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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bertstare
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby bertstare » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:48 pm

BruceWayne wrote:blah blah blah pretentious whining "Hey wanna go max bench 135 at North grounds before the softball tournament?!"


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Twiqbal
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Twiqbal » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:20 pm

After taking one exam, I now realize it is nearly impossible to judge one's performance post-exam. Since length is about all I have to go by, do any of the 2Ls and 3Ls find a strong correlation between long exams and higher grades? The PAs tend to say that length doesn't matter, but I'm not sure I trust them.

Related-- what is an average length for a 3 hr. exam? What about a 4 hr. exam?

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dailygrind
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby dailygrind » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:47 pm

My correlation's been pretty loose in the past. Thinking about this sort of thing will drive you nuts. Better to focus on the next exam.

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jawsthegreat
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby jawsthegreat » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:47 pm

Twiqbal wrote:After taking one exam, I now realize it is nearly impossible to judge one's performance post-exam. Since length is about all I have to go by, do any of the 2Ls and 3Ls find a strong correlation between long exams and higher grades? The PAs tend to say that length doesn't matter, but I'm not sure I trust them.

Related-- what is an average length for a 3 hr. exam? What about a 4 hr. exam?


Individually, they're right, it doesn't matter. However, in my opinion there is an overall correlation between length of exam and your score. If you have more to say (provided you're on point) you're simply going to have more opportunities to score points. It's very simple. That said, I know several people with great grades, who don't write more than 8-9 pages per 3 hour exam, so it's not a hard rule.

Just focus on your next exam and forget it, there's nothing you can do about it now.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:22 am

Twiqbal wrote:After taking one exam, I now realize it is nearly impossible to judge one's performance post-exam. Since length is about all I have to go by, do any of the 2Ls and 3Ls find a strong correlation between long exams and higher grades? The PAs tend to say that length doesn't matter, but I'm not sure I trust them.

Related-- what is an average length for a 3 hr. exam? What about a 4 hr. exam?


Length doesn't matter. Stop worrying or talking about it. It will just make you anxious.

Heat
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Heat » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:16 am

Twiqbal wrote:After taking one exam, I now realize it is nearly impossible to judge one's performance post-exam. Since length is about all I have to go by, do any of the 2Ls and 3Ls find a strong correlation between long exams and higher grades? The PAs tend to say that length doesn't matter, but I'm not sure I trust them.

Related-- what is an average length for a 3 hr. exam? What about a 4 hr. exam?


I don't agree with the others that length doesn't matter. Certain Professors want short exams with strong conclusions and some clearly give you a benefit for being able to stuff as many points in as possible. However, chances are you can't switch between exam styles and you just have to take it the way you take exams. As a 1L not much you can do. The one thing you can do is after seeing your grades for the semester use the add/drop for your electives and try to figure out which type of exam suits you best and which Professors use that kind of exam.

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chem
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby chem » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:53 pm

So being a research assistant... easy to get? How much do they usually pay? I know its by the hour usually, so how many hours can you realistically put in over the summer?

Just trying to crunch some numbers

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:44 pm

chem wrote:So being a research assistant... easy to get? How much do they usually pay? I know its by the hour usually, so how many hours can you realistically put in over the summer?

Just trying to crunch some numbers


Very easy / nearly guaranteed, something in the minimum wage ballpark (maybe up to $15/hour?). Not sure about the number of hours, but it's usually fairly relaxed.

DocT
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby DocT » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:43 pm

Current hourly rate is $11. School will take out tax, etc.

Supposedly, you can't report more than 80 hours a pay period (never tried though) for legal reasons. It's all self-reported through electronic time sheets and does require prof approval, so make of that what you will. Although there are exceptions, you usually don't work so closely with your prof that you need to be at the law school keeping regular hours.

The main limit on how much you can earn will be what the prof can afford to pay as the money comes out of their research budgets. Some profs may only be able to guarantee a certain number of hours or a certain number of weeks, while others have a rollover every year.

005618502
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 005618502 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:06 pm

Have now talked to 4 2Ls who are well below median (multiple B-s 1L) yet all 4 had biglaw lined up. I am yet to meet someone without a job lined up. (I am not saying they dont exist, and I know the ones openly talking about being at the bottom are likely those who have jobs line up and not those that dont) but do you guys all feel things are getting better here?

turkeysub
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby turkeysub » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:51 pm

2L bored of studying here, so I'll add my 2 cents:

Exams are important, but all the pieces matter. What I’ve noticed is you can get a job or miss out on a job from all but the very ends of the spectrum. However, the lower your GPA is, the more you’re going to have to start answering yes to some of these questions:

Are you diversity fair eligible? Are you IP eligible? Do you have ties to markets other than NYC and DC? If yes, did you spend 1L summer building connections in those markets? Do you have professional prior work experience? Have you put in a lot of interview prep with career services to find a coherent way to sell yourself? Did you bid realistically? Did you mass-mail all firms in all cities you have reasonable ties to and contact alumni at those firms? Are you someone that’s naturally charismatic and confident? (i.e. can you pick up a member of the opposite sex easily at a bar?)

Some of these things, exams, and ultimate employment outcomes are hard to really control. The whole process is somewhat of a shitshow. But make sure you use the time you have before OGI to do as much as you can to help yourself.

Heat
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Heat » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:17 am

AssumptionRequired wrote:Have now talked to 4 2Ls who are well below median (multiple B-s 1L) yet all 4 had biglaw lined up. I am yet to meet someone without a job lined up. (I am not saying they dont exist, and I know the ones openly talking about being at the bottom are likely those who have jobs line up and not those that dont) but do you guys all feel things are getting better here?


It's self selection. People that don't have jobs don't talk about the fact they don't have jobs. The groups of 2Ls you talk to know which of their friends don't have jobs and try not to bring up summer employment in front of them. Plenty of people with good GPAs and good people skills still don't have jobs. Plenty of people with bad GPAs and good people skills do have jobs.

If your asking are more jobs being given out then in previous years? I have no idea. Are you asking is there still significant unemployment? Yep.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby plenipotentiary » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:55 am

I think things were better this year, but that doesn't mean things are good, and it doesn't mean things won't be worse next year.

Nothing is guaranteed. No one owes you anything. Hustle.

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pjo
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby pjo » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:50 am

In other news...

I'm selling a few books. I'm posting now in case 1Ls want to pick them up before break rather than the first day of class (when I get back).

Here is what I have:
-Property Casebook with NO highlighting/marks at all (this is the one you'll need if you have Schragger. It's loose leaf though, so it's in a plastic binder)
-Property E&E (If you buy the casebook above, I'll give you this)
-Cherminsky's Con Law Supplement
-Emmanuel Supplement for Environmental Law (This is by and large the best supp if you're taking Enviro with Cannon)
-Constitutional Law Case Book w/ fair amount of highlighting, marks. I'll throw in the 2011 supplement to this book which I'd imagine is identical to the 2012 supplement (This is the casebook you'll need if you have Martin, Driver or Nachbar)

PM me if interested.

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jawsthegreat
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby jawsthegreat » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Heat wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:Have now talked to 4 2Ls who are well below median (multiple B-s 1L) yet all 4 had biglaw lined up. I am yet to meet someone without a job lined up. (I am not saying they dont exist, and I know the ones openly talking about being at the bottom are likely those who have jobs line up and not those that dont) but do you guys all feel things are getting better here?


It's self selection. People that don't have jobs don't talk about the fact they don't have jobs. The groups of 2Ls you talk to know which of their friends don't have jobs and try not to bring up summer employment in front of them. Plenty of people with good GPAs and good people skills still don't have jobs. Plenty of people with bad GPAs and good people skills do have jobs.

If your asking are more jobs being given out then in previous years? I have no idea. Are you asking is there still significant unemployment? Yep.


Define "good GPAs"

005618502
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 005618502 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:38 pm

jawsthegreat wrote:
Heat wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:Have now talked to 4 2Ls who are well below median (multiple B-s 1L) yet all 4 had biglaw lined up. I am yet to meet someone without a job lined up. (I am not saying they dont exist, and I know the ones openly talking about being at the bottom are likely those who have jobs line up and not those that dont) but do you guys all feel things are getting better here?


It's self selection. People that don't have jobs don't talk about the fact they don't have jobs. The groups of 2Ls you talk to know which of their friends don't have jobs and try not to bring up summer employment in front of them. Plenty of people with good GPAs and good people skills still don't have jobs. Plenty of people with bad GPAs and good people skills do have jobs.

If your asking are more jobs being given out then in previous years? I have no idea. Are you asking is there still significant unemployment? Yep.


Define "good GPAs"


above median? lol

uvalol
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby uvalol » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:08 am

1L here, took my Contracts exam today and I am a little concerned.

Without mentioning my professor's name (though I will say that it's not Mahoney, who I understand places somewhat of a pseudo-page limit on his exams) -- over the course of the semester, my professor has indicated the value he/she places on writing shorter exams and only discussing really relevant issues. Though the professor didn't really say we would be penalized for writing about non-issues, I can't help but wonder whether or not they might take off points if we did at length.

The reason I'm concerned is because I wrote 26 pages, which, from speaking with a few classmates, is much more than anyone else seems to have written. It's not quite a full 26 pages, as I did extensively use headings and subheadings (standard double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font), but it was still pretty long.

Here's the thing -- I finished the exam with time to spare, and I read over my answer. Although I obviously can't say whether or not I accurately spotted the issues, I think I did a fair job spotting them, applying the law, comparing them to other cases, etc. I often did bring up a non-issue, but would spend just a few sentences explaining why I thought they weren't issues.


From my limited experience writing exams, I have noticed that I seem to slip into a sort of stream of consciousness type thing after I outline my answer. I guess a secondary question would be whether I should generally try to avoid this habit on exams.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:21 am

uvalol wrote:1L here, took my Contracts exam today and I am a little concerned.

Without mentioning my professor's name (though I will say that it's not Mahoney, who I understand places somewhat of a pseudo-page limit on his exams) -- over the course of the semester, my professor has indicated the value he/she places on writing shorter exams and only discussing really relevant issues. Though the professor didn't really say we would be penalized for writing about non-issues, I can't help but wonder whether or not they might take off points if we did at length.

The reason I'm concerned is because I wrote 26 pages, which, from speaking with a few classmates, is much more than anyone else seems to have written. It's not quite a full 26 pages, as I did extensively use headings and subheadings (standard double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font), but it was still pretty long.

Here's the thing -- I finished the exam with time to spare, and I read over my answer. Although I obviously can't say whether or not I accurately spotted the issues, I think I did a fair job spotting them, applying the law, comparing them to other cases, etc. I often did bring up a non-issue, but would spend just a few sentences explaining why I thought they weren't issues.


From my limited experience writing exams, I have noticed that I seem to slip into a sort of stream of consciousness type thing after I outline my answer. I guess a secondary question would be whether I should generally try to avoid this habit on exams.


STOP WORRYING ABOUT HOW LONG YOUR EXAM IS

And holy jesus fuck stop talking about it with other people.

Calm. Down.

uvalol
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby uvalol » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:27 am

thesealocust wrote:
STOP WORRYING ABOUT HOW LONG YOUR EXAM IS

And holy jesus fuck stop talking about it with other people.

Calm. Down.


Thanks for (not) answering my question. I do wanna clarify that I didn't tell anyone else my exam length. I overheard several people talking, and two of my better friends in my section told me how much they wrote. I thought the more appropriate way to ask would be anonymously.

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bluecrab5448
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby bluecrab5448 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:33 am

uvalol wrote:1L here, took my Contracts exam today and I am a little concerned.

Without mentioning my professor's name (though I will say that it's not Mahoney, who I understand places somewhat of a pseudo-page limit on his exams) -- over the course of the semester, my professor has indicated the value he/she places on writing shorter exams and only discussing really relevant issues. Though the professor didn't really say we would be penalized for writing about non-issues, I can't help but wonder whether or not they might take off points if we did at length.

The reason I'm concerned is because I wrote 26 pages, which, from speaking with a few classmates, is much more than anyone else seems to have written. It's not quite a full 26 pages, as I did extensively use headings and subheadings (standard double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font), but it was still pretty long.

Here's the thing -- I finished the exam with time to spare, and I read over my answer. Although I obviously can't say whether or not I accurately spotted the issues, I think I did a fair job spotting them, applying the law, comparing them to other cases, etc. I often did bring up a non-issue, but would spend just a few sentences explaining why I thought they weren't issues.


From my limited experience writing exams, I have noticed that I seem to slip into a sort of stream of consciousness type thing after I outline my answer. I guess a secondary question would be whether I should generally try to avoid this habit on exams.

2L here. I have the same habit of just word vomiting once I hit my stride, and as long as I try to make sure each sentence links up in some relevant way to the overall issue, I haven't had a problem. But if your professor has expressed a clear preference for shorter concise exams, I'd definitely be wary of verbal diarrhea.

As for the question of longer exams, I think the general rule - the more you write, the more issues you're likely to hit - holds true, but keep in mind that some, if not most, professors use some sort of checklist of issues that they're expecting to see. If you've nabbed an issue, maybe some extra analysis will blow them away, but at the end of the day, it's still more material for them to wade through to get to the next issue you picked up on.

Honestly, professor grading is an annoying, obnoxious black box. I once had a professor say, with a straight face, that one issue, albeit a pretty big one, separated an A from a B-. Try not to think about Contracts and Torts, and focus on Civ Pro.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:39 am

A professor once wrote a blog post where he ran a statistical analysis on his exams - length vs. grade. The result was that abnormally short exams were more likely to get poor grades, but other than the shortest 10-20% of exams there was no correlation. So there's a mathematical answer: as long as your exam isn't freakishly short, you have nothing to worry or be hopeful of with respect to length.

Chillllllllll.

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jawsthegreat
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby jawsthegreat » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:38 am

26 pages in 3 hours? you must type hella-fast

StanleyF
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby StanleyF » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:08 pm

This short exam/long exam question comes up every semester. As a 3L, I have never noticed a correlation between exam length and grade. In fact, I didn't even bother to consider a possible relationship until people started asking about it in this thread, so I went back and looked at my old exams. I found no connection. My shortest exam got the second-highest grade I've received in law school. My longest exam tied that grade.

I have never devised a reliable way to predict my performance on exams. Only once have I walked out of an exam absolutely certain that I aced it. It turned out to be my lowest grade in law school.

The best advice I can give is to try to forget the already taken exams and move on to the next ones. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by trying to predict how you did, and trying to read tea leaves in the number of pages written is not going to be helpful.

Also, don't go into any exam with the goal of just writing a ton of pages. Some exams require you to first figure out some really complicated facts before you start writing. Just try to write about every issue you spot, in detail. For me, if I ever feel like I have extra time at the end of a question, I know I've missed something, so I go back and look for it.

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pjo
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby pjo » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:35 pm

Guys I think you're missing the issue. It all depends on whether the professor throws the exams UP the stairs or DOWN the stairs. If he throws up the stairs, having a short exam is better because it weighs less and is more aerodynamic (better chance of reaching the top). If he throws from the top, down the stairs, the heavier exam has more velocity and has a better chance of reaching the bottom. See below.

Image

005618502
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 005618502 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:48 pm

pjo wrote:Guys I think you're missing the issue. It all depends on whether the professor throws the exams UP the stairs or DOWN the stairs. If he throws up the stairs, having a short exam is better because it weighs less and is more aerodynamic (better chance of reaching the top). If he throws from the top, down the stairs, the heavier exam has more velocity and has a better chance of reaching the bottom. See below.

Image


Can almost guarantee that is how my crim professor will need to decide grades this year.




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