Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:39 pm

I'd estimate effort is only about 30ish% of grades, maybe less. The rest is inherent skill and good test taking ability plus some randomness.

So when people say it's a lottery, they mean there is only so much you can control.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Bronte » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:46 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I'd estimate effort is only about 30ish% of grades, maybe less. The rest is inherent skill and good test taking ability plus some randomness.

So when people say it's a lottery, they mean there is only so much you can control.


I'd say 60% inherent, 20-30% work, 10-20% grading / performance randomness, plus or minus. The latter figures are more variable, because the smarter you work, the more you can reduce performance randomness.

(And of course, stamina is to a certain extent inherent, so even the amount of work you put in is less controllable than people would like to think.)

User avatar
JoeFish
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:43 am

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby JoeFish » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:52 am

Is it true that certain sorts of people (I'm thinking mathematics/physics/biochem UG majors, but other groups as well - I think I've heard people with very serious/prestigious WE) tend to outperform their numbers? Does anybody have particular thoughts on/experience with this? Or is it sort of just like Math/Phys/BioChem outperform their GPA because their GPAs are on average lower than those of other majors? As a math major going into LS, I asked most of the deans and admission staff I talked to about uncommon majors, and they basically said "intellectual diversity yay ^_^" rather than anything substantive.

User avatar
Mickey Quicknumbers
Posts: 2177
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:22 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:59 am

JoeFish wrote:Is it true that certain sorts of people (I'm thinking mathematics/physics/biochem UG majors, but other groups as well - I think I've heard people with very serious/prestigious WE) tend to outperform their numbers? Does anybody have particular thoughts on/experience with this? Or is it sort of just like Math/Phys/BioChem outperform their GPA because their GPAs are on average lower than those of other majors? As a math major going into LS, I asked most of the deans and admission staff I talked to about uncommon majors, and they basically said "intellectual diversity yay ^_^" rather than anything substantive.

Unless some study exists that proves me wrong, I'm fairly confident in saying it's random and any variation in answers you get will be based on personal experience. I know our law review EIC last year was a performance violinist in undergrad.

User avatar
Bildungsroman
Posts: 5548
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:42 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:05 am

JoeFish wrote:Is it true that certain sorts of people (I'm thinking mathematics/physics/biochem UG majors, but other groups as well - I think I've heard people with very serious/prestigious WE) tend to outperform their numbers? Does anybody have particular thoughts on/experience with this? Or is it sort of just like Math/Phys/BioChem outperform their GPA because their GPAs are on average lower than those of other majors? As a math major going into LS, I asked most of the deans and admission staff I talked to about uncommon majors, and they basically said "intellectual diversity yay ^_^" rather than anything substantive.

Yeah, I seriously doubt being a math major will be some intellectual ace in the hole. hth

User avatar
Lawquacious
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Lawquacious » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:19 am

JoeFish wrote:Is it true that certain sorts of people (I'm thinking mathematics/physics/biochem UG majors, but other groups as well - I think I've heard people with very serious/prestigious WE) tend to outperform their numbers? Does anybody have particular thoughts on/experience with this? Or is it sort of just like Math/Phys/BioChem outperform their GPA because their GPAs are on average lower than those of other majors? As a math major going into LS, I asked most of the deans and admission staff I talked to about uncommon majors, and they basically said "intellectual diversity yay ^_^" rather than anything substantive.


I have heard anecdotally that there may be a relatively high proportion of top graders in law school who had substantial work experience compared to the rest of the class, though I'm not sure it is true. Based on my own observation at my school I think that there may be some truth to it, but it is really entirely speculation on my part. It does make sense to me that someone who has professional experience and more years of maturity may on average be better prepared to handle and follow-through successfully with the rigors of law school than someone who has not.

Geist13
Posts: 739
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Geist13 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:31 am

The reason is at most places and for most students the difference between top 25% and median is just the ratio of B+s to A-s. The difference in quality of these two grades is not substantial, but the effect of getting just a couple more A-s your first year can be very substantial.

Another problem is that most professors suck at writing an exam. Instead of making their exam difficult, they just make it long. So being able to handle the material at a very high level won't help you in some classes, because the test wasn't designed to really push that aspect of a student's knowledge. When the exam is not technically hard (just very time pressured), the quality of the exams gets all bunched up and the distinction between good and decent grades becomes artificial.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:35 am

Law school grading is not random, in the sense that it's a lottery. Grades are not handed out completely randomly. It is not like you are picking numbers and waiting to see if yours come up. People who rise to the top can consistently get As, and people who don't consistently get Cs or worse. On individual exams it can feel kind of random, and sometimes there's that one test where the all-As guy gets a B- or something like that, but he'll still end up in the top of the class. It's not random assignment.

However, as a 0L, you literally have no way of knowing where you will fall in that spectrum. You can have a great GPA and LSAT, be a dedicated student and study hard, and prove to be one of those bottom-10% people. If both your GPA and LSAT are above median, then probabilistically you have a slightly higher chance of being above median than below, but it's not at all a strong predictor, and there is a real and significant chance you just tank in law schools despite all those strong predictors.

That's the way it's random. It's not that grades are assigned randomly, it's that you have no way of knowing, as a 0L, how you'll perform in law school. You can increase your odds of success as much as you can, but it still won't be enough to make it certain or even highly likely. I've known people who got named scholarships at T14 schools, meaning they had incredible stats and background to earn those, and still ended up in the bottom half of their class or worse. It really happens, and happens often enough that as a 0L you have to assume it's possible.

It's random in that every outcome is possible going in, and you can't know what it'll be before you actually do it.

User avatar
Dennis Tonsing
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:56 am

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Dennis Tonsing » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:28 pm

A few comments here, about a few comments . . .

Lolek: I am fully aware that everybody goes to law school with the intent of being the best in the class…
Dennis: I don’t think so. Many, many students have told me that they are in law school simply to get their bar card or their JD. They have no desire to do what’s necessary to wind up in the top ten percent. Or fifty. I think that’s fine … but I wouldn’t want to hire a lawyer who wants to come in second during a trial.

Lolek: Don't you think after a few classes it becomes about a little more than just luckily landing on the greener side of the grass?
Dennis: I think before a few classes it is a LOT more than luck. And even more so after.

Sunynp: It is a lottery because until you sit for the exams and get your grades, you really have no idea how well you will perform.
Dennis: That’s true for most. But it does not have to be that way. The best idea is to have an idea about how well you will perform. How? By practicing. Example from the professional practice: I would be pretty upset if I turned to my lawyer as the trial began and said, “How do you feel about your opening statement?” … and she said to me, “I really have no idea how well I will perform.” Here’s the idea (for those who want to excel in law school): treat law school as if it is the beginning of your practice of law. A lawyer ought to be pretty sure of how he/she is going to perform before the trial, deposition, arbitration ... That's not to say the lawyer will know he/she is going to "win." (More about that below.)

The sealocust: “…given that everyone else is trying hard too.”
Dennis: Aha. But they are not. Many are not trying very hard and acknowledge that. Many are trying hard, but they are spinning their wheels. Trying hard means doing your best efficiently.

Lolek: …presenting random statistics that do not weigh in individual abilities but instead group everybody into the same individual with the same chances, and the same skill set.
Dennis: Excellent point! Many students will be doing their “personal best” and still not wind up in the top ten percent of the class. Keep in mind, though, that the top ten percent of the class (in terms of grades) is for those who score high on law exams. It changes when we enter the professional practice. Who is in the “top ten percent”? Those who earn more dollars? Those who obtain more convictions? Those who are more famous? Those who change their communities? Once out of school, there are no “grades” as we know them in law school. Success is measured by however you want to measure success.

The sealocust: “Smart, consistent, diligent people get below median grades.”
Dennis: Right! Some of these students … though smart, consistent, and diligent … are not maximizing their talents by preparing for exams in the most efficient and exam-targeted way. Others are doing their best in every way, but are in a classroom where at least half of the students are able to outperform them on law school exams. A few are victims of professors who grade oddly. But once they get out, if they have been preparing for the professional practice by doing their best at efficient, effective, calm, targeted preparation, they will be positioned very well for doing well in the coming years. One unfortunate problem these folks face is this: too many employers look at law school grades (exclusively or almost exclusively) as indicators of future professional performance. Because finding the best employee-lawyers is a very difficult challenge, there are no super-terrific proven ways to go about it, and grades certainly are a good indicator. But not necessarily the best. I’d rather have a lawyer working for me (or representing me) who finished in the second (from the top) quartile in her class, who is diligent, energetic, and tenacious than a really smart top-end grad who has a “ho-hum” attitude.

0LNewbie: “…you can't know if you are good at LS exams (a "unique" skill) before you start.”
Dennis: I agree. But you sure can know long before you take the exams that result in your grades. Practice. Example: a 3-hour MBE session includes 100 questions. How many questions do the bar-prep-pros suggest you do before entering the test room? Some say 2,500. Many students do 4,000. That’s 25 to 40 times as many as they’ll see on the exam itself. And that is just to PASS. Think about that. If your Torts final will include 3 one-hour essays, how many practice essays should you write to assure yourself that you will do your very best? 75 to 120? Probably not. But here’s a surprise: most students will do fewer than 5. Many do none. Practice. Evaluate your performance (or have an expert, like your professor evaluate your performance) … long before you take the test. Then adjust. Then practice more.

Justice Harlan: “…there's no way to know in advance how well you'll do, relative to everyone else.”
Dennis: I agree. All you can know in advance is how well you will do, relative to YOU. That is, you can know in advance that you will do your personal best. Then the chips will fall where they may.

Glock: “Grading curves are a fucking bitch. What you know matters very little. It is all about what your classmates know.”
Dennis: There is a lot to that. But think about what it will be like after graduation. Trial work is a good example. If your witnesses flake out on you, and the other side’s witnesses can lie effectively, and if the judge is a bit biased because you are of a different race or gender or height or whatever … or some jurors think your skirt is too short or your tie is too flamboyant … etc., etc. … the world we work in is all about what your colleagues know, and much more. (I once had a juror tell me she voted for my client to win in a civil trial because I reminded her of her grandson. Yes, that was several decades ago. :D ) Nevertheless, if you do the best you can possibly do, then most of the time, “what you know” and what you DO with what you know, matters quite a bit.

Enough. More than enough. I can’t stand long posts. :lol:

Dennis Tonsing

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby 09042014 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:15 pm

JoeFish wrote:Is it true that certain sorts of people (I'm thinking mathematics/physics/biochem UG majors, but other groups as well - I think I've heard people with very serious/prestigious WE) tend to outperform their numbers? Does anybody have particular thoughts on/experience with this? Or is it sort of just like Math/Phys/BioChem outperform their GPA because their GPAs are on average lower than those of other majors? As a math major going into LS, I asked most of the deans and admission staff I talked to about uncommon majors, and they basically said "intellectual diversity yay ^_^" rather than anything substantive.


I've heard science and engineering people are more of a dielectric. Some do well and some do really fucking poorly.

User avatar
Heartford
Posts: 430
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:02 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Heartford » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:54 pm

I agree almost totally with Glock, and I'm in the same position ranking-wise. I would only also add that aside from the fact that your grade on any given exam, and therefore any given class, is entirely dependent on your performance as it compares to your classmates, keep in mind that class rank adds another layer of comparison, and (if your school is like mine) exposes you to competition outside of your own section.

Another way of saying this: You could get really great grades in general, and end up with something like a 3.7 (which is an awesome GPA at my school since we curve to a 3.0). Meanwhile, students in other 1L sections- students with whom you've never even shared a class- are getting great grades from other professors. For the sake of easy math, let's say your school has 100 1Ls. If a handful of those students from other classes, who you've never had a chance to directly compete with, who've had professors you've never even met- get a 3.71 or above, you can easily be hurled out of the top 10%. How do you have control over that?

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4858
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Borhas » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:59 pm

difference between A- and B+ can be attributed to randomness, the difference between A+ and B probably not

ask yourself how hard your professor really works to split hairs. He has to give the same proportion of grades no matter what. Why would he give a shit? How could he? People find different issues and talk about them more or less detail. There's no objective way to grade any of these exams other than multiple choice... at least not to the level of precision students want. A prof could probably reliably differentiate A students from B students from C students... but A to A- to B+? Hell no, they are incapable of such precision... but the difference between A- average and a B+ average could be that chance at a shiny new 2L SA.

You also have no way of knowing before hand whether you are an A, B, or C student

as far as 0L's are concerned, you may as well bet on randomness...

yo!
Posts: 653
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:11 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby yo! » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:32 am

stratocophic wrote:Protip: it's because a lot of people here think that scoring a 170 on the LSAT after an intensive 6 month study regimen, paired with their PRESTIGIOUS 3.6 GPA in women's studies from the 34th best liberal arts college in the northeastern united states (you don't understand, it was HARD and there was a curve and deflation!!!1!1!!), indicates that they're very intelligent. Having made that incorrect assumption, they then take it a step further and conclude that intelligence will determine where they'll slot into their class. Rather than expend the effort to screen out morons when giving advice, we just tell everyone the same thing.

Youroverconfidenceisyourweakness.jpg

Edit: some people make it through luck or guile, others hard work, others genius (or competence, possibly depending on the school). As has been said above, we don't know you and have no idea whether you have what it takes or will work hard enough to develop it if you don't. Also luck plays a sizable part for everyone but the people who have unassailable levels of the above qualities.


so much truth in this post

User avatar
beach_terror
Posts: 7249
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:01 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby beach_terror » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:38 am

Just want to briefly comment on having the ability to write a law school exam answer or not. This is 100% something you can learn. My first semester, I freaked out a little and ran off the road a little bit during my test in an effort to cover everything. Second semester leading up to exams, I fucking focused/practiced my ass off at remaining calm and stringing everything together logically. The result (on a 3.0 curve):

First semester: A- B+ B
Second semester: A A A B (loloutlier)

Point is, I'm generally an idiot, so law school is 100% effort.

User avatar
ndirish2010
Posts: 2950
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby ndirish2010 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:40 am

Not really 100% effort, but you can control it and learn how to smartly take LS exams.

First semester: A, B+, B
Second semester: A, A, A

User avatar
Kronk
Posts: 28180
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:18 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Kronk » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:51 am

There are definitely things you can do. However, it is random in the sense that law isn't really that hard. i.e. it's really not that hard to understand what a Taking is or to understand the provisions of the 14th Amendment. Almost everyone in your class will understand that by the time you take the test. There might be 10% of fuckups, but the other 90% knows the rules of the law pretty well. There are also people that go the extra distance somehow and maybe do tons of supplementary reading and might be in the top 10%, but below that everyone kind of knows the same stuff and everyone works hard. So you're on level ground.

The only things that really set you apart are inherent ability to take tests, how the teacher likes your personal take and organization, and how good of a writer you are. If 100 people answer the question with the same rules and know the same shit and write it, the only difference might be the organization or writing in bringing the teacher's attention to that stuff. So in that sense it's pretty random: you won't get a grade because you know more, but because you fit that specific type of test or specific type of teacher.

Not to get TL;DR, but there are some teachers that don't care if you cite cases or all the bullshit and just want you to spend the whole test on analysis. Other teachers will significantly mark you down if you don't recite the rules and put in the caselaw. So you could write the same Crim Law exam for two different teachers and get drastically different grades. In Property, the teacher really liked us to organize. I just wrote essay-style without headers on a quiz and got like a 2/10, and then realized he wanted organization and ended up getting a top grade in that class.

In the end, there are just so many factors of unpredictability that it makes it fairly random. There are definitely some students who get A's (HH @ Boalt) every class or almost every class, but it's a very small percentage and a lot of them look to me like they'll end up in a straight jacket before 3L ends.

User avatar
Dennis Tonsing
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:56 am

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Dennis Tonsing » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:59 am

A few more comments about a few more comments . . .

Bronte: I'd say 60% inherent, 20-30% work, 10-20% grading / performance randomness, plus or minus. The latter figures are more variable, because the smarter you work, the more you can reduce performance randomness. (And of course, stamina is to a certain extent inherent, so even the amount of work you put in is less controllable than people would like to think.)
Dennis: Absolutely. That's to start ... then you can reduce the effects of “inherent” and “grading” by working smarter as Bronte suggests. One needs (a) a target, (b) the method to learn to hit the target, and (c) practice at hitting the target … all long before the main event. That can change the figures to something more like 70% work (exam-targeted preparation), 20% inherent, 10% grading. Sure, these figures will differ markedly from student-to-student, class-to-class, & prof-to-prof. This ain't math or science.

Lawquacious: I have heard anecdotally that there may be a relatively high proportion of top graders in law school who had substantial work experience compared to the rest of the class…
Dennis: That’s what I have noticed (anecdotally) as well. “Relatively” is a very important word in that sentence, though.

Geist13: …most professors suck at writing an exam. Instead of making their exam difficult, they just make it long… being able to handle the material at a very high level won't help you in some classes, because the test wasn't designed to really push that aspect of a student's knowledge. When the exam is not technically hard (just very time pressured), the quality of the exams gets all bunched up and the distinction between good and decent grades becomes artificial.
Dennis: Undeniably true that some profs stink when it comes to writing exam questions (I think "most" is going too far, but who knows?). However, most profs file their old exams -- and these are accessible to students. If that’s the case at one's school, there’s no excuse for not being aware that the challenge on exam day will be to handled a “time-pressured” question. Guess what. It’s the same in the professional practice. I’ve stood before a jury, making a rebuttal argument that I had prepared as a 4-hour argument (10-week trial), and the judge, without warning, said, “Counsel, you have one hour. Begin.” Time pressure? You bet! The time to start preparing for situations like this is now – in law school.

Vanwinkle: …You can have a great GPA and LSAT, be a dedicated student and study hard, and prove to be one of those bottom-10% people...
This whole comment, which includes the part italicized above, is on the mark. Your absolute best performance may result in “tanking.” Sorry. But if you made it into a top school, that’s not likely for you as an individual. It happens, though. The good news? It goes the other way, too. I’ve had students come to me asking about the tuition refund policy immediately after fall 1L exams, positive they had done poorly. I can think of two who graduated number one and number two in their classes.

Heartford: … let's say your school has 100 1Ls. If a handful of those students from other classes, who you've never had a chance to directly compete with, who've had professors you've never even met- get a 3.71 or above, you can easily be hurled out of the top 10%. How do you have control over that?
Dennis: You don’t. Luck of the draw. Life. Sad but true. Do your best consistently and that curve may smooth out over three years. Or not.

Borhas: … difference between A- and B+ can be attributed to randomness, the difference between A+ and B probably not.
Dennis: … I agree. Borhas has hit the nail on its head.

Beach_terror: … having the ability to write a law school exam answer or not. This is 100% something you can learn. My first semester, I freaked out a little and ran off the road a little bit during my test in an effort to cover everything. Second semester leading up to exams, I fucking focused/practiced my ass off at remaining calm and stringing everything together logically.
Dennis: Excellent example. A friend who teaches bar exam prep insists he can teach a college grad with a decent IQ, who has no law school experience, to pass a bar exam in a few months. He probably can. That, too, is something you can learn. A few years back, I couldn't ride a horse. I continually fell off – yes, even at a walk. Five years later I was teaching horseback riding. Trust me, I have no inherent equestrian ability. But I have thousands of hours in the saddle.

Ndirish2010: … Not really 100% effort, but you can control it and learn how to smartly take LS exams.
Dennis: That is accurate! Yes, some things are beyond your control … but not this: producing the best exam answer you possibly can.

Kronk: … The only things that really set you apart are inherent ability to take tests, how the teacher likes your personal take and organization, and how good of a writer you are. If 100 people answer the question with the same rules and know the same shit and write it, the only difference might be the organization or writing in bringing the teacher's attention to that stuff.
Dennis: I think Kronk is on the right track here, but I disagree with a couple of items. First, your “inherent ability to take tests” is not as important as it sounds. There aren’t many students with the inherent ability to do well on law school essay exams – for most, this is something learned. Inherent abilities can help quite a bit though.
Second, “personal take and organization” are important – the latter much more so. Example: the California State Bar examiners make it very clear that a significant component of grading a performance test is “organization.” Example: the same examiners, referring to essay questions – “The answer should evidence the applicant’s ability to apply the law to the given facts and to reason in a logical, lawyer-like manner from the premises adopted to a sound conclusion.” That sure sounds like organization to me. Bottom line on this point: organization is a critical component to essay exam answers – whether on the bar exam or in law school.
And this is just not going to happen: “…100 people [in one class, (dt)] answer the question with the same rules and know the same shit and write it….” A prof’s hope is that all the students know all the same rules, and can write them. I’d like to say this never happens; but “never say never.” I guess it could. Knowing “the same shit” is more-or-less what the profs are hoping for as well. But it is SO unlikely that (even if these two factors ever could exist in one classroom full of law students) this would result in 100 nearly identical exam answers. You would be shocked at the differences in the answers those of us who grade see. Huge. Ranging from A+ to D or worse.
Klunky illustration: All major-league baseball catchers know “…the same rules and know the same shit…” and catch at a very high level. Nevertheless out of hundreds (thousands?) of catchers throughout history, Yogi Berra, Carlton Fisk, Ivan Rodriguez, Johnny Bench, Gabby Hartnett, and Roy Campanella seem to be on most lists of the top ten catchers. It’s not because of randomness or luck. I say “klunky” because of course, they all had “inherent ability.” But I submit that hundreds of others had somewhat similar inherent ability, too.
Yes, I knew a law prof who graduated number one in his class from HLS. I asked him to talk to my students about exam-targeted study. "You don't want me to talk to your students," he replied. "During orientation at HLS, some upper classmen taught me how to play bridge. It became my passion. I never studied, and seldom attended class. I have a knack." I guess maybe Yogi did, too.
So it goes. So Kronk is absolutely right as to some extremely talented and unusual law students.

User avatar
reasonable_man
Posts: 2200
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby reasonable_man » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:22 am

I love this thread.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Renzo » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:27 am

reasonable_man wrote:I love this thread.

User avatar
Mickey Quicknumbers
Posts: 2177
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:22 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:44 am

reasonable_man wrote:I love this thread.

2 posts in, Dennis Tonsing is on pace to be my hero

Edit: nevermind, just realized all of his advice fits neatly into the ideology of the product he's shamelessly promoting in his profile. Am disappoint.

User avatar
Cavalier
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Cavalier » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:03 am

Haha I didn't realize he was promoting something. I thought he was just some crazy person who thinks that posting massive walls of text that no one will read is a good way to argue over the Internet.

User avatar
Mickey Quicknumbers
Posts: 2177
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:22 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:10 am

Cavalier wrote:Haha I didn't realize he was promoting something. I thought he was just some crazy person who thinks that posting massive walls of text that no one will read is a good way to argue over the Internet.

It's the only way to argue over the internet.

User avatar
Dennis Tonsing
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:56 am

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Dennis Tonsing » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:03 pm

Dear Mickey,

You're pretty much on target. No shame here. I wrote the first edition of my book in 2003. I wrote it because when I was giving presentations from time-to-time before groups of Law School Academic Support professionals around the country, several said to me, "You ought to put that idea into a book!"

At that time ... and today ... the idea is a novel one. If you approach law school as if it is the beginning of the practice of law rather than as "school" as you have known it for the past sixteen years or more, you ought to do better. If you treat each day of law school as the preparation for your career as a lawyer by doing the things in law school that you plan to be doing as a lawyer, then you ought to do well. And if you practice each day ... for the (roughly) 1000 days you have to prepare for your career ... as if you are trying to be the kind of lawyer that you would hire if your life or fortune depended on having a really terrific lawyer ... then you ought to do very well.

After about twenty years of litigation experience and (now) about twenty years of serving in law schools, teaching, grading exams, helping students do their best (as an Academic Support Director), and grading thousands of essay exams ... I still believe that the "beginning the practice of law" way of approaching law school yields far greater/better results (grades, and better preparation for the bar exam, and better preparation for the professional practice of law) than approaching law school as one approaches high school or college.

In 2010, I rewrote the book, to reflect what I had learned after seven more years of experience, and I think I've produced a much better book ... that now includes quite a bit about how to write a high-scoring essay exam answer.

So, no, I'm not ashamed of trying to get the word out ... and the 2nd edition of my book is the best way I know of doing that. I do, by the way, get paid for my work. Nowhere near what I was paid as a litigator, or as a Dean of Students ... but the small royalties over the years partially compensate me for the hundreds of hours I spent writing. Thank goodness.

If you expect to get expert advice, you usually have to pay for it. And the person who gives the advice usually charges for it. In my case, if you buy a book I wrote, and you can read it for several hours. I think I may earn about two or three dollars (I've never really studied the complicated royalty structure that the publisher uses) for providing that advice for you. On the other hand, if you decide you'd rather not pay for a book, please visit the website you'll find in my profile. Everything on that web site is free, and I shamelessly promote the website too.

The bottom line is this: I really believe that I can help those law students who really want to excel in law school.

[ADVERTISING REMOVED BY MODS]

Dennis

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Renzo » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:37 pm

IBTB?

User avatar
Talon
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Why does TLS generalize law school grades as a lottery?

Postby Talon » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:47 pm

Give me a break. You got a J.D. from Southwestern back in the 1970s (LinkRemoved), and you weren't even on law review there according to your CV (LinkRemoved). There are several current law students and recent grads who placed among the top ten students in their class at top fourteen law schools who post and give advice here for free. See, e.g., here, here, and here. I don't think your experience at law schools that admit everyone with a pulse who applies makes you an "expert" at advising people who attend top law schools. And your statement that "If you expect to get expert advice, you usually have to pay for it" is totally untrue when it comes to TLS. Go advertise your crap elsewhere.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bob loblaw law blog, Google Adsense [Bot], hamburg, mav1993, spqr351, Thomas Hagan, ESQ., thriller1122 and 11 guests