UVA's "Generous Curve"

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
GenericLawApplicant
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:27 pm

UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby GenericLawApplicant » Tue May 12, 2015 9:00 pm

I saw some people throwing this phrase around, and I was wondering if there's any truth in it, compared to schools like Chicago/Columbia.

Even if there is a 'better' curve, wouldn't it be irrelevant since class ranking is still the primary judge of performance?

WahooLaw24
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:35 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby WahooLaw24 » Tue May 12, 2015 9:17 pm

I'm guessing that is in reference to the fact that professors have the option of curving to the class mean in non core 1L classes. A nice benefit, but barely helpful at all for your 1L GPA, which is what counts the most.

GenericLawApplicant
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:27 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby GenericLawApplicant » Tue May 12, 2015 9:30 pm

Found it on the TLS Wiki and on some posts on TLS about how UVA is less competitive.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/wiki/Uni ... ool_of_Law

User avatar
banjo
Posts: 1345
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:00 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby banjo » Tue May 12, 2015 10:27 pm

UVA's curve was leaked accidentally, so we actually know a LOT about it: http://abovethelaw.com/2014/06/oops-top ... licants/2/

Median is apparently 3.405, which on first glance looks pretty high. I wouldn't be shocked if the upper class median (not the 1L median) at CLS was about the same though. The upper class curves, especially in seminars, are very generous.

WahooLaw24
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:35 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby WahooLaw24 » Tue May 12, 2015 10:30 pm

GenericLawApplicant wrote:Found it on the TLS Wiki and on some posts on TLS about how UVA is less competitive.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/wiki/Uni ... ool_of_Law


My understanding is that 3.3 is fairly consistent with UVA's peers. I suppose it's more generous than lower ranked schools which tend to curve around lower GPAs (I believe).

User avatar
Clearly
Posts: 4166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby Clearly » Wed May 13, 2015 3:13 am

WahooLaw24 wrote:
GenericLawApplicant wrote:Found it on the TLS Wiki and on some posts on TLS about how UVA is less competitive.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/wiki/Uni ... ool_of_Law


My understanding is that 3.3 is fairly consistent with UVA's peers. I suppose it's more generous than lower ranked schools which tend to curve around lower GPAs (I believe).

dabigchina
Posts: 699
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby dabigchina » Wed May 13, 2015 3:37 am

banjo wrote:UVA's curve was leaked accidentally, so we actually know a LOT about it: http://abovethelaw.com/2014/06/oops-top ... licants/2/

Median is apparently 3.405, which on first glance looks pretty high. I wouldn't be shocked if the upper class median (not the 1L median) at CLS was about the same though. The upper class curves, especially in seminars, are very generous.


slight derail, but what's with all the angst over columbia's curve/competition on this forum? is CLS's curve especially brutal in some way?

GenericLawApplicant
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:27 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby GenericLawApplicant » Wed May 13, 2015 2:03 pm

Clearly wrote:
WahooLaw24 wrote:
GenericLawApplicant wrote:Found it on the TLS Wiki and on some posts on TLS about how UVA is less competitive.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/wiki/Uni ... ool_of_Law


My understanding is that 3.3 is fairly consistent with UVA's peers. I suppose it's more generous than lower ranked schools which tend to curve around lower GPAs (I believe).

But is the curve even relevant?

All hiring is based on class rank, correct?

So even if I'm in a school with a more generous curve, wouldn't I be no better off than a school with a lower curve?

User avatar
TheSpanishMain
Posts: 4133
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed May 13, 2015 2:08 pm

GenericLawApplicant wrote:All hiring is based on class rank, correct?

So even if I'm in a school with a more generous curve, wouldn't I be no better off than a school with a lower curve?


In general I think you're right. I have some federal job postings that will say things like "minimum 3.0 law school GPA", so I guess it would matter in that context.

User avatar
swampman
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby swampman » Wed May 13, 2015 2:18 pm

GenericLawApplicant wrote:But is the curve even relevant?

All hiring is based on class rank, correct?

So even if I'm in a school with a more generous curve, wouldn't I be no better off than a school with a lower curve?

Yes, class rank is what employers really care about, but many top schools (UVA included) don't reveal class ranks. Employers have to guess based on the GPA. If the employer doesn't know the school well, they may be tricked into thinking that a high GPA = top ranked student, when it's really a result of a more generous curve.

But you're right, there aren't many situations where this is relevant and it shouldn't go into your decision when picking a school.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15508
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed May 13, 2015 6:52 pm

There's a UVA grad who used to post here frequently who often complained about the curve there. Said that profs just had to have a certain median like 3.3 but that that meant they could give out more A's if they gave more C's. So if you don't do well you can end up with a few C's which tend to be rare at T-14s.

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby Br3v » Wed May 13, 2015 7:19 pm

Comparing curves across schools is in no way helpful. Penn could give out gold and silver star stickers and it would be just as useful to compare them to whatever system UVA or another school uses. All that matters is that every student within the same school is graded on the same standards.

User avatar
bearsfan23
Posts: 1529
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby bearsfan23 » Wed May 13, 2015 7:47 pm

swampman wrote:
GenericLawApplicant wrote:But is the curve even relevant?

All hiring is based on class rank, correct?

So even if I'm in a school with a more generous curve, wouldn't I be no better off than a school with a lower curve?

Yes, class rank is what employers really care about, but many top schools (UVA included) don't reveal class ranks. Employers have to guess based on the GPA. If the employer doesn't know the school well, they may be tricked into thinking that a high GPA = top ranked student, when it's really a result of a more generous curve.

But you're right, there aren't many situations where this is relevant and it shouldn't go into your decision when picking a school.


This might make a difference if the employer isn't familiar with and doesn't normally hire from your school. However, if you're talking about BigLaw/law firms in general, this is completely wrong.

I have zero doubt that every BigLaw firm that hires from from UVA knows exactly where your GPA places you

User avatar
swampman
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby swampman » Wed May 13, 2015 11:11 pm

Hence the part where I said "If the employer doesn't know the school well" and "there aren't many situations where this is relevant"

Traynor Brah
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby Traynor Brah » Wed May 13, 2015 11:18 pm

swampman wrote:Hence the part where I said "If the employer doesn't know the school well" and "there aren't many situations where this is relevant"

Yeah basically my understanding is the generous curve is helpful when you're school doesn't rank and when you're applying to a region that doesn't know your school well (but still respects your school for whatever reason).

So it's a neat bonus but it's not really something you should factor into your school decision

User avatar
LA Spring
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:52 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby LA Spring » Wed May 13, 2015 11:59 pm

For those schools that do not rank, a generous curve means the professors can hand out more A+; A; A-; B+…this is a very big deal. If a UVA applicant is up against someone from CCNP with B’s and the UVA applicant has a B+ and better, the advantage definitely goes to UVA.

User avatar
bearsfan23
Posts: 1529
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby bearsfan23 » Thu May 14, 2015 12:06 am

LA Spring wrote:For those schools that do not rank, a generous curve means the professors can hand out more A+; A; A-; B+…this is a very big deal. If a UVA applicant is up against someone from CCNP with B’s and the UVA applicant has a B+ and better, the advantage definitely goes to UVA.


This is entirely incorrect, at least as far as law firm hiring goes. Firms know what the curve is, what the median is, etc. Plus, please explain to me how this works comparing Chicago and UVA? How can you possibly compare a school with a normal grading system vs a 160-186 grading system other than by knowing how grades are distributed.

I'm not sure how you can't understand this

User avatar
banjo
Posts: 1345
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:00 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby banjo » Thu May 14, 2015 12:46 am

dabigchina wrote:
banjo wrote:UVA's curve was leaked accidentally, so we actually know a LOT about it: http://abovethelaw.com/2014/06/oops-top ... licants/2/

Median is apparently 3.405, which on first glance looks pretty high. I wouldn't be shocked if the upper class median (not the 1L median) at CLS was about the same though. The upper class curves, especially in seminars, are very generous.


slight derail, but what's with all the angst over columbia's curve/competition on this forum? is CLS's curve especially brutal in some way?


I mentioned CLS because the OP asked about it. In reality I think the CLS curve is really generous. It also has only four real grades (A, A-, B+, B), so you pretty much never worry about ending up with a B-/C.

Traynor Brah
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby Traynor Brah » Thu May 14, 2015 12:54 am

LA Spring wrote:For those schools that do not rank, a generous curve means the professors can hand out more A+; A; A-; B+…this is a very big deal. If a UVA applicant is up against someone from CCNP with B’s and the UVA applicant has a B+ and better, the advantage definitely goes to UVA.

Whoosh

User avatar
5ky
Posts: 6383
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby 5ky » Thu May 14, 2015 2:50 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:There's a UVA grad who used to post here frequently who often complained about the curve there. Said that profs just had to have a certain median like 3.3 but that that meant they could give out more A's if they gave more C's. So if you don't do well you can end up with a few C's which tend to be rare at T-14s.


Yes, the mean GPA had to be between 3.25 and 3.35, it was up to the professor what breakdown to give. But only in rare instances was it materially different than what you'd see at other schools.

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby Br3v » Thu May 14, 2015 8:39 am

LA Spring wrote:For those schools that do not rank, a generous curve means the professors can hand out more A+; A; A-; B+…this is a very big deal. If a UVA applicant is up against someone from CCNP with B’s and the UVA applicant has a B+ and better, the advantage definitely goes to UVA.


Incorrect

User avatar
DavidConeSplitter
Posts: 742
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:53 am

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby DavidConeSplitter » Thu May 14, 2015 9:15 am

On the low end, is there a reason that TTT and TTTTs tend to have curves fixed at a lower GPA? Is it to capitalize on conditional scholarships, keep people near the top from transferring?

User avatar
bearsfan23
Posts: 1529
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby bearsfan23 » Thu May 14, 2015 1:11 pm

DavidConeSplitter wrote:On the low end, is there a reason that TTT and TTTTs tend to have curves fixed at a lower GPA? Is it to capitalize on conditional scholarships, keep people near the top from transferring?


Both of those.

Also, many TTT/TTTT's are based on a model where they want a certain percentage of low performing students to drop out. That way the school still gets their 1L tuition money, while also getting rid of students who aren't likely to pass the bar

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15508
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu May 14, 2015 1:36 pm

They also know that they can't place everyone into grade-conscious jobs so they need a curve that allows the top people to stand out.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9647
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: UVA's "Generous Curve"

Postby jbagelboy » Thu May 14, 2015 1:44 pm

dabigchina wrote:
banjo wrote:UVA's curve was leaked accidentally, so we actually know a LOT about it: http://abovethelaw.com/2014/06/oops-top ... licants/2/

Median is apparently 3.405, which on first glance looks pretty high. I wouldn't be shocked if the upper class median (not the 1L median) at CLS was about the same though. The upper class curves, especially in seminars, are very generous.


slight derail, but what's with all the angst over columbia's curve/competition on this forum? is CLS's curve especially brutal in some way?


There shouldn't be any




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests