Law School Discussion

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51
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« Last post by loki13 on January 28, 2016, 03:00:04 PM »
Yeah, I essentially agree. I would never dismiss the accomplishment of getting accepted to a T14. These are the superstars among superstars. Anyone can have a bad day and get a 150, but nobody accidently gets 175.

Here's what I'm getting at:

I have no doubt that the "average" Harvard student is anything but average. I understand that they are very, very smart. But, as I get further into my career I see that lawyers who are smart enough + VERY hardworking are typically more productive employees than those who are VERY smart + average work ethic.

I've worked with T14 grads who sucked and non-ABA grads who kicked ass. Some T14 grads I've known were very smart but were not necessarily good employees. They were entitled, bored, felt that some work was beneath them, complained a lot. Of course, I've worked with other T14 grads who were excellent, dedicated, and put most of us to shame. It depends on the individual, I suppose.

So if the issue is who would make a better employee, I tend to think that the one who has shown exceptional motivation and discipline would be my choice, regardless of pedigree. I've never met a top 10 percenter from any school who wasn't insanely motivated.

But ... it depends. That's why your question is, essentially, unanswerable without more information. What position are they applying for? What other information do you have about the candidate? Was the top 5% (I wouldn't necessarily go top 10%) on law review or moot court, and if not, why not? What about the position?

See, that's the difference in expectations and even teaching styles. But here's the salient difference- you're assuming that the average HLS grad isn't a hard worker. That's the opposite type of bias.

What I'm saying, instead, is that to finish at the very top of their class (remember, a lot of the top law schools aren't grading any more in a traditional way - see, inter alia, Yale) in that environment is different. You are determining that someone who is just an average HLS student is necessarily not a hard worker- instead, however, it might be the case that this student is an incredibly hard worker, and incredibly smart, but is competing against other incredibly hard workers who happened to score 178-180 on the LSATs (if you catch my drift).

The level is different. Go back to the football analogy. You need more information when make those types of comparisons. Or, put a different way, is that just because one can rightly say that a top 5% finish in a T4 school is meaningful, doesn't mean that one can turn around and say that an average finish in HLS is necessarily because they have an average work ethic.
52
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« Last post by Maintain FL 350 on January 28, 2016, 02:44:06 PM »
Yeah, I essentially agree. I would never dismiss the accomplishment of getting accepted to a T14. These are the superstars among superstars. Anyone can have a bad day and get a 150, but nobody accidently gets 175.

Here's what I'm getting at:

I have no doubt that the "average" Harvard student is anything but average. I understand that they are very, very smart. But, as I get further into my career I see that lawyers who are smart enough + VERY hardworking are typically more productive employees than those who are VERY smart + average work ethic.

I've worked with T14 grads who sucked and non-ABA grads who kicked ass. Some T14 grads I've known were very smart but were not necessarily good employees. They were entitled, bored, felt that some work was beneath them, complained a lot. Of course, I've worked with other T14 grads who were excellent, dedicated, and put most of us to shame. It depends on the individual, I suppose.

So if the issue is who would make a better employee, I tend to think that the one who has shown exceptional motivation and discipline would be my choice, regardless of pedigree. I've never met a top 10 percenter from any school who wasn't insanely motivated.
53
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« Last post by loki13 on January 28, 2016, 11:38:08 AM »
On the other hand, it is so difficult to get in, and the overall level (of instruction and peer level) is so high, that there are students that are average at a T14 that would have finished at the top of a T4 school.

To me that's the real issue. Is the overall quality of T14 students so high that an average-ranked T14 grad is essentially equivalent (or even superior) to a T4 valedictorian?

For example, I didn't attend Harvard so I have no idea what is required to earn a C in torts at HLS. But, is getting an A in torts at the University of New Mexico going to require a degree of intellectual firepower, discipline, and writing ability that would only get you a C at HLS? I understand that the pool of peers to which the Harvard student is being compared is of a very, very high caliber. But again, is it really that difficult to get Cs at HLS?

I really don't know, but I sort of doubt it. I have a suspicion that the student who consistently gets As at New Mexico is probably a harder worker and has more self discipline.

I think that to answer this question, you have to first think of the overall barriers to entry and how that affects the overall makeup of the student body. The 25th percentile LSAT/GPA for Harvard is 170/3.75. The 75th percentile for Florida Coastal (Tier 4) is 152/3.42.

So, the worst students at HLS score 18 points higher on the LSAT and .33 higher in their GPA than the best of Florida Coastal. Something to think about. Why? Because that means the pool of students you are competing with, studying with, learning with, and achieving with is very different. You also have to factor in transfers- some of the very best students at T3/T4 schools transfer to higher-ranked schools.

This is not to disparage the truly gifted. But here's the thing. You won't find many (if any) Harvard-types at a Florida Coastal, because if they were that capable, they would be capable of getting a free ride at a T1-T2 school. This isn't to disparage the students who do well; in practice, there are dud HLS grads, and there are amazing grads from T4 schools. But it's a huge difference, because the pool is so different.

TLDR; what you have to remember is that any single HLS grad could easily have gotten into the T4 school and likely would have excelled. Credit should be given to the T4 top 5% for actually doing it, but you shouldn't unnecessarily demean a student for just being at the half-way mark in an exceptional class. It's like comparing a football player who's just "eh" at Alabama vs. a standout D2 player.
54
Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« Last post by loki13 on January 28, 2016, 11:25:58 AM »




As was explained to you, the initial leaked reports that Clinton was being investigated were incorrect. That the FBI is conducting an investigation into the overall matter is correct, but she is not the target of an investigation; that was a retracted story. I realize that you don't have the time or energy to get these basic facts correct, even when it was explained to you over five weeks ago, but it is what it is.

And, as I explained to you before, I am not a fan of Clinton. You may find that you will be less disappointed with reality when you base your opinions on what is occurring, as opposed to what you want to believe.
 popcorn.

Believe what you want to believe as well, but admit that maybe you drank the koolaid. Admitting you are not a Clinton fan is the first step.

We probably wont be hearing from this poster again since it is now obvious that Hillary, herself is the "subject" of the FBI criminal investigation.

This poster was wrong and misguided.

I don't keep posting here because it just keeps the troll (you) alive. You have nothing to say about any legal issue, and your knowledge of the law, or politics, or of anything barely rises to the level of the average youtube commenter.

But to accept your challenge, again, my original post was correct. The story you kept citing was retracted. Moreover, the original contention was correct. Clinton is not the subject of any investigation. The investigation is into the overall matter. There was a Fox News report, citing "sources," but nothing else, and you've misconstrued that as well.

As for hearing from me, I continue to be active commenting on legal topics. You, on the other hand, continue to occasionally troll here with bad information. So I'm not going to bother posting again, other than noting that you refused my bet because you don't actually believe the BS you are peddling.

So go peddle it somewhere else, where people are gullible and you might come off as knowledgeable. Well, I don't if there is any place that the second criterion would be met, but you get the idea. Wait ... you probably don't.
55
Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« Last post by cinnamon synonym on January 27, 2016, 03:29:36 PM »




As was explained to you, the initial leaked reports that Clinton was being investigated were incorrect. That the FBI is conducting an investigation into the overall matter is correct, but she is not the target of an investigation; that was a retracted story. I realize that you don't have the time or energy to get these basic facts correct, even when it was explained to you over five weeks ago, but it is what it is.

And, as I explained to you before, I am not a fan of Clinton. You may find that you will be less disappointed with reality when you base your opinions on what is occurring, as opposed to what you want to believe.
 popcorn.

Believe what you want to believe as well, but admit that maybe you drank the koolaid. Admitting you are not a Clinton fan is the first step.

We probably wont be hearing from this poster again since it is now obvious that Hillary, herself is the "subject" of the FBI criminal investigation.

This poster was wrong and misguided.
56
Studying for the LSAT / Testmasters Instructor Amelia Brasher
« Last post by j.c555 on January 27, 2016, 02:42:48 PM »
Has anyone taken a Testmasters class with Amelia Brasher? If yes, how did it go? I'm enrolled in a class that had its instructor changed from Gordon Stewart to her, and am wondering how she is.. thanks!
57
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« Last post by Maintain FL 350 on January 27, 2016, 01:48:54 PM »
On the other hand, it is so difficult to get in, and the overall level (of instruction and peer level) is so high, that there are students that are average at a T14 that would have finished at the top of a T4 school.

To me that's the real issue. Is the overall quality of T14 students so high that an average-ranked T14 grad is essentially equivalent (or even superior) to a T4 valedictorian?

For example, I didn't attend Harvard so I have no idea what is required to earn a C in torts at HLS. But, is getting an A in torts at the University of New Mexico going to require a degree of intellectual firepower, discipline, and writing ability that would only get you a C at HLS? I understand that the pool of peers to which the Harvard student is being compared is of a very, very high caliber. But again, is it really that difficult to get Cs at HLS?

I really don't know, but I sort of doubt it. I have a suspicion that the student who consistently gets As at New Mexico is probably a harder worker and has more self discipline.
58
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« Last post by Maintain FL 350 on January 27, 2016, 01:34:29 PM »
Yes, I would agree that the Valedictorian vs. T14 scenario is not common. I mean, there are only so many valedictorians in the world, right?

But depending on where you work, similar matchups are not that uncommon. In large markets like LA it's not unusual for Biglaw and federal offices to get average ranked T14 applicants who are simply trying to trade on the name versus top 10% from say, Loyola or Pepperdine. 
59
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« Last post by MacGuffin on January 27, 2016, 12:07:41 PM »
Interesting theoretical debate, and I'm sure some employers might have it once per lifetime too
BUT it is normally not that and sadly most lower ranked schools try to trick 99% of their class into thinking "but I could be that 1%" no........no you can't. Math doesn't work that way. And THAT guy WILL be the ringer that is there on scholarship who could've gone to Ivy had he chose. If you are paying sticker, it is IMPOSSIBLE to be you. (end of rant)
60
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« Last post by loki13 on January 27, 2016, 10:25:08 AM »
Had lunch with a group of attorneys today, and this hypothetical came up (as it has before).

Lets say you were in charge of hiring a new associate. Who would you be more inclined to interview: a T14 grad ranked in the middle of the pack, or a T3-T4 valedictorian?

Our group was pretty academically diverse. We had T14 grads, T4 grads, and everything in between. Interestingly, the T4 grads seemed more likely to hire the T14 grad and the T14 guys were like "No way, take the higher ranked grad!".

One guy (a T14 grad) summed it up like this (I'm paraphrasing): the average T14 student and the T4 valedictorian are probably more or less intellectually equivalent. The difference is that the valedictorian works harder, and will probably be a more productive employee.   

I realize that there are many variables, but I think I agree with his assessment. It's far more competitive to get into a top school, but once you're there is it really that much more difficult to get average passing grades?

Oooh..... that's actually a hard one. Without knowing more, I'd be inclined to go with a T3-T4 valedictorian. But (speaking in aggregate) I don't think you're giving a fair shake to the "average" T14 grad. Let me explain-

This decision is more premised on the fact that anyone who graduates as the valedictorian of a T3-T4 school is likely to be very, very special. They had to work hard, be smart, and be amazingly consistent. Without knowing anything else, I would be inclined to hire the top student from one of those schools, simply because of that achievement.

....but, I think we often both overestimate and underestimate T14 grads. There is a sometimes-unfortunate deification ("I went to Harvard") going on. The name, alone, is nothing. I've met T14 grads that couldn't litigate their way out of a paper bag. On the other hand, it is so difficult to get in, and the overall level (of instruction and peer level) is so high, that there are students that are average at a T14 that would have finished at the top of a T4 school. So it's not that clear cut.

What I think the salient fact is, unfortunately, is this- no matter where you finish, you're going to get a look from a T14 school. OTOH, you have to finish in the top 5% to get that same look from a T3-T4 school.
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