Why do people say 1L performance is unpredictable?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Mal Reynolds
Posts: 12630
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:16 am

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

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:24 pm

My contracts professor just stacks his exams in descending order from best to worst then lets the registrar worry about it. That's pretty great.

Winter is Coming
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:51 am

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

Postby Winter is Coming » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:27 am

This thread has gotta be one of the worst of all time.

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

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

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:33 am

nah it just hasnt gotten to where its going yet.

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

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

Postby fats provolone » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:58 am

Mal Reynolds wrote:My contracts professor just stacks his exams in descending order from best to worst then lets the registrar worry about it. That's pretty great.

sounds like you need a key to the registrars office

User avatar
Monochromatic Oeuvre
Posts: 1929
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 9:40 pm

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

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:04 pm

Thread somehow went 12 pages without a "Just do Yale, bro."

AReasonableMan
Posts: 1504
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:32 pm

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

Postby AReasonableMan » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:31 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:
AReasonableMan wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I know there are definitely profs who are decent about grades/the curve/etc, but there's definitely a cadre who aren't, is all.

It depends on how you define "decent about grades." If this is giving a refusal to give a B- on a 3.3 curve then giving a B to an exam others would give a B- denies someone of an A. I'm sure you would agree that legal employment is fairly zero sum. Someone will always strikeout, not get a clerkship or not get that PI position they desperately want. Is it better to have a world where futures are decided on the basis of performance on a test or one where they're decided on someone being a little socially awkward or a little less socially awkward, or knowing what 9 iron is? Both arguments are credible, but it's not necessarily true that giving bad grades means the grader doesn't care.

If you're talking about choosing to give less than the maximum allotted curve then we're on the same page. That's pretty mean.

I mean if anything, the people that get jobs because of bullshitting and personality are the ones that will go farther.

gotta disagree there, chief. i'm sure ted bundy would have been plenty charming in thirty minutes, and success in this platform is largely based off of delivery of repeated responses/superficially conveying confidence. a random cocktail party or a group assignment with other interviewees would be more accurate of who will go the furthest.

the only evidence that the current system is best is that it's uniformly employed by every good firm, but the high rate of associates who don't make it past year 3 and profoundly low rate of associates who make partner is suggests it's far from perfect. yes, there are many other variables at play (burnout, finances, business, etc.), but while these variables may help explain the low success figures, they're hardly evidence that the current model is successful.

User avatar
ExBiglawAssociate
Posts: 2080
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

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

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:25 pm

Brady is the best QB of all time. Prove me wrong.

User avatar
BVest
Posts: 5682
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:51 pm

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

Postby BVest » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:43 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Brady is the best QB of all time. Prove me wrong.


Are we grading on a curve?

AReasonableMan
Posts: 1504
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:32 pm

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

Postby AReasonableMan » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:49 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Brady is the best QB of all time. Prove me wrong.

agreed.
Last edited by AReasonableMan on Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
dmarieb
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:28 pm

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

Postby dmarieb » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:23 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Brady is the best QB of all time. Prove me wrong.

See: Aaron Rodgers

AReasonableMan
Posts: 1504
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:32 pm

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

Postby AReasonableMan » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:27 pm

dmarieb wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Brady is the best QB of all time. Prove me wrong.

See: Aaron Rodgers

this is all time, not post 2008. you have to be old enough to appreciate how much competition brady had going for his first 3 rings. the only red mark on the brady argument is he never had an mvp year leading to a superbowl victory. in everyone of the 4 someone out shined him till the big game (see: Kurt Warner, Payton Manning 2x, Aaron Rodgers).

User avatar
dmarieb
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:28 pm

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

Postby dmarieb » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:17 pm

AReasonableMan wrote:
dmarieb wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Brady is the best QB of all time. Prove me wrong.

See: Aaron Rodgers

this is all time, not post 2008. you have to be old enough to appreciate how much competition brady had going for his first 3 rings. the only red mark on the brady argument is he never had an mvp year leading to a superbowl victory. in everyone of the 4 someone out shined him till the big game (see: Kurt Warner, Payton Manning 2x, Aaron Rodgers).

Okay, okay.. I guess I'll give you that.

El Principe
Posts: 551
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:10 am

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

Postby El Principe » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:08 pm

Honestly, if your professor gives the basic issue spotter, or even multiple choice questions to an extent, then I'm inclined to believe that there's not much luck involved. If you study hard, pay attention to detail, and are able to argue both sides for the bread & butter issues, you'll at the very least get median.

Once you have the black letter down pact and can argue virtually every issue that could arise in any insane hypo you can come up with, you start to get into "A" territory. Now getting an A+ vs. an A is probably luck depending on the curve, but unless you're trying to be the next president or recovering from terrible grades from before, idk why you'd even stress over such a difference.

Now, when the prof wants to do weird stuff like do short answer questions, or have you draft hypothetical statutes/legislation/contracts/etc., things can get iffy. All you can do is pray you don't have that professor.

User avatar
utahraptor
Posts: 3440
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:05 pm

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

Postby utahraptor » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:11 pm

El Principe wrote:Honestly, if your professor gives the basic issue spotter, or even multiple choice questions to an extent, then I'm inclined to believe that there's not much luck involved. If you study hard, pay attention to detail, and are able to argue both sides for the bread & butter issues, you'll at the very least get median.

Once you have the black letter down pact and can argue virtually every issue that could arise in any insane hypo you can come up with, you start to get into "A" territory. Now getting an A+ vs. an A is probably luck depending on the curve, but unless you're trying to be the next president or recovering from terrible grades from before, idk why you'd even stress over such a difference.

Now, when the prof wants to do weird stuff like do short answer questions, or have you draft hypothetical statutes/legislation/contracts/etc., things can get iffy. All you can do is pray you don't have that professor.

thanks for your insight after one semester

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

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

Postby chuckbass » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:15 pm

Yeah 50% of the class doesn't study hard, pay attention to detail, and argue both sides of the bread & butter issues, sure. That's totally how it works!

El Principe
Posts: 551
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:10 am

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

Postby El Principe » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:03 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:Yeah 50% of the class doesn't study hard, pay attention to detail, and argue both sides of the bread & butter issues, sure. That's totally how it works!


Fine, take that out of context as you wish, but the point still remains, there's a difference between good and bad exams; hard part is making sure you're in the former category.

Maybe some below median know the material well but just didn't write it down for some particular reason. Maybe they didn't read all of the material past a certain point. Maybe they assumed they understood a tricky point of law instead of raising their hand or going to office hours. Idk. I can't speak for everyone, but for whatever reason, they aren't putting that info on the test.

You can't seriously sit here and say there's no difference between an A and B exam. There is, & imho, the question that every law student should ask, how do I conform my response to be as close to the model answer as damn possible. Some people are geniuses and can somehow process the most rote BS your professor just threw out, and miraculously translate that into something useful for the exam. Some people read something once and don't need to go over it again. I, being a mere mortal, not being blessed with these gifts, soon realized that I have to work smarter and harder than those people in order to get those grades. You gotta do what works for you.

If you really get an average or below average grade on an exam, look at the example answer(s) to check the differences between your answers, and still sit at home and think, "damn, there was no way I possibly could have touched on some of the points that I missed like the example test-taker did," then I can't convince you otherwise.

EDIT: I mean Jesus, it's not like I got perfect grades… I'm just saying, I know why I did well in some classes versus others. I mean, I don't need to be a genius to figure it out, and it sure as hell doesn't require another semester/year to get to the same point. Regardless of what grades I get this go-around, I'll be saying the same thing until I graduate.

User avatar
utahraptor
Posts: 3440
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:05 pm

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

Postby utahraptor » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:19 pm

El Principe wrote:
scottidsntknow wrote:Yeah 50% of the class doesn't study hard, pay attention to detail, and argue both sides of the bread & butter issues, sure. That's totally how it works!


Fine, take that out of context as you wish, but the point still remains, there's a difference between good and bad exams; hard part is making sure you're in the former category.

Maybe some below median know the material well but just didn't write it down for some particular reason. Maybe they didn't read all of the material past a certain point. Maybe they assumed they understood a tricky point of law instead of raising their hand or going to office hours. Idk. I can't speak for everyone, but for whatever reason, they aren't putting that info on the test.

You can't seriously sit here and say there's no difference between an A and B exam. There is, & imho, the question that every law student should ask, how do I conform my response to be as close to the model answer as damn possible. Some people are geniuses and can somehow process the most rote BS your professor just threw out, and miraculously translate that into something useful for the exam. Some people read something once and don't need to go over it again. I, being a mere mortal, not being blessed with these gifts, soon realized that I have to work smarter and harder than those people in order to get those grades. You gotta do what works for you.

If you really get an average or below average grade on an exam, look at the example answer(s) to check the differences between your answers, and still sit at home and think, "damn, there was no way I possibly could have touched on some of the points that I missed like the example test-taker did," then I can't convince you otherwise.

the problem is that the line between a B+ exam and B exam can be very thin

I think you don't really understand how grading works at a lot of law schools, how close the curve is, &c.

You've also only taken one term of exams and are probably cocky about something that you shouldn't be cocky about (at least not yet).

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

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

Postby chuckbass » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:29 pm

El Principe wrote:
scottidsntknow wrote:Yeah 50% of the class doesn't study hard, pay attention to detail, and argue both sides of the bread & butter issues, sure. That's totally how it works!


Fine, take that out of context as you wish, but the point still remains, there's a difference between good and bad exams; hard part is making sure you're in the former category.

Maybe some below median know the material well but just didn't write it down for some particular reason. Maybe they didn't read all of the material past a certain point. Maybe they assumed they understood a tricky point of law instead of raising their hand or going to office hours. Idk. I can't speak for everyone, but for whatever reason, they aren't putting that info on the test.

You can't seriously sit here and say there's no difference between an A and B exam. There is, & imho, the question that every law student should ask, how do I conform my response to be as close to the model answer as damn possible. Some people are geniuses and can somehow process the most rote BS your professor just threw out, and miraculously translate that into something useful for the exam. Some people read something once and don't need to go over it again. I, being a mere mortal, not being blessed with these gifts, soon realized that I have to work smarter and harder than those people in order to get those grades. You gotta do what works for you.

If you really get an average or below average grade on an exam, look at the example answer(s) to check the differences between your answers, and still sit at home and think, "damn, there was no way I possibly could have touched on some of the points that I missed like the example test-taker did," then I can't convince you otherwise.

EDIT: I mean Jesus, it's not like I got perfect grades… I'm just saying, I know why I did well in some classes versus others. I mean, I don't need to be a genius to figure it out, and it sure as hell doesn't require another semester/year to get to the same point. Regardless of what grades I get this go-around, I'll be saying the same thing until I graduate.

I think what you're saying is true for the very bottom of the class, but not as true for everyone else. You really think half of your entire class doesn't know to do this?

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22806
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:31 pm

Sure there's a difference between A exams and B exams. No one has claimed there isn't (apart from the occasional staircase grading allegations). But what everyone has been saying is that any. given. student. can't. know. where. they. will. fall. This is all relative, it depends on the particular quirks of the professor writing and grading the test, and on how well you happened to read those quirks in relation to your classmates in relation to the specific question on any given test day.

And you realize not every professor actually gives sample answers, right? And that if the sample answer is an answer created by the professor it's not necessarily a very realistic model?

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

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

Postby JohannDeMann » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:41 pm

I'm actually pretty certain most of the 0ls in this forum will be below median because they keep arguing against arguments we aren't making and don't understand how a curve works. You were right 0ls,it's predictable. This thread is now ask a law graduate if you will be bottom third, median or top third. Really special posters may warrant an even more specific answer.

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

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

Postby chuckbass » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:56 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Sure there's a difference between A exams and B exams. No one has claimed there isn't (apart from the occasional staircase grading allegations). But what everyone has been saying is that any. given. student. can't. know. where. they. will. fall. This is all relative, it depends on the particular quirks of the professor writing and grading the test, and on how well you happened to read those quirks in relation to your classmates in relation to the specific question on any given test day.

And you realize not every professor actually gives sample answers, right? And that if the sample answer is an answer created by the professor it's not necessarily a very realistic model?

And honestly model answers can be pretty bad too.

User avatar
star fox
Posts: 13661
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

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

Postby star fox » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:55 am

JohannDeMann wrote:I'm actually pretty certain most of the 0ls in this forum will be below median because they keep arguing against arguments we aren't making and don't understand how a curve works. You were right 0ls,it's predictable. This thread is now ask a law graduate if you will be bottom third, median or top third. Really special posters may warrant an even more specific answer.

Nah, TLSers definitely over-perform on average.

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14396
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

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

Postby Desert Fox » Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:01 am

star fox wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:I'm actually pretty certain most of the 0ls in this forum will be below median because they keep arguing against arguments we aren't making and don't understand how a curve works. You were right 0ls,it's predictable. This thread is now ask a law graduate if you will be bottom third, median or top third. Really special posters may warrant an even more specific answer.

Nah, TLSers definitely over-perform on average.

no they don't, the bottom 10% pwnd ones just dont adverstise.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: taxman14 and 8 guests