Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

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WhatWouldHolmesDo?
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby WhatWouldHolmesDo? » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:49 pm

I would also love to get more insight into what magna has been in the past few years (and it seems like the only way to do it is to know the GPAs of those who got magna).

Back in May, someone posted that they knew someone who got magna with a 3.987. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=185503

Does anyone know how HLS treats transfers' 1L grades at their previous schools in the calculation? Are they just ignored?

GertrudePerkins
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby GertrudePerkins » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:28 pm

WhatWouldHolmesDo? wrote:anyone know how HLS treats transfers' 1L grades at their previous schools in the calculation? Are they just ignored?

According to the Handbook on Academic Policies (available here (LinkRemoved)):
8. The following are not included in Latin honors calculations for any student:

a) Credit/Fail courses, including study abroad courses.

b) Cross-registration courses.

c) Clinical work or written work done in excess of the maximum credit limits.

d) Courses taken outside of Harvard Law School through a Law School joint or coordinated degree program.

e) Courses taken through the Berkeley Exchange Program or the Program for Third-Year Visits.

f) Grades earned in law school prior to matriculation to Harvard Law School.

g) "Withdrew after Deadline" (WD) notations.

hlsperson1111
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby hlsperson1111 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:53 am

If I have a 3.818 (3.54 + 3.78 + 4.13), does that make me a lock for cum laude? Any shot at magna?

WhatWouldHolmesDo?
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby WhatWouldHolmesDo? » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:43 am

hlsperson1111 wrote:If I have a 3.818 (3.54 + 3.78 + 4.13), does that make me a lock for cum laude? Any shot at magna?


Yes, you're a virtual lock for cum laude. If you were able to kick your 3L GPA up to around a 4.5 (with straight DS's?), you'd have a shot at magna, since that would get you to a 3.9. But it would only be a shot since the conventional wisdom on here is that it's somewhere between a 3.9 - 4.0 on a year-to-year basis.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby englawyer » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:42 pm

WhatWouldHolmesDo? wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:If I have a 3.818 (3.54 + 3.78 + 4.13), does that make me a lock for cum laude? Any shot at magna?


Yes, you're a virtual lock for cum laude. If you were able to kick your 3L GPA up to around a 4.5 (with straight DS's?), you'd have a shot at magna, since that would get you to a 3.9. But it would only be a shot since the conventional wisdom on here is that it's somewhere between a 3.9 - 4.0 on a year-to-year basis.


maybe virtual lock, but not full lock. a semester of straight P's would swing 3rd year to 3.55 or so which would give around 3.6 avg. 3.6 is probably borderline.

WhatWouldHolmesDo?
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby WhatWouldHolmesDo? » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:43 pm

englawyer wrote:
WhatWouldHolmesDo? wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:If I have a 3.818 (3.54 + 3.78 + 4.13), does that make me a lock for cum laude? Any shot at magna?


Yes, you're a virtual lock for cum laude. If you were able to kick your 3L GPA up to around a 4.5 (with straight DS's?), you'd have a shot at magna, since that would get you to a 3.9. But it would only be a shot since the conventional wisdom on here is that it's somewhere between a 3.9 - 4.0 on a year-to-year basis.


maybe virtual lock, but not full lock. a semester of straight P's would swing 3rd year to 3.55 or so which would give around 3.6 avg. 3.6 is probably borderline.


You're making assumptions about the poster's graded credit allocations between semesters (that they're equal), but yes 3.6 would be borderline. There was a poster over the summer who missed with a 3.56. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=187017

hlsperson1111
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby hlsperson1111 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:06 pm

WhatWouldHolmesDo? wrote:
englawyer wrote:
WhatWouldHolmesDo? wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:If I have a 3.818 (3.54 + 3.78 + 4.13), does that make me a lock for cum laude? Any shot at magna?


Yes, you're a virtual lock for cum laude. If you were able to kick your 3L GPA up to around a 4.5 (with straight DS's?), you'd have a shot at magna, since that would get you to a 3.9. But it would only be a shot since the conventional wisdom on here is that it's somewhere between a 3.9 - 4.0 on a year-to-year basis.


maybe virtual lock, but not full lock. a semester of straight P's would swing 3rd year to 3.55 or so which would give around 3.6 avg. 3.6 is probably borderline.


You're making assumptions about the poster's graded credit allocations between semesters (that they're equal), but yes 3.6 would be borderline. There was a poster over the summer who missed with a 3.56. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=187017


Two quick clarifications: (a) I misstated my fall semester GPA - it's actually a 4.25 (9 credits of H, 3 credits of DS - I think I got 4.12 by projecting my GPA outward assuming straight H's in the spring); (b) I am taking 10 credits right now and took a CR/F class during J-term, so if I got straight P's in the Spring I would still have a 3.68 for 3L year. Still a lock?

GertrudePerkins
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby GertrudePerkins » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:08 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:Two quick clarifications: (a) I misstated my fall semester GPA - it's actually a 4.25 (9 credits of H, 3 credits of DS - I think I got 4.12 by projecting my GPA outward assuming straight H's in the spring); (b) I am taking 10 credits right now and took a CR/F class during J-term, so if I got straight P's in the Spring I would still have a 3.68 for 3L year. Still a lock?

I hate to be that guy, but would any answer to this question actually lead you to change your future behavior? This line of questioning reminds me of people in my 1L section who asked professors questions about exam grading, the answers to which couldn't possibly have had any impact on how the students studied for or took the exams. Of course, maybe I'm wrong and there is some way this will impact your actions, but I tend to doubt it.

WhatWouldHolmesDo?
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby WhatWouldHolmesDo? » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:10 pm

GertrudePerkins wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:Two quick clarifications: (a) I misstated my fall semester GPA - it's actually a 4.25 (9 credits of H, 3 credits of DS - I think I got 4.12 by projecting my GPA outward assuming straight H's in the spring); (b) I am taking 10 credits right now and took a CR/F class during J-term, so if I got straight P's in the Spring I would still have a 3.68 for 3L year. Still a lock?

I hate to be that guy, but would any answer to this question actually lead you to change your future behavior? This line of questioning reminds me of people in my 1L section who asked professors questions about exam grading, the answers to which couldn't possibly have had any impact on how the students studied for or took the exams. Of course, maybe I'm wrong and there is some way this will impact your actions, but I tend to doubt it.


If I'm doing my math correctly, that would give you a 3.66 overall GPA. My sense is that's almost always cum laude, but you never know. The trend over the past couple years seems to have been toward a relaxation of the curve (meaning fewer LPs, maybe slightly more H's and DS's). If that's true, then the cut-offs for latin honors would also be incrementally rising every year and it's unclear how much you can trust previous patterns.

adam123123
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby adam123123 » Wed May 29, 2013 12:52 pm

Any sense of what the cut off was this year? I know of a 3.93 that didn't get it.

redsox4lyfe
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby redsox4lyfe » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:43 pm

adam123123 wrote:Any sense of what the cut off was this year? I know of a 3.93 that didn't get it.


I'm not entirely sure, although most of the people I know who got it were low 4s.

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EijiMiyake
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby EijiMiyake » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:37 pm

I'm not sure that cum laude is much higher than a 3.5 - someone told me that if you had approximately half Ps and half Hs, you were probably good for latin honors.

We must have a crazy distribution, though, if 3.5 and 4.0 are the boundaries for cum laude and magna, respectively.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby ph14 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:55 pm

Any class of 2013 graduates want to come back and input a data point or share any anecdotal evidence (for either cum laude or magna cum laude)? It's much appreciated as we head into the home stretch for us 3Ls. Thanks in advance!

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby BelugaWhale » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:37 pm

So since GPA is calculated by averaging the 3 yrs of law school, if someone had done well in the first semester of each yr, then it would in her/his best interest to take as few classes as possible in the spring semester right? Because each additional class taken is a chance of doing bad and thereby dropping gpa for that yr, but there is no benefit for taking more classes.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby ph14 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:00 pm

BelugaWhale wrote:So since GPA is calculated by averaging the 3 yrs of law school, if someone had done well in the first semester of each yr, then it would in her/his best interest to take as few classes as possible in the spring semester right? Because each additional class taken is a chance of doing bad and thereby dropping gpa for that yr, but there is no benefit for taking more classes.


That's definitely one way of looking at it. It lessens any volatility, at least.

hlsperson1111
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby hlsperson1111 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:55 am

ph14 wrote:Any class of 2013 graduates want to come back and input a data point or share any anecdotal evidence (for either cum laude or magna cum laude)? It's much appreciated as we head into the home stretch for us 3Ls. Thanks in advance!


3.88, cum laude

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby ph14 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:52 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:
ph14 wrote:Any class of 2013 graduates want to come back and input a data point or share any anecdotal evidence (for either cum laude or magna cum laude)? It's much appreciated as we head into the home stretch for us 3Ls. Thanks in advance!


3.88, cum laude


Thanks for sharing, this is a real valuable data point. So we know roughly that the magna cut off is indeed between 3.88 and 3.98 (though I think the two data points are from different years, so take it with a grain of salt). There is also the second-hand post about 3.93 not getting magna in this thread.

klankenburger
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby klankenburger » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:45 pm

Just wanted to bump this. Any more insight on the magna cutoff? I feel a bit lame trying to figure this out, but I'm interested in an academic career and it is therefore actually fairly important.

If all goes well, I'll graduate with a 3.96. Word on the street appears to be that the magna cutoff is between 3.93 and 4.0. Anyone have any more insight?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby ph14 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:49 pm

klankenburger wrote:Just wanted to bump this. Any more insight on the magna cutoff? I feel a bit lame trying to figure this out, but I'm interested in an academic career and it is therefore actually fairly important.

If all goes well, I'll graduate with a 3.96. Word on the street appears to be that the magna cutoff is between 3.93 and 4.0. Anyone have any more insight?


Good luck to you and either way report back. It sounds like you'll be a very important data point.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:55 pm

Not a very useful data point myself, but I had a low 3.6 something GPA, can't remember tbh, let's say 3.63. Cum laude. Someone a year ahead of me had 3.86 GPA and missed magna, only cum laude. Doesn't really shake the conventional wisdom in this thread, but I'd assume that you need at least a 3.95 most yrs to get magna and 3.6 for cum laude, though I could see 3.58 or something get cum laude in any given year. Totally varies depending on your class yr (by .1 or .2 I imagine).

As for the grades being averaged each individual year, yes, this means if you have a 3L yr where everything is CR/F only except one class where you get a DS, that means your WHOLE 3rd year is a 5.0. Pretty sick haha. I know I studied abroad one semester of 3L year and so my 3L yr GPA was essentially only based off of one semester.

klankenburger
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby klankenburger » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:58 pm

DoubleChecks, where does the 3.95 figure come from? Just an educated guess? The highest I've seen not make it so far is a 3.93 (at least this was one second-hand report here) Any other info?

klankenburger
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby klankenburger » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:10 pm

And ph14, I know it's sheer speculation, but I'd be curious to hear your best guess as to the cutoff. Trying to figure out if it's worth killing myself for one last DS.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby ph14 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:16 pm

klankenburger wrote:And ph14, I know it's sheer speculation, but I'd be curious to hear your best guess as to the cutoff. Trying to figure out if it's worth killing myself for one last DS.


I mean we have a real lack of information so any guess I make is just going to be very inaccurate. That being said, we have data points, albeit from different years, that 3.93 was cum laude (from a post on this thread), and 3.98 (3.99 rounded) was magna cum laude (see here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=185503). So it looks like a 3.96 would be really quite on the bubble.

Also, are you certain your math is correct so far? Remember that the GPA is computed for each year, then averaged together.

klankenburger
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby klankenburger » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:18 pm

Yeah, I averaged all three years together, so unless I somehow messed up, the 3.96 should be accurate. Could to know the 3.98/3.99 made it at least. Anyway, thanks for your input. I really don't like how opaque they are about it, but I guess I understand the point.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude

Postby ph14 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:21 pm

klankenburger wrote:Yeah, I averaged all three years together, so unless I somehow messed up, the 3.96 should be accurate. Could to know the 3.98/3.99 made it at least. Anyway, thanks for your input. I really don't like how opaque they are about it, but I guess I understand the point.


Good luck to you. I would like to think that 3.96 would get you magna, since I wonder how close to 4 it can be, but that's just sheer speculation. I would be curious to hear the official cut off as well.




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