lawschool22 wrote: despina wrote:
KaNa1986 wrote:Why does Harvard calculate overall GPA by averaging annual GPA from 1L, 2L, and 3L?
I'm assuming it's because otherwise, 1L would greatly outweigh the other years since it's so many damn credits. You take between 36 and 38 credit hours as a 1L. I took 24 my 3L year.
Not sure why they think that should matter. It seems like each credit should figure equally into the GPA. If 1L is more, so be it.
People should take Economic Analysis of Law.
It's not only equity it's incentives: If people knew 1L grades so heavily outweighed the last two years, the incentive to work hard all three years is lessened for everyone (and this would be on top of a lighter grading curve, so you could get even less participation in 2L/3L than we already have). On the other hand, because 1L is the toughest for everyone (gunners and nongunners alike), it also allows people to demonstrate at the end of law school that poor(er) 1L grades are not necessarily reflective of their overall work effort, thus incentivizing people who came out looking like bottom of class to continue working hard. I know several people who worked their asses off 1L, but consistently fell on the P-H line or right below (and we know how subjective that line is). These people then went on to make straight H's in 2L/3L--which put them up for cum laude/magna.**
A final point on the fairness factor: a family emergency, or personal issues (whatever) during 1L could take down an entire semester of grades. One messed up semester 1L would then have such a negative impact that could completely destroy chances at honors, when it wouldn't have the same effect the last two years.
**I'm actually curious, considering many don't even know how grades are calculated, whether other people in similar situations give up after 1L, thinking they're not capable of making top grades... there may be a selection bias in what sorts of people even know how honors are calculated. Regardless, even if it's just incentivizing gunners who came up short on grades 1L, there could be something to say for having some of these people still working hard 2L/3L instead of checking out like half the student body. I was consistently frustrated by how involved people were in 2L/3L. Huge difference from the Business School, where everyoneis required contribute intelligently.