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Author Topic: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?  (Read 7126 times)

Saluki

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Re: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2007, 12:01:56 AM »
I think it's rather ignorant to assume the admissions people, whose job it is to evaluate thousands of applications a year, wouldn't be cognizant of undergraduate institutions and their relative reputation of quality. 

That said, even online schools have varying degrees of reputation.  I think it would be not be as beneficial as a degree from, say, Harvard if you were applying to a T1, but the lower down on the totem pole you get the less they will care.  From what I can tell of the bottom tier schools, they'd take you as long as you have a pulse and money... and i'm not too sure about that pulse requirement. 


This is not accurate at all. The admissions department really only care about your LSAT, and then they care a little bit about your GPA. This is true for any school. If you are borderline they will look at soft factors, but that is about it. Obviously a guy that got a 3.6 from Harvard is going to be taken on the border over a guy who got a 3.6 from a less recognized school. There are only a few schools that will take you if you have a pulse and money, all are currently T4's... Every school turns down applicants every year though. About half of the applicants who apply to law school get in nowhere.


TITCR.  Law school admission is overwhelmingly based on LSAT, then to a much lesser extent UGPA, then school's reputation is almost a non-factor.  The only way your UG matter is if you went to Harvard and they want to brag that Harvard grads attend their law school.

Wrong!  Sakuli responds to an argument about the weight of the LSAT over other factors that was not part of the original statement.  Nowhere do I state that the reputation of the school trumps LSAT or UGPA.  I  even say that it becomes less relevant for the less prestigious schools, nowhere saying to what extent that relevancy originally had except that Harvard will hold a higher weight over University of Phoenix.

I have five years work experience with e-learning institutions.  As far as reputation goes, brick and mortar (especially top tier) will trump the online schools.  Doesn't mean that that is a significant factor, but it is out there. 



Wow this is real accurate. I'm sure that any school is considered better than other schools because they either do not offer online degrees, or they just have four walls that students actually come to every day. Genius. No one with any knowledge of online degrees frowns upon them as long as they come from accredited schools. They teach the students just as well, but some studies show better, than brick and mortar schools. Comparing Harvard is not accurate, because most people do not go to an Ivy league school. Most online degrees will be viewed as any other small college that is not prestigious. It is like the other poster said, if you have a 177 LSAT they could care less where you went to school, or what your GPA was.

And to respond to Peaches... you do not see people in your law school from online schools or small colleges because most of the people that go to law school do not go to undergraduate schools like that. It will not bring down your chances at getting into law school, and just the fact that you do not see any of them is no reason against the schools. Most people who go to law school are prestige whores, and therefore they are people that are more likely to go to prestigious undergraduate college.

The fact is that it will not hurt you. Going to a prestigious school might help you, but going getting your degree will not hurt you. Obviously wherever you want to go to law school will view their state schools and schools in the area as prestigious and that might help you, but other schools won't hurt you. A good example is that I know a guy who went to a top 15 liberal arts college. He has worked in 5 states and none of his employers have ever heard of his undergraduate school even though it is so well regarded. People just do not care that much. Bottom line is nail the LSAT and you're in law school.

Peaches

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Re: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2007, 12:06:15 AM »
Did a quick random check...
UCLA.
175-180 LSAT /2.25-2.74: 4 applications, 0 admits
3.75 GPA/150-154: 83 applications, 6 admits

Tulane.
Bar graph says the 177 LSAT/2.2 GPA candidate is an "unlikely" admit and the 3.9 GPA/150 LSAT candidate is in the "possible" admit.

I agree the LSAT is weighted slightly more than the GPA on average in admissions.  But it's not quite what you think.

thorc954

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Re: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2007, 01:49:38 AM »
"I agree the LSAT is weighted slightly more than the GPA on average in admissions."

schools have different criteria for admits.

GW focuses on GPA.  You can get a 161, which is horrible for a top 20 law school (moving up again, at least thats my prediction), and have a 3.8 and have no problem getting in.  On the other hand, Michigan loves LSAT's and is well known for accepting horrendous splitters.

Peaches

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Re: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2007, 09:53:56 AM »
I said "on average".  Like I said earlier, there is a really good chart that shows the slight preference for GPA or LSAT at various schools.  (For example, Boalt and UNC have slight GPA preferences.)

On this thread, I've been disagreeing with the guy who said "LSAT matters a lot, GPA only a little". The actual numbers show they're roughly equal, with a slight preference on LSAT.  I also disagreed with the guy who said "which would you rather have applying: 177/2.2 or 150/3.9" suggesting that LSAT was far more important than GPA.  I looked up the numbers for two random schools, and from that I'd rather have a 3.9/150.  It probably changes depending on the schools and the tiers, but it certainly isn't as obvious as the above posters make it seem.

Peaches

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Re: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2007, 10:03:13 AM »
But back to the original point of the thread.

People do not look down on brick and mortar schools that have online programs.  They look down on the degree from the online programs.  Online programs in general do not have the same quality of students, do not cover as much material, are perceived as not requiring a serious commitment to your studies, and are more likely to award higher grades and be viewed as easier. Everyone is probably fine to take a few classes online, but I sure would not want to apply to law school with an online degree.

I believe that online education opens access to higher education to a whole group of people who for geographic, family or money reasons cannot attend a "brick and mortar".  But online degrees are not yet regarded as equivalent to a degree from the brick and mortar (or else the OP wouldn't have a different college on his diploma) and are not yet regarded as equivalent for job applications.  Yes, it is better to have an undergraduate degree than not.  But employers and law school admissions officers are regular people who have their own views about online education.

Also, to say that the prestige of your UG will help you, but going to an online school won't hurt you seems a bit inaccurate when you're in competition with the other students...






contrarian

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Re: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2007, 10:42:14 AM »
Think about this:

Which would you rather have when applying?

2.1/177
3.9/150

Try this...

You have one spot remaining unfilled, the next two people up on the waiting list are:

Jack - University of Illinois - computer science - 164/3.06
John - Devry University Online - computer information systems - 163/3.87

Who do you offer it to?

(This is a trick question - nobody who went to Devry would score over a 150)

contrarian

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Re: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2007, 11:03:13 AM »
Wow this is real accurate. I'm sure that any school is considered better than other schools because they either do not offer online degrees, or they just have four walls that students actually come to every day.

Reconcile the difference: because online schools are known to be less stringent and  restrictive in the quality of students they admit and in their grading structures.  It's nothing to do with being brick and mortar it's because they graduate anyone with a pulse and money, and I'm not sure about the pulse. 

I've also stated that online programs have their own reputations of quality.  Those associated with traditional schools are much better regarded than those who are strictly online and private who are known for graduating anyone.

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Genius. No one with any knowledge of online degrees frowns upon them as long as they come from accredited schools.

It's called cognitive dissonance.

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They teach the students just as well, but some studies show better, than brick and mortar schools.

Studies sponsored by online institutions and associations.

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Comparing Harvard is not accurate, because most people do not go to an Ivy league school.

U of I vs. DeVry - I promise you there is absolutely no f**cking comparison and this is from real world relevant working experience in the industry.  U of I is respected.  DeVry doesn't even qualify as TTT.  It's sceptic tank. I worked with some of the Devry Online instructors and they were pretty dense.  They are the epitome of the expression that those who can't do teach.

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Most online degrees will be viewed as any other small college that is not prestigious.  It is like the other poster said, if you have a 177 LSAT they could care less where you went to school, or what your GPA was.

Even Illinois lower state schools are considered significantly more prestigious than DeVry, and I'm comparing the brick and mortars.   

Also, some online program are insecure.  Anyone who is sufficiently intelligent in computers (which would preclude their comp sci students  ;D ) can cheat.

Saluki

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Re: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2007, 02:19:01 PM »

Reconcile the difference: because online schools are known to be less stringent and  restrictive in the quality of students they admit and in their grading structures.  It's nothing to do with being brick and mortar it's because they graduate anyone with a pulse and money, and I'm not sure about the pulse. 

I've also stated that online programs have their own reputations of quality.  Those associated with traditional schools are much better regarded than those who are strictly online and private who are known for graduating anyone.




Are you kidding me? You clearly have no knowledge of online programs. Online programs are not less stringent. Perhaps the FOR PROFIT schools like University of Phoenix is, but actual schools that are accredited and are not for profit are more stringent then many brick and mortar schools. Ask anyone who has taken classes at a brick and mortar facility and taken a class online and they will tell you that they had to do WAY more work for the online class. Do some research instead of throwing your pitiful excuse for an opinion at everyone please.

Saluki

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Re: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2007, 02:21:49 PM »
Think about this:

Which would you rather have when applying?

2.1/177
3.9/150

Try this...

You have one spot remaining unfilled, the next two people up on the waiting list are:

Jack - University of Illinois - computer science - 164/3.06
John - Devry University Online - computer information systems - 163/3.87

Who do you offer it to?

(This is a trick question - nobody who went to Devry would score over a 150)


First of all, generalizing that anyone who went to one school to a single max in LSAT score is a bit petty. Second of all, of course they woudl take the UofI guy in this scenario, and I clearly stated that being borderline with someone else is the only time your school even comes into play. Third of all, if the school was not known to be an online school like Devry or the University of Phoenix then it could go either way. And fourth of all, no degree from an online program actually has the word "online" anywhere on the diploma. Most people will not know that you did an online program unless you said it.

Peaches

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Re: how do law schools view online undergraduate degrees?
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2007, 04:23:16 PM »
Like I said, I think it offers plenty of opportunities, but a degree earned totally online is not yet equivalent to a degree earned by traditional education or traditional education with on-line learning components. I worked in education policy and have done plenty of reading in online learning.  Some people love it, some people hate it.  Results of studies are mixed. 

You wanna know who doesn't love it yet?  Employers.  Until they do, Most Tier 1 and Tier 2 law schools will likely be wary of admitting students who won't be able to compete as well in the job market. 
Most top law schools have plenty of applicants with high enough GPAs from brick and mortars, which are a better indicator of a student's ability to succeed in a traditional academic setting.  I imagine most T3 and T4 won't care.  They'd rather have your $$ and your GPA for US News.  It is what it is.