Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Section Stacking?  (Read 2953 times)

bittrsweet

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
Re: Section Stacking?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2007, 11:20:08 AM »
does anyone know about UMiami?
attending: most likely U Miami
in: U Miami ($$$), Cardozo ($$), U Maryland, American, UNC
out: Georgetown, NYU, Fordham
pending: GW
wait-listed: WUSTL

LSAT:164 GPA:3.65

Yankees Fan

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 762
    • AOL Instant Messenger - Ask+me
    • View Profile
Re: Section Stacking?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2007, 11:23:53 AM »
tag.  I might call or email USD and see what they say about this.

I was always under the impression top 1/x meant of the entire class, not just your section...?
USD 2010

Booyakasha2

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1127
  • Dig to get jiggy wiv mr. biggy
    • View Profile
Re: Section Stacking?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2007, 11:26:33 AM »
tag.  I might call or email USD and see what they say about this.

I was always under the impression top 1/x meant of the entire class, not just your section...?

But when they give you grades, the curve is based on only those in your section classes  - which may be stacked, while they rank you with the whole class.
Princeton Law 2010

Yankees Fan

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 762
    • AOL Instant Messenger - Ask+me
    • View Profile
Re: Section Stacking?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2007, 11:33:46 AM »
tag.  I might call or email USD and see what they say about this.

I was always under the impression top 1/x meant of the entire class, not just your section...?

But when they give you grades, the curve is based on only those in your section classes  - which may be stacked, while they rank you with the whole class.

So if each section has the same grade distribution, if you finish in say the top 1/2 of your section, you finish in the top 1/2 of your entire class most likely.  If you receive a B, and 50% in your section get Bs or better, the same should apply to all sections, thus meaning you're still in the top 50%.

Other than the fact that the competition might be tougher due to people either working harder or just being smarter, thus having been offered scholarships, it wouldn't really matter if your rank is calculated against just your section or the whole class.

Or am I missing something here?
USD 2010

zephyr

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 635
    • View Profile
Re: Section Stacking?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2007, 11:40:18 AM »
I heard from a current Georgetown student that one section has the reputation as the "gunner section" and that the top student in the class usually comes from this section. I'm not sure if this a myth or not, but it made me wonder how the sections are assigned. I can understand if it's not completely random; I imagine schools want some diversity in each section (i.e. ethnically, age-wise, and geographically), but I would be troubled if the sections were assigned based on LSAT/GPA.
Jim McAllister: Larry, we're not electing the f-ing Pope here. Just tell me who won. -Election

Forget Money, Read a Book

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 132
    • View Profile
Re: Section Stacking?
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2007, 07:57:36 PM »
tag.  I might call or email USD and see what they say about this.

I was always under the impression top 1/x meant of the entire class, not just your section...?

But when they give you grades, the curve is based on only those in your section classes  - which may be stacked, while they rank you with the whole class.

So if each section has the same grade distribution, if you finish in say the top 1/2 of your section, you finish in the top 1/2 of your entire class most likely.  If you receive a B, and 50% in your section get Bs or better, the same should apply to all sections, thus meaning you're still in the top 50%.

Other than the fact that the competition might be tougher due to people either working harder or just being smarter, thus having been offered scholarships, it wouldn't really matter if your rank is calculated against just your section or the whole class.

Or am I missing something here?


Yanksfan and Bittersweet-
hopefully we won't have to worry about this at UM.  During ASD, we were organized alphabetically into those tour groups and my guide mentioned that that is most likely how we'll be organized into sections come the fall....then again, she didn't even know about Law Review so she could have been mistaking.
Attending: The "U"

IN: UMiami($$), UofArizona($$), American, URichmond($$), UofSouth Carolina($$)
OUT:  BC, IU-B, UF,
WL:  GWU, UNC, UGA

vap

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1310
  • Attorney
    • View Profile
Re: Section Stacking?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2007, 10:11:00 PM »
So if each section has the same grade distribution, if you finish in say the top 1/2 of your section, you finish in the top 1/2 of your entire class most likely.  If you receive a B, and 50% in your section get Bs or better, the same should apply to all sections, thus meaning you're still in the top 50%.

Other than the fact that the competition might be tougher due to people either working harder or just being smarter, thus having been offered scholarships, it wouldn't really matter if your rank is calculated against just your section or the whole class.

Or am I missing something here?

An example.

School X has a class size of 200 students, and it awards 100 students scholarships (50% of the class) that require each student be in the top 50% of the class for renewal.  If it has four sections, it can stack like this:

Section 1
(Stacked - all students received scholarships)
50 students = 25 students are above the median

Section 2 (Stacked - all students received scholarships)
50 students = 25 students are above the median

Section 3
(Unstacked - no students received scholarships)
50 students = 25 students are above the median

Section 4 (Unstacked - no students received scholarships)
50 students = 25 students are above the median


Each class is graded on a curve, so let's say 25 students from each class are at or above the median.  All sections use the same curve.  At the end of the year, the GPAs for all students are combined and the class rankings are determined.  The top 50% of each section will comprise the top 50% of the class.  So by stacking, the school ensures that no more than 50 of the original 100 students awarded scholarships will be able to renew.  Without stacking, it would be theoretically possible for all 100 students to renew.

I'm not saying schools actually do this, but this is the theory of stacking.

Law School Hero

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 108
  • Telepathy doesn't seem to be having any effect...
    • View Profile
Re: Section Stacking?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2007, 01:36:13 AM »
the problem with doing that is that some lesser students would end up with better class ranks than some superior students simply because they were placed in the "low competition" section.
 
wouldn't a top school want to level the playing field so that the best students would have the best class rank?  these are the students that are going to be representing these law schools at the top firms, jobs, etc.

not to mention that this practice would infuriate your best students.  i can't believe any respectable school would do that to save a few bucks.  who knows though.

rtqw

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1372
  • Jim Tressel drinks wine coolers
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Section Stacking?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2007, 01:56:42 AM »
ON a related note:

I noticed that the scholarships I from top20 schools are largely unconditional and that the conditions get more and more ridiculous the further down the food chain you go.


Why is this??

Top 20 schools have more money and larger endowments; less of a need to save money by instituting GPA requirements on scholarships. George Washington probably has the money to let ~10% of their class attend there for free, Seton Hall doesn't.

I would also guess that once we get into top 20 range, a GPA requirement would make potential scholarship recipients very weary. Even if your numbers are above the medians, very few would be able to guarantee that they're going to be in the top 20-50% at an Ivy league, other elite private, or top public school.
University of Michigan Law School, Class of 2010
LSN

vap

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1310
  • Attorney
    • View Profile
Re: Section Stacking?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2007, 08:21:34 AM »
the problem with doing that is that some lesser students would end up with better class ranks than some superior students simply because they were placed in the "low competition" section.
 
wouldn't a top school want to level the playing field so that the best students would have the best class rank?  these are the students that are going to be representing these law schools at the top firms, jobs, etc.

not to mention that this practice would infuriate your best students.  i can't believe any respectable school would do that to save a few bucks.  who knows though.

I think the stacking theory is more prominent among lower-ranked schools - mostly T3 and T4, but some T2.

It will definitely infuriate the scholarship students, but I doubt many students will be discussing how much money the school is giving so and so.  I certainly don't plan to go around asking people if they have a scholarship/how much/oh yeah, not as big as mine/etc.  It's like, you typically don't ask someone how much they make if you're at the same job. 

And again, the stacking theory is just a theory.  I don't think any school has openly admitted it (as far as I know).  But if you look at the numbers, it seems like some schools don't have to stack in order to renege on some of their scholarships.

For example, I received a scholarship at Baylor that would have required me to place in the top 50% of the class for renewal, yet they give out scholarships to about 90 percent of their students.  For University of the Pacific McGeorge, my scholarship required top 33%, but they give out scholarships to about 50% of the class.  (Scholarship amounts based on LSAC/ABA data).  I'm saying that all students receiving scholarships from a school have to be in the same percentage of the class, but I would assume most are given the same requirements.