Law School Discussion

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Author Topic: law school grades  (Read 16050 times)

bigs5068

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #50 on: October 06, 2010, 12:37:02 PM »



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.


Relax. I take it you did not get a 180 on your LSAT and of course even if you did you may have still chosen Boyd forreasons. I worked for a guy that got a 177 and probably could have gotten into any school in the country. However, he was legally blind and had a family and went to Cal Northern a CBA school in Chico where he lived. He was valedictorian of the school and has a good job in Chico. He can't leave there and some people have similar situations. There are always some exceptions and really talented people at lower ranked schools. However, Stanford has more resources and the students have more potential when they arrive. Yes they do have more potential you need to have gotten a 3.8 or something in undergrad, which means the individual was more focused or just more intelligent. I partied my ass of in undergrad and did not get a great GPA. People that got 4.0's in undergrad were focused. This focus continues into law school and as I said I could not get a 178 on the LSAT the person that got into Stanford can. They also have to write more admissions essays etc. It is just more competitive to get in and they are dealing with a better crop of students. They also have better facilities, they have more money and they have a huge advantage based on those two things. Being focused in undergrad, a high LSAT score, and going to a school with more funding and facilities is not a guarantee that they will be a better attorney than someone from Boyd or Santa Clara, but it sure helps. I don't know what else to say I hope you go out and kick ass when you become a lawyer. That is really all that matters at the end of day is how you do once your out there, but Ivy League and Elite schools have an advantage.

You might be right in regards to Boyd placing well in Vegas. Location is a huge factor when considering what law school you are going to choose. Boyd might beat out a Harvard grad in Vegas. However, a Harvard degree makes you more competitive nationally and gives you more opportunities. In some limited situations a Boyd Degree might be better, but generally it is not.

kenpostudent

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2010, 01:32:34 PM »
We generally agree on the fact that national schools offer a greater breadth of career prospects than even the best of regional schools. We disagree on the notion that national schools provide a better education. I'm not sure that is true, but I have never attended a national school. For those who have, I'll defer to your wisdom, but I remain skeptical.

I did not get a 180 on the LSAT. I probably never will. If I had, I'm not sure what I would do. I can confidently say that I would NEVER attend Harvard, Yale, NYU, Michigan, UPA, or any other school in a cold weather state. I may have attended either Stanford or USC if I got a full ride... maybe even UCLA. It would have been such a hard choice, though.

I defend my school not because I have some emphatic or misplaced fealty to it. I defend Boyd because I truly hate the notion that T14 or Ivy League schools provide a better education. I think they have just been around longer. It may be, though I don't know this is true, that the schools live on a repuation that was developed and deserved 50 years ago but is no longer warranted. I doubt that because legal professionals would shift their practices in 50 years. I do believe that an old law school like Stanford can offer a comparable education as a younger law school, such as Boyd, but Boyd wouldn't get the respect for at least another 20-50 years. Afterall, Standford was not on par with NYU, Columbia, Harvard, and Yale in the early 70s (so I am told, I wasn't alive then). I am told by Stanford alum that Stanford really became an "elite" law school in the late 70s. Again, I don't know that for sure because I was 2 in 1979. If that is true, however, then it is possible that Boyd will be comparable to UCLA in 20-30 years. That may or may not happen. So, Stanford was a quality school... and offered elite level education long before it developed a repuation for doing so. Because of this lag time in garnering a reputation, it is possible that many T2 schools are now offering fine legal education but do not get the respect of the more "elite" schools. I'm also not sure that reputation and quality always go hand-in-hand.

bigs5068

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #52 on: October 06, 2010, 02:21:58 PM »
I think we are in agreement. You don't need to tell me how ludicrous the rankings are. I mean they are based on literally nothing. It works like this judges and attorneys are given a sheet to fill out that says very good, good, average, or marginal. So these anonymous people from all over the country fill out these horribly detailed Scantron about 195 schools most of which they have never heard of. So a Nebraska judge is ranking Boyd as one of very good, good, average, or marginal, but odds are he has never met a soul that went to Boyd or has any idea if it is a good school or not. It is AWFULLY done and yet it retains the stigma.

However, when you get to Stanford or Harvard I think the story changes. Stanford and Harvard may or may not provide education, but they have a lot more money. Harvard I think has a 37 billion dollar endowment granted it is the whole university, but that can buy a lot of programs etc. My school I think has a 50 million dollar endowment. More money means more resources, better professors, better facilities, etc. I think they can probably do provide a better education simply because they have more money.

On top of the massive difference in money  the admissions standards are incredibly difficult. . Look at that Marcus-Aurellius poster's thread he is writing numerous essays and putting a lot of thought into it and he got a 173. He still probably won't get into Yale, although I hope he does. He has a shot, but that just goes to show how hard it is. The people that can even meet these standards are then exposed to a school that quite literally has 100x more money and resources. It is just hard to compete with that and that is why the education is probably better. Most students I have met from Stanford and my professors that went to Harvard are the least cocky people I know. They are not these Ivory Tower types they seem to really know what they are talking about.

I agree there is no difference between the majority of schools. The admission standards between a tier 2 and tier 4 are about 3 LSAT points and sometimes the tier 4 has higher admission standards. If a school is ranked 88 spots higher because their students is 4 or 5 MC questions that might have been guesses I don't think it says much. That is why I am completely against the rankings once it gets out of the top 10 or 25. However, when the school is ELITE there are reasons for it having that status. There of course some f*** ups that go to Harvard and Yale. Actually one of the worst professors I have ever had in my life went to NYU a pretty elite school. I really question if she knew what she was talking about and I think I could beat her in a tort case and she taught torts. Of course there are going to people who underwhelm you that go to these top schools, but for the reasons above that is the exception not the rule.

kenpostudent

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #53 on: October 06, 2010, 05:53:40 PM »
Harvard, Yale, & Standford have tons of money. I can't and won't argue with that fact. Those schools can offer more programs and ammenities. I don't know if that always translates to a better education. I suppose it may. That is still speculative. What specific programs do those schools offer that so enriches the educational experience? I'm not asking rhetorically, I simply don't know.

I have professors from Harvard, Standford, and Yale. They were awesome and quite knowledgeable. Of the five best professors that I have had, 4 went to Tier 2 schools and one went to Harvard. Is that indicative of anything? Not really. None of the best attorneys I have met or worked with went to an elite law school. That is not indicative of anything either.

A state school like Boyd, in the midst of a budget crunch and facing less funding than previous years, can't possibly compete with huge private schools in terms of endowments and fudning. So, if your definition of a better education includes funds spent on students, we lose hands down. Do we lose by other measures? I'm sure Boyd is no match for Harvard (certainly not across the board). I just wonder how wide the gap is and if that is a gap that one can bridge with hard work and dedication.

In this debate, everyone always references admission standards. I concede that many schools have higher admission standards than Boyd, certainly elite law schools. How do higher admission standards translate into better graduates? Harvard starts with the best so they graduate the best? Sort of. Maybe. This assumes that all law schools develop attorneys at the same rate and to the same degree. It also assumes that a school's repuation or endowment directly translates into a better educational experience so that no other school who admits "less qualified" applicants could not develop their grads more thoroughly. I don't necessarily believe that. It may be true, but I'm not resting that conclusion on a school's reputation or US New Ranking. It is possible for a school to build a better mouse trap but not get the recognition in the school's general reputation. For instance, the University of Phoenix generally admits anyone. It's widely considered a diploma mill. However, while students often start their education with lower qualifications that state university's, many UoP grads are on equal footing with state school grads. UoP often takes the underqualified and makes them qualified. Can a law school do the same? I think so. I'm not saying that happens in regards to Boyd vs. Harvard. In fact, I bet it does not (overall). However, could it? Sure.

kenpostudent

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2010, 12:38:13 AM »
Update: A good friend of mine and classmate just received an offer for a summer associate position from Fennemore Craig over Harvard and Standford applicants. He is on both law review and the moot court team (our moot court team is invitation only). He is also in the top 10 of our class. While this is anecdotal evidence, at best; it does prove that some Boyd students can beat out some Harvard students. As I said, Harvard does not rule in this market.

bigs5068

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #55 on: October 07, 2010, 01:00:30 AM »
Good for him that is awesome! Again, I don't think anyone was trying to say that Harvard always wins and nobody from Boyd or any other school ever does anything of substance in the legal field. There are plenty of top lawyers from lower ranked schools, but the fact that it is news that your friend got this position shows the disparity between the schools. If a Harvard grad got the job you would say oh well he went to Harvard that is what you expect. When your friend got the job it is an awesome story. As always law school and your legal career is what you make of it. Your buddy got his foot in the door and if he gets a ton of clients and makes the firm a ton of money he will be more valuable than any Harvard Grads hired this year. Nobody says it can't happen and it does all the time. However, if I was in Vegas and you could bet on whether a Harvard or Gonzaga grad would get a 100k a year salary first I would choose the Harvard grad. I think most people would do the same.

Morten Lund

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2010, 02:43:43 AM »
Adding more anecdotal evidence:  I have personally recommended against hiring many candidates from YHS, and recommended in favor of hiring several candidates from Marquette Law and similarly ranked schools.  There is certainly no rule that being from a higher-ranked school means you get the job.

At the same time, however, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the quality of the average candidate from YHS far exceeds the quality of the average candidate from Marquette.

But at the same same time, however, some of the finest lawyers I know graduated from Marquette, or schools ranked well below Marquette (such as the GGU graduate I mentioned in a prior thread).

Are top-ranked schools "better" than low-ranked schools?  From my perspective that is the wrong question.  What I do care about, and what is absolutely true in my experience, is that, statistically speaking, the graduates from top schools tend to be better candidates than graduates from schools with a significantly lower ranking.

Hiring associates is a bit of a crap-shoot, and fishing in the top schools will on the average yield a better crop.  Therefore firms prefer to hire from well-ranked school.  There are other factors, of course, but simple statistics will take you most of the way there.

kenpostudent

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #57 on: October 07, 2010, 10:40:35 AM »
When a statistical correlation becomes a hard presumption, that is where I take offense. Personally, I really don't care how big law firms select their associates. For a litany of reasons, I would rather cut off a finger with a dull knife before accepting a position at most of those firms. However, there is just too much snootiness in the legal profession. As humans, we are just flawed. Collectively, our judgment sucks; hence, the need for a legal profession. Judging an individual solely by a statistical curve on a justification of "efficiency" is both wrong in a moral sense and a byproduct of flawed judgment. I would expect more from attorneys. However, I shouldn't because most attorneys are more flawed than the population they represent.

I don't have a problem with the assertion that most YHS grads are more qualified on the whole than most grads of lower-rated schools. When that judgment (I wouldn't call it a rule), is then applied to individual candidates syllogistically, that is where I take offense. Statistics are a form of inductive reasoning. To apply a statistical correlation deductively is not logically valid nor is it fair.

nealric

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #58 on: October 07, 2010, 10:41:13 AM »
Quote
  Fennemore Craig over Harvard and Standford applicants. H

Almost everyone would agree that going to Harvard won't give you much of a leg-up in regional midlaw. I'm sure it's a great place, but that type of firm isn't even on the radar for most Stanford applicants. A lot of those firms don't really consider the Stanford/Harvard types to be serious applicants.
Georgetown Law Graduate

Chief justice Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Now who's being naive?

jack24

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Re: law school grades
« Reply #59 on: October 07, 2010, 11:50:18 AM »
When a statistical correlation becomes a hard presumption, that is where I take offense. Personally, I really don't care how big law firms select their associates. For a litany of reasons, I would rather cut off a finger with a dull knife before accepting a position at most of those firms. However, there is just too much snootiness in the legal profession. As humans, we are just flawed. Collectively, our judgment sucks; hence, the need for a legal profession. Judging an individual solely by a statistical curve on a justification of "efficiency" is both wrong in a moral sense and a byproduct of flawed judgment. I would expect more from attorneys. However, I shouldn't because most attorneys are more flawed than the population they represent.

I don't have a problem with the assertion that most YHS grads are more qualified on the whole than most grads of lower-rated schools. When that judgment (I wouldn't call it a rule), is then applied to individual candidates syllogistically, that is where I take offense. Statistics are a form of inductive reasoning. To apply a statistical correlation deductively is not logically valid nor is it fair.

I don't mean to be rude, but you don't seem to be considering reality when you make your arguments.

Most medium and large firms get hundreds of applications for every one job opening.  They have to narrow it down using something, because they don't have the time or resources to do a full and proper check of every single candidate.  They have to use statistics to determine who to interview, and they also can rely on previous experience.  I'm sure that if firms were hiring a bunch of harvard grads that turned out to be chumps, they would start to look elsewhere, but I'm sure that's very rare. 
Also, the general public does influence what a firm does.  Firms realize that it looks good to have associates from top tier schools.  A partner dealing with a client would like to be able to say, "I'd like to introduce you to Stephen, he's just recently graduated from law school at Stanford and he'll be helping on your case." 

You say you wouldn't want to work at a firm that would value an ivy league education, and that's fine, but it's a bit odd to pretend that it's not rational for a firm to go for the most decorated candidates.