LRW Grade Hell

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lawschoolmiss
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LRW Grade Hell

Postby lawschoolmiss » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:45 pm

Ok so I got a really low C in LRW which was devastating. I was doing really well in the class until my open memo (which was 80% of our grade). I felt confident that I was going to do well in the class and ended up neglecting it so that I could outline and study for my other classes. (BIG MISTAKE!!!) I did well in my other classes, well enough to still keep me on the dean's list. However, I don't know what to do about this grade. It's killing me inside. I know I can do well in this class and my plan is to do AMAZING this semester. Yet, I still have to deal with it now. I don't even know if anyone is going to want to hire me for the summer or if this grade is going to haunt me for the rest of my law school experience. I just wanted to know if anyone has gone through something similar and how they got through it. How did you explain it to potential employers? Any advice is welcome. (Please don't be mean, this has been rough enough already.)

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wardboro
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby wardboro » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:51 pm

I won't sugarcoat it, LRW grade is kind of a big deal. All you can do at this point is do your best to bring it WAY up next semester and let employers know that you just allocated your resources poorly your first semester--if they ask. Since writing is a big part of what you do as a law clerk, they'll want to know that your first semester was a fluke rather than a realistic representation of your writing ability.

Snooker
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby Snooker » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:44 am

LRW grades are such nonsense. They send absolutely the wrong signal to employers. Frankly a smart law school would just hand LRW A's out like candy and stick blow-offs with Cs and such. The last thing you need is every court of appeals judge passing over your school's grads because half of the summa cum laude crowd got a crappy LRW grade. (as is the case at our law school it seems!)

eth3n
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby eth3n » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:25 am

Professor originally told us that LRW had a discretionary soft curve (below B- is discretionary, no 1L limit on A/A- grades), then when the LRW profs handed out too many A's, the dean was like "f it, im tired of LRW drama (apparently this had been happening for a few years), use the standard 1L curve."

Basically its mass hysteria/mutiny (about 50 facebook posts saying WTF/OMG/*crying* after they came out) as the professors try to rationalize changing peoples grades. Made me feel better about my grade. One section (not my own), actually got their grades back, and then received an e-mail from the registrar that their grades had been changed. Worst e-mail ever amirite?

---

and Snooker is right, its not the 1-2 credit points that is ruining our GPA (unless you actually managed a 4.0 and then got screwed by LRW), its the fact that employers are gonna be like "how did you pull a B- in LRW?"

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Grad_Student
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby Grad_Student » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:56 am

The is the curve; sometimes it helps you and sometimes it fucks your world. I don't know your writing style but compared to the class it was C material. That doesn't mean you can't write or don't know how to write a memo. Further, most LRW profs aren't even grading content, they are grading to see how many Blue Book mistakes you made. I'll be the first to admit that unless you have taken some serious time to get comfortable with the Blue Book and know that a lot of the rules depend on other rules you are going to make mistakes. I didn't make too hot of a grade in LRW I but I blew it away in LRW II. Listen, grades are over, you can't change them, you can't do shit about it...so pick yourself up, dust off and focus on this semester. You'll be fine..keep fighting the good fight.

pandacot
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby pandacot » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:30 pm

Snooker wrote:LRW grades are such nonsense. They send absolutely the wrong signal to employers. Frankly a smart law school would just hand LRW A's out like candy and stick blow-offs with Cs and such. The last thing you need is every court of appeals judge passing over your school's grads because half of the summa cum laude crowd got a crappy LRW grade. (as is the case at our law school it seems!)


Yes, yes. Very true. LRW is a BS class that takes up too much time. Whenever I think of LRW assignments I also think of Arrow getting all A's and a B- in LRW. I personally think that LRW is meant to trip up people and keep them from studying for the other 4 classes that really matter.

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wiseowl
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby wiseowl » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:44 pm

i've got no problem with LARW being graded.

i gotta problem with LARW being graded on a curve.

it does nothing in terms of teaching legal writing and research to have everyone do it proficiently and then half of them get a devastating grade because the bylaws say so.

schools should be doing everything they can to help students get jobs, and this isn't helping.

i've had firms and judges compliment me on my writing sample without prompting. the prof apparently didn't agree.

naturalexponent
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby naturalexponent » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:11 am

eth3n wrote:Professor originally told us that LRW had a discretionary soft curve (below B- is discretionary, no 1L limit on A/A- grades), then when the LRW profs handed out too many A's, the dean was like "f it, im tired of LRW drama (apparently this had been happening for a few years), use the standard 1L curve."

Basically its mass hysteria/mutiny (about 50 facebook posts saying WTF/OMG/*crying* after they came out) as the professors try to rationalize changing peoples grades. Made me feel better about my grade. One section (not my own), actually got their grades back, and then received an e-mail from the registrar that their grades had been changed. Worst e-mail ever amirite?

---

and Snooker is right, its not the 1-2 credit points that is ruining our GPA (unless you actually managed a 4.0 and then got screwed by LRW), its the fact that employers are gonna be like "how did you pull a B- in LRW?"


ucd? i was on track for a 4.0 until the lrw grades came out. ugh. i know it's a bit petty, but i really can't get over it.

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nealric
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby nealric » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:17 am

I bombed 1L LRW too. I got a few raised eyebrows at OCI, but I made sure I demonstrated writing ability in other ways. It hasn't hurt me in the long run.

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thesealocust
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:53 am

edit: never mind
Last edited by thesealocust on Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:13 am

What to do? Buck up, move on.

For what it is worth, the ability to write is a highly important legal skill. If there is one thing I believe 1Ls (or pre-law types) don't understand is that lawyers are professional authors. Bombing the writing class isn't good, but surely you knowthat.

How to address it during OCI? Candor, and have an amazing original writing sample to show the C was a fluke.

Candor is vitally important. During OCI, they asked my undergrad GPA (only happened once), which was not great, and I told them. Having prepared for this eventuality, I told them I took awhile to find out what I liked and dropped the ball during undergrad, and sought to redeem myself in law school. It helped to have a law school transcript of all As too.

And while I don't know what I would say if I were you, saying you mis-prioritized just doesn't sound good to me - law school is ALL about prioritizing, so it would be better if, like, your dog died the week before your paper was due or something. Of course, it has to be something true.

I suggest being sure not to blow it off this semester. And in your spare time, read read read books by renowned authors. Not legal stuff, just good writing.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:22 am

pandacot wrote:
Snooker wrote:LRW grades are such nonsense. They send absolutely the wrong signal to employers. Frankly a smart law school would just hand LRW A's out like candy and stick blow-offs with Cs and such. The last thing you need is every court of appeals judge passing over your school's grads because half of the summa cum laude crowd got a crappy LRW grade. (as is the case at our law school it seems!)


Yes, yes. Very true. LRW is a BS class that takes up too much time. Whenever I think of LRW assignments I also think of Arrow getting all A's and a B- in LRW. I personally think that LRW is meant to trip up people and keep them from studying for the other 4 classes that really matter.


I don't agree with this sentiment. Unlike the other "core" classes during the 1L year, legal writing is the one class that is most similar to what actual attorneys do. If you bomb it, it says something about your ability to write for a legal audience. And your ability to write for a legal audience directly reflects how helpful you will be to an employer. Law school reality is harsh.

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nealric
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby nealric » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:33 am


I don't agree with this sentiment. Unlike the other "core" classes during the 1L year, legal writing is the one class that is most similar to what actual attorneys do. If you bomb it, it says something about your ability to write for a legal audience.


I disagree. LRW puts fourth an exceedingly contrived situation, which tends to nullify differences in analytic ability and amplify more petty concerns (i.e. bluebooking). Because the grading is mechanical by necessity, it seems to mostly reward those who have gone over their work with a fine-tooth comb to a degree that would never fly in the real world. Additionally, I find that stronger writers often have the most difficulty in LRW as they have the most to "unlearn" from how they ordinarily write.

Perhaps I'm biased because I bombed LRW, but I've gotten great reviews for my writing in the actual workplace.

eth3n
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby eth3n » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:12 pm

While writing is likely the most relevant skill to future employment, I think we are angry due to the relatively arbitrary way in which it is apparently graded (often 100% on one memo). I mean, once you get past bluebooking errors, its really just the instructors choice what is good and what is not. For many of us its not even anonymous like substantive exams

NotMyRealName09
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Re: LRW Grade Hell

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:08 pm

Our LRW (RWA) first semester had two major memos and bluebook homework / quizzes, so you had a good sense of where you stood and what you needed to improve. Having it based primarily on a single memo doesn't seem fair, I agree. Writing requires work to improve, so I sympathize with those of you who had only a single memo to compose for your grade.




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