Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

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TarHeel09
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Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby TarHeel09 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:51 pm

This may seem both obvious and offensive and im sorry about that.

Im wondering if it really makes a difference if you graduated from a top school as opposed to a t-whatever.

I have seen some posts from people who graduated from an ok school with a good gpa, and it seems like people think they have a better shot at getting into schools that I wouldnt think they had much of a chance of.

For example, say you graduated from W&M with a 3.5
Another person graduated from say.. the University of Arkansas (ranked like 125) with a 3.9 or 4.0
and say both have the same lsat score.

based on a lot of posts by people, I am getting the feeling that people would hold the GPA in higher regard than the difficulty of the school attended. I mean I think most of us can agree that W&M is more difficult, but it seems like some people think, or are making me think, that schools are really just interested in the GPA/LSAT combo.. or at least... if you get a 3.9 or 4.0 at a school like Arkansas, then getting a 3.5 at W&M is less valuable and to me that shouldn't be.

and no offense to any U of A alum. here, its simply based on the ratings scale.

does anyone have any info on this?

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Cleareyes
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby Cleareyes » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:55 pm

3.9 from U Arkansas > 3.5 from W&M for law school admissions.

Harvard Yale Princeton and Stanford might give you a bit of a boost, but not anything close to 0.4 GPA points. From then on schools differ on how they look at UG institution. I personally believe the top law schools prefer students from top undergraduate programs, but not by THAt much.

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frank_the_tank
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby frank_the_tank » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:57 pm

I'd say 4.0 from No-Name Uni. is better than 3.8 from Yale.

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TarHeel09
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby TarHeel09 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:06 pm

doesn't that seem... ridiculous?.. like if I knew I was going to law school, I should have just gone to an easier school (again, no offense to easier schools) which probably would have boosted my gpa.

I cant see how that makes sense.

chadstew55
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby chadstew55 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:07 pm

frank_the_tank wrote:I'd say 4.0 from No-Name Uni. is better than 3.8 from Yale.

lets not get carried away... :?

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frank_the_tank
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby frank_the_tank » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:08 pm

TarHeel09 wrote:doesn't that seem... ridiculous?.. like if I knew I was going to law school, I should have just gone to an easier school (again, no offense to easier schools) which probably would have boosted my gpa.

I cant see how that makes sense.


You are assuming that there is a correlation between the ranking of a school and its difficulty.


If UG ranking is anything like LS ranking, the rank of a school mostly has to do with the difficulty of getting in, not how difficult the school itself is.

18488
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby 18488 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:10 pm

From what I can tell, it makes a difference if your undergrad is Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Chicago, or Swarthmore. Otherwise not really.

KiwiApple
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby KiwiApple » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:11 pm

sbrown83 wrote:From what I can tell, it makes a difference if your undergrad is Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Chicago, or Swarthmore. Otherwise not really.


What happened to Williams and Cal Tech?

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TarHeel09
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby TarHeel09 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:12 pm

I mean I agree in some cases, but if we are talking about a top 30 school v. something after the top 100, it seems like there has to be some sort of discretion used, no?

KiwiApple
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby KiwiApple » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:13 pm

TarHeel09 wrote:I mean I agree in some cases, but if we are talking about a top 30 school v. something after the top 100, it seems like there has to be some sort of discretion used, no?


No, not even Stanford. Look at their Pre-Law data. Maybe if you graduate from some highly selective/non-traditional UGs.

>> Cal Tech, Music, Art, and Royal Academies, etc

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RVP11
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby RVP11 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:14 pm

KiwiApple wrote:
sbrown83 wrote:From what I can tell, it makes a difference if your undergrad is Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Chicago, or Swarthmore. Otherwise not really.


What happened to Williams and Cal Tech?


They're TTTs.

KiwiApple
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby KiwiApple » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:15 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
KiwiApple wrote:
sbrown83 wrote:From what I can tell, it makes a difference if your undergrad is Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Chicago, or Swarthmore. Otherwise not really.


What happened to Williams and Cal Tech?


They're TTTs.


Then what's UVA? Super TTT

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Jones, Dow
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby Jones, Dow » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:16 pm

FWIW, Pless said he takes ug institution and major into consideration. I'm thinking this has more to do with the marginal candidates, though.

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rayiner
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby rayiner » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:19 pm

TarHeel09 wrote:doesn't that seem... ridiculous?.. like if I knew I was going to law school, I should have just gone to an easier school (again, no offense to easier schools) which probably would have boosted my gpa.

I cant see how that makes sense.


So the first thing is that the USNWR formula only figures in GPA. So that's what schools need to use. Second, it's ridiculously difficult to quantify the difference in UG quality. Also, someone with a 3.9-4.0 couldn't have done any better --- should they be penalized because they chose to save $$$ and go to a state school instead of going to a more highly-ranked one?

Ultimately, the whole debate on school quality is rather pointless. It is usually predicated on this hypothetical "3.6 at Yale and 4.0 at ASU both with a 170 LSAT", but ignores a crucial fact: Yale's LSAT median is 165, and ASU's is 152. Probably a third of the kids that take the LSAT at Yale score 170+, while probably only a few people at ASU do. If you're walking around with a T14-level LSAT, then statistically-speaking the vast majority of your competition is from good schools, probably ones stronger than W&M.

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RVP11
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby RVP11 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:19 pm

KiwiApple wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
KiwiApple wrote:
sbrown83 wrote:From what I can tell, it makes a difference if your undergrad is Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Chicago, or Swarthmore. Otherwise not really.


What happened to Williams and Cal Tech?


They're TTTs.


Then what's UVA? Super TTT


Psh. Who says I went to UVA for UG?

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RVP11
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby RVP11 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:20 pm

Jones, Dow wrote:FWIW, Pless said he takes ug institution and major into consideration.


Every dean says that.

huckabees
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby huckabees » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:20 pm

Cleareyes wrote:3.9 from U Arkansas > 3.5 from W&M for law school admissions.

Harvard Yale Princeton and Stanford might give you a bit of a boost, but not anything close to 0.4 GPA points. From then on schools differ on how they look at UG institution. I personally believe the top law schools prefer students from top undergraduate programs, but not by THAt much.


Yeah, no school will give you a 0.4 GPA boost. I think the max you can expect is a .15 GPA boost, holding major equal. It seems that engineering majors get a >.1 GPA boost for some law schools.

I think the GPA boost for Harvard UG going to Harvard may be slightly more than .1, but even that is case by case.

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TarHeel09
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby TarHeel09 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:24 pm

so then.. according to all of this.. advice for people who are in high school, but know they are going to law school is:

save time and money, go to an in-state university that you have heard is quite easy, get a 4.0 (or something close), and you will have a better shot at a t-20 or t-30 than does someone who gets a lower GPA than you from Cornell (assuming you get a good lsat score).

not being sarcastic, just trying to get the idea here.. im just having a tough time believing it so i need to ask it several different ways.

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RVP11
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby RVP11 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:26 pm

TarHeel09 wrote:so then.. according to all of this.. advice for people who are in high school, but know they are going to law school is:

save time and money, go to an in-state university that you have heard is quite easy, get a 4.0 (or something close), and you will have a better shot at a t-20 or t-30 than does someone who gets a lower GPA than you from Cornell (assuming you get a good lsat score).

not being sarcastic, just trying to get the idea here.. im just having a tough time believing it so i need to ask it several different ways.


Well, I'd violently shake any high school kid who "knew" they were going to law school. But if it were somehow pre-ordained or written in the stars, yes: get the high GPA at an inexpensive state school and save $$$.

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TarHeel09
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby TarHeel09 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:27 pm

well f*ck me. I figured the better ranked university would have helped so... that sucks.

went to UNC.... at least the Heels won the championship, but I guess that's all I got.
Last edited by TarHeel09 on Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rayiner
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby rayiner » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:27 pm

TarHeel09 wrote:so then.. according to all of this.. advice for people who are in high school, but know they are going to law school is:

save time and money, go to an in-state university that you have heard is quite easy, get a 4.0 (or something close), and you will have a better shot at a t-20 or t-30 than does someone who gets a lower GPA than you from Cornell (assuming you get a good lsat score).

not being sarcastic, just trying to get the idea here.. im just having a tough time believing it so i need to ask it several different ways.


Or, go wherever you want and just do well on the LSAT. If you can pull a 3.9 at your state school, you should be able to pull 3.5+ at Cornell. Both are sufficient to get you in at CCN on down given the proper LSAT score. And if you don't have the proper LSAT score --- you're GPA isn't going to get you in anyway...

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Cleareyes
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby Cleareyes » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:28 pm

rayiner wrote:
TarHeel09 wrote:doesn't that seem... ridiculous?.. like if I knew I was going to law school, I should have just gone to an easier school (again, no offense to easier schools) which probably would have boosted my gpa.

I cant see how that makes sense.


So the first thing is that the USNWR formula only figures in GPA. So that's what schools need to use. Second, it's ridiculously difficult to quantify the difference in UG quality. Also, someone with a 3.9-4.0 couldn't have done any better --- should they be penalized because they chose to save $$$ and go to a state school instead of going to a more highly-ranked one?

Ultimately, the whole debate on school quality is rather pointless. It is usually predicated on this hypothetical "3.6 at Yale and 4.0 at ASU both with a 170 LSAT", but ignores a crucial fact: Yale's LSAT median is 165, and ASU's is 152. Probably a third of the kids that take the LSAT at Yale score 170+, while probably only a few people at ASU do. If you're walking around with a T14-level LSAT, then statistically-speaking the vast majority of your competition is from good schools, probably ones stronger than W&M.


Statistically speaking...LET'S GET IT ON!!!

#1) There are more medium/low ranked schools than top ranked ones, so I don't necessarily agree with your math here. Sure Yale will have more 170s than ASU, but not ASU+SUNY Buffalo+UC Santa Barbara + University of Miami etc...etc...etc...

Secondly, the fact that someone has come close to maxing out their school's GPA doesn't mean anything unless we can safely assume the Yale candidate wouldn't max out HIS GPA at ASU. I don't know that we can. You can't penalize people for attending cheaper or lower ranked schools, but can you penalize people for attending tougher schools with tougher competition (that I believe the easier curve doesn't fully make up for?)

Personally I think that it really varies from school to school. I think the top schools can afford to take UG into account more than the lower ranked schools because they are not jockeying for ranking in the same way.

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Cleareyes
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby Cleareyes » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:30 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
Well, I'd violently shake any high school kid who "knew" they were going to law school. But if it were somehow pre-ordained or written in the stars, yes: get the high GPA at an inexpensive state school and save $$$.


Okay, what about a student for whom going to a higher ranked school is cheap (for example if a parent works at an Ivy and you are exempt from paying tuition there.)

Now do you go high ranking or low?

I say go high for life prospects but I'm not sure for law school.

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rayiner
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby rayiner » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:31 pm

#1) There are more medium/low ranked schools than top ranked ones, so I don't necessarily agree with your math here. Sure Yale will have more 170s than ASU, but not ASU+SUNY Buffalo+UC Santa Barbara + University of Miami etc...etc...etc..


durr, why didn't I think of that? That being said, there are two counterweighting issues:

1) LSAT scores probably aren't normally distributed at most UGs, because UG admission is filtered by SAT score.

2) The percentile difference is really drastic. Assuming a normal distribution, a 170 is probably 70th percentile at Yale but 98th percentile at ASU. Even given ASU's huge size advantage (factor of 10) there are probably fewer 170+s at ASU than at Yale.

Anyway, my overall point still stands. A few tenths on your GPA isn't going to be make-or-break anywhere except HYS. CCN will happily take you with a 3.5/175...
Last edited by rayiner on Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RVP11
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Re: Does a high ranked UG school make a difference?

Postby RVP11 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:31 pm

Cleareyes wrote:
#1) There are more medium/low ranked schools than top ranked ones, so I don't necessarily agree with your math here. Sure Yale will have more 170s than ASU, but not ASU+SUNY Buffalo+UC Santa Barbara + University of Miami etc...etc...etc...


TBF though, schools like HYPS have a MUCH higher % of their students even applying to law school to begin with. ASU might be a huge school, but only 3% of grads apply to law school. At Harvard that's more like 25% to 30%.




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