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Messages - Googler

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11
Law School Applications / Re: Call from Harvard
« on: June 22, 2006, 04:57:18 PM »
am i the only one who doesn't think the gpa system is quite so unfair? i would much rather there be a lot of weight on gpa than a lot of weight on the lsat. you work hard for 4 years for your gpa, but the lsat was only a measure of how you did in one 4-hour span of time, and a lot of variables render it an inaccurate measure for some people.

granted, i think the fact that gpa distributions are far from standard is a big hindrance to their fair evaluation. but i definitely don't agree that this would be fixed by expecting humanities majors to have flawless gpas while science majors can get away with low b averages. even the professors in one department can vary greatly, and if one student chooses to take a more demanding class over an easier one in their major, that would make the generalizations about some "bs" majors less accurate. perhaps reporting the average grade for each class, rather than for the entire department, would be better.

i understand that some majors, and schools, are more demanding than others. but that doesn't mean a 4.0 in english is something any old idiot can get at every school, and it doesn't mean more weight needs to be given to the already extremely weighty lsat.

this attitude about "joke" majors pisses me off, because i took my classes seriously and don't think i should have to have a 3.8 in engineering, too, to prove i'm worthy of acceptance at top schools.

I agree - I spent four years working on my GPA, pulling all nighters fairly regularly, and doing problem sets into the night at least a few days most weeks.  I gave up plenty of nights out and weekends to keep my GPA up.  OTOH, I spent 2.5 weeks in the summer studying for the LSAT, and never past 7 p.m. at that.  I can live with the fact that none of that matters, and it was probably those few hours I spent on the LSAT that got me into top schools rather then the thousands of hours I spent on my GPA, but it doesn't mean that I agree with the fact that 180/3.0 > 170.3.9



I believe you just unknowingly reinforced my point :)

I agree, that a high GPA in engineering IN ADDITION to a high LSAT score probably is a good indicator of good work ethic and a high level of intelligence.  However, your 3.93 in engineering (which you obviously had to work hard for) didn't appear to be weighed any higher than a 3.95 in sociology.

Before anyone says I don't know what I'm talking about, bear in mind that I attended a state school for my freshman year and took a course at a local 4 year college over that winter.  A lot of these schools are jokes.  Your post seems to imply that a 3.9+ indicates hard work everywhere.  It simply isn't true.  The classes I took at my first school, ESPECIALLY english, criminal justice, psychology, economics were all easy and didn't require a lot of work.  I didn't have to work hard to get an A in them.  The computer science courses I took, while somewhat more difficult, didn't require more than a few multi-hour projects and studying for the midterm/final. 

Judging all GPA's on the same plane is simply ridiculous. 

I wasn't disagreeing with you on the point that not all GPAs are equal, and that some majors and schools are harder than others (although I think a 3.8+ anywhere is pretty impressive).  I was disagreeing with you on the idea of making the LSAT even more important, and putting less emphasis on GPA.

P.S.  I graduated with a 3.95 NOT a 3.93 ;)  :P

My mistake :)

I would like for them to put more emphasis on GPA if and ONLY if they are going to try to standardize it (like Southside proposed).  If they are going to judge them all equally (as they seem to do), I'd rather them put even more weight on LSAT, as it's the only standardized part of the process. 

That's ridiculous. Environments aren't standardized.

They're a hell of a lot more standard than GPA's ever will be.

12
Law School Applications / Re: LSAT equivalent algebra style
« on: June 22, 2006, 04:16:09 PM »
If I had a 3.5 and a 180 what lsat score would be linked with a 4.0 to equal that in the eyes of admissions officers.

3.5 180 = 4.0 X ???

Generally, the rule of thumb is that 1 LSAT point = 0.08-0.1 GPA points.

Therefore, your 3.5 and 180 would probably be equivalent to a 4.0 and 174-175

13
Law School Applications / Re: Call from Harvard
« on: June 22, 2006, 04:14:31 PM »
am i the only one who doesn't think the gpa system is quite so unfair? i would much rather there be a lot of weight on gpa than a lot of weight on the lsat. you work hard for 4 years for your gpa, but the lsat was only a measure of how you did in one 4-hour span of time, and a lot of variables render it an inaccurate measure for some people.

granted, i think the fact that gpa distributions are far from standard is a big hindrance to their fair evaluation. but i definitely don't agree that this would be fixed by expecting humanities majors to have flawless gpas while science majors can get away with low b averages. even the professors in one department can vary greatly, and if one student chooses to take a more demanding class over an easier one in their major, that would make the generalizations about some "bs" majors less accurate. perhaps reporting the average grade for each class, rather than for the entire department, would be better.

i understand that some majors, and schools, are more demanding than others. but that doesn't mean a 4.0 in english is something any old idiot can get at every school, and it doesn't mean more weight needs to be given to the already extremely weighty lsat.

this attitude about "joke" majors pisses me off, because i took my classes seriously and don't think i should have to have a 3.8 in engineering, too, to prove i'm worthy of acceptance at top schools.

I agree - I spent four years working on my GPA, pulling all nighters fairly regularly, and doing problem sets into the night at least a few days most weeks.  I gave up plenty of nights out and weekends to keep my GPA up.  OTOH, I spent 2.5 weeks in the summer studying for the LSAT, and never past 7 p.m. at that.  I can live with the fact that none of that matters, and it was probably those few hours I spent on the LSAT that got me into top schools rather then the thousands of hours I spent on my GPA, but it doesn't mean that I agree with the fact that 180/3.0 > 170.3.9



I believe you just unknowingly reinforced my point :)

I agree, that a high GPA in engineering IN ADDITION to a high LSAT score probably is a good indicator of good work ethic and a high level of intelligence.  However, your 3.93 in engineering (which you obviously had to work hard for) didn't appear to be weighed any higher than a 3.95 in sociology.

Before anyone says I don't know what I'm talking about, bear in mind that I attended a state school for my freshman year and took a course at a local 4 year college over that winter.  A lot of these schools are jokes.  Your post seems to imply that a 3.9+ indicates hard work everywhere.  It simply isn't true.  The classes I took at my first school, ESPECIALLY english, criminal justice, psychology, economics were all easy and didn't require a lot of work.  I didn't have to work hard to get an A in them.  The computer science courses I took, while somewhat more difficult, didn't require more than a few multi-hour projects and studying for the midterm/final. 

Judging all GPA's on the same plane is simply ridiculous. 

I wasn't disagreeing with you on the point that not all GPAs are equal, and that some majors and schools are harder than others (although I think a 3.8+ anywhere is pretty impressive).  I was disagreeing with you on the idea of making the LSAT even more important, and putting less emphasis on GPA.

P.S.  I graduated with a 3.95 NOT a 3.93 ;)  :P

My mistake :)

I would like for them to put more emphasis on GPA if and ONLY if they are going to try to standardize it (like Southside proposed).  If they are going to judge them all equally (as they seem to do), I'd rather them put even more weight on LSAT, as it's the only standardized part of the process. 

14
Law School Applications / Re: Call from Harvard
« on: June 22, 2006, 03:10:51 PM »
am i the only one who doesn't think the gpa system is quite so unfair? i would much rather there be a lot of weight on gpa than a lot of weight on the lsat. you work hard for 4 years for your gpa, but the lsat was only a measure of how you did in one 4-hour span of time, and a lot of variables render it an inaccurate measure for some people.

granted, i think the fact that gpa distributions are far from standard is a big hindrance to their fair evaluation. but i definitely don't agree that this would be fixed by expecting humanities majors to have flawless gpas while science majors can get away with low b averages. even the professors in one department can vary greatly, and if one student chooses to take a more demanding class over an easier one in their major, that would make the generalizations about some "bs" majors less accurate. perhaps reporting the average grade for each class, rather than for the entire department, would be better.

i understand that some majors, and schools, are more demanding than others. but that doesn't mean a 4.0 in english is something any old idiot can get at every school, and it doesn't mean more weight needs to be given to the already extremely weighty lsat.

this attitude about "joke" majors pisses me off, because i took my classes seriously and don't think i should have to have a 3.8 in engineering, too, to prove i'm worthy of acceptance at top schools.

I agree - I spent four years working on my GPA, pulling all nighters fairly regularly, and doing problem sets into the night at least a few days most weeks.  I gave up plenty of nights out and weekends to keep my GPA up.  OTOH, I spent 2.5 weeks in the summer studying for the LSAT, and never past 7 p.m. at that.  I can live with the fact that none of that matters, and it was probably those few hours I spent on the LSAT that got me into top schools rather then the thousands of hours I spent on my GPA, but it doesn't mean that I agree with the fact that 180/3.0 > 170.3.9



I believe you just unknowingly reinforced my point :)

I agree, that a high GPA in engineering IN ADDITION to a high LSAT score probably is a good indicator of good work ethic and a high level of intelligence.  However, your 3.93 in engineering (which you obviously had to work hard for) didn't appear to be weighed any higher than a 3.95 in sociology.

Before anyone says I don't know what I'm talking about, bear in mind that I attended a state school for my freshman year and took a course at a local 4 year college over that winter.  A lot of these schools are jokes.  Your post seems to imply that a 3.9+ indicates hard work everywhere.  It simply isn't true.  The classes I took at my first school, ESPECIALLY english, criminal justice, psychology, economics were all easy and didn't require a lot of work.  I didn't have to work hard to get an A in them.  The computer science courses I took, while somewhat more difficult, didn't require more than a few multi-hour projects and studying for the midterm/final. 

Judging all GPA's on the same plane is simply ridiculous. 

15
Law School Applications / Re: Biggest LSAT Whores
« on: June 22, 2006, 03:06:57 PM »
Which t-14s are the biggest whores for a top LSAT score? 172+

They're all pretty much LSAT whores, but I'd say Columbia, Harvard, Georgetown, and maybe a fewothers. 

16
Law School Applications / Re: Call from Harvard
« on: June 22, 2006, 12:58:44 PM »
Hmmm, looks like gwenkern didn't get into Chicago or Columbia, either, so there might have been something else wrong with that application.

In general, though, GPA is so arbitrary that I think they are overvaluing it. The difference between a 3.5 and a 3.75 just isn't that much, in my opinion, especially if the 3.5 is an English major at the University of Kentucky and the 3.75 is a math major at Caltech. There needs to be a system by which GPAs are adjusted based on the average GPA of the school and the major. This could easily be done through developing a large database.


Watch out.  I said the exact same thing and got pounced on by someone claiming I was only making that argument because of my own somewhat low GPA.  I don't have any problem with the admissions committees using GPA, but only if they make some sort of effort to standardize it.  They say over and over again that they consider the quality of the UG school, rigorousness of the schedule, difficulty of major and courses taken, etc.  However, to anyone who has done any research into this process, this is complete and utter bull.  Yes, they may "consider" these factors, in that they'd rather have the 3.75 in math from Caltech than a 3.78 in English from a state school in Missouri.  But ultimately, the GPA they report to USNEWS trumps, and they will take the 4.0 in English over a 3.6 in nuclear physics from Caltech EVERY TIME. 


What needs to happen is for there to be an actual national system that calculates average GPAs at different colleges and for different majors. Both schools and employers could subscribe to it, and use it to re-calculate each individual GPA on a 100-point scale relative to the competition. Further, they could use this re-engineered number to report to the ABA, so it wouldn't hurt them in the rankings to be more rigorous and scientific. This wouldn't bethat hard. Will this ever happen? No.

Note: I'm not bitter. My GPA was fine, but that doesn't mean the system is fair.

I agree, that sounds like an interesting system.  I actually heard that the schools used to do this back in the 70's.  GPA would be multiplied by 200 and added to the LSAT score (out of 800 back then).  This would result in a composite score out of 1600.  The multiplier would be adjusted for difficulty of school (some schools would get 230, others would get 170, for example).  Unfortunately, the schools seem to have ceased to use this system once USNEWS started ranking based solely on overall GPA.

I'm not bitter either.  I did well this cycle, and was very happy with my choices. 

But I have friends who got screwed over.  A friend with a 3.0 in a very difficult engineering major at my school (one of the top for this program in the country) and a 171 didn't get into any top schools because of it.  You are right.  You don't have to personally be affected by something to think it is unfair. 

17
Law School Applications / Re: Call from Harvard
« on: June 22, 2006, 12:41:01 PM »
Hmmm, looks like gwenkern didn't get into Chicago or Columbia, either, so there might have been something else wrong with that application.

In general, though, GPA is so arbitrary that I think they are overvaluing it. The difference between a 3.5 and a 3.75 just isn't that much, in my opinion, especially if the 3.5 is an English major at the University of Kentucky and the 3.75 is a math major at Caltech. There needs to be a system by which GPAs are adjusted based on the average GPA of the school and the major. This could easily be done through developing a large database.


Watch out.  I said the exact same thing and got pounced on by someone claiming I was only making that argument because of my own somewhat low GPA.  I don't have any problem with the admissions committees using GPA, but only if they make some sort of effort to standardize it.  They say over and over again that they consider the quality of the UG school, rigorousness of the schedule, difficulty of major and courses taken, etc.  However, to anyone who has done any research into this process, this is complete and utter bull.  Yes, they may "consider" these factors, in that they'd rather have the 3.75 in math from Caltech than a 3.78 in English from a state school in Missouri.  But ultimately, the GPA they report to USNEWS trumps, and they will take the 4.0 in English over a 3.6 in nuclear physics from Caltech EVERY TIME. 

This is something I'm going to address if I'm ever involved in any alumni associations.  Unfortunately, as it is now, the law school admissions process rewards laziness.  I have had rising college freshman ask me for advice on what to do in UG to have the best chance at law school.  Some have said that they are interested in other things, like hard sciences and engineering, and were considering taking them just for their own personal edification.  My advice is always the same.  Unless you can guarantee you'll do as well in those classes as in bull ones, don't do it.  The law schools simply don't care.  Take the easiest BS classes, and limit your schedule to 12 credits/semester if you can.  If you get 3.8's in your easy classes, but B's in the science classes, it WILL hurt your GPA, and no, the law schools will not adjust to account for this.  Ultimately, if you have a high GPA, that's all they will care about, as long as your LSAT is correspondingly high. 

That's one thing I respect about Columbia and Northwester.  They seem to be the most willin to overlook a low GPA in favor of a high LSAT and good work experience. 

18
Law School Applications / Re: practicing law as a non-U.S. citizen
« on: June 22, 2006, 12:20:38 PM »
Hey,
  I know this doesn't exactly fit into "Applying to law school", but maybe someone can help:
  as an international student (from England), it is possible for me to go to law school in America on a J1 (student) Visa. However, for this visa you are supposed to to say that you intend to return to your home country after completing your studies.
  for any non-U.S.citizen hoping to work (in any job) in America, it is very difficult to gain a visa that will let you work. Essentially, your employer is supposed to be able to prove that they are employing you because they cannot find a suitable American to do the job.
   ... my goal is to go to law school in America, and then live in America the rest of my life, working as a lawyer.
   I have yet to research it properly, but it would seem to me that even if I went to a good law school in America, and then passed the bar, it would be very hard to find employment because of the visa issue.
   ... does anyone have any thoughts, or know of any international students who have gone on to practice law in America?
   thanks in advance.

Hmm, I know people who are foreign nationals working at ibanks next year.  Fragomen (large immigration law firm) handles most of this stuff.  Can't you get an H1B directly after school to work? 

19
Law School Applications / Re: Call from Harvard
« on: June 22, 2006, 12:13:01 PM »
And once again my hunch is confirmed.  Nifty. :)

Was that the one about high GPAs (rather than LSAT) for WL acceptances?

That's why USNEWS should start averaging, instead of merely taking the medians.  As it is, a 180 doesn't help over a 176, and a 161 admit doesn't hurt any more than a 169. 

It's ridiculous that people like Gwenkern didn't get in, for instance. 

20
Law School Applications / Re: 3.56 170-176
« on: June 22, 2006, 10:37:56 AM »
You do have a shot at Harvard with a 176, especially if you have a major or if you went to a college that is known for low GPAs, and you have good soft factors. But it's a low shot. Maybe a 2 out of 10.

With a 170, all these schools are reaches. Maybe G*town, maybe Penn.


Not if this cycle is indicative of a new trend in their admissions.

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/search_schools.php?action=search&school_code=0008&lsat1=&lsat2=&fee_waiver=0&status=0&gpa_lsdas1=2.0&gpa_lsdas2=3.6&attending=0&cycle=3&gpa_degree1=&gpa_degree2=&withdrawn=0&program=1&index1=&index2=&state=0&application_type=0&scholarship1=&scholarship2=&sex=0&multiple_lsat=0&urm=0&x=25&y=8&international=0

Out of everyone accepted with below the 3.6, all are URM's, except for two, one of which is clearly a flame (151, 2.0), and the other which is either a flame or the guy has serious connections.

Obviously, LSN may not be perfectly representative of the applicant pool in general, but the fact that there are people with below the 3.6 who got the Toby call and were subsequently rejected says something. 


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