Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?  (Read 3298 times)

jack24

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1050
    • View Profile
Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« on: March 14, 2008, 03:14:43 PM »
I'm still waiting to be rejected to a few schools that are dragging their feet.  My LSAT was okay and my grades were horribily affected by retakes. (I had a few Fs that I replaced with As)
How important is it for an admissions committee to improve the ranking of their school? 

Consider this hypothetical decision: (neither candidate is me, btw)

(The following has been edited due to many people thinking the original scenario was ridiculous)
(All responses up to 3/17/08 were based on a 3.0 vs 3.7)

Candidate 1: 3.5 GPA 159 LSAT, Public University, Business, no work experience, no awards or extra-curricular, average personal statement.

Candidate 2: 3.3 UGPA 159 LSAt, Public University, Business, 4 Years of full-time relevant professional experience, many awards, leadership experience, fantastic personal statement.

Lets assume the Law School has a 25 Percentile GPA of 3.4, and that 159 is the median. Lets also assume the admissions committe thinks that  #2 would make a better student and lawyer.  Would they still be extremely hesitant to admit a student like that and Likely give candidate 1 the spot to improve their numbers?

Slumdog Lovebutton

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3082
    • View Profile
Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 03:28:41 PM »
yes, most likely.

however, there are a small handful of schools that very good at looking beyond the numbers.  these are few and far between.

does that mean you/hypothetical student 2 shouldn't apply anyway?  no.
* Columbia Law, Class of 2011 *

LSN

jack24

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1050
    • View Profile
Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 03:31:38 PM »
I understand why they want the best students to apply.   I should have just got a 176/ 3.97  and then I'd be asking whether to go to Stanford or Columbia with $$$?!!

devilishlyblue

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 607
    • View Profile
Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 03:36:36 PM »
I have no idea what this third post means.  Soft factors matter, but .7 in GPA is a ton.  That's a very large difference.

Slumdog Lovebutton

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3082
    • View Profile
Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 04:17:05 PM »
I understand why they want the best students to apply.   I should have just got a 176/ 3.97  and then I'd be asking whether to go to Stanford or Columbia with $$$?!!

that's true.  but you didn't.

and the reality of the situation is that most applicants, even with great soft factors, are startingly similar and not nearly as unique or compelling as they think they are.  numbers matter a LOT in this process.  it's awful and dehumanizing, but that's how it is, kid.
* Columbia Law, Class of 2011 *

LSN

indyguy7484

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 683
    • View Profile
Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 04:27:36 PM »
I understand why they want the best students to apply.   I should have just got a 176/ 3.97  and then I'd be asking whether to go to Stanford or Columbia with $$$?!!

that's true.  but you didn't.

and the reality of the situation is that most applicants, even with great soft factors, are startingly similar and not nearly as unique or compelling as they think they are.  numbers matter a LOT in this process.  it's awful and dehumanizing, but that's how it is, kid.

Agreed.  I'd also add that the people with truly impressive soft factors usually have some equally impressive numbers as well.  You don't see many Rhodes Scholars with sub 3.5 GPAs.

jack24

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1050
    • View Profile
Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2008, 04:49:22 PM »
I was accepted into the T2 school I was hoping for, and that's all I really care about.
Grades are important, but I worked at a career-type job for 40 hours a week through all 3 years of college.  Everyone calls that a "soft factor" but I still got a B+ average and finished in 3 years. Do you honestly think I'd be a better lawyer if I'd never worked and lived in the library while I aced a bunch of poli-sci classes?


SteelersandGators

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 222
    • View Profile
Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2008, 05:35:31 PM »
I was accepted into the T2 school I was hoping for, and that's all I really care about.
Grades are important, but I worked at a career-type job for 40 hours a week through all 3 years of college.  Everyone calls that a "soft factor" but I still got a B+ average and finished in 3 years. Do you honestly think I'd be a better lawyer if I'd never worked and lived in the library while I aced a bunch of poli-sci classes?



You seem to be hung up on the difference between business and poli.sci. What makes you think that a business major is any more difficult than a political science major. Even if it is (and it's not at my school), is it worth .7 of a GPA difference?

Look, it sucks that it's so much of a numbers game. I feel you on that. I'm watching people with one friggin' point higher than me on the LSAT but .3 lower GPA's get into schools that I'm getting waitlisted at. One question on that 3-hour test is more important than all of my undergraduate work. But in your case, there is a huge difference between a 3.0 and 3.7 GPA. I think your work experience should count for something....but not that much.
UVA Law Class of 2011

jack24

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1050
    • View Profile
Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2008, 06:29:44 PM »
I don't really care which degree is harder to get As in.  A business degree is better at teaching you how to be successful in business and sales.  It is extremely important to understand how to network, sell your product, and manage your finances if you want to be a lawyer.  You can learn a lot in law school about ethics, arguments, and the constitution, but learning how to be financially savvy isn't usually in the curriculum.
I'm also not saying that I need a 3.7 for the schools I want to go to.  I really just need a 3.4, which is my transcript GPA.  My whole question is based on the assumption that the ad-com likes one candidate better, but chooses another candidate because it's better for their ranking. 
So rather than tell me how a 3.7 is better than a 3.0  (Do you really think I"m that stupid?) why don't you tell me whether or not the desire to improve ranking might cloud an ad-com's judgement.

TeresaPinfold

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 658
    • View Profile
Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2008, 06:35:47 PM »
They'll think the 3.7 will be a better student and they think he'll help their ranking more, so no, it won't cloud their judgment.