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Messages - LawDog3

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Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Is it my imagination?
« on: April 25, 2009, 11:05:22 PM »
There are not too many people of any particular race at that age.

That's true. And it's a shame, b/c some of them might be very well equipped, so long as their brains have remained sharp. I was just looking through some brochures and websites and I noticed that I never see older Black and Hispanic men and women at the top schools.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: any suprise acceptances?
« on: April 25, 2009, 11:00:58 PM »
I was accepted into Northeastern University school of Law with 3.7 and 146 (highest LSAT score)

Also not a shock. 

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: T3 & T4 Rankings?
« on: April 25, 2009, 10:28:49 PM »
Albany, Chapman, Howard, NYLS, Syracuse, Vermont, Pacific, William Mitchell, Southwestern, Wayne State...just remember those names...

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: AA and the LSAT
« on: April 25, 2009, 10:07:27 PM »
The test would measure such intangibles as team play, empathy, long-term time-management, task management, managerial skills, overall...and a host of things the LSAT cannot touch.

Not sure how helpful this would be because there are so many niche areas of law that one could enter which may or may not require, for instance, team play or empathy.  Should the admission of a PI attorney, a community organizer, and a biglaw litigator be based on the same assessment of personality traits?

Top law school URM's tend to do well in school and in their careers. That weakens the idea that adcoms have no business admitting URM's (or any students, for that matter) who have lower "objective predictors".   

This seems to be more of a pro-AA argument than an anti-LSAT argument.  I don't see how your info, assuming it is correct, necessarily discredits the LSAT as a predictor (or at least as the best one available) if adcoms can simply adjust for demographic factors and admit URMs who "tend to do well in school and in their careers."

You know? That's an excellent that also bolsters my argument about the current LSAT. I mean, should one student's slower reading speed be penalized (and "standardizing" all LSAT sections to 35 minutes does penalize slower readers), in accordance with an assumption that he'she will be unable to finish reading assignments, esp. when students must judiciously decide what to read nightly anyways? And what if he/she wants to do contract law as opposed to being a litigator? A contracts client may want an attorney who is meticulous, and in many cases, a slower reader, b/c he/she may be more accurate. A litigator must read, think and react more quickly, so it would be understandable that a different skill-set may be needed. But the LSAT purports to standardize a measurement that doesn't translate into anything relevant for careers.

Moreover, what if a student is a 145 test taker at 35 min per section, but a 168 at 40 min per section, while the typical 168 scorer at 35 min per section is a 170 scorer at 40 min per section? What can you extrapolate from that? Who decided that the random/arbitrary 35 min was the threshold needed to separate students along the scale? And can students be as aptly dispersed along the scale at 40 min per section?  

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: AA and the LSAT
« on: April 25, 2009, 09:39:11 PM »
The two together are "the best available predictor" of first-year law performance, and even that isn't accurate.

What currently available predictor should LSAT/GPA be replaced with? 

Also, why exactly does AA turn the LSAT/GPA concept on its ear?  I would assume (though I'm not certain) that among AA admits, the students who benefit from it are still among the highest LSAT/GPAs of their particular demographic, so its not like LSAT/GPA is irrelevant for URMs.  The fact that these students do comparable to non-URMs once in school or in the job market (I'm assuming they do) makes better evidence that the test is racially skewed than that it's ineffective.

Actually, they don't do as well - at least in school. There is a relatively recent study from the University of Michigan that examines this very issue. It focused on AA students at Michigan Law. It found that that white students do get better law school grades, yet there is no measurable difference between the performance/success of AA students and white students post-graduation.

I don't want to, and frankly cannot, argue about what this study really means. I also don't bring it up to nitpick. I just think it's pretty interesting. Malcolm Gladwell has a compelling interpretation in his book, Outliers.

Let's use some LR here. First, a study aimed at LSAT and first-year law performance would be unrepresentative, if done at a small number of schools, or, worse, a single school.

Secondly, the correlation you cite may be the result of self-fulfilling prophecy.

African American and Latino students, for example, are automatically stigmatized upon entry to top law and medical programs. White, Asian and Arab peers view them with suspicion or dismiss them outright as unworthy, which results in marginalization and exclusion from study groups, access to some resources and an overall feeling of separation. This is deleterious for relations between African-American and Latino students with High GPA's and test scores and white students, as well as the lower numbered ethnic students and the rest of the student body. Imagine having to sit in class as your peers looked at you wondering HOW you managed to gain admission.

"Are you one of those 'AA admits' who, in my opinion, 'really shouldn't be here'?" Or are you one of those rare Blacks who "get's it": really does have super high grades and did very well on the LSAT, speaks like we do, walks, acts, dresses, and behaves like I want Blacks to? I don't mind you getting in if you're like that. But my friend applied. He/she didn't get in, and YOU got his/her seat. You probably weren't as qualified; I don't like that. After I graduate, I'm going to work in admissions, so I can prevent this from happening."

Imagine one of your profs wondering the same things, or worse, having voted against your admission, only to see you sitting in their class, or that of a close colleague the following Autumn. Now imagine that you attend school knowing people are silently questioning your qualifications and those of others like you, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it, short of getting straight A's - which only 5% of the class will do, regardless of background.   

But you raise an important point here. A law school's mission is to turn out good lawyers, not good first year law students. Why use an exam that does NOT serve that purpose? That's what the Berkeley study is trying to fix.

There are also studies showing Blacks leaving BigLaw at a higher clip than do White associates. This, too, is likely the result of self-sulfilling prophecy, where White partners and senior associates, tend to feel more comfortable with those who look like them (read: White males), thus, supply them with access to more resources and materials, groom and coach them meticulously, give them meaty assignments, spend more time with them, teach them the tricks of the trade, grade them less harshly on performance, and nominate them for increases in responsibility, and awards. The fact that those Black associates who leave BigLaw within just a few years tend to do so voluntarily - contrary to the popular belief that the attrition is the fruit of affirmative action collapsing - is very telling.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Seattle University or McGeorge?
« on: April 25, 2009, 09:09:26 PM »
Today, I looked at the US News '10 rankings--McGeorge moved to Tier 3. Does anyone have any suggestions/comments regarding this? I am confused on whether to choose Seattle or McGeorge...and desperately need some insight!

Pay no attention to that. McGeorge is a good school and certainly on par w/SU. It moves in and out of TTT every other year.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Time for "T18"?
« on: April 25, 2009, 01:55:38 AM »
^Eventually employers will take more notice that schools like UCLA and Vandy have stronger classes than Cornell. I know it's already affecting how deep they look into Vandy's class (i.e. deeper).

[resists urge to make lame joke about going deeper, otherwise concurs with the statement and wishes to add that we still need to impress those employers with our work product before they're really going to think we're worth their salt.]

Here's the chain of events as I see it:  If you accept that improvements in reputation lead to improvements in the rankings, and that improved relationships with firms who find our graduates excellent will lead to improvements in reputation, and that well-targeted pitches to get firms to look at us as on par with Cornell students will lead to more firms testing out our graduates, and that shamelessly plugging the strength of our students will lead to well-targeted pitches without making us come off as sounding entitled... then, eventually, this whole T14 business will shift outwards and save us all a headache.

But that's a lot of ifs, and the process has been going on before any of us were in law school.  I've been thinking about this lately, and I actually want to read through Dean Welch's book on the history of Vanderbilt over the summer (light reading FTW!) and get a better sense of what this place was like, say, a decade ago.  We're now seeing more grads take the NY bar than the TN bar, more west-coast firms hiring Vandy grads, better ties to gov't agencies in DC, a few more NY boutiques willing to look at you 1Ls next year (talk to Dean Workman, JeNe... or I'll talk to you about it after finals), and other improvements that, in the aggregate, will continue boosting our job placement.  But to be honest, I have very little idea of how grads used to do by other metrics... knowing more about that makes it easier to state definitively that the school has been on the up.  I do know that when alumni come back they seem consistently impressed with how things are progressing, and showing your own excitement about these improvements in OCI interviews can make a difference.

Still... it won't be time for a T17 or 18 or whatever until we can really show job placement that's on par with schools that have historically held up the T14.  Therefore, the trolling shall continue!

Tell us what you really

On the real, Vandy is absolutely one of the best.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Illinois vs Georgia - help!
« on: April 24, 2009, 11:34:20 PM »
Waitlisted at Northwestern, UVa and Vandy. I regret not applying at Cornell and sorry, just have never liked Duke. I also regret not applying at USC and especially not starting my cycle earlier. I took the LSAT in December and mailed off my apps in early January. Do people ever get off the waitlists?

On second thought, forget about UVA and Northwestern pulling anyone off their ain't hapnin' this year. Northwestern really couldn't pull anyone last year. Vandy is your best hope.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Time for "T18"?
« on: April 24, 2009, 10:55:05 PM »
How about time to start ignoring the rankings? I think this year's rankings show how arbitrary they are. I understand students want to go to the best school they get into but for the schools that dropped, I don't think this hurts their reputation in the legal community, or I hope not.

I attend GW. I really hope they don't change the part-time program to increase their rankings. While I am a FT student, I have had to take one or two night classes and the vast majority of the PT student's are people with great life (work or otherwise) experience and I think they enrich our school. If keeping the PT division means staying at 28, I am all for it. I think a more holistic approach to applications for PT is appropriate, especially when we are talking about LSAT scores that are marginally, a couple of points, below the standard of FT.

That's exactly what I mean. But the rankers won't do it. And the only way we can do it is if some really brave but top-notch students (numbers wise) go to lower ranked schools. But how can the lower ranked schools entice them to do that? They need to add some cool new programs in a hurry, which they won't b/c law schools are all about profit, and they need to start giving away cars or something. lol. When a bunch of so and so's with 4.0/170 start enrolling at schools they actually like, with no predictable rhyme or reason, the recruiters will start doing their homework and go to those schools. Ironically, THAT would affect law education the way Morse says rankings are supposed to: schools will improve through student contributions b/c more students will be where they belong and want to be. That will lead students to become more involved in their law school communities and maybe even gravitate towards academia at those schools.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Time for "T18"?
« on: April 24, 2009, 10:47:43 PM »
After the top 14, there are three law schools that are very well respected and have been number 15 many times in the past and they are Vandy, UT, and UCLA.  I believe USC flutuate and is in the same market as UCLA and usually considered lower than UCLA.  

So u would be cool with a mythical "T17"? I can handle that. Note that Penn and NU have never been top-5 and Cornell never a top-10...


Check out 1999 and 2000.

This is why they are a TTT in decline...

I disapprove of that last line, and Bev and Shel probably do as well. Cornell was once B-A-R-E-L-E-Y a top-10 school on at least one formal ranking. But you get my point. The only people who feel good about T14 schools (and not all of them/us even care), are people going to T14 schools. We need to gradually do away with this "T" anything. It will keep the rankings more honest, thus, my suggestion that we expand it to 17 or 18. Eventually, we have to see GULC or Duke at #21 or something.

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