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Author Topic: LSAT Score no predictor of success  (Read 7553 times)

terapist

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Re: LSAT Score no predictor of success
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2006, 07:24:27 AM »
according to LSN - my LSAT score is one of the lowest in my entire class....yet I got the highest grade in my Civ Pro class on the final.  Right on !

Yep, I agree that 1) the lsat sucks, and 2) even though I wish it could be, the lsat is not a good predictor of success; I was well over the 75% and did pretty crappy/mediocre sem 1 (let that be a lesson to those who are confident b/c of a high lsat ;)).

What your undergrad GPA was, Chicago?!

jfbruin

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Re: LSAT Score no predictor of success
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2006, 01:59:31 AM »
Here's a stat for you:
2.9 Undergraduate G.P.A./168
3.4 law school G.P.A./Top 15%

LSAT was definitely an indicator for me.  And I think it is a good indicator of success in law school as well.  As many of you have noted above, this is not a steadfast rule, and there are many exceptions.  However, IN GENERAL, the LSAT is a good indicator.

mthorpe

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Re: LSAT Score no predictor of success
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2006, 02:58:38 AM »
I took an advanced Psychology class last semester focusing on Intelligence and the LSAT's predictive power with respect to 1L grades is roughly equivalent to the predictive power of the ACT/SAT for first-year undergraduate grades, with a correlation between the two in the range of 0.35-0.40, which is by no means great.

The reason, at least theoretically, that law schools continue to value the LSAT so highly is that while the predictive power is low, it is the best predictive tool available to them, unfortunate as that is for some of us (including me).
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jjason

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Re: LSAT Score no predictor of success
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2006, 06:38:13 PM »
mthorpe nailed it right on. It has a low predictive power, but it is the best tool available at present. Further, small differences in LSAT scores don't have predictive significance and isn't an accurate indicaor for everyone. It's an unfortunate reality that law schools are influenced by the role this score plays in the rankings and puts pressure on the way adcoms look at apps.

deebr23

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Re: LSAT Score no predictor of success
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2006, 01:07:19 AM »
i would like to propose a provoking question - why do so many law students put so much effort into arguing that lsats, class ranks, and law school ranks do not matter.  Is everyone not at the top law schools, not at the top of the class, not at the top of the lsat, completely insecure.  are we putting too many insecure, and thus, annoyingly competitive people into and through law school? isn't it screwing up the bar communities.  seriously, it's annoying, and it is everywhere, since there are a lot more law students and lawyers at the bottom of those categories than at the top.

why can't law students handle accepting that they might not be the best? 

Budlaw

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Re: LSAT Score no predictor of success
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2006, 04:06:21 PM »
I took an advanced Psychology class last semester focusing on Intelligence and the LSAT's predictive power with respect to 1L grades is roughly equivalent to the predictive power of the ACT/SAT for first-year undergraduate grades, with a correlation between the two in the range of 0.35-0.40, which is by no means great.

The reason, at least theoretically, that law schools continue to value the LSAT so highly is that while the predictive power is low, it is the best predictive tool available to them, unfortunate as that is for some of us (including me).

Just to let you know, a .35 to .40 correlation is pretty much as high as you'll ever see for any type of correlation test. (with regards to pshychology at least) I've also got to tell you that I'm highly skeptical about where you received your information about the LSAT's predictiveness. Did you do some type of meta-analysis? If you did, I would like to see it.

The LSAT isn't really predictive at all when you think that every school takes their own selective range of scores during admissions. Then they still end up ranking their students after first year, and there are people with high LSAT scores that end up near the bottom of the class, and there are people with low LSAT scores that end up near the top of the class. My point is that the predictiveness of the LSAT as an "indicator of first year success" is arbitrary at best.   

If anything the LSAT only goes so far as to determine exactly what school an applicant can get into. I imagine there could be some other type of test made, but as I'm sure everyone that is actually in lawschool has noticed, lawyers (which includes a significant amount of people who have a hand in the admissions process) are a very slow evolving bunch. Further, the LSAC has a relative monopoly on the system, and it will be hard to get them to do anything to change their positions on the LSAT when they are surely making a very large profit on their current system. (where's the incentive for them?)

Bottom line is, the LSAT is just something that an admissions commitee can use to distinguish someone who has similar grades, from similar schools, with similar personal backgrounds from each other.

(well that is unless you're a minority....and please no one take offense..... but facts ARE facts, and we all know that if you're a minority, then the LSAT doesn't really matter as much....lets be honest)

Well that's just my two cents....any other thoughts?


NotReally

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Re: LSAT Score no predictor of success
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2006, 04:14:03 PM »
I can't find it now, but I have seen the study that talked about the .4 correlation between law school grades first year and lsat and the correlation just from GPA was something like .25 combined it ended up being around a .5 correlation.  So like was stated above a .5 correlation in something that involves so many human factors is pretty impressive and about as good as you will find.  This was also corroborated to me by a dean of a t50 law school.  He said that LSAC sends out a report to schools saying how they did in their admissions with their formula of GPA and LSAT and all that and they aim for it to be around a .5...

mthorpe

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Re: LSAT Score no predictor of success
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2006, 04:33:45 PM »
Quote
Just to let you know, a .35 to .40 correlation is pretty much as high as you'll ever see for any type of correlation test. (with regards to pshychology at least) I've also got to tell you that I'm highly skeptical about where you received your information about the LSAT's predictiveness. Did you do some type of meta-analysis? If you did, I would like to see it.

Just to let you know, a .35 to .40 correlation is considered middle-of-the-road and not at all large.  A large correlation would be at least .70 and can be found in psychology all of the time.  For example, in hiring standard interviews and assessment centers routinely correlate with job performance in excess of the .60 or .70 level.  Subject-specific GRE and SAT scores often exhibit correlations in excess of .70 with respect to varying academic criteria in college/graduate school.

These data are based on meta-analyses and if I can find my notebook from last spring I will gladly post the specifics.  As to doubting the source of the information, I received it from my industrial/organization psychology professor at different periods during two of his courses (Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns and Industrial Psychology) that were taken at an institution that consistently ranks in the Top3 in the specialty area.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

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Budlaw

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Re: LSAT Score no predictor of success
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2006, 07:48:13 PM »
A .70 correlation will not be seen that much Psychology. I/O psychology is a different beast however, but it is still rare in I/O. A .35 to .4 may be middle of the road for many other disciplines, but in Psychology It is EXTREMELY rare. I assume you at least are a pshychology major. I'd suggest you look back at your research methods class notes.

I've been looking over the web, and it seems that the LSAT has a .4 correlation. But it doesn't describe over what law schools it was correlated at, and it does not describe exactly what grading scale was used. The problem with this is that we don't know exactly HOW LSAC does the study. Some more interesting facts are pointed out below.

Here's the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_School_Admissions_Test



Quote
Just to let you know, a .35 to .40 correlation is pretty much as high as you'll ever see for any type of correlation test. (with regards to pshychology at least) I've also got to tell you that I'm highly skeptical about where you received your information about the LSAT's predictiveness. Did you do some type of meta-analysis? If you did, I would like to see it.

Just to let you know, a .35 to .40 correlation is considered middle-of-the-road and not at all large.  A large correlation would be at least .70 and can be found in psychology all of the time.  For example, in hiring standard interviews and assessment centers routinely correlate with job performance in excess of the .60 or .70 level.  Subject-specific GRE and SAT scores often exhibit correlations in excess of .70 with respect to varying academic criteria in college/graduate school.

These data are based on meta-analyses and if I can find my notebook from last spring I will gladly post the specifics.  As to doubting the source of the information, I received it from my industrial/organization psychology professor at different periods during two of his courses (Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns and Industrial Psychology) that were taken at an institution that consistently ranks in the Top3 in the specialty area.


mthorpe

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Re: LSAT Score no predictor of success
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2006, 08:36:10 PM »
Thanks for the link, it was quite interesting.  Knowing that takings a prep course or doing prep work would have raised my score by an average of 7 points is a nice thing to know. 

As far as I/O being a completely separate beast you are correct.  I suppose when looking at correlations you really need to specify which area you are talking about, as I agree that a correlation of 0.30-0.40 is high in an area such as Personality Psychology, whereas that same correlation would only be moderate in I/O or some areas of Social Psychology.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=Thorpe429