Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

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SoxyPirate
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby SoxyPirate » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:55 pm

Arrow wrote:I do not think that subjectivity/arbitrariness is a big deal. Anytime a teacher or professor grades a paper this problem arises. It has been like this since your high school English teacher graded your final paper on Hamlet.

Here is how I think our school system gives out grades. First, the professors do not give out any letter grades. They assign point values anonymously to exams, and they give those points over to the registrar. The registrar then applies the forced curve.

I guess it is possible for professors to tweek numbers a little bit so more people get A's, but I doubt this occurs.

The registrar then averages the numbers and point values from the professor and calculates a standard deviation. Now, if you are 2 standard deviations above the mean, then you get an "A". For those of you who forget, 2 standard deviations from the mean puts you within the 5 to 95 percentile (al la 68-95-99.7 rule). Thus, only about 5% of the people will score over 2 standard deviations above the mean and get the "A". In addition, if you are 3 standard deviations above the mean, you will probably get an "A+".

Somewhere along the way, it also normalizes this into an 100 point scale if there are multiple choice questions or something.

Now, what this means is (excuse the pun), the curve + subjectivity may play a factor, both of which are out of your control. For example, using this curve, in one of my classes the 6 people got "A"s and in another, 2 people got "A"s.

Thus, if the exam is easier and the average is higher, then less people get A's. You can have the 3rd highest grade in the class out of 80 people, but it can be an "A-" instead of an A because you got screwed by the curve.

Now for another example. In one of my classes, the exam was tortuously hard. The average was very low. However, two people got "A+"s and another four got A's. In addition, this hard exam led to more people failing, thus allowing more A's to be given.

Then there is my legal writing class, which is another example of an "easy" grading/bad curve. No "A"s were given and only two "A-"s were given. The scores were just too squeezed together that no one made it 2 standard deviations above the mean. In addition, no one failed or did badly enough to push the "A-"s up to "A"s.

Finally, all the sections are compared together when the school does its ranking. Thus, if you have more teachers with easier exams that give out less "A/A+"s, then you can be in the top 2-4% even if you are number 1 in your section.

This is the luck that I am thinking of (all true for my section/year). It is simply just out of your control. Can you just imagine the frustration some people (*sigh* I admit, myself included) felt when they realized their section did not give any "A"s in one class while other sections did (and even gave out "A+"s)?

By the way, all this matters little in the grand scheme of things. Who cares how they rank? Just do the best you can. If you get screwed by the curve, it ultimately should not really mess with your rankings that much. At most, my GPA could have been number 1 (top 1%) or number 9 (top 3%).

Ungenerous T2 curves for the loss? :shock:

Lawyers love math, right? :D


Another extremely helpful post, Arrow.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:18 am

Arrow wrote:I do not think that subjectivity/arbitrariness is a big deal. Anytime a teacher or professor grades a paper this problem arises. It has been like this since your high school English teacher graded your final paper on Hamlet.

Here is how I think our school system gives out grades. First, the professors do not give out any letter grades. They assign point values anonymously to exams, and they give those points over to the registrar. The registrar then applies the forced curve.

I guess it is possible for professors to tweek numbers a little bit so more people get A's, but I doubt this occurs.

The registrar then averages the numbers and point values from the professor and calculates a standard deviation. Now, if you are 2 standard deviations above the mean, then you get an "A". For those of you who forget, 2 standard deviations from the mean puts you within the 5 to 95 percentile (al la 68-95-99.7 rule). Thus, only about 5% of the people will score over 2 standard deviations above the mean and get the "A". In addition, if you are 3 standard deviations above the mean, you will probably get an "A+".

Somewhere along the way, it also normalizes this into an 100 point scale if there are multiple choice questions or something.

Now, what this means is (excuse the pun), the curve + subjectivity may play a factor, both of which are out of your control. For example, using this curve, in one of my classes the 6 people got "A"s and in another, 2 people got "A"s.

Thus, if the exam is easier and the average is higher, then less people get A's. You can have the 3rd highest grade in the class out of 80 people, but it can be an "A-" instead of an A because you got screwed by the curve.

Now for another example. In one of my classes, the exam was tortuously hard. The average was very low. However, two people got "A+"s and another four got A's. In addition, this hard exam led to more people failing, thus allowing more A's to be given.

Then there is my legal writing class, which is another example of an "easy" grading/bad curve. No "A"s were given and only two "A-"s were given. The scores were just too squeezed together that no one made it 2 standard deviations above the mean. In addition, no one failed or did badly enough to push the "A-"s up to "A"s.

Finally, all the sections are compared together when the school does its ranking. Thus, if you have more teachers with easier exams that give out less "A/A+"s, then you can be in the top 2-4% even if you are number 1 in your section.

This is the luck that I am thinking of (all true for my section/year). It is simply just out of your control. Can you just imagine the frustration some people (*sigh* I admit, myself included) felt when they realized their section did not give any "A"s in one class while other sections did (and even gave out "A+"s)?

By the way, all this matters little in the grand scheme of things. Who cares how they rank? Just do the best you can. If you get screwed by the curve, it ultimately should not really mess with your rankings that much. At most, my GPA could have been number 1 (top 1%) or number 9 (top 3%).

Ungenerous T2 curves for the loss? :shock:

Lawyers love math, right? :D


Dude your curve outright blows (i.e. WTF is that 5% As shit). I go to a t3 and the curve is set at 25% As +/- 5% for 1L. There's no +/- standard, so it is usually just based on points (so there usually is a gap between what is an A and what is a A-, but not much). We don't do A+s, not sure if that's a good thing or bad. I get the feeling some lucky jackass here would end up with a 4.33 at the end of 1L if we did A+s. I want to say it's usually split with As and A-s 50/50 for most profs though (just because that's how the points fall).

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RVP11
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby RVP11 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:18 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:UVA's curve is about as generous as it gets. :)


How do you figure that? The post shows 30% As and no A+s. NU has mandatory A+s and up to 37% As.


Thanks for the correction. I forgot about NU's. That's ridiculous.

What I like about UVA's is that it results in a pretty fat middle, though I suppose it's similar at a lot of T14s.

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kow613
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby kow613 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:59 am

Great post, Thanks Arrow

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A'nold
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:19 am

Arrow wrote:I do not think that subjectivity/arbitrariness is a big deal. Anytime a teacher or professor grades a paper this problem arises. It has been like this since your high school English teacher graded your final paper on Hamlet.

Here is how I think our school system gives out grades. First, the professors do not give out any letter grades. They assign point values anonymously to exams, and they give those points over to the registrar. The registrar then applies the forced curve.

I guess it is possible for professors to tweek numbers a little bit so more people get A's, but I doubt this occurs.

The registrar then averages the numbers and point values from the professor and calculates a standard deviation. Now, if you are 2 standard deviations above the mean, then you get an "A". For those of you who forget, 2 standard deviations from the mean puts you within the 5 to 95 percentile (al la 68-95-99.7 rule). Thus, only about 5% of the people will score over 2 standard deviations above the mean and get the "A". In addition, if you are 3 standard deviations above the mean, you will probably get an "A+".

Somewhere along the way, it also normalizes this into an 100 point scale if there are multiple choice questions or something.

Now, what this means is (excuse the pun), the curve + subjectivity may play a factor, both of which are out of your control. For example, using this curve, in one of my classes the 6 people got "A"s and in another, 2 people got "A"s.

Thus, if the exam is easier and the average is higher, then less people get A's. You can have the 3rd highest grade in the class out of 80 people, but it can be an "A-" instead of an A because you got screwed by the curve.

Now for another example. In one of my classes, the exam was tortuously hard. The average was very low. However, two people got "A+"s and another four got A's. In addition, this hard exam led to more people failing, thus allowing more A's to be given.

Then there is my legal writing class, which is another example of an "easy" grading/bad curve. No "A"s were given and only two "A-"s were given. The scores were just too squeezed together that no one made it 2 standard deviations above the mean. In addition, no one failed or did badly enough to push the "A-"s up to "A"s.

Finally, all the sections are compared together when the school does its ranking. Thus, if you have more teachers with easier exams that give out less "A/A+"s, then you can be in the top 2-4% even if you are number 1 in your section.

This is the luck that I am thinking of (all true for my section/year). It is simply just out of your control. Can you just imagine the frustration some people (*sigh* I admit, myself included) felt when they realized their section did not give any "A"s in one class while other sections did (and even gave out "A+"s)?

By the way, all this matters little in the grand scheme of things. Who cares how they rank? Just do the best you can. If you get screwed by the curve, it ultimately should not really mess with your rankings that much. At most, my GPA could have been number 1 (top 1%) or number 9 (top 3%).

Ungenerous T2 curves for the loss? :shock:

Lawyers love math, right? :D


Wow arrow. I'd say you just cemented your spot as TLS's most informative and useful poster. :)

Tave
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Tave » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:05 am

A'nold wrote:Wow arrow. I'd say you just cemented your spot as TLS's most informative and useful poster. :)



Should we leave you two alone for awhile? :lol:

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:26 pm

Tave wrote:
A'nold wrote:Wow arrow. I'd say you just cemented your spot as TLS's most informative and useful poster. :)



Should we leave you two alone for awhile? :lol:

Hell no, I want to film this, if only to be involved in some marginal way.

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:16 am

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
Tave wrote:
A'nold wrote:Wow arrow. I'd say you just cemented your spot as TLS's most informative and useful poster. :)



Should we leave you two alone for awhile? :lol:

Hell no, I want to film this, if only to be involved in some marginal way.


Only if arrow is a hot chick and my wife o.k.'s it........ :)

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SoxyPirate
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby SoxyPirate » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:54 am

A'nold wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:
Tave wrote:
A'nold wrote:Wow arrow. I'd say you just cemented your spot as TLS's most informative and useful poster. :)



Should we leave you two alone for awhile? :lol:

Hell no, I want to film this, if only to be involved in some marginal way.


Only if arrow is a hot chick and my wife joins in........ :)

Fixed

carrowd3
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby carrowd3 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:25 pm

...and you two can dress up like Harry Potter and Raislin Majere... :shock: ...and perform cruciatus curses on each other

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:23 pm

carrowd3 wrote:...and you two can dress up like Harry Potter and Raislin Majere... :shock: ...and perform cruciatus curses on each other


CRUCIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:twisted:

TheCure0013
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby TheCure0013 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:24 pm

Any update on the transfer front Arrow?

seekerofthetao
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby seekerofthetao » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:34 pm

good call on channeling raistlin

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saradsun
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby saradsun » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:58 pm

I am exhausted after reading this. And I'm a 40 year old law student with 5 kids.

Good job on your grades and what a detailed explanation!

I'd like to add that if you don't "get" briefing, you should do it long enough to get it. You really do need to be able to pick out all those parts in a case. Once you know how to do that though, yeah, stop briefing.

You transfer students are going to kill my curve in 2L. :evil:

(that's a friendly evil smilie, just so you don't get the wrong idea)

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thesealocust
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:03 am

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby XxSpyKEx » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:40 pm

thesealocust wrote:I think the curve came about because almost invariably students will perform on a curve, not because schools wanted to force students on to a curve.


The curve is there because 1) if it wasn't everyone would fail out with how brutally law prof's grade exams, 2) most importantly to find someway to make grading fair (i.e. if there wasn't a required curve prof's would have to make their own grading guidelines up and that could mean that one prof gives everyone As and another gives everyone Cs and no As. That would be incredibly unfair to the person who got stuck in the section w/ the prof that gave all Cs), and 3) because employers make a big deal about grades in law school (unlike many other graduate programs) and they want some way of gauging where a student falls in the pack of law student. I think the reason for #3 is because biglaw employers are mostly just looking for slaves to come work at their sweatshops and someone who does well in law school probably busted there ass in law school and the thought is that attitude towards being a hard worker will continue.

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Arrow
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Arrow » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:57 pm

TheCure0013 wrote:Any update on the transfer front Arrow?


I actually ended up transferring to Berkeley at the last minute!


saradsun wrote:You transfer students are going to kill my curve in 2L. :evil:


I feel like the 2L students always feel this way at the new school about transfers. At Loyola, some of my friends were worried about incoming transfers from the local T3/T4's screwing up the curve and taking interviews. On the other hand, if you are transferring to a T14 school (especially one that is GPA heavy), chances are the students there were college gunners who did well by studying a lot, so it really is not much of a big deal.

Also, while transfers students do work hard, the feeling so far is that we are taking it down a notch.
Last edited by Arrow on Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dman
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Dman » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:18 pm

tag

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby RudeDudewithAttitude » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:46 am

Wow! Good luck at Berkeley Arrow!

carrowd3
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby carrowd3 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:11 am

Congrats Arrow!

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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby kritiosboy » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:51 pm

.
Last edited by kritiosboy on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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A'nold
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:56 pm

Ah, my favorite thread. I actually made an outline of arrow's OP, lol. *nerdy laughter*.

Haha my school claims to not have a curve, yet for some STRANGE and obviously coincidental happening it seems that most teachers end up with a 2.7ish median........How's that for a bizarre coincidence?! :roll:

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby XxSpyKEx » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:06 pm

A'nold wrote:Ah, my favorite thread. I actually made an outline of arrow's OP, lol. *nerdy laughter*.

Haha my school claims to not have a curve, yet for some STRANGE and obviously coincidental happening it seems that most teachers end up with a 2.7ish median........How's that for a bizarre coincidence?! :roll:


Cooley claims to not have a curve as well...

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Mr. Costello
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Mr. Costello » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:51 am

tag.

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Luis Gomez
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Luis Gomez » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:23 pm

tag.




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