After a good first semester at UVA...

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Anonymous User
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After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:05 pm

What is the strategy from here? Would it be wise to take less credits 2nd semester? Would taking 3 four-credit classes (and a one-credit short class) be a bad idea in case I was stuck with a professor that hurt me a lot (would diversifying with two 3-credit electives instead be smarter? Im in federal income tax with yale now, is this a good idea gpa-wise?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:14 pm

I think you are overthinking this. Any effect that jiggering your schedule will have on your grades will be marginal and unpredictable. Just take the classes you want to take and keep up the good work.

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vamedic03
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What is the strategy from here? Would it be wise to take less credits 2nd semester? Would taking 3 four-credit classes (and a one-credit short class) be a bad idea in case I was stuck with a professor that hurt me a lot (would diversifying with two 3-credit electives instead be smarter? Im in federal income tax with yale now, is this a good idea gpa-wise?


(1) Avoid seminars, short-courses, and paper classes. Edited to Add - DO NOT TAKE A SHORT COURSE.

(2) Go to student records and review the past grade distributions for classes you are considering. Look for classes with good distributions of grades (i.e. 1/3 A/A-; 1/3 B+; 1/3 B/B-) and avoid classes that are extremely B+ heavy.

(3) Look for large doctrinal classes. Classes that are 60+ students increase the shear number of each grade category available.

(4) Don't get complacent. Continue to work hard.

(5) Go review your exams with your professors. Figure out the things that you did especially well. Figure out the things that you could improve on. Even if you got the best grade in a class, the professor can probably give you areas that you can improve on.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:27 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What is the strategy from here? Would it be wise to take less credits 2nd semester? Would taking 3 four-credit classes (and a one-credit short class) be a bad idea in case I was stuck with a professor that hurt me a lot (would diversifying with two 3-credit electives instead be smarter? Im in federal income tax with yale now, is this a good idea gpa-wise?


(1) Avoid seminars, short-courses, and paper classes. Edited to Add - DO NOT TAKE A SHORT COURSE.

(2) Go to student records and review the past grade distributions for classes you are considering. Look for classes with good distributions of grades (i.e. 1/3 A/A-; 1/3 B+; 1/3 B/B-) and avoid classes that are extremely B+ heavy.

(3) Look for large doctrinal classes. Classes that are 60+ students increase the shear number of each grade category available.

(4) Don't get complacent. Continue to work hard.

(5) Go review your exams with your professors. Figure out the things that you did especially well. Figure out the things that you could improve on. Even if you got the best grade in a class, the professor can probably give you areas that you can improve on.


OP here, so con law (4), property (4), fed tax (4), and a one credit short course is not the best idea?
My con law, property, and tax classes all give a decent number of A/A-s, but it seems a B+ is the likely short course grade. Instead of tax and a SC, would two 3-credit classes be smarter if they gave A/A-s?

Edit: plus my tax class exam is mostly multiple choice which I am not sure about
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:27 pm

OK i just blew up my schedule, now I have the max amount of credits, but all classes with a lot of As/A-s.

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5ky
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby 5ky » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OK i just blew up my schedule, now I have the max amount of credits, but all classes with a lot of As/A-s.


I did something very similar to what you were considering, i.e. taking the bare minimum of credits after seeing my first semester grades.

In my mind, it depends on how "good" your grades are. If they're stellar, around 3.8ish+, then I definitely agree try to stay away from B+ classes.

But if you snag something like a 3.5-3.6, and you're trying to simply maintain a good position for OGI and Big Law, and have no interest in clerkship/SullCrom whoring, then Con law/Property/Tax + short course B+ could be good. The one credit B+ isn't going to be at all important since it's only 1 credit, allowing you to focus on your other three courses.

But if we're talking stellar grades, I agree with vamedic.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby desertlaw » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:34 pm

Going to out myself. But don't get married halfway through.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:40 am

I guess I'll piggy back on this thread rather than starting another one.

Do you guys have an opinion on scheduling strategy if you didn't have a great first semester? Right now I'm likely right at the bottom 1/3 mark and am trying to claw my way close to median. I'm signed up for five exams worth of classes right now, but one of them is a 2hr seminar, one is professional responsibility, and the 3hr course is one that I've been told isn't that demanding. The seminar is a topic I'm really interested in and it seems like sticking with PR would be a smart move. Would keeping the 3hr course be foolish? On the one hand, dropping it would open up more time to concentrate on property and con law and taking five exams could be tough, but on the other hand more hours equals more opportunity to improve my gpa.

ETA: I guess another option would be to drop the 3hr class and take a short course instead.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:02 am

I most definitely wouldn't take 5 exams. Did that and wanted to kill myself. I'd focus on getting good grades with fewer credit hours than trying to push yourself with too many credits.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:27 am

If I'm trying to maintain a good GPA (closer to 3.8 than 3.5) would professional responsibility be a good class to take? I'm taking the lowest credits possible next semester but not sure if professional responsibility is a good idea.

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vamedic03
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby vamedic03 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I guess I'll piggy back on this thread rather than starting another one.

Do you guys have an opinion on scheduling strategy if you didn't have a great first semester? Right now I'm likely right at the bottom 1/3 mark and am trying to claw my way close to median. I'm signed up for five exams worth of classes right now, but one of them is a 2hr seminar, one is professional responsibility, and the 3hr course is one that I've been told isn't that demanding. The seminar is a topic I'm really interested in and it seems like sticking with PR would be a smart move. Would keeping the 3hr course be foolish? On the one hand, dropping it would open up more time to concentrate on property and con law and taking five exams could be tough, but on the other hand more hours equals more opportunity to improve my gpa.

ETA: I guess another option would be to drop the 3hr class and take a short course instead.


(1) Don't ever take 5 exams

(2) Since exams tend not to be your strong suit, I would look for: (a) paper classes and (b) classes that are very B+ heavy (like most PR classes; Evidence with Mitchell; etc.)

(3) Go and talk to every single professor and review your exam with them. Ask professors this spring to review your practice exams (it might be awkward to ask, but a lot will say yes) with them.

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vamedic03
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby vamedic03 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If I'm trying to maintain a good GPA (closer to 3.8 than 3.5) would professional responsibility be a good class to take? I'm taking the lowest credits possible next semester but not sure if professional responsibility is a good idea.


Most PR classes, other than Cohen, tend to have very B+ heavy curves. You want to avoid this. If you're on the high side of the GPA curve, it is probably be better to focus on large doctrinal classes that have evenly distributed curves (Evidence with Collins rather than with Mitchell; etc.). Unless you plan to take a clinic (defense clinic/prosecution clinic) that requires (or do pro bono that requires) a 3d year practice certificate, there is no need to take PR before 3L year.

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bceagles182
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby bceagles182 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:33 pm

nevermind
Last edited by bceagles182 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Morgan12Oak
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby Morgan12Oak » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:34 pm

bceagles182 wrote:I'm confused by this thread. You aren't a 1L if you're taking tax/evidence/PR/etc. But it's your first semester at UVA.... so you're a transfer. But why are you so grade obsessed halfway through 2L?


1L's can take tax/evidence/PR in the spring of their 1L year... we get 2 electives

Also: adding this; my friends with 3.5 and 3.6'ers and significantly happier than the people who graded onto LR.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby bceagles182 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:37 pm

Morgan12Oak wrote:
bceagles182 wrote:I'm confused by this thread. You aren't a 1L if you're taking tax/evidence/PR/etc. But it's your first semester at UVA.... so you're a transfer. But why are you so grade obsessed halfway through 2L?


1L's can take tax/evidence/PR in the spring of their 1L year... we get 2 electives

Also: adding this; my friends with 3.5 and 3.6'ers and significantly happier than the people who graded onto LR.



Well I'm not at UVA, but as a 2L, I can tell you the tax was the hardest class I've taken in law school. I got an A- but that class was a bitch

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vamedic03
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby vamedic03 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:38 pm

Morgan12Oak wrote:
bceagles182 wrote:I'm confused by this thread. You aren't a 1L if you're taking tax/evidence/PR/etc. But it's your first semester at UVA.... so you're a transfer. But why are you so grade obsessed halfway through 2L?


1L's can take tax/evidence/PR in the spring of their 1L year... we get 2 electives

Also: adding this; my friends with 3.5 and 3.6'ers and significantly happier than the people who graded onto LR.


I'm not sure this last part is really fair. I think people tend to be happy across the spectrum of students and it really rings false to claim that those on law review are categorically unhappy.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby Morgan12Oak » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:41 pm

True. I was just trying to shed light on the fact that if OP's grades slouch and he misses out on LR its not the worst thing in the world.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:58 pm

I'll go ahead and throw out that in my mind the best possible scenario would be just-short-of-LR grades. LR kids are a little cray-cray and the extra work 2L isn't any fun.

As for scheduling & strategy, just be aware of how the curve works in your various classes and what you think your strengths / weaknesses are likely to be. If a prof you got a good grade in is teaching a class in the spring you can go in with a leg up because you know how to handle their exams. Also consider aiming for 5 credits instead of 7 of electives because reversion to the mean makes continued stellar performance 2nd semester relatively unlikely, so you might as well let the first semester weigh more heavily on your GPA if it's already good. Bird in the hand etc.

Some courses like tax are going to be very different from regular law school courses. Tax is neat but it's all about statutes and regulations (not so much numbers despite what most people who don't know about tax think about tax). If you got good grades first semester you know you're good at common law courses with issue spotter like exams, you do not know if you will be good at statue/regulation courses with more short / discrete answer based exams.

Also, to counteract the short course hate a bit, keep in mind that if you take two electives (an exam course + a short course) you can have significantly more time to relax/prepare come the end of the semester. If you figure out how to write a good law school paper in your short course it can also help on the journal tryout if your course is early enough in the semester. I'm not saying it's superior to taking big / exam-based lecture courses, but it does have benefits that are worth considering despite the concentration of B+ grades in most seminars / short courses.

There aren't right or wrong answers though so don't over think it. Get the info then pull the trigger and keep up the work. Also drink a lot because drinking is awesome. And ignore DL get married as many times as you want. THIS IS AMERICA.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby desertlaw » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:23 pm

thesealocust wrote: Bird in the hand etc.

pull the trigger and keep up the work. Also drink a lot because drinking is awesome. And ignore DL get married as many times as you want. THIS IS AMERICA.


Don't ignore me. But do drink. I'm not anti-getting-married. Just anti-getting-married during 1L. (And probably would be anti having kids or any other major life-changing event.)

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby bgdddymtty » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:28 pm

thesealocust wrote:I'll go ahead and throw out that in my mind the best possible scenario would be just-short-of-LR grades. LR kids are a little cray-cray and the extra work 2L isn't any fun.

I've been saying since day one that my goal was to be #26 in the class. (Nearly) all of the benefit with none of the additional responsibility of LR.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby johansantana21 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:36 pm

bgdddymtty wrote:
thesealocust wrote:I'll go ahead and throw out that in my mind the best possible scenario would be just-short-of-LR grades. LR kids are a little cray-cray and the extra work 2L isn't any fun.

I've been saying since day one that my goal was to be #26 in the class. (Nearly) all of the benefit with none of the additional responsibility of LR.


Or you can just not accept LR..?

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby bgdddymtty » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:42 pm

johansantana21 wrote:
bgdddymtty wrote:
thesealocust wrote:I'll go ahead and throw out that in my mind the best possible scenario would be just-short-of-LR grades. LR kids are a little cray-cray and the extra work 2L isn't any fun.

I've been saying since day one that my goal was to be #26 in the class. (Nearly) all of the benefit with none of the additional responsibility of LR.


Or you can just not accept LR..?

Yeah, but that's gotta be a huge red flag for employers (assuming that they can figure out from your GPA that your grades were LR-worthy). Better not to have to try to explain why you turned down the Holy Grail of Law School.

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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:59 am

I have a 3.6 or so and am signed up for accounting/corp fin. Is this one of the Short Courses you guys are talking about? If so, is this a bad idea? I'm not particularly good at math but I do want to take this eventually. My goal is just to have my grades stay where they are or at least stay somewhere in the top third... definitely not gunning for LR or anything.

Morgan12Oak
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby Morgan12Oak » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have a 3.6 or so and am signed up for accounting/corp fin. Is this one of the Short Courses you guys are talking about? If so, is this a bad idea? I'm not particularly good at math but I do want to take this eventually. My goal is just to have my grades stay where they are or at least stay somewhere in the top third... definitely not gunning for LR or anything.


You should be fine. Acct/Corp. Fin isn't particularly hard. Do you have a background in it? A lot of people play the "I forgot and I need to brush up on my finance skills card" and take it regardless to get a good grade. But, the number of people doing that shouldn't be too bad.

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vamedic03
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Re: After a good first semester at UVA...

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have a 3.6 or so and am signed up for accounting/corp fin. Is this one of the Short Courses you guys are talking about? If so, is this a bad idea? I'm not particularly good at math but I do want to take this eventually. My goal is just to have my grades stay where they are or at least stay somewhere in the top third... definitely not gunning for LR or anything.


No, not a short course. Downsides to accounting/corporate finance: (a) you have an exam in the middle of the semester; (b) homework; and (c) some of the people in the class will already have taken accounting/corporate finance in undergrad.

Many people that have taken it have found it beneficial. That said, I would strongly consider to wait until Geis teaches the corporate finance section to take it.




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