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jatthopefullawyer

Is it easier to get A's at Different Schools?

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OP's question is not as unreasonable as it might at first seem. It is essentially whether its better to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond. Aside from the obvious problem that you don't really know that you are capable of being a big fish, the answer really depends on the experience that your looking for. If you want a really theoretically/academically inclined experience, you could dodge U of T or McGill in favour of another school, but it might not really be the best for you in light of your interests. If you want to get a good Big Law job, then sure, consider going for one of the non-U of T schools that regularly churns out quality candidates for Big Law. Why not? If you want to chase prestige, then do whatever misguided thing makes you feel like you're doing that.

Edited by MansfieldCJ

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31 minutes ago, TimTheEnchanter said:

^ Are you deliberately trying to start a shitstorm?

Are you posting from a St Petersburg troll farm?

lol, this is just what I got out of some of the users/comments on this website. You see, many people kept on arguing about prestige and reputation and associating these things with GPA and LSAT and the difficulty of law schools. Some of them would go as far as labelling people as competent and incompetent as a whole. Many mentioned this very accurate study/statistic about how ppl who have higher numbers do better in law school so they are in a way, intrinsically better. Many also mentioned that people accepted into top schools are just better candidates to they obviously, would be more successful in the future. 

You know, after reading all of these comments, I think it is time. It is time to get into the game of prestige and reputation. Seems like people (students, lawyers, firms, schools) are all very into these things as well as numbers (can't believe people say lawyers are bad with numbers). So no i'm not trolling. Think about it, UofT can only claim that it's the best school only if they got the best students who became the best lawyers right? 

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2 hours ago, lawlawlaw777 said:

Well, based on what many users were saying on this site, undergrad GPA and LSAT are excellent predictors of performance in law schools and great indicators of personal competence which both would be accurately reflected throughout law school and perhaps, career. Based on the logic above, being the top of UofT is way harder than let’s say Windsor or lake head, why? Because people are just more competent at UofT. They are just better and smarter and they probably overcame many more obstacles in their lives to achieve what they have achieved. They lived through real hardship and all that but they never ever failed. I guess they are resilient  people that can overcome any hardship in life without making any mistake. For other schools, students were simply not as good bc they can’t get the high scores and they kept on using excuses to explain their scores which is obviously bs. Think about it, it makes perfect sense, even McLean ranking agreed! 

Okay so a couple of things.

1) Even assuming that GPA and LSAT are positively correlated with better law school performance, at an individual level you have to recognize that there is still a lot of variation. As mentioned above, no one can really "predict" if they will be a "big fish" or a "small fish".  

2) This is not to say that there are no people in my class who overcame adversity to get into U of T (because there are), but you need to take into consideration that a non-negligible number of people who attend U of T law come from very privileged backgrounds. Assuming equal academic ability, I can see how someone who comes from material wealth and has well-educated and well-connected parents (bonus if they have relatives who work in law) is better placed to be put in a position to be competitive for a school like U of T.  Therefore, one can't assume that just because someone got into U of T, they had to overcome many more obstacles than non-U of T students. This is not to discredit any of my peers at U of T, but I would not be surprised if other law schools have more students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who had to overcome many systemic barriers to get into any Canadian law school, which is a very impressive achievement in and of itself. 

Also, I suspect you're referring to academic competency when you say that U of T students are better, but just in case you weren't: One should not equate academic success with personal attributes like someone being "better", "smarter", or more "resilient". That is problematic because people are not defined by their grades. A high GPA can be indicative of a person's competency, but it doesn't tell the whole story. If someone has proven themselves to be an "idiot" (through their actions, demeanor, or whatever), then the fact that they have As on their transcript does not change that. 

Here's my unsolicited take on prestige and reputation: Based on my 1L recruit experience, regardless of whether or not prestige will open doors, most firms will hire based on "fit" and personality. So prestige and reputation only goes so far. 

Edited by Twenty

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1 hour ago, lawlawlaw777 said:

Many mentioned this very accurate study/statistic about how ppl who have higher numbers do better in law school

This Study would suggest otherwise. It indicates that the LSAT is a much weaker indicator than most people assume. On top of the discipline of undergrad factors into it as well as a variety of personal factors. You can't determinative decision whether someone is a competent or incompetent law student based purely on GPA and LSAT.

Law school admission standards don't select the best possible candidates, they just provide an efficient way of selecting people that are capable of making it through the program. 

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*Relief* - LS.ca hasn’t been targeted by trollbots. Thanks for the civilized response!

I have no desire to enter into a pedantic lawyer-esque  argument about subjective vs objective supporting evidence, sufficient vs necessary conditions, and “most vs some” (*yawn*), so instead I’ll offer an excerpt from one of the articles previously cited somewhere in the annals of LS.ca [Edit: and evidently cited by Lawstudent20202020 above]:

viewcontent.cgi?article=1651&context=art“A key overall lesson of all the above findings is the need for a broadly holistic review of all applications – because no one variable, alone, is powerful enough to justify admitting or denying a particular applicant.”

Sure, you can distinguish this article because it focuses on entrance criteria vs getting an A. And you can argue that it doesn’t factor in the particular characteristics of each school (which Hegdis  rightfully warned us about). But I think the message is never the less relevant: it’s damned tough to predict how to get an A.

Edited by TimTheEnchanter
Noted above
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1 hour ago, Twenty said:

Okay so a couple of things.

1) Even assuming that GPA and LSAT are positively correlated with better law school performance, at an individual level you have to recognize that there is still a lot of variation. As mentioned above, no one can really "predict" if they will be a "big fish" or a "small fish".  

2) This is not to say that there are no people in my class who overcame adversity to get into U of T (because there are), but you need to take into consideration that a non-negligible number of people who attend U of T law come from very privileged backgrounds. Assuming equal academic ability, I can see how someone who comes from material wealth and has well-educated and well-connected parents (bonus if they have relatives who work in law) is better placed to be put in a position to be competitive for a school like U of T.  Therefore, one can't assume that just because someone got into U of T, they had to overcome many more obstacles than non-U of T students. This is not to discredit any of my peers at U of T, but I would not be surprised if other law schools have more students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who had to overcome many systemic barriers to get into any Canadian law school, which is a very impressive achievement in and of itself. 

Also, I suspect you're referring to academic competency when you say that U of T students are better, but just in case you weren't: One should not equate academic success with personal attributes like someone being "better", "smarter", or more "resilient". That is problematic because people are not defined by their grades. A high GPA can be indicative of a person's competency, but it doesn't tell the whole story. If someone has proven themselves to be an "idiot" (through their actions, demeanor, or whatever), then the fact that they have As on their transcript does not change that. 

Here's my unsolicited take on prestige and reputation: Based on my 1L recruit experience, regardless of whether or not prestige will open doors, most firms will hire based on "fit" and personality. So prestige and reputation only goes so far. 

Thanks for the reply.

But like, don't you think the UofT is proud of themselves because they think they are the best (more competent, smarter, overcome more obstacles....etc) compare to other schools? and it seems like the school admission doesn't care about the whole story. And if they are not truly the best why were they consistently ranked as #1 school? 

1 hour ago, lawstudent20202020 said:

This Study would suggest otherwise. It indicates that the LSAT is a much weaker indicator than most people assume. On top of the discipline of undergrad factors into it as well as a variety of personal factors. You can't determinative decision whether someone is a competent or incompetent law student based purely on GPA and LSAT.

Law school admission standards don't select the best possible candidates, they just provide an efficient way of selecting people that are capable of making it through the program. 

 

What is your opinion on people who are obsessed with numbers and prestige and equalize them with personal and academic competence tho the data is not supporting any? 

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Disclaimer: this is entirely anecdotal.

I agree with the point that U of T students seem to be more privileged. My significant other attends U of T and I currently attend another Ontario law school. S/He generally found that many students are privileged. (I went to U of T events with her/him and found that to be true.) 

I do not consider that to be the case generally at my school, where many students seem to come from middle class backgrounds. 

Edit: I would also add that I can see small differences affecting law school performance: working during law school, living situations (e.g. living alone vs. with many difficult roommates), worrying about the cost of expenses (e.g. not printing notes/summaries to avoid buying printer ink), etc. 

Edited by Cookies20000
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46 minutes ago, lawlawlaw777 said:

What is your opinion on people who are obsessed with numbers and prestige and equalize them with personal and academic competence tho the data is not supporting any? 

No opinion, I have yet to meet someone in real life that is actually obsessed with admission stats and their correlation to competence.

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1 hour ago, lawlawlaw777 said:

Thanks for the reply.

But like, don't you think the UofT is proud of themselves because they think they are the best (more competent, smarter, overcome more obstacles....etc) compare to other schools? and it seems like the school admission doesn't care about the whole story. And if they are not truly the best why were they consistently ranked as #1 school? 

1) What U of T (students and the school) think of themselves shouldn't be your concern. However, as for my own personal opinion, I have a very close friend from undergrad who I have nothing but respect and admiration for. No doubt he/she is smarter than me and more hardworking. They don't attend U of T law. So while I am proud of my accomplishments, I ultimately think success/smartness is not defined by the school. 

2) I can't speak for the admissions committee, but I don't think it is fair to say that U of T doesn't care about the whole story of an applicant. I am under the impression that U of T is more holistic than other schools. 

3) School rankings are based off of academic research. But even if it isn't, this all goes back to prestige and reputation. Even if prestige does get your foot in the door, I don't think it will carry you to a job. In fact, I suspect that someone with good law school grades at a lower ranked law school but is outgoing and easy to get along with will have an easier time getting a job than a U of T student who gives off the vibe that they think very highly of themselves.  

I am getting the impression that that you are anxious that by not going to U of T, you will be screwed. Just focus on things that you can control and see where the cards fall. There are many successful lawyers from all law schools. Also, even if things don't work out initially (e.g. you don't land that dream job), maybe the thing that prevented you from getting that job was something that a U of T law degree would not have been able to fix anyways? (Sorry, just being candid.) 

Edited by Twenty
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