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Messages - Julee Fern

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Rankings and tiers
« on: June 22, 2005, 09:08:41 PM »
The basic breakdowns above are correct.

Some would also note HYS as the very best schools, With the top 6 or 9 as the next group, and the top 14 or 15 as the generally best schools. 

Some would also make distinctions at the top 20, or 25, or 30/40. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: school rankings mean nothing
« on: June 21, 2005, 05:09:44 PM »
This is not to say T4 students are inferior to all Top 14 school students.  However, it is to say that on the whole T14 schools produce better lawyers than Tier 4 schools, largely because they start with better students. 

A fairly obnoxious statement.  Also a gross generalization.  You can be a terrible student, devote all your time to studying for the LSAT, get a 180 and here comes T14. 

Not everyone at a top 14 is a stellar student.  However, you generally need decent grades (usually at least a 3.0) to get into a T14, even with a 180.  Also, the 180 kid may not necessarily be very academically focused, but he clearly has excellent reading comprehension skills!   ;) 

In general, though I agree with what the other poster said.  Clearly, rankings do matter in certain respects -- it just matters what you're looking for, and how much you're willing to invest for it.  For most people, it's probably not worth worrying about that much.  In the long run, your grades and actual work performance will be most important, and those are things you have far more control over. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: school rankings mean nothing
« on: June 21, 2005, 05:07:25 PM »

When we're talking lower ranked schools, let's be specific that we're basically talking about T3 and T4 regional schools.  People going to those schools, I'm sure, are not thinking they're destined to be offered everything a Harvard grad would be.  The point is that many of them aren't even looking at those opportunities, and they're not sitting at home crying over where USNWR has ranked their school.  Outside of the schools where you're guaranteed a [certain type] of job if you want it, location and alumni become very important.  A Harvard grad who finished at the bottom of their class is not going to just sweep in and take away a job in Detroit from someone who graduated top of their class at Wayne, for example.  Now, perhaps a Michigan graduate would have a better chance than a Wayne grad, which goes back to the fairly obvious idea that the more prestigious your school, the more varied your opportunities will be.  That doesn't mean a T3 or T4 grad will be stuck representing drunk drivers off a TV 1-800 number (not that you said this, but that seems to be the opinion of many others on this thread, and it's darn). 

As for expense, I was referring to the many people on here who have turned down a school offering a very large amount of money for one ranked not all that much higher.  Going to the number 50 school with no money over the number 60 school with half your tuition paid is fairly ridiculous.  It would seem that being able to make $100,000 right out of school with enormous debt burden wouldn't be that much of a benefit over starting at $80,000 with little to no debt.     

Just want to note my agreement with the reigional/alumni network distinction, and the point about minor rankings differences.  I was amazed that someone was worried about choosing Tulane over Alamama because of a few rankings slots, when in my mind Tulane is a much better school (despite being ranked lower) with signficantly better placement in the regions I'd want to work in. 


It would nice if they could have a perfect system, but given that so much of it relies on statistics and human beings it will never happen. I don't think this failure is a sign of disturbing slopiness. Since December 2002 there have been 2 questions removed from scoring, including this question, which would mean they have a 99.8% accuracy rate with questions.

I guess I just figure that given they're making so much money off this test, and given that it's so damn important for admissions, they should more carefully review every question such that this doesn't happen.

I don't think this follows from the question being removed. As far as I know they remove questions for one of three reasons: the stats for the question come out markedly different from the stats generated when they tested the question; the question had no right answer; or the question had more than one correct answer. If the stats were not funky, then there was no "better" answer choice so whatever conclusions us 99th percentile takers draw are pretty meaningless. The 99th percentile test-takers probably screwed up en masse if the stats are funky so once again our conclusions might not be too helpful.

Just my two contrarian cents worth.

Clearly, if they created a "correct" answer, and it survived all the initial beta testing and review, then there probably is one answer that is more logically correct than the other choices.  The main reason they would throw out the question is if an incorrect answer choice suddenly appeared to be arguably acceptable to some degree.  (I'd be surprised if they really threw out a question just because more people than expected got it right or wrong -- after all, their perceptions won't change which is really the best answer.)  However, it seeems unlikely that an ambiguous wrong answer would be quite as appropriate an answer choice as the choice that was specificaly written to properly answer the question. 

Therefore, I'm pretty certain that the best test takers would tend to choose the correct answer, even if there was another arguably correct answer choice, because the best test takers will probably be able to distinguish between a good answer and a so-so answer, even if both are arguably correct.

I guess the best way to determine this (though imperfect) is to poll everyone here who gets above, say, 163 or 165 on this test.  (The 170 pool may be too small, as it is by necessity a small percentage of all takers.)  If they predominantly chose one answer, that's probably the one that was intended to be correct (and is probably at least somewhat stronger than the ambiguous alternative.)

Quite frankly, I am rather surprised that about 30% of the people here are ticked about this question getting tossed. I answered tortoise and feel like I chose the best answer. Yet, I really thought that the question included equally correct/incorrect answers when I took the test, so I am mildly glad that the Q was tossed. My view of this question is kinda like this...

If the question on the test were "What is 2+2?" and the answer choices either included more than one way to say "4" or no ways to say "4", I would be happy to get the question tossed no matter whether or not my answer was going to be tallied as correct or wrong-- since the end result would be based upon more luck than skill.

I would think that most or all quality test takers would be happy to see such a poor question tossed, since a good test taker strives to leave nothing to chance (would you do better flipping a coin or using your skills to get your answer choices?) and should feel (IMHO) no pride in flipping the coin in a way that happens to match the test writer's coin.

Just my $0.02 worth.  ;D

As I've noted elsewhere, even if more than one answer was arguably correct, I'm sure one answer was still better than another.  I bet most people with >99% scores chose the same (originally correct) answer.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: The reality is setting in...
« on: June 21, 2005, 04:43:31 PM »

Sorry, I am a girl, and I do not get "tanning" as a fun pastime.  What exactly about lying in a clammy, claustrophobic, funky-smelling tanning bed is fun?   I'll take a pedicure over that any day.  Save your skin, pale is in!   8)

I used to feel the same way until I tried it.  It's actually pretty nice.  Keep a few things in mind:

1.  We need the UV rays present in sunlight to maintain a healthy sleep cycle, to maintain a healthy (not excessive) appetite, and to get certain nutrients that aren't otherwise readily available.  These rays also tend to improve muscle tone, along with other benefits (increased serotonin levels, mimized seasonal affective disorder, etc.)

2.  A decent tan (increased melanin) is actually the best defense against a burn, which is really the greatest cancer risk.  This is why people in central latitudes (with more sun) actually have lower rates of skin cancer than people in more northern/southern latitudes (that have less sun.)

3.  The rays in most tanning beds are actually healthier and less carcinogenic / burn-inducing then natural sunlight.

Not saying you have to do it, but if done properly, it's not necessarily that bad, and can actually be good for your health in many respects.  There are even recent medical reports noting as much.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LR ??
« on: June 21, 2005, 06:28:45 AM »
I think some of the posters here are overreacting. 

It's good to have a general sense of the various question types, and how to approach them, but that doesn't mean you have to memorize anything, or spend excess time categorizing them during the actual exam.

What really matters is that you simply read the question stem carefully during the exam, are fully aware of what you're looking for, and that you answer the question accordingly.

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