Not looking at grades.

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
ReasonableNprudent
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:12 pm

Not looking at grades.

Postby ReasonableNprudent » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:50 am

I'm thinking about not looking at grades. I realize this would make it difficult to include rank or GPA on a resume. Let's forget about this problem.

Really, I'm thinking the best strategy for me is to keep my head down, study hard and outline, do practice exams, write the exams to the best of my ability, and then just let them go without even looking at grades.

Has anyone done this?

User avatar
Clearly
Posts: 4166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby Clearly » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:06 am

ReasonableNprudent wrote:I'm thinking about not looking at grades. I realize this would make it difficult to include rank or GPA on a resume. Let's forget about this problem.

Really, I'm thinking the best strategy for me is to keep my head down, study hard and outline, do practice exams, write the exams to the best of my ability, and then just let them go without even looking at grades.

Has anyone done this?


We had a short challenge here after the first semester as to who could hold out the longest. I love the idea, the ultimate test of will. That said, I don't see the actual benefit other than a challenge, and as you pointed out eventually you're gonna need to disclose them. Are you a 1L?

User avatar
Capitol_Idea
Posts: 10724
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:54 am

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:47 am

Not sure entirely what the context is here - not looking at your grades post 1L from Fall or Spring semester?

If it's any time 2L or after - fine, you do you. Grades don't matter quite so much except around the margins (if you're gunning for latin honors or trying to avoid flunking).

For 1L though, I think it's a good idea to look at your grades reasonably soon after you get them. First, it's good to learn as quickly as possible how your efforts did or did not pay off while the classes before are still as fresh in your mind as possible. This is really more related to doing better later on if you feel the need to, which is in some conflict to my point about 2L/3L grades above.

More importantly, though, is looking at grades for OCI/hiring purposes. You'll want to figure out what firms at which you have a reasonable shot - and this means working with the grades you have. If they're not great, that sucks, but the goal of law school isn't feeling good about yourself; it's about hustling to get that jerb.

Granted, I went on the other end of the spectrum and plotted out potential grade spreads and how that would affect my chances at certain firms given our school's hiring history. This is neurotic and I don't recommend it.

User avatar
North
Posts: 4041
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:09 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby North » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:18 am

Yeah, don't do this during 1L. You actually need to know your 1L grades for job search and improvement purposes. After 1L, though, whatever.

ETA: Zack's post is on point.

User avatar
cyrilfiggis
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:35 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby cyrilfiggis » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:23 am

What exactly are u getting out of not looking at grades?

User avatar
ReasonableNprudent
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:12 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby ReasonableNprudent » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:07 pm

I'm just not really a fan of the impending circle jerk/self-flogging-fest that comes with grades being released. People are usually lined up at the graphics/printing dept on the day they come out, anxiously and eagerly waiting. For most, the anxiety isn't pacified by receiving the grade.

The necessity of grades for OCI and the value of including good grades on resumes kind of makes it impossible to pay no attention to them.

The thought of mostly disregarding grades stems from my feeling that grades don't adequately quantify or represent the gain that has been made through the course work. Basically, the point of course work is to learn how to be a lawyer. Basing the whole endeavor on a final letter grade seems inadequate, especially when the summation of the whole course is based on only one (or maybe 2) exams. Simply learning and exhaustively studying simply to be tested feels cheap. However, I don't know that there is any other way to both measure proficiency and give incentive for people to actually learn.

The fact is, though, that law school is still "school" and measurement of aptitude/proficiency/gain is necessary. Also, much of legal practice is adversarial and summated in a single win or lose outcome.

I think I was just having a late-night moment where I envisioned an ideal eutopia where law students push forward to develop their proficiency and acumen without pesky evaluation. Sort of like how Buddhist monks study/practice in a monastery towards achieving zen. But that's not how it works. Lol. Paying no attention to grades is probably a horrible strategy for success.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15515
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:12 pm

ReasonableNprudent wrote:Basically, the point of course work is to learn how to be a lawyer.

That's what they want you to believe but it hasn't been true for decades, if it ever was. Law school is about getting a credential. The vast majority of the learning comes on the job. Study to get good grades so you can get that job.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22868
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:21 pm

I'm pretty sure that the Sealocust, a former poster here, never looked at his grades after going through OCI. If you're going the biglaw route I can see getting away with that. As everyone else has said, I think you do at least have to look at 1L grades so you can plan for OCI. Personally, I couldn't have not looked because I'm too obsessive, but I also didn't go the biglaw route, so needed to look at them for clerkship and post-clerkship hiring.

objctnyrhnr
Posts: 328
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:44 am

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby objctnyrhnr » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:48 pm

ReasonableNprudent wrote:I'm just not really a fan of the impending circle jerk/self-flogging-fest that comes with grades being released. People are usually lined up at the graphics/printing dept on the day they come out, anxiously and eagerly waiting. For most, the anxiety isn't pacified by receiving the grade.

The necessity of grades for OCI and the value of including good grades on resumes kind of makes it impossible to pay no attention to them.

The thought of mostly disregarding grades stems from my feeling that grades don't adequately quantify or represent the gain that has been made through the course work. Basically, the point of course work is to learn how to be a lawyer. Basing the whole endeavor on a final letter grade seems inadequate, especially when the summation of the whole course is based on only one (or maybe 2) exams. Simply learning and exhaustively studying simply to be tested feels cheap. However, I don't know that there is any other way to both measure proficiency and give incentive for people to actually learn.

The fact is, though, that law school is still "school" and measurement of aptitude/proficiency/gain is necessary. Also, much of legal practice is adversarial and summated in a single win or lose outcome.

I think I was just having a late-night moment where I envisioned an ideal eutopia where law students push forward to develop their proficiency and acumen without pesky evaluation. Sort of like how Buddhist monks study/practice in a monastery towards achieving zen. But that's not how it works. Lol. Paying no attention to grades is probably a horrible strategy for success.


is the bolded really something you believe?

Winter is Coming
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:51 am

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby Winter is Coming » Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:42 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
ReasonableNprudent wrote:I'm just not really a fan of the impending circle jerk/self-flogging-fest that comes with grades being released. People are usually lined up at the graphics/printing dept on the day they come out, anxiously and eagerly waiting. For most, the anxiety isn't pacified by receiving the grade.

The necessity of grades for OCI and the value of including good grades on resumes kind of makes it impossible to pay no attention to them.

The thought of mostly disregarding grades stems from my feeling that grades don't adequately quantify or represent the gain that has been made through the course work. Basically, the point of course work is to learn how to be a lawyer. Basing the whole endeavor on a final letter grade seems inadequate, especially when the summation of the whole course is based on only one (or maybe 2) exams. Simply learning and exhaustively studying simply to be tested feels cheap. However, I don't know that there is any other way to both measure proficiency and give incentive for people to actually learn.

The fact is, though, that law school is still "school" and measurement of aptitude/proficiency/gain is necessary. Also, much of legal practice is adversarial and summated in a single win or lose outcome.

I think I was just having a late-night moment where I envisioned an ideal eutopia where law students push forward to develop their proficiency and acumen without pesky evaluation. Sort of like how Buddhist monks study/practice in a monastery towards achieving zen. But that's not how it works. Lol. Paying no attention to grades is probably a horrible strategy for success.


is the bolded really something you believe?


Haha yeah I mean I've heard classes are supposed to teach you how to "think" like a lawyer, but even Professors dropped the idea class teaches how to be a lawyer a while ago for the most part.

User avatar
Ohiobumpkin
Posts: 465
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:50 am

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:48 pm

zacharus85 wrote:Not sure entirely what the context is here - not looking at your grades post 1L from Fall or Spring semester?

If it's any time 2L or after - fine, you do you. Grades don't matter quite so much except around the margins (if you're gunning for latin honors or trying to avoid flunking).

For 1L though, I think it's a good idea to look at your grades reasonably soon after you get them. First, it's good to learn as quickly as possible how your efforts did or did not pay off while the classes before are still as fresh in your mind as possible. This is really more related to doing better later on if you feel the need to, which is in some conflict to my point about 2L/3L grades above.

More importantly, though, is looking at grades for OCI/hiring purposes. You'll want to figure out what firms at which you have a reasonable shot - and this means working with the grades you have. If they're not great, that sucks, but the goal of law school isn't feeling good about yourself; it's about hustling to get that jerb.

Granted, I went on the other end of the spectrum and plotted out potential grade spreads and how that would affect my chances at certain firms given our school's hiring history. This is neurotic and I don't recommend it.


+1

User avatar
bearsfan23
Posts: 1529
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby bearsfan23 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:11 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I'm pretty sure that the Sealocust, a former poster here, never looked at his grades after going through OCI. If you're going the biglaw route I can see getting away with that. As everyone else has said, I think you do at least have to look at 1L grades so you can plan for OCI. Personally, I couldn't have not looked because I'm too obsessive, but I also didn't go the biglaw route, so needed to look at them for clerkship and post-clerkship hiring.


Umm, you do realize TSL was ranked like 2nd in his class after 1L, and might have been the smartest poster we've had here. He didn't look at grades because he knew he was killing it in law school.

For the vast majority of law students who are at/around median, TSL's experience doesn't apply (Biglaw or not).

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22868
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:48 pm

bearsfan23 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I'm pretty sure that the Sealocust, a former poster here, never looked at his grades after going through OCI. If you're going the biglaw route I can see getting away with that. As everyone else has said, I think you do at least have to look at 1L grades so you can plan for OCI. Personally, I couldn't have not looked because I'm too obsessive, but I also didn't go the biglaw route, so needed to look at them for clerkship and post-clerkship hiring.


Umm, you do realize TSL was ranked like 2nd in his class after 1L, and might have been the smartest poster we've had here. He didn't look at grades because he knew he was killing it in law school.

For the vast majority of law students who are at/around median, TSL's experience doesn't apply (Biglaw or not).

Since when does knowing you're doing well stop most people from caring about grades? I also never said the OP should imitate TSL - he just asked if anyone had done this, and I gave an example of someone who had.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15515
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:51 pm

It worked for TSL because he went to a 100% firm and didn't care about clerking. That applies to a lot of people.

User avatar
chuckbass
Posts: 9957
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:29 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby chuckbass » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:54 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:It worked for TSL because he went to a 100% firm and didn't care about clerking. That applies to a lot of people.

Even then I'd just check out of curiosity after spending X amount of money and 3 years towards the degree.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15515
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:02 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:It worked for TSL because he went to a 100% firm and didn't care about clerking. That applies to a lot of people.

Even then I'd just check out of curiosity after spending X amount of money and 3 years towards the degree.

We all check dude. Don't know how he did it

User avatar
star fox
Posts: 13806
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby star fox » Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:59 am

I bet the dude totally checked.

User avatar
DELG
Posts: 2936
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 7:15 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby DELG » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:34 am

bearsfan23 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I'm pretty sure that the Sealocust, a former poster here, never looked at his grades after going through OCI. If you're going the biglaw route I can see getting away with that. As everyone else has said, I think you do at least have to look at 1L grades so you can plan for OCI. Personally, I couldn't have not looked because I'm too obsessive, but I also didn't go the biglaw route, so needed to look at them for clerkship and post-clerkship hiring.


Umm, you do realize TSL was ranked like 2nd in his class after 1L, and might have been the smartest poster we've had here. He didn't look at grades because he knew he was killing it in law school.

For the vast majority of law students who are at/around median, TSL's experience doesn't apply (Biglaw or not).

TSL is a great guy who I respect a lot but come on. Even if law school grade success is our metric, which it definitely shouldn't be, for so many reasons, we had a prolific SCOTUS clerk, and many other people who were in the top few people in their class.

User avatar
DELG
Posts: 2936
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 7:15 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby DELG » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:35 am

A better argument for "TSL is TLS's best and brightest": how many other highly ranked schmucks already escaped biglaw?

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7669
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:42 am

I had a friend who never, ever looked at his grades. This ended up being a problem because he failed a course 3L fall (I don't know how you manage to fail at a school that doesn't give real grades but he is special). He didn't know he failed it until the end of spring semester when the registrar told him he didn't have enough credits to graduate.

Don't be like my friend. Look at your grades.

User avatar
ReasonableNprudent
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:12 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby ReasonableNprudent » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:38 am

worldtraveler wrote:I had a friend who never, ever looked at his grades. This ended up being a problem because he failed a course 3L fall (I don't know how you manage to fail at a school that doesn't give real grades but he is special). He didn't know he failed it until the end of spring semester when the registrar told him he didn't have enough credits to graduate.

Don't be like my friend. Look at your grades.


Ah. The best reason to look at grades.

User avatar
chuckbass
Posts: 9957
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:29 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby chuckbass » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:55 am

ReasonableNprudent wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:I had a friend who never, ever looked at his grades. This ended up being a problem because he failed a course 3L fall (I don't know how you manage to fail at a school that doesn't give real grades but he is special). He didn't know he failed it until the end of spring semester when the registrar told him he didn't have enough credits to graduate.

Don't be like my friend. Look at your grades.


Ah. The best reason to look at grades.

Also most things I've applied to for 1L summer at least require a transcript, so I don't really see how you'd download, save, and send that without looking at it.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby ph14 » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:56 am

I think it's like pulling off a bandaid: do it quickly and get it over with.

TheOnePercent
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:22 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby TheOnePercent » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:16 pm

Why wouldn't you look? Past performance will dictate if you need to change your approach (study differently, review exams w/ profs, etc.) going forward.

Sounds pointless.

User avatar
sd5289
Posts: 1624
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Not looking at grades.

Postby sd5289 » Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:56 pm

worldtraveler wrote:I had a friend who never, ever looked at his grades. This ended up being a problem because he failed a course 3L fall (I don't know how you manage to fail at a school that doesn't give real grades but he is special). He didn't know he failed it until the end of spring semester when the registrar told him he didn't have enough credits to graduate.


I was hired last semester, and this is actually the primary reason I checked my fall 3L grades when they came out (because my fucks given = close to 0 once I got that offer). I was far more concerned about 1L grades (as those actually matter) than I am now. Now it's just making sure I hit the number of credits necessary to graduate.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BigLawer, lizaregina, splitterfromhell, Stubbazubba, TheSpanishMain and 10 guests