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Author Topic: 50% of Law Student Grads  (Read 11947 times)

Matthies

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Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« Reply #60 on: August 13, 2008, 09:18:08 AM »
A few quick things: the correlation between first year law school grades is highest for LSAT and UGPA combined (something like .4), it is much lower for either of those taken alone. See the 10 or so correlation studies on LSAC (they do LSAT alone = poor, UGPA alone = poor, LSAT and UGPA = correlation). There is not a strong correlation between LSAT and law grades, its actually weak, itís the combined one that shows the strongest correlation and even then it s not that great.

There seems to be a  lot of folks on here who have gotten into lower T14s with sub 3.0 GPA. Some schools seem to be particularly willing to take high scores over low GPA. Also Law firms donít go any deeper into T14 schools because they necessarily think those people are smarter, they do it because of the Cravath model where you need to fill your firm with as many T14 grads as possible to charge the most to your clients. Outside of the big legal markets where this is the norm you will not see fism in secondary markets going any lower that they do for regional schools (my firm had a strict cut off of 20% for everyone from any school ).

Because Iím part-time there is great variation between LSAT scores in my class ranging from 148 to 177 (or maybe 175 I forget) becuase these pople only could go at night, so we have a wide range of scores. The 177 guy took it cold, never even seen an LSAT before. He is wicked smart. However there are several classmates who did some heavily prep for the LSAT and they did not do very well when it came to law school exams. Of the top 5 in our class (and I know each of them we are friends) none except genius boy were in the top 50% LSAT range for my class, and genius boy is not number 1.

I tend to agree with the premise that those that work hard on the LSAT will also work hard in law school. Where it breaks down, and where I have seen plenty of evidence in my class is those that need to prep six to twelve months for several hours a day to get their score struggle more on the real thing. At least as I have seen those people struggle when they need to prep for five tests in three months as it is in law school. Give them 6-12 months one test at a time and they would do great, five exams in three months and they really struggle, their scores were over predictive because they needed more time than they actually have to get ready (also note most people stop prepping or studying that hard after the exam so their skills dull by the time law school exams come round).

I just donít buy the preditiveness of the exam is the exactly same for a someone who took it with little prep (maybe 30 days and a few PTs) and someone who took a class, six months, and every available practice test plus tutoring to get the same score. The test is either no longer predictive because of the amount people prep these days, or it really was never that predictive in the first place.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« Reply #61 on: August 13, 2008, 09:27:00 AM »
Interesting tidbit:

The mayor of LA never passed the bar....

He took it some 5 times or so though...

Correction: from the beloved wikipedia:

After UCLA, Villaraigosa attended the People's College of Law (PCL), a "community-run law school" in Los Angeles, which was neither A.B.A. accredited or State Bar approved.[7] Villaraigosa failed the California Bar Exam in each of four attempts, and thus remains unlicensed to practice law.[8]



Unsurprising, given that he went to PCL.
Russian by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

Lindbergh

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Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« Reply #62 on: August 13, 2008, 10:08:05 AM »
A few quick things: the correlation between first year law school grades is highest for LSAT and UGPA combined (something like .4), it is much lower for either of those taken alone. See the 10 or so correlation studies on LSAC (they do LSAT alone = poor, UGPA alone = poor, LSAT and UGPA = correlation). There is not a strong correlation between LSAT and law grades, its actually weak, itís the combined one that shows the strongest correlation and even then it s not that great.

There's no question that LSAT+GPA is a better predictor than either taken alone.  However, it's also clear that LSAT is a significantly better predictor than GPA.  Whether you consider the correlation weak or strong probably depends on your perspective, but again, the current correlation data is derived from a system where most students attend schools where the LSAT range is fairly narrow.  It's not surprising to find a more muted correlation in such contexts.  If admissions were open, and you had 180's studying with 120's, there's little question that the correlation would be much stronger.  Bottom line, the LSAT is the single best predictor of law school success available.


There seems to be a  lot of folks on here who have gotten into lower T14s with sub 3.0 GPA.

I'm not aware of many. 


Some schools seem to be particularly willing to take high scores over low GPA.

Which ones?  There aren't many sub 3.0's in the T14, period.


Also Law firms donít go any deeper into T14 schools because they necessarily think those people are smarter, they do it because of the Cravath model where you need to fill your firm with as many T14 grads as possible to charge the most to your clients. Outside of the big legal markets where this is the norm you will not see fism in secondary markets going any lower that they do for regional schools (my firm had a strict cut off of 20% for everyone from any school ).

I disagree.  I think firms generally recruit on a rational basis, and they realize that students at top schools are almost all highly qualified (Very bright + hardworking).  It therefore makes sense to go deep into the class, since such students were only bested by the very best of the best, and are still probably pretty good.  Impressing clients may be part of it, but the main reason clients are impressed is because they know those schools are more selective.

I would question your data on smaller firms in secondary markets, although it's possible they're just not as rational/sophisticated in their hiring, and therefore just use arbitrary cutoffs, regardless of the quality of the student body.


Because Iím part-time there is great variation between LSAT scores in my class ranging from 148 to 177 (or maybe 175 I forget) becuase these pople only could go at night, so we have a wide range of scores. The 177 guy took it cold, never even seen an LSAT before. He is wicked smart. However there are several classmates who did some heavily prep for the LSAT and they did not do very well when it came to law school exams. Of the top 5 in our class (and I know each of them we are friends) none except genius boy were in the top 50% LSAT range for my class, and genius boy is not number 1.

Genius boy is apparently not very studious, given that he didn't prep at all.  Yet, he's still in the top 5.  What does that tell you? 

I would imagine there's not many 170+ students at your school, and the rest are within a fairly narrow range, as most students who do that well will just quit their job and attend a T14.


I tend to agree with the premise that those that work hard on the LSAT will also work hard in law school. Where it breaks down, and where I have seen plenty of evidence in my class is those that need to prep six to twelve months for several hours a day to get their score struggle more on the real thing.

At least as I have seen those people struggle when they need to prep for five tests in three months as it is in law school. Give them 6-12 months one test at a time and they would do great, five exams in three months and they really struggle, their scores were over predictive because they needed more time than they actually have to get ready (also note most people stop prepping or studying that hard after the exam so their skills dull by the time law school exams come round).

Sure they do.  But everyone struggles to master law school material.  The question is, are you willing and able to do so?  Someone who isn't willing to prep for the LSAT will also probably slough off on law school, and do worse than the striver who started with the same LSAT.

If anything, your observations indicate that GPA should be ignored in favor of an even heavier emphasis on the LSAT, since prepping hard isn't much different from studying for any other subject. 


I just donít buy the preditiveness of the exam is the exactly same for a someone who took it with little prep (maybe 30 days and a few PTs) and someone who took a class, six months, and every available practice test plus tutoring to get the same score.

I'm not claiming it's exactly the same.  However, if you do very well on it cold, you're obviously very bright.  If you do very well on it after extensive prep, you're at least pretty bright, and you're also clearly hard-working.  In both cases, either student will likely do well in law school if they apply themselves.   

In fact, if we buy the idea that GPA+LSAT is a better predictor than LSAT alone, then someone who achieves his score through prolonged study may well do even better in law school than someone who simply has high innate abilities.  After all, studying for the LSAT isn't that different from studying in college.


The test is either no longer predictive because of the amount people prep these days, or it really was never that predictive in the first place.

???

Not sure how you're getting this.  See above. 

Bottom line, people who do better on the test tend to do better in LS than people who do worse on the test, which is why it's used.  I can't even remember why we started discussing this, but I think it had to do with the difficulty of getting into a T14. And if you really question how difficult that is, just ask around this board.  Most people would give their left nut to attend a T14, and they're still not able to, not matter how hard they prep.

Lindbergh

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Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« Reply #63 on: August 13, 2008, 10:09:25 AM »
Interesting tidbit:

The mayor of LA never passed the bar....

He took it some 5 times or so though...

Correction: from the beloved wikipedia:

After UCLA, Villaraigosa attended the People's College of Law (PCL), a "community-run law school" in Los Angeles, which was neither A.B.A. accredited or State Bar approved.[7] Villaraigosa failed the California Bar Exam in each of four attempts, and thus remains unlicensed to practice law.[8]



Unsurprising, given that he went to PCL.

Wow -- unprovoked "prestige-whoring" from the russian princess!   ;)

blepro

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Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« Reply #64 on: August 13, 2008, 10:12:13 AM »
Sorry guys I couldn't resist.  There is so much misinformation and idealism passed around in this thread - and on this board - regarding your future career prospects.  It's not your fault, you just don't know.

I graduated from a higher end tier two school in 2005.  This was as after nearly a decade in the wage slave corporate world.  Nothing is 100% accurate, as we all know.  But there are some generalities I can give you that are undeniable.  They will help explain why some succeed despite grades or law school rep, and why, in the end, the most successful among us are a hodgepodge of varying levels of competency.

Yes the legal profession is elitist.  But human nature ultimately prevails.  Accordingly, large and mid sized firms tend to overwhelmingly hire and promote people, young and old, who are LIKEABLE.  Note that nearly every firm, in their "what we are looking for" section of their career website has some form of item to the effect of "people who fit well into the firm culture".  This is way more important than they let on.

Someone who doesn't know could interpret this any way they want to, but trust me, basically, it's like high school.  Ask yourself if you're popular - if you're a person that generally draws attention - someone who never had to want for dates or friends to go out with.  In other words - are you attractive.  Do you attract others and have a winning self-presentation, in terms of both your personality and your physical attractiveness. 

Of course, the precise definition of "likeable" varies from firm to firm (and especially from field to field - IE...you're probably not going to be "well liked" in a department full of IT patent attorneys if you're a salesy salserson locker room guy), but the generality overwhelmingly holds true.  Attractive, energetic women and men who are "one of the guys" will tend to be the most successful in the early years, and often, throughout their careers. 

Second to this is of course overall work ethic and competency.  How dedicated are you to the firm and how do you prioritize and grasp your projects.  And for new graduates, perception plays into this.  And it's where the "elitism" so often mentioned on this board comes in. I mean, who's going to know if you're "likeable" or competent if you can't get an interview because of your class rank or your bottom of the barrel school?

And the last general aspect I'll mention goes in line with the last.  You really need to be specifically marketable.  It's why younger LS graduates who came right out of undergrad tend to have a much harder time.  Former engineers, accountants, actuaries, IT professionals, or those with several years of experience in certain business sectors will ALWAYS have an advantage - maybe not over inexperienced youngsters from the very top schools, but definitely over those from lesser respected schools.

So, far from the prevailing wisdom on this board, your career prospects are likely going to be affected by a stew of factors.  Your decision to go to law school requires a self assessment well beyond "what tier school can I get into".  If you're a well liked, energetic person with a working background in a marketable industry, go ahead and shell out the money for that tier three or four JD.  It will probably end up being a good investment.  If you're a rude and bitter loaner right out of college, nothing but a top 10% ranking from the one of very best schools is going to help.

And of course - if you are one of those people who just loves the intellectual challenges studying the law presents, or if you're one of the few who are sincerely doing this as a means to the end of helping others, don't let anyone discourage you.  Because believe me, if you're that committed deep down, you won't have even a hint of a problem finding a job that is challenging and rewarding.  You wont be paid well for it, but you should definitely find what you're looking for. 

While there's some truth to your posts, the bottom line, as noted by "America's Next Top Lawyer" (and yourself), is that you won't even get interviews at many firms if you're not from the right school, with the right grades.

Yes, personality can matter, especially if you're starting out on your own, or at very small firms.  But it's generally secondary to school pedigree, grades, and work performance.  And if you go to the right school, you're probably going to be fine regardless of your personality.  Most people in the T14 aren't very personable.  Most are nerds and dweebs.  The same is true of most Biglaw lawyers.  And most T14 grads will get great (high-paying biglaw) jobs regardless of this fact. 

That said, outside of biglaw, in trial work, in the more entrepreneurial areas of law, your post has some validity.  You have to be able to schmooze if you want to succeed in those areas.  Or, at least, it will be helpful, along with specific skillsets. But all the personality in the world won't help if you can't do the work well.

I agree to a point.  I was actually speaking to the large/medium firm culture in my post.  Now, with that said, I am in a midwestern city (not chicago), so the culture at the mammoth firms in New York and D.C. may be very different - and I have no first or even second hand experience with those east coast cities or those elite firms.  In fact, that may be the best point to make - NLJ 250 firms in the midwest have more in common with what you would call medium/small firms when compared to the very largest firms on the east coast.

I was ultimately trying to put into words my observation of those I know (former classmates and sometimes colleages) who have either found it necessary to leave the law right off of the bat, or who are still struggling to make meaningful headway in the profession.  And therefore cite the reverse - that the qualities those people lack are the qualities successful firm attorneys possess.  Maybe I didn't exactly hit the mark.

I also agree with another reply to my post that was spot-on, the worst students from the worst law schools won't even be afforded the opportunity to work in the largest law firms either nationally or in a given region.  They won't even be given interviews.  But, of those who are, MANY factors will contribute to a firms decision to give you a shot as a new associate or more likely, as a 2L summer associate.  And of these factors, I firmly believe (Having mentored but never having been a hiring partner or even a confidant of one)that personality and likeability is only a VERY close second to grades and competency in the summer program.  Why do you think career services and a wide variety of publications advise law school students (as well as top nonlaw top management candidates) to list "hobbies" on their resumes?  

You want to know how rediculously far this can be taken?  I would SWEAR I got my first summer job in LS (granted, it was only a medium sized firm) because the interviewing attorney remembered my name from the leaderboards of JUNIOR GOLF TOURNAMENTS we both participated in nearly 15 years prior.


Matthies

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Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« Reply #65 on: August 13, 2008, 10:30:31 AM »
I think Lindberg and I disagreement comes down to how you see the test. I see it as an apptittiute test, you seem to see it as a performance test. My understanding as it was originally designed it was not intended to be prepared for (and when did prep comes first start early 1990s?) as it was intended to test your natural aptitude for the types of thinking law schools require. It has not morphed into a performance test where todayís applicants think the end score it was matters most regardless of any natural aptitude that might be shown by your diagnostic. But the test have not changed dramatically since it was given in the 1970s to todayís heavy prep environment. I would like to see a correlation study that tracks heavily prepped vs. not and law school GPA. My hunch, based on seeing the test as originally designed to test aptitude would mean the heavily prepped people would not fair as well. But its just a hunch.

As to people in my class leaving for t14 school when they got 170+ thatís a fresh out of undergrad mentality. Most of my classmates ONLY applied to my school because it had a part time program and they needed to stay local. Even if they got a 180 they would not have moved. They had houses, families and careers here. Not everyone who applies to law school is transient enough, or wants to go to a T14 bad enough, to sell a left nut.  I know for a fact that 177 guy (who is also a medical school professor and expert in his field) not only turned down Yale med school faculty position but also entrance into their law school because he and his family want to stay in Denver.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« Reply #66 on: August 13, 2008, 11:06:06 AM »
Interesting tidbit:

The mayor of LA never passed the bar....

He took it some 5 times or so though...

Correction: from the beloved wikipedia:

After UCLA, Villaraigosa attended the People's College of Law (PCL), a "community-run law school" in Los Angeles, which was neither A.B.A. accredited or State Bar approved.[7] Villaraigosa failed the California Bar Exam in each of four attempts, and thus remains unlicensed to practice law.[8]



Unsurprising, given that he went to PCL.

Wow -- unprovoked "prestige-whoring" from the russian princess!   ;)

Not prestige whoring. Isn't their Bar passage rate somewhere in the 10% range or something ridiculously low like that?

Surely dude was smart enough to go to a better school.
Russian by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

Matthies

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Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« Reply #67 on: August 13, 2008, 03:53:45 PM »
I have worked for many attorneys and I think it all comes down to determination.   I worked for a a succesful attorney that went to an online law school that is not even ABA approved.  He  had attorneys from Berkely, UCLA, etc working under him. He worked hard to make something of himself and did not sit around on law discussion boards talking about how unfair everything is. Life is hard and you are obviously intelligent people to have gotten through law school, but if you are wasting your time whining about how bad your life is on this discussion board you aren't spending your time out looking for jobs or working to change your situation.  Get out and change it for God's sakes. The mayor of Los Angeles didn't even go to an ABA approved school and never passed the bar he is doing well for himself, so stop whining and start doing.

You must be new here, thatís not how it works on LSD, there are a hierarchy of things you blame because you canít find a job first:

1. Your school
2. Your school padding career placement
3. The over abundance of T2/3/4 grads flooding the market
4. Your schools career services office
5. Everyone going to a school ranked higher than yours
6. The bad economy
7. The system
8. Your classmates
9. The high cost of stamps
10. Your gerbil dying that caused you to get two years of bad grades in law school that are not your fault
11. The unrealistic B+ curve that makes getting a A so hard
12. Minorities that should not be there taking your grades from you
13. ADD
14. Your school again for good measure
15. Anything and everything except yourself having any evolvement in your grades, interviewing skills or lack of employment.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

x

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Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« Reply #68 on: August 13, 2008, 04:34:45 PM »

You must be new here, thatís not how it works on LSD, there are a hierarchy of things you blame because you canít find a job first:
[/quote]

You just made my day.

SCK2008

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Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« Reply #69 on: August 13, 2008, 05:11:42 PM »
I have worked for many attorneys and I think it all comes down to determination.   I worked for a a succesful attorney that went to an online law school that is not even ABA approved.  He  had attorneys from Berkely, UCLA, etc working under him. He worked hard to make something of himself and did not sit around on law discussion boards talking about how unfair everything is. Life is hard and you are obviously intelligent people to have gotten through law school, but if you are wasting your time whining about how bad your life is on this discussion board you aren't spending your time out looking for jobs or working to change your situation.  Get out and change it for God's sakes. The mayor of Los Angeles didn't even go to an ABA approved school and never passed the bar he is doing well for himself, so stop whining and start doing.

You must be new here, thatís not how it works on LSD, there are a hierarchy of things you blame because you canít find a job first:

1. Your school
2. Your school padding career placement
3. The over abundance of T2/3/4 grads flooding the market
4. Your schools career services office
5. Everyone going to a school ranked higher than yours
6. The bad economy
7. The system
8. Your classmates
9. The high cost of stamps
10. Your gerbil dying that caused you to get two years of bad grades in law school that are not your fault
11. The unrealistic B+ curve that makes getting a A so hard
12. Minorities that should not be there taking your grades from you
13. ADD
14. Your school again for good measure
15. Anything and everything except yourself having any evolvement in your grades, interviewing skills or lack of employment.


Eff you Matthies!  My school told me I'd be rich!  All I should have to do is show up daily, graduate, and then start collecting paychecks...they owe me!  I'm not paying for an education; I'm paying to get paid!

That's how it works in the real world!!

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