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Author Topic: Better LS or better class rank important?  (Read 954 times)

Reesespbcup

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Better LS or better class rank important?
« on: October 06, 2006, 02:15:34 PM »
I just wanted to get some input on whether it is (GENERALLY!) more beneficial to go to a highly regarded school, where one might be in say, the bottom 20% vs going to a school that has just received accreditation and graduating in the top 10%. Thoughts?
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Re: Better LS or better class rank important?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2006, 04:05:10 PM »
bottom of the class at HYS will always be better than top of the class at a TTT as far as opportunities after school.

orangie

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Re: Better LS or better class rank important?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2006, 04:06:12 PM »
bottom of the class at HYS will always be better than top of the class at a TTT as far as opportunities after school.
tcr

Alamo

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Re: Better LS or better class rank important?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2006, 10:18:47 AM »
I just wanted to get some input on whether it is (GENERALLY!) more beneficial to go to a highly regarded school, where one might be in say, the bottom 20% vs going to a school that has just received accreditation and graduating in the top 10%. Thoughts?

It's a bad question.

If you're going to be in the top 10% of your class, even at a fourth tier school, you're very probably not going to be in the bottom 20% of your class, even at Harvard, Chicago, or NYU.

Agreed - it's what you might call a "false dichotomy."  A lot of students a the lower ranked schools will be very competitive, hoping to transfer to a better school, and realizing the absolute necessity of finishing highly in the class to get the good job opportunities.  Given that all of your grades are dependent on a week and a half of exams, anything can happen at any school.  That's why the conventional wisdom is to go to the best school (that you have a good fit with) that you get into, because it's so tough to tell where you'll end up in the heap. 

Also note that grades are not the be-all, end-all of career placement.  Especially if you're interested in doing criminal, government or public interest work, clinical and extracurricular experience can be just as important as grades, if not moreso. 
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 . . .

Reesespbcup

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Re: Better LS or better class rank important?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2006, 06:45:11 PM »
Well it being "a bad question" is kind of why I qualified it by saying "in general". HOWEVER, I understand why I need to provide more specific info so here goes:
My stats MAY be good enough for UF, but the company I currently work for may make me offer that would involve enough money that I could come out of LS debt-free. That is, if I stay in Orlando. Unfortunately, Orl doesn't have very good LS (Barry or FAMU). So, assuming that my stats are on-par w UF (80th percentile), I'm figuring I might do well relative to a class w stats in the 40th percentile.

In assessing my options, would I be better off going to a much more highly regarded school, even if I wouldn't be "a superstar" or, should I consider a school where I might very well stand out?
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Towelie

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Re: Better LS or better class rank important?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2006, 06:58:51 PM »
I think when trying to decide what law school to go to, you should assume you are going to be at the median in the class. Why? Because, really, you have NO idea how you are going to do.. regardless of how high your stats are (or how low they are) in comparison to that of other students.

That said, the question "better LS or better class rank" really depends on the degrees of difference between the school. Comparing Michigan to say, Cornell, for instance, better class rank may be more important than better law school. If you're thinking the difference between UCLA and Southwestern, better law school trumps better class rank in almost all occasions. It really depends on the school, but you should NOT pick a school because you assume if you go there you'll be ranked higher. Way too risky.
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Re: Better LS or better class rank important?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2006, 07:31:34 PM »
I'm going to be embarrassed for putting it up. I know it's ugly and I know it's extraordinarily simplified. The numbers don't mean anything and they don't come from anywhere. My point in making the graph was to try and convey a general concept... not actual data. I hope you'll go easy on me  :-X



Ack. it comes out small. the Y axis has (from top to bottom) T14, 15-20, 21-25, 26-40, 40-50, T2, T3 and T4 and the X has 10th percentile, 25th, 50th, 67th, 75th, 90th, 95th (left to right) And the shaded part is people who on the whole get "good" jobs. (whatever that means)

Towelie

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Re: Better LS or better class rank important?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2006, 02:41:37 AM »
I think when trying to decide what law school to go to, you should assume you are going to be at the median in the class. Why? Because, really, you have NO idea how you are going to do.. regardless of how high your stats are (or how low they are) in comparison to that of other students.

This is generally true.  Stats (LSAT and GPA) don't do a nearly good job of predicting law school performance.  If you make your examples extreme enough, I think this rule breaks -- say you've got that 3.8/175 that would get you Harvard, and you choose to attend Thomas Jefferson -- in that case you're talking about a bunch of 3.0/145 students, and I believe that there is enough of a difference there to think that the Harvard student, any Harvard student, will do well at TJ.


I think, even in that scenario, a bottom half (even bottom 1/4) HLS student would place better than a top Thomas Jefferson student. In any event, I stand by my thinking that picking a lower ranked school because you think you'll do better there is a risky strategy and probably not a good one to employ.
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Alamo

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Re: Better LS or better class rank important?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2006, 10:51:29 AM »
I'm going to be embarrassed for putting it up. I know it's ugly and I know it's extraordinarily simplified. The numbers don't mean anything and they don't come from anywhere. My point in making the graph was to try and convey a general concept... not actual data. I hope you'll go easy on me  :-X



Ack. it comes out small. the Y axis has (from top to bottom) T14, 15-20, 21-25, 26-40, 40-50, T2, T3 and T4 and the X has 10th percentile, 25th, 50th, 67th, 75th, 90th, 95th (left to right) And the shaded part is people who on the whole get "good" jobs. (whatever that means)

This is a neat-looking graph - but are you seriously telling us that it's based on absolutely nothing, and therefore just a visual depiction of a common, largely unsubstantiated impression?  Or is there real data there somewhere, and you just don't know how it's calculated (eg, how is "good" job defined)?
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

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Re: Better LS or better class rank important?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2006, 11:08:17 AM »
I think when trying to decide what law school to go to, you should assume you are going to be at the median in the class. Why? Because, really, you have NO idea how you are going to do.. regardless of how high your stats are (or how low they are) in comparison to that of other students.

That said, the question "better LS or better class rank" really depends on the degrees of difference between the school. Comparing Michigan to say, Cornell, for instance, better class rank may be more important than better law school. If you're thinking the difference between UCLA and Southwestern, better law school trumps better class rank in almost all occasions. It really depends on the school, but you should NOT pick a school because you assume if you go there you'll be ranked higher. Way too risky.

Wise words.