Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

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Mal Reynolds
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:11 pm

schmelling wrote:
TheUnicornHunter wrote:
schmelling wrote:Also a 0L. This thread is insane so maybe someone can help me out, cause I'm just very confused.

While it seems like no amount of work can lead to a high probability of being top of the class, can those who bust their butts and take as many practice exams as possible expect to hit median or better? cause as long as I am top 50% I will be on cloud 9 next year.



median =/= top 50%


I'm not great at math, I grant you, but isn't median or better top 50% by definition?


Let's say 5 is the median and 10 is the highest number. More than 50% of students can get a 5 or above.

2 2 5 5 5 5 7 8 9 10

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby UnicornHunter » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:12 pm

schmelling wrote:
TheUnicornHunter wrote:
schmelling wrote:Also a 0L. This thread is insane so maybe someone can help me out, cause I'm just very confused.

While it seems like no amount of work can lead to a high probability of being top of the class, can those who bust their butts and take as many practice exams as possible expect to hit median or better? cause as long as I am top 50% I will be on cloud 9 next year.



median =/= top 50%


I'm not great at math, I grant you, but isn't median or better top 50% by definition?


Obviously not, and no.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median

e.g. say you have 11 people being graded on a scale from 1-10. The distribuition of grades is as follows:


1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10

Here, 8 would be the median, and having an 8 or above would put you in the top 50% (ish) of the class. But at top law schools, the distribution looks more like this:


1, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10


8 is still the median, but it only puts you in the top 70%(ish) of the class.

Kimikho
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby Kimikho » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:17 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I think there is something wrong with people who can study more than a week for a class.


muder, the most serious of crimes.

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schmelling
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Post removed.

Postby schmelling » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:23 pm

Post removed.
Last edited by schmelling on Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:25 pm

It's better for more people if median is a penumbra around the middle third of the class.

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fats provolone
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby fats provolone » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:27 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:penumbra

Image

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby UnicornHunter » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:31 pm

schmelling wrote:
Okay I didn't realize the curve was so tight.


Yea, I probably didn't need to be a dick about it. Working on a memo at 8:30 on a Saturday night= unnecessary shit poasting on my part. Like Mal said though, it works out to be a good thing... if you go to a school with placement power to get 80%+ of the class good jobs. Schools on the H/P/LP system, B+ curves or Chicago pretty much allow for a small fraction of students at the top to distinguish themselves and then make grades meaningless for a good 60-80% of the class.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:47 pm

This thread is now about funny gifs.

Image

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chuckbass
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby chuckbass » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:56 pm

Biglaw really does kill your soul if that's funny

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:03 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:Biglaw really does kill your soul if that's funny


Idek if it's funny to me. It's more like I identify with it somehow.

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ymmv
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby ymmv » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:05 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:Biglaw really does kill your soul if that's funny


Aren't you a 1L?

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Desert Fox
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby Desert Fox » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:08 pm

Even holocaust jokes don't get me to laugh. I need something darker

AReasonableMan
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby AReasonableMan » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:10 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I think there is something wrong with people who can study more than a week for a class.

i mean working at a firm does kinda change your cramming ability. you constantly get put on cases dealing with an area of law you don't know much about so learn it quickly, and figure out that (1) some respected firm published a memo explaining it and (2) any recent appellate decision is gonna talk about all the relevant stuff you need to know. law school does it in the most inefficient way possible by starting back at the beginning of time. i've had classes where i was above median without going to class pretty much altogether and learning the whole class in 7-8 hours, but it was impossible to keep the same grades without trying. honestly, the incentive structure just isn't there. in the real world there's always some incentive to try.

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chuckbass
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby chuckbass » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:15 pm

ymmv wrote:
scottidsntknow wrote:Biglaw really does kill your soul if that's funny


Aren't you a 1L?

Yes...

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby ManoftheHour » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:37 am

TheUnicornHunter wrote:
1, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10


8 is still the median, but it only puts you in the top 70%(ish) of the class.


Damn. Not gonna lie, I didn't know that. No wonder one good grade can catapult you near the top.

AReasonableMan
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby AReasonableMan » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:07 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:
TheUnicornHunter wrote:
1, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10


8 is still the median, but it only puts you in the top 70%(ish) of the class.


Damn. Not gonna lie, I didn't know that. No wonder one good grade can catapult you near the top.

ya, also for schools where over 50% get jobs human nature is to err on the side of giving 2 relatively equal exams an 8 rather than giving one 9 and one 7.

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:10 pm

AReasonableMan wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:
TheUnicornHunter wrote:
1, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10


8 is still the median, but it only puts you in the top 70%(ish) of the class.


Damn. Not gonna lie, I didn't know that. No wonder one good grade can catapult you near the top.

ya, also for schools where over 50% get jobs human nature is to err on the side of giving 2 relatively equal exams an 8 rather than giving one 9 and one 7.


Implicit Assumption: Law professors worry about their students getting jobs.

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BaberhamLincoln
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby BaberhamLincoln » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:14 pm

Kimikho wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I think there is something wrong with people who can study more than a week for a class.


muder, the most serious of crimes.


<3

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby UnicornHunter » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:29 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
AReasonableMan wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:
TheUnicornHunter wrote:
1, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10


8 is still the median, but it only puts you in the top 70%(ish) of the class.


Damn. Not gonna lie, I didn't know that. No wonder one good grade can catapult you near the top.

ya, also for schools where over 50% get jobs human nature is to err on the side of giving 2 relatively equal exams an 8 rather than giving one 9 and one 7.


Implicit Assumption: Law professors worry about their students getting jobs.


Reality: law school admins force the professors to care about this (I know of at least one T-14 that gives professors guidelines for how to allocate their grades on the curve and then recurves the grades after the profs turn them in because they had problems in the past with professors screwing people by using far more of the bottom of the curve than they had to.)

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star fox
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby star fox » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:38 pm

I took it as a given that a) professors max out the curve (one Prof. made it clear he always does) and b) if they don't have to curve, they won't. I've seen elsewhere that half of Northwestern students finish cum laude because of that.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby Desert Fox » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:42 pm

star fox wrote:I took it as a given that a) professors max out the curve (one Prof. made it clear he always does) and b) if they don't have to curve, they won't. I've seen elsewhere that half of Northwestern students finish cum laude because of that.


It isn't a given, but most do.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:51 pm

star fox wrote:I took it as a given that a) professors max out the curve (one Prof. made it clear he always does) and b) if they don't have to curve, they won't. I've seen elsewhere that half of Northwestern students finish cum laude because of that.


This is far from universally true. There are many 1L profs who grade towards the lower end of the curve. Luck of the section draw.

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pancakes3
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby pancakes3 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:57 pm

It should troubling to any 0L out there who can't come to grips with the crushing reality of a forced curve. Fats wasn't being snarky when he posted:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variance

eta: Some of the [older] profs who either dgaf or don't know appreciate how important grades are don't max out the curve - often in the name of either "you earned it or you didn't" or "it was just easier that way". Just fucking terrible.

AReasonableMan
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby AReasonableMan » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:20 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
AReasonableMan wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:
TheUnicornHunter wrote:
1, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10


8 is still the median, but it only puts you in the top 70%(ish) of the class.


Damn. Not gonna lie, I didn't know that. No wonder one good grade can catapult you near the top.

ya, also for schools where over 50% get jobs human nature is to err on the side of giving 2 relatively equal exams an 8 rather than giving one 9 and one 7.


Implicit Assumption: Law professors worry about their students getting jobs.

my assumption is not that they worry, but that they would prefer that they do. unless there is a conflict normal people prefer that those they encounter be better off because of them. also giving an A generates less stress than giving a C. you never know who is gonna be annoying enough to cry to the dean. even if you're buddy-buddy with the dean, the e-mail chain of did joe shmo deserve c takes away valuable minesweeper time.

i'm for the opposite - big curve fluctuations, lots of b-'s and lots of a's. my belief is in a weak market there's always going to be people who do ok and people who get screwed. grades are the fairest way of establishing who winds up ok and who winds up screwed. otherwise the likely result is that this is decided on the basis of socioeconomic status, appearance, disability/no disability, luck and other factors that are less based on merit. although grading doesn't = merit, it's a better indicator than is the ability to talk about golf versus basketball at an interview. i know that's kinda strawmanny, but i think the close to the same %age of students will get jobs irrespective of how grades are dished out.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:31 pm

AReasonableMan wrote:my assumption is not that they worry, but that they would prefer that they do. unless there is a conflict normal people prefer that those they encounter be better off because of them. also giving an A generates less stress than giving a C. you never know who is gonna be annoying enough to cry to the dean. even if you're buddy-buddy with the dean, the e-mail chain of did joe shmo deserve c takes away valuable minesweeper time.

Profs don't really think this way.




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