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where you went to undergrad - influences admissions?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:41 am
by annaliesman
I know officially that if you're applying to law school at your undergrad institution you receive no special treatment or consideration. But I can't help but wonder, has anyone picked up on a potential sympathy/identity factor that influences admissions officers more than they realize or would care to admit?

Re: where you went to undergrad - influences admissions?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:48 am
by lymenheimer
Likely, but nobody here is going to know. Ask in the admission officer thread and see if spivey et al can answer

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Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:01 am
by Biglaw1990
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Re: where you went to undergrad - influences admissions?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:32 pm
by SullivanLSAC
Those interested in this topic should check out the January 11 post in the Free Help and Advice forum entitled “The Prestige of Your College and Law School Admissions.”

Dan Sullivan

Re: where you went to undergrad - influences admissions?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:38 pm
by gnomgnomuch
TLS wisdom is that HYP gives a sliiiight boost.

Re: where you went to undergrad - influences admissions?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:24 pm
by RZ5646
annaliesman wrote:I know officially that if you're applying to law school at your undergrad institution you receive no special treatment or consideration. But I can't help but wonder, has anyone picked up on a potential sympathy/identity factor that influences admissions officers more than they realize or would care to admit?


Not strictly true for UChicago at least, since they have the "Chicago Scholars" program. Idk if that makes it any easier to get in, but it's definitely a difference. Other schools might offer similar programs.

Re: where you went to undergrad - influences admissions?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:10 pm
by MikeSpivey
lymenheimer wrote:Likely, but nobody here is going to know. Ask in the admission officer thread and see if spivey et al can answer


TLS 1, Me 0.

I am traveling like a madman this week and vowed not to post from my iPhone, but I've been getting a lot of pings about this so you all win. The nuances here can be vast but I will be brief. If you still want a more thorough answer let me know and I will blog it with some other former or current admissions officers.

The short answer is "yes, but not very much and mostly at the bookend schools."So, at the most extreme example Princeton is not only an incredibly prestigious and difficult to get admitted to and thus highly intellectually challenging school vis-a-vis classmates, but also has fought grade inflation for many years now. In fact, Princeton applicants come with a letter from the school about said lack of inflation up until 2013. So when I speak at Princeton to the pre-law society I tell them "you already have an elevating admissions factor that I don't get to say at every school, by the very nature of being at this one." How elevating is it? Like most things "soft" in admissions it starts off not very much at all as law school early look for the coveted applications above their medians. As the cycle progresses and that group wears out rather quickly, it takes more significance. It becomes a differentiating factor and differentiation is how you get admitted -- early on by numbers and later with strong soft applications.

But keep in mind a 3.9 from Northern Westeros is no different for USNWR than a 3.9 from Princeton. Which is why early cycle the "super elite school" bump hardly exists. Also keep in mind that until relatively recently, many schools had faculty admissions committees. I will politely say that faculty "care deeply about undergraduate school prestige" so back in the day what school you attended received more of a bump than it does now. Faculty admissions commitees have been dying off for years now.

On the flip side, there were some schools where applicants always seemed to have 4.0s from (and you get data on where they stand versus their classmates so you learn quickly which schools have the most inflation year in and out) AND where the applications seemed to be rife with grammatical errors and lack of sophistication. At that end, I think there are likely some school that consciously or subconsciously de-elevate an application.

But for the vast majority of applicants, the school you are at plays very little role relative to how well you did and how involved you have been during that time.

I hope this helps!

Mike

Re: where you went to undergrad - influences admissions?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:23 pm
by MikeSpivey
Let me add one more thing. If you went to a highly regarded, highly recognized undergraduate school, it will help you in the OCI/job search process. For certain. Employers care about that because their clients do.

Re: where you went to undergrad - influences admissions?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:50 pm
by A. Nony Mouse
Thanks for posting this, Mike - I swear I'm going to copy the link to this somewhere so I can post it every time this question comes up. :D

Re: where you went to undergrad - influences admissions?

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:53 am
by MikeSpivey
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Thanks for posting this, Mike - I swear I'm going to copy the link to this somewhere so I can post it every time this question comes up. :D


Ha, good call. I may too!