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Law school: Does the school you go to in undergrad matter??

aditib1018aditib1018 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
edited March 9 in Law School
I'm just about to start out in college and I want to take steps to ensure that I get into a good grad school (as me and my parents are less concerned about where I go for undergrad as opposed to grad school), which requires a good amount of knowledge and direction early on in my opinion. I haven't gotten all my decisions yet, but I might end up going to university like IU Bloomington (Kelley school of business, honors college, etc.) rather than other schools I end up getting into. If i want to go into law and pursue further graduate studies does where you go matter? Or is admission to the really good MBA or law programs entirely dependent on GPA, professor recs, extracurricular within the college you go to? Also would it be too much take both the LSAT and GRE in college?

Post edited by juillet on
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Replies to: Law school: Does the school you go to in undergrad matter??

  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 1,149 Senior Member
    Yes, it matters a lot. But there are many people who went somewhere that is just fine for undergrad and went to a stellar grad school. The people who went to a school that isn't well known will often say it doesn't matter. But those who went to a great undergrad school will say it does. Of course, where you go is less important that how you work. But if you went to a great undergrad and worked hard, you will be ahead. It's not possible for everyone to afford a private undergrad education. So you have to make hard choices. In some fields (like STEM) it can matter less, but its still matters. I have a friend who went to Umass for Undergrad, Georgia Tech for Masters and MIT for Phd.
    Taking tests really depends on the person. Some people don't study much and others study for a year. If it's taking time away from you doing well in college, then it could be an issue (as GPA matters a lot also).
  • aditib1018aditib1018 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    So since Kelley is ranked in the top ten business programs, would it help me a lot to go there (its' my safety right now) and (obviously) perform well?
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,943 Senior Member
    edited March 5
    Yes, it matters a lot.

    Not at all for LS, which is (nearly) all about grades+LSAT. EC's only matter at Yale and Stanford (since their classes are so small, they can pick and choose among the tippy top applicants.)

    It can matter somewhat for top B-schools, but Kelly is well regarded so that won't hinder your career in any way.

    Some law schools are now accepting the GRE, but still better off acing the LSAT for merit money.

    In any event, too early to be concerned about testing. Top MBA programs prefer work experience, as do top law schools. Work for a year or two and then decide.



  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering Posts: 7,478 Forum Champion
    Despite what @Happytimes2001 says, this is a very field-specific question. It matters in some, and almost not at all in others.

    I'll let people with experience in law comment on it specifically.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,673 Super Moderator
    I'm going to move this to the law school forum, where you'll get some better informed responses. I agree with boneh3ad that it is very field-dependent - in most academic, research-based graduate programs it doesn't matter (not directly, anyway). I don't think it matters *much* for most law schools, but I'll let the experts comment!
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,105 Senior Member
    Some east coast law schools "seem to" prefer top students from NESCAC and similar colleges in that they're over represented, but generally, flagship, LAC, private university, there's no difference. Where it can matter is in terms of undergraduate opportunities (ie., Yale may give you a stipend to intern all summer at the innocence project where they have contacts... whereas Kelley+ Hutton may have money for one summer only and have fewer contacts..)
    What matters ultimately is how well you do - and don't assume it'll be easier at Kelley than at Cornell or Hamilton.
    It will likely be cheaper and that's money you can use for law school.
  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 9,286 Senior Member
    edited March 10
    Law Programs

    In recent years, the legal field has become increasingly competitive and less job secure, as many graduates of second and third tier law schools struggle to find employment. Elite law schools, on the other hand, still provide graduates with abundant access to stable and high paying positions, and should be on the radar of any aspiring lawyer. Using . . . data provided by LinkedIn, we were able to identify which colleges and universities send the highest percentage of students to a top-ranked law school.

    Amherst
    Brown
    Claremont McKenna
    Columbia
    Cornell
    Dartmouth
    Duke
    Georgetown
    Hamilton
    Harvard
    Middlebury
    Northwestern
    Pomona
    Stanford
    UChicago
    UMichigan
    UPennsylvania
    U of Southern California
    Yale
    Yeshiva

    MBA Programs

    In contrast to other professional degree programs, such as those in law or medicine, MBA programs strongly encourage applicants to possess at least a couple [of] years of work experience . . . Still, the competitiveness of one's undergraduate institution is considered in the MBA admissions process . . .

    Amherst
    Bates
    Claremont McKenna
    Columbia
    Cornell
    Dartmouth
    Duke
    Georgetown
    Hamilton
    Harvard
    Middlebury
    Northwestern
    Pomona
    Stanford
    Chicago
    Michigan
    Penn
    USC
    Yale
    Yeshiva

    Source: College Transitions
  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 Registered User Posts: 3,589 Senior Member
    ^ It’s not a conincidence that most of those schools are elite LACs and top national universities where most students graduate with liberal arts degrees. It’s self selection. A significant number of elite liberal arts grads end up going to law school or later get an MBA after getting liberal arts undergrad degrees.

    OP, it does not matter for law school. LSAT and GPA.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 6,249 Senior Member
    Agree with @bluebayou and @itsgettingreal.

    Law schools only care about one's LSAT score & undergraduate GPA.

    MBA schools care about one's post undergraduate employer & success with that employer. The confusing aspect is that the most prestigious employers target the most prestigious schools for recruiting purposes.

    No problem in taking both the LSAT & GRE or GMAT during one's college years.
  • lilmomlilmom Registered User Posts: 3,532 Senior Member
    edited March 10
    For my kid, it was her GPA and LSAT plus the personal statement.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,943 Senior Member
    It’s not a conincidence that most of those schools are elite LACs and top national universities where most students graduate with liberal arts degrees. It’s self selection.

    Yup, but you missed the real reason why.

    Top liberal arts college, like top Universities, select only top test takers. As a top test taker going into undergrad, with prep they can easily score high on the LSAT (on average). Since LSAT is ~50% of LS admissions, it is only logical that top undergrads will send their grads to top law schools.
  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 Registered User Posts: 3,589 Senior Member
    @blossom The concentration of those students at the top law schools, however, is more heavily influenced by the combination of large numbers of high achieving liberal arts graduates going to law school. As you noted, they are also going to be good test takers, so they will end up in high concentrations at the top law schools. On a pure numbers basis, you can find thousands of very high achieving and high test scoring kids at lower ranked undergrads, but you aren’t going to find the same percentage of those kids heading to law school. You’re just not.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,943 Senior Member
    The concentration of those students at the top law schools, however, is more heavily influenced by the combination of large numbers of high achieving liberal arts graduates going to law school.

    Do you have any evidence that LAC's send a higher proportion to LS than a similarly highly-ranked Uni?
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,943 Senior Member
    edited March 10
    Hint: on a per capita basis, 6 of the top 10 feeder schools to LS are Universities (including the usual suspects: Harvard, Yale, P'ton). The four non-Unis are historically black colleges (Morehouse, Spelmann & Hampton) and Amherst College.

    Colgate & Barnard are the only LACs from 11-20. The other 8 are Unis.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,789 Senior Member
    edited March 10
    re #8:
    "...and top national universities where most students graduate with liberal arts degrees"
    FWIW only 30% of Cornell's undergraduates attend its Arts & Sciences college.

    re#13:
    "Do you have any evidence that LAC's send a higher proportion to LS than a similarly highly-ranked Uni? "

    I just wanted to mention that the proportion might be influenced by the proportion of students at that university that have interest profiles similar to those of typical liberal arts college students in the first place. Universities might have specialized colleges where student interest profiles might be substantially different. In addition to liberal arts students they might have colleges where other students are studying: Agriculture, Nursing, Engineering, Architecture, Business Administration, Nutrition, Human development, .Fine arts, Theater & Dance, ….various other specialized fields where comparatively fewer students are likely future law students in the first place.
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