Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ri77

Correlation between LSAT/GPA and success in law school: Question for current students

Recommended Posts

I am currently in my fourth year of my undergraduate degree and I am leaning toward attending U of T next year because of the competitive advantage the school seems to offer in the Toronto job market. However, my LSAT and GPA fall pretty much on the median of admitted students (166/3.85) so I'm worried that I'll be lost in a sea of extremely accomplished students next year and be unable to achieve a grade higher than a "P."

I have worked very hard throughout my undergraduate degree and managed to maintain the highest GPA in my major thus far but I'm not sure that hard work will be enough when I'm in a class of students with 4.0s and 170+ on the LSAT who are probably willing to work very hard as well. I don't want to get into corporate law and I'm not sure if I want to get into "big law," so is U of T worth the extra cost it for someone like me?

 

I know that only a moderate correlation between LSAT/GPA and success in law school has been established but I'm still terrified I'll end up at the bottom of the curve and be left with no job prospects. I know this will only provide me with anecdotal evidence but I really want to hear about the experience of current students and how their LSAT/GPA matches up with their grades in law school. Is hard work enough or is success more heavily dependent on innate intelligence? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently in my fourth year of my undergraduate degree and I am leaning toward attending U of T next year because of the competitive advantage the school seems to offer in the Toronto job market. However, my LSAT and GPA fall pretty much on the median of admitted students (166/3.85) so I'm worried that I'll be lost in a sea of extremely accomplished students next year and be unable to achieve a grade higher than a "P."

I have worked very hard throughout my undergraduate degree and managed to maintain the highest GPA in my major thus far but I'm not sure that hard work will be enough when I'm in a class of students with 4.0s and 170+ on the LSAT who are probably willing to work very hard as well. I don't want to get into corporate law and I'm not sure if I want to get into "big law," so is U of T worth the extra cost it for someone like me?

 

I know that only a moderate correlation between LSAT/GPA and success in law school has been established but I'm still terrified I'll end up at the bottom of the curve and be left with no job prospects. I know this will only provide me with anecdotal evidence but I really want to hear about the experience of current students and how their LSAT/GPA matches up with their grades in law school. Is hard work enough or is success more heavily dependent on innate intelligence? 

I am a 1L so I will do my best to help.

I can't really speak to whether UofT is worth it to someone who does not want big law, that will depend on your personal situation. I know a number of students who are not interested in BigLaw who also seem to really like it here.

To answer your question, no having an LSAT and GPA on the median is not going to hold you back. Having a 4.0 170+ does not automatically mean you are going to do well and having a modest (but still great) combo does not mean you won't do well. Keep in mind someone with a 4.0 GPA may have just taken easy classes whereas someone with a 3.8 might have actually taken really tough classes.

 

From my experience, grades are better correlated with how much time you spend studying and the effort you take to learn from your mistakes. I can honestly tell you I don't really know anyone's GPA/LSAT combo (except for the few people with 3.9+ 174+ combo's) because it really is not that indicative of their success. More significantly, you can tell who is going to do well by who seems to be on top of their readings and who seems to genuinely enjoy the material. Interesting fact, I knew of a person or two who came in with very high stats but are not doing very well because they burnt out or are not connecting with the material. Conversely, there is a student here who came in below medians and is absolutely killing it because they have an amazing work ethic and are really enjoying law school.

 

I cant' say with certainty whether UofT is the right fit for you (feel free to PM if you have any questions) BUT I can say for sure that the fact you are on the medians should not be any indication of how well you can do here.

 

P.S while P's are not preferable, they are not the worst things in the world. Ps get Degrees y'all! 

Edited by TheLawStudent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a 1L so I will do my best to help.

I can't really speak to whether UofT is worth it to someone who does not want big law, that will depend on your personal situation. I know a number of students who are not interested in BigLaw who also seem to really like it here.

To answer your question, no having an LSAT and GPA on the median is not going to hold you back. Having a 4.0 170+ does not automatically mean you are going to do well and having a modest (but still great) combo does not mean you won't do well. Keep in mind someone with a 4.0 GPA may have just taken easy classes whereas someone with a 3.8 might have actually taken really tough classes.

 

From my experience, grades are better correlated with how much time you spend studying and the effort you take to learn from your mistakes. I can honestly tell you I don't really know anyone's GPA/LSAT combo (except for the few people with 3.9+ 174+ combo's) because it really is not that indicative of their success. More significantly, you can tell who is going to do well by who seems to be on top of their readings and who seems to genuinely enjoy the material. Interesting fact, I knew of a person or two who came in with very high stats but are not doing very well because they burnt out or are not connecting with the material. Conversely, there is a student here who came in below medians and is absolutely killing it because they have an amazing work ethic and are really enjoying law school.

 

I cant' say with certainty whether UofT is the right fit for you (feel free to PM if you have any questions) BUT I can say for sure that the fact you are on the medians should not be any indication of how well you can do here.

 

P.S while P's are not preferable, they are not the worst things in the world. Ps get Degrees y'all! 

 

Thank you so much for your response! That put my mind at ease a bit. I guess I just find it hard to imagine that people with really high LSAT/GPA combos aren't going to give it their all in law school and experience more success than those who come in with lower stats and also try their best. Knowing that work ethic and being able to connect with the material and enjoy it seems to correlate with success definitely makes me feel better about choosing U of T though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll give you my perspective as 3L who went in with a pretty mediocre GPA (in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if I have the lowest cGPA of the "regular" admits of my year). Though with the exception of their thoughts on what correlates with law school grades, I agree with pretty well everything TheLawStudent said.

 

I didn't do all of the readings, I didn't always attend class, and I continue to find that neither of those things is a requirement for doing well in law school. I and many others did great (and continue to do great) on the strength of the upper year summaries we used, and just figuring out how to write the exams. My experience is that how you write papers and exams is far more important than whether you attend every class or stay on top of the readings. Whether getting all Ps is a big deal depends on the job. I have some classmates who are on Bay St after getting mostly or all Ps, they're fewer, but they do exist. If you want something more niche then it is probably (though not necessarily) a different story.

 

As to your concerns: I think you'd be surprised who does and doesn't "give it their all," and how poorly that correlates with success anyways. Sure, the 4.0/175'ers are a smart bunch, there are no two ways around it, but if they don't know how to write an exam, or they just get distracted/busy/whatever, you'll do better. Welcome to the world of 100% exams. That being said, you don't want corporate or even necessarily big law, so your goals may mandate a much more...effortful approach. Want to clerk at the ONCA or SCC? Then yes, give it your all, all of the time.

 

UofT is unequivocally the best choice to get into big law (see Exhibit A). Whether it's worth it for you comes down to more factors than are worth listing, particularly without knowing exactly what kind of job you want (or at least think you want- many people change their minds). Finances, city preferences, job markets all play a substantial role. My feeling is that your physical proximity to employers is a huge plus in favour of UofT for almost anyone who wants to work (in any capacity) in Toronto, but it's by no means a dealbreaker.

 

Feel free to shoot me a PM if you want to chat :)

Edited by NineOne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll give you my perspective as 3L who went in with a pretty mediocre GPA (in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if I have the lowest cGPA of the "regular" admits of my year). Though with the exception of their thoughts on what correlates with law school grades, I agree with pretty well everything TheLawStudent said.

 

I didn't do all of the readings, I didn't always attend class, and I continue to find that neither of those things is a requirement for doing well in law school. I and many others did great (and continue to do great) on the strength of the upper year summaries we used, and just figuring out how to write the exams. My experience is that how you write papers and exams is far more important than whether you attend every class or stay on top of the readings. Whether getting all Ps is a big deal depends on the job. I have some classmates who are on Bay St after getting mostly or all Ps, they're fewer, but they do exist. If you want something more niche then it is probably (though not necessarily) a different story.

 

As to your concerns: I think you'd be surprised who does and doesn't "give it their all," and how poorly that correlates with success anyways. Sure, the 4.0/175'ers are a smart bunch, there are no two ways around it, but if they don't know how to write an exam, or they just get distracted/busy/whatever, you'll do better. Welcome to the world of 100% exams. That being said, you don't want corporate or even necessarily big law, so your goals may mandate a much more...effortful approach. Want to clerk at the ONCA or SCC? Then yes, give it your all, all of the time.

 

UofT is unequivocally the best choice to get into big law (see Exhibit A). Whether it's worth it for you comes down to more factors than are worth listing, particularly without knowing exactly what kind of job you want (or at least think you want- many people change their minds). Finances, city preferences, job markets all play a substantial role. My feeling is that your physical proximity to employers is a huge plus in favour of UofT for almost anyone who wants to work (in any capacity) in Toronto, but it's by no means a dealbreaker.

 

Feel free to shoot me a PM if you want to chat :)

 

Thank you for your response! This really helped me put everything in perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience, it is more likely that a student coming in without top academic stats may go on to do very well, than it is for a student coming in with top academic stats not doing well. I think the former is far more often the outlier.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember reading an Indiana University School of Law's study from a while back, on whether cGPA (also referred to as uGPA in the study), LSAT, law school GPA or a combination of them would best predict a JD student's bar exam success.

 

It goes without saying the study is probably more focused on the American undergraduate schools and American bar exams, but I think the findings are important:

- law school GPA is most strongly related to bar passage success.

- LSAT a weaker relation. (somewhat noisy, and only does so-so for first-timers taking the bar)

- cGPA has no relation.

 

Edit: found it again - http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/09/law-school-gpa-.html

Edited by derek328
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently in my fourth year of my undergraduate degree and I am leaning toward attending U of T next year because of the competitive advantage the school seems to offer in the Toronto job market. However, my LSAT and GPA fall pretty much on the median of admitted students (166/3.85) so I'm worried that I'll be lost in a sea of extremely accomplished students next year and be unable to achieve a grade higher than a "P."

I have worked very hard throughout my undergraduate degree and managed to maintain the highest GPA in my major thus far but I'm not sure that hard work will be enough when I'm in a class of students with 4.0s and 170+ on the LSAT who are probably willing to work very hard as well. I don't want to get into corporate law and I'm not sure if I want to get into "big law," so is U of T worth the extra cost it for someone like me?

 

I know that only a moderate correlation between LSAT/GPA and success in law school has been established but I'm still terrified I'll end up at the bottom of the curve and be left with no job prospects. I know this will only provide me with anecdotal evidence but I really want to hear about the experience of current students and how their LSAT/GPA matches up with their grades in law school. Is hard work enough or is success more heavily dependent on innate intelligence? 

FWIW, a good friend of mine entered McGill law with a 154 and graduated in the top 25%, ending up in a large firm in Calgary.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



  • Recent Posts

    • Hey all, Was hoping for some input on this as I've seen contradictory things and could use some advice. I've lived in Ontario my whole life and for various reasons am going almost certainly going to want to practice in Ontario after I finish schooling. I am however sick and tired of this place, and would love to spend the three years of law school in the glorious place that is British Columbia. I'm 99% sure I have the grades/lsat to get into UBC, but is it advisable to go to school across the country from where I plan to practice? I luckily have some sort of network here in Ontario already (Friend's family has a close relationship with a firm that operates in the exact field of law I'll likely be practicing in) but I'd rather not rely on that and would like some input. Thanks in advance, sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but I'm either a moron or searching things is kinda hard here.  .
    • Hey guys! so unfortunately I was rejected to the schools I applied to for sept 2019 and will be re-applying. I am wondering if in my personal statement I should mention that I applied last year and what I have been doing since my last application that makes me different. Is it worth mentioning or would it be a red flag for admissions to read a personal statement that says I’ve already been rejected prior. Any info on this will help! Thanks guys!
    • Hi everyone, Today I have been opening up/ getting ready to open applications in 6 Canadian Law Schools, UVIC being one of them. I don't know why I expected there to be a place where they would ask for a resume/CV from me. But so far I haven't really seen such places on the applications I have opened. Is this normal? If so, do schools typically just want me to include all extra curricular/ achievements in my personal statement?  Don't know anyone else applying for Law school so any input is appreciated.  If needed for reference I am applying to UVIC, UBC, U of A, U of C, TRU, U of Sask. 
    • Thanks so much for the reply! That's good to know.
    • An A average on a dud candidate that doesn’t fit with the firm isn’t getting hired over the B average student with an infectious personality whom everyone loves.  An A average will assist with tied applicants between that particular student and a B+ student or anyone below that. It’s fairly intuitive. No one will or can provide advice as to exactly how much emphasis is being placed on what at each firm. It’s a contextual decision based on the students grades, personality, and how that meshes with the particular firm.
×
×
  • Create New...