UVA Law Students Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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5ky
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 5ky » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:17 am

albanach wrote:
Twiqbal wrote:Three more questions about 1L Spring classes:

1. What is the grade distribution like in Professional Responsibility (Hylton AND Ryan)?

2. One of the classes I am considering offers an optional paper instead of an exam. How does grading work in these scenarios? Are the papers integrated into the curve?

3. How is International Law with Deeks?


1. I don't know about PR with Hylton & Ryan, but you can look at the grade distributions in student records or the library. They really should put these online.

2. Professors have to hit a median grade, so papers have to be included in the curve against those who take exams. I think there's usually a lot of B+ grades with the few exceptional papers / exams doing better and the ones that show signs of little effort compensating with a B. You can probably establish that yourself when you check the grades for Q1.

Don't know about 3, sorry.


Yep, check the SRO or library (where the DVDs are) and you'll find books of all the grades.

The only other thing I'll add is that professors have to hit a mean GPA (3.25 to 3.35), not a median. For seminars, there's some complex formula the professors can use to raise the mean if the average student GPA in the class is so high.

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defdef
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby defdef » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:16 am

I'm a 0L UVA hopeful wondering how Shenandoah is for hiking?

also wondering about opinions on Jim Ryan

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:35 am

5ky wrote:
Yep, check the SRO or library (where the DVDs are) and you'll find books of all the grades.

The only other thing I'll add is that professors have to hit a mean GPA (3.25 to 3.35), not a median. For seminars, there's some complex formula the professors can use to raise the mean if the average student GPA in the class is so high.


Thanks for that 5ky, I should have said mean not median. Too long looking at admission stats, and you begin to think everything law school related is a median.

One thing to add is that professors can't just give the entire class a B+ to satisfy the mean, so there will always be some who score above and below. That number can, however, be pretty small.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:06 am

albanach wrote:
One thing to add is that professors can't just give the entire class a B+ to satisfy the mean, so there will always be some who score above and below.


They can and they do.

And there is in practice practically no difference between the mean and the median when it comes to GPA distributions in classes at UVA.

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:10 am

thesealocust wrote:
albanach wrote:
One thing to add is that professors can't just give the entire class a B+ to satisfy the mean, so there will always be some who score above and below.


They can and they do.

And there is in practice practically no difference between the mean and the median when it comes to GPA distributions in classes at UVA.


I've been told by at least two faculty that the computer system rejects their grades if everyone gets a B+. Urban myth amongst faculty to encourage them to curve?

What classes give everyone a B+? I might be looking to enroll in some.

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Br3v
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Br3v » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:12 am

defdef wrote:I'm a 0L UVA hopeful wondering how Shenandoah is for hiking?


Is this the wrong thread for OL questions? I've noticed they go unanswered
Last edited by Br3v on Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:27 am

Br3v wrote:
defdef wrote:I'm a 0L UVA hopeful wondering how Shenandoah is for hiking?

also wondering about opinions on Jim Ryan


Is this the wrong thread for OL questions? I've noticed they go unanswered


No, but what's the question really? I mean there's a mountain range and national park 20 miles from the school. Drive five minutes and you are in the Virginia countryside. There's hiking for anyone that's interested.

Asking the opinion of a single faculty member as a 0L seems a bit unusual. What do they want to know?

Heat
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Heat » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:33 am

defdef wrote:I'm a 0L UVA hopeful wondering how Shenandoah is for hiking?

also wondering about opinions on Jim Ryan


1. I have no idea who Jim Ryan is.

2. The outdoorsy types I know here love hiking. There is an outdoor club which seems to be really just a listserv for the purposes of inviting people on hikes. I went on a hike planned just prior to 1L year which gave me an opportunity to meet people. I know of sections where large groups of them have gone on camping trips where they hike a couple miles first. I don't know exactly what mountains any of these are because I'm terrible with geography but it is pretty clear to me that if you like to hike, there is opportunity here.

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:03 pm

thesealocust wrote:
albanach wrote:
One thing to add is that professors can't just give the entire class a B+ to satisfy the mean, so there will always be some who score above and below.


They can and they do.


Since I was in the library, I took a look at the grade distributions.

The only non-clinic, non-jag courses with a 100% B+ distribution had, I think, 4 or fewer students. Even for the J-term courses there was almost always a curve - which must suck for those who went for an easy B+ in a week and didn't get it.

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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:10 pm

albanach wrote:Since I was in the library, I took a look at the grade distributions.

The only non-clinic, non-jag courses with a 100% B+ distribution had, I think, 4 or fewer students. Even for the J-term courses there was almost always a curve - which must suck for those who went for an easy B+ in a week and didn't get it.


I'm glad to see that people are actually starting to look at the information for themselves instead of just buying into a lot of the law school hearsay. Really there are very few classes where a B+ is a given. That's one of the biggest fallacies that gets pushed around to 1Ls.

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bgdddymtty
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby bgdddymtty » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:17 pm

albanach wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
albanach wrote:
One thing to add is that professors can't just give the entire class a B+ to satisfy the mean, so there will always be some who score above and below.


They can and they do.


Since I was in the library, I took a look at the grade distributions.

The only non-clinic, non-jag courses with a 100% B+ distribution had, I think, 4 or fewer students. Even for the J-term courses there was almost always a curve - which must suck for those who went for an easy B+ in a week and didn't get it.

The J-term courses I have been in have had especially wide grade distributions. IIRC, in one course of eighteen, there were four A's and nine B's. In the other course of twelve, there were four B's and a B-.

OTOH, there is the Trial Ad College, which is pass/fail.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:49 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
albanach wrote:Since I was in the library, I took a look at the grade distributions.

The only non-clinic, non-jag courses with a 100% B+ distribution had, I think, 4 or fewer students. Even for the J-term courses there was almost always a curve - which must suck for those who went for an easy B+ in a week and didn't get it.


I'm glad to see that people are actually starting to look at the information for themselves instead of just buying into a lot of the law school hearsay. Really there are very few classes where a B+ is a given. That's one of the biggest fallacies that gets pushed around to 1Ls.


Definitely true. Even in the most B+ heavy courses (was it Abraham everyone always through around?) there were definitely still people below/above the mean and never that many fewer than in courses people considered as having "normal" curves. I remember hearing shit like "you have to teach _____ new law to get something better than a B+" as a 1L, but the historical curve charts never bore that out.

As albanach showed between small courses, clinics, and jag courses there are classes which at least can give 100% B+s (I assume they wouldn't if there were actually students doing especially better or worse than the small group) - but never the lecture courses people dismissively say "everyone" gets a B+ in.

I still think people obsess too much over curves. Whether half of law review gunning for appellate clerkships are in your class or not is relevant, but the precise/narrow historical grade distribution isn't likely to be what makes the difference for any individual student.

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seahawk32
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby seahawk32 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:07 pm

1L, wondering what the chances are I'll get into Evidence with Collins (40/80) and PR with Hylton (78/100). Do I need to do a lot of contingency planning or does that seem safe?

Still not real clear on the lottery system.

Gunna4Life
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Gunna4Life » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:09 pm

Does anyone have any old exams from Professor Rosa Brooks? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:24 pm

seahawk32 wrote:1L, wondering what the chances are I'll get into Evidence with Collins (40/80) and PR with Hylton (78/100). Do I need to do a lot of contingency planning or does that seem safe?

Still not real clear on the lottery system.


Very high. 1Ls aren't lining up for PR, and 40 slots is a lot. Put Evidence/Collins #1 on your list though.

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:39 pm

Gunna4Life wrote:Does anyone have any old exams from Professor Rosa Brooks? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks


I don't want to sound pedantic, but I would expect anyone that has such exams would have previously agreed not to share them unless they're already publicly available on laweb or in the library.

You might have more luck requesting old outlines, though you may want to include the course title.

005618502
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 005618502 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:58 pm

Anyone know anything about Persuasion for Advocates? Looks like it is a weekend class and only 7/14 so far. Weekend class. Professor is Henke

Also, Collins teaches the 3 unit Evidence, but Barzun teaches a 4 hour one. Which one do I go for? Both have about 40 spaces left.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:12 pm

Collins is one of UVA's most beloved profs. On the other hand, Barzun is fine and there are few enough 4 credit courses most people try to take them when possible (since it helps get you the credits you need with fewer total exams/papers).

005618502
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 005618502 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:29 pm

thesealocust wrote:
seahawk32 wrote:1L, wondering what the chances are I'll get into Evidence with Collins (40/80) and PR with Hylton (78/100). Do I need to do a lot of contingency planning or does that seem safe?

Still not real clear on the lottery system.


Very high. 1Ls aren't lining up for PR, and 40 slots is a lot. Put Evidence/Collins #1 on your list though.


Good or bad Idea for these 2 classes for 1Ls? I was thinking this same thing, but if PR as a 1L is a bad idea then I could find a different 2-3 hour course

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Br3v
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Br3v » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:38 pm

OL question:

Can someone explain to me the importance of "bidding" for classes or whatever it appears current students are doing? Is it to ensure the best professors? The right classes?

Thanks in advance.

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5ky
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 5ky » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:54 pm

Br3v wrote:OL question:

Can someone explain to me the importance of "bidding" for classes or whatever it appears current students are doing? Is it to ensure the best professors? The right classes?

Thanks in advance.


No, it's just a lottery to get into electives if there are more students than slots.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:19 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
seahawk32 wrote:1L, wondering what the chances are I'll get into Evidence with Collins (40/80) and PR with Hylton (78/100). Do I need to do a lot of contingency planning or does that seem safe?

Still not real clear on the lottery system.


Very high. 1Ls aren't lining up for PR, and 40 slots is a lot. Put Evidence/Collins #1 on your list though.


Good or bad Idea for these 2 classes for 1Ls? I was thinking this same thing, but if PR as a 1L is a bad idea then I could find a different 2-3 hour course


I took Cohen's PR which I would say is a fine 1L course, but I think it differes heavily and is more doctrinal than other PRs. As far as subject matter it's definitely fine.

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Br3v
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Br3v » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:08 am

5ky wrote:
Br3v wrote:OL question:

Can someone explain to me the importance of "bidding" for classes or whatever it appears current students are doing? Is it to ensure the best professors? The right classes?

Thanks in advance.


No, it's just a lottery to get into electives if there are more students than slots.


So it's just to take better electives? Is there any benefit to particular electives besides just being interested in the topic?

Gunna4Life
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Gunna4Life » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:20 am

albanach wrote:
Gunna4Life wrote:Does anyone have any old exams from Professor Rosa Brooks? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks


I don't want to sound pedantic, but I would expect anyone that has such exams would have previously agreed not to share them unless they're already publicly available on laweb or in the library.

You might have more luck requesting old outlines, though you may want to include the course title.


.
Last edited by Gunna4Life on Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:25 am

Gunna4Life wrote:
Sorry I did not clarify. Prof Brooks use to teach at UVA, and now she is at GULC. Thanks in advance!

Con Law!


That's not really my point. Most professors make past exams available via our online system, lawweb. When we download them we usually have to agree not to share them or redistribute them. To do so would be an honor violation.

I'd suggest asking your prof directly for more past exams.

There's an outline from 2007 you can find on the Virginia SBA website. That might be helpful.




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