Berkeley Class of 2012

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2012)
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silver11
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Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:45 am

Whoo!

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:47 am

Anyone know when we get the actual acceptance package? Scholarship information?

Outlawed
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby Outlawed » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:56 am

Congrats, I'm really hoping to join you in this thread. Berkeley is my #1!

uclabruins
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby uclabruins » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:27 am

silver, u set on Boalt already? congrats again btw, i'm soo jealous =)

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20160810
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby 20160810 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:30 am

You are all in a very enviable position (or at least a position I greatly envy). Congratulations!

If anyone has non-LS-related questions about general life in Berkeley, housing, etc. feel free to PM me.

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:28 pm

Anyone know how the lack of grades affects things like clerkships?

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doyleoil
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby doyleoil » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:31 pm

it's not a switch, is it? they've been on the pass, honors, high honors system for quite awhile, right? (and fwiw, i think 10% of a class get high honors, 30% honors, and 60% pass, but i could be wrong about that)
Last edited by doyleoil on Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:32 pm

Yep it used to be just Yale and Berkeley, then Stanford followed suit beginning of this year, and Harvard follows next year.

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just a girl
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby just a girl » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:33 pm

Seeing as almost half the T-14 has moved to eliminate grades and YLS doesn't grade and ~40% of its students do clerkships, I doubt that not having grades will significantly affect you.

Also, it's a bit of a stretch to claim that there aren't grades. As best as I understand it, Boalt's grading system is structured in such a way as to still allow students to be differentiated and ranked in relation to one another, if not numerically.

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:42 pm

just a girl wrote:Seeing as almost half the T-14 has moved to eliminate grades and YLS doesn't grade and ~40% of its students do clerkships, I doubt that not having grades will significantly affect you.

Also, it's a bit of a stretch to claim that there aren't grades. As best as I understand it, Boalt's grading system is structured in such a way as to still allow students to be differentiated and ranked in relation to one another, if not numerically.


But Berkeley has something like 60 percent of people get the Pass grade so it is kind of hard to differentiate yourself there. And I'm sure some people get Honors in some that others Pass and vice versa.

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:45 pm

Don't get me wrong I love Berkeley and I'm really happy about it I just want to have every single option open to me to choose from since I don't know what I'm going to do just yet.

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:45 pm

I kind of want to talk to someone who absolutely hates Berkeley so that I can get the other side...Brian Leiter you listening?

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doyleoil
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby doyleoil » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:00 pm

talk to the u.chicago people on here/other sites who are pissed at berkeley cuz they think they gamed the rankings to pass them - :) (funny you brought up leiter, since he may have inflamed that spirit!) (i will say this: i don't know how they managed to pass themselves off as having 99% employment at graduation, but there's got to be something fishy there....not that i'm judging....i still LOVE YOU berkeley!!)

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just a girl
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby just a girl » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:39 pm

But Berkeley has something like 60 percent of people get the Pass grade so it is kind of hard to differentiate yourself there. And I'm sure some people get Honors in some that others Pass and vice versa.


As I understand it, the way the grading at Boalt breaks down is that in each class the top ten percent get high honors, the next 30 percent get honors, and the bottom 60 percent get a pass. I don't find it that different from the grading system of Boalt's peer schools primarily because the median at most of those schools is roughly B+ (3.2-3.3). When the median is a B+ and virtually no one fails, you're in the same position as someone at Boalt who has averaged a "pass" grade in all their classes. Getting an honors is maybe like an A-, and high honors is an A/A+.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by having every single option open to you, because having a degree from Boalt dominated by "pass" grades certainly isn't going to close any doors for you any more than a degree from somewhere like UVA where you're at the median with grades. Just know that for top clerkships you'll have to do what anyone would; achieve grades markedly higher than the median, which at Boalt simply means getting honors and high honors.

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:50 pm

But isn't it easier at Boalt to focus on one class to the expense of another and receive a low pass (that still counts as pass) and devote more time to get a high honors/honors grade in one class?

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just a girl
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby just a girl » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:31 pm

I suppose, but again, you can still scrape by at the median and get an average grade in order to work hard at another class to earn an A. All I'm getting at here is that it's slightly disingenuous to imply that Boalt has no grades, because there is still a hierarchy of grades within the class. It's not like having every class P/F with everyone being evaluated P/F.

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:37 pm

Right but you suffer more with a regular system.

Hypothetically, if you get High Honors in one it's like a 90+, Honors is 70+, and Pass would then be 0+ (I know this isn't how it works). So that means you could scrape by one class and just get a 1 and devot yourself fully to another and get High Honors. If you did this at another school that low of a Pass grade would translate to something like a C- or D- and it wouldn't matter that you got a High Honors grade in one because the average would kill you. Since Berkeley makes the range of pass so large you can strategically distribute your time.

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just a girl
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Re: Berkeley Class of 20

Postby just a girl » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:57 pm

I suppose you could devote yourself to one class to the exclusion of another in order to get High honors in one and pass in another, but if you look at the grade distribution, it's extremely rare to receive a grade significantly below the mean. For example, at Michigan (chosen because I know the most about it, and it's one of Boalt's peer schools), the top ten percent receive grades of A and A+, and the next 45% receive grades of A- or B+. Roughly 3% of any class will receive grades of C or lower, meaning your example of receiving a D- is highly improbable unless you were to never show up and drew a picture instead of actually writing the final exam. And in your example, were you to receive a C- (2.7) and an A+ (4.33), your average would be a 3.515, which would put you well above the median, so the average of the two grades wouldn't kill you.

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:58 pm

Then what is the point of the lack of grades?

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just a girl
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby just a girl » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:03 pm

Ask Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, NYU, etc.
I don't really get it. If it's not like YLS with all pass/fail, it's basically grading masquerading as something else.

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:04 pm

just a girl wrote:Ask Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, NYU, etc.
I don't really get it. If it's not like YLS with all pass/fail, it's basically grading masquerading as something else.


Yale has honors as well.

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:05 pm

Wikipedia:
For their remaining two and a half years, students are graded on an Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail system.

But it doesn't rank students, so maybe that is the best part. Yet wouldn't this make it hard for clerkships?

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doyleoil
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby doyleoil » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:38 pm

i think you're missing the biggest point of the system (and the reason it seems to remove some stress, at least as it works at berkeley) - think of it this way: under your way of thinking, a person at a hypothetical t-14 school that gives grades who wants to make the median would supposedly be just as well off splitting all their grades between A-'s and B-'s (or A's and C+'s, etc.) as a person who got straight B's...they'd both have about a 3.0 average (just assume for the sake of argument that 3.0 is the median...that's a bit low, but easier to work with) - BUT, employers who might hire from the median at said t-14 (district court judges, v-50-100 firms, etc.) will eventually see a transcript and i'm guessing they'll be apt to see red flags if there are too many B-'s or C+'s on that transcript - the person who gets straight B's will come out better - at berkeley (and schools like it) every one of those B-'s and C+'s can be "hidden" under the grade "P," and, in fact, the "splitter" may come off looking better because they might end up with more H's or HH's than the steady student who pulls straight B's (most of those B's might be on the low end of the "B" range, and thus fall into the pass category) - does that make sense? the concept of the P is a way to hide B-'s and C+'s, pure and simple

yjlu
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby yjlu » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:00 am

silver11 wrote:Wikipedia:
But it doesn't rank students, so maybe that is the best part. Yet wouldn't this make it hard for clerkships?


Berkeley releases rankings for clerkships and I think also Order of the Coif. Rankings are based on point conversions of HH/H/P

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley Class of 2012

Postby silver11 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:14 pm

When do we hear about whether or not we will receive a scholarship?




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