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Author Topic: about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)  (Read 3768 times)

winner123

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about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)
« on: October 16, 2007, 09:49:56 PM »
Hi, I was wondering if it is an advantage to double or triple major as opposed to single majoring when it comes to the top law schools (Harvard, Yale, etc.) Thanks!

Special Agent Dana Scully

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Re: about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2007, 09:50:33 PM »
not really...just get a high gpa
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summerlovin

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Re: about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2007, 10:00:19 PM »
A lot of the applications for the top schools hardly leave enough room (if at all) for you to write more than one major on the application, so I am assuming that they don't care much about double or triple majors. 

ElMismoPandejo

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Re: about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2007, 10:32:31 PM »
LSAT and GPA are the ONLY things that matter for LS admission.  Other factors matter so little or are so school-specific that they're not even worth mentioning.

Also, shooting for HYS is not a realistic goal for anyone.  Just make sure you get a T14 school, top 10 if possible (HYSCCNMVPB).

If you're an undergrad now and you really want to be a lawyer (and sometimes I wonder why you would...)

Do 3 things:  1) Get a near-perfect GPA; 2) Become an expert on the LSAT; and 3) Minimize your debt.

A really ideal thing would be to take easy prereqs and the easiest classes you can possibly find at your community college.  Then get your 4-year degree at the cheapest institution  you can find, and don't take any class you aren't absolutely sure you can get an A in.

While you're doing this, you should have some free time because you will have pretty much the least rigorous course of study possible.  So learn the LSAT and understand it inside and out.  Treat it like an athletic event--practice, practice, practice until you're perfect.  If after enough practice you realize you'll never get less than 8 wrong on the LSAT, you are in trouble and need to question this career path.

This formula won't necessarily get you into Yale or Stanford, but with high enough numbers it would work for every other school including Harvard.  You would need to pull off a 3.9/175 for a strong shot at H.  But you could do as poorly as 3.6/170 for a lower T14, or 4.0/166 for Boalt, and honestly, if you take the easiest classes possible you should have no business getting a 3.6; if you study for the LSAT for 2-3 years you better be able to break 170.

But some people just can't hit the LSAT no matter how much they try.  If you happen to be one of these people, it doesn't mean you're dumb or anything, it just means that law school becomes a bad financial prospect.

Basically when wondering about law school you need to figure out your LSAT potential right quick and then follow the above plan if you know you can beat the LSAT.

botbot

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Re: about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2007, 10:39:11 PM »
Triple major?  I don't even understand how thats possible in one bachelor's...

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2007, 11:14:36 PM »
LSAT and GPA are the ONLY things that matter for LS admission.  Other factors matter so little or are so school-specific that they're not even worth mentioning.

Also, shooting for HYS is not a realistic goal for anyone.  Just make sure you get a T14 school, top 10 if possible (HYSCCNMVPB).

If you're an undergrad now and you really want to be a lawyer (and sometimes I wonder why you would...)

Do 3 things:  1) Get a near-perfect GPA; 2) Become an expert on the LSAT; and 3) Minimize your debt.

A really ideal thing would be to take easy prereqs and the easiest classes you can possibly find at your community college.  Then get your 4-year degree at the cheapest institution  you can find, and don't take any class you aren't absolutely sure you can get an A in.

While you're doing this, you should have some free time because you will have pretty much the least rigorous course of study possible.  So learn the LSAT and understand it inside and out.  Treat it like an athletic event--practice, practice, practice until you're perfect.  If after enough practice you realize you'll never get less than 8 wrong on the LSAT, you are in trouble and need to question this career path.

This formula won't necessarily get you into Yale or Stanford, but with high enough numbers it would work for every other school including Harvard.  You would need to pull off a 3.9/175 for a strong shot at H.  But you could do as poorly as 3.6/170 for a lower T14, or 4.0/166 for Boalt, and honestly, if you take the easiest classes possible you should have no business getting a 3.6; if you study for the LSAT for 2-3 years you better be able to break 170.

But some people just can't hit the LSAT no matter how much they try.  If you happen to be one of these people, it doesn't mean you're dumb or anything, it just means that law school becomes a bad financial prospect.

Basically when wondering about law school you need to figure out your LSAT potential right quick and then follow the above plan if you know you can beat the LSAT.

This is mostly just terrible advice

1.Plenty of things beyond GPA/LSAT matter in law school admissions even universally. These include essays, scholarships and fellowships received, advanced degrees (Ph.d, etc) and work experience.

2.For a lot of people on this board, it was HYS or bust. For many people HYS is probable. My goal in undergrad, for example, was to get into Harvard law.

3.Your 3 things list is pretty solid.

4.Community college?? Easy classes? Schools look at your transcript. When I wasin UG, I took the hardest classes in my major and outside of my major and made sure I got A's. I think this is more of the rule for people looking to get into the very top schools. Besides, if your preparation is weak, the top schools will eat you up and spit you out.

5.The ironic thing about your LSAT advice is that a person who took more rigorous courses would probably have a better shot at mastering the LSAT.

6.Any fool can look at the 75% and understand that they have a great shot. The problem is for kids in the middle 50%. Since this is where most applicants usually fall, it should serve as pretty convincing evidence that LSAT and GPA are not the only factors that matter.

I think you're correct in your assessment generally about the law school being a pretty bad financial decision if you're not going to a top school or don't have the LSAT to get a scholarship at a lower ranked school (this is not true in all cases, of course).

Anyway, I think it is cool to have a goal of going to HYS or whatever. There's plenty of data to suggest what type of overall package one needs to have by the time they're ready to apply to make it happen.
YLS c/o 2009

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2007, 11:36:36 PM »
but galt, are you better off having a 178/3.9 and taking easy classes, or a 170/3.5 taking hard classes?  i would say the former.

gpa and lsat are the two most important factors in LS admissions

You're better off having the 3.9/178 in easy classes in your example, but I don't fully understand it.Why would you have a 178 in one situation and a 170 in the other? I don't understand the link between easy classes and a higher LSAT score. Of course, you could argue that you'll have more time to prepare, but you could simply take less credits one semester and treat LSAT preparation as an extra class. That's one of many solutions.

Of course a 3.9/178 is better than a 3.5/178 irrespective of the difficulty of the classes. If you get a 178 on your LSAT, however, then of course the OPs advice pans out. A 178 is extremely unlikely whether or not you take the OPs advice or not. What about the kids with a 3.9/172 in easy classes vs. a 3.5/172 in hard classes. The kid with the 3.9 is probably in a better situation from an index point of view and the 3.5 guy is probably a presumptive deny at HYS. Still, once the 3.9 is matched against the rest of the applicant pool in the middle 50%, he'll certainly be at a disadvantage against the 3.9, 3.8/172 with hard classes on their transcript.

You'll note that I qualified my response as applying only to the top schools. If you're aiming for a lower ranked school, it might be a good strategy to simply maximize your GPA by taking the easiest classes. The competition in the applicant pool at the top schools, imo, is significant where taking the easiest courses will be transparent and lead to a ding.

Finally, there is a big difference between the LSAT and GPA being the two most important factors and them being "the only factors that matter." I dispute the latter and agree with the former.
YLS c/o 2009

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2007, 11:39:32 PM »
correct me if i'm wrong, but i thought the adcomms didn't actually see your transcript and the classes you took, but only the transcript report that is generated by LSAC

you're kidding, right?
YLS c/o 2009

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2007, 11:49:47 PM »
correct me if i'm wrong, but i thought the adcomms didn't actually see your transcript and the classes you took, but only the transcript report that is generated by LSAC.

also, i was merely following ElMismoPandejo's train of thought.  it's pointless to argue over whether more difficult classes will lead to a higher LSAT.

plus, i think it's unreasonable to say that adcomms to compare the difficulty of, say, "Latin American Political Regimes" at one university to "Chinese Philosophy" at another school.

Except the fact that most schools subscribe to a course number system that gives a general indication of how advanced a course is. Of course, we're not talking about the comparison of one class to another (as in your example), but rather an entire transcript. When you see a kid with Algebra 1 and a bunch of intro classes as their electives (which would presumably be the easiest classes) vs. a kid with Calc II and a bunch of advanced classes as his electives, I think it is unreasonable to assume that professional admissions committee members wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

And I know you were following Elmismo's train of thought; the point is, I thought it was flawed.
YLS c/o 2009

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: about getting into the top law schools (Yale, Harvard,...)
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2007, 11:55:43 PM »
did i sound like i was kidding...?

At each of HYSCCN, you have to submit an official transcript from every school you've attended including community college.

Also, it is probably not a good idea if you want to go to HYSCCN to go to Community college and take the easiest courses and then transfer to a 4 year college and take "the least rigorous course of study possible." Community college will probably raise a flag to admissions officers and your transcript at the 4 year college would probably get more scrutiny as a result.
YLS c/o 2009