big v. small class size

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drylo
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:41 am

Re: big v. small class size

Postby drylo » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:26 pm

spondee wrote:
Anonymous Loser wrote:
spondee wrote:No, this is not true . . . There are people in every law school that have the right combination of the right skills to almost effortlessly get good grades; these people, for example, had a much better than 10% chance of making the top 10%. OP's fear is that a smaller class size is more prone to sample distortion and runs a risk of containing too many of these people.


This is ridiculous. There are also people in every law school who lack this combination of skills: doesn't this same probability of "sample distortion" apply to those students as well? You suggest that a small sample size might hurt the OP if a disproportionate number of talented students are in the class, but fail to account for the possibility that the OP might just as easily end up in a section with an unusual number of lazy idiots.


I have no idea what point you're making. I completely agree that the class could be disproportionately filled with students that are bad at law school. But so what?

OP expressed fear that a smaller class could be tougher. Posters made fun of OP. I think their reason for doing so was wrong, so I explained why. Your answer now seems to agree with my argument: law students have different capabilities, some better suited for law school than others. This means that any given law student's chance of landing in the top 10% is affected by his/her abilities relative to the class and is very likely not 10%. It also means that some classes may be unusually difficult if there is an unusually high number of students well-suited for law school. And, yes, some classes could be unusually easy. This sort of thing is more likely to happen the smaller the class (or section) is.


This is ridiculous. Stop over-thinking this. End thread.

SupraVln180
Posts: 883
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:50 pm

Re: big v. small class size

Postby SupraVln180 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:22 am

Cupidity wrote:I think smaller sizes can easily lock you out. I did quite well overall in my 90 person section, but I'm struggling for median in my 12 person writing section. (And no, I don't suck at writing)


I'm a 0L so this question is probably going to sound retarded, but is your rank based off your entire class or just your section?

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NU_Jet55
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:54 pm

Re: big v. small class size

Postby NU_Jet55 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:57 pm

SupraVln180 wrote:
Cupidity wrote:I think smaller sizes can easily lock you out. I did quite well overall in my 90 person section, but I'm struggling for median in my 12 person writing section. (And no, I don't suck at writing)


I'm a 0L so this question is probably going to sound retarded, but is your rank based off your entire class or just your section?


You're graded on a hard curve against your sectionmates. You're ranked against the entire class as a whole.

This can be problematic because different professors give different highest/lowest grades. For instance, some professors give out a high grade of 95, while others give out 3 high grades of 100. So you could potentially get the highest grade possible in each one of your classes but still not rank alongside the highest echelon of students.

Different schools may do it differently, but as far as I'm aware this is the general MO.

Arelikefoxes
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:31 pm

Re: big v. small class size

Postby Arelikefoxes » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:01 pm

Does law review staffing scale proportionately to class size? If not, that might be a reason to consider a smaller class...

Arelikefoxes
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:31 pm

Re: big v. small class size

Postby Arelikefoxes » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:59 pm

Arelikefoxes wrote:Does law review staffing scale proportionately to class size? If not, that might be a reason to consider a smaller class...


Did a bit of sampling, and it seems like smaller class sizes = greater percentage likelihood of making main law review. For example, Stanford has 45 spots for Stanford Law Review (approx. 170 class size...or top 26%), and NYU has 47 spots (approx. 450 class size...or top 10%).

This doesn't mean that it is necessarily easier to get on Stanford's journal than NYUs (given the relative competitiveness of the students), and bigger schools tend to have more secondary journals. But if you are shooting for main journal, this might be relevant in academically-comparable schools...




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