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Author Topic: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools  (Read 16149 times)

argo

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Re: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools
« Reply #100 on: May 22, 2008, 10:08:40 PM »
....(though insanely prestigious in the classical music world)...

Do you think this fact escaped the Penn Law admission committee? 
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argo

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Re: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools
« Reply #101 on: May 22, 2008, 10:16:17 PM »
....(though insanely prestigious in the classical music world)....

Do you think this fact escaped the Penn Law admission committee?  Do you think your chances would've been the same if you majored in music at a state school?
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MahlerGrooves

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Re: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools
« Reply #102 on: May 23, 2008, 02:11:14 PM »
....(though insanely prestigious in the classical music world)....

Do you think this fact escaped the Penn Law admission committee?  Do you think your chances would've been the same if you majored in music at a state school?

Well, I won't speculate as to anyone's knowledge or lack thereof concerning my UG's prestige in any context.  I have met people who know it instantly, and people who think that if it isn't Juilliard, it's crap, so there is no way to know what an individual person might know.  Plus, I do think they do research on their candidates, so they may have done so regarding my UG.

That being said, I think what helped was my 3.85 GPA and fellowship to study in Germany - plus my master's degree in music (from which I graduated yesterday) that I did at a large public university.

All I'm saying is that doing well, wherever you go, is the most important thing.  Doing well and making contacts with professors and having meaningful interaction worthy of a good LOR.

Maybe they know that MSM is one of the top 5 music schools in the country, and maybe they don't.  What they DO know is that my GPA and LSAT were okay, my professors respected me enough to write very kind things on my behalf, and that I was in the midst of pursuing a graduate degree.  To assume they knew anything else would be improper.

UnoriginalAndrew

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Re: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools
« Reply #103 on: May 25, 2008, 05:45:25 PM »
I guess the takeaway from this is that, as soon as you know for damn sure that you want to go to law school and nothing else -- take the path of least resistance in regards to getting A's. 

So, let's suppose there's a high school senior out there, and he knows he wants to go to law school.  He also knows there is absolutely no chance that he will ever want to do anything else (unlikely, I know).   Should he go to East Jesus State Tech, and major in Truthology, in order to achieve a 4.0 or possibly higher?   ...Then, with his spare time, study his butt off to achieve the highest LSAT score he possibly could?
I Choo-Choo-Choose you:  Boston College Law School, Class of 2011

dedalus616

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Re: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools
« Reply #104 on: May 25, 2008, 10:48:00 PM »
To the original poster -

First off, I apologize in advance if another commenter already said this but I couldn't bring myself to read the whole thread (I lost it when two people were talking about housing - not hating, just saying). It usually grinds my gears when people don't read the thread before commenting. Oh, the irony.

There is an extremely common misunderstanding that pervades answers to this sort of question. These answers treat college as the purchase of a credential; nothing more than cash for a diploma. This obviously ignores all the important benefits of higher education beyond the instrumental value of the degree with respect to career prospects (learn, grow, evolve, blah, etc). But there is also a purely practical point here too. The standard answers forget that the future-applicant that would hypothetically emerge from various schools are not entirely alike. Will the future-you who went to community college be as good a writer, as incisive an analytic thinker, as skilled in argumentation as the future-you who went someplace else? Perhaps the answer is yes, though I tend to doubt it. But the question is surely relevant - you should go where you'll become the best version of yourself, wherever that may be, because (among other reasons) that version of you will make the best applicant.



JeNeSaisLaw

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Re: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools
« Reply #105 on: May 25, 2008, 11:05:55 PM »
Will the future-you who went to community college be as good a writer, as incisive an analytic thinker, as skilled in argumentation as the future-you who went someplace else? Perhaps the answer is yes, though I tend to doubt it. But the question is surely relevant - you should go where you'll become the best version of yourself, wherever that may be, because (among other reasons) that version of you will make the best applicant.

I'm with you til the end here, and it's because you talk about it making you the best applicant. I think it might prepare you to be the best law student (and probably lawyer) you can be, but the best applicant is the person with the best numbers (fortunately or unfortunately, we're merely working descriptively here), with soft factors playing a smaller role (these factors might not even change based on the undergrad one chooses).
LSN
Vanderbilt Class of 2011

argo

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Re: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools
« Reply #106 on: May 25, 2008, 11:19:00 PM »
To the original poster -

First off, I apologize in advance if another commenter already said this but I couldn't bring myself to read the whole thread (I lost it when two people were talking about housing - not hating, just saying). It usually grinds my gears when people don't read the thread before commenting. Oh, the irony.

There is an extremely common misunderstanding that pervades answers to this sort of question. These answers treat college as the purchase of a credential; nothing more than cash for a diploma. This obviously ignores all the important benefits of higher education beyond the instrumental value of the degree with respect to career prospects (learn, grow, evolve, blah, etc). But there is also a purely practical point here too. The standard answers forget that the future-applicant that would hypothetically emerge from various schools are not entirely alike. Will the future-you who went to community college be as good a writer, as incisive an analytic thinker, as skilled in argumentation as the future-you who went someplace else? Perhaps the answer is yes, though I tend to doubt it. But the question is surely relevant - you should go where you'll become the best version of yourself, wherever that may be, because (among other reasons) that version of you will make the best applicant.




You couldn've expressed it more eloquently.  I agree 100%.
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"And that is what is so great about the Internet. It enables pompous blowhards to connect with other pompous blowhards in a vast circle-jerk of pomposity."

-Bill Maher

dedalus616

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Re: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools
« Reply #107 on: May 25, 2008, 11:20:08 PM »
JeNeSaisLaw -
  Sadly, your point is more accurate than I'd like. But nonetheless, there is at least some reason to believe that a overall education and intellectual development leads to higher LSAT scores. Now, before there is a chorus of objections - I mean within a given person, not between people. So a person is likely to do better on the LSATs after having gone to a rigorous college that was intellectually challenging than that person would have done at a less rigorous college. This isn't because people learn how to do logic games at elite colleges; its because the mind requires exercise to develop. Plus there are two parts of the LSAT that aren't contrived test problems, and those skills surely are cultivated in challenging college coursework.

JeNeSaisLaw

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Re: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools
« Reply #108 on: May 25, 2008, 11:46:13 PM »
I don't disagree at all there. However, like I said, the advice in this thread is not operating in a vacuum, so we have to think of things in terms of 'playing by the rules.' I think it's easier to see and easier to argue the tangible benefits of a high GPA, particularly with a test as learnable as the LSAT. However, it's not entirely learnable, but that just begs the question about whether or not the rigor will move your maximum capacity up enough to justify the GPA dive. It's tough to distinguish what's the best route to take, which probably explains the variety of opinions, as well as the vigor with which they are supported.
LSN
Vanderbilt Class of 2011

remiz22

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Re: Importance of Undergrad and getting into top law schools
« Reply #109 on: May 26, 2008, 04:00:11 PM »

So a person is likely to do better on the LSATs after having gone to a rigorous college that was intellectually challenging than that person would have done at a less rigorous college. This isn't because people learn how to do logic games at elite colleges; its because the mind requires exercise to develop.

The most prestigious colleges are often the easiest and least rigorous. The Ivy League is famous for easy undergraduate classes, lax rigor, and rampant grade inflation. Instead of believing that the "education" process of college produces the LSAT results, it could just as easily be argued that the students verify the prestige of the school. The smartest and best-testing students usually attend the best schools. The smartest and best-testing students usually perform the best on the LSAT. Therefore, it is natural to believe that the students from the best schools are disposed to perform better on the LSAT.