All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:09 pm

That's quite an unusual drop...wouldn't you essentially have to get below median grades to drop that much? If you don't mind my asking, how did you go from straight As almost to below median grades? What changed in your approach?

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby RVP11 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:That's quite an unusual drop...wouldn't you essentially have to get below median grades to drop that much? If you don't mind my asking, how did you go from straight As almost to below median grades? What changed in your approach?


How is a 3.6_ "straight As"? It's possible OP did not get a single A first semester.

At UVA regression to the mean is very common. Nearly everyone is bright, and each semester more people figure out how to take law school exams. To get a ~3.6 one semester and a ~3.2 the next semester is uncommon, but not unheard of.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:56 pm

RVP11 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:That's quite an unusual drop...wouldn't you essentially have to get below median grades to drop that much? If you don't mind my asking, how did you go from straight As almost to below median grades? What changed in your approach?


How is a 3.6_ "straight As"? It's possible OP did not get a single A first semester.

At UVA regression to the mean is very common. Nearly everyone is bright, and each semester more people figure out how to take law school exams. To get a ~3.6 one semester and a ~3.2 the next semester is uncommon, but not unheard of.

I'm including A- ...he would prolly have A or A- in 3 out of 4 classes....and to drop to 3.4 would need some below median grades

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby RVP11 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
RVP11 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:That's quite an unusual drop...wouldn't you essentially have to get below median grades to drop that much? If you don't mind my asking, how did you go from straight As almost to below median grades? What changed in your approach?


How is a 3.6_ "straight As"? It's possible OP did not get a single A first semester.

At UVA regression to the mean is very common. Nearly everyone is bright, and each semester more people figure out how to take law school exams. To get a ~3.6 one semester and a ~3.2 the next semester is uncommon, but not unheard of.

I'm including A- ...he would prolly have A or A- in 3 out of 4 classes....and to drop to 3.4 would need some below median grades


So he could have gone from A, A-, A-, B+ to B+, B+, B+, B. And there's really not a big difference between what it takes to get an A- in Torts and what it takes to get a B+ in Property; lots of people figure out how to take law school exams after fall grades.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby plum » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:55 pm

so then is the issue that the competition overall has increased, so what used to be an A- is now a B+ ? or did OP just not study as hard or changed his approach as compared to last semester

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby D-ROCCA » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:06 pm

plum wrote:
5ky wrote:Someone posted in the UVA 2L questions thread that a bunch of grades got posted without the corresponding evals. I guess it's possible.

^ this happened to me.

but what exactly is the problem OP, regression to the mean is inevitable


Fail. Learn statistics.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:14 pm

plum wrote:so then is the issue that the competition overall has increased, so what used to be an A- is now a B+ ? or did OP just not study as hard or changed his approach as compared to last semester



Studied as hard or harder.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:22 pm

plum wrote:so then is the issue that the competition overall has increased, so what used to be an A- is now a B+ ? or did OP just not study as hard or changed his approach as compared to last semester


It's always possible that the OP was only borderline A-'s to begin with. I've heard that people tend to see more dramatic variations when they are on the A-/B+ line than when they are consistently far above or below.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:15 pm

...
Last edited by BruceWayne on Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby bgdddymtty » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:59 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Why are people acting like law school grades are determined, completely, or even mainly, on "approach" "studying hard", etc. ? A lot of it is just based on relatively random/unpredictable things, like which of the 30 subjects covered in class are actually on the 5 question exam, whether the exam is 3 or 4 hours, or whether each question/fact pattern was inordinately long. A lot of that sort of thing changes from professor to professor, which tends to change from semester to semester.
Another big thing that I've never seen mentioned is the randomness inherent in professor selection for compulsory courses. For example, Torts is a course known for lending itself to horse-race issue-spotter exams. However, 25% of the rising 2L class had Torts with Abraham, which meant that their course (and exam) focused almost exclusively on policy/normative questions. It's safe to say being assigned to one professor or another makes a pretty sizable difference in a bunch of people's GPA's.

Also, section assignment. Big factor outside of students' control.
Last edited by bgdddymtty on Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby plum » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:15 am

there were no conlaw evals posted today so i call flame

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby uvahooo » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:27 am

plum wrote:there were no conlaw evals posted today so i call flame


ULTRA FLAME

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:09 am

bgdddymtty wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Why are people acting like law school grades are determined, completely, or even mainly, on "approach" "studying hard", etc. ? A lot of it is just based on relatively random/unpredictable things, like which of the 30 subjects covered in class are actually on the 5 question exam, whether the exam is 3 or 4 hours, or whether each question/fact pattern was inordinately long. A lot of that sort of thing changes from professor to professor, which tends to change from semester to semester.
Another big thing that I've never seen mentioned is the randomness inherent in professor selection for compulsory courses. For example, Torts is a course known for lending itself to horse-race issue-spotter exams. However, 25% of the rising 2L class had Torts with Abraham, which meant that their course (and exam) focused almost exclusively on policy/normative questions. It's safe to say being assigned to one professor or another makes a pretty sizable difference in a bunch of people's GPA's.

Also, section assignment. Big factor outside of students' control.


But in the end, almost every section has at least one off-the-wall professor when it comes to grades--whether their curves are strict, they're policy-oriented, they're known for grading in a seemingly "random" way, etc. Even though everyone doesn't have Abraham, it's not that often, I believe, that one section gets truly screwed in professor selection overall relative to other sections.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby BruceWayne » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
bgdddymtty wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Why are people acting like law school grades are determined, completely, or even mainly, on "approach" "studying hard", etc. ? A lot of it is just based on relatively random/unpredictable things, like which of the 30 subjects covered in class are actually on the 5 question exam, whether the exam is 3 or 4 hours, or whether each question/fact pattern was inordinately long. A lot of that sort of thing changes from professor to professor, which tends to change from semester to semester.
Another big thing that I've never seen mentioned is the randomness inherent in professor selection for compulsory courses. For example, Torts is a course known for lending itself to horse-race issue-spotter exams. However, 25% of the rising 2L class had Torts with Abraham, which meant that their course (and exam) focused almost exclusively on policy/normative questions. It's safe to say being assigned to one professor or another makes a pretty sizable difference in a bunch of people's GPA's.

Also, section assignment. Big factor outside of students' control.


But in the end, almost every section has at least one off-the-wall professor when it comes to grades--whether their curves are strict, they're policy-oriented, they're known for grading in a seemingly "random" way, etc. Even though everyone doesn't have Abraham, it's not that often, I believe, that one section gets truly screwed in professor selection overall relative to other sections.



If you have even one professor who regularly gives C's, as opposed to being in a section where none of the professors give them, that alone will have a major impact on your GPA. A person who would have gotten a B- in the latter section now gets a C instead. Calculate what a 2.0 does to your GPA as opposed to 2.7. BIG damn difference.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby RVP11 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:40 am

BruceWayne wrote:A person who would have gotten a B- in the latter section now gets a C instead. Calculate what a 2.0 does to your GPA as opposed to 2.7. BIG damn difference.


But if you're getting enough B-s that you actually have to worry about this then you weren't going to be competitive for jobs that require decent grades, anyway.

The profs who give a ton of B+ (Abraham, O'Connell) and relatively few A- are probably screwing more people.

I'm all in favor of huge B+ curves for non-1L classes, though.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby Morgan12Oak » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:13 am

I'll reiterate that I don't see how this is possible without a Con Law grade. But, I'll just assume its in "anticipation" of remaining grades. From what I've heard, the drop from top 10% to top 33% will probably have the most significant impact at tougher markets like DC, SF, and probably at the margins like V10 NYC. Keep in mind this advice is without OGI experience since I'm a 1L but I'm basically regurgitating what I've read on TLS re: UVA OGI. If you want DC, I'd still bid, albeit more conservatively and with NYC, I think thats where you can be more aggressive.

Top third at UVA is still solid. Optimistically, if hiring is up slightly from last year or even the same, you'll still have a shot at DC but its not something to bank on. But, then again even if you were top 10%, you can't really bank on DC. Just adjust your firm range accordingly.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby bgdddymtty » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:But in the end, almost every section has at least one off-the-wall professor when it comes to grades--whether their curves are strict, they're policy-oriented, they're known for grading in a seemingly "random" way, etc. Even though everyone doesn't have Abraham, it's not that often, I believe, that one section gets truly screwed in professor selection overall relative to other sections.
Putting it in terms of sections "getting screwed" misses the point altogether. It's not that one professor's system is necessarily "good" or "bad"--it's that different students do well in different types of classes/exams, and professor selection works to these individual students' benefit or detriment.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby grash » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:48 am

RVP11 wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:A person who would have gotten a B- in the latter section now gets a C instead. Calculate what a 2.0 does to your GPA as opposed to 2.7. BIG damn difference.


But if you're getting enough B-s that you actually have to worry about this then you weren't going to be competitive for jobs that require decent grades, anyway.

The profs who give a ton of B+ (Abraham, O'Connell) and relatively few A- are probably screwing more people.

I'm all in favor of huge B+ curves for non-1L classes, though.


Word is that O'Connell actually gave a wide spread this year in terms of grades. Wouldn't say his grading schema was terrible unfair - I would say his test was unfair, and resulted in what appeared to be grades fairly uncorrelated with skill.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:53 am

grash wrote:Word is that O'Connell actually gave a wide spread this year in terms of grades. Wouldn't say his grading schema was terrible unfair - I would say his test was unfair, and resulted in what appeared to be grades fairly uncorrelated with skill.


Yeah, I got a below-median grade when my GPA in all other classes was 3.6+, while my friend who got one of the best grades in the class had nothing higher than a B+ the rest of 1L. Go figure.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:11 am

in re O'Connell grade distribution: An A+, seven or eight A/A-s, and six or seven C+/Cs. Not sure how the remaining were distributed between B+/B/B-, but those tails stuck out in my memory.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby nickwar » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:21 am

I'm going to use this thread to be bitter.

It's ridiculous how weighted first semester grades are with it being the crapshoot that it is.

Ie, I know a person who killed their first semester. Probably top 5%. That person now has a job lined up at local biglaw firm after multiple summer offers following their first semester. However, this person has graded below median for the three semesters afterward.

I, however, hovered around median my first semester and got nothing. However, for the past year and a half I have killed every class I have taken. I now have significantly better grades than this person and no such biglaw job. The worst part is I have a god-awful grade significantly lower than my next lowest grade from a visiting professor who clearly slacked and then left to take another job the year after.

What a jip.

Sorry you dropped ranking, but if it makes you feel better I was roughly top third after my first year and now am sitting around top 15% after 2L year. I'm hoping to rattle off the final 5% this coming year while everyone is slacking a bit and I'm praying that it has some positive effect in this weird legal economy. You can make the climb, too.
Last edited by nickwar on Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby joeshmo39 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:32 am

The drop sucks , no doubt. I'm sure you had visions of VLR dancing in your head if you could have stepped up your game just a little bit. Still, you're in the top 1/3 are UVA. Do you know how many people on this board/in general would love to be in your spot? I'll go out on a limb here and say you are likely on secondary journal or moot. All is not lost. Take solace in the fact grades are pretty much a crap shoot. I know the work habits of several friends inside and out. They work harder than me and they're smart. They almost always get better grades than me. In one class I did "out-gun" them even though I'm aware they prepped harder and seemed more aware of what was going on. It happens.

3.4 is the GPA cut-off for a lot of firms from what I've seen and researched so a 3.4 can get you in the interview room with a lot of firms. Is it a 3.67 or so? No, but it won't preclude a successful OGI. My impression, correct me if I'm wrong people who know what's going on, is that GPA is sort of a screening device. A guy with a 3.5 and a guy with a 3.8 can both get in the room, but once there, the GPA gap matters less.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby RVP11 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:34 am

nickwar wrote:Ie, I know a person who killed her first semester. Probably top 5%. That person now has a job lined up at local biglaw firm after multiple summer offers following her first semester. However, this person has graded below median for the three semesters afterward.

I, however, hovered around median my first semester and got nothing.


This is why we tell 0Ls to go to schools where flukes can't easily prevent you from getting BigLaw (so, T14). If you go to a school where top 1/3 isn't good enough for big firms then you are assuming the risk that just one professor could give you a crap grade and ruin your employment options.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby RVP11 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:39 am

joeshmo39 wrote:3.4 is the GPA cut-off for a lot of firms from what I've seen and researched so a 3.4 can get you in the interview room with a lot of firms. Is it a 3.67 or so? No, but it won't preclude a successful OGI. My impression, correct me if I'm wrong people who know what's going on, is that GPA is sort of a screening device. A guy with a 3.5 and a guy with a 3.8 can both get in the room, but once there, the GPA gap matters less.


IDK about 3.4 being a common cutoff or where you're getting that information from.

But you are right that once you're above a firm's soft cutoff that it doesn't really matter how much you are above it. At a firm with a soft cutoff of 3.3, the person with the 3.5 and the person with the 3.8 are on pretty much even footing. This is how some VLR grade-on people can end up offerless while someone with a 3.4-3.6 could get over a dozen callbacks.

Some firms really gun to get as many VLR people as possible (like Gibson DC) and set a correspondingly high cutoff, while most just don't care that much (even though they are at the same "prestige" level as Gibson).

Most firms set arbitrary soft cutoffs just because it's an easy sorting mechanism for when you have 150 people who want to interview and only 40 slots. They don't set arbitrary soft cutoffs because they really believe that a person with a 3.6 is capable of something that a person with a 3.4 isn't. So it wouldn't not be logical for most firms to discriminate much, based on grades, within the group of people who clear their cutoff, when they don't seem to otherwise believe that it grades correspond strongly with ability.
Last edited by RVP11 on Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: All my grades are in from UVA. Fell from Top 10% to Top 33%

Postby nickwar » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:41 am

RVP11 wrote:
nickwar wrote:Ie, I know a person who killed her first semester. Probably top 5%. That person now has a job lined up at local biglaw firm after multiple summer offers following her first semester. However, this person has graded below median for the three semesters afterward.

I, however, hovered around median my first semester and got nothing.


This is why we tell 0Ls to go to schools where flukes can't easily prevent you from getting BigLaw (so, T14). If you go to a school where top 1/3 isn't good enough for big firms then you are assuming the risk that just one professor could give you a crap grade and ruin your employment options.


Which is exactly what happened. Unfortunately, I thought going to a top-30ish school virtually for free was worth the gamble. I'm still hoping firms will bite when I mass mail this summer. I figure there's a chance -- especially with the economy the way it is -- and I do have some good legal work experience.




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