Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Construct your own Admissions system  (Read 8222 times)

philibusters

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1076
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Construct your own Admissions system
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2006, 10:15:03 AM »
I think Northwestern's got the right idea - the school interviews all candidates.  I noticed an undeniable shortage of obnoxious jerks when I visited campus, and I think the school's interview process has a lot to do with this. 

As far as other factors go (LSAT, GPA, race, etc.)- screw them.  I'd hire an admissions committee that I trust, and give them the power to be totally subjective and arbitrary.  If you like a person's total package, let them in; if anything about the total package says no, sayonara.  Quotas for LSAT, GPA, or race wouldn't work for me. 

I think that in the back of my mind, I'd want to make sure my class is diverse, but not by defining a certain percentage that must be composed of any certain group.  This works the same way sentencing guidelines do - taking away a judge's power to make a sensible decision if the sum of the circumstances conflicts with the prescribed sentence.

My main point: objective criteria are overrated.  Admissions committees state this, but I wonder how true it really is . . .

Thats an interesting idea.  Some of you like more subjective admissions processes like how Northwestern interviews candidates, but if you read the "The inherent irony in meritocracy admissions" thread, you would realize that can be more dangerous than being number whores because it is easy for them to discriminate against new classes of people-physically unimposing people, shy people, non-WASP, et cetera.  So by giving them more discretion, you give them the flexiblity to make the right moves, but also the flexibity to do the wrong moves.  To me it is much much much more dangerous to get rid of lsat and gpa.  I think theres a strong argument to say they are weighed too heavily, but like I said if you got rid of them, your total package will focus on how much money your parents have to contribute the school, your race, physical attributes, how manly you are, if you are a girl whether you will flirt with the admissions person during the interview, et cetera-if thats the alternative to choose from, I would pick numbering whoring. I know that wasn't the idea when you said to base it more on subjective things, but being human nature what it is, that is what it would eventually devolve into.  I'd recommend reading the inherent irony of meritocracy admissions thread-I found that it shocked a lot of my assumptions.

2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

omake_don

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 51
  • i'm going to law school, but i'd rather be a ninja
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Construct your own Admissions system
« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2006, 10:21:18 AM »
since the entire idea of 'fairness' is logically unfounded. i propse we admitt everyone. you know who the most underrepresented people are in law school? stupid people. that is entirly unfair. why you ask? take a look at the people in harvard or yale or whatever t14 school you pick, are any of the people, even the dumbest have 90%tile or higher IQs. was this earned in any way? did not some combination of upbringing and genetics determine our IQs? not to mention physical abilities so that we can get those sports scholarships, good looks so we could sleep our ways to that A, determination and drive so we work hard and excel. all those things that determined your chances at getting into law school was randomly determined by cosmic chance or divine destiny anyway, thusly non of it is really very 'fair' in the sense that fair means that you get the admission that you deserve. since you don't really 'deserve' any of those things mentioned above that put you into the position that you can get into law school if you choose to do so, so why deny retarded people the chance to earn 6 digit salaries first year out of school and the prestige of being a lawyer? god knows stupid people has had it worse then blacks, women, ugly polar bears and three toed kentuckites stacked on top of eachother.

i'm spicy in that non-offensive and mysterious way that all the ladies.. SHUT YOUR MOUTH!

Alamo

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2557
    • View Profile
Re: Construct your own Admissions system
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2006, 10:57:57 AM »
I think Northwestern's got the right idea - the school interviews all candidates.  I noticed an undeniable shortage of obnoxious jerks when I visited campus, and I think the school's interview process has a lot to do with this. 

As far as other factors go (LSAT, GPA, race, etc.)- screw them.  I'd hire an admissions committee that I trust, and give them the power to be totally subjective and arbitrary.  If you like a person's total package, let them in; if anything about the total package says no, sayonara.  Quotas for LSAT, GPA, or race wouldn't work for me. 

I think that in the back of my mind, I'd want to make sure my class is diverse, but not by defining a certain percentage that must be composed of any certain group.  This works the same way sentencing guidelines do - taking away a judge's power to make a sensible decision if the sum of the circumstances conflicts with the prescribed sentence.

My main point: objective criteria are overrated.  Admissions committees state this, but I wonder how true it really is . . .

Thats an interesting idea.  Some of you like more subjective admissions processes like how Northwestern interviews candidates, but if you read the "The inherent irony in meritocracy admissions" thread, you would realize that can be more dangerous than being number whores because it is easy for them to discriminate against new classes of people-physically unimposing people, shy people, non-WASP, et cetera.  So by giving them more discretion, you give them the flexiblity to make the right moves, but also the flexibity to do the wrong moves.  To me it is much much much more dangerous to get rid of lsat and gpa.  I think theres a strong argument to say they are weighed too heavily, but like I said if you got rid of them, your total package will focus on how much money your parents have to contribute the school, your race, physical attributes, how manly you are, if you are a girl whether you will flirt with the admissions person during the interview, et cetera-if thats the alternative to choose from, I would pick numbering whoring. I know that wasn't the idea when you said to base it more on subjective things, but being human nature what it is, that is what it would eventually devolve into.  I'd recommend reading the inherent irony of meritocracy admissions thread-I found that it shocked a lot of my assumptions.



Phil,

I did read the admissions irony thread, and must say I enjoyed it immensely.  I'll also note that I was feeling a bit cranky and cantankerous when I wrote the above post in this thread.  However, I stand by what I wrote with a few qualifications. 

Personally, if I have an admissions committee that I trust, I would rather give them discretion to select the best candidates than to give them a fixed formula.  I would need to ensure that all interviewers and file revieweers are on exactly the same page in terms of what we're looking for in a candidate.  I would encourage them to adapt their interview styles based on the type of person being interviewed - take it easier on shy people, more rapid-fire questioning for gunner types, etc.  I would seek to record a "thick description" (to borrow from anthropolese) of the person.  When all interviews were complete, I would attempt to assemble a class of diverse personalities.  In life you're going to have to work with a wide range of personality types, and I think LS should prepare you for that by learning with a diverse class.

I certainly would not discount grades or LSAT - in fact, they'd probably be weighted pretty heavily.  I think they're probably a great indicator of LS success; they're just not the only indicator of who I'd want at my school.  And I would not hesitate to throw out people with high grades and LSATs if they had major personality defects.  I realize that a great interviewee might be skilled at hiding such negative characteristics, but I think if my interviewers were trained well enough, I would hope in most cases they'd be able to bring out a person's true colors. 

My main point is that personally, I don't like relying simply on a formulaic approach - no matter how painstakingly specific criteria are defined, they'll always end up screwing somebody if you don't have an admissions officer with common sense to say: "Gee, this person is really special - despite the fact she's not strong in X area, I think the person deserves a spot."  I have limited faith in the ability of categorization by numbers alone to produce a great LS class.

I think that admissions committees use a lot of this discretionary approach today - that's why you see the outliers on LSN.  I also realize that this approach is somewhat vague and idealistic, and relies heavily on my ill-defined concept of "personality."  But I think that any admissions process should have an element of mystery . . . ;)
I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .

redemption

  • Guest
Re: Construct your own Admissions system
« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2006, 03:39:57 PM »
buuump