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.
By attending a "top" undergrad, you would expose yourself to great students and faculty that would probably help you improve as a thinker and a well-rounded individual, and you would also expand the strength of your personal network. Theoretically, top schools would help you do that to a greater degree than "non-top" schools.
Things that attending a top school might help you with (theoretically):
**Scoring higher on the LSAT (because you'd be accustomed to greater academic rigor)
**Having better recommendations (because profs at top schools might be more accustomed to writing good recs, might take the time to get to know their students better, and might take their students more seriously, though I know that is not always the case)
**Having more interesting extracurriculars (due to greater variety of clubs and funding at top schools)
**Being a better writer (which may help with your PS and resume)
**Having better internships/work experience (because many "prestigious" places hire mostly from top schools and because you'd have a greater network to tap into for obtaining a job)
In short, attending a top school may:
(1) help your intellectual development so that you have an easier time with the LSAT (dunno the extent to which it really helps here), and
(2) give you more opportunities to have better softs (aside from the school reputation, which is a soft in and of itself).
(1) and (2) would then improve your chances of getting into a better law school.
In practice, law school admission very much a numbers game, especially as you go down the rankings. So if you are "gunning" for the best law school you can get into, then I guess going to a school were you can get close to a 4.0 would be preferable to attending one where you might only get a 3.5. But that then assumes that (1) and (2) would not be significantly influenced by where you attend undergrad.