After Grades - What did we learn?

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:05 pm

Snooker wrote:On our LRW papers, 1 small mistake was basically equal to an entire grade level.

I don't buy this for a second, sorry. I think you give far too much credit to the consistency with which people in a LRW class write. I would wager there's much more of a difference in writing style than you may think at this point.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:08 pm

rbgrocio wrote:I learned that I didn't get the book award I wanted and that someone who is always unprepared to class, looks like he is high all the time and does not seem to care about crap got one.

He was probably one of the few who realized that being prepared for class and being the person who looks like they have their shit together ultimately doesn't mean a damn thing when it comes to writing exams and earning grades. I've found it very interesting that some of the people you'd expect to have kicked ass did pretty well, some you'd expect to kick ass didn't at all, and some who don't say a word ever are simply all-stars.

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RVP11
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby RVP11 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:03 pm

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
rbgrocio wrote:I learned that I didn't get the book award I wanted and that someone who is always unprepared to class, looks like he is high all the time and does not seem to care about crap got one.

He was probably one of the few who realized that being prepared for class and being the person who looks like they have their shit together ultimately doesn't mean a damn thing when it comes to writing exams and earning grades.


+1

You don't earn grades by how good your cold call responses are, though there are certainly some people in my classes who seem to focus on it.

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rbgrocio
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby rbgrocio » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:57 am

JSUVA2012 wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:
rbgrocio wrote:I learned that I didn't get the book award I wanted and that someone who is always unprepared to class, looks like he is high all the time and does not seem to care about crap got one.

He was probably one of the few who realized that being prepared for class and being the person who looks like they have their shit together ultimately doesn't mean a damn thing when it comes to writing exams and earning grades.


+1

You don't earn grades by how good your cold call responses are, though there are certainly some people in my classes who seem to focus on it.



To me is not a matter of answering well or whatever... I just feel "guilty"if I don't read for class. I must say that some of the people who got the book awards really deserved them. The girls in my class who got them did a phenomenal job all semester long. The other person I was referring to is probably smarter than most of the people in my class and did what you're supposed to do, prepare for the final from day 1.

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prezidentv8
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:12 pm

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
Snooker wrote:On our LRW papers, 1 small mistake was basically equal to an entire grade level.

I don't buy this for a second, sorry. I think you give far too much credit to the consistency with which people in a LRW class write. I would wager there's much more of a difference in writing style than you may think at this point.


It's hard to tell. My LARW stuff so far has been median and above median by about a standard deviation and I had a very similar idea (read: barely any) of what I was up to both times. Just like my other grades, this one seems similarly random.

On another note, after one meeting with a professor regarding finals from last semester, I am still confused as to what makes a good answer. The answers I thought were garbage he said were around "8 or 9" on a 10 point scale, while what I thought was a great answer was a "7."

Yet again, it already seems as though I'm going to trip and stumble through law school yet turn out just fine. Huzzah! Three cheers for having no idea what you're doing!
Last edited by prezidentv8 on Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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seespotrun
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby seespotrun » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:10 pm

betasteve wrote:After grades lesson: Tight curves are scary as shit. In a class I got an A in, the different between an A (the top of the curve) and a B (median) [with A, A-, B+, B, being the spread between] was 7 raw points. This was half M/C, half essay. 7 points. 7.


:shock: 7 points. Was there a word limit on the essay portion? How many MC questions, like 10-20, or 50-80?

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:05 pm

betasteve wrote:After grades lesson: Tight curves are scary as shit. In a class I got an A in, the different between an A (the top of the curve) and a B (median) [with A, A-, B+, B, being the spread between] was 7 raw points. This was half M/C, half essay. 7 points. 7.


Wow. I have a friend who took Torts over summer session here, and he told me the grade distribution was basically 1 point for each level of letter grade around the median. It was a 15 person class or so.

So it was like:

50 - A
48 - A
40 - A-
39 - B+
38 - B
37 - B

etc etc

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edcrane
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby edcrane » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:09 pm

betasteve wrote:After grades lesson: Tight curves are scary as shit. In a class I got an A in, the different between an A (the top of the curve) and a B (median) [with A, A-, B+, B, being the spread between] was 7 raw points. This was half M/C, half essay. 7 points. 7.


Tight curves can be your enemy. This is why I favor difficult classes.

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:27 pm

edcrane wrote:
betasteve wrote:After grades lesson: Tight curves are scary as shit. In a class I got an A in, the different between an A (the top of the curve) and a B (median) [with A, A-, B+, B, being the spread between] was 7 raw points. This was half M/C, half essay. 7 points. 7.


Tight curves can be your enemy. This is why I favor difficult classes.


This.

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RVP11
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:19 pm

I definitely got curvepwned in my one ridiculously easy class (final exam was one question, a two sentence fact pattern, given three hours to complete) while I did my best in the classes a lot of people seemed to struggle with.
Last edited by RVP11 on Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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prezidentv8
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:20 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:I definitely got curvepwned in my one ridiculously easy class (final exam was one question, a two sentence fact pattern, given three hours to complete) while I did my best in the classes a lot of people seemed to be struggling with.

Apparently true for me too.

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:30 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:I definitely got curvepwned in my one ridiculously easy class (final exam was one question, a two sentence fact pattern, given three hours to complete) while I did my best in the classes a lot of people seemed to struggle with.


Yeah I think a lot of edge comes from reading fact patterns effectively and looking for nuances or "forks" as GTM calls them

Ex:

CivPro exam. Gives us a fact pattern. Question 1: D files a 12b motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. How would you rule? Question 1A: Assume for the sake of this question that the 12b motion to dismiss for lack of PJ was denied. D then files a motion for change of venue. How would you rule?

A lot of people missed that the 2nd motion was 2nd in time and thus you had waived any claim to a venue change. It's a really tricky way of testing that knowledge.

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RVP11
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:37 pm

apper123 wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:I definitely got curvepwned in my one ridiculously easy class (final exam was one question, a two sentence fact pattern, given three hours to complete) while I did my best in the classes a lot of people seemed to struggle with.


Yeah I think a lot of edge comes from reading fact patterns effectively and looking for nuances or "forks" as GTM calls them

Ex:

CivPro exam. Gives us a fact pattern. Question 1: D files a 12b motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. How would you rule? Question 1A: Assume for the sake of this question that the 12b motion to dismiss for lack of PJ was denied. D then files a motion for change of venue. How would you rule?

A lot of people missed that the 2nd motion was 2nd in time and thus you had waived any claim to a venue change. It's a really tricky way of testing that knowledge.


Saw something similar on my CivPro exam. But I never felt that the "fork" terminology or mindset was really that useful. Following every possible legal path a fact pattern could go is not legal analysis. I felt like my profs rewarded analysis that carefully identified the most likely or wisest application of the law and quickly dismissed the others or simply let them fall by the wayside. There are some obvious points where following each branch of a two- or three-pronged fork is necessary (i.e. different tests for insanity, MPC/CL/majority/minority if the prof didn't tell you which to apply, the plurality approach from Asahi vs. O'Connor's approach, etc.), but I found that most of the time you should be applying what fits best or most naturally (there will be some hints in the facts if you look closely), not exploring every possible path.

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:05 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
apper123 wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:I definitely got curvepwned in my one ridiculously easy class (final exam was one question, a two sentence fact pattern, given three hours to complete) while I did my best in the classes a lot of people seemed to struggle with.


Yeah I think a lot of edge comes from reading fact patterns effectively and looking for nuances or "forks" as GTM calls them

Ex:

CivPro exam. Gives us a fact pattern. Question 1: D files a 12b motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. How would you rule? Question 1A: Assume for the sake of this question that the 12b motion to dismiss for lack of PJ was denied. D then files a motion for change of venue. How would you rule?

A lot of people missed that the 2nd motion was 2nd in time and thus you had waived any claim to a venue change. It's a really tricky way of testing that knowledge.


Saw something similar on my CivPro exam. But I never felt that the "fork" terminology or mindset was really that useful. Following every possible legal path a fact pattern could go is not legal analysis. I felt like my profs rewarded analysis that carefully identified the most likely or wisest application of the law and quickly dismissed the others or simply let them fall by the wayside. There are some obvious points where following each branch of a two- or three-pronged fork is necessary (i.e. different tests for insanity, MPC/CL/majority/minority if the prof didn't tell you which to apply, the plurality approach from Asahi vs. O'Connor's approach, etc.), but I found that most of the time you should be applying what fits best or most naturally (there will be some hints in the facts if you look closely), not exploring every possible path.


Yeah, I agree with all this.

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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby 270910 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:36 pm

apper123 wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
Saw something similar on my CivPro exam. But I never felt that the "fork" terminology or mindset was really that useful. Following every possible legal path a fact pattern could go is not legal analysis. I felt like my profs rewarded analysis that carefully identified the most likely or wisest application of the law and quickly dismissed the others or simply let them fall by the wayside. There are some obvious points where following each branch of a two- or three-pronged fork is necessary (i.e. different tests for insanity, MPC/CL/majority/minority if the prof didn't tell you which to apply, the plurality approach from Asahi vs. O'Connor's approach, etc.), but I found that most of the time you should be applying what fits best or most naturally (there will be some hints in the facts if you look closely), not exploring every possible path.


Yeah, I agree with all this.


eh, I think its kind of oversimplifying things. In practice we might actually come pretty close to agreeing, but I feel like saying 'apply what fits best or most naturally, don't follow every possible legal path' kind of misses the point. You should follow every possible legal path, and be careful about dismissing anything too quickly. As you follow those paths, they should close themselves, if that makes any sense.

I've talked with my profs about most of my exams, and not one of them said anything about gaining or losing points for brevity (where I was concise) or length (where i was whatever the opposite of concise is). so yeah, dumping everything from your notes is bad, but exhausting the facts and exploring every possible path strikes me as wise. as long as you define 'possible' appropriately, lol

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RVP11
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:41 pm

"Exhausting the facts" and "exploring every possible path" are way more oversimplified than the approach I'm advocating.

You definitely need to explore multiple paths when a fact was intentionally made ambiguous. If you really know the BLL, you develop a sense for it.

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vanwinkle
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:42 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:You definitely need to explore multiple paths when a fact was intentionally made ambiguous. If you really know the BLL, you develop a sense for it.

This.

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:13 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:"Exhausting the facts" and "exploring every possible path" are way more oversimplified than the approach I'm advocating.

You definitely need to explore multiple paths when a fact was intentionally made ambiguous. If you really know the BLL, you develop a sense for it.


yep

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mac.empress
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby mac.empress » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:56 pm

apper123 wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:"Exhausting the facts" and "exploring every possible path" are way more oversimplified than the approach I'm advocating.

You definitely need to explore multiple paths when a fact was intentionally made ambiguous. If you really know the BLL, you develop a sense for it.


yep


+1

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sanpiero
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby sanpiero » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:57 pm

legal writing should be pass/fail

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:11 am

sanpiero wrote:legal writing should be pass/fail

I think some variant of a high pass, pass, low pass, fail system makes the most sense. It doesn't punish your GPA if you get unlucky in a top class or get screwed by a tight curve, but at the same time it still provides incentive to give at least a good faith effort on the assignment.

One of my friends got all A-s (maybe he had an A, I'm not sure, either way it was close to an A- average), likely good enough for top 10 % here, but got a B in legal writing and it dropped him in GPA pretty hard. His prof, according to everyone in his class, is pretty terrible, gives no feedback prior to the final grade and seems to grade arbitrarily with no commentary. The prof also claims to not have given above a B+ to anyone in the 12 person class last year.

My prof, on the other hand, is phenomenal. I really got lucky. Holds excellent classes, is extremely accessible outside of class, gives detailed and useful feedback and seems to grade very fairly, backing up her grading the whole way through your assignment with detailed notes explaining why points were added or deducted. She's very lawyerly about it, I guess.
Last edited by apper123 on Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

270910
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby 270910 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:16 am

apper123 wrote:
sanpiero wrote:legal writing should be pass/fail

I think some variant of a high pass, pass, low pass, fail system makes the most sense. It doesn't punish your GPA if you get unlucky in a top class or get screwed by a tight curve, but at the same time it still provides incentive to give at least a good faith effort on the assignment.

One of my friends got all A-s, likely good enough for top 10 % here, but got a B in legal writing and it dropped him in GPA pretty hard. His prof, according to everyone in his class, is pretty terrible, gives no feedback prior to the final grade and seems to grade arbitrarily with no commentary. The prof also claims to not have given above a B+ to anyone in the 12 person class last year.

My prof, on the other hand, is phenomenal. I really got lucky. Holds excellent classes, is extremely accessible outside of class, gives detailed and useful feedback and seems to grade very fairly, backing up her grading the whole way through your assignment with detailed notes explaining why points were added or deducted. She's very lawyerly about it, I guess.


I think the best way to do LRW would be to have it be a non-GPA impacting grade. Like if your school did letters, have LRW be HP/P/F. It's just too different, especially considering the sameness and curviness of other 1L classes.

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vanwinkle
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:28 am

sanpiero wrote:legal writing should be pass/fail

My legal writing is pass/fail, and while this is great for my GPA, it also means my legal writing skills are continuing to suck as I continue to not give a shit about anything more than minimal effort. A graded LRW class would've made last semester insanely more difficult, but it also would've actually made me a better writer.

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sanpiero
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby sanpiero » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:28 am

apper123 wrote:One of my friends got all A-s, likely good enough for top 10 % here, but got a B in legal writing and it dropped him in GPA pretty hard.


Am i this friend you speak of??? :lol: If not, ditto, hence my displeasure w/ the grading system

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:30 am

sanpiero wrote:
apper123 wrote:One of my friends got all A-s, likely good enough for top 10 % here, but got a B in legal writing and it dropped him in GPA pretty hard.


Am i this friend you speak of??? :lol: If not, ditto, hence my displeasure w/ the grading system


Yeah, he went from being top 10 % easy to being top 20 %. I mean at a T2 that's a pretty big difference, especially since he wants to work in the NY market. Very frustrating.




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