Undergraduate institution and law school

<p>Hello. I am a high school senior who will soon be applying for college. I am ranked number 1 in my class have an ACT score of 33 and am taking all the AP classes my school offers. I scored a 5 on AP U.S. History and Calculus AB. I know I want to go to a highly selective law school. I have always wanted to go to an ivy league school, or an equivalently prestigious school such as University of Chicago. But now I am starting to reconsider. I have done some research, and many people online and law school websites say that undergraduate institution is not very importamt. GPA, however, is important. And I assume I would be able to get a higher GPA at a less prestigious school. It is, of course, also less expensive. I also would probably have an easier time getting into an honors program. Obviously, if I get rejected my decision will be made easier. And I will consider other factors besides my competitiveness in law school admission. But I would like to know which route is better before deciding where to apply. My favorite prestigious college is Yale. A less prestigious one I've been considering is Marquette. I am not limiting myself to those but anything specific about them would be helpful. Which would make me more competitive in prestigious law school admissions? Would something in between be better? And if the more prestigious college is better, is it worth the additional cost?</p>

<p>Yale</a> Law School undergraduate representation</p>

<p>^ What does the data show, other than that YLS is a finishing school for trust fund babies from H/Y UG?</p>

<p>JK, JK. Well, not really.</p>

<p>The only "prestigious" UGs that give a real boost in LS admission are Harvard College and Yale College--to a far lesser extent, Princeton and Stanford.</p>

<p>Some Ivies are accused of having grade inflation (Brown is mentioned, for example---I don't know if it's true), so I wouldn't assume that you'll get better grades at a slightly less prestigious school. At a much lesser school maybe you will get better grades but it seems a trade-off not worth making. Just go for the best education. The law schools do take into account to some extent the prestige of the undergraduate school. So unless you're concerned about saving money for law school (a legitimate concern!), just try to find a place where you will be happy and inspired. Look at schools like Amherst, Middlebury, Wesleyan etc. in case you don't get into Yale and some slightly less selective like Colby and Hamilton.</p>

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Some Ivies are accused of having grade inflation (Brown is mentioned, for example---I don't know if it's true), so I wouldn't assume that you'll get better grades at a slightly less prestigious school.

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<p>Ivy League schools have higher average GPA's than do public universities and most other less selective colleges, but this does not mean that Ivies are grade inflated in any relevant sense. Assuming constant grading practices school to school, one would expect schools with student bodies who, on the whole, did better on the SAT/ACT and in high school to be stronger students in college. </p>

<p>In fact, Berkeley's old chart for adjusting GPA's to account for these differences in study body quality as indicated by schools' average LSAT scores indicated that the Ivy League schools ought to receive GPA boosts based on the fact that their average GPA's were lower than the extent by which their LSAT scores were better would suggest.</p>

<p>The general bottom line in my opinion: An applicant should not let his or her pre-law intentions influence the college selection process. (I might, however, qualify this with the advice to avoid Caltech, MIT, Chicago, and Princeton.) </p>

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The law schools do take into account to some extent the prestige of the undergraduate school.

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<p>There's no data that I know of that gives strong support to this, excepting perhaps the schools that kwu mentioned. </p>

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So unless you're concerned about saving money for law school (a legitimate concern!), just try to find a place where you will be happy and inspired.

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<p>OP, don't forget about the relatively generous need-based financial aid programs that the top undergraduate colleges have.</p>