Does earning a BS at a U with a law school influence admission to its Law school?

<p>My son is a HS junior. His goal is to become a lawyer. Narrowing the field of schools to apply to for undergrad is daunting. Lately he has been thinking of limiting the universities that he applies to to ones that have law programs with the thought that this will ultimately help him with admission to that law school. We are Texas residents and he is easily in the top 10% of his class making UT Austin a very solid safety. Thus with UT Law school ranked 18th he is looking at narrowing his search to universities with law programs ranked 30 and above. (Of course there are other factors going into this including cllimate, financial aid, and the feel and education provided by the school.) But, does enrollment in a school's undergraduate program influence admission to its law school in anyway?</p>

<p>Probably very little. Law school is mostly a numbers game, and even borderline cases probably don't get favoritism for being from that school.</p>

<p>I disagree with Mike a bit; in borderline cases, having attended the same UG can help. </p>

<p>It's still, IMO, a really dumb way to pick a college. Among other things, there is no guarantee that he'll want to be an attorney 4 or more years from now. Even if he does, nobody can predict now what his UG gpa and LSAT will be. Nobody can predict what kind of gpa and LSAT will be needed to get into any given law school 4 years down the road. </p>

<p>Lets say, for the sake of argument that I have a perfect crystal ball and know that the median gpa and LSAT for state residents to be admitted to UT Law will be 3.5 and 162 in the year in which your son applies. (I'm making up numbers, of course.) Your son ends up with a 3.7 and a 170. He will almost certainly be admitted--and would have been no matter where he attended college. assuming the same UG GPA. </p>

<p>Picking a different version of "choose your own adventure," your son ends up with a 3.2 and 157. He will almost certainly not be admitted. Having attended UT UG will not be enough to get him in. </p>

<p>The range of LSAT and gpa's where it makes a difference to have attended the UG is very small--and it's a moving target. The number of applicants who fall in the narrow range is very small. It's simply impossible to predict in advance who will end up in it. </p>

<p>Now lets choose a different path in the "choose your own adventure" game. Your son opts to go to Williams College, one of the best LACs in the nation. It doesn't have a law school at all. Yet, in terms of the # of grads who get into top law schools, it does extraordinarily well. Your son is the kind of kid who really benefits from small classes and personal attention. Moreover, he's a good enough athlete to play Division III sports at Williams, where almost half the student body does. He isn't good enough to play sports at UT. </p>

<p>He does well at Williams, in part because he really benefits from the kind of personal attention he can get at a LAC. He graduates with a 3.8. He is personally convinced that he would have gotten lost at a huge college like UT. He certainly wouldn't have had the experience of playing on a varisty team--an experience he really enjoyed. He scores a 170 on the LSAT and is admitted to UT. He is also admitted to several law schools which rank higher up in the ratings. He is very glad he chose not to go to UT for undergrad. That's not because he thinks there's anything wrong with UT. He just thinks he had a more enjoyable college experience at Williams, in large part because he could play sports at a varsity level, but also because he feels he needed the close personal attention from profs, especially during his first 2 years of college. </p>

<p>Bottom line: He should go to the college that fits him best, and not worry at all about law school, except to the extent that he has to consider debt, particularly if he is not interested in being a public interest lawyer. The odds that he will go to X college for undergrad followed by the same school's law school and that he will be in the small number of students who would not have been admitted but for having attended the college is miniscule.</p>

<p>To paraphrase jonri's excellent advice, he can maximize his chances of getting into a good law school by going to the best college where he will do well.</p>

<p>Thank you for your thoughtful reply Jonri. All of the universities being considered are excellent schools. He is setting the bar with UT since we live in Texas and are fortunate to have such a strong safety. Thank you for mentioning the LAC's. He had not been considering these at all mainly because he is unfamiliar with them. Although many are in the northeast and have been ruled out due to climate, he has decided to take a closer look at Pomona, Claremont Mckenna and Hendirx after reading your post. You mentioned that Williams does extraordinarily well with the number of its students admitted to top law schools. How do you figure out how well a school does with the law school adimission? While he could change his path during 4 years of college, right now this seems to be his direction and he seem well suited to it.</p>

<p>There are at least two ways to figure out how colleges do in LS admissions. The first is to look at data from some of the top law schools. Some only give the list of undergraduate colleges represented among LS students; others give the numbers. The second is that most schools keep grids showing where its grads got in together with the LSAT and UG of those former students. Some of these are publicly posted. (Yale College's have been posted on this site many times.) In other cases, you can ask for them at the school's office of career services or post-graduation planning --name varies by college. </p>

<p>I actually hesitate to even tell you this, as I firmly believe that any of the colleges and universities you have listed would be good stepping stones to LS. College should be about college, not about picking up a credential to go to the next level, IMO.</p>

<p>Thanks again for the information Jonri. I do see your point. It is just that after reviewing so many brochures, web sites and guidebooks all geared toward putting their best foot forward so many schools looks great. We are really searching for criteria to narrow the field. The online search engines have not helped at all. There are just a limited number of out of state campus visits that we can do. None of the schools that are on the long list have been selected solely for the purpose of law school admission. This is just one criteria to shorten the list. My S is not an athlete, he is a debater interested in band but not marching band and plays chess casually. So now I have really strayed off of the original thread but any suggestions from anyone out there are welcome!</p>

<p>Well, this is the law school might want to post on the parents' and college search boards. I'll PM you, though.</p>