Taking Evidence Pass/Fail

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OutoftheWoods
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:49 pm

Taking Evidence Pass/Fail

Postby OutoftheWoods » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:30 pm

I'm thinking about clerking after graduation (rising 3l, but I want to work in practice first). Evidence is notoriously a difficult class at my school, as in its graded on a 1st year-like curve, and I dont feel like killing my gpa with a B or B+. However, will judges absolutely not give me a look if they see i took it pass/fail? I know evidence is one of the things they look for.

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bruinfan10
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Re: Taking Evidence Pass/Fail

Postby bruinfan10 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:08 am

OutoftheWoods wrote:I'm thinking about clerking after graduation (rising 3l, but I want to work in practice first). Evidence is notoriously a difficult class at my school, as in its graded on a 1st year-like curve, and I dont feel like killing my gpa with a B or B+. However, will judges absolutely not give me a look if they see i took it pass/fail? I know evidence is one of the things they look for.

No, P/F ev certainly won't rule you out. I think having a P in evidence is actually better than having not taken it for judges that care about evidence. Those are mainly d.ct judges, and even then not all (likely not even close to all) judge care about evidence.

I always used to tell my law review and legal writing mentees to take evidence and fed courts if they wanted to clerk, but that was just because to the extent judges care at all about specific classes, it'll usually be those two. But it's much more important that you keep a high GPA in doctrinals that don't scream "Law and Basketweaving" than that you ace evidence and fed courts. Unless you want SCOTUS. :lol:

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Shaggier1
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Re: Taking Evidence Pass/Fail

Postby Shaggier1 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:05 pm

Just make sure you actually learn it. You will need it during clerkship and you will need it for bar. Taking a class P/F always decreases the effort a student puts in.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Taking Evidence Pass/Fail

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:25 pm

I cited the rules of evidence like once my entire term at the district court. I don't even think most district judges care about the class.

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rpupkin
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Re: Taking Evidence Pass/Fail

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:32 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:I cited the rules of evidence like once my entire term at the district court. I don't even think most district judges care about the class.

I believe you, but I think your experience is pretty unusual for a district court clerk.

Even as a COA clerk, the rules of evidence came up about a half dozen times. They often were just one of many issues on appeal, but it seemed pretty clear that district court judges were dealing with evidentiary disputes all the time.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Taking Evidence Pass/Fail

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:01 pm

rpupkin wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:I cited the rules of evidence like once my entire term at the district court. I don't even think most district judges care about the class.

I believe you, but I think your experience is pretty unusual for a district court clerk.

Even as a COA clerk, the rules of evidence came up about a half dozen times. They often were just one of many issues on appeal, but it seemed pretty clear that district court judges were dealing with evidentiary disputes all the time.


They come up mostly in criminal stuff, and we had one criminal trial my whole term. Also the clerks weren't super involved in sentencing. In my civil opinion writing I may have mentioned hearsay a handful of times but can't remember a significant part of an opinion analyzing a rule of evidence.

adam91
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Re: Taking Evidence Pass/Fail

Postby adam91 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:36 pm

If I have top 5 percent grades from a T20 but a B+ in evidence, is that going to hurt me for district court judges or does cumulative matter more than all else?

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rpupkin
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Re: Taking Evidence Pass/Fail

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:03 pm

adam91 wrote:If I have top 5 percent grades from a T20 but a B+ in evidence, is that going to hurt me for district court judges or does cumulative matter more than all else?

Well, an A is better than a B+, but the cumulative GPA matters much more, of course.

OutoftheWoods
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:49 pm

Re: Taking Evidence Pass/Fail

Postby OutoftheWoods » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:40 pm

Thanks for the info! Also, I happened to do super well in fed courts, so maybe the judges can assume i'd do well in evidence if it was graded lol.




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