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 Post subject: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:37 pm 
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I am trying to get a sense for how much a law prof would penalize your final grade based solely on in-class performance/personal feelings.

I ask because I've had a fairly poor relationship with my torts prof all month, and in an aspie moment really antagonized her just now. I don't want to get into too much detail, but let's just say that during an extended, worst-of-the-month coldcall, we both got pretty autistic. I obviously have way more to lose and should have just sucked it up, but what can I say? A month of irritation plus what I felt was a great injustice got the better of me. I went to her office about an hour after class and tried to patch things up by smiling a lot and asking a question about material unrelated to the unpleasantness, but whereas the last couple of times I went to her office she was mostly accommodating, this time she flatly said that she wasn't here to answer stuff that I "should already know" and suggested that I ask some classmates who all seem to get it better than I do. (Actually, I knew the answer, I just didn't want to leave it as badly as we left it in the class.) I asked if she wanted me to shut the door as I was leaving, and she flatly said 'yes.' I said "have a nice day; see you tomorrow" when I left and she didn't say anything. :/

Now I have read on here many times that your grade is just the final, which is done by a rubric/checklist and the final is graded blindly. And that sounds pretty good, like it's turning an essay exam into more like a scantron, and that makes me feel better, but really, how do you know? It's not like you can challenge a grade later by like getting some other torts prof to read your paper and someone else's or something? Seems like they can give you whatever grades they want with impunity.

Anyway, I don't want to get into a debate about whether or not she actually does dislike me now, facts for the determination of which I haven't given you, let's just assume that she does for these questions:

1) How objective are the final exam grades? How do you know?
2) Has anyone really antagonized a prof and still gotten a better-than-expected grade?
3) Do I need to spend the next 3 months smooching butt and preparing for cold calls--this prof particularly likes to get into procedural history, subjective policy discussions, "feelings," and supplementary stuff.
:(

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:41 pm 
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Location: nice set of hooters u got there
uh grading is blind at like every law school, ever

Go ahead and be a dick


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:43 pm 
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Eh, some profs reserve the right to bump or ding grades by up to half a letter. My crimlaw prof says he only bumps, never dings.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:45 pm 
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McAvoy wrote:
uh grading is blind at like every law school, ever

Go ahead and be a dick


Caveat to this is that some profs will make class participation a (usually small) component of your grade. Hopefully, though, you can find out your prof's policy. Every prof I had who did this was entirely open about it.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:50 pm 
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Emma. wrote:

Caveat to this is that some profs will make class participation a (usually small) component of your grade. Hopefully, though, you can find out your prof's policy. Every prof I had who did this was entirely open about it.


Just checked the syllabus. Only has one vague line about "adjusting your grade up or down based on class participation." Doesn't say how much or just what "participation" entails. (Attendance? Raising hand? Always agreeing?) Not sure I can go ask about this now. :/


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:54 pm 
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It's not worth freaking out over as long as you didn't do something rash (but hard to know without further detail). All exams are blind graded and participation is basically just showing up and very occasionally asking questions/answering cold calls/etc.


Last edited by jj1990 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:56 pm 
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I am dying to know just *how* badly this cold call went.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:00 pm 
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Location: nice set of hooters u got there
yeah please post more details then edit out later, we won't quote.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:15 pm 
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I think instead of going to her office to ask irrelevant questions, wasting her time, you should have gone and said largely what you said to start out this post (minus references to autism). Something like "I'm not proud of how I acted in class and I wanted to apologize." It's not too late to do this. Wait a few days and give it a shot.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:03 pm 
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brazleton wrote:
I think instead of going to her office to ask irrelevant questions, wasting her time, you should have gone and said largely what you said to start out this post (minus references to autism). Something like "I'm not proud of how I acted in class and I wanted to apologize." It's not too late to do this. Wait a few days and give it a shot.


I typed a couple paragraphs of details, but you know what, it's just not relevant. Take my word that that ship has sailed.

Anyway, I have good relationships with all the other profs. This just got me wondering about how much the average prof would bone a student for pissing them off. I was hoping some people would say "I thought my xxx prof hated me, but I ended up booking it!" or something like that. Aside from that, I'll be on my best behavior and I'll let you know how it turns out in 3 months.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:12 pm 
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Profs grade blind. Bumping down is likely to happen (if at all) for failure to do the work, not just disagreeing with a prof. But seriously I think you're overreacting, or you were really incredibly awful/rude, or you were really unprepared. I've been a prof and putting up with annoying students is part of the job. Profs don't take it out on students for disagreeing, just for not doing work/doing really bad work (in which case it's a grade your earned).

Also, it's possible to fix/improve a relationship over the rest of the semester.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:52 pm 
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Scuppers wrote:
I was hoping some people would say "I thought my xxx prof hated me, but I ended up booking it!" or something like that.


You're not getting it -- when you have one exam that is almost 100% of your grade that is graded anonymously so the professor has literally no clue who Number 4652 is, it is completely feasible to get the top grade in the class, and equally feasible to get the bottom grade in the class.

suggestion: work "fuck her right in the pussy" into every cold call from here on out.

e.g: In Walker-Thomas, D provided P a standard adhesion contract with a cross-collateralization clause that fucked her right in the pussy because of the debt obligation.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:32 am 
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You're assuming a prof aware of the importance of 1L grades wants to be responsible for who gets a job and who does not based on his/her subjective whims.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:13 pm 
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I'm gonna have to go ahead and... disagree with everyone here.

The prof may be able to figure out who wrote the exam based on your style. If so, there's a chance they ding your ass for it.

You should absolutely go make amends. Apologize.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:42 pm 
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I have an observation - I never, ever seem to get into fights with people. My sister, however, often has a new great story about a time she was wronged and got into it with someone who was a total asshole to her and totally deserved to get yelled at. And when I hear that story, I think to myself - why does this always happen to you, yet never to me?

Anyways, try not to antagonize those with power over you.

You mention you tried going to office hours after your incident and got a cold reception. No shit - you didn't go to apologize, in fact you were being passive aggressive, asking mundane questions that you already knew the answer to. Why? How would that help anything? That's manipulative, transparent, and aggressive. Smiling a lot at someone you just got into a fight with??? Do you not see the inherent aggression there? Your first words should have been "I'd like to apologize for today, the stress of law school got the better of me." And then if you followed that up with a REAL QUESTION you ACTUALLY CARED ABOUT, maybe the prof would have accepted the apology.

Yes, you should prepare for class - don't kiss ass, just be as prepared as your peers. Its weird to me you are asking if you should prepare really hard in order to make the professor like you. You should just prepare hard for the sake of learning the material.

A heartfelt apology could be appropriate if you really wronged the prof - but something tells me you wouldn't be apologizing from the heart, but rather fear of getting a bad grade (after all, you were subjected to a "great injustice").

Grading is blind, but profs can modify grades based on "participation." But if that's not in your syllabus, it won't happen (or at least, it shouldn't).

And as for the prof figuring out who you are based on "style" - highly doubtful, and even more so if this is a typical torts class where your only work product you ever submit for grading is the final.

And maybe consider checking that attitude at the door and consider, perhaps, that it isn't normal to get into verbal fights with people so severe it pisses them off.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:19 pm 
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Yeah, seriously OP, just go apologize like a normal adult human being with some semblance of social skills and tact. And be less obnoxious in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:03 pm 
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JJ123 wrote:
I'm gonna have to go ahead and... disagree with everyone here.

The prof may be able to figure out who wrote the exam based on your style. If so, there's a chance they ding your ass for it.

You should absolutely go make amends. Apologize.

I doubt this would happen, but you should apologize regardless.

Professors are human. Grading is blind but if you write an exam in a way that complements the professor and make jokes that show you get their sense of humor, you get boosted up. If you make fun of them or sound like an asshole based off your writing, you get graded down. It's not a computer grading, and you can use this to your advantage.

Also, by definition, if people get boosted up based on class participation, people get bumped down. It's curved. The boost isn't inflation.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:01 am 
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JJ123 wrote:
I'm gonna have to go ahead and... disagree with everyone here.

The prof may be able to figure out who wrote the exam based on your style. If so, there's a chance they ding your ass for it.

You should absolutely go make amends. Apologize.


Not only improbable, but damn, I feel bad for that poor SOB whom the prof mistakes for you in your imaginary situation.


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 Post subject: Re: How subjective are 1L grades?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:32 pm
Posts: 60
Some things that should have been mentioned:

1.) It is unlikely closing the door had anything to do with you. Regardless of what job you wind up in, you can't read into situations like that. Even if they hated you, the door would have nothing to do with it. You're giving yourself too much credit. She may have been busy.

2.) There's little link b/w disrespecting the professor, and being interested in the material they teach for a graded exam.

3.) You could send a written apology.

4.) Law professors tend to be reasonable. They likely realize that dinging you because you disrespected them is too heavy a punishment given the weight of 1L grades.

5.) If you show on your exam that you truly expect them through referencing thoughts they shared in class it's likely they will recognize you simply had a bad day.


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