Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

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ymmv
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby ymmv » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:21 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Desert Fox's description of exams, what makes getting high grades so difficult, and just the uniqueness of the grading system itself was downright amazing. Bu I think it's such an odd concept to grasp for someone who hasn't gone through law school that they just refuse to accept it. Really the law school grading process is unlike any other in American education. You just can't compare it to any other academic field of study. Honestly that someone said "isn't it similar to a curved engineering class" shows just how hard it is to compare--as it's almost nothing like that. Imagine if engineering had some form of subjectivity to it, wasn't actually that difficult in terms of comprehending the doctrine, but you somehow had to concoct something that stands out from your competitors who are all sifted from the vary top of the pile of applicants who have already completed prior post secondary education.

I think the closest comparison is actually sports. Imagine you've already earned a gold medal in last years Olympic sprinting event and you are racing against 9 other people who won the medal the previous 9 years. Everyone who places worse than 5th place is now deemed "below median" and will be forever identified as such when applying for anything. The 10th place person is "bottom of his class" in speed. Please also note that the difference in the actual speed of each sprinter in the race is actually less than a second. Welcome to law school grading, ranking, and culture as a whole.


The difference being that you know the rules to the Olympic sprinting event and what is required to win, whereas you almost never will in a law school exam. It's more like there's an invisible finish line somewhere along the track and you have no fucking idea when or if you're going to cross it, or which obstacles the referee expects you to pass before getting there.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:30 pm

DrSpaceman wrote:I know that lawyers aren't math people, but can't we use a chi square test to determine how random law school grades are in actual fact?

ETA: I don't know what course grade breakdowns look like on a law school curve (I'm a 0L) but someone who does, and took stats should be able to do this. Could be interesting since there seem to be intense anecdotal opinions on the subject, and everyone here is always talking about the data in other contexts.

The distribution isn't going to be random - schools work out what it should look like - how many As, A-s, etc. are given out in each class, and which exam grade falls where on that curve. What's random (which really means not random, but impossible to predict) is where any given person falls in that distribution. Can you even do a chi square test (lol at me understanding what that is) on the student, not the course breakdown? How would you evaluate one person getting all As is vs another getting all Bs as random/not random?

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby DrSpaceman » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:41 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
DrSpaceman wrote:I know that lawyers aren't math people, but can't we use a chi square test to determine how random law school grades are in actual fact?

ETA: I don't know what course grade breakdowns look like on a law school curve (I'm a 0L) but someone who does, and took stats should be able to do this. Could be interesting since there seem to be intense anecdotal opinions on the subject, and everyone here is always talking about the data in other contexts.

The distribution isn't going to be random - schools work out what it should look like - how many As, A-s, etc. are given out in each class, and which exam grade falls where on that curve. What's random (which really means not random, but impossible to predict) is where any given person falls in that distribution. Can you even do a chi square test (lol at me understanding what that is) on the student, not the course breakdown? How would you evaluate one person getting all As is vs another getting all Bs as random/not random?


No, of course no one can know whether they will do well going in, which is the main point of contention here. But you can determine how, given a certain school mandated breakdown of letter grades per course, grades should result in the overall GPA breakdown that follows in the student body. You'd be comparing the expected GPA breakdown (that which would result from a random distributions of letter grades among students) vs the actual GPA breakdown in the student body. As another poster pointed out above, the existence of 4.0s in the student body is going to happen even if grades were drawn from a hat in each class, but you'd see a specific frequency. If, as the other side of that debate contends, some other factor (hard work, more aptitude) was also acting on the data for a subset of students, you'd be able to detect that with a statistical test.

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romothesavior
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:43 pm

Hard work and intelligence probably do correlate to law school success. But here's the problem: (1) that correlation is exceptionally weak, and (2) "being good at writing law school exams" correlates a lot more strongly to law school success than hard work and intelligence. Like DF said , the vast majority of your peers will put in the requisite work and possess the requisite intelligence to succeed.

So no, law school grades may not be truly "random," but they are so unpredictable that you can't go in assuming you will crush it based on pre-law school successes, nor can you point to people who don't crush it and assume they didn't work hard enough or weren't smart enough.

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fats provolone
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby fats provolone » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:46 pm

Paulo how long would you guess the average t14 law prof spends per exam grading. I assume the answer is in minutes

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:50 pm

fats provolone wrote:Paulo how long would you guess the average t14 law prof spends per exam grading. I assume the answer is in minutes


Well, if you assume the average law professor works 30 minutes a day, teaches 2 classes of 90 students each, and takes a month to get grades back, then I'd say about 5 minutes per exam.

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:52 pm

It's gotta be random. There were people bottom third of our class who got the highest grade in a 100 person class. The law review people who had the best grades overall, got the top grade in maybe half the class, probably less. Shit is a joke.

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby LeDique » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:52 pm

Idunno if Paulo is really qualified to answer. If I remember right, he assigned his 1L property class a 2 page free writing exercise as their final exam. The person who got the highest grade in the class wrote a haiku about a fat person adversely possessing an airplane seat.

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ymmv
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby ymmv » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:53 pm

LeDique wrote:Idunno if Paulo is really qualified to answer. If I remember right, he assigned his 1L property class a 2 page free writing exercise as their final exam. The person who got the highest grade in the class wrote a haiku about a fat person adversely possessing an airplane seat.


QED.

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby Paul Campos » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:02 pm

fats provolone wrote:Paulo how long would you guess the average t14 law prof spends per exam grading. I assume the answer is in minutes



15? Probably varies from 3 to 30 though.

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby Paul Campos » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:04 pm

LeDique wrote:Idunno if Paulo is really qualified to answer. If I remember right, he assigned his 1L property class a 2 page free writing exercise as their final exam. The person who got the highest grade in the class wrote a haiku about a fat person adversely possessing an airplane seat.



This would probably work just as well as an issue-spotting exam for all practical purposes.

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ymmv
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby ymmv » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:05 pm

Paul Campos wrote:
fats provolone wrote:Paulo how long would you guess the average t14 law prof spends per exam grading. I assume the answer is in minutes



15? Probably varies from 3 to 30 though.


That's actually more than I would expect but still a little depressing.
Have you ever been 2 weeks past the deadline to turn in grades? Do you have some sense of what goes through professors' minds when they pull shit like this?

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fats provolone
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby fats provolone » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:07 pm

that's almost two tenths of a second per word. plenty of time to precisely and accurately ascertain how much each student KNOWS THE MATERIAL

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:09 pm

hey nick bro, we got the actual data youve been waiting for.

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star fox
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby star fox » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:24 pm

From my experience (3 A+ 1 A first semester in doctrinals) be able to think quickly, type fast, argue both sides, and don't repeat yourself. I was closing down the library a month up to the exams so I knew the material like the back of the hand but would say it's mainly luck/aptitude for law school exams.

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby mvp99 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:43 pm

did anyone else noticed that OP is simply trying to convince himself hes making a wise choice?

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby utahraptor » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:48 pm

star fox wrote:From my experience (3 A+ 1 A first semester in doctrinals) be able to think quickly, type fast, argue both sides, and don't repeat yourself. I was closing down the library a month up to the exams so I knew the material like the back of the hand but would say it's mainly luck/aptitude for law school exams.

cool john

thanks for sharing

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ymmv
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby ymmv » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:50 pm

utahraptor wrote:
star fox wrote:From my experience (3 A+ 1 A first semester in doctrinals) be able to think quickly, type fast, argue both sides, and don't repeat yourself. I was closing down the library a month up to the exams so I knew the material like the back of the hand but would say it's mainly luck/aptitude for law school exams.

cool john

thanks for sharing


"I booked everything thanks to my own skill and dedication, #BLESSED."

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fats provolone
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby fats provolone » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:51 pm

star fox wrote:From my experience (3 A+ 1 A first semester in doctrinals) be able to think quickly, type fast, argue both sides, and don't repeat yourself. I was closing down the library a month up to the exams so I knew the material like the back of the hand but would say it's mainly luck/aptitude for law school exams.

shit there goes my good at TLS = good at LS theory

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby star fox » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:52 pm

ymmv wrote:
"I booked everything thanks to my own skill and dedication, #BLESSED."

Nope. 99 % luck.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:52 pm

There is definitely a skills at play. I think one of the big ones is issue spotting, figuring out that there is an issue. Another is analysis, applying the law to the facts.

I think these are very good skills to test for being a lawyer.

The problem is that the exam and material is too easy. Like I said, the mathematical equivalent of multiplication. The fact patterns are small and catered to the analysis. The amount of content in a course is what, maybe 30 cases. Less?

And the students are too close in ability. You don't get a normal distribution with a fairly good standard deviation.

So they add time crunch to separate people and still a lot of difference is whether you analyzed a clear side issue where the answer is a fairly clear "it doesn't matter" or skipped it.

Worse, the grades often come down to which issue the prof thought was more important.

IMO, it's like determining the best golfer by see who can hit the most cumulative yards at a driving range in 3 hours with unlimited balls. I'd rather see them play 18.

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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby fats provolone » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:54 pm

the one group who seemed to consistently beat the curve is debaters. probably because that teaches most of the same bullshit skills required to excel at stupid law exams.

also all sociopaths. that seems to help

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utahraptor
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby utahraptor » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:57 pm

fats provolone wrote:the one group who seemed to consistently beat the curve is debaters. probably because that teaches most of the same bullshit skills required to excel at stupid law exams.

also all sociopaths. that seems to help


ex journalists also seem to do quite well. I assume it's because they can actually write.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:58 pm

utahraptor wrote:
fats provolone wrote:the one group who seemed to consistently beat the curve is debaters. probably because that teaches most of the same bullshit skills required to excel at stupid law exams.

also all sociopaths. that seems to help


ex journalists also seem to do quite well. I assume it's because they can actually write.


It's probably because they can write quickly.

I think taking the time to write well is a mistake. Someone else is just going to vomit their outline.

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ymmv
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Re: Vale of Tears is the Most Horrifying Thread on TLS

Postby ymmv » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:59 pm

fats provolone wrote:the one group who seemed to consistently beat the curve is debaters. probably because that teaches most of the same bullshit skills required to excel at stupid law exams.

also all sociopaths. that seems to help


There is certainly a correlation between sociopathy and LR/journal board placement, though that could partly be a factor of self-selection.




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