List of pass fail LRW @ T14

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kdsunday
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List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby kdsunday » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:48 am

I'm not very particular about what T14 school I go to, but I keep reading about how much a graded LRW class can ruin your semester/year/GPA.

Does anyone have a list of which schools grade LRW and which Pass/Fail?

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stratocophic
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby stratocophic » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:00 am

kdsunday wrote:I'm not very particular about what T14 school I go to, but I keep reading about how much a graded LRW class can ruin your semester/year/GPA.

Does anyone have a list of which schools grade LRW and which Pass/Fail?
It's curved, dood. Just as likely to help as hurt you. This is probably just above quality of school cafeteria in terms of importance of selection criteria.

bauerahl
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby bauerahl » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:11 am

I don't want to sidetrack this thread before it's even started, and I know that most people will likely disagree, but I think that pass/fail for legal research and writing is profoundly misguided. Pass/fail essentially provides an incentive to do the minimum amount of work required to pass the class. I would argue that legal writing is one of the most important classes you will take in law school and pass/fail ensures that almost no one will learn it properly (whether because you don't need to pay attention or work as hard, etc.).

Most people can't write well and instead of trying to fix that, many law schools perpetuate it. Communication is key for an attorney. Now, I certainly agree that a graded LRW means you will have to work harder in an already very difficult year. That is one of the downsides but it won't be all that bad if implemented well (for example, only the final paper of each semester is graded). I don't know the perfect system, but I do know the current one isn't very good.

I further disagree that a graded LRW will ruin your GPA. Because law school is graded on a curve, your GPA shouldn't be affected. To the extent you need to work harder in LRW (in order to get a better grade in this case), so does everyone else.

As I said before, perhaps I should start a new thread instead of potentially hijacking kdsunday's question. I don't have his answer for all of the T14.

r6_philly
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby r6_philly » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:15 am

stratocophic wrote:
kdsunday wrote:I'm not very particular about what T14 school I go to, but I keep reading about how much a graded LRW class can ruin your semester/year/GPA.

Does anyone have a list of which schools grade LRW and which Pass/Fail?
It's curved, dood. Just as likely to help as hurt you. This is probably just above quality of school cafeteria in terms of importance of selection criteria.


So why not take the uncertainty out of the equation since it's a crap shoot?

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stratocophic
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby stratocophic » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:30 am

r6_philly wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
kdsunday wrote:I'm not very particular about what T14 school I go to, but I keep reading about how much a graded LRW class can ruin your semester/year/GPA.

Does anyone have a list of which schools grade LRW and which Pass/Fail?
It's curved, dood. Just as likely to help as hurt you. This is probably just above quality of school cafeteria in terms of importance of selection criteria.


So why not take the uncertainty out of the equation since it's a crap shoot?
Because there are other selection criteria that should override a person's inherent laziness. E.g., let's say Berkeley's LRW is ungraded and UVA's is graded. Hypothetical applicant wants to work in the south/DC/eastern seaboard in general. Should that person pick Berkeley for that reason? Even if it was Duke vs. UVA, and UVA is graded whereas Duke is not, should applicant pick Duke over UVA, which is a slightly better school? No, and no. I actually think Duke's is graded and maybe Northwestern's but I'm not sure. Ungraded LRW doesn't mean anyone should pick GTown or Cornell over either without a very good reason (read: $$). Ungraded LRW is not that reason. If the two schools are literally equal to you and it's the tie breaker, maybe.

r6_philly
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby r6_philly » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:52 am

stratocophic wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
kdsunday wrote:I'm not very particular about what T14 school I go to, but I keep reading about how much a graded LRW class can ruin your semester/year/GPA.

Does anyone have a list of which schools grade LRW and which Pass/Fail?
It's curved, dood. Just as likely to help as hurt you. This is probably just above quality of school cafeteria in terms of importance of selection criteria.


So why not take the uncertainty out of the equation since it's a crap shoot?
Because there are other selection criteria that should override a person's inherent laziness. E.g., let's say Berkeley's LRW is ungraded and UVA's is graded. Hypothetical applicant wants to work in the south/DC/eastern seaboard in general. Should that person pick Berkeley for that reason? Even if it was Duke vs. UVA, and UVA is graded whereas Duke is not, should applicant pick Duke over UVA, which is a slightly better school? No, and no. I actually think Duke's is graded and maybe Northwestern's but I'm not sure. Ungraded LRW doesn't mean anyone should pick GTown or Cornell over either without a very good reason (read: $$). Ungraded LRW is not that reason. If the two schools are literally equal to you and it's the tie breaker, maybe.


Still like to know though, it's like having an extra soft factor, we can add it to the equation, along with cafeteria quality. I hate to be spending $5-15 a day for 800-1000 days (read close to $15000) on crappy foods and torture my taste buds at the same time.

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stratocophic
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby stratocophic » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:13 pm

r6_philly wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
Does anyone have a list of which schools grade LRW and which Pass/Fail?
It's curved, dood. Just as likely to help as hurt you. This is probably just above quality of school cafeteria in terms of importance of selection criteria.


So why not take the uncertainty out of the equation since it's a crap shoot?
Because there are other selection criteria that should override a person's inherent laziness. E.g., let's say Berkeley's LRW is ungraded and UVA's is graded. Hypothetical applicant wants to work in the south/DC/eastern seaboard in general. Should that person pick Berkeley for that reason? Even if it was Duke vs. UVA, and UVA is graded whereas Duke is not, should applicant pick Duke over UVA, which is a slightly better school? No, and no. I actually think Duke's is graded and maybe Northwestern's but I'm not sure. Ungraded LRW doesn't mean anyone should pick GTown or Cornell over either without a very good reason (read: $$). Ungraded LRW is not that reason. If the two schools are literally equal to you and it's the tie breaker, maybe.


Still like to know though, it's like having an extra soft factor, we can add it to the equation, along with cafeteria quality. I hate to be spending $5-15 a day for 800-1000 days (read close to $15000) on crappy foods and torture my taste buds at the same time.[/quote]Now that I can agree with. There's plenty of stress to go around without wondering if you're going to gag over what you're eating ever day

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hipstermafia
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby hipstermafia » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:14 pm

Knock compiled a list for the T-14 back in the old SF, if you PM him he can probably give it to you

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vanwinkle
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:18 pm

UVA is pass/fail, and I thank God every day that I ended up there and not elsewhere for 1L.

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Rotor
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby Rotor » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:38 pm

Berkeley is P/F first semester. Starting this year, second semester will be graded. I think the rationale is to combat the slacker mentality. Grades will be on the P/H/HH scale, so hopefully it won't get completely insane like I've heard from other schools with graded LRW, but we will see. .

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beachbum
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby beachbum » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:47 pm

Duke and (I believe) Northwestern have graded LRW. No pain, no gain.

irishman86
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby irishman86 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:31 pm

Michigan is pass/fail
UVA is pass/fail
Cornell is graded
Duke is graded

Kretzy
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby Kretzy » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:34 pm

Stanford's Legal Writing is Honors/Pass, with 2 "book prizes" per section. Federal Litigation, our second-term (mandatory) writing/advocacy class, is also Honors/Pass.

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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby Curry » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:35 pm

What about CCN?

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alirod12
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby alirod12 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:52 pm

bauerahl wrote:I don't want to sidetrack this thread before it's even started, and I know that most people will likely disagree, but I think that pass/fail for legal research and writing is profoundly misguided. Pass/fail essentially provides an incentive to do the minimum amount of work required to pass the class. I would argue that legal writing is one of the most important classes you will take in law school and pass/fail ensures that almost no one will learn it properly (whether because you don't need to pay attention or work as hard, etc.).

Most people can't write well and instead of trying to fix that, many law schools perpetuate it. Communication is key for an attorney. Now, I certainly agree that a graded LRW means you will have to work harder in an already very difficult year. That is one of the downsides but it won't be all that bad if implemented well (for example, only the final paper of each semester is graded). I don't know the perfect system, but I do know the current one isn't very good.

I further disagree that a graded LRW will ruin your GPA. Because law school is graded on a curve, your GPA shouldn't be affected. To the extent you need to work harder in LRW (in order to get a better grade in this case), so does everyone else.

As I said before, perhaps I should start a new thread instead of potentially hijacking kdsunday's question. I don't have his answer for all of the T14.



WRONG. I'm at UVa, and thank god every day that LRW is pass/fail. LRW isn't about learning how to write well. In fact, people who are already good writers will struggle at having to dumb down their writing as required in LRW. It teaches you how to write for the legal profession, which is not a high standard. It's almost impossible to totally slack on an 18 page paper, by the way. To put 18 pages worth of info down, you need serious work even if you're doing the bare minimum.

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vamedic03
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:02 pm

bauerahl wrote:I don't want to sidetrack this thread before it's even started, and I know that most people will likely disagree, but I think that pass/fail for legal research and writing is profoundly misguided. Pass/fail essentially provides an incentive to do the minimum amount of work required to pass the class. I would argue that legal writing is one of the most important classes you will take in law school and pass/fail ensures that almost no one will learn it properly (whether because you don't need to pay attention or work as hard, etc.).

Most people can't write well and instead of trying to fix that, many law schools perpetuate it. Communication is key for an attorney. Now, I certainly agree that a graded LRW means you will have to work harder in an already very difficult year. That is one of the downsides but it won't be all that bad if implemented well (for example, only the final paper of each semester is graded). I don't know the perfect system, but I do know the current one isn't very good.

I further disagree that a graded LRW will ruin your GPA. Because law school is graded on a curve, your GPA shouldn't be affected. To the extent you need to work harder in LRW (in order to get a better grade in this case), so does everyone else.

As I said before, perhaps I should start a new thread instead of potentially hijacking kdsunday's question. I don't have his answer for all of the T14.


OK, I disagree with several propositions:

1) Any graded class, when graded on a curve, has the potential to hurt your GPA. The fact that it is curved makes it worse than better - because you're in direct competition with your classmates and its not the absolute quality of your work being graded, rather it's the relative quality of your work as compared to your classmates being graded. A median grade in LRW could, for some people, make the difference for grading on to law review.

2) I think that legal writing is a very important skill; however, I think that it needs to be a safe zone. Pass/Fail LRW lets people take some risks with their writing without having to worry about a GPA hit. Likewise, the important part of LRW isn't the grade, rather its the feedback. If you want better legal writers, focus on making sure that the students get excellent feedback and plenty of exercises to practice legal writing.

3) Ungraded LRW reflects the reality of the legal hiring market. Grades are what will get you in the door, not your writing sample. Your writing sample might certainly hurt you, but it won't give you any real boost.

1L is stressful enough with Pass/Fail LRW.

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whitman
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby whitman » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:09 pm

What about Georgetown?

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IAFG
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby IAFG » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:12 pm

Northwestern's is graded by evil flying monkeys.

dk8
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby dk8 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:00 pm

whitman wrote:What about Georgetown?


graded

bauerahl
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby bauerahl » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:59 am

alirod12 wrote:
bauerahl wrote:I don't want to sidetrack this thread before it's even started, and I know that most people will likely disagree, but I think that pass/fail for legal research and writing is profoundly misguided. Pass/fail essentially provides an incentive to do the minimum amount of work required to pass the class. I would argue that legal writing is one of the most important classes you will take in law school and pass/fail ensures that almost no one will learn it properly (whether because you don't need to pay attention or work as hard, etc.).

Most people can't write well and instead of trying to fix that, many law schools perpetuate it. Communication is key for an attorney. Now, I certainly agree that a graded LRW means you will have to work harder in an already very difficult year. That is one of the downsides but it won't be all that bad if implemented well (for example, only the final paper of each semester is graded). I don't know the perfect system, but I do know the current one isn't very good.

I further disagree that a graded LRW will ruin your GPA. Because law school is graded on a curve, your GPA shouldn't be affected. To the extent you need to work harder in LRW (in order to get a better grade in this case), so does everyone else.

As I said before, perhaps I should start a new thread instead of potentially hijacking kdsunday's question. I don't have his answer for all of the T14.



WRONG. I'm at UVa, and thank god every day that LRW is pass/fail. LRW isn't about learning how to write well. In fact, people who are already good writers will struggle at having to dumb down their writing as required in LRW. It teaches you how to write for the legal profession, which is not a high standard. It's almost impossible to totally slack on an 18 page paper, by the way. To put 18 pages worth of info down, you need serious work even if you're doing the bare minimum.


I know UVA well and I know a number of Dillard Fellows (including a few this year, though mainly from a few years ago). LRW *should* be about learning to write well, albeit in a legal context. I do agree with you, however, that at most schools, it's not about learning to write well. The idea that writing in the legal profession is not a high standard is somewhat misleading. For many purposes, that might be true but I can promise you that while a well written brief may not win a case, a poorly written one can be devastating, especially in federal court. Once you become a 2L, ask some of the Dillards what the writing is like for the majority of the students: it's pretty awful. I can only imagine what the writing is like for many at Tier 3 schools.

With respect to slacking on an 18 page paper, I'm not saying that you don't need to work hard to complete an 18 page legal paper. What I am saying is that there is a very significant difference between doing the bare minimum needed to pass (or perhaps the minimum needed to pass comfortably), and writing and analyzing the issues well. I suppose what I'm saying is that there is a difference between adequacy and proficiency.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:06 am

HLS is HP/P/LP for LRW...though I imagine no one gets the discretionary low pass (nor the even more rarely offered dean scholars! haha)

09042014
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby 09042014 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:18 am

Northwestern's is graded, but not curved. The school claims that they've talked to firms and they want it, so they won't change it no matter how much the students hate it.

It's pretty crappy. But next semester it will be over by spring break. This semester it will be over next Wednesday.

bauerahl
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby bauerahl » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:30 am

vamedic03 wrote:
bauerahl wrote:I don't want to sidetrack this thread before it's even started, and I know that most people will likely disagree, but I think that pass/fail for legal research and writing is profoundly misguided. Pass/fail essentially provides an incentive to do the minimum amount of work required to pass the class. I would argue that legal writing is one of the most important classes you will take in law school and pass/fail ensures that almost no one will learn it properly (whether because you don't need to pay attention or work as hard, etc.).

Most people can't write well and instead of trying to fix that, many law schools perpetuate it. Communication is key for an attorney. Now, I certainly agree that a graded LRW means you will have to work harder in an already very difficult year. That is one of the downsides but it won't be all that bad if implemented well (for example, only the final paper of each semester is graded). I don't know the perfect system, but I do know the current one isn't very good.

I further disagree that a graded LRW will ruin your GPA. Because law school is graded on a curve, your GPA shouldn't be affected. To the extent you need to work harder in LRW (in order to get a better grade in this case), so does everyone else.

As I said before, perhaps I should start a new thread instead of potentially hijacking kdsunday's question. I don't have his answer for all of the T14.


OK, I disagree with several propositions:

1) Any graded class, when graded on a curve, has the potential to hurt your GPA. The fact that it is curved makes it worse than better - because you're in direct competition with your classmates and its not the absolute quality of your work being graded, rather it's the relative quality of your work as compared to your classmates being graded. A median grade in LRW could, for some people, make the difference for grading on to law review.

2) I think that legal writing is a very important skill; however, I think that it needs to be a safe zone. Pass/Fail LRW lets people take some risks with their writing without having to worry about a GPA hit. Likewise, the important part of LRW isn't the grade, rather its the feedback. If you want better legal writers, focus on making sure that the students get excellent feedback and plenty of exercises to practice legal writing.

3) Ungraded LRW reflects the reality of the legal hiring market. Grades are what will get you in the door, not your writing sample. Your writing sample might certainly hurt you, but it won't give you any real boost.

1L is stressful enough with Pass/Fail LRW.


I agree with you for the most part. The important part of LRW is the feedback (and the learning), it's not so much the grade. I just don't know how else to incentivize people to work hard in LRW unless you grade it. That was why I suggested perhaps only having the last paper of the semester be graded. In that way, you could leave room for taking risks and still provide at least some incentive to work hard. As I admitted above, I don't know the best method.

Grades are absolutely the most important factor in term of getting you in the door. And you're right, most places don't care about a writing sample... but they should. Furthermore, if LRW is graded, firms certainly won't "recalculate" your GPA (or class rank if that were possible) to discount the graded LRW class. That brings us to 1). I will concede my point as stated. What I was trying to say in 1) was that the addition of another graded class should not otherwise affect your GPA. As I tried to explain in the next sentence, spending more time and energy in LRW may come at the expense of studying less for other classes. But in the end, it should all even out because the extra time spent on LRW towards getting a better grade is balanced by perhaps getting a slightly lower grade in another class (because you didn't spend as much time in it studying). I apologize if I was unclear (or am still unclear!)

09042014
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby 09042014 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:32 am

I would work 80% less if it was pass fail.

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stratocophic
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Re: List of pass fail LRW @ T14

Postby stratocophic » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:35 am

Desert Fox wrote:I would work 80% less if it was pass fail.
And this is the other argument for LRW being graded. Thank you for presenting it in a clear and concise manner; A-.




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