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Topics - midjeep

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71
Where should I go next fall? / Please Critique my Application Assessment
« on: December 07, 2004, 09:03:20 PM »
I really need opinions on if I defined the law schools I am applying to properly. I have a 3.76 GPA and a 150/158 LSAT. I've also received two "impressive" comments regarding my resume from to Dean of Admissions and I have a "memorable" PS per my friends and the people I have sent out my PS to on this board. Well here goes the list:

Safety:
Willamette --> LSAT=154

Target:
SMU --> LSAT=154, calling it a target because I was WL last year with a 150
Lewis & Clark --> LSAT=154
Houston --> LSAT=158
Oregon --> LSAT=158

Reaches:
Baylor --> LSAT=154, my undergrad
GMU --> LSAT=154, applied again because I was WL till the very end
GW PT --> LSAT=154 (maybe a 158 if they like my reasons)
GULC PT --> LSAT=158
Minnesota --> LSAT=158
Illinois --> LSAT=158
UT-Austin --> LSAT=154, TX resident and was deferred with a 150 last year

Basically I applied to these reaches based on past experiences and looked at the ones that favored the higher LSAT score. I want to add one more "target school" to my list. Which one do I have a greater chance at with the following LSAT scores:

USD: 158, Richmond: 154, Pepperdine: 154, Indy: 158, or Tulane: 154


72
I don't know if I am just being paranoid, but I am getting really frustrated with Willamette. I applied 3 weeks ago and haven't heard anything from them. I guess the big reason why I am annoyed and worried is that it is the only safety school I applied to. I mean, if my SAFETY doesn't want my application, what does that say about my chances overall? I applied last year and was rejected everywhere. I DO NOT want a repeat. Can I consider Willamette a saftey with a 154/3.76? Anyone in this same boat regarding their freakin safety?  >:(

73
I am not much for gambling but what the hey, I'll play. I am looking at a Tier 1 school to "donate" to and wanted to get an opinion at which I am most likely to get accepted (or rather, have the best chance compared to the other options). I have an LSAT split so some schools I am applying because it takes the higher LSAT and others only take the average. Here is the list:

MY GPA: 3.76
Cornell: LSAT=158 --> Since it takes the higher LSAT
Vandy: LSAT=154 --> Love Nashville and the school
Wake: LSAT=154 --> Another good Southern school
UConn: LSAT=154 --> Lower on the rankings and often overlooked
Emory: LSAT=154 --> See Wake statement above
UMD: LSAT=154 --> Currently reside in DC, may consider the PT program
BYU: LSAT=154 --> Went to a conservative school, maybe get some points for that
Berkeley: LSAT=154 --> Weighs more on the GPA, might be considered an URM as a conservative ;)

Any others I should consider?

74
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / LSD Burn Out?
« on: December 02, 2004, 11:40:31 PM »
It seems like less and less people are posting. Checking out new posts now seems MANAGABLE. Are people leaving, getting fatigued, have all their questions answered? I am guessing it will pick up soon, but the board has taken a nose dive regarding user activity. All the major players only post 10-20 posts a day as opposed to the 50+. On the down side, troll activity has been increasing. I really do think that a person should be registered before they can post, trolling is way to easy when you don't have to re-register a new name. Just my two cents.

75
CLICK LINK BELOW FOR THE UPDATED MULTIPLE LSAT LIST:
http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,15538.0.html

76
Studying for the LSAT / Multiple LSAT Scores Policy for Top 100 Schools
« on: November 26, 2004, 10:40:54 PM »
I know how frustrating it is for people who have multiple LSAT scores so I have published this listing. Since the majority of the people who use this site focus on tier 1 and tier 2 schools, I have only listed those schools and its USNEWS ranking. Most of the info is from a user who sent most of this list to me months ago but I forgot his user so I can't give him/her credit. There are a few schools I couldn't find info on from these main pages. If someone is familar with its LSAT policies please post it here or PM and I will edit this list (please cite the source too, I won't post your name online if you seek anonymity). Also, if you have conflicting info, please send that, when you got the info, and the source. If you want the MS Word version emailed to you, give me your email address and Ill email it to you when I get a chance. I also added some info on some of the schools I have been looking at regarding its in-state residency policies. If you know a policy (regarding residency) for a school listed here, please send me that info too. 

-If it ends with (EMAIL) that means I emailed the school directly and that is its official response.

-All the schools without sources came from the LSD user who emailed me the list. I am assuming that person either received an email or found the info on the schools website/brochure.

-All listings I found info from are listed on the bottom of this list

Click the Link Below for the actual list:
http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,15538.0.html

77
I know how frustrating it is for people who have multiple LSAT scores so I have published this listing. Since the majority of the people who use this site focus on tier 1 and tier 2 schools, I have only listed those schools and its USNEWS ranking. Most of the info is from BGOM who compiled the majority of the list a month or so ago. There are a few schools I couldn't find info on from these main pages. If someone is familar with its LSAT policies please post it here or PM and I will edit this list (please cite the source too, I won't post your name online if you seek anonymity). Also, if you have conflicting info, please send that, when you got the info, and the source. If you want the MS Word version emailed to you, give me your email address and Ill email it to you when I get a chance. I also added some info on some of the schools I have been looking at regarding its in-state residency policies. If you know a policy (regarding residency) for a school listed here, please send me that info too.  

-If it ends with (EMAIL) that means I emailed the school directly and that is its official response.

-All the schools without sources came from LSD user BGOM. I am assuming that person either received an email or found the info on the schools website/brochure.

-All listings I found info from are listed on the bottom of this list

78
Where should I go next fall? / Need Help picking out my Safeties!!!!
« on: November 23, 2004, 12:07:52 AM »
Well if you don't know already, I am reapplying to law school again this year because I didn't get anywhere last year. I really didn't apply to that many "safe" schools and gotta get into a school this year (for the sake of my wallet). I increased my LSAT, I have more work experience, a nicer resume, and a better personal statement. Money is very tight this year so I need to apply smarter this year (but I am still applying to more reaches with a better shot, but hey weirder things have happened). I realize that beggers can't be choosers here, but there are only a few schools below the 1st/2nd tier I would consider going to. Anyways here is my list in order of preference (a lot of it is location based since that is where I think I can stand living for a while and classes offered). I have a 3.76 GPA and a 150, 158 LSAT which would put me at a 154 average, plus a DC internship and law firm job to add (also from Texas).

Numbers are from USNews:

1) University of Oregon (3.16-3.65/156-161): The school takes the highest LSAT score but it also have a "natural" in-state student selection of 40%.

2) University of Richmond (3.07-3.55/158-162): Not sure if what its policy is on multiple LSATs so I am waiting to get emailed back with an answer. Was rejected from them last year but applied after its extended deadline. Another plus is that it has a cheap application fee.

3)Indiana University - Indianapolis (3.13-3.65/152-158): The school takes the higer LSAT score but I am not too sure about in-state preferrence. It also has a cheap application fee.

4)Pepperdine (3.27-3.63/156-161): I have seen a lot of sources saying that it takes the higher LSAT but I am not too certain. Will email the school too.

5)Kent (3.03-3.56/157-161): The school views multiple LSAT scores on a case by case basis

6)University of Miami (3.14-3.45/154-160): Not too sure about its multiple LSAT score policy.

7)Seton Hall (2.91-3.43/156-160): Considers all LSAT scores in its decision and normally places more weight on the higher LSAT score

8)Seattle University (3.07-3.56/151-158): Ad Com normally gives more weight to the higher LSAT but does not disregard previous score. 

Can I consider ANY of these schools as safeties? I want to apply to three safety schools that are actually SAFE. I am above the 75% for all these schools with regards to GPA, but my 158 high LSAT will put me at the median for most schools and that is only if they take the higher LSAT. Also, I have already applied to Lewis & Clark and Houston and about to apply to Tulane....any ideas on these schools regarding my chances? Chiashu is not working anymore and LSN makes me even more confused as half of the people with my stats get rejected and the other half accepted (giving me a 50% chance but there is a major difference for people with my stats applying to 3rd and 4th tier schools).

79
I am writing an additional essay for a school regarding "any special circumstances, background, personal struggle" and wanted to know if a certain phrase might raise some red flags. I realize that the context it is in will make a big difference, but I will generalize for the sake of expediency.

I was born in this country but learned the language of parents before I went to elementary school (so little to no English). The point I am trying to make is that even though I am not an identifable URM, I did struggle with the language and my identity growing up. Here is the phrase:

"Eventually I recognized that even though my skin color was white like the other students in my class, I was very different and would struggle learning the language of the place I called home."

Feedback is greatly appreciated. 

80
Thought this was an interesting newswire from the Wall Street Journal about Affirmative Action.

Critics Assail Study of Race, Law Students

By JOHN HECHINGER
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
November 5, 2004; Page B1

A new study that's raising controversy in law-school circles questions whether admissions preferences for black students help them or, ironically, set them back in their careers.

Research by a respected law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, asserts that blacks who benefit from affirmative action are being admitted to law schools where they find themselves in over their heads, achieving lower grades and failing the bar exam in higher numbers than they would have without the preferences.

The research by Prof. Richard H. Sander, scheduled for publication in this month's Stanford Law Review, turns traditional critiques of affirmative action on their heads. It already is under assault.

Some critics say the study dramatically understates the positive impact of affirmative action on black law students. Based on the same data the study used, Richard Lempert, a professor of law and sociology at the University of Michigan, argues that eliminating affirmative action in law-school admissions would reduce the number of black attorneys by at least a quarter.

"I and other people who looked closely at it absolutely despair at the quality of the research," says Prof. Lempert, an architect of the University of Michigan law school's affirmative-action program, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in a pivotal ruling last year. "His conclusions are just dead wrong."

Usually, social conservatives decry preferences because of perceived unfairness to white applicants. Although critics have talked before of a "stigma" that damages black recipients, the new analysis stands out for its detailed focus on alleged harms to the careers of black students.

"We need to take seriously the idea that there are potential costs to minorities who benefit from racial preferences," Prof. Sander says in an interview.

Prof. Sander, who describes himself as a lifelong Democrat sympathetic to the goals of affirmative action, claims that abolishing preferences wouldn't reduce the number of black lawyers. In fact, he estimates it would likely increase the cohort of black attorneys emerging from the Class of 2004 by 8% and the number of those passing the bar the first time by 22%.

The study comes after the Supreme Court last year in the Michigan case narrowly endorsed the use of race as a factor in undergraduate and law-school admissions. The court ruled that diversity in higher education was necessary to cultivate "a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry."

Drafts of the study, which hasn't been made public, have circulated among experts, and Prof. Sander discussed it at a recent academic conference. Critics, including Prof. Lempert, are drafting a harsh critique to submit to the Stanford Law Review.

Prof. Sander relied primarily on data that the Law School Admission Council collected on 27,000 students who entered 160 U.S. law schools in 1991, including their grades in college, test scores and bar-exam results.

The study found a stark achievement gap between blacks and whites throughout the nation's law schools. Close to half of the black law students ended up in the bottom tenth of their class. African-Americans were more than twice as likely as whites to drop out -- and more than six times as likely to fail state bar exams after multiple tries.

Prof. Sander argues that the reason for this outcome stems from a "mismatch" betweenthe credentials of the black students and the institutions they attend. Because they have weaker credentials, he says, the students achieve lower grades. And since grades are strongly correlated to success on the bar exam, he argues, these students failed the bar in higher numbers.

He argues that students who perform at the bottom of their classes at more selective colleges often are confused by tougher material taught at speeds that challenge higher-achieving classmates. At less selective colleges, the material tends to be simpler, so these students can pull into the middle of their class and pick up the baseline information needed to pass the bar exam. And he says there is a "cascade effect" on every tier of law school, from Harvard and Yale down the ranks, ensuring that, at each level, blacks perform worse and are less likely to become lawyers.

By the study's tally, 86% of blacks currently admitted to law schools would still gain admission without preferences. But they would attend less competitive schools, where they would compile stronger records. The remaining 14% -- 500 to 600 a year -- would likely drop out or fail the bar.

To preserve diversity, Prof. Sander recommends setting modest goals for racial preferences -- about 4% in law school classes -- instead of aiming for twice that figure, which he says is typical. Less selective schools would be able to meet that figure without affirmative action, he argues.

But University of Michigan's Prof. Lempert says the study makes a number of unreasonable assumptions. Without affirmative action, many African-Americans wouldn't attend law school at all, he says. The study assumes that black applicants would merely go to a less selective school, but Prof. Lempert says many would be unable or unwilling to go to such schools because they might be so far away that the students wouldn't even consider them.

He also notes that, although there is a correlation between grades and bar passage, many other reasons explain blacks' poor performance on the test. These, he said, include a documented "stereotype threat," the tendency of minority groups to conform to negative stereotypes about their abilities.

Prof. Sander says he found no data to support Prof. Lempert's critique. James Lindgren, a law professor at Northwestern University, who is reviewing the same data, also found nothing suspect in the study. Now that the Supreme Court has accepted the legality of affirmative action, Prof. Lindgren says, the study might help "the debate move into a more fruitful and nuanced discussion about whom it helps and whom it hurts."

The new study's conclusions contrast sharply with a prominent study of affirmative action chronicled in the 1998 book "Shape of the River," by former Harvard University President Derek Bok and former Princeton University President William Bowen. Their research, based on voluminous data from selective colleges, concluded that racial preferences were enormously beneficial to African-Americans, who went on to earn unusually high numbers of professional and graduate degrees and achieve success in business and other endeavors.

Christopher Edley Jr., dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley, says that, even if Prof. Sander's findings are correct, he would suggest taking measures to improve African-American student performance, rather than scrap affirmative action. Prof. Edley also says the study gave insufficient weight to the academic benefits of diversity, for which there is "universal celebration" on his campus.

At UCLA, Prof. Sander has been at the center of the debate over diversity. In 1997, after a voter initiative banned affirmative action in California, Prof. Sander helped design and implement a preferential formula to help socioeconomically disadvantaged applicants. But the school turned to other methods after that system failed to achieve enough racial diversity to satisfy some faculty.

Write to John Hechinger at john.hechinger@wsj.com

 URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109960753547665313,00.html

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