Undergraduate Representation at Yale and Stanford Law Schools Forum

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CLHJS

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Undergraduate Representation at Yale and Stanford Law Schools

Post by CLHJS » Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:37 am

Sharing a few interesting statistics I found over the internet, discussions are welcome. Note the top 5 most represented schools are identical across YLS and SLS and has been so for the past 3-4 years. I wonder how much do undergrad institutions matter in law school admissions? If you look at the ABA data for average LSATs and GPAs, a lot of elite schools aren't that far apart.

2019-2020 Yale Law School undergrad representation:

https://bulletin.yale.edu/sites/default ... 9-2020.pdf

Yale (90)
Harvard (54)
Columbia (34)
Princeton (31)
Stanford (22)
Dartmouth (21)
Cornell (19)
UChicago (18)
Brown (17)
Pennsylvania (16)
Georgetown (13)
Berkeley (13)
Duke (10)
Northwestern (8)
USC (8)
Michigan (8)
JHU (7)
UVA (7)
Amherst (6)
Swarthmore (6)
Bowdoin (5)
NYU (5)
Tufts (5)
UCLA (5)
UConn (5)
UNC-Chapel Hill (5)

2019-2020 Stanford Law Undergrad representation:

https://www-cdn.law.stanford.edu/wp-con ... 2019-1.pdf

Yale (56)
Stanford (46)
Harvard (39)
Princeton (24)
Columbia (21)
Berkeley (20)
Penn (19)
Duke (18)
UChicago (17)
UCLA (16)
Cornell (13)
Georgetown (13)
Dartmouth (12)
Oxford (12)
Brown (11)
Cambridge (10)
NYU (9)
Vanderbilt (9)
USC (9)
Notre Dame (8)
UVA (8)
----------
LACs:
Pomona (8)
Middlebury (6)
Williams (5)
Amherst (4)
Swarthmore (4)
Wellesley (4)
Wesleyan (4)

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cavalier1138

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Re: Undergraduate Representation at Yale and Stanford Law Schools

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:57 am

Undergrad institution doesn't matter except on the fringes. A 175/3.9 from the University of Texas will have better outcomes than a 169/3.5 from Yale.

This is, as always, a case of correlation being mistaken for causation. Top undergrad institutions turn out students who are more likely to have high LSAT scores and GPAs (if only due to grade inflation). Top law schools accept students with higher LSAT scores and GPAs. Now, if Yale has to pick between you (generic state school) and Beckwith Chaddington III (Yale), and you're both practically identical in every other way, then yes, Beckwith will probably get the spot. But since that scenario isn't very likely, it's pointless to try and quantify that effect.

nixy

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Re: Undergraduate Representation at Yale and Stanford Law Schools

Post by nixy » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:22 am

And while soft factors are unlikely to make the difference between acceptance and rejection, to the extent they are, that also favors people from elite schools that can provide lots of neat opportunities to their students (and help poor students pay to do them, although it’s often still tougher for poor students to take those opportunities than for rich students).

Of course, all this merely passes the buck on representation down to the college level.

ksm6969

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Re: Undergraduate Representation at Yale and Stanford Law Schools

Post by ksm6969 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:21 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:57 am
Undergrad institution doesn't matter except on the fringes. A 175/3.9 from the University of Texas will have better outcomes than a 169/3.5 from Yale.

This is, as always, a case of correlation being mistaken for causation. Top undergrad institutions turn out students who are more likely to have high LSAT scores and GPAs (if only due to grade inflation). Top law schools accept students with higher LSAT scores and GPAs. Now, if Yale has to pick between you (generic state school) and Beckwith Chaddington III (Yale), and you're both practically identical in every other way, then yes, Beckwith will probably get the spot. But since that scenario isn't very likely, it's pointless to try and quantify that effect.
While I agree this is generally the case, I think the faculty review system in place at Yale (along with its very small size) makes soft factors and especially undergrad more important. Faculty reviewers, many from top UG institutions, are, like anyone else, attracted to people who remind them of themselves . Schools with dedicated admissions officers train their officers to not pay (so much) attention to these things, but yales faculty review makes it much more unpredictable and makes these little things matter much more.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Undergraduate Representation at Yale and Stanford Law Schools

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:48 pm

ksm6969 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:21 am
While I agree this is generally the case, I think the faculty review system in place at Yale (along with its very small size) makes soft factors and especially undergrad more important. Faculty reviewers, many from top UG institutions, are, like anyone else, attracted to people who remind them of themselves . Schools with dedicated admissions officers train their officers to not pay (so much) attention to these things, but yales faculty review makes it much more unpredictable and makes these little things matter much more.
The numbers in the OP pretty much put this idea to paid; I see a bit of east-coast/west-coast and home-school bias (i.e., self-selection by applicants) but no major difference in the undergrads of YLS vs SLS students. In fact they're strikingly similar.

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Robot

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Re: Undergraduate Representation at Yale and Stanford Law Schools

Post by Robot » Sat Oct 16, 2021 10:06 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:48 pm
ksm6969 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:21 am
While I agree this is generally the case, I think the faculty review system in place at Yale (along with its very small size) makes soft factors and especially undergrad more important. Faculty reviewers, many from top UG institutions, are, like anyone else, attracted to people who remind them of themselves . Schools with dedicated admissions officers train their officers to not pay (so much) attention to these things, but yales faculty review makes it much more unpredictable and makes these little things matter much more.
The numbers in the OP pretty much put this idea to paid; I see a bit of east-coast/west-coast and home-school bias (i.e., self-selection by applicants) but no major difference in the undergrads of YLS vs SLS students. In fact they're strikingly similar.
Nah, both schools care about undergrad, especially Yale. If your school has more students from tiny Dartmouth than massive UT Austin, where most of the top students from the second biggest state in the country go, you have a bias issue. Chicago also publishes its numbers and they have far fewer students from the Ivies and more from ”public Ivies” (eg they have as many from Berkeley and UCLA as Stanford does despite being in the Midwest). Also a much smaller proportion of their student body comes from top schools period, with more from small state schools, private schools you've never heard of like Drake and

https://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/2021 ... ssible.pdf

45 UChicago
20 UC Berkeley
18 Northwestern
16 Yale
15 Cornell
15 Duke
15 UCLA
14 Brown
13 Columbia
13 Harvard
12 Georgetown
12 Texas
11 Florida
11 USC
10 BYU
10 Michigan
10 Stanford
10 Wash U
9 Illinois
9 Princeton
8 Alabama
8 Notre Dame
8 Penn
8 Rice
7 Pittsburgh
6 Johns Hopkins
6 Northeastern
6 Vanderbilt
5 Florida State
5 NYU
5 Purdue
5 William & Mary
5 Wisconsin
4 American
4 Amherst
4 Arizona State
4 BU
4 Colorado
4 Dartmouth
4 Emory
4 Howard
4 Indiana
4 Maryland
4 Miami
4 Nebraska
4 North Carolina
4 Oklahoma

nixy

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Re: Undergraduate Representation at Yale and Stanford Law Schools

Post by nixy » Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:41 pm

I think there are a lot of pipeline issues that aren't strictly bias but probably have the same effect.

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cavalier1138

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Re: Undergraduate Representation at Yale and Stanford Law Schools

Post by cavalier1138 » Sun Oct 17, 2021 4:03 pm

Robot wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 10:06 pm
If your school has more students from tiny Dartmouth than massive UT Austin, where most of the top students from the second biggest state in the country go, you have a bias issue.
Except Dartmouth takes the top students from the nation, not just Texas. UT Austin is a great school, but it's not even in the same ballpark in terms of admissions standards.

Could Yale's admission statistics be indicative of bias? Sure. But they could also be indicative of an increasingly narrow pipeline for students who test well and get good grades to continue to test well and get good grades. (Yes, I'm aware that test scores and grades can be affected by systemic problems; take it up with "The System").

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