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Author Topic: AA and the LSAT  (Read 7926 times)

LawDog3

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Re: AA and the LSAT
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2009, 01:07:27 AM »
The test would measure such intangibles as team play, empathy, long-term time-management, task management, managerial skills, overall...and a host of things the LSAT cannot touch.

Not sure how helpful this would be because there are so many niche areas of law that one could enter which may or may not require, for instance, team play or empathy.  Should the admission of a PI attorney, a community organizer, and a biglaw litigator be based on the same assessment of personality traits?

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Top law school URM's tend to do well in school and in their careers. That weakens the idea that adcoms have no business admitting URM's (or any students, for that matter) who have lower "objective predictors".   

This seems to be more of a pro-AA argument than an anti-LSAT argument.  I don't see how your info, assuming it is correct, necessarily discredits the LSAT as a predictor (or at least as the best one available) if adcoms can simply adjust for demographic factors and admit URMs who "tend to do well in school and in their careers."

You know? That's an excellent question...one that also bolsters my argument about the current LSAT. I mean, should one student's slower reading speed be penalized (and "standardizing" all LSAT sections to 35 minutes does penalize slower readers), in accordance with an assumption that he'she will be unable to finish reading assignments, esp. when students must judiciously decide what to read nightly anyways? And what if he/she wants to do contract law as opposed to being a litigator? A contracts client may want an attorney who is meticulous, and in many cases, a slower reader, b/c he/she may be more accurate. A litigator must read, think and react more quickly, so it would be understandable that a different skill-set may be needed. But the LSAT purports to standardize a measurement that doesn't translate into anything relevant for careers.

Moreover, what if a student is a 145 test taker at 35 min per section, but a 168 at 40 min per section, while the typical 168 scorer at 35 min per section is a 170 scorer at 40 min per section? What can you extrapolate from that? Who decided that the random/arbitrary 35 min was the threshold needed to separate students along the scale? And can students be as aptly dispersed along the scale at 40 min per section?  

bl825

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Re: AA and the LSAT
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2009, 11:11:41 AM »
Who decided that the random/arbitrary 35 min was the threshold needed to separate students along the scale?

The Law School Admissions Council, apparently.

Though you make a fair point.  Why not expand it and say that we should have different programs for litigators, transactions lawyers?
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Matthies

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Re: AA and the LSAT
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2009, 12:25:32 PM »
At this point, with the amount of prepping that people do the LSAT I think its lost its predictiness. And I also wonder why LSAC has not published a correlation study since 2004 when they used to do one at least every 2-3 years. When you can spend six months of 5 hours days prepping for a objective multiple choice test and someone else can get the same score taking it cold, I donít see how anyone could argue they accurately predict the success of both test takers. It canít be an aptitude and performance test and be predictive of both subsets.

If I was to design a system it would be just like the Multi State Performance Exam part of the bar. For those of you not familiar with it basically your given a memo telling you what to do (write a client letter, argue a side on an issues, draft a memo on the state of the law) a file with depositions in it, and a a library with 3-4 cases discussing the rule.

You do not need to know the law at all to answer these and there is no way to prep for it, they give you everything, you could have never even heard of this law, or be an expert in it, it wonít matter because you can only use whatís in the file to make your point, and they are made up cases. That tests what you actually need to be good at to do well in school, follow directions, read well, analyze rules you have never seen before and make a good written argument. 

It could be done on computers anytime you wanted a test center. Your fee would cover the payment of the essay grader (who would have to be certfied just like bar graders), and just like in law school and on the bar exam, but unlike the LSAT, its 100% completely subjective to the grader. That would best prepare and thin out who would actually do well and who would not in law school. Standardized, objective multiple choice tests on random topics makes no sense when in law school and the bar youíre judged on completely subjective criteria in a written format.  Your given a score and your packet is sent to law schools for them to review, impress them with your ablities that refect what you actually do in law school and the law profesion and you get in, don't and you don't. Trying to make something as subjective as law objective and staerdized just seems to go against the whole point of what you will actually be doing as a alwyer. There never are 3 wrong answers and one right one for real world law problems.
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LawDog3

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Re: AA and the LSAT
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2009, 01:22:38 AM »
Who decided that the random/arbitrary 35 min was the threshold needed to separate students along the scale?

The Law School Admissions Council, apparently.

Though you make a fair point.  Why not expand it and say that we should have different programs for litigators, transactions lawyers?

Agreed, but do you think it would be a good idea for schools to steer students into specific careers? It might not be such a bad thing.  What if admissions went like this:

LawDog3, you are admitted to Columbia as a Litigation student but denied as a Transactional Law student. Our Litigation track consists of xyz courses during your first year. You may transfer to the Free-Choice Track, where you are allowed to choose your own courses, after successfully completing your first year with a 3.5+ GPA in litigation.

LawDog3, congratulations! You have been admitted to Northwestern's Free Choice Track. You will take a generalized first-year curriculum and are free to choose your courses beginning your second year.

Congratulations, LawDog3! You have been admitted to Virginia's Transactional Law Track, but denied as a Litigation candidate. Students may not transfer tracks once they accept their offers of admission, but are given preferred admission to our LL.M. Program upon completion of their JD's with a GPA of 3.5 or better.


Can you imagine law degrees being awarded by specific tracks, i.e., "JD in Transactional Law"?

But all of that would turn legal education upside down.

What makes no sense to me is the chronology of law school. I get the idea that those courses are the most generalized/foundational,and that firms believe performance in them to indicate potential performance. But 1L performance does nothing of the sort.

Why not have advanced versions of the same first-year courses during the third year, just for one semester. Make the first 1L semester pure hell, but allow electives beginning spring 1L through spring2L (three semesters of electives).   

Then give the advanced first-year courses in the fall of 3L, with more electives coming in the final semester. Employers could, then, begin basing their hiring decisions on 3L performance instead of 1L, and the truly deserving students would get the jobs.

Or, better yet, just spread out the first year courses along the entire curriculum. If they want law school to remain tough, grade tougher or require more courses.

bl825

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Re: AA and the LSAT
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2009, 01:38:08 AM »
But all of that would turn legal education upside down.

Not a problem as far as I'm concerned.
Oh yea...you're delicious and lean, but unsustainable and not to be consumed daily.

LawDog3

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Re: AA and the LSAT
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2009, 01:46:21 AM »
But all of that would turn legal education upside down.

Not a problem as far as I'm concerned.

So you're down with the cause...lol. Ride or die, huh? I love it.

bl825

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Re: AA and the LSAT
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2009, 01:48:46 AM »
But all of that would turn legal education upside down.

Not a problem as far as I'm concerned.

So you're down with the cause...lol. Ride or die, huh? I love it.

I'm really unclear as to what this means, but sure.
Oh yea...you're delicious and lean, but unsustainable and not to be consumed daily.

LawDog3

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Re: AA and the LSAT
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2009, 03:35:22 PM »
But all of that would turn legal education upside down.

Not a problem as far as I'm concerned.

So you're down with the cause...lol. Ride or die, huh? I love it.

I'm really unclear as to what this means, but sure.

Just when you think...aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy...it means you have some rebel in you. Your a fighter. I like fighters, just not when they're fighting me. lol.

bl825

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Re: AA and the LSAT
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2009, 09:04:06 AM »
But all of that would turn legal education upside down.

Not a problem as far as I'm concerned.

So you're down with the cause...lol. Ride or die, huh? I love it.

I'm really unclear as to what this means, but sure.

Just when you think...aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy...it means you have some rebel in you. Your a fighter. I like fighters, just not when they're fighting me. lol.

Heh.
Oh yea...you're delicious and lean, but unsustainable and not to be consumed daily.