choice of law school is indicative as one's potential of being a successful trial attorney? My biased answer (As a result of not scoring well and likely attending a tier 2) is no. But does anybody else feel this way? In the film Orange County, the main character is told somewhere along the line that, "You don't need to go to Stanford to be a good writer...you are a good writer." I know this sounds cheesy, but just curious, does anyone else feel like this is true?

nerd1
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby nerd1 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:24 pm

Not really indicative, but LSAT scores do have some predictive power with respect to 1L grades, which law schools believe are meaningfully correlated with success in the legal industry.

So only to a small extent, the scores are predictive. You can take a look at the statistical data on correlation between LSAT scores and 1L grades.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:43 pm

Penn was my dream too. 4 LSATs later, I woke up. Took a full ride at at 30ish school. We'll see if it works out.

I don't even think LSAT scores are indicative of success in law school (grade-wise). May be the best predictor, but at the end of the day is still a really shitty predictor.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:45 pm

LSAT test is an attempt to predict whether or not one will be a successful law student.

DrRighteous
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby DrRighteous » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:48 am

On one hand, as you know, higher LSAT scores mean a higher tier school, which increases your exposure to and chances at many jobs and opportunities. So in that sense, your LSAT can be a gateway to good experience. That being said, the good news is that research indicates the LSAT is not related to professional competence. You might not be totally boned, but as you know, you're going to want to be the top of the pile in whatever school you go to if you want options.

See: Shultz, M. M. & Zedeck, S. (2011). Predicting Lawyer Effectiveness: Broadening the Basis for Law School Admission Decisions. Law & Social Inquiry, 36, 620-661.

NYC-WVU
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby NYC-WVU » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:04 pm

Convincing a bunch of lay people (a jury) that your client should win requires a very different skill set than analyzing information to arrive at a well-reasoned and logical conclusion. While the LSAT does a decent job at measuring abilities to analyze and conclude, it cannot measure your ability to convince lay people.
[[FWIW, I did well on the LSAT and do not think I have the skills for convincing a jury.]]

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rondemarino
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby rondemarino » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:18 pm

tub54549 wrote:As the title mentions, do you think the LSAT and subsequent choice of law school is indicative as one's potential of being a successful trial attorney? My biased answer (As a result of not scoring well and likely attending a tier 2) is no.


Yes, to a degree. Someone who can't crack a 155 after 2 attempts either (a) doesn't the rudimentary intellectual chops needed for the job, or (b) doesn't know how to prepare themselves for important tests. But if we're talking about the difference between a 165 and a 169, no.

While its probably not indicative, it is determinative. Better schools give you access to better networks, better opportunities, the prestige to ride out downturns or career hiccups.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby Pneumonia » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:24 pm

No.

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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby Traynor Brah » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:35 pm

rondemarino wrote:
tub54549 wrote:As the title mentions, do you think the LSAT and subsequent choice of law school is indicative as one's potential of being a successful trial attorney? My biased answer (As a result of not scoring well and likely attending a tier 2) is no.


Yes, to a degree. Someone who can't crack a 155 after 2 attempts either (a) doesn't the rudimentary intellectual chops needed for the job, or (b) doesn't know how to prepare themselves for important tests. But if we're talking about the difference between a 165 and a 169, no.

While its probably not indicative, it is determinative. Better schools give you access to better networks, better opportunities, the prestige to ride out downturns or career hiccups.

Broncos15
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby Broncos15 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:33 pm

Yes to an extent.

in the same way GPA does ( although less so than the LSAT)......would you trust a C student in UG to be your lawyer?

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hoos89
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby hoos89 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:41 pm

At certain part of the scale, absolutely. Once you get below a certain score, bar passage rates plummet (which is pretty significant to success as a lawyer).

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Pneumonia
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:56 am

Broncos15 wrote:Yes to an extent.

in the same way GPA does ( although less so than the LSAT)......would you trust a C student in UG to be your lawyer?


This is dumb. Of course I would, if they were a good lawyer.

Agreed that below a certain score it's gonna be predictive of dumbness. That score is like 145 though. 155 or whatever means nothing compared to 175.

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hoos89
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby hoos89 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:07 am

Pneumonia wrote:
Broncos15 wrote:Yes to an extent.

in the same way GPA does ( although less so than the LSAT)......would you trust a C student in UG to be your lawyer?


This is dumb. Of course I would, if they were a good lawyer.

Agreed that below a certain score it's gonna be predictive of dumbness. That score is like 145 though. 155 or whatever means nothing compared to 175.


It means more than nothing. That's a huge difference and while the LSAT isn't a perfect predictor by a long shot, it's not totally uncorrelated with ability to be a lawyer.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:03 am

How can anyone possibly make any of these kinds of declarations? Have you been asking good lawyers you know what their GPAs/LSATs were? There are so many skills required in lawyering that aren't tested by LSAT/GPA, and so many reasons why someone might have a mediocre GPA/LSAT, saying that you wouldn't trust a lawyer based on those things seems misguided. (Didn't we trust at least one C student in UG to be president?)

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AreJay711
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:13 am

Most lawyering isn't that hard. I probably wouldn't want a 155 LSAT guy writing my highly technical brief regarding some antitrust issue, but for a lot of shit -- and especially anything involved with persuading a group of 12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty -- it doesn't matter.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Didn't we trust at least one C student in UG to be president?)


1. Bush wasn't a C student by today's standards.

2. That didn't really turn out so well.

NYC-WVU
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby NYC-WVU » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:38 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Didn't we trust at least one C student in UG to be president?)

Speak for yourself.

(I agree with the rest of what you said.)

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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby NYC-WVU » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:42 am

AreJay711 wrote:12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty

It's not as easy as you think. I was recently sitting at a table with a Kirkland and Ellis partner and a district court judge, both of whom said they could not get out of jury duty. (I was very very surprised that the judge was called.)

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:46 am

Oh, I know, he's a terrible example, I just couldn't resist.

I still think people in this thread are making WAYYYY too much out of one standardized test and what people were willing/able to do grade-wise from (often) ages 18-21. I'd be totally fine with a 155 LSAT guy writing my antitrust brief - there are all kinds of reasons why someone ends up with a particular LSAT score that have nothing to do their ability to understand antitrust.

Also, lol at the idea that persuading 12 different people to agree on your case is somehow easy.

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zhenders
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby zhenders » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:47 am

I posted this without properly reading OP; with the understanding that the OP is talking about lawyering performance specifically and not LS performance, this video may still at the end of the day be pertinent/interesting on the more-general subject of the LSAT's power as a predictive tool in any sense. Ignore utterly w/r/t LSAT <<>> lawyering ability.

This is a long video, but when I came cross it, I found it to be really interesting and informative on this subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c

Professor Johnson discusses a number of LSAT-related subjects, but there is a direct answer to the OP's question here from someone definitely qualified to give it. If you're interested in the "inner workings" of the LSAC in general, this is also a great video to watch.

If you're only interested in the part about how well the LSAT correlates to 1st year performance, jump to minute 15:00 on the nose.
Last edited by zhenders on Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:48 am

Of course, OP wasn't asking if the LSAT correlates with 1st year performance. That's not the same as lawyering ability.

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zhenders
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby zhenders » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:51 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Of course, OP wasn't asking if the LSAT correlates with 1st year performance. That's not the same as lawyering ability.


That's what I get for thinking I can read; thanks mate. Edited.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:15 am

hoos89 wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:
Broncos15 wrote:Yes to an extent.

in the same way GPA does ( although less so than the LSAT)......would you trust a C student in UG to be your lawyer?


This is dumb. Of course I would, if they were a good lawyer.

Agreed that below a certain score it's gonna be predictive of dumbness. That score is like 145 though. 155 or whatever means nothing compared to 175.


It means more than nothing. That's a huge difference and while the LSAT isn't a perfect predictor by a long shot, it's not totally uncorrelated with ability to be a lawyer.


Agreed that it's not uncorrelated. The correlation ends way before 155 though. Also, correlation/cause or whatever. Lots of people that make 150 would be bad lawyers. At least as many that make 170 would be as well.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby UnicornHunter » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:41 am

Think of the path to becoming a successful lawyer as a marathon with thousands of people running and hundreds of hurdles scattered throughout the course. The hurdles are things like exams, interviews, the bar, etc..

The LSAT isn't a hurdle, it determines where you start the race. While it's certainly possible to move up from the back of the pack, it's much easier to simply start from the front. And unlike all the hurdles in the race, you get to take the LSAT on your terms, before the race ever starts.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:41 pm

Totally agree that the LSAT predicts access to legal opportunities.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Is LSAT score indicative as potential to be a successful lawyer?

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:24 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Totally agree that the LSAT predicts access to legal opportunities.




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