Law School Discussion

lsat score and grades in law school

Re: lsat score and grades in law school
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2007, 11:34:49 AM »
Read the Sanders study, the most definitive study of factors that correlate to law school success.

http://www.law.ucla.edu/sander/Systemic/final/SanderFINAL.pdf

In summary,

-LSAT/GPA is strongly correlated to 1st year grades
-1st year grades are highly correlated to attrition
-GPA at graduation is highly correlated to ability to pass the bar.

Bob D

Re: lsat score and grades in law school
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2007, 02:25:03 PM »
Even more interesting, later on in the paper, the biggest factor determining income after graduating is the prestige of the law school.

Re: lsat score and grades in law school
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2007, 03:02:43 PM »
Yes, but these types of studies are all based on averages. There may be a correlation between LSAT score and law school grades, but I glanced at the article referenced and the R squared for the model was around 20%.  That means that only 20% of the relationship is explained by LSAT, Undergrad grades and other factors the author used. So, about 80% of the variance in grades is not explained by LSAT score or undergrad grades. 

As to salaries after graduation, on the average prestige of law school influences salaries because large firms tend to recruit at the best law schools. However, there are some students at my school who have been able to get summer positions at firms with the 160k starting salaries. I am guessing that these are students that reached out on their own and built relationships with professors who referred them to these law firms.These students while exceptional at my school would have been average at a top school and would have had a harder time getting jobs at these same firms through OCI. Also, they would have much higher debt.   

Ronald Hyatt

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Re: lsat score and grades in law school
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2007, 03:07:45 PM »
[T]here are some students at my school who have been able to get summer positions at firms with the 160k starting salaries. I am guessing that these are students that reached out on their own and built relationships with professors who referred them to these law firms. These students while exceptional at my school would have been average at a top school and would have had a harder time getting jobs at these same firms through OCI. Also, they would have much higher debt.   

For the record, most students (including the average ones) at T14 schools have no trouble getting jobs in biglaw through OCI.

Re: lsat score and grades in law school
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2007, 03:11:06 PM »
Yes, but from what I understand there are ranges of salaries and ranges of firms in BIGLAW and 160k is the highest right now.

Ronald Hyatt

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Re: lsat score and grades in law school
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2007, 03:27:14 PM »
This is off of the main topic, so I am going to leave it alone. I just thought your statement was misleading that the average T14 student somehow has it "harder" getting the highest paying jobs through OCI.

I am not going to dispute your original point that LSAT does not correlate to grades. I am a walking, talking example of it. There are exceptions to every averaged correlation. In fact, for every person like me who overperforms what their entrance stats would predict, there must be someone who is underperforming what their stats would predict. The exceptions go both ways. So getting back to the OP, don't let a low LSAT dash your dreams of becoming a law school because if you never try, you are guaranteed to fail.

As kind of a side-topic. My guess on why I didn't do so well on the LSAT is because I read slowly. When you get to law school, the speed at which you read doesn't count for nearly as much as the amount you comprehend and retain. So while it might take me 25% longer to complete the assigned readings than most other students. I apparently absorb the material better than most. And while it may have taken me an extra 15 minutes to read the exam question, I immediately knew how to answer it better than most. So, I think that my slow reading hurt me on the LSAT, but it is something that can be overcome when you are actually in school.

Re: lsat score and grades in law school
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2007, 09:37:00 PM »
You're right, however, he digs deeper when you take the correlation to try to predict success of a larger sample size versus at the individual level

"In such cases, the modest strength of the individual correlation belies what is, when applied to large numbers, a powerful and highly predictive association. The fate of individual cigarette smokers is hard to predict, but the comparative fates of large numbers of smokers and nonsmokers can be foreseen with great accuracy. In the same sense, the individual-level correlation of an academic index with first-year grades at a law school may be only .41; but if we make predictions about groups of twenty students based on academic indices, the correlation between predictions and actual performance jumps to .88. If we make predictions about groups of one hundred students, the correlation is .96."

Yes, but these types of studies are all based on averages. There may be a correlation between LSAT score and law school grades, but I glanced at the article referenced and the R squared for the model was around 20%.  That means that only 20% of the relationship is explained by LSAT, Undergrad grades and other factors the author used. So, about 80% of the variance in grades is not explained by LSAT score or undergrad grades. 

As to salaries after graduation, on the average prestige of law school influences salaries because large firms tend to recruit at the best law schools. However, there are some students at my school who have been able to get summer positions at firms with the 160k starting salaries. I am guessing that these are students that reached out on their own and built relationships with professors who referred them to these law firms.These students while exceptional at my school would have been average at a top school and would have had a harder time getting jobs at these same firms through OCI. Also, they would have much higher debt.   

Re: lsat score and grades in law school
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2007, 11:01:33 PM »
There are a lot of factors that the lsat can't measure. . .dedication, stamina, and desire. . .sounds like you have those.  Give it your best shot!

Re: lsat score and grades in law school
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2007, 07:12:45 AM »
LSATs scores are just a standard, and not so much a rule... I'm probably in the bottom 20% of my school in terms of LSAT score, but in the top 20% gradewise. I encourage you to keep practicing sample LSAT tests--my score jumped significantly from where I started to where I ended up by working away at it for months.

GA-fan

Re: lsat score and grades in law school
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2007, 07:18:01 AM »
This is true. However, even though Sanders suggests struggling at the bottom academically is not good for your bar passage chances, your chances are still good in the bottom 20% of a T1. This is not the case at the bottom of a T4. Look at Sander's #'s for bar pass rates by LSAT, LS GPA, and index #'s. Do you want to be the 60% of those w/ low indexes that fail the first time? Redsawx, you have a very tough question to answer ahead of you- how would you feel if you had to go through 3 years of school and then didn't get to be a lawyer b/c of bar passage problems.