meesawoosa wrote:to KP429:
re: frustration towards lack of differentiation between grades at HLS
---from what i've heard, law school grades can seem fairly random at times. i spoke to several profs at HLS and YLS - those at YLS emphasized that the best part of the grading policy there was that they didn't have to make fairly arbitrary cutoffs between what was an A- exam versus B+, or what was B versus B-. I think even if there will now be less differentiation among HLS students' transcripts, it will still be a more honest grading system, if you will, since it will take away the stresses of pluses/minuses, etc. even if there is still honors, pass, low pass, fail. also, my undergrad had no pluses or minuses and i can speak from experience that the lack of differentiation is not a big deal at all. people who studied super hard still got grades that demonstrated that, and the overall stress level was GREATLY reduced because noone was nervous about being edged out for a minus or a plus.
re: clinics at HLS --- i'm particularly interested in hls' extensive human rights program and its associated clinics. also drawn to the supreme court clinic (which i hear is very competitive, even though there are two of them - one fullyear and one for winter term i think), and the war crimes prosecution clinic. that's just me personally though, and i still don't know a ton about these.
Re: Grades at HLS
I come from an undergrad w/o plusses or minuses (in fact there was near rebellion a year or two back when the board wanted to move to a +/- system) as well and while I agree that it created much less stress level, you were still working with grades as opposed to descriptive terms (H/P/LP etc). Moreover, LS is not the same as UG at all. UG kids are going all over the place -- law school, med school, teaching positions, consulting jobs, running daddy's business, etc. In LS, for the most part, you'll be competing against kids who have very similar interests. How would a grading system that works to lessen distinctions help that cause? Moreover, with a class of 550 extremely bright kids, shouldn't distinctions be of paramount importance? I am sure there are other ways to distinguish yourself, but it's made that much harder by the lack of grades. To me, it's so clearly obvious that H is emulating Yale that I really believe it isn't worth arguing about the supposed merits of H's system relative to Yale. In my mind, Yale can pull off the lack of grades with their smaller class (Stanford, too), but at Harvard, I'm not so sure.
How many of these clinics run during the winter term only? The term is only like 3 weeks isn't it? Maybe I just don't understand the whole system very well. Your help would be appreciated!