Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Canadian Law Students => Topic started by: bblue359 on June 30, 2010, 08:49:48 PM

Title: undergraduate institution
Post by: bblue359 on June 30, 2010, 08:49:48 PM
If my goal after college is a top 5 US law school, should I choose a Canadian university or an American one? Right now, I have to choose between UofT, UBC, and NYU Stern. Going to a Canadian university will probably inflate my GPA to some degree (especially UBC), and NYU Stern will be the opposite. How much does GPA/undergrad institution matter? Thanks.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: bigs5068 on July 01, 2010, 02:06:35 PM
It matters very very little. Get the best grades you can and nail the LSAT. If you are just going into undergrad take some B.S. classes to get some free one unit classes that are free A's like Frisbee Golf, basketball whatever. Those classes will boost your GPA and help you get scholarship money or admissions to other schools. 

It is complete B.S. that is the way it works and I got very lucky because I played basketball and they gave me a million free A's for doing nothing you can see the complete b.s. below and I got scholarship money for that. My actual UGPA is 3.6, but my academic GPA was 3.08 they did not really care if I got an A in rocket Science or underwater basket weaving to schools it is an A and I got scholarship money. My friend that went to UCSB a decent school and got a degree in Molecular Biology and pulled a 3.0 got no scholarship money. This whole retarded system is perpetuated by U.S. News, but it got me 48,000 so I will take it and you should do the same.


So for classes like this I got scholarship money I don't know how many different ways you can say basketball, but this b.s. certainly boosted my G.P.A. wrongly and got me money and admissions to more schools than I probably even should have.
   THEORY OF BASKETBALL    1.00    A         
    PEMA 5    VARSITY CONDITIONING    1.00    A            
   PEMA 6    MEN VARSITY BASKETBALL    1.00    A            
   PEMA 6    Men's Varsity Basketball    1.00    A         
   CIRCUIT WEIGHT TRAINING    1.00    A         
    PEAC 4    BASKETBALL BIA *V*    1.00    A         

My friend probalby had something like this.
Molecular Biology  B.
Advanced Chemistry A
Ridiculously Hard Science Class C+
Curing Cancer 101 B

Since he actually took hard classes he got no money and had got accepted into less schools. So I fu**ed around putting a ball in a basket and got free A's and he is doing crazy science stuff at a better school then I went to and he got screwed.  It is a completely retarded system, but rack up any free A's you can if you want to go to law school and it will help your admission and scholarship chances.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: Morten Lund on July 01, 2010, 05:16:04 PM
I would have to partially disagree.  GPA-padding can definitely be helpful to a degree, but "top 5" schools all look beyond the GPA.  You still need the GPA, but a GPA built on basket-weaving will not do well when the other applicants have the same GPA and a chem/bio dual major.

But to go to any of those schools you absolutely must do extraordinarily well on the LSAT.  Your LSAT score is far more important than your choice of undergraduate school.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: bigs5068 on July 01, 2010, 06:02:32 PM
You might be right top 5 schools might notice, but I am sure if you threw in a few easy A's it would certainly not hurt your chances at any school. If it was as blatant as my transcripts were they might  notice. They still might not care since everybody wants to satisfy U.S. News who does not care to look in depth into anything. To U.S. News a 4.0 in underwater basket weaving is more valuable to a school's U.S. News Rank then someone who gets a 3.1 in Rocket Science.   

You are also probably right the LSAT is probably more important than your GPA.

To go to the OP's question the institution probably really does not matter that much. 
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: cooleylawstudent on July 01, 2010, 09:05:32 PM
yes, and your lawschool essays are graded on grammer, spelling and math skills...... ::)

I would have to partially disagree.  GPA-padding can definitely be helpful to a degree, but "top 5" schools all look beyond the GPA.  You still need the GPA, but a GPA built on basket-weaving will not do well when the other applicants have the same GPA and a chem/bio dual major.

But to go to any of those schools you absolutely must do extraordinarily well on the LSAT.  Your LSAT score is far more important than your choice of undergraduate school.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: bblue359 on July 03, 2010, 02:52:51 PM
thanks for the input guys. but getting back to my original question - would law school see a material difference between the colleges listed above? Would they have a clear preference for one or the other?
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: bigs5068 on July 03, 2010, 03:51:23 PM
No I think the only possible time a school might be suspicious if they saw a transcript from Devry or University of Phoneix and even then they probably wouldn't care. There are 1,000's of colleges and universities out there and admissions officers have no idea about 90% of the universities out there. If you have a 4.0 from UC Riverside it will be the same as a 4.0 from Wayne State they just don't know or care. Schools want to satisfy U.S. News rankings and they will count a 4.0 GPA in Under Water Basket Weaving from Timbuktu State or Advanced Nuclear Physics from Harvard the same way. U.S. News does not look into any more depth than the pure number and admissions officers won't either.

Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: bblue359 on July 08, 2010, 06:20:38 PM
OK, and just to make sure, law schools won't care whether the applicant is from a Canadian university will they?
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: bigs5068 on July 08, 2010, 09:43:47 PM
I really doubt it, but the best person to ask would the admissions office at the law schools you want to apply to. There job is to literally answer questions like this so shoot him an e-mail or give them a call.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: bblue359 on July 08, 2010, 11:53:29 PM
I really doubt it, but the best person to ask would the admissions office at the law schools you want to apply to. There job is to literally answer questions like this so shoot him an e-mail or give them a call.

thanks for the suggestion. from what I've experienced in my university applications, admissions offices tend to not admit that they have quotas for specific countries even though they do have them anyways. Are law school admissions offices more forthcoming?
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: bigs5068 on July 09, 2010, 03:07:31 PM
Maybe I have no idea, but what they really care about is their statistics and a 4.0 from Anartica University Basket Weaving will make it look like they admitted a 4.0 student. Almost an entire law school admissions decision is based on your index number, which is the pure number of your UGPA x. Your LSAT score.  I think the formula is on LSAC somewhere, but your UGPA NUMBER nothing else matters in determing your index number.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: Morten Lund on July 09, 2010, 07:48:53 PM
Maybe I have no idea, but what they really care about is their statistics and a 4.0 from Anartica University Basket Weaving will make it look like they admitted a 4.0 student. Almost an entire law school admissions decision is based on your index number, which is the pure number of your UGPA x. Your LSAT score.  I think the formula is on LSAC somewhere, but your UGPA NUMBER nothing else matters in determing your index number.

I understand what you are saying, and I mostly agree.  I do think you are underestimating the degree to which any school considers soft factors (not to say that GPA/LSAT isn't the main factor, but your position of "almost entire decision" is too strong for me), but mainly I think you are incorrect specifically as to the top 3-5 schools.

There is applicant ceiling effect.  Virtually everybody with 4.0/180 stats (or close to it) will apply to YLS/HLS, and virtually everybody will go to YLS/HLS if accepted - yet those schools report averages around 3.9/174.  If those schools wanted to simply jack up their average students stats they could - but they don't want to.  If for no other reason than that there is ceiling effect there as well - when you are close to the max, it mathematically requires greater numbers to make a small change, so there is less bang for the buck for admitting a 4.0/180 in terms of moving the average.

There are also other things that play into the USNWR rankings than student stats, and the top schools care deeply about those as well.  Clearly the top schools want to make sure that their stats don't drop - but it makes no sense for them to focus solely on the matrix score either.

And, of course, empirically the top schools simply do not admit the students with the best matrix scores.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: Cicero on July 09, 2010, 09:08:58 PM
Actually, coming from CAD might actually help you at some schools because your international student status would help fulfill their diversity requirements and it might set you apart from other applicants.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: the white rabbit on July 10, 2010, 07:55:29 AM
I'm not saying anything Morten hasn't already said, but schools at the top of the food chain don't care so much about their ranking and more about putting together a good law school class.  Good grades in underwater basketweaving will not impress in that regard.

So I guess it comes down to where in the food chain an applicant is targeting.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: Cicero on July 10, 2010, 10:02:46 AM
The formula for how much weight is given to the LSAT or the GPA depends on the school. Some schools are more open about the formula (and you will be able to find it or plug your stats into LSN and see where you fit in their scale) and others hide it.


(from Bigs) "Almost an entire law school admissions decision is based on your index number, which is the pure number of your UGPA x. Your LSAT score.  I think the formula is on LSAC somewhere, but your UGPA NUMBER nothing else matters in determing your index number. "

Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: bigs5068 on July 10, 2010, 05:57:12 PM
I probably spoke a little to broadly, but odds are the OP is not going to get into a top 3-5 school. Nothing against them, but there is a 90% chance they won't score on the 90% of the LSAT, which is the prerequisite to having a top 3-5 school even consider your application.

If the OP gets a 172 awesome! However, I am not betting on him/her or anyone to bust a 172 out on the LSAT. So the best thing to do when going into undergrad with the ambition of going to law school is to first choose a respectable major that you enjoy, because there is a strong chance that after 4 years you might not even want to go to law school anymore. The differences between when you are 18-22 are DRASTIC. However, if they maintain the goal they should get a decent degree and throw in a few free A's in weighlifting, basket-weaving, etc. That is just playing the game a little bit having a 3.6 instead of a 3.4 because you throw in some Free A's along the way is just smart and it certainly won't hurt you.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: the white rabbit on July 11, 2010, 07:49:44 AM
I probably spoke a little to broadly, but odds are the OP is not going to get into a top 3-5 school. Nothing against them, but there is a 90% chance they won't score on the 90% of the LSAT, which is the prerequisite to having a top 3-5 school even consider your application.

If the OP gets a 172 awesome! However, I am not betting on him/her or anyone to bust a 172 out on the LSAT. So the best thing to do when going into undergrad with the ambition of going to law school is to first choose a respectable major that you enjoy, because there is a strong chance that after 4 years you might not even want to go to law school anymore. The differences between when you are 18-22 are DRASTIC. However, if they maintain the goal they should get a decent degree and throw in a few free A's in weighlifting, basket-weaving, etc. That is just playing the game a little bit having a 3.6 instead of a 3.4 because you throw in some Free A's along the way is just smart and it certainly won't hurt you.

Playing the game a little bit is probably okay.  I have to admit I grabbed an easy A or two in college.  Not that it helped or anything.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: bigs5068 on July 12, 2010, 02:20:56 PM
It might have you never know. A free A just can't hurt you that is all I am trying to say. Since there is almost no effort to get those free A's in basketball, weightlifting, flag football or whatever it may be in undergrad you should throw them in there. Especially considering they are usually fun to do anyways, you might as as well throw them in on your transcript.  If it doesn't help you then no harm done and maybe it will give you the edge in an admissions decision or for scholarship consideration by having a 3.6 instead of a 3.4.
Title: Re: undergraduate institution
Post by: amyis on October 14, 2011, 06:46:14 AM
A Canadian school will "inflate your GPA"? Dead WRONG!

Graduating with High Distinction, the highest conferred upon undergraduates at UofT, is 3.5 and above.
In my graduating class of nearly 700 in my department only 30 graduated with high distinction (i.e. GPA of over 3.5).

Also, reputable US schools have been known to add points to a Canadian GPA because of our standards.
One US educated student I spoke to had his GPA reduced by Western (UWO) by .3 when he applied for his masters there.