Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
saltshaker

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Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby saltshaker » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:30 pm

I don't mean to ask if URMs get a significant leg up in the admission process; that much is obvious. I'm asking if schools literally "add points/scale up" your LSAT, though the number of points upward could depend on specific URM status and the school in question. I've seen people suggest as much, which makes me curious.

For example, if a 166 AA male applicant applies to Cornell; does Cornell quantifiably scale up his 166 to a 171, based on some conversion table specific to the school? Or do they just generally view him more favorably than they would an 166 non-URM applicant, without necessarily scaling up his LSAT score?

I hope this makes sense.

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trafalgar

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby trafalgar » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:00 pm

No. They don't add anything.

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mwells56

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby mwells56 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:02 pm

saltshaker wrote:I don't mean to ask if URMs get a significant leg up in the admission process; that much is obvious. I'm asking if schools literally "add points/scale up" your LSAT, though the number of points upward could depend on specific URM status and the school in question. I've seen people suggest as much, which makes me curious.

For example, if a 166 AA male applicant applies to Cornell; does Cornell quantifiably scale up his 166 to a 171, based on some conversion table specific to the school? Or do they just generally view him more favorably than they would an 166 non-URM applicant, without necessarily scaling up his LSAT score?

I hope this makes sense.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grutter_v._Bollinger

saltshaker

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby saltshaker » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:36 pm

mwells56 wrote:
saltshaker wrote:I don't mean to ask if URMs get a significant leg up in the admission process; that much is obvious. I'm asking if schools literally "add points/scale up" your LSAT, though the number of points upward could depend on specific URM status and the school in question. I've seen people suggest as much, which makes me curious.

For example, if a 166 AA male applicant applies to Cornell; does Cornell quantifiably scale up his 166 to a 171, based on some conversion table specific to the school? Or do they just generally view him more favorably than they would an 166 non-URM applicant, without necessarily scaling up his LSAT score?

I hope this makes sense.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grutter_v._Bollinger


I know URM status is a "plus" factor, but I'm asking a separate question: whether law schools actually "rewrite" a URM's LSAT score upwards according to some mythical conversion table or something similar. Many schools have LSAT floors to be considered for a scholarship, say 175, so for a URM applicant with a 170 who gets "scaled up" to a 175 the question becomes extremely salient.

I don't think this question has been addressed in G v. B, unless I missed something.

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby mmart207 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:43 pm

I don't think there's an actual number to it, but I believe it exists. I just got into Boston University with a 157 :mrgreen:

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cdotson2

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby cdotson2 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:44 pm

saltshaker wrote:
I know URM status is a "plus" factor, but I'm asking a separate question: whether law schools actually "rewrite" a URM's LSAT score upwards according to some mythical conversion table or something similar. Many schools have LSAT floors to be considered for a scholarship, say 175, so for a URM applicant with a 170 who gets "scaled up" to a 175 the question becomes extremely salient.

I don't think this question has been addressed in G v. B, unless I missed something.


"For the reasons set forth in Grutter v. Bollinger, post, at 327-333, the Court has today rejected petitioners' argument that diversity cannot constitute a compelling state interest. However, the Court finds that the University's current policy, which automatically distributes 20 points, or one-fifth of the points needed to guarantee admission, to every single "underrepresented minority" applicant solely because of race, is not narrowly tailored to achieve educational diversity."

Gratz v. Bollinger, not Grutter, says that they can't use strict point formulas for URM admissions. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/539/244/

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mwells56

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby mwells56 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:00 pm

saltshaker wrote:
mwells56 wrote:
saltshaker wrote:I don't mean to ask if URMs get a significant leg up in the admission process; that much is obvious. I'm asking if schools literally "add points/scale up" your LSAT, though the number of points upward could depend on specific URM status and the school in question. I've seen people suggest as much, which makes me curious.

For example, if a 166 AA male applicant applies to Cornell; does Cornell quantifiably scale up his 166 to a 171, based on some conversion table specific to the school? Or do they just generally view him more favorably than they would an 166 non-URM applicant, without necessarily scaling up his LSAT score?

I hope this makes sense.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grutter_v._Bollinger


I know URM status is a "plus" factor, but I'm asking a separate question: whether law schools actually "rewrite" a URM's LSAT score upwards according to some mythical conversion table or something similar. Many schools have LSAT floors to be considered for a scholarship, say 175, so for a URM applicant with a 170 who gets "scaled up" to a 175 the question becomes extremely salient.

I don't think this question has been addressed in G v. B, unless I missed something.


You missed something. The whole point of the decision was that it can be considered a plus factor but you can't use a defined calculation, quota system, etc. It's supposed be a soft factor, albeit one with significant pull.

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TripleM

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby TripleM » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:37 pm

You're asking two different questions...

"actual"? probably, but that all depends on your definitions
"quantifiable"? no

If your question was intended to be, "Is there a quantified advantage given to URM scores?" the answer would have been, "no".

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby L_William_W » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:36 pm

Please lock this thread. I'm so sick of this Trump bashing African-Americans nonsense.

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby FN-2187 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:39 pm

L_William_W wrote:Please lock this thread. I'm so sick of this Trump bashing African-Americans nonsense.


Dude, chill. No one is Trump bashing African-Americans.
Last edited by FN-2187 on Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:18 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby Nebby » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:50 pm

saltshaker wrote:
mwells56 wrote:
saltshaker wrote:I don't mean to ask if URMs get a significant leg up in the admission process; that much is obvious. I'm asking if schools literally "add points/scale up" your LSAT, though the number of points upward could depend on specific URM status and the school in question. I've seen people suggest as much, which makes me curious.

For example, if a 166 AA male applicant applies to Cornell; does Cornell quantifiably scale up his 166 to a 171, based on some conversion table specific to the school? Or do they just generally view him more favorably than they would an 166 non-URM applicant, without necessarily scaling up his LSAT score?

I hope this makes sense.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grutter_v._Bollinger


I know URM status is a "plus" factor, but I'm asking a separate question: whether law schools actually "rewrite" a URM's LSAT score upwards according to some mythical conversion table or something similar. Many schools have LSAT floors to be considered for a scholarship, say 175, so for a URM applicant with a 170 who gets "scaled up" to a 175 the question becomes extremely salient.

I don't think this question has been addressed in G v. B, unless I missed something.

No they don't add anything or "scale up."

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:57 pm

L_William_W wrote:Please lock this thread. I'm so sick of this Trump bashing African-Americans nonsense.

Stop complaining about threads that discuss the URM boost. It’s real; people are simply talking about their realistic chances ar getting into given schools. They’re not talking about whether the boost is merited or needed or drawing any conclusions about the quality of AA applicants. You’re reading too much into it. In any case, talking about how much of a boost exists is well within the rules here.

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby L_William_W » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:28 pm

1) These threads make African-Americans look incompetent, as if they can only get into law school via affirmative action

2) It pisses off high-achieving whites and Asians

Like I've said before, both side have compelling arguments. Nevertheless, it's a sensitive and controversial topic that shouldn't be discussed.

How about this idea: instead of speculating about which schools will accept you, simply just apply. If they don't accept you, take the LSAT again or participate in more extracurricular activities. Guessing which school will accept you won't increase your chances of getting in.

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby FN-2187 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:37 pm

L_William_W wrote:1) These threads make African-Americans look incompetent, as if they can only get into law school via affirmative action

2) It pisses off high-achieving whites and Asians

Like I've said before, both side have compelling arguments. Nevertheless, it's a sensitive and controversial topic that shouldn't be discussed.

How about this idea: instead of speculating about which schools will accept you, simply just apply. If they don't accept you, take the LSAT again or participate in more extracurricular activities. Guessing which school will accept you won't increase your chances of getting in.


1A. Nothing in this thread makes AA applicants look incompetent. Similarly, nothing implies that they can only get into law school via affirmative action.
1B. The OP made one reference to AAs. AAs have not been discussed beyond the OP's example. URM does not exclusively refer to AA applicants as MA and PR applicants are also URMs.

2. If threads discussing URM boosts piss off high achieving whites and Asians, so be it.

The whole point of this forum is to gain information on applying to law school and beyond. Try not to belittle someone's attempt to gain information as mere "speculation" and "guessing." Guessing what schools will accept applicants will not increase their chances of acceptance, but gathering the information to formulate the best application strategy—which includes learning about how law school admissions work—will.
Last edited by FN-2187 on Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:18 am, edited 4 times in total.

J Eazy

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby J Eazy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:46 pm

L_William_W wrote:1) These threads make African-Americans look incompetent, as if they can only get into law school via affirmative action

2) It pisses off high-achieving whites and Asians

Like I've said before, both side have compelling arguments. Nevertheless, it's a sensitive and controversial topic that shouldn't be discussed.

How about this idea: instead of speculating about which schools will accept you, simply just apply. If they don't accept you, take the LSAT again or participate in more extracurricular activities. Guessing which school will accept you won't increase your chances of getting in.

High-achieving Asian American here, not pissed off about URM boosts at any level of education. If you want to talk about WHITE boosts over Asian American applicants in UG admissions, that's a different story.

And to your idea: You're asking URMs to active deprive themselves of information prior to applying to law schools—information that non-URMs have in droves through Law School Numbers/MyLSN—instead of simply asking for more information. That's absurd.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:54 pm

L_William_W wrote:1) These threads make African-Americans look incompetent, as if they can only get into law school via affirmative action.

Yet again:
No, they don’t. There’s a difference between acknowledging that the boost exists/discussing how it works in specific circumstances, and saying that the boost is *necessary* bc URMs can only get into law school via AA.

None of these threads are discussing the value/merits of affirmative action. That’s not allowed outside of one thread on this site dedicated to the topic, because it is a sensitive and controversial topic. People can and should discuss it, we just keep it corralled because it tends to derail other threads.

This forum is for people to discuss the mechanics of law school applications. Part of that discussion is assessing what applications are realistic. The URM boost is part of that.

Now I get that you, personally, may feel that the URM boost is insulting, and that’s totally fair. But your personal feelings about it don’t prevent others from being able to talk about its existence/how it works.

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby alexeats » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:07 pm

J Eazy wrote:
L_William_W wrote:1) These threads make African-Americans look incompetent, as if they can only get into law school via affirmative action

2) It pisses off high-achieving whites and Asians

Like I've said before, both side have compelling arguments. Nevertheless, it's a sensitive and controversial topic that shouldn't be discussed.

How about this idea: instead of speculating about which schools will accept you, simply just apply. If they don't accept you, take the LSAT again or participate in more extracurricular activities. Guessing which school will accept you won't increase your chances of getting in.

High-achieving Asian American here, not pissed off about URM boosts at any level of education. If you want to talk about WHITE boosts over Asian American applicants in UG admissions, that's a different story.

And to your idea: You're asking URMs to active deprive themselves of information prior to applying to law schools—information that non-URMs have in droves through Law School Numbers/MyLSN—instead of simply asking for more information. That's absurd.


I have to say that knowing the URM boost of some sort exists gave me the confidence to apply to (and get into) several t13 schools. So it should be talked about because it is helpful and encouraging.

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby L_William_W » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:38 pm

Just so we're clear, I didn't say I was against it. I just said that both positions are valid and an argument could be made for either position. I also said that the topic is so taboo that it shouldn't be discussed, not even in the thread devoted to it. Nothing good can come out of it.

My strategy is to inflate your GPA by taking classes like sociology and philosophy, even if they're not required for your undergrad major. Then, get private tutoring for the LSAT (something I should've done. Unfortunately, at the time I couldn't afford it. I'm embarrassed to mention my LSAT score). Also participate in a shitload of extracurricular activities. When it's time to apply for schools, apply for the schools you want (in my case it was CUNY), a safety (Florida A&M), and a reach school (University of Buffalo). Also, have someone review your essay.

If you want to apply to Columbia, just apply. The worst thing that will happen is that they say no. Besides losing the application fee and feeling like shit for a few days, nothing bad will happen. Nevertheless, asking some random guys on TLS if Columbia will accept you if you're a blind, deaf, transgender, half-Haitian, half-Mexican female who is confined to a wheelchair is pointless. It won't increase the probability of you getting accepted.
Last edited by L_William_W on Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby LSNlife » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:25 pm

L_William_W wrote: Nevertheless, asking some random guys on TLS is Columbia will accept you if you're a blind, deaf, transgender, half-Haitian, half-Mexican female who is confined to a wheelchair is pointless. It won't increase the probability of you getting accepted.


Just so we're clear, that is patently false and that is the reason why people ask questions like this. To gain an understanding of where and how these differences manifest themselves. You can deny it all you want, but while the difference many not be "quantifiable" per OP's question, there is no doubt that these outcome differences do exist.

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TripleM

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby TripleM » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:14 pm

L_William_W wrote:...I also said that the topic is so taboo that it shouldn't be discussed, not even in the thread devoted to it. Nothing good can come out of it.
....

This is amongst the top ten least-lawyerly statements I've read. I honestly don't know how to address the idea that difficult or taboo topics should not be discussed. That's literally the point of the practice of law... to argue out and seek resolution to difficult questions. Particularly when BOTH SIDES make good arguments.

To wit: an abridged list of taboo topics...
-Maybe disease is caused by germs, and not evil spirits
-Black people shouldn't be owned as property
-Women are capable of voting
-Grown men shouldn't marry young girls
-We colonists shouldn't be a part of the British Empire

As an aside, these were all cases in which folks felt there were good arguments on BOTH SIDES. In each case discussion, though tough, ended up yielding net positive results.

Further, gathering information about a subject isn't the same as arguing it. The idea that someone should make a decision without educating themselves is also very un-lawyerly. I think this person's question was poorly formed and thus hard to answer. I don't think, however, that there's any reason it should be verboten.

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby gargleblaster » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:21 pm

exactly 9 points boost

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:52 pm

L_William_W wrote:Nevertheless, asking some random guys on TLS is Columbia will accept you if you're a blind, deaf, transgender, half-Haitian, half-Mexican female who is confined to a wheelchair is pointless. It won't increase the probability of you getting accepted.

It's not remotely pointless. Of course it won't change the probability of you getting accepted, but it will inform you about that probability so you can make an educated decision about whether it's worth applying. Like, you reference applying to a reach and to a safety. How can you determine what's a reach and what's a safety without understanding what scores have been admitted in the past?

And to be clear, most of the time these discussions result in people applying to (and getting in to) better schools than they had imagined they could, not discouraging anyone from applying.

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TripleM

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby TripleM » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:34 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:... to be clear, most of the time these discussions result in people applying to (and getting in to) better schools than they had imagined they could, not discouraging anyone from applying.

This is so true. These conversations helped convince me that I needed to apply to T13/14 schools and I was able to get in, with money. This is particularly valuable for students who don't have friends or family who have recently attended law school. As was pointed out above, this is the sort of nuts and bolts insight that white students from middle and upper class families have enjoyed for years. I don't mean, in any way, to suggest that there's anything wrong with that, but rather that all prospective students deserve access to a thoughtful community, whether its online or in their living room.

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Re: Is there an actual, quantifiable boost given to URM LSAT scores?

Postby sflyr2016 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:22 am

The answer is yes. And at top schools, it’s even higher than you’d probably think.

PowerScores calculated that URMs have, on average, a 10360% better odds to get into Harvard than non-URMs. That works out to a close to a 7-point boost on LSAT scores. But again, that’s just the average of all URMs. Black and certain Latino students may get much more than that. See https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/do-und ... s_amp=true.

As for whether that’s fair or not, it’s hard to say. Probably at the lower-tier schools, as they serve more underprivileged URMs. Maybe not so much at top schools, where there is data showing URMs there come from from the higher end of the socio-economic ladder (I.e., were raised in households with incomes well above the mean).



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