TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

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ShakeDemHatersOff
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby ShakeDemHatersOff » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:27 pm

savagecheater wrote:
Until you get pwned by a professor that cares about policy as it applies to the facts.

INB4 "won't happen bro". This must be the new treydeuce


well one of my professors literally told us that he would take points off for talking about policy when you answer the questions fine with the law

not trying to be a douche but other than the canned 30 minute policy question some professor just put in there to justify all the time they waste in class.......most law school exam questions can be answered without ever mentioning policy considerations

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A'nold
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby A'nold » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:35 pm

clintonius wrote:
A'nold wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:My theory: law school grades come down to luck. Weather through paying attention in class and reading the casebook or reading the E&E's or some combo thereof, we all know the material. Ultimately it comes down to how you write it, what kind of writing your teacher likes, and a smattering of other things that don't necessarily correlate with study time or any particular method.


I'm sorry but I HATE when people say the bolded. I was at the top of my class at my old school and have an even higher rank at my new school (transfer). How on earth could that be straight luck?

I

wait

huh?


Excuse me for using a figure of speech. I meant "near the top of my class" at my old school.

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prezidentv8
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:39 pm

A'nold wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:My theory: law school grades come down to luck. Weather through paying attention in class and reading the casebook or reading the E&E's or some combo thereof, we all know the material. Ultimately it comes down to how you write it, what kind of writing your teacher likes, and a smattering of other things that don't necessarily correlate with study time or any particular method.


I'm sorry but I HATE when people say the bolded. I was at the top of my class at my old school and have an even higher rank at my new school (transfer). How on earth could that be straight luck?


It's not. I think it's just that us mere mortals in the middle of the pack aren't as attuned to what professors want, so from our subjective perspective it is. Well, that plus the fact that I seem to get really high grades when I turn in the biggest POS exams, and the most pedestrian grades when I don't. :mrgreen:

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snowpeach06
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby snowpeach06 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:40 pm

A'nold wrote:
clintonius wrote:
A'nold wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:My theory: law school grades come down to luck. Weather through paying attention in class and reading the casebook or reading the E&E's or some combo thereof, we all know the material. Ultimately it comes down to how you write it, what kind of writing your teacher likes, and a smattering of other things that don't necessarily correlate with study time or any particular method.


I'm sorry but I HATE when people say the bolded. I was at the top of my class at my old school and have an even higher rank at my new school (transfer). How on earth could that be straight luck?

I

wait

huh?


Excuse me for using a figure of speech. I meant "near the top of my class" at my old school.

And I literally never paid attention in a single class, was lost all semester and learned contracts a week before the exam, and got better grades than my friend who sits next to me, answers every question correctly and studies 10 hours a day. For every person who works hard and does well, there are 2 who don't. Why does one person who studies for 10 hours a day do better than another who does? Luck.

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straxen
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby straxen » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:44 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:My theory: law school grades come down to luck. Whether through paying attention in class and reading the casebook or reading the E&E's or some combo thereof, we all know the material. Ultimately it comes down to how you write it, what kind of writing your teacher likes, and a smattering of other things that don't necessarily correlate with study time or any particular method.


I think that the idea that law school grades are based on luck is misguided or perhaps misphrased. I admit there is some element of luck in that the curve may be tight such that one little mistake or oversight here and there would bump you down quite a bit, but by and large I don't think this is the case beyond the margins. I suspect this perception of randomness in grading in many cases is due primarily to people either having a knack for one subject over another, or more likely, failing to tailor their exams to the individual professors.

The above discussion re: policy is a prime example. While most professors may not like policy, if you have an attitude that "I'm never going to discuss policy" you're going to get bent over by the one prof that loves policy which might explain the A+, A+, B. I know if I didn't discuss policy on my torts exam it would have come back with a B-. People who are flexible and take their cues from the professor will do better around the board, and for those who are inflexible in their exam methods, grades will have a greater tendency to be hit-and-miss.

My exams all came back in the A-range and the way I wrote my exams for each was completely different--I had one 3 hour exam where I wrote 3,000 words and one 4 hour exam where I wrote 11,000. Some I recited case names, maybe analogizing to fact patterns in those cases, and in some I ignored cases altogether. On some exams I wrote only about the BLL, in others there was a strong policy-orientation. I knew one of my professors loved the idea of strategy between plaintiff and defendant and coming up with creative arguments so I structured my narrative that way...in others the narrative was more rule-analysis driven. Dozens of my sentences were nearly verbatim taken from my class notes. Other than follow the professor's cues...there is no one right way to prepare for/take an exam.

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby fatduck » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:44 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:And I literally never paid attention in a single class, was lost all semester and learned contracts a week before the exam, and got better grades than my friend who sits next to me, answers every question correctly and studies 10 hours a day. For every person who works hard and does well, there are 2 who don't. Why does one person who studies for 10 hours a day do better than another who does? Luck.


better writing, faster typing, faster thinking, more creativity, better focus during exams, better organization

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snowpeach06
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby snowpeach06 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:48 pm

straxen wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:My theory: law school grades come down to luck. Whether through paying attention in class and reading the casebook or reading the E&E's or some combo thereof, we all know the material. Ultimately it comes down to how you write it, what kind of writing your teacher likes, and a smattering of other things that don't necessarily correlate with study time or any particular method.


I think that the idea that law school grades are based on luck is misguided or perhaps misphrased. I admit there is some element of luck in that the curve may be tight such that one little mistake or oversight here and there would bump you down quite a bit, but by and large I don't think this is the case beyond the margins. I suspect this perception of randomness in grading in many cases is due primarily to people either having a knack for one subject over another, or more likely, failing to tailor their exams to the individual professors.

The above discussion re: policy is a prime example. While most professors may not like policy, if you have an attitude that "I'm never going to discuss policy" you're going to get bent over by the one prof that loves policy which might explain the A+, A+, B. I know if I didn't discuss policy on my torts exam it would have come back with a B-. People who are flexible and take their cues from the professor will do better around the board, and for those who are inflexible in their exam methods, grades will have a greater tendency to be hit-and-miss.

My exams all came back in the A-range and the way I wrote my exams for each was completely different--I had one 3 hour exam where I wrote 3,000 words and one 4 hour exam where I wrote 11,000. Some I recited case names, maybe analogizing to fact patterns in those cases, and in some I ignored cases altogether. On some exams I wrote only about the BLL, in others there was a strong policy-orientation. I knew one of my professors loved the idea of strategy between plaintiff and defendant and coming up with creative arguments so I structured my narrative that way...in others the narrative was more rule-analysis driven. Dozens of my sentences were nearly verbatim taken from my class notes. Other than follow the professor's cues...there is no one right way to prepare for/take an exam.


Yeah. I mean, I don't subscribe to the thought that they throw exams down the stairs. I think some people are naturally better at giving a teacher what they want. I guess that is a better way to say it than luck.

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A'nold
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby A'nold » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:51 pm

A'nold wrote:
clintonius wrote:
A'nold wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:
I'm sorry but I HATE when people say the bolded. I was at the top of my class at my old school and have an even higher rank at my new school (transfer). How on earth could that be straight luck?

I

wait

huh?


Excuse me for using a figure of speech. I meant "near the top of my class" at my old school.

And I literally never paid attention in a single class, was lost all semester and learned contracts a week before the exam, and got better grades than my friend who sits next to me, answers every question correctly and studies 10 hours a day. For every person who works hard and does well, there are 2 who don't. Why does one person who studies for 10 hours a day do better than another who does? Luck.


This is such a horrible argument I don't even know where to begin. It looks like somebody went about rebutting your statement so I'll go read that for now.

Prez- I must sound very "I get great grades" douchey. Sorry if that is how I'm coming across everyone!

I just don't see how people like snowpeach can actually make a straight-faced argument that bottom students and top students alike are there on luck. I've had about 10 professors thus far. I've had professors from different schools, professors that are stickler black letter, some that are purely analytical and obscure, one that was evil, one that wasn't all that smart, a joker, a no-nonsense Hillary Clinton type, and the list goes on and on. Yet in both schools and across the board I've earned the same grades......

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A'nold
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby A'nold » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:53 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:
straxen wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:My theory: law school grades come down to luck. Whether through paying attention in class and reading the casebook or reading the E&E's or some combo thereof, we all know the material. Ultimately it comes down to how you write it, what kind of writing your teacher likes, and a smattering of other things that don't necessarily correlate with study time or any particular method.


I think that the idea that law school grades are based on luck is misguided or perhaps misphrased. I admit there is some element of luck in that the curve may be tight such that one little mistake or oversight here and there would bump you down quite a bit, but by and large I don't think this is the case beyond the margins. I suspect this perception of randomness in grading in many cases is due primarily to people either having a knack for one subject over another, or more likely, failing to tailor their exams to the individual professors.

The above discussion re: policy is a prime example. While most professors may not like policy, if you have an attitude that "I'm never going to discuss policy" you're going to get bent over by the one prof that loves policy which might explain the A+, A+, B. I know if I didn't discuss policy on my torts exam it would have come back with a B-. People who are flexible and take their cues from the professor will do better around the board, and for those who are inflexible in their exam methods, grades will have a greater tendency to be hit-and-miss.

My exams all came back in the A-range and the way I wrote my exams for each was completely different--I had one 3 hour exam where I wrote 3,000 words and one 4 hour exam where I wrote 11,000. Some I recited case names, maybe analogizing to fact patterns in those cases, and in some I ignored cases altogether. On some exams I wrote only about the BLL, in others there was a strong policy-orientation. I knew one of my professors loved the idea of strategy between plaintiff and defendant and coming up with creative arguments so I structured my narrative that way...in others the narrative was more rule-analysis driven. Dozens of my sentences were nearly verbatim taken from my class notes. Other than follow the professor's cues...there is no one right way to prepare for/take an exam.


Yeah. I mean, I don't subscribe to the thought that they throw exams down the stairs. I think some people are naturally better at giving a teacher what they want. I guess that is a better way to say it than luck.


See, the bolded makes no sense regarding your argument above. That would be like saying professional basketball players are lucky to be better at basketball than you because they are naturally better at basketball.

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clintonius
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby clintonius » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:53 pm

straxen wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:My theory: law school grades come down to luck. Whether through paying attention in class and reading the casebook or reading the E&E's or some combo thereof, we all know the material. Ultimately it comes down to how you write it, what kind of writing your teacher likes, and a smattering of other things that don't necessarily correlate with study time or any particular method.


I think that the idea that law school grades are based on luck is misguided or perhaps misphrased. I admit there is some element of luck in that the curve may be tight such that one little mistake or oversight here and there would bump you down quite a bit, but by and large I don't think this is the case beyond the margins. I suspect this perception of randomness in grading in many cases is due primarily to people either having a knack for one subject over another, or more likely, failing to tailor their exams to the individual professors.

The above discussion re: policy is a prime example. While most professors may not like policy, if you have an attitude that "I'm never going to discuss policy" you're going to get bent over by the one prof that loves policy which might explain the A+, A+, B. I know if I didn't discuss policy on my torts exam it would have come back with a B-. People who are flexible and take their cues from the professor will do better around the board, and for those who are inflexible in their exam methods, grades will have a greater tendency to be hit-and-miss.

My exams all came back in the A-range and the way I wrote my exams for each was completely different--I had one 3 hour exam where I wrote 3,000 words and one 4 hour exam where I wrote 11,000. Some I recited case names, maybe analogizing to fact patterns in those cases, and in some I ignored cases altogether. On some exams I wrote only about the BLL, in others there was a strong policy-orientation. I knew one of my professors loved the idea of strategy between plaintiff and defendant and coming up with creative arguments so I structured my narrative that way...in others the narrative was more rule-analysis driven. Dozens of my sentences were nearly verbatim taken from my class notes. Other than follow the professor's cues...there is no one right way to prepare for/take an exam.

I agree with this, though I wanted to point out re: the bolded part that the curve can be so tight that you're perpetually on the margins.

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A'nold
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby A'nold » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:55 pm

clintonius wrote:
straxen wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:My theory: law school grades come down to luck. Whether through paying attention in class and reading the casebook or reading the E&E's or some combo thereof, we all know the material. Ultimately it comes down to how you write it, what kind of writing your teacher likes, and a smattering of other things that don't necessarily correlate with study time or any particular method.


I think that the idea that law school grades are based on luck is misguided or perhaps misphrased. I admit there is some element of luck in that the curve may be tight such that one little mistake or oversight here and there would bump you down quite a bit, but by and large I don't think this is the case beyond the margins. I suspect this perception of randomness in grading in many cases is due primarily to people either having a knack for one subject over another, or more likely, failing to tailor their exams to the individual professors.

The above discussion re: policy is a prime example. While most professors may not like policy, if you have an attitude that "I'm never going to discuss policy" you're going to get bent over by the one prof that loves policy which might explain the A+, A+, B. I know if I didn't discuss policy on my torts exam it would have come back with a B-. People who are flexible and take their cues from the professor will do better around the board, and for those who are inflexible in their exam methods, grades will have a greater tendency to be hit-and-miss.

My exams all came back in the A-range and the way I wrote my exams for each was completely different--I had one 3 hour exam where I wrote 3,000 words and one 4 hour exam where I wrote 11,000. Some I recited case names, maybe analogizing to fact patterns in those cases, and in some I ignored cases altogether. On some exams I wrote only about the BLL, in others there was a strong policy-orientation. I knew one of my professors loved the idea of strategy between plaintiff and defendant and coming up with creative arguments so I structured my narrative that way...in others the narrative was more rule-analysis driven. Dozens of my sentences were nearly verbatim taken from my class notes. Other than follow the professor's cues...there is no one right way to prepare for/take an exam.

I agree with this, though I wanted to point out re: the bolded part that the curve can be so tight that you're perpetually on the margins.


Not really. Even if the overall curve is a 3.4, a 3.9 was not a student that was "perpetually at the margins."

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby keg411 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:56 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:And I literally never paid attention in a single class, was lost all semester and learned contracts a week before the exam, and got better grades than my friend who sits next to me, answers every question correctly and studies 10 hours a day. For every person who works hard and does well, there are 2 who don't. Why does one person who studies for 10 hours a day do better than another who does? Luck.


It's not really luck. There are pretty much two components: 1) How well you are able to apply the law to the facts, and 2) How well you write and how organized your writing is. Just being an "organized thinker and writer", and doing step-by-step analysis may go a long way, even if you don't get all of the nuances of the law. Those who are able to do both obviously do the best, but doing #2 can go a LONG way since everyone is under time pressure and it can be extremely difficult to really get the nuances and work the facts perfectly.

If you talk to your professors, they will pretty much explain all of this pretty clearly, and it isn't "luck" at all.

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby snowpeach06 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:00 pm

A'nold wrote:This is such a horrible argument I don't even know where to begin. It looks like somebody went about rebutting your statement so I'll go read that for now.

Prez- I must sound very "I get great grades" douchey. Sorry if that is how I'm coming across everyone!

I just don't see how people like snowpeach can actually make a straight-faced argument that bottom students and top students alike are there on luck. I've had about 10 professors thus far. I've had professors from different schools, professors that are stickler black letter, some that are purely analytical and obscure, one that was evil, one that wasn't all that smart, a joker, a no-nonsense Hillary Clinton type, and the list goes on and on. Yet in both schools and across the board I've earned the same grades......

All I know is that everyone thinks they are destined for A's, and deserve A's until grades come out. We all had similar undergraduate grades and LSAT scores. With a curve, little things make a big difference, and little things can do with typing speed, randomly remembering or forgetting to mention something or simply explaining something in the way the teacher wants to see it explained. While you might think that your grades are awesome because you paid attention and did all this stuff, what makes you think that the kid next to you at median didn't do just as much? And then, how do the lazy kids wind up at the top of the class?

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby keg411 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:01 pm

clintonius wrote:I agree with this, though I wanted to point out re: the bolded part that the curve can be so tight that you're perpetually on the margins.


I actually asked one of my professors about this, and while he said some of it might be "luck", if your grades are consistent, you are likely not constantly on the margins. Also, sometimes your profs will give you a pretty good idea of whether you were on the margins or not (for one class I was, for one class I wasn't).

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby snowpeach06 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:03 pm

keg411 wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:And I literally never paid attention in a single class, was lost all semester and learned contracts a week before the exam, and got better grades than my friend who sits next to me, answers every question correctly and studies 10 hours a day. For every person who works hard and does well, there are 2 who don't. Why does one person who studies for 10 hours a day do better than another who does? Luck.


It's not really luck. There are pretty much two components: 1) How well you are able to apply the law to the facts, and 2) How well you write and how organized your writing is. Just being an "organized thinker and writer", and doing step-by-step analysis may go a long way, even if you don't get all of the nuances of the law. Those who are able to do both obviously do the best, but doing #2 can go a LONG way since everyone is under time pressure and it can be extremely difficult to really get the nuances and work the facts perfectly.

If you talk to your professors, they will pretty much explain all of this pretty clearly, and it isn't "luck" at all.

Yes. But some people are naturally good at that and others aren't. It's not necessarily a skill you can learn, or think to learn when you are taking a law school exam. Most students are focused on learning the material, hitting issues, whatever.

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clintonius
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby clintonius » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:03 pm

A'nold wrote:
clintonius wrote:
straxen wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:My theory: law school grades come down to luck. Whether through paying attention in class and reading the casebook or reading the E&E's or some combo thereof, we all know the material. Ultimately it comes down to how you write it, what kind of writing your teacher likes, and a smattering of other things that don't necessarily correlate with study time or any particular method.


I think that the idea that law school grades are based on luck is misguided or perhaps misphrased. I admit there is some element of luck in that the curve may be tight such that one little mistake or oversight here and there would bump you down quite a bit, but by and large I don't think this is the case beyond the margins. I suspect this perception of randomness in grading in many cases is due primarily to people either having a knack for one subject over another, or more likely, failing to tailor their exams to the individual professors.

The above discussion re: policy is a prime example. While most professors may not like policy, if you have an attitude that "I'm never going to discuss policy" you're going to get bent over by the one prof that loves policy which might explain the A+, A+, B. I know if I didn't discuss policy on my torts exam it would have come back with a B-. People who are flexible and take their cues from the professor will do better around the board, and for those who are inflexible in their exam methods, grades will have a greater tendency to be hit-and-miss.

My exams all came back in the A-range and the way I wrote my exams for each was completely different--I had one 3 hour exam where I wrote 3,000 words and one 4 hour exam where I wrote 11,000. Some I recited case names, maybe analogizing to fact patterns in those cases, and in some I ignored cases altogether. On some exams I wrote only about the BLL, in others there was a strong policy-orientation. I knew one of my professors loved the idea of strategy between plaintiff and defendant and coming up with creative arguments so I structured my narrative that way...in others the narrative was more rule-analysis driven. Dozens of my sentences were nearly verbatim taken from my class notes. Other than follow the professor's cues...there is no one right way to prepare for/take an exam.

I agree with this, though I wanted to point out re: the bolded part that the curve can be so tight that you're perpetually on the margins.


Not really. Even if the overall curve is a 3.4, a 3.9 was not a student that was "perpetually at the margins."

We're talking past each other -- I was thinking more along the lines of test scores, where a couple of points or so separates each half-grade.

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby snowpeach06 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:04 pm

Heh, off topic, but I just got to say "with great power comes great responsibility" in a paper.

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby keg411 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:08 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:Yes. But some people are naturally good at that and others aren't. It's not necessarily a skill you can learn, or think to learn when you are taking a law school exam. Most students are focused on learning the material, hitting issues, whatever.


Personally, I hope it's not something people can learn :lol:. But I still wouldn't equate it with "luck".

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:10 pm

A'nold wrote:Prez- I must sound very "I get great grades" douchey. Sorry if that is how I'm coming across everyone!

I just don't see how people like snowpeach can actually make a straight-faced argument that bottom students and top students alike are there on luck.

Nah, not douchey. The top folks, sure they probably read profs very well, I'll grant that. And the bottom is probably not that great at it relative to their peers. But I don't think that I'd put them in on the category of people the luck argument applies to. I think for most of us, myself included, there's only a vague idea about what to do on an exam, and since most people seem to write close to the same substantive things, and you don't really know what you get points for, it can feel a lot like luck. Is it luck in the strict sense? Probably not.

But each exam I take is pretty much against the same pool of people and my grades are pretty close to random. Here are the factors that seem to matter in terms of my own performance which might explain why this feels like a luck based game: If I feel like I did really really well, I'm close to median. If I feel I did horribly, then I have a 50% chance of a horrible grade and a 50% chance of a phenomenal grade. If I can use a computer to take notes in class, my grade will generally be higher. If participation counts for something, my grade will be lower. If the test is some sort of take home, or longer than four hours, my grade will be higher.

So, subjectively, to me it's luck in the sense that it doesn't appear that I can affect my outcomes based on anything that I actually do. I just take a test and get a number back.

keg411 wrote:If you talk to your professors, they will pretty much explain all of this pretty clearly, and it isn't "luck" at all.

This has been nowhere near my experience, except in the sense that they contradict each other, which supports the theory that you need to cater to the individual professor.

keg411 wrote:I actually asked one of my professors about this, and while he said some of it might be "luck", if your grades are consistent, you are likely not constantly on the margins.

Again, I think we've had different experiences, but I'd be curious to know what people who see a lot of these exams have to say about really inconsistent grades (me).

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby snowpeach06 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:12 pm

keg411 wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:Yes. But some people are naturally good at that and others aren't. It's not necessarily a skill you can learn, or think to learn when you are taking a law school exam. Most students are focused on learning the material, hitting issues, whatever.


Personally, I hope it's not something people can learn :lol:. But I still wouldn't equate it with "luck".

Yeah, I'm praying no one figures out that that is what it comes down to too. Anyway, like I said, luck might not be the exact word, but there is a certain something involved that you don't necessarily have control over. Not to say you don't have to learn the material and try to do what the teacher said he wanted, but, no plan is foul-proof. So, perhaps I'll just make up a random word to express my sentiment. Ogglebooden.

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby A'nold » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:15 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:
A'nold wrote:This is such a horrible argument I don't even know where to begin. It looks like somebody went about rebutting your statement so I'll go read that for now.

Prez- I must sound very "I get great grades" douchey. Sorry if that is how I'm coming across everyone!

I just don't see how people like snowpeach can actually make a straight-faced argument that bottom students and top students alike are there on luck. I've had about 10 professors thus far. I've had professors from different schools, professors that are stickler black letter, some that are purely analytical and obscure, one that was evil, one that wasn't all that smart, a joker, a no-nonsense Hillary Clinton type, and the list goes on and on. Yet in both schools and across the board I've earned the same grades......

All I know is that everyone thinks they are destined for A's, and deserve A's until grades come out. We all had similar undergraduate grades and LSAT scores. With a curve, little things make a big difference, and little things can do with typing speed, randomly remembering or forgetting to mention something or simply explaining something in the way the teacher wants to see it explained. While you might think that your grades are awesome because you paid attention and did all this stuff, what makes you think that the kid next to you at median didn't do just as much? And then, how do the lazy kids wind up at the top of the class?


See, that's the thing. What are we testing here? Straight UG regurgitation of dates, etc.? Or are we testing how to analyze fact patters and dissect facts and thoroughly analyze issues? Isn't that the entire point of the exams? Who cares how much someone knows compared to others. I know like 50% less than most of the classmates because I try to focus on the very important things and I thoroughly researched how to take a law school exam. It is a talent. Some are better than others at it and it shows up in the grades. Am I missing something here? Law school is NOT a place to "learn the law." It really is to "teach you how to think like a lawyer." You have to have that skill set to master exams. I have no idea how that one poster earlier ever came to the conclusion that law school was not a "meritocracy." It is the epitome of a meritocracy.

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prezidentv8
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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:20 pm

A'nold wrote:It is the epitome of a meritocracy.


I was with you right up until there too! I think it's a bad proxy for "merit" even though, hey, we do have a metric to measure something by.

But I think I should disclose that I really really really have a problem with competitive school in the first place, just as a methodological sort of matter, so I don't think I'm unbiased about the meritocracy part either... :mrgreen:

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby A'nold » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:21 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
A'nold wrote:Prez- I must sound very "I get great grades" douchey. Sorry if that is how I'm coming across everyone!

I just don't see how people like snowpeach can actually make a straight-faced argument that bottom students and top students alike are there on luck.

Nah, not douchey. The top folks, sure they probably read profs very well, I'll grant that. And the bottom is probably not that great at it relative to their peers. But I don't think that I'd put them in on the category of people the luck argument applies to. I think for most of us, myself included, there's only a vague idea about what to do on an exam, and since most people seem to write close to the same substantive things, and you don't really know what you get points for, it can feel a lot like luck. Is it luck in the strict sense? Probably not.

But each exam I take is pretty much against the same pool of people and my grades are pretty close to random. Here are the factors that seem to matter in terms of my own performance which might explain why this feels like a luck based game: If I feel like I did really really well, I'm close to median. If I feel I did horribly, then I have a 50% chance of a horrible grade and a 50% chance of a phenomenal grade. If I can use a computer to take notes in class, my grade will generally be higher. If participation counts for something, my grade will be lower. If the test is some sort of take home, or longer than four hours, my grade will be higher.

So, subjectively, to me it's luck in the sense that it doesn't appear that I can affect my outcomes based on anything that I actually do. I just take a test and get a number back.

keg411 wrote:If you talk to your professors, they will pretty much explain all of this pretty clearly, and it isn't "luck" at all.

This has been nowhere near my experience, except in the sense that they contradict each other, which supports the theory that you need to cater to the individual professor.

keg411 wrote:I actually asked one of my professors about this, and while he said some of it might be "luck", if your grades are consistent, you are likely not constantly on the margins.

Again, I think we've had different experiences, but I'd be curious to know what people who see a lot of these exams have to say about really inconsistent grades (me).


I truly believe that there are two things that separate A's from median: 1. Being able to dissect and apply the facts in a mind-numbingly, thorough way that even a first grader would get what you are saying. State the stuff that most people don't think need to be stated. Use ALL the facts! 2. Get a feel for what the prof. will want to see on the exam. Pay special attention to crap the professors harp on and make sure you memorize that stuff for exam day.

Of course there are a million other elements, but these two are HUGE. An issue checklist is also essential, fwiw.

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby Yimbeezy » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:24 pm

ITT: Law students argue over whether or not grades in law school are the product of luck without defining luck.

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Re: TLS Success in Law School Myths....DEBUNKED

Postby A'nold » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:24 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
A'nold wrote:It is the epitome of a meritocracy.


I was with you right up until there too! I think it's a bad proxy for "merit" even though, hey, we do have a metric to measure something by.

But I think I should disclose that I really really really have a problem with competitive school in the first place, just as a methodological sort of matter, so I don't think I'm unbiased about the meritocracy part either... :mrgreen:


You know what I think is actually the reason I get great grades in ls? I love competition and I LOVE to play games. I approached ls as a game from the very beginning. I am a good kind of competitor though and definitely not cocky or a poor sport. I needed to say that to strip that auto-gunner cloak that just appeared around me.... :)




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