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Author Topic: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?  (Read 23330 times)

mivida2k

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Re: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?
« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2005, 01:49:50 PM »
I feel like the whole URM thing is blown out of porportion.  Honestly I think a school would be silly to admit any student with scores well out of their standard range, regardless of their background.  Those students might be totally fine and just test poorly, or they might not be able to keep up with the same rigors of the rest of their class.  The adcomms have to weigh that point with any applicant they accept below their own standards.  That being said, it is important to remember that people with different backgrounds do not have the same scores on average on a standardized test like the LSAT.  Both the SAT and the LSAT have been rightly criticized for not being more inclusive to these types of applicants.  Most people that write the tests are white males, so those are the people that score the best on the test, sometimes because of skill, sometimes because they generally have more access to study aids (like Kaplan, Princeton Review, etc. type courses or books). Considering that the average LSAT scores for some groups are lower, it does not seem unreasonable to have separate standards.  Are there people who are URMs, have lots of money, went to stellar schools and could afford test prep?  Of course there are.  Do these people deserve different standards?  Absolutely.  Would anyone be considering this profession if they didn't have someone who had already come before them to prove it was possible?  Think about how women felt when Sandra Day O'Connor became a Supreme Court Justice.  Think about how Hispanics feel about Gonzales as the head of the Justice Department.  We need role models for our children, people who can prove that you can be different and still succeed.  Until we can create a testing process that truly treats everyone equally, adcomms will have to adapt their standards depending on the applicants.  Besides, admitting students with diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds leads to a richer discussion forum.  Who wants to go to law school where everyone looks the same and agrees?  How would you learn anything?  There would be no dynamic discussion.  URMs are vital to a legal community because they bring new ideas and perspectives sorely lacking in our current system.  Law schools must strive to correct the deficiencies of these qualified people or the legal system will continue to work against URMs.  Sometimes it's not just about needing to look PC, it's about actually trying to affect societal change. 

Ok enough out of me.  I'm sure I will get bumped or humped or flamed or just generally mocked, but I've said my piece and I'm sticking to it.

OK, but that's not what we're talking about here. You can't deny that it's easier for an URM with lower scores to get in than a nonURM with lower scores. That's the way it is. Whether that's right or wrong is another thread (and entire topic).

What I'm wanting to know is how to compensate for having an average background/race (which is not something a person can help). It seems that ECs are the only way to go if you're coming straight out of undergrad, or having some really interesting WE if you're not. I admit I'm a bit hazy on the whole PS as well because I don't really understand what they're looking for. I'm not sure that having a stellar essay will make up for not having a 175/3.9/being poor/being URM.


Not it is not.  The rate is higher for whites with low scores.  Before you speak do your research.
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txgirl

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Re: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?
« Reply #41 on: February 04, 2005, 01:50:29 PM »
Quote
What I'm wanting to know is how to compensate for having an average background/race (which is not something a person can help). It seems that ECs are the only way to go if you're coming straight out of undergrad, or having some really interesting WE if you're not. I admit I'm a bit hazy on the whole PS as well because I don't really understand what they're looking for.

I don't think you have to be an URM or have some sob story in order to convince adcomms that you are unique and can add diversity to the class.  Think about your life experiences.  We've all had our own challenges to overcome, they may not be as dramatic as some people's but that doesn't make it less important.  If an event had an impact on you, write about it.  Write about something that will show adcomms who you are and where you are coming from.  Don't worry about what other people are doing so much.  Sitting here wishing you had some kind of disadvantage is a waste of time.
3.7/154, URM (maybe, maybe not), praying to the admissions god to be kind to me and let me in, damn it!

Oh, and I'm also slowly becoming a LSD addict, thanks.

A.J

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Re: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2005, 01:51:47 PM »



Not it is not. The rate is higher for whites with low scores. Before you speak do your research.

Would you mind presenting your research?  I'd actually like to know if this is in fact a myth.

amarain

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Re: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?
« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2005, 01:55:35 PM »



Not it is not. The rate is higher for whites with low scores. Before you speak do your research.

Would you mind presenting your research?  I'd actually like to know if this is in fact a myth.

Yes, I would like to know this too. I'm going on what I see on LSN, for example. I know that's not a representative sample, but it does show a particular trend. However, if you can show me data that contradicts this, I will reconsider.

Chitown Man

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Re: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2005, 01:56:11 PM »
Just because you're from an avergage, white background doesn't mean you will be bypassed in favor of "URM's with lesser scores". It just means that in that particular case you couldn't match a bilingual, bicultural individual who has tons more cultural capital - and who knows how to write about it - than you'll ever dream of having.

Especially if you, as a white Anglo, are straight out of undergrad.



I'm not supporting or denying what you say in this post.  But it is obvious that you do not know the meaning/definition of cultural capital.  If you do not correct your misuse of this term, it will be impossible to decipher precisely what your point is.     

WoeIsMe

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Re: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2005, 01:57:10 PM »
very likely the source of the problem is not URMs, or the admissions offices, but the legal profession.  Because the profession are prestige whores, mainly recruit from the top schools or top 10% of lower schools, the number of available prestige-driven law jobs is very limited.  Look at the selectivity for reasonable firms, federal clerkships, and professorships... from this perspective, the numbers on the exit side are very small.  Those URMs getting in tier1 25+, tier 2,3 schools probably have no advantage as non-URMs.. they're all equally screwed, so it makes sense to really concetrate on the top 25 schools where the graduates will gain meaningful employment... the total number of all candidates at the 3+ std deviation level are already small and statistically the probability of finding a meaningful numbers of a small subset is even smaller... that's why the numbers of some URM getting in top schools seem so out of whack.

someone did bring up an interesting point about the lsat favoring some groups over others.  I'm not alleging the lsat is racist, however it is good to note the metric used to judge the questions are the average of the entire population which mainly consists of white majority.  maybe they should intoduce something objective like math, so i'll quit bitching on the AA threads.  as a tangential point it seems like a computer-adaptive test would exacerbate this problem even more.

ok, i was suppose to stay off this board until the feb-lsat, so i better end it here.

whiteytighty

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Re: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?
« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2005, 01:57:45 PM »

What exactly is "cultural capital" anyway?



It's just another way of honoring diversity at an institution of higher learning.

You ensure that kind of diversity by hiring:

a queer latina marxist

a disabled marxist

an Israel-denouncing jewish marxist

an african american marxist

a transgendered marxist

a curious-bi mr. sensitive white guy marxist

an asian-p-a marxist

It's actually pretty easy to make certain that a rainbow of heritages are honored at your institution.  As long as the faculty is similarly diverse, the students will fall in line, and you can see the results of that 'education' right here on LSD.


amarain

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Re: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?
« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2005, 01:58:02 PM »
Quote
What I'm wanting to know is how to compensate for having an average background/race (which is not something a person can help). It seems that ECs are the only way to go if you're coming straight out of undergrad, or having some really interesting WE if you're not. I admit I'm a bit hazy on the whole PS as well because I don't really understand what they're looking for.

I don't think you have to be an URM or have some sob story in order to convince adcomms that you are unique and can add diversity to the class.  Think about your life experiences.  We've all had our own challenges to overcome, they may not be as dramatic as some people's but that doesn't make it less important.  If an event had an impact on you, write about it.  Write about something that will show adcomms who you are and where you are coming from.  Don't worry about what other people are doing so much.  Sitting here wishing you had some kind of disadvantage is a waste of time.

I don't think anyone is sitting around wishing they had a disadvantage (wishing they had an advantage may be another story, though, and whether or not being an URM is a disadvantage is an entirely different subject).

Unfortunately, if you're going through a very competitive process, you have to worry about what other people are doing.

The other thing I wonder is, do you have to have overcome a challenge in order to get in, or to do well in law school? Isn't there anything else to write a personal statement about?

vkschicago

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Re: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?
« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2005, 01:58:49 PM »
I don't think you have to be an URM or have some sob story in order to convince adcomms that you are unique and can add diversity to the class.  Think about your life experiences.  We've all had our own challenges to overcome, they may not be as dramatic as some people's but that doesn't make it less important.  If an event had an impact on you, write about it.  Write about something that will show adcomms who you are and where you are coming from.  Don't worry about what other people are doing so much.  Sitting here wishing you had some kind of disadvantage is a waste of time.
Quote

In my personal statement, I wrote about what it was like to be an American living in an Arab/Iraq neighborhood of London during pre-war political pressures (i.e. Fall 2002) and how this changed my previously somewhat sheltured outlook (i.e. average white small town background).  Was this a poor idea perhaps? (maybe wrong thread for this post. sorry guys)

This was to explain my interest in international law

txgirl

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Re: are people accepted with low LSAT scores mostly URMs?
« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2005, 02:05:44 PM »
Quote
I don't think anyone is sitting around wishing they had a disadvantage (wishing they had an advantage may be another story, though, and whether or not being an URM is a disadvantage is an entirely different subject).

I didn't mean a disadvantage in applying, but in life.

Quote
Unfortunately, if you're going through a very competitive process, you have to worry about what other people are doing.


What does worrying about it do for you?  Give you stress.  You can be a competitive applicant, and a happier one, if you focused on showcasing yourself instead of thinking how others are faring.
3.7/154, URM (maybe, maybe not), praying to the admissions god to be kind to me and let me in, damn it!

Oh, and I'm also slowly becoming a LSD addict, thanks.