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Author Topic: How does undergrad institution affect law school admissions?  (Read 590 times)

owlsmid17

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So, at the risk of sounding ignorant, elitist, and/or ridiculously pretentious (hit the trifecta...apologies in advance), how much does the quality of one's undergraduate institution affect their chances of getting into a top law school? I would assume that top undergrad universities would have a higher success rate (The WSJ did some sort of study on this a couple years back for grad schools in general, found here: http://www.wsjclassroomedition.com/pdfs/wsj_college_092503.pdf), simply because there tends to be a more competitive, more qualified pool (in comparison to larger schools, who probably have a similar group of equally qualified applicants, but also have more at the lower end of the academic spectrum).

But I suppose my question pertains specifically on a case-by-case basis; namely, differences in GPA. One would think that those at a top private school may generally go through a more rigorous courseload at than one at a large state school, and as such, may have a slightly lower GPA. If I'm not as ridiculously off-base as I think, how exactly do adcomms account for this potential difference (for example, a 3.85 in Econ at Duke v. a 3.95 in Econ at Indiana University)? Or are LSAT scores just used as the great equalizer?
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Socrates

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Re: How does undergrad institution affect law school admissions?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2007, 04:20:56 PM »
I've always heard that many of dook's programs are quite inflated, actually. Also, the perception that schools are more rigorous at private schools than large state schools seems pretty ignorant, elitist, and ridiculously pretentious.

In any case, adcomms have access to the average GPA of people applying from your UG, so they can see how inflated/deflated the grades are (and of course, how you compare). While a 3.85 from dook and a 3.95 from IU will probably be treated pretty similarly since they're always going to both be in the middle 50% (and usually above the school's 75%title), the likelihood of one getting in from dook is probably higher because they are probably a higher quality student (which would probably shine through in the rest of the application). Probably is the key of course. It's tough to give too strict of an answer.

Ilovecheese

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Re: How does undergrad institution affect law school admissions?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2007, 04:33:01 PM »
In the :"how to get to the top law schools" guide by richard montauk, some of the admission deans that he sites in that book state that, schools do weigh strength of an institution and its programs, they also take into account grade inflation and such.

Special Agent Dana Scully

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Re: How does undergrad institution affect law school admissions?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2007, 04:38:57 PM »
In the :"how to get to the top law schools" guide by richard montauk, some of the admission deans that he sites in that book state that, schools do weigh strength of an institution and its programs, they also take into account grade inflation and such.

yup, i remember reading that.
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owlsmid17

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Re: How does undergrad institution affect law school admissions?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2007, 04:42:48 PM »
Quote
I've always heard that many of dook's programs are quite inflated, actually. Also, the perception that schools are more rigorous at private schools than large state schools seems pretty ignorant, elitist, and ridiculously pretentious.

Well, I don't go to Duke, but thanks anyhow.
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The Pookie

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Re: How does undergrad institution affect law school admissions?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2007, 04:47:00 PM »
i think one has to remember that students at these so-called "elite" schools might have been encouraged to apply to top grad programs more than his/her peers at a no-name state school. I'm not saying that it's right, but i do believe this is true. I went to an ivy UG and people there are just really aware of prestigious grad programs and really push themselves and each other to get into these programs (and their ECs tend to reflect that)

StudentUVA

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Re: How does undergrad institution affect law school admissions?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2007, 05:18:43 PM »
I think it helps if you're a borderline candidate, or if you've been waitlisted. But there doesn't seem to be a huge advantage to going to top ugs.