Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
Gamecubesupreme
Posts: 509
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:54 pm

Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:47 pm

As in would a final exam from a T-14 be harder than a final exam from a law school ranked in the 50th or would they roughly be the same?

I know most people here are too stressed out to worry about such trivial questions, but I am just curious if anyone knows the answer.

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby dakatz » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:57 pm

Gamecubesupreme wrote:As in would a final exam from a T-14 be harder than a final exam from a law school ranked in the 50th or would they roughly be the same?

I know most people here are too stressed out to worry about such trivial questions, but I am just curious if anyone knows the answer.


I can't imagine a final being different between a T-14 school and a T-50 school. I think people forget at times that these classes teach pretty much the same material, at the same speed, in the same way. The difference in the education itself between the schools is very small, so the differences in final exams will likely also be very small.

User avatar
kurla88
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:27 am

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby kurla88 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:58 pm

The exams themselves are probably of similar difficulty. However, everything is graded on a curve, and the competition at t14s is supposedly harder, so the actual ease of the exam doesn't matter.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby underdawg » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:16 pm

i had one prof who used to teach at a T50 or so, and at my school she was obsessed with making the exam harder because we were "smarter." holy shit that exam was hard (but the curve was generous). my other prof from T50's exam was so easy that it was hard (and the curve brutal).

User avatar
marshponds
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby marshponds » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:34 pm

Of course they're harder. What makes an exam hard isn't the question being asked but the people against whom you are graded.

pelmen74
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby pelmen74 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:13 pm

I had one professor bluntly tell my class not to look at his previous exams because they would be too easy. I'm at a T14, he taught at another T1.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby kalvano » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:14 pm

marshponds wrote:Of course they're harder. What makes an exam hard isn't the question being asked but the people against whom you are graded.



Just because someone isn't at a T14 school doesn't make them less intelligent than a student at a T14.

pelmen74
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby pelmen74 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:16 pm

kalvano wrote:
marshponds wrote:Of course they're harder. What makes an exam hard isn't the question being asked but the people against whom you are graded.



Just because someone isn't at a T14 school doesn't make them less intelligent than a student at a T14.


No, but the average student at a T14 is more intelligent then an average student at a T2...

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby kalvano » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:18 pm

pelmen74 wrote:
kalvano wrote:
marshponds wrote:Of course they're harder. What makes an exam hard isn't the question being asked but the people against whom you are graded.



Just because someone isn't at a T14 school doesn't make them less intelligent than a student at a T14.


No, but the average student at a T14 is more intelligent then an average student at a T2...



Not really. Once you work your way down the bottom of the law school skank ladder, maybe.

But there are lots of people who are as smart or smarter than T14 students at a T2, for whatever reason. Just as there are people who don't believe anywhere near a T14 going to one.

Rank of school doesn't correlate to intelligence.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby rayiner » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:24 pm

From what I've looked at of the exams at American (which are conveniently public) the exams here at NU are somewhat longer and more involved.

I'm not sure why this would be surprising. At Georgia Tech I noticed that my friend at Caltech had harder exams than ours, and my friend at George Mason had easier exams than ours.

dissonance1848
Posts: 706
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:42 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby dissonance1848 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:27 pm

The people at the T-14 and everywhere else are pretty similar. GPA is a joke. You can major in dancing and have a 4.0, so it doesn't mean much. The LSAT means something, because its curved and standardized. But really, since most people can practice the LSAT and get into the 160s and 170s if they work very hard and are competent, the LSAT doesn't mean much either.

On top of that, GPA + LSAT = 20% of the variance in 1L performance. Only 20%. Thats really shocking to me. Someone with a terrible GPA + LSAT could rock 1L and be in the top 20% with a good probability.

So, to get back to the point, the people are the same, the curve tends to be nicer at T-14, so you will have a higher GPA, and there are general habits which help kill the final exams. So, exams can't be much harder/different.

User avatar
animalcrkrs
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:24 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby animalcrkrs » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:28 pm

After preparing for 1L exams from a couple of profs who didn't have exams up, specifically Con Law, which I think is the most similar across schools, I think there can be great disparities in the 'difficulty' of the exam. (Since I did exams from schools and profs of all types that had them up)

My guess is that the higher ranked schools have a greater proportion of more difficult exams, and the lower ranked schools have a greater proportion of simpler exams. Of course you'll likely find some hard and some easy at both types, and it's probably not any sort of sliding scale or step function from one school to another but more of a general trend as the school rank goes down. This doesn't necessarily speak to the raw intelligence of the students attending the school as much as it might reflect the quality of the professor and the quality and depth of learning of the classes.

dissonance1848
Posts: 706
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:42 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby dissonance1848 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:31 pm

Well said animalcrkrs.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:34 pm

What did he say ?

User avatar
California Babe
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:45 am

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby California Babe » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:09 pm

kalvano wrote:
marshponds wrote:Of course they're harder. What makes an exam hard isn't the question being asked but the people against whom you are graded.



Just because someone isn't at a T14 school doesn't make them less intelligent than a student at a T14.


So if you took a group of T-14 students and a group of T2 students and had them take an exam curved against each other, you don't think there would be any correlation between which group you were in and where you placed? None whatsoever?

(I'm ignoring your specific point about "intelligence" because that's not really the question here.)

DiscoveryDeadline
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:27 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby DiscoveryDeadline » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:27 pm

kalvano wrote:
pelmen74 wrote:
kalvano wrote:
marshponds wrote:Of course they're harder. What makes an exam hard isn't the question being asked but the people against whom you are graded.



Just because someone isn't at a T14 school doesn't make them less intelligent than a student at a T14.


No, but the average student at a T14 is more intelligent then an average student at a T2...



Rank of school doesn't correlate to intelligence.


Sorry to break it to you, but, yes, it does.

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:32 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:The people at the T-14 and everywhere else are pretty similar. GPA is a joke. You can major in dancing and have a 4.0, so it doesn't mean much. The LSAT means something, because its curved and standardized. But really, since most people can practice the LSAT and get into the 160s and 170s if they work very hard and are competent, the LSAT doesn't mean much either.

On top of that, GPA + LSAT = 20% of the variance in 1L performance. Only 20%. Thats really shocking to me. Someone with a terrible GPA + LSAT could rock 1L and be in the top 20% with a good probability.

So, to get back to the point, the people are the same, the curve tends to be nicer at T-14, so you will have a higher GPA, and there are general habits which help kill the final exams. So, exams can't be much harder/different.


Although the bolded is true, people on here act like it's 90 percent. And frankly I don't know why you're that surprised that it is only a 20 percent variance. The LSAT really isn't that similar to a law school exam, and GPA is even less helpful as a barometer since you can major in whatever you want and apply to law school.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby rayiner » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:47 pm

The 0.4 LSAT correlation is based on data at within given law schools. As a result the data is limited by admissions factors. Eg: there is only a narrow range of LSATs present in any given class (at most schools, the 25-75 is only 6 points out of a total range of 60), the way admissions indexes are structured people with high LSATs tend to have low GPAs, etc.

There was a Stanford study that predicted that if these factors were adjusted for, the correlation would be around 0.6.

User avatar
Unemployed
Posts: 699
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:35 am

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby Unemployed » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:52 pm

rayiner wrote:The 0.4 LSAT correlation is based on data at within given law schools. As a result the data is limited by admissions factors. Eg: there is only a narrow range of LSATs present in any given class (at most schools, the 25-75 is only 6 points out of a total range of 60), the way admissions indexes are structured people with high LSATs tend to have low GPAs, etc.

There was a Stanford study that predicted that if these factors were adjusted for, the correlation would be around 0.6.


How many times do you have to correct TLS'ers before we finally dispel the myth? I think we succeeded in getting rid of the myth that the term "T14" originated from the observation that only the 14 schools were ranked within the top 10 at some point.

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4852
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby Borhas » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:53 pm

marshponds wrote:Of course they're harder. What makes an exam hard isn't the question being asked but the people against whom you are graded.


So then Yale has the easiest exams on account of them not really having rankings or grades

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:12 pm

kalvano wrote:
pelmen74 wrote:
kalvano wrote:
marshponds wrote:Of course they're harder. What makes an exam hard isn't the question being asked but the people against whom you are graded.



Just because someone isn't at a T14 school doesn't make them less intelligent than a student at a T14.


No, but the average student at a T14 is more intelligent then an average student at a T2...



Not really.


Really.

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4852
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby Borhas » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:33 pm

kalvano wrote:Not really. Once you work your way down the bottom of the law school skank ladder, maybe.

But there are lots of people who are as smart or smarter than T14 students at a T2, for whatever reason. Just as there are people who don't believe anywhere near a T14 going to one.

Rank of school doesn't correlate to intelligence.


there's probably a significant correlation, statistically significant... But significance regarding statistics just means that statistical center of the data are probably different 90-95% of the time. Doesn't mean that the difference is practically significant.

So speaking about "the average" guy at anywhere is kind of pointless, who gives a shit? Probably the below average guy at a below average T-14
Last edited by Borhas on Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
plenipotentiary
Posts: 616
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:13 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby plenipotentiary » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:36 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
dissonance1848 wrote:The people at the T-14 and everywhere else are pretty similar. GPA is a joke. You can major in dancing and have a 4.0, so it doesn't mean much. The LSAT means something, because its curved and standardized. But really, since most people can practice the LSAT and get into the 160s and 170s if they work very hard and are competent, the LSAT doesn't mean much either.

On top of that, GPA + LSAT = 20% of the variance in 1L performance. Only 20%. Thats really shocking to me. Someone with a terrible GPA + LSAT could rock 1L and be in the top 20% with a good probability.

So, to get back to the point, the people are the same, the curve tends to be nicer at T-14, so you will have a higher GPA, and there are general habits which help kill the final exams. So, exams can't be much harder/different.


Although the bolded is true, people on here act like it's 90 percent. And frankly I don't know why you're that surprised that it is only a 20 percent variance. The LSAT really isn't that similar to a law school exam, and GPA is even less helpful as a barometer since you can major in whatever you want and apply to law school.


Is the bolded true? I thought GPA + LSAT = 40-50% of the variance (with GPA accounting for 10% and the other 30%-40% is LSAT).

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:37 pm

Borhas wrote:but speaking about "the average" guy at anywhere is kind of pointless, who gives a shit?


People trying to get above median?

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4852
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Are law school finals roughly the same difficulty everywhere

Postby Borhas » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:44 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Borhas wrote:but speaking about "the average" guy at anywhere is kind of pointless, who gives a shit?


People trying to get above median?


Speaking about "the median" guy is marginally more useful than the "average" guy, but even so, comparing the statistical center of different schools as part of a plan to get above median at a particular school seems to resonate with the "who gives a shit?" feeling.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests