## CURVES!! You got em?

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Barbie

Posts: 3746
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:51 pm

### CURVES!! You got em?

I am curious about school curves. I'm still a tiny bit confused by the whole process, and what is considered better (I've seen both argued): to have a higher curve or lower curve? This may sound like a dumb question, but I've asked it once before and it turned into a debate.

Also-- Where can I find the curves for each school? HOWS ABOUT WE POST THEM HERE?

Sean Bateman was kind enough to provide me with FSU's (this seems good to me, is it?): http://www.law.fsu.edu/current_students ... rading.pdf

Specifically, I would like to know curves for UF, Tennessee, Kentucky, Tulane, UGA, UNC, Wake Forest, etc etc if anyone has any info.

OGR3

Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

We have one for all first year classes minus legal writing.

3.0, which is the same requirement for maintaining scholarships.

Barbie

Posts: 3746
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:51 pm

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

Thanks ORG. No one wants to 'splain curves to meee?

Aqualibrium

Posts: 2010
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

The curve is basically just the cluster at which most of the grades in the class will fall.

Example:

Lets say you have a 3.3 or B+ curve. Picture in your head a scatter plot. Most of the grades on that plot will be clustered right in the B/B+ range on that plot. Everything lower and higher are the outliers. Naturally, on that curve, the median gpa will be somewhere around 3.3.

A lower curve, lets say a 2.67 puts most of the classes grades around the C+/B-/B range. My school had a curve like that for first year courses, and I think it's a perfect way to explain why a low curve is bad. With a curve like that, the median gpa ends up at or slightly below/above 2.67. Median ended up being around a 2.8 at our school, top 25% was something like 3.14, and top 15% was something like 3.2x. On that type of curve, you can be in or near the top 1/3 or so of the class, but still be below a 3.0 gpa, which disqualifies you for a lot of government jobs and other opportunities. For firm jobs, class rank is all that matters, but there is always going to be that visual barrier that comes with what looks like a lower gpa, especially if it is sub 3.0.

Barbie

Posts: 3746
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:51 pm

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

Aqualibrium wrote:The curve is basically just the cluster at which most of the grades in the class will fall.

Example:

Lets say you have a 3.3 or B+ curve. Picture in your head a scatter plot. Most of the grades on that plot will be clustered right in the B/B+ range on that plot. Everything lower and higher are the outliers. Naturally, on that curve, the median gpa will be somewhere around 3.3.

A lower curve, lets say a 2.67 puts most of the classes grades around the C+/B-/B range. My school had a curve like that for first year courses, and I think it's a perfect way to explain why a low curve is bad. With a curve like that, the median gpa ends up at or slightly below/above 2.67. Median ended up being around a 2.8 at our school, top 25% was something like 3.14, and top 15% was something like 3.2x. On that type of curve, you can be in or near the top 1/3 or so of the class, but still be below a 3.0 gpa, which disqualifies you for a lot of government jobs and other opportunities. For firm jobs, class rank is all that matters, but there is always going to be that visual barrier that comes with what looks like a lower gpa, especially if it is sub 3.0.

Do you know where we find the curves for specific schools?

bdubs

Posts: 3727
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

Barbie wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:The curve is basically just the cluster at which most of the grades in the class will fall.

Example:

Lets say you have a 3.3 or B+ curve. Picture in your head a scatter plot. Most of the grades on that plot will be clustered right in the B/B+ range on that plot. Everything lower and higher are the outliers. Naturally, on that curve, the median gpa will be somewhere around 3.3.

A lower curve, lets say a 2.67 puts most of the classes grades around the C+/B-/B range. My school had a curve like that for first year courses, and I think it's a perfect way to explain why a low curve is bad. With a curve like that, the median gpa ends up at or slightly below/above 2.67. Median ended up being around a 2.8 at our school, top 25% was something like 3.14, and top 15% was something like 3.2x. On that type of curve, you can be in or near the top 1/3 or so of the class, but still be below a 3.0 gpa, which disqualifies you for a lot of government jobs and other opportunities. For firm jobs, class rank is all that matters, but there is always going to be that visual barrier that comes with what looks like a lower gpa, especially if it is sub 3.0.

Do you know where we find the curves for specific schools?

I don't know where you find them, but they have been getting more lenient in recent years. Georgetown, NYU, Tulane and USC have all moved their curves up.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/06/22/gra ... w-schools/

tea_drinker

Posts: 781
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:44 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

Aqualibrium wrote:The curve is basically just the cluster at which most of the grades in the class will fall.

Example:

Lets say you have a 3.3 or B+ curve. Picture in your head a scatter plot. Most of the grades on that plot will be clustered right in the B/B+ range on that plot. Everything lower and higher are the outliers. Naturally, on that curve, the median gpa will be somewhere around 3.3.

A lower curve, lets say a 2.67 puts most of the classes grades around the C+/B-/B range. My school had a curve like that for first year courses, and I think it's a perfect way to explain why a low curve is bad. With a curve like that, the median gpa ends up at or slightly below/above 2.67. Median ended up being around a 2.8 at our school, top 25% was something like 3.14, and top 15% was something like 3.2x. On that type of curve, you can be in or near the top 1/3 or so of the class, but still be below a 3.0 gpa, which disqualifies you for a lot of government jobs and other opportunities. For firm jobs, class rank is all that matters, but there is always going to be that visual barrier that comes with what looks like a lower gpa, especially if it is sub 3.0.

Let me help with the presentation...

the green curve is (typically) a normal distribution, where you have 50% of students in the normal range (between -1 to +1). In this distribution, if you set the 0 mark as a B, you will have 50% of students earn a B-, B or B+. 25% of students who are higher this mean range (those who are in the above +1 region), they get A-, A, and A+. 25% of those who are lower this mean range get a C+, C, C-, D, etc.

School can modify their curve to other shapes. For example, in the red curve, you have more students within the mean range (-1 to +1), so you have more people with B grades. However, you have less As and Cs.

Here is a link from loyola. I think in most of school articles here on TLS mentions a bit about grading curve. You just have to go through and search it.

Aqualibrium

Posts: 2010
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

Ask students, or, if available, look in the school's student handbook or on the career services page (I say if available because I know some schools link to the handbook or list curves on the career services web page while others do not).

im_blue

Posts: 3276
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:53 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

Official curves and graduation honors cutoffs for the top 50 schools:
http://www.bcgsearch.com/pdf/BCG_Law_Sc ... e_2010.pdf

Barbie

Posts: 3746
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:51 pm

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

im_blue wrote:Official curves and graduation honors cutoffs for the top 50 schools:
http://www.bcgsearch.com/pdf/BCG_Law_Sc ... e_2010.pdf

i love you

Patriot1208

Posts: 7023
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

seriously, at chicago you can get a 180, what is better then that?

whymeohgodno

Posts: 2508
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:15 pm

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

im_blue wrote:Official curves and graduation honors cutoffs for the top 50 schools:
http://www.bcgsearch.com/pdf/BCG_Law_Sc ... e_2010.pdf

<3

Aberzombie1892

Posts: 1908
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

The first year curves are the only important curves. After the first year, all schools become more lenient.

This is important because most high-profile employers hired off of first year grades.

And no, there is no list of 1L curves for all of the law schools. You have to ask 2L students who currently attend the schools you are interested it.

Note: Avoid schools that curve below a 3.0. If your 1L gpa is above a 3.0, you can find a meaningful (and likely paid) summer legal job somewhere. Once your gpa is below 3.0, you are less likely to get a job based off of your grades (you would have to focus on networking and exploiting connections for meaningful 2L summer employment).

buckilaw

Posts: 839
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 1:27 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

Barbie wrote:Thanks ORG. No one wants to 'splain curves to meee?

Way back when my 5th grade health teacher 'splained curves to my class, it was awkward. You're not missing out.

JazzOne

Posts: 2980
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

I'm pretty sure Barbie knows all about curves. Flame!

Loyant

Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:29 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

The curve used by lower schools tends to be harsh. One reason for this is so they can give out scholarship offers, tell people they can keep it if they get a 3.0, and then do not tell them how difficult it will be to maintain this 3.0. Come year 2 suddenly most of the scholarships used to attract the students as 1Ls vanish.

I found this to be true at my TTTT, which used a curve with median GPA at 2.4. Students with a 3.1 were in the top 10% of the class.

At my new school (T25) the median GPA is around 3.2.

vamedic03

Posts: 1577
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

The first year curves are the only important curves. After the first year, all schools become more lenient.

This is important because most high-profile employers hired off of first year grades.

Sorry, but this is simply not true. UVA maintains the same 3.3 curve for all classes for both 1L's and upperclassmen. There are two small section classes where the professors have requested an exemption from the standard curve because the average GPA of the entire class was over 3.7. From 3L's I have talked to, the typical UVA student will often see a slight decline in GPA over the course of their law school career.

nealric

Posts: 2759
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

### Re: CURVES!! You got em?

After the first year, all schools become more lenient.

"All" is a dangerous word, because it only takes one different school to prove your statement false.

But I think it is true for most schools. At GULC, the curve is ow technically the same (3.3) , but most smaller classes are off the curve (and are much more lenient), so you can significantly improve your GPA by taking smaller classes. For my 1L and 2L years, the curve was 3.17 for 1Ls and 3.3 for 2Ls/3Ls. Then they changed it, so I kind of got the short end of the stick. It did make my 3L GPA go way up though.

Bildungsroman

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