large disparities between grades

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judgevalkenheiser
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:15 pm

large disparities between grades

Postby judgevalkenheiser » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:20 pm

got my first grades back--a+ in property, b in torts, and c+ in civ pro. how do i spin these grades?

AsylumPB
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:30 pm

Re: large disparities between grades

Postby AsylumPB » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:28 pm

Some landed further down the stairwell.....

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: large disparities between grades

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:40 am

AsylumPB wrote:Some landed further down the stairwell.....



TCR

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DelDad
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:26 pm

Re: large disparities between grades

Postby DelDad » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:50 am

Any differences between the tests you did well on and those you didn't?

issue spotting v. in-depth analysis of a couple issues
multiple choice v. essays
black letter law-focused v. knowledge of cases
BLL v. policy
etc.

Or differences between how you prepared
case reading v. supplements
your own outline v. study group
etc.

Law school grades can feel random, and with a poorly designed or too-easy test that doesn't let the curve work properly, they can, in fact, be relatively random. Those factors are out of your control. But, if you can find patterns in your grades that help you focus on things that are in your control (like learning to study for certain types of tests better), you should. I was median or slightly below after one semester, but finished in top 25%.

Aqualibrium
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Re: large disparities between grades

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:56 am

judgevalkenheiser wrote:got my first grades back--a+ in property, b in torts, and c+ in civ pro. how do i spin these grades?



You're in a perfect position here because you get to decide which grades truly reflect your ability. Many people will never get an A, let alone an A+, in law school. On top of that, most people who end up at median or below don't do it with a mix of fantastic grades and disappointing grades, the disappointment is usually even across the board. So now, what you need to do is figure out how you can duplicate that A+ performance in the future. What DelDad said is spot on, and will help you tremendously going forward.

judgevalkenheiser
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: large disparities between grades

Postby judgevalkenheiser » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:36 pm

property was closed book and the others were open book.

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DelDad
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:26 pm

Re: large disparities between grades

Postby DelDad » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:36 pm

Re: open book v. closed book

That *may* indicate you relied too much on the idea of being able to look at your notes during your open book exams. It is likely you did not, in fact, have time to consult your materials during the test, but it may have affected the intensity of your studying for these exams. For me, a one to two page sheet was about all I had time to use for open book exams in most classes (the exception being conlaw, where I had over 200 cases and couldn't keep their names straight in my head). But those materials should be finished well before (or at least by the start of) your end of semester study. During that study time, prep for an open book test should be exactly the same as for a closed book test.


For spin:

Do some of the describe above, then meet with professors regarding all three tests, to understand why you got the grades you got.

When talking to employers, do not bring up grades unless asked. If asked, acknowledge that some of your grades don't represent the level of achievement of which you know you are capable. That you excelled in a difficult and somewhat arcane class like property shows that you are capable of strong legal analysis. Now you also have a better grasp of how to approach law school exams in general; you expect your spring grades to be higher.

A good writing sample, which you can point to as an example of your strong work before your next grades come out, will be especially important for you.




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