heyguys wrote:pasteurizedmilk wrote:thesealocust wrote:pasteurizedmilk wrote:Why does Yale do this?
The better question is probably 'why do all other schools turn 1L into a hilarious, curved, thunderdome style deathmatch'?
It makes sense to me - firms need a way to differentiate between the student body. Grades are a quick and dirty way to do this.
I would love hearing others' input on this, but my general sense is that Yale doesn't grade because they don't have to. but the question of why they don't have to is the truly interesting one: the most obvious ones are prestigious name and relative scarcity of graduates. but the more interesting notion is that it's because the stuff we actually learn in law school isn't that useful for and doesn't really correlate to doing well in firm work. Grades, however, would probably correlate because employers simply use how well you can do in, e.g., torts and Ks to establish how clever you are. They probably just assume that since YLS's class is so small and reputedly so selective, the people going there have already been subjected to a rigorous enough 'screening process' to determine how clever the person they're considering is. This is how a lot of other professions work--e.g. finance and investment banking: it's not really about what you know coming out, it's about showing employers that you pick up information and can use it quickly so that you can be productive with what they want to ask of you.
The problem is grades don't allow firms to determine how smart one person is in comparison to others because grades don't exactly correlate with intelligence (it correlates with how well you do on one a relatively subjective exam). The two things I could think of that firms probably get out of grades (or at least think they get out of them):
1) Large firms want to know that you will work hard, essentially be their slave, and get things done and done well at all costs (i.e. you will work when they need you to as oppose to going to see your kid's teeball game). I think this is the big one, although, it is not a perfect correlation because working hard doesn't necessarily mean better grades.
2) That you are able to cater to a client. A lot of doing well on a law school exam has to do with catering to what your specific prof wants and their subjective preferences. So by doing well on a law school exam it shows that you able to tailor your work to the wants and needs of someone else, such as a client.