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marcus-aurelius

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2010, 06:40:42 PM »
I have no doubt good, even great attorneys come from all types of law school.  Natural intellect (and a little luck) can only take one so far.  Hard work will cause others to rise above(assurgam superne).  In general, I am willing to assume that the top quarter at Harvard (theoretically since there are no grades) would be in the top 5% (probably better) in most schools as you work down the rankings.  I am sure the top schools have those who are left behind, but I believe less than other schools.

My opinion only.

marcus-aurelius

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2010, 06:46:52 PM »
One last thing, I have no doubt some chose to go to schools outside the T14 and have great intellect.  The school is not always indicative.  In my LSAT prep course, I had 2 Princeton University graduates.  I was outscored them both on every test but the 1st (they scored higher by a point)  For the official test in June, I scored 8 points higher than one.  The other I no longer talk to. And I went to a lowly state school (and a county college for that matter).  I believe though, as they say, I am the exception that proves the rule.  In general, Princeton students will most likely score better than one who has gone to community college.  But sometimes circumstances dictate otherwise.

kenpostudent

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2010, 06:47:31 PM »
I agree that the top 25% at Harvard would probably be in the top 10% or better in many lower rated schools. I don't necessarily believe that the top student at Boyd would not be in the top 10% of his class had he/she transferred to Harvard. That may or may not happen, but I wouldn't even attempt to offer a guess on that. I believe that the skillset necessary to be in the top 10% at any law school is pretty similar (assuming ABA accreditation). So, the #1 student at Boyd may still be in the top 10% elsewhere, or woudl at least have a fair chance of achieving similar results.

kenpostudent

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2010, 07:05:51 PM »
One last thing, I have no doubt some chose to go to schools outside the T14 and have great intellect.  The school is not always indicative.  In my LSAT prep course, I had 2 Princeton University graduates.  I was outscored them both on every test but the 1st (they scored higher by a point)  For the official test in June, I scored 8 points higher than one.  The other I no longer talk to. And I went to a lowly state school (and a county college for that matter).  I believe though, as they say, I am the exception that proves the rule.  In general, Princeton students will most likely score better than one who has gone to community college.  But sometimes circumstances dictate otherwise.

I'm not really sure to what degree one's LSAT score accurately predicts law school performance. Studies indicate a correlation between first-year grades and the LSAT score. I'm not convinced, but I believe that one's ability to perform well on any standarized test is probably indicative and predicitive of bar passage. I've heard the arguments on both sides of the LSAT debate. I don't really have an opinion either way. Almost no one, however, believes that the LSAT has any correlation to success as a lawyer (assuming one can score high enough to get into law school). Many good attorneys had average or low LSAT scores. I'm not sure if there is any empirical research on the difference in overall career success between someone who scores a 150 versus someone who scores a 180 after say 20 years after law school. I'm not even sure how you would measure that success: monetarily, status of a job, number of trial wins, ect. I would imagine that those who score lower on the LSAT have fewer options in the first 5-10 years of their careers because of the law schools they attend. However, some people score low on the LSAT, go to a low-ranked school, kick ass in their first year, and transfer to a top school in their second year. Any such research would have to capture those people. We had a Boyd student do just that last year. He graduated #1 in the class, had an average LSAT score, then transferred to Stanford. He is now on their Law Journal.

kenpostudent

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #44 on: October 05, 2010, 07:08:03 PM »
Lest you call him an outlier, Boyd has had at least a few graduates a year transfer to a T14 school for the last four years (mostly Georgetown, for some reason they like Boyd grads).

bigs5068

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #45 on: October 05, 2010, 08:01:24 PM »
The pedigree only does mean so much, but it does mean something. As Marcus-said he kicked ass against people from higher ranked schools. A lot of people at GGU went to Berkley, Stanford, Notre Dame, etc for undergrad which are great schools, but I did better in my first year than they did. I don't think there is any question that once your in the game or in a trial that the name of your school does not matter. I saw a lot of court cases this summer and the law school someone went to never came up. 

However, getting a job is easier from a pedigreed school and I do think top schools attract better faculty and students. You said you hate cold weather and did not attend Stanford, because of the cost. If you got a 180 on the LSAT and had a realistic shot I imagine your tune might have changed. I chose GGU for the scholarship money and would not change for anybody.  "Sure"  if Stanford came calling I would be there. Stanford is a better school than GGU. (PERIOD). (EXCLAMATION POINT).  I didn't transfer to Hastings, Santa Clara, or USF because the difference there is minimal. Two more LSAT points and I probably would have gotten into USF with a scholarship. However, there is no way I was pulling a 174 on the LSAT no matter what I did, which is basically what you need for Stanford.

Of course anyone can have a great legal career, but to say Boyd is on par with Harvard or Stanford is off. You can think what you want I won't stop you, but Harvard has more credibility to it than Boyd does. I imagine more top professors, administrators, etc want to live in Boston, New York, San Francisco, or L.A and work at Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, UCLA.  The top people in any industry generally speaking don't seek to work in Spokane at Gonzaga. Of course there is probably an exception and some great professor loves Spokane and nature, but generally speaking they would choose a top school. I personally like my school, but if Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc let me in I would go. My phone is not exactly ringing of the hook to go to those schools and I have still gotten some decent job offers from GGU and hopefully I will have a great legal career. However, I won't deny that people at Stanford had more potential than me to become good attorneys when they applied to law school and when they went to school they were exposed to better faculty and facilities at Stanford and there potential combined with better facilities and faculty puts them at advantage over me.  I will have to work harder to compete with them and I am hopeful and confident that I will. However, I would much rather have the easier path by going to Stanford, just as I would have liked to have been 7'7 when I was playing basketball. 

A final example is that Michigan is better at football than Appalachian State despite that huge upset. If they played 100 more times Michigan would probably win every game. Even if they lost again no Blue Chip High School Prospect is going to choose Appalachian State over Michigan and no Big Time Coach is going to choose Appalachian State over Michigan.  University of Michigan has better facilities, more exposure to NFL coaches, a chance to play in the BCS, plays against more competitive schools, and better athletes go there.  Any player would be crazy to turn down Michigan for Appalachian State. Again there probably is some exception where some guy was recruited by a top program and went to Division IAA school. There are also great players from Division IAA schools see Kurt Warner and Tony Romo. Your ability to perform the job is the most important thing, but Kurt Warner was bagging groceries and only got on the field because Trent Green got his knee shattered. He stepped up when he needed to, but he definetly did not have anything handed to him. Same for Tony Romo Drew Bledsoe had to play awfully for him to even get a shot. As a lower ranked student you will have less opportunities to shine, but they will probably present themselves and you need to be ready. 


Morten Lund

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #46 on: October 06, 2010, 12:38:43 AM »
Almost no one, however, believes that the LSAT has any correlation to success as a lawyer (assuming one can score high enough to get into law school).

Depending on one's definition of "success," of course, this statement appears false almost by definition.

If we assume these  two premises:

(1) a reasonably strong correlation between LSAT score and rank of law school attended

(2) a reasonably strong correlation between rank of law school attended and "success"

Then, unless math fails me, it necessarily follows that there is a non-negligible (and probably strong) correlation between LSAT score and "success."

(I suspect there would be plenty of range interactions and other effects, but for any data set where (1) and (2) are true, the conclusion will follow.)

Premise (1) is almost tautological, yes?  Premise (2) is trickier, but certainly if we go by income, employment position, or other objective socioeconomic status measures, premise (2) has been shown to be pretty consistent (again, subject to range effects, etc.).

Sorry.  Didn't mean to derail a perfectly good school discussion.

Morten Lund

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #47 on: October 06, 2010, 12:40:26 AM »
A final example is that Michigan is better at football than Appalachian State despite that huge upset.

A football analogy?  You're slipping.

kenpostudent

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #48 on: October 06, 2010, 12:07:39 PM »

However, getting a job is easier from a pedigreed school and I do think top schools attract better faculty and students. You said you hate cold weather and did not attend Stanford, because of the cost. If you got a 180 on the LSAT and had a realistic shot I imagine your tune might have changed. I chose GGU for the scholarship money and would not change for anybody.  "Sure"  if Stanford came calling I would be there. Stanford is a better school than GGU. (PERIOD). (EXCLAMATION POINT).

You're a pretentious bastard if you somehow presume to know where I would have gone to law school had I had a certain LSAT score! How do you have any idea what I value? Maybe my ties to Las Vegas (10 years of personal and professional relationships) is worth more to me than a degree from Stanford, even if the cost was equal to that of Boyd. Furthermore, maybe I want to practice in Las Vegas. Therefore, attending Boyd would make far more sense than attending Stanford because Boyd gives me access to internships and part-time jobs during law school that Stanford would not. Get the F*ck off your high horse! You don't know me and you have no clue what I would do.

That said, I can't honestly say what I would have done had I been offered a full-ride to Stanford. It would have been a very tough decision because I love my girlfriend; I have valuable contacts in Las Vegas; I want to practice in Las Vegas, I hate CA; and, I would still incur more debt even with a full-ride to Stanford because of a higher cost of living in Palo Alto as compared to Las Vegas.

I don't think Boyd is a better school that Harvard, Stanford, Yale, any T14, ect. I, however, don't think any of those schools are necessarily better than Boyd. To argue that Stanford is necessarily better than Boyd is nothing more than an opinion. The conclusion depends on what criteria one values. From on objective perspective, all T14 schools do place better on a national level than Boyd. I have never argued otherwise. However, I will vigorously challenge the notion that a T14 places better than Boyd in Nevada. I do not believe they do. Given a choice between a Harvard grad and a Boyd grad (assuming equal applicants in every way except for their alma mater), I don't think most Nevada firms would hire the T14 grad simply because of where they went to school. The reverse is not true. If I went to Manhattan to apply for a big firm job, I would have virtually no chance of getting a job, unless 1. I clerk for SCOTUS, 2. My dad owns the firm, or 3. I blow the hiring partner and he has the orgasm of his life. Because I don't suck c*ck, my dad does not own an NYC law firm, and I will never clerk for SCOTUS, I don't like my odds. Moreover, I don't see how Harvard, Yale, Stanford NECESSARILY produces better attorneys simply because they managed to get into Harvard. What you do in law school and how hard you work has great bearing on the skills you develop and the trajectory of your career. That is the sum total of my argument.

kenpostudent

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #49 on: October 06, 2010, 12:08:34 PM »
Almost no one, however, believes that the LSAT has any correlation to success as a lawyer (assuming one can score high enough to get into law school).

Depending on one's definition of "success," of course, this statement appears false almost by definition.

If we assume these  two premises:

(1) a reasonably strong correlation between LSAT score and rank of law school attended

(2) a reasonably strong correlation between rank of law school attended and "success"

Then, unless math fails me, it necessarily follows that there is a non-negligible (and probably strong) correlation between LSAT score and "success."

(I suspect there would be plenty of range interactions and other effects, but for any data set where (1) and (2) are true, the conclusion will follow.)

Premise (1) is almost tautological, yes?  Premise (2) is trickier, but certainly if we go by income, employment position, or other objective socioeconomic status measures, premise (2) has been shown to be pretty consistent (again, subject to range effects, etc.).

Sorry.  Didn't mean to derail a perfectly good school discussion.

Your argument depends on how you define "success". Sucess can be defined a variety of ways. Also, your argument does not take into account one's capability to develop over skill over the course of one's career. So, let's say student A gets a 155 on the LSAT and attends the University of New Mexico. Student B scores 175 on the LSAT and attends Harvard (we'll exclude GPA to avoid confusing issues). It is possible, though maybe not necessarily likely, that Student A may develop the reasoning skills through the course of law school and subsequent experience thereafter to match the reasoning skills of Student B. Maybe after three years of law school and five years of practice, both students would retake the LSAT and both score 175. If so, then could Student A be as good or even better of a lawyer than Student B? Maybe.

My argument presumes that Student B does not develop much during his time in law school or practice. Maybe Student B does develop substantially, but Student A develops so as to match him. Is that possible? Maybe. Some people are diamonds in the rough. Many are not. If two people can score the same on the LSAT after five years of law practice, what then separates them? The prestige of their degrees, which is subtantial depending on their career asperations. What else separates them? The sum total of their experiences and relationships. Can Student A gain experience and/or develop relationships to match Student B over the course of his career? I don't know, but maybe.