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Author Topic: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?  (Read 3269 times)

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2008, 03:25:04 PM »
No, we just think that the correlation isn't negative.

Nor do we think that the correlation should be ignored simply in your case.  AdComms are not psychic.  They go with numbers because, MOST times, numbers are accurate.

I might have said this 500,000 times, but I'll say it again: the LSAT and GPA only account for 25% of the variation in 1L grades.

That means that 75% of the variation in grades is unaccounted for.

So I don't know if we can really go as far to say that MOST times the numbers are accurate.  They're a good tool to use, but I often feel that they are used a little too extensively. 

Say instead that they're more likely to be an indicator than a misleading indicator -- that is, that they're very unlikely to HARM your selection if the other 75% is hard to find.

I agree. 

Since we often don't have the 75%, I think that the law school admissions process should be more like the business school admissions process.  You know, more interviews and more essays would be helpful.

Northwestern does a great job of interviewing.  Why can't other schools do the same?

JeNeSaisLaw

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Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2008, 03:36:23 PM »
Michigan has said that it's a deliberate decision not to interview because they're not useful. I can only imagine others agree.
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UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2008, 03:43:59 PM »
Michigan has said that it's a deliberate decision not to interview because they're not useful. I can only imagine others agree.

Did they give a reason why they feel that they are not useful? 

I find that hard to believe. 

devilishlyblue

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Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2008, 03:45:49 PM »
One concern would be that interviews introduce subjectivity and other biases into the system -- you'd get discrimination against short people, people with speech impediments, etc.  I'm most familiar with this in the context of professional sports, but there are a lot of situations in which overreliance on "scouting" rather than metrics actually makes your judgments about prospects worse, not better -- even though the numbers are still pathetically limited.  It wouldn't surprise me if interviews cost that 25% without adding anything to replace it.

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2008, 03:54:49 PM »
One concern would be that interviews introduce subjectivity and other biases into the system -- you'd get discrimination against short people, people with speech impediments, etc.  I'm most familiar with this in the context of professional sports, but there are a lot of situations in which overreliance on "scouting" rather than metrics actually makes your judgments about prospects worse, not better -- even though the numbers are still pathetically limited.  It wouldn't surprise me if interviews cost that 25% without adding anything to replace it.

I understand that there could be subjectivity, but that can be lessened if: a) the interviewers are trained to overcome biases; b) questions are prepared for each candidate that are standard, combined with questions that are specific based on the candidate; c) the school outlines specifically what to look for in an interview, along with what NOT to look for.


devilishlyblue

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Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2008, 03:57:55 PM »
One concern would be that interviews introduce subjectivity and other biases into the system -- you'd get discrimination against short people, people with speech impediments, etc.  I'm most familiar with this in the context of professional sports, but there are a lot of situations in which overreliance on "scouting" rather than metrics actually makes your judgments about prospects worse, not better -- even though the numbers are still pathetically limited.  It wouldn't surprise me if interviews cost that 25% without adding anything to replace it.

I understand that there could be subjectivity, but that can be lessened if: a) the interviewers are trained to overcome biases; b) questions are prepared for each candidate that are standard, combined with questions that are specific based on the candidate; c) the school outlines specifically what to look for in an interview, along with what NOT to look for.



All those would help, but that's basically suggesting that deep seated prejudices can be avoided if only you tell people not to.  Short people, overweight people, people who speak slowly, people with poor fashion sense, people with quiet voices, people with frizzy hair... all these people currently benefit from a metrics-based system.  Interviews would mostly serve to benefit those who look like television lawyers: six feet tall, booming voices, impeccable suits.

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2008, 04:05:55 PM »
One concern would be that interviews introduce subjectivity and other biases into the system -- you'd get discrimination against short people, people with speech impediments, etc.  I'm most familiar with this in the context of professional sports, but there are a lot of situations in which overreliance on "scouting" rather than metrics actually makes your judgments about prospects worse, not better -- even though the numbers are still pathetically limited.  It wouldn't surprise me if interviews cost that 25% without adding anything to replace it.

I understand that there could be subjectivity, but that can be lessened if: a) the interviewers are trained to overcome biases; b) questions are prepared for each candidate that are standard, combined with questions that are specific based on the candidate; c) the school outlines specifically what to look for in an interview, along with what NOT to look for.



All those would help, but that's basically suggesting that deep seated prejudices can be avoided if only you tell people not to.  Short people, overweight people, people who speak slowly, people with poor fashion sense, people with quiet voices, people with frizzy hair... all these people currently benefit from a metrics-based system.  Interviews would mostly serve to benefit those who look like television lawyers: six feet tall, booming voices, impeccable suits.

I never said it was going to completely eliminate prejudices.  It also depends on how deeply you feel prejudices are seated in individuals.

I'm assuming that they would assign interviewers that did not harbor these prejudices for the most part. Maybe I'm naive, but there are people that don't house many prejudices. They can be found, if the law school is willing to look for them. 

It is also not fair in a metric-system to rely on numbers that predict 1L grades so poorly (please note that I concede that this number is high for the social sciences). 

Do you think this is fair? 

devilishlyblue

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Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2008, 04:22:34 PM »
In my judgment, I think it's very naive to suggest that an interview process wouldn't be biased against (to name just one) short people.  You can't just convince people not to be (in an analogy) racist.  Again, at least in pro sports, these biases are very well documented and cause severe market inefficiencies -- much worse than the inefficiencies which (admittedly) exist with standardized metrics.  Certainly the metrics are unfair -- the question is not one of fairness but of improvement.  I'm just not convinced that stocking our ranks with Gregory-Peck-lookalikes is the way to do it.  (Obviously, this is an exaggeration to make a point.)

It would be very interesting to study an MBA student body, for example, in comparison to a JD student body.  Do they have a higher proportion of native English speakers?  A higher average height?  Slimmer hips, bigger shoulders?  Louder voices?  Nicer suits?  I think these are likely inherent biases of any school which places great emphasis on subjective evaluation, both in LORs and in interviews.

Absent any evidence, I am going to assert my personal belief: these biases are so overwhelming that a law school will look back and find that introducing an interview results in the loss, not gain, of information.  Apparently, Michigan's adcom agrees with me, and Northwestern's does not.

jack24

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Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2008, 04:23:11 PM »
"All those would help, but that's basically suggesting that deep seated prejudices can be avoided if only you tell people not to.  Short people, overweight people, people who speak slowly, people with poor fashion sense, people with quiet voices, people with frizzy hair... all these people currently benefit from a metrics-based system.  Interviews would mostly serve to benefit those who look like television lawyers: six feet tall, booming voices, impeccable suits.
I think it's interesting that fairness has anything to"


Are you saying that clients don't choose their lawyers subjectively?  What about the firms they go to? 
Should firms hire associates based on grades alone?  Do you think firms should avoid interviews because they may discriminate against short lawyers?
I just think some law schools (Not all of them) should be choosing candidates based on their chances of being successful in the real world.  One way to measure that is to find out if they've been successful in the real world before. 

devilishlyblue

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Re: Which student would an Admissions Committee pick?
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2008, 04:24:41 PM »
Okay.  Let's saw a law school is placed in a region where many of their alumni's clients will never agree to hire a woman lawyer.  Should this school discriminate against women?