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# how important are rankings?

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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 06:20
pearljam wrote:
Rankings are somewhat important because they generally reflect factors that actually matter, like employment opportunities, faculty quality, etc. That said, no ranking is a perfect reflection for any individual (or employer). You can start with the rankings, but then you need to figure out what is best for your eductaion, your career, your personal life and your finances. Depending on your goals, rankings may have little relevance. Even setting aside all the really unique factors, the idea that you can force rank schools in general is misguided. I recommend using rankings as a starting point for your research and nothing more.

Thank you for the sound advice. Your numbers are quite impressive - are you studying at NYU?
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 06:45
Hi,

You are not required to visit the school. Also, the majority of the people don't do it to excel in "brown nosing". The reason one should visit a school he/she is applying to is to see if he/she has a good fit with a school, likes people/professors and will enjoy the location. So, if any of those factors are important to you, it will be of benefit to you to visit schools.
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 06:53
sapphire07 wrote:
pze wrote:
As someone who's been accepted to both a top 10 law school (UVA) and a top 10 b-school 2 years apart (will be attending this fall) and who considered doing a JD/MBA. Here's my take.

Your 2.7 GPA precludes you from almost any T14 law school unless you get a ridiculous LSAT score (think 174+) The LSAT is more difficult than the GMAT by a factor of 10 (IMO), so judging by your GMAT score I'd say its hghly unlikely you'll get near 174 on the lsat. As far as law school.....its ALL about prestige. If you don't have a degree from a T14 (and with top grades) you'll struggle getting a law job (or any job). Which brings us to the MBA.

If you can't get into a T14 law school (and get good grades)., you'll have to rely on your MBA to land a well paying job. But there seems to be some stigma attached to JD/MBA,...it can be interpreted as having a lack of focus. Which brings us to conclusion number 1: What will the ROI for the JD portion of your education be? It won't help you get a job but you'll pay for it. Therefore, in your case, DON'T DO A JD/MBA. If you really want to be a lawyer,..forget the MBA and concentrate on smashing the LSAT,..which will be more of a longshot than getting a 700 on the GMAT.

So the final choice is getting ONLY an MBA. This seems to be the most prudent option for you. However, I think its a good idea to study for the GMAT and retake,... with your GPA you actually still have a chance to get into a good school (Top 20). You're only 27, age is not a problem yet. I applied to B-school when I was 29 and will be matriculating at age 30.

PS...even though I got into a great law school,...I was scared off by the horror stories about the legal job market and the nature of law school. I advise you to do your due diligience regarding law school. It does not seem to be a happy experience. Whereas most people seem to enjoy their B-school years. Thats an important factor to consider.

First, congratulations to you. It must be nice to have been accepted into the top 10 community for both business and law.

I don't believe in the lack of focus stigma. . . I see nothing wrong with having dual degrees - especially when they complement each other.

In terms of the LSAT, I took a practice exam a few years ago. I don't recall my overall score, but I do remember scoring 100% in the logic games section with time remaining. Also, I'm pretty strong in the verbal section of the GMAT, and I know some of the types of questions are similar. So overall, I'm not worried about the LSAT -just my undergrad GPA as you know. It almost seems more prudent to skip the MBA and get a second undergrad degree just so I can get the 4.0 I need to impress law schools. . .

This brings me back to my undergrad GPA. . . you believe that with a 2.6-2.7 I still have a good shot at a top 20?

Trust me,...you can't judge LSAT performance based on practice exams. Taking the actual test is different,..I regularly scored 5-6 points higher on the practice exams than what I scored in the actual LSAT. And the logical reasoning can be tricky,...I actually got 99% in the GMAT verbal (45), and I completely credit the LSAT for doing so well in the GMAT,....because compared to the LSAT,..the GMAT logical reasoning and reading comprehension were cakewalks. The LSAT is a difficult test, you certainly can't assume you'll do well. If you're adamant on doing law,...I suggest taking a Powerscore class ($1,100), thats by far the best prep course available. About your GPA,...I definitely think you can get into a top 20 (even top 10) B-school w/ a 2.7 as long as you do very well in the GMAT 700-720,...and you write some nice essays. B-schools look for well rounded individuals and are willing to overlook certain weaknesses if they like you. Law schools on the other hand are complete stat whores, you can be a total A-hole and get in as long as your GPA/LSAT are tops. VP Status: Current Student Joined: 24 Aug 2010 Posts: 1345 Location: United States GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40 WE: Sales (Consumer Products) Followers: 107 Kudos [?]: 415 [1] , given: 73 Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink] 11 May 2012, 07:01 1 This post received KUDOS sapphire07 wrote: Thanks - I'll certainly consider this! Do you know if it's necessary to travel to the schools you're applying to? When I look at it that way, I feel I should just take what's in hand. . . versus spending a year brown nosing and traveling across the country just to visit schools so I can write in a sentence in my essays about how much I enjoyed Professor X's class. I think you greatly misunderstand the purpose of school visits. They are not for brown nosing and to have a "sentence in your essays." There are many schools that do not care whether or not you visit (Tuck and Johnson are not those schools). The visit is for YOU to familiarize yourself with the environment you are going to be in for the next two years. I know some people say that you won't really know if you like the place until you go, but I've found that while you will sometimes leave a school visit with the impression of, "seems to cool to me. I could go here," you will also leave some schools feeling like, "there is no way in hell I can spend two years in this place." You may also wind up feeling a strong affinity to the school after visiting and a school that was once your last resort option turns into your 1st or 2nd choice. It's very difficult to get the feel of a school from just the website and a conversation or two with an alum or current student. Even info sessions don't give you the full picture. The reason people say that visiting helps your essays is because it helps show fit. I never actually mentioned my campus visits in ANY of my essays. However, for the schools that I was able to visit prior to applying my visits helped inform the tone of my essays. My Booth essays had a totally different tone from Kellogg and Wharton essays. I truly believe I was able to capture the essence of what Booth is about without ever name dropping a student or saying I enjoyed Professor X's class (a class from Professor X would be quite enjoyable I think). From some of your responses I get the feeling that you really aren't THAT interested in the MBA. Yes, applying is a lot more than filling in an online form, getting some recs, and writing a few essays. You seem to not put much value in any of it and just want to know if it's worth your time to go through another app process. Honestly, I would tell you to just go to Case Western, not because I think it's your best option (I think you'd have more opportunities at a higher ranked school), but because I don't think your heart is in another application season. This isn't a process that you can half ass and expect to have success. So unless you're all in, don't bother reapplying. _________________ The Brain Dump - From Low GPA to Top MBA (Updated September 1, 2013) - A Few of My Favorite Things--> http://cheetarah1980.blogspot.com Manager Joined: 02 Feb 2012 Posts: 76 Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 0 Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink] 11 May 2012, 07:04 sapphire07 wrote: This brings me back to my undergrad GPA. . . you believe that with a 2.6-2.7 I still have a good shot at a top 20? Thanks for your feedback. http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-co ... ograms.htm Since it's all stats-driven, this is likely to be reasonably accurate Intern Joined: 30 Nov 2011 Posts: 39 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink] 11 May 2012, 07:07 alexBLR wrote: Hi, You are not required to visit the school. Also, the majority of the people don't do it to excel in "brown nosing". The reason one should visit a school he/she is applying to is to see if he/she has a good fit with a school, likes people/professors and will enjoy the location. So, if any of those factors are important to you, it will be of benefit to you to visit schools. Great to hear - thank you! Intern Joined: 30 Nov 2011 Posts: 39 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink] 11 May 2012, 07:12 tctc33 wrote: sapphire07 wrote: This brings me back to my undergrad GPA. . . you believe that with a 2.6-2.7 I still have a good shot at a top 20? Thanks for your feedback. http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-co ... ograms.htm Since it's all stats-driven, this is likely to be reasonably accurate Wow, this is great - thanks! Intern Joined: 30 Nov 2011 Posts: 39 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink] 11 May 2012, 07:16 pze wrote: sapphire07 wrote: pze wrote: As someone who's been accepted to both a top 10 law school (UVA) and a top 10 b-school 2 years apart (will be attending this fall) and who considered doing a JD/MBA. Here's my take. Your 2.7 GPA precludes you from almost any T14 law school unless you get a ridiculous LSAT score (think 174+) The LSAT is more difficult than the GMAT by a factor of 10 (IMO), so judging by your GMAT score I'd say its hghly unlikely you'll get near 174 on the lsat. As far as law school.....its ALL about prestige. If you don't have a degree from a T14 (and with top grades) you'll struggle getting a law job (or any job). Which brings us to the MBA. If you can't get into a T14 law school (and get good grades)., you'll have to rely on your MBA to land a well paying job. But there seems to be some stigma attached to JD/MBA,...it can be interpreted as having a lack of focus. Which brings us to conclusion number 1: What will the ROI for the JD portion of your education be? It won't help you get a job but you'll pay for it. Therefore, in your case, DON'T DO A JD/MBA. If you really want to be a lawyer,..forget the MBA and concentrate on smashing the LSAT,..which will be more of a longshot than getting a 700 on the GMAT. So the final choice is getting ONLY an MBA. This seems to be the most prudent option for you. However, I think its a good idea to study for the GMAT and retake,... with your GPA you actually still have a chance to get into a good school (Top 20). You're only 27, age is not a problem yet. I applied to B-school when I was 29 and will be matriculating at age 30. PS...even though I got into a great law school,...I was scared off by the horror stories about the legal job market and the nature of law school. I advise you to do your due diligience regarding law school. It does not seem to be a happy experience. Whereas most people seem to enjoy their B-school years. Thats an important factor to consider. First, congratulations to you. It must be nice to have been accepted into the top 10 community for both business and law. I don't believe in the lack of focus stigma. . . I see nothing wrong with having dual degrees - especially when they complement each other. In terms of the LSAT, I took a practice exam a few years ago. I don't recall my overall score, but I do remember scoring 100% in the logic games section with time remaining. Also, I'm pretty strong in the verbal section of the GMAT, and I know some of the types of questions are similar. So overall, I'm not worried about the LSAT -just my undergrad GPA as you know. It almost seems more prudent to skip the MBA and get a second undergrad degree just so I can get the 4.0 I need to impress law schools. . . This brings me back to my undergrad GPA. . . you believe that with a 2.6-2.7 I still have a good shot at a top 20? Thanks for your feedback. Trust me,...you can't judge LSAT performance based on practice exams. Taking the actual test is different,..I regularly scored 5-6 points higher on the practice exams than what I scored in the actual LSAT. And the logical reasoning can be tricky,...I actually got 99% in the GMAT verbal (45), and I completely credit the LSAT for doing so well in the GMAT,....because compared to the LSAT,..the GMAT logical reasoning and reading comprehension were cakewalks. The LSAT is a difficult test, you certainly can't assume you'll do well. If you're adamant on doing law,...I suggest taking a Powerscore class ($1,100), thats by far the best prep course available.

About your GPA,...I definitely think you can get into a top 20 (even top 10) B-school w/ a 2.7 as long as you do very well in the GMAT 700-720,...and you write some nice essays. B-schools look for well rounded individuals and are willing to overlook certain weaknesses if they like you. Law schools on the other hand are complete stat whores, you can be a total A-hole and get in as long as your GPA/LSAT are tops.

Thank you. Of course, I can't guarantee what my score will be the second time around, but I can try. In terms of the other factors, they are all in my favor (work experience, recommendations, non-profit/community service work, interviews, and essays). I was thinking of taking some credit earning courses this summer to show I'm capable of acing classes. Do you think this would help?
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 07:17
alexBLR wrote:
Hi,

You are not required to visit the school. Also, the majority of the people don't do it to excel in "brown nosing". The reason one should visit a school he/she is applying to is to see if he/she has a good fit with a school, likes people/professors and will enjoy the location. So, if any of those factors are important to you, it will be of benefit to you to visit schools.

Good to consider - thanks.
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 07:20
sapphire07 wrote:
This brings me back to my undergrad GPA. . . you believe that with a 2.6-2.7 I still have a good shot at a top 20?

Like pze said, your chance at a T14 needs to be based off of the US NEWS Best Graduate School's 2013 Rankings:

(25-75 LSAT with median; 25-75 GPA with median)
Yale - 170-177 LSAT with a 173 median; 3.83-3.96 GPA with a 3.9 median
Harvard - 171-176 LSAT with a 173 median; 3.78-3.97 GPA with a 3.89 median
Stanford - 167-172 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.72-3.93 GPA with a 3.85 median
NYU - 170-174 LSAT with a 172 median; 3.57-3.85 GPA with a 3.71 median
Columbia - 170-175 LSAT with a 172 median; 3.6-3.82 GPA with a 3.72 median
Chicago - 167-173 LSAT with a 171 median; 3.71-3.94 GPA with a 3.87 median
UVA - 165-171 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.49-3.94 GPA with a 3.86 median
Michigan - 167-170 LSAT with a 169 median; 3.59-3.87 GPA with a 3.76 median
Berkeley - 164-169 LSAT with a 167 median; 3.62-3.88 GPA with a 3.79 median
UPenn - 166-171 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.58-3.93 GPA with a 3.86 median
Duke - 167-171 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.62-3.84 GPA with a 3.75 median
Northwestern JD only: 165-171 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.35-3.85 GPA with a 3.8 median
Northwestern JD/MBA: mean GMAT is rounded up to 730 from 725; average GPA is 3.52 for incoming 2010 class on their website
Cornell: 166-169 LSAT with a 168 median; 3.5-3.77 GPA with a 3.63 median
GULC Full Time: 167-171 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.44-3.8 GPA with a 3.71 median
GULC Part Time: 163-170 LSAT with a 167 median; 3.37-3.8 GPA with a 3.7 median

is basically out of reach for you because the GPA ranges at all of these schools's middle 50%ile GPA ranges are well above your GPA. So you are going to need to score at least at the 75th percentile LSAT score to have serious consideration of getting in unless you have a really compelling story. If you score over 170, you will be called a "splitter" from what I've seen at Top-Law-Schools (TLS) forums, and based on these numbers, the schools most friendly in the clear Top 10 tier to such students are NYU, UVA, and Michigan where the 25th percentile GPA is below 3.6. At UVA, it's below 3.5. Even then these schools will be a stretch unless you get above 175 on the LSAT where you then may get a fair shot. At the bottom schools in the T14, you have a better shot where Northwestern, Cornell, and GULC all have a 75th percentile LSAT of no more than 171 (still astronomically high percentile, but not quite at the coveted 99%+ level which is about a 760 on the GMAT), and a 25th percentile GPA of 3.5 or below.

One trend is undeniable with most schools here and the spreads. The medians tend to be closer to the 75th percentile for both LSAT and GPA and at best are in the middle, which also doesn't help you.

The stats don't get too much nicer as we go from 15-25 (some schools will fluctuate into the Top 20 and down.

UCLA: LSAT of 164-169 with a 168 median; 3.55-3.88 GPA with a 3.78 median
Texas: LSAT of 165-170 with a 167 median; 3.56-3.8 GPA with a 3.69 median
Vandy: LSAT of 165-170 with a 169 median; 3.48-3.84 GPA with a 3.73 median
USC: LSAT of 165-167 with a 167 median; 3.54-3.77 GPA with a 3.69 median
Minnesota: LSAT of 157-167 with a 167 median; 3.41-3.9 GPA with a 3.8 median
GW Full Time: LSAT of 162-168 with a 167 median; 3.44-3.9 GPA with a 3.82 median
GW Part Time: LSAT of 159-168 with a 167 median; 3.15-3.91 GPA with a 3.57 median
Washington: LSAT of 161-166 with a 164 median; 3.44-3.82 GPA with a 3.67 median
Notre Dame: LSAT of 162-167 with a 166 median; 3.45-3.74 GPA with a 3.64 median
WashU: LSAT of 162-169 with a 168 median; 3.22-3.8 GPA with a 3.66 median
Emory: LSAT of 159-166 with a 165 median; 3.4-3.79 GPA with a 3.7 median
Washington and Lee*: LSAT of 159-165 with a 164 median; 3.5-3.8 GPA with a 3.65 median

*no MBA program because WLU is really a liberal arts college with a law school hence the name "University"
Again, the 25th percentiles for GPA remain well above 3.0 (you probably know few law schools even fourth tiers have a median LSAT below 3.0). The LSAT ranges drop as expected with lower ranked schools, but the 75th percentile mark for most of these schools still are in the high 160's until we get down to Emory with a 166 as the 75th percentile mark. A 166 (93 percentile) is a much more attainable score than a 170 (97th percentile), but in GMAT terms, they're still above 700. If your verbal is really strong in the GMAT, it could help you for the LSAT, especially if critical reasoning on the GMAT is your best section, because logical reasoning (the CR equivalent on the LSAT) is half your test.

So if you hope to go to law school with your GPA, you should shoot for at least the 75th percentile at most schools you wish to go to on this list, and preferably even higher than that with most schools here. In the Top 25 based on numbers alone, Emory is the best shot in the Top 25 for law to give you both a quality law degree and a quality MBA without having to get super super high numbers, though you still need very high numbers. However, because Emory isn't in the elite T14 tier, the law options will be more regionalized, and on top of that, you still have to do well in your class.
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 08:25
sapphire07 wrote:
highwyre237 wrote:
sapphire07 wrote:
This is true - thank you. I feel like I'm playing roulette with my life. . .
so basically, getting an MBA in two years versus three years, won't be worth it if it means I could have attended a better ranked institution?

exactly, look at it this way, georgetown's average salary (base + bonus) coming out is 111K, Case Western is 81K. Add in the fact that you'll be returning to DC after, georgetown (or something on that level) holds a bit more clout on a resume along with a much better network.

The letters MBA dont mean as much as they used to, simply having those letters wont get you a great job BUT better ranked schools are perceived by recruiters as turning out better potential employees, so, you should have more options coming out of a higher ranked school. On top of that, outside of maybe the top ten, the majority of students who get an mba will stay within a close metro area of the program. With the non M7 or top 10s, the closer you stay to the school, the bigger your alumni network will be.

Thanks - I'll certainly consider this!
Do you know if it's necessary to travel to the schools you're applying to? When I look at it that way, I feel I should just take what's in hand. . . versus spending a year brown nosing and traveling across the country just to visit schools so I can write in a sentence in my essays about how much I enjoyed Professor X's class.

Honestly, it depends on the program. It may give you better perspective to write essays, or make it clear that you do or dont fit in a certain program. The brown nosing aspect of this entire situation is by far my least favorite... I just hate phoney BS...

BUT, if you are making an investment in yourself, be it just 2 years of your life, or 100K, you need to know its a good fit for you. I think the rule of thumb I'm using is, if its within driving distance I better visit. I'm in boston, so I'll be expected to visit Tuck, NYU, and Cornell. I doubt I'll make the trips out to duke or michigan unless needed for an interview (but will visit before deciding).

Also, would the wife and kid make the move with you, or will you be living apart? If they are I'm sure you'd want to check the area out first.
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 10:05
I don't have anything to add to the talk about rankings, but, re: law school, I'd urge you to think very hard about why you actually want a JD. Sadly, this blog post http://www.itsuptoyou.net/why-you-shouldnt-go-to-law-school/ is very accurate.

You must have _solidly_ identified and well-thought-out goals before you commit to law school. Anything short of that is a guarantee of disappointment, I think.
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 16:44
wherever you go for either school, MBA or JD, make-damn-sure you do it on a scholarship. I promise you do not want to join the growing legions of highly-educated, unemployed 30 yr olds with 150k+ debt and no prospects, save for that unemployment check every other week and that under-the-table server gig at Chile's.
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 18:54
cheetarah1980 wrote:
sapphire07 wrote:
Thanks - I'll certainly consider this! Do you know if it's necessary to travel to the schools you're applying to? When I look at it that way, I feel I should just take what's in hand. . . versus spending a year brown nosing and traveling across the country just to visit schools so I can write in a sentence in my essays about how much I enjoyed Professor X's class.

I think you greatly misunderstand the purpose of school visits. They are not for brown nosing and to have a "sentence in your essays." There are many schools that do not care whether or not you visit (Tuck and Johnson are not those schools). The visit is for YOU to familiarize yourself with the environment you are going to be in for the next two years. I know some people say that you won't really know if you like the place until you go, but I've found that while you will sometimes leave a school visit with the impression of, "seems to cool to me. I could go here," you will also leave some schools feeling like, "there is no way in hell I can spend two years in this place." You may also wind up feeling a strong affinity to the school after visiting and a school that was once your last resort option turns into your 1st or 2nd choice. It's very difficult to get the feel of a school from just the website and a conversation or two with an alum or current student. Even info sessions don't give you the full picture.

The reason people say that visiting helps your essays is because it helps show fit. I never actually mentioned my campus visits in ANY of my essays. However, for the schools that I was able to visit prior to applying my visits helped inform the tone of my essays. My Booth essays had a totally different tone from Kellogg and Wharton essays. I truly believe I was able to capture the essence of what Booth is about without ever name dropping a student or saying I enjoyed Professor X's class (a class from Professor X would be quite enjoyable I think).

From some of your responses I get the feeling that you really aren't THAT interested in the MBA. Yes, applying is a lot more than filling in an online form, getting some recs, and writing a few essays. You seem to not put much value in any of it and just want to know if it's worth your time to go through another app process. Honestly, I would tell you to just go to Case Western, not because I think it's your best option (I think you'd have more opportunities at a higher ranked school), but because I don't think your heart is in another application season. This isn't a process that you can half ass and expect to have success. So unless you're all in, don't bother reapplying.

Yes, but many schools would like an applicant to have visited --if for nothing more than to tell that school what makes it unique and why the applicant feels he/she absolutely has to gain entry into the respective school's program.

Heart. Well, technically I haven't been through an application season since I only applied to one school. I guess coming from the perspective of having an offer and scholarship money waiting from the one school I've applied to, versus the year long agony of not knowing where exactly I'll end up, may give off the appearance of "not putting much value in any of it." I suppose I'll have to figure out what's most important and put forth 100%.

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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 18:55
novanative wrote:
sapphire07 wrote:
This brings me back to my undergrad GPA. . . you believe that with a 2.6-2.7 I still have a good shot at a top 20?

Like pze said, your chance at a T14 needs to be based off of the US NEWS Best Graduate School's 2013 Rankings:

(25-75 LSAT with median; 25-75 GPA with median)
Yale - 170-177 LSAT with a 173 median; 3.83-3.96 GPA with a 3.9 median
Harvard - 171-176 LSAT with a 173 median; 3.78-3.97 GPA with a 3.89 median
Stanford - 167-172 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.72-3.93 GPA with a 3.85 median
NYU - 170-174 LSAT with a 172 median; 3.57-3.85 GPA with a 3.71 median
Columbia - 170-175 LSAT with a 172 median; 3.6-3.82 GPA with a 3.72 median
Chicago - 167-173 LSAT with a 171 median; 3.71-3.94 GPA with a 3.87 median
UVA - 165-171 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.49-3.94 GPA with a 3.86 median
Michigan - 167-170 LSAT with a 169 median; 3.59-3.87 GPA with a 3.76 median
Berkeley - 164-169 LSAT with a 167 median; 3.62-3.88 GPA with a 3.79 median
UPenn - 166-171 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.58-3.93 GPA with a 3.86 median
Duke - 167-171 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.62-3.84 GPA with a 3.75 median
Northwestern JD only: 165-171 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.35-3.85 GPA with a 3.8 median
Northwestern JD/MBA: mean GMAT is rounded up to 730 from 725; average GPA is 3.52 for incoming 2010 class on their website
Cornell: 166-169 LSAT with a 168 median; 3.5-3.77 GPA with a 3.63 median
GULC Full Time: 167-171 LSAT with a 170 median; 3.44-3.8 GPA with a 3.71 median
GULC Part Time: 163-170 LSAT with a 167 median; 3.37-3.8 GPA with a 3.7 median

is basically out of reach for you because the GPA ranges at all of these schools's middle 50%ile GPA ranges are well above your GPA. So you are going to need to score at least at the 75th percentile LSAT score to have serious consideration of getting in unless you have a really compelling story. If you score over 170, you will be called a "splitter" from what I've seen at Top-Law-Schools (TLS) forums, and based on these numbers, the schools most friendly in the clear Top 10 tier to such students are NYU, UVA, and Michigan where the 25th percentile GPA is below 3.6. At UVA, it's below 3.5. Even then these schools will be a stretch unless you get above 175 on the LSAT where you then may get a fair shot. At the bottom schools in the T14, you have a better shot where Northwestern, Cornell, and GULC all have a 75th percentile LSAT of no more than 171 (still astronomically high percentile, but not quite at the coveted 99%+ level which is about a 760 on the GMAT), and a 25th percentile GPA of 3.5 or below.

One trend is undeniable with most schools here and the spreads. The medians tend to be closer to the 75th percentile for both LSAT and GPA and at best are in the middle, which also doesn't help you.

The stats don't get too much nicer as we go from 15-25 (some schools will fluctuate into the Top 20 and down.

UCLA: LSAT of 164-169 with a 168 median; 3.55-3.88 GPA with a 3.78 median
Texas: LSAT of 165-170 with a 167 median; 3.56-3.8 GPA with a 3.69 median
Vandy: LSAT of 165-170 with a 169 median; 3.48-3.84 GPA with a 3.73 median
USC: LSAT of 165-167 with a 167 median; 3.54-3.77 GPA with a 3.69 median
Minnesota: LSAT of 157-167 with a 167 median; 3.41-3.9 GPA with a 3.8 median
GW Full Time: LSAT of 162-168 with a 167 median; 3.44-3.9 GPA with a 3.82 median
GW Part Time: LSAT of 159-168 with a 167 median; 3.15-3.91 GPA with a 3.57 median
Washington: LSAT of 161-166 with a 164 median; 3.44-3.82 GPA with a 3.67 median
Notre Dame: LSAT of 162-167 with a 166 median; 3.45-3.74 GPA with a 3.64 median
WashU: LSAT of 162-169 with a 168 median; 3.22-3.8 GPA with a 3.66 median
Emory: LSAT of 159-166 with a 165 median; 3.4-3.79 GPA with a 3.7 median
Washington and Lee*: LSAT of 159-165 with a 164 median; 3.5-3.8 GPA with a 3.65 median

*no MBA program because WLU is really a liberal arts college with a law school hence the name "University"
Again, the 25th percentiles for GPA remain well above 3.0 (you probably know few law schools even fourth tiers have a median LSAT below 3.0). The LSAT ranges drop as expected with lower ranked schools, but the 75th percentile mark for most of these schools still are in the high 160's until we get down to Emory with a 166 as the 75th percentile mark. A 166 (93 percentile) is a much more attainable score than a 170 (97th percentile), but in GMAT terms, they're still above 700. If your verbal is really strong in the GMAT, it could help you for the LSAT, especially if critical reasoning on the GMAT is your best section, because logical reasoning (the CR equivalent on the LSAT) is half your test.

So if you hope to go to law school with your GPA, you should shoot for at least the 75th percentile at most schools you wish to go to on this list, and preferably even higher than that with most schools here. In the Top 25 based on numbers alone, Emory is the best shot in the Top 25 for law to give you both a quality law degree and a quality MBA without having to get super super high numbers, though you still need very high numbers. However, because Emory isn't in the elite T14 tier, the law options will be more regionalized, and on top of that, you still have to do well in your class.

This is a lot of great information - thanks very much for posting it!
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 19:01
highwyre237 wrote:
sapphire07 wrote:

Thanks - I'll certainly consider this!
Do you know if it's necessary to travel to the schools you're applying to? When I look at it that way, I feel I should just take what's in hand. . . versus spending a year brown nosing and traveling across the country just to visit schools so I can write in a sentence in my essays about how much I enjoyed Professor X's class.

Honestly, it depends on the program. It may give you better perspective to write essays, or make it clear that you do or dont fit in a certain program. The brown nosing aspect of this entire situation is by far my least favorite... I just hate phoney BS...

BUT, if you are making an investment in yourself, be it just 2 years of your life, or 100K, you need to know its a good fit for you. I think the rule of thumb I'm using is, if its within driving distance I better visit. I'm in boston, so I'll be expected to visit Tuck, NYU, and Cornell. I doubt I'll make the trips out to duke or michigan unless needed for an interview (but will visit before deciding).

Also, would the wife and kid make the move with you, or will you be living apart? If they are I'm sure you'd want to check the area out first.
[/quote]

I agree - the brown nosing is the worst part, and I'm sure applications are only the beginning.

Good rule of thumb - I'll have to use that. Are you done with applications, or will you be applying this fall?

There's certainly no wife, and no kid! Just me.
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 19:03
BAMBAMBAM wrote:
wherever you go for either school, MBA or JD, make-damn-sure you do it on a scholarship. I promise you do not want to join the growing legions of highly-educated, unemployed 30 yr olds with 150k+ debt and no prospects, save for that unemployment check every other week and that under-the-table server gig at Chile's.

Really? So you don't believe there's any payoff? Then maybe I should consider the bird in the hand.
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 19:24
sapphire07 wrote:
highwyre237 wrote:
sapphire07 wrote:

Thanks - I'll certainly consider this!
Do you know if it's necessary to travel to the schools you're applying to? When I look at it that way, I feel I should just take what's in hand. . . versus spending a year brown nosing and traveling across the country just to visit schools so I can write in a sentence in my essays about how much I enjoyed Professor X's class.

Honestly, it depends on the program. It may give you better perspective to write essays, or make it clear that you do or dont fit in a certain program. The brown nosing aspect of this entire situation is by far my least favorite... I just hate phoney BS...

BUT, if you are making an investment in yourself, be it just 2 years of your life, or 100K, you need to know its a good fit for you. I think the rule of thumb I'm using is, if its within driving distance I better visit. I'm in boston, so I'll be expected to visit Tuck, NYU, and Cornell. I doubt I'll make the trips out to duke or michigan unless needed for an interview (but will visit before deciding).

Also, would the wife and kid make the move with you, or will you be living apart? If they are I'm sure you'd want to check the area out first.

I agree - the brown nosing is the worst part, and I'm sure applications are only the beginning.

Good rule of thumb - I'll have to use that. Are you done with applications, or will you be applying this fall?

There's certainly no wife, and no kid! Just me.[/quote]

ha wow, sorry must have mixed up threads! lol

I'll be applying this fall, but my original plan was for this past cycle, but decided to wait. So, I've been researching schools and such for about 6 months already.
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  11 May 2012, 19:48
highwyre237 wrote:
highwyre237 wrote:
sapphire07 wrote:

Thanks - I'll certainly consider this!
Do you know if it's necessary to travel to the schools you're applying to? When I look at it that way, I feel I should just take what's in hand. . . versus spending a year brown nosing and traveling across the country just to visit schools so I can write in a sentence in my essays about how much I enjoyed Professor X's class.

Honestly, it depends on the program. It may give you better perspective to write essays, or make it clear that you do or dont fit in a certain program. The brown nosing aspect of this entire situation is by far my least favorite... I just hate phoney BS...

BUT, if you are making an investment in yourself, be it just 2 years of your life, or 100K, you need to know its a good fit for you. I think the rule of thumb I'm using is, if its within driving distance I better visit. I'm in boston, so I'll be expected to visit Tuck, NYU, and Cornell. I doubt I'll make the trips out to duke or michigan unless needed for an interview (but will visit before deciding).

Also, would the wife and kid make the move with you, or will you be living apart? If they are I'm sure you'd want to check the area out first.

I agree - the brown nosing is the worst part, and I'm sure applications are only the beginning.

Good rule of thumb - I'll have to use that. Are you done with applications, or will you be applying this fall?

There's certainly no wife, and no kid! Just me.[/quote]

ha wow, sorry must have mixed up threads! lol

I'll be applying this fall, but my original plan was for this past cycle, but decided to wait. So, I've been researching schools and such for about 6 months already.[/quote]

Oh I see - well if I end up not taking the offer and going through the cycle this fall, I'm turning to you as a support buddy! I had also planned to apply earlier this year but was disappointed by my score.

No worries about the mix up- lots to keep up with on this site. Btw I am female
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Re: how important are rankings? [#permalink]  12 May 2012, 05:22
sapphire07 wrote:
Yes, but many schools would like an applicant to have visited --if for nothing more than to tell that school what makes it unique and why the applicant feels he/she absolutely has to gain entry into the respective school's program.

Heart. Well, technically I haven't been through an application season since I only applied to one school. I guess coming from the perspective of having an offer and scholarship money waiting from the one school I've applied to, versus the year long agony of not knowing where exactly I'll end up, may give off the appearance of "not putting much value in any of it." I suppose I'll have to figure out what's most important and put forth 100%.

You are right that there are some schools that strongly favor visiting. The two that come to mind are Tuck and Johnson. However, it's NOT for the reasons you're stating. Those two schools are unique in that not only are the programs very small they are also located in pretty remote areas. They want applicants to visit before applying so that THE APPLICANT understands what he/she is getting into for the next 2 years. I have seen people apply to these schools then not visit until the interview or even until after admission, and immediately say, "I can't spend two years here." To help the schools' yields and save you time and money it's best to know what the school is like beforehand.

Trust me, the majority of schools do NOT care if you visit. I didn't visit Kellogg before I applied. However, I was able to clearly state why I thought the program was unique and a good fit for me. The essays aren't long enough for you to gush for 150 words about your wonderful school visit. You can definitely cover the "Why this school?" question simply by attending an off campus info session, website research, and calling a current student and/or alum. The visit is not for them, it's for you.
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Re: how important are rankings?   [#permalink] 12 May 2012, 05:22

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