Below the curve support

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mac.empress
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby mac.empress » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:27 am

Hi. My name is mac.empress and think this support group is awesome. My grades this semester will be SEXY!

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby ZXCVBNM » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:29 am

the truth will set you free
Last edited by ZXCVBNM on Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby OperaSoprano » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:58 am

To the people posting in this thread: GPA is a sensitive topic for just about everyone, no matter their grades. Please exercise discretion and be kind, if you can. I have already seen more grief caused by the curve than I even believed could be possible.

Anyone being deliberately cruel in here will be swiftly dealt with by me.

Wildcat
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby Wildcat » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:32 pm

I'm somewhat a fan of the curve. While it of course can be beat by some kids that do not put as much work in as others, I feel that the curve at our school got it mostly right. That could be because we are a regional school in the 60's however, so we had a blend of really smart kids who just came here to stay close to home, and a group of kids who only came here because it was the highest ranked school that accepted them.

At a higher ranked school where pretty much everyone is a hard working, very intelligent person, I could see getting rid of the curve. But like I said, at my school it really overall does seem to separate students according to where they should be ranked, and gives the kids that put in the time and effort a chance to really shine for employers.

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rayiner
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby rayiner » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:14 pm

jayzon wrote:
Wildcat wrote:I'm somewhat a fan of the curve. While it of course can be beat by some kids that do not put as much work in as others, I feel that the curve at our school got it mostly right. That could be because we are a regional school in the 60's however, so we had a blend of really smart kids who just came here to stay close to home, and a group of kids who only came here because it was the highest ranked school that accepted them.

At a higher ranked school where pretty much everyone is a hard working, very intelligent person, I could see getting rid of the curve. But like I said, at my school it really overall does seem to separate students according to where they should be ranked, and gives the kids that put in the time and effort a chance to really shine for employers.


I'm a 0L, so I can't speak to law school curves. I am, however, a college educator, and I think that a curve (in general) is a pathetic idea. It forces a class to adhere to a preconceived notion, rather than just rewarding students for their success on an individual level. I've had classes where the majority of students were smart and hardworking, and the majority of them earned As. I've had classes where only one or two students really, truly tried, and they received the best grades. In either case, a curve would offer rewards disproportionate to effort, understanding, and success.

If everyone gets the grade they've earned, then the best are still rewarded, and the lazy/not-too-bright are still punished (relatively speaking). Direct grading without preconceived notions accomplishes everything a curve does, without turning A- students into B+ students simply because there were "too many" A- students.


What are your thoughts on the LSAT curve?

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sawwaverunner
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby sawwaverunner » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:25 pm

jayzon wrote:
Wildcat wrote:I'm somewhat a fan of the curve. While it of course can be beat by some kids that do not put as much work in as others, I feel that the curve at our school got it mostly right. That could be because we are a regional school in the 60's however, so we had a blend of really smart kids who just came here to stay close to home, and a group of kids who only came here because it was the highest ranked school that accepted them.

At a higher ranked school where pretty much everyone is a hard working, very intelligent person, I could see getting rid of the curve. But like I said, at my school it really overall does seem to separate students according to where they should be ranked, and gives the kids that put in the time and effort a chance to really shine for employers.


I'm a 0L, so I can't speak to law school curves. I am, however, a college educator, and I think that a curve (in general) is a pathetic idea. It forces a class to adhere to a preconceived notion, rather than just rewarding students for their success on an individual level. I've had classes where the majority of students were smart and hardworking, and the majority of them earned As. I've had classes where only one or two students really, truly tried, and they received the best grades. In either case, a curve would offer rewards disproportionate to effort, understanding, and success.

If everyone gets the grade they've earned, then the best are still rewarded, and the lazy/not-too-bright are still punished (relatively speaking). Direct grading without preconceived notions accomplishes everything a curve does, without turning A- students into B+ students simply because there were "too many" A- students.


I don't know for sure, but I believe that if you disagree with a law school curve you have to somehow disagree with the law school ranking system.....and I don't hear too much criticism of that.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby prezidentv8 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:59 pm

sawwaverunner wrote:I don't know for sure, but I believe that if you disagree with a law school curve you have to somehow disagree with the law school ranking system.....and I don't hear too much criticism of that.


Really? I hear lots of criticism of it. One is pretty similar to a criticism of the curve - namely that it magnifies irrelevant small differences.

Besides the fact, I see no reason hating on the curve necessarily implies disagreement with law school rankings generally. Law school rankings can (not that they necessarily do in their current incarnation, hence the ease of criticism) perform a check against legacy admits and nepotism (probably only to a moderate degree, see UIUC) by forcing schools to admit most people on the basis of objective measures, and giving information to applicants on potential schools' career placement potential. The arguable purpose of a curve is to give employers an objective measure to go by in hiring and encourage a high degree of effort from students, and the accuracy and necessity of such a system is debatable as well. Favoring one and not another (I think both are a little stupid) isn't necessarily inconsistent.


edit for clarity

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby OperaSoprano » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:01 pm

I object to the USNews rankings. Schools should be ranked by outputs instead. I think career outcomes should replace LSAT/GPA as the bulk of each school's score. Schools would still need to admit the best and brightest, but they could be far more holistic about doing so.

Most of us care most about employment prospects and clerkships, followed by teaching quality, clinics, and generosity of financial aid. Anything else is a minor factor at best. It seems clear to me that USNews did not create its infamous ranking system for the benefit of students.

Wildcat
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby Wildcat » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:04 am

jayzon wrote:
Wildcat wrote:I'm somewhat a fan of the curve. While it of course can be beat by some kids that do not put as much work in as others, I feel that the curve at our school got it mostly right. That could be because we are a regional school in the 60's however, so we had a blend of really smart kids who just came here to stay close to home, and a group of kids who only came here because it was the highest ranked school that accepted them.

At a higher ranked school where pretty much everyone is a hard working, very intelligent person, I could see getting rid of the curve. But like I said, at my school it really overall does seem to separate students according to where they should be ranked, and gives the kids that put in the time and effort a chance to really shine for employers.


I'm a 0L, so I can't speak to law school curves. I am, however, a college educator, and I think that a curve (in general) is a pathetic idea. It forces a class to adhere to a preconceived notion, rather than just rewarding students for their success on an individual level. I've had classes where the majority of students were smart and hardworking, and the majority of them earned As. I've had classes where only one or two students really, truly tried, and they received the best grades. In either case, a curve would offer rewards disproportionate to effort, understanding, and success.

If everyone gets the grade they've earned, then the best are still rewarded, and the lazy/not-too-bright are still punished (relatively speaking). Direct grading without preconceived notions accomplishes everything a curve does, without turning A- students into B+ students simply because there were "too many" A- students.


Part of my problem with that is how exactly you define "earned". Some law professors may have dramatically different ideas on that. One professor might give 70% A's and A-'s, while another could give far less, both believing those grades were "earned". Then kids who get stuck in the section with the harsh grading professors are totally screwed compared to the kids who got the easy ones. In that instance, even slackers in the easy group could easily outperform the hardest working kids in the hard group. With so few 1L classes deciding the primary factor in getting a job, even replacing 1 easy grader with a harsh one could mean the difference between top 25% of the class and around median.

Additionally, students will quickly figure out which professors grade easiest and only take their classes. You would be a fool, risking your GPA (and by extension your possible job prospects) to take a hard grading professor, even if you wanted to take the class they taught.

All in all, the curve sure does cut down the luck factor in which professors you are assigned for 1L and the selection factor for classes after that.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:37 pm

Wildcat wrote:
jayzon wrote:
Wildcat wrote:I'm somewhat a fan of the curve. While it of course can be beat by some kids that do not put as much work in as others, I feel that the curve at our school got it mostly right. That could be because we are a regional school in the 60's however, so we had a blend of really smart kids who just came here to stay close to home, and a group of kids who only came here because it was the highest ranked school that accepted them.

At a higher ranked school where pretty much everyone is a hard working, very intelligent person, I could see getting rid of the curve. But like I said, at my school it really overall does seem to separate students according to where they should be ranked, and gives the kids that put in the time and effort a chance to really shine for employers.


I'm a 0L, so I can't speak to law school curves. I am, however, a college educator, and I think that a curve (in general) is a pathetic idea. It forces a class to adhere to a preconceived notion, rather than just rewarding students for their success on an individual level. I've had classes where the majority of students were smart and hardworking, and the majority of them earned As. I've had classes where only one or two students really, truly tried, and they received the best grades. In either case, a curve would offer rewards disproportionate to effort, understanding, and success.

If everyone gets the grade they've earned, then the best are still rewarded, and the lazy/not-too-bright are still punished (relatively speaking). Direct grading without preconceived notions accomplishes everything a curve does, without turning A- students into B+ students simply because there were "too many" A- students.


Part of my problem with that is how exactly you define "earned". Some law professors may have dramatically different ideas on that. One professor might give 70% A's and A-'s, while another could give far less, both believing those grades were "earned". Then kids who get stuck in the section with the harsh grading professors are totally screwed compared to the kids who got the easy ones. In that instance, even slackers in the easy group could easily outperform the hardest working kids in the hard group. With so few 1L classes deciding the primary factor in getting a job, even replacing 1 easy grader with a harsh one could mean the difference between top 25% of the class and around median.

Additionally, students will quickly figure out which professors grade easiest and only take their classes. You would be a fool, risking your GPA (and by extension your possible job prospects) to take a hard grading professor, even if you wanted to take the class they taught.

All in all, the curve sure does cut down the luck factor in which professors you are assigned for 1L and the selection factor for classes after that.


Or, alternatively, you could just F/P/HP.

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nealric
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby nealric » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:42 pm

It's never fun being involved in the zero-sum game that is the 1L curve. Things may not be looking good for 2L OCI for those below the curve, but that doesn't mean anyone should count themselves out. Many people manage to get into a niche they do well in 2L/3L year and bring up their GPA's substantially. May be too late for biglaw, but there are plenty of other opportunities for which it is not.

If it makes anyone feel better, I was around the median after 1st semester 1L year and busted out all A/A- grades 2nd semester. It really is possible to substantially increase your GPA.


Good luck everyone!

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dresden doll
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby dresden doll » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:50 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:I object to the USNews rankings. Schools should be ranked by outputs instead. I think career outcomes should replace LSAT/GPA as the bulk of each school's score. Schools would still need to admit the best and brightest, but they could be far more holistic about doing so.

Most of us care most about employment prospects and clerkships, followed by teaching quality, clinics, and generosity of financial aid. Anything else is a minor factor at best. It seems clear to me that USNews did not create its infamous ranking system for the benefit of students.


I'd wager that they have it the way they do in part because collecting LSATs and GPAs is infinitely eaiser than collecting output.

Regardless of whether USNWR was created to benefit us or not, however, there's little doubt that we are benefited to an extent since ranking = relatively accurate proxy for job prospects outside individual law schools.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:39 pm

dresden doll wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:I object to the USNews rankings. Schools should be ranked by outputs instead. I think career outcomes should replace LSAT/GPA as the bulk of each school's score. Schools would still need to admit the best and brightest, but they could be far more holistic about doing so.

Most of us care most about employment prospects and clerkships, followed by teaching quality, clinics, and generosity of financial aid. Anything else is a minor factor at best. It seems clear to me that USNews did not create its infamous ranking system for the benefit of students.


I'd wager that they have it the way they do in part because collecting LSATs and GPAs is infinitely eaiser than collecting output.

Regardless of whether USNWR was created to benefit us or not, however, there's little doubt that we are benefited to an extent since ranking = relatively accurate proxy for job prospects outside individual law schools.


My darling, I don't think USNWR should be permitted to cop out in this manner. If they wanted to compel accurate employment and salary data reporting from schools, they could. This would probably change the picture in some interesting ways.

Still, at the end of the day, numbers are just numbers, and I learned at long last that they do not guarantee, create, or even necessarily correlate with personal happiness. I always thought I had all the answers, and now I know I was running after a mirage. It's about interaction with people, not about perfection of transcript.

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dresden doll
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby dresden doll » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:40 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:I object to the USNews rankings. Schools should be ranked by outputs instead. I think career outcomes should replace LSAT/GPA as the bulk of each school's score. Schools would still need to admit the best and brightest, but they could be far more holistic about doing so.

Most of us care most about employment prospects and clerkships, followed by teaching quality, clinics, and generosity of financial aid. Anything else is a minor factor at best. It seems clear to me that USNews did not create its infamous ranking system for the benefit of students.


I'd wager that they have it the way they do in part because collecting LSATs and GPAs is infinitely eaiser than collecting output.

Regardless of whether USNWR was created to benefit us or not, however, there's little doubt that we are benefited to an extent since ranking = relatively accurate proxy for job prospects outside individual law schools.


My darling, I don't think USNWR should be permitted to cop out in this manner. If they wanted to compel accurate employment and salary data reporting from schools, they could. This would probably change the picture in some interesting ways.

Still, at the end of the day, numbers are just numbers, and I learned at long last that they do not guarantee, create, or even necessarily correlate with personal happiness. I always thought I had all the answers, and now I know I was running after a mirage. It's about interaction with people, not about perfection of transcript.


I have no quarrels with this post. <3

Btw, I AM going to call you back. And soon.

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mbw
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby mbw » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:34 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
My darling, I don't think USNWR should be permitted to cop out in this manner. If they wanted to compel accurate employment and salary data reporting from schools, they could. This would probably change the picture in some interesting ways.

Still, at the end of the day, numbers are just numbers, and I learned at long last that they do not guarantee, create, or even necessarily correlate with personal happiness. I always thought I had all the answers, and now I know I was running after a mirage. It's about interaction with people, not about perfection of transcript.


Funny, a professor today brought up a new study to be released in the next (?) issue of the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies which indicates a strong correlation between high GPA in law school and dissatisfaction in life. Pretty chilling if it holds up.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:55 pm

mbw wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
My darling, I don't think USNWR should be permitted to cop out in this manner. If they wanted to compel accurate employment and salary data reporting from schools, they could. This would probably change the picture in some interesting ways.

Still, at the end of the day, numbers are just numbers, and I learned at long last that they do not guarantee, create, or even necessarily correlate with personal happiness. I always thought I had all the answers, and now I know I was running after a mirage. It's about interaction with people, not about perfection of transcript.


Funny, a professor today brought up a new study to be released in the next (?) issue of the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies which indicates a strong correlation between high GPA in law school and dissatisfaction in life. Pretty chilling if it holds up.


:shock:

09042014
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:05 pm

jayzon wrote:
Wildcat wrote:I'm somewhat a fan of the curve. While it of course can be beat by some kids that do not put as much work in as others, I feel that the curve at our school got it mostly right. That could be because we are a regional school in the 60's however, so we had a blend of really smart kids who just came here to stay close to home, and a group of kids who only came here because it was the highest ranked school that accepted them.

At a higher ranked school where pretty much everyone is a hard working, very intelligent person, I could see getting rid of the curve. But like I said, at my school it really overall does seem to separate students according to where they should be ranked, and gives the kids that put in the time and effort a chance to really shine for employers.


I'm a 0L, so I can't speak to law school curves. I am, however, a college educator, and I think that a curve (in general) is a pathetic idea. It forces a class to adhere to a preconceived notion, rather than just rewarding students for their success on an individual level. I've had classes where the majority of students were smart and hardworking, and the majority of them earned As. I've had classes where only one or two students really, truly tried, and they received the best grades. In either case, a curve would offer rewards disproportionate to effort, understanding, and success.

If everyone gets the grade they've earned, then the best are still rewarded, and the lazy/not-too-bright are still punished (relatively speaking). Direct grading without preconceived notions accomplishes everything a curve does, without turning A- students into B+ students simply because there were "too many" A- students.


Even if schools don't force a curve, employers will still figure out how to rank students. You will still be judged on your talent compared to your classmates, but know you have to worry if other professors are giving out too many A's.

Titus
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby Titus » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:29 pm

The curve is a necessary evil. Without it, jobs would be more based on who you knew and had access to rather than academic merit. You could say law review would be the distinction but who would feel secure when employment was based off one paper, plus non-curving schools would eventually have everyone on some journal.

Of course, schools could do a standardized exam (sort of like a mini-bar) that would allow for every school's curve to be the same. So if some kid at Cooley (unlikely) really was the best legal mind, then they would have a shot. This runs into practical application issues, like how would employers interview the best minds if they were scattered? Instead, employers assume the best minds are at the best schools.

This of course gives a minor advantage to the few legacy, or otherwise less qualified, admits at various schools. Employers would assume that their GPA and LSAT were enough to get them in and that they were as smart as the next guy.

I agree with Opera Soprano that the USNWR could and probably should be revamped but defining what exactly it should be revamped to in detail is hard. However, the biggest improvements could be made by forcing every student to report or turning over a list of contact information to a third party who would find the students. That would also allow five year reports to be conducted, by asking for job title, salary and happiness level.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Below the curve support

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:57 pm

Titus wrote:The curve is a necessary evil. Without it, jobs would be more based on who you knew and had access to rather than academic merit. You could say law review would be the distinction but who would feel secure when employment was based off one paper, plus non-curving schools would eventually have everyone on some journal.

Of course, schools could do a standardized exam (sort of like a mini-bar) that would allow for every school's curve to be the same. So if some kid at Cooley (unlikely) really was the best legal mind, then they would have a shot. This runs into practical application issues, like how would employers interview the best minds if they were scattered? Instead, employers assume the best minds are at the best schools.

This of course gives a minor advantage to the few legacy, or otherwise less qualified, admits at various schools. Employers would assume that their GPA and LSAT were enough to get them in and that they were as smart as the next guy.

I agree with Opera Soprano that the USNWR could and probably should be revamped but defining what exactly it should be revamped to in detail is hard. However, the biggest improvements could be made by forcing every student to report or turning over a list of contact information to a third party who would find the students. That would also allow five year reports to be conducted, by asking for job title, salary and happiness level.


Many are going to disagree with me on these points, but
(a) Academic merit, generally, is a crock. Not like there is too much of a better objective measure of employability out there, but I would say that is only because there is no good measure. Regardless, my best guess is that firms would quickly find a way to evaluate potential employees on other systems - perhaps actual written product along with interviews, perhaps "honors" at graduation or number of "high passes" under evaluative/non-graded systems.
(b) I cannot imagine that people who know somebody important relatively well are going to lose out on jobs because of sub-par grades.
(c) Rankings-obsession is just ridiculous.




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