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"Goodling is only one of 150 graduates of Regent University currently serving in this administration, as Regent's Web site proclaims proudly, a huge number for a 29-year-old school. Regent estimates that "approximately one out of every six Regent alumni is employed in some form of government work." And that's precisely what its founder desired. The school's motto is "Christian Leadership To Change the World," and the world seems to be changing apace. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft teaches at Regent, and graduates have achieved senior positions in the Bush administration. The express goal is not only to tear down the wall between church and state in America (a "lie of the left," according to Robertson) but also to enmesh the two."

Emory+$$ vs. George Washington Part-time.

I want to work in NYC/DC/Philadelphia (in that order of preference) after I graduate, and I prefer the idea of a BIGLAW salary.


General Off-Topic Board / Article about rankings and success...
« on: March 25, 2007, 12:05:00 AM »

A few days ago I blogged about the NY Times article which gave very bad advice to prospective college studentsóthat they should go to a less prestigious college thatís a better ďfit.Ē

But in the comments to my post, people wondered if more prestigious schools really conferred any benefit.

A research paper by Stacy Berg Dale and Alan B. Krueger (1998) (link to pdf file) confirms that people who attended more prestigious schools earn more money. They looked only at students who were accepted to multiple colleges, so they were able to determine what happens if a student is accepted to a better school but attends a lesser school. From page 24:

Based on the straightforward regression results in column 1, men who attend the most competitive colleges [according to Barron's 1982 ratings] earn 23 percent more than men who attend very competitive colleges, other variables in the equation being equal.

23 percent is quite a bit of money, itís almost like getting two college degrees instead of one!

They also discovered that there was a benefit to attending a more expensive school. The more expensive tuition resulted in a lifetime internal rate of return of 20% for men and 25% for women.


Whenever this study has been cited, it has always been for the exact opposite of its actual conclusion. This typical article states that the study ďdropped a bomb on the notion of elite-college attendance as essential to success later in life.Ē

A third finding of the study was that when colleges were rated based on average SAT score, students who attended a school with a lower average SAT score didnít earn any less money. Everyone used this finding to say it doesnít matter what school a student attends. But what it really says is that the average SAT score of a school is unimportant, whatís important is how highly ďrankedĒ it is. I suspect that in many cases, when a student attended a school with a lower average SAT score, they did so because the school with the lower score was actually the more prestigious school.

This demonstrates a persistent bias in which the media only reports what people want to hear instead of reporting the truth. Parents want to know that they didnít harm their kid by sending him to a state school instead of a more prestigious private school. Unfortunately, the reality is that sending your kid to a state school instead of the best private school he can get into does irreparable harm to his future career.


The regression analysis in the Dale & Krueger study had a coefficient for the personís SAT score and a second for the square of the SAT score. Based on these two coefficients, earnings peaks at an SAT score of 1100. People who have an SAT score higher than 1100 earn less money.

I would find it hard to believe if I hadnít discovered the same thing myself. Seeing the same result in a completely different dataset confirms that I didnít do anything wrong.

It seems that the only benefit of high intelligence is that it gets you into a better college and graduate school. After you get your degrees, high intelligence is of no benefit in the labor market.


The Dale & Krueger regression analysis also included a variable indicating if the person was an athlete. Those who were athletes earned more money. This also confirms my own findings from the General Social Survey.


A kid who gets accepted to Harvard because of his athletic ability, even though his SAT score is lower than most other Harvard students', and attends Harvard, will likely earn far more money over the course of his life than an unathletic kid with a perfect SAT score who attends a state school.


The more I study the subject, the more I come to the conclusion of the immense importance of a college degree and a graduate degree on a personís future earnings. Itís almost as if a personís whole life course is set when he walks out of college and begins working at his first job

Law School Admissions / Hypothetical regarding Waitlists
« on: March 22, 2007, 12:37:18 PM »
Ok, here is a hypothetical situation that I thought up while I was at lunch a few hours ago after getting the news that I was waitlisted at W&L...

Lets say you were waitlisted at two (or more schools) and decide to stay on the list at both of them. Lets say you got off the list at one school, and accepted, and a few weeks later another school (Yale?) accepts you from the waitlist...

What do you do? Withdraw from the first WL, Accept after two weeks of being in (and a lot of paperwork and plan-changing), or politely decline the other WL.

Law School Admissions / Am I rejected? (BU)
« on: March 21, 2007, 08:58:59 AM »
Want to help me (over)analyze an email from BU?

Yesterday, I emailed them and asked about the status of my application. I told them that I needed to make decisions soon, and that I'd like to know if I should be considering BU.

What follows is the response:

Hi Brian,

Thank you for applying to BU Law. Your file has been evaluated by the
committee. You should receive a decision shortly. Have a nice day!

Claire Diamond

Sr. Admissions Assistant
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwearth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215


Of course, I sent the same email to W&L, and their reply was to not reply at all. Awesome.

Law School Admissions / Keep the Captain out of the Looney Bin...
« on: March 15, 2007, 11:57:41 AM »
Ok, lets try and come up with some ways to keep from going insane as the deposit deadlines near and we haven't heard from multiple (6 for me) schools just yet.

There are six schools that I haven't heard from, all of them are schools that I would definitely consider attending. I can't pick a school until I have all my decisions in, either (because I have a mental block on it, I guess).

So, what do I do to keep my mind off this stuff?

General Off-Topic Board / Your Computer Didn't Pass the Bar...
« on: March 07, 2007, 05:29:27 PM »

AI Cited for Unlicensed Practice of Law

 A web-based "expert system" that helped users prepare bankruptcy filings for a fee made too many decisions to be considered a clerical tool, an appeals court said last week, ruling that the software was effectively practicing law without a license.

At issue were two websites maintained by entrepreneur Henry Ihejirika -- and -- which offered automated bankruptcy assistance. That sounded good to consumer Jayson Reynoso, who paid $219 for 60 days of access to the "Ziinet Bankruptcy Engine," described on the websites like this:

Ziinet is an expert system and knows the law. Unlike most bankruptcy programs which are little more than customized word processors the Ziinet engine is an expert system. It knows bankruptcy laws right down to those applicable to the state in which you live. Now you no longer need to spend weeks studying bankruptcy laws.

Reynoso entered his personal information, debts, income, assets and other data into a series of dialog boxes, and the program generated a complete set of bankruptcy forms, including an affidavit for Reynoso to sign claiming he'd done all the legal research on his own.  (Yes, like meat-lawyers, the Ziinet Bankruptcy Engine knows how to gild the lily a little.)

When a bankruptcy trustee noticed errors in the forms,  Reynoso blamed his computerized counsel, and Ihejirika joined the party in federal court. A bankruptcy judge ruled that Ihejirika had committed fraudulent, unfair, or deceptive conduct through his computer program, and had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.

Ihejirika was fined, enjoined from offering the same service in the future, and ordered to give up the fees he'd collected from nine customers in Northern California. He appealed, and last week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling.

The software did, indeed, go far beyond providing clerical services. It determined where (particularly, in which schedule) to place information provided by the debtor, selected exemptions for the debtor and supplied relevant legal citations. Providing such personalized guidance has been held to constitute the practice of law.


(The) system touted its offering of legal advice and projected an aura of expertise concerning bankruptcy petitions; and, in that context, it offered personalized -- albeit automated -- counsel. ... We find that because this was the conduct of a non-attorney, it constituted the unauthorized practice of law.

Ihejirika had a human lawyer for his defense.

Law School Admissions / Which Law School has the Meanest Ding Letter?
« on: March 05, 2007, 06:21:58 PM »
Some Dings are nice, they tell you how well qualified you are and how competitive it was to get in, and practically apologize for dinging you. Others are a little less polite about everything.

What school has the meanest ding?

I thought BC's letter was pretty heartless...

Law School Admissions / Did I Screw myself?
« on: March 02, 2007, 04:38:49 PM »
Was it a really bad idea for me to have not re-taken the LSAT in February? Did a lot of people improve their scores and decrease my chances at the 6 schools I'm waiting for?

Law School Admissions / W&M
« on: February 27, 2007, 08:24:33 PM »
I applied in Oct. to William & Mary. So far, I'm not one of the lucky ones to have heard back from them. They promise to mail decisions by April, but what are my chances of hearing from them in March? When did they release the bulk of their decisions last year?

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