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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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:30 am

canoe wrote:Since UVA doesn't have a strict grade distribution requirement as long as they maintain a 3.3 mean, are there cases in which 1L students really aiming for an A get screwed when a professor gives around <=5% A's and almost all B's?


Yes. This makes particular distributions strategically advantageous, depending on a student's typical performance. A narrow distribution (heavy on B+) is more liable to raise the GPA of below-median students and decrease that of the above-median, whereas a wider distribution (more A and B-) is more advantageous to the above-median students.

canoe
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby canoe » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:00 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
canoe wrote:Since UVA doesn't have a strict grade distribution requirement as long as they maintain a 3.3 mean, are there cases in which 1L students really aiming for an A get screwed when a professor gives around <=5% A's and almost all B's?


Yes. This makes particular distributions strategically advantageous, depending on a student's typical performance. A narrow distribution (heavy on B+) is more liable to raise the GPA of below-median students and decrease that of the above-median, whereas a wider distribution (more A and B-) is more advantageous to the above-median students.


Yes, but since you can't pick your 1L professors (except for 2 i believe) and now that UVA has gotten rid of disclosing professor grade distributions to students, it's probably hard to "strategize" for 1L right?

Do you think UVA profs in general tend to go for a wide distribution (and hence rewarding top students more) or a narrow distribution (and hence hurting top students more)? A TLS poster named Brucewayne who attended UVA certainly seemed to advocate the former.

canoe
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby canoe » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:08 am

seahawk32 wrote:
canoe wrote:UVA's grading policy seems to be a little shady b/c it gives too much discretion towards professors.


I have no idea what you're talking about, but here's the text of the policy for anxious 0Ls.

--LinkRemoved--

"Grading System

Faculty policy requires that each instructor conform his or her grades in all courses to a mean of 3.3 (B+). However, there is no particular grading curve to which a faculty member must adhere. Thus, the mean can be achieved either by averaging relatively high and low grades or by having most grades grouped more closely around the B+ (3.3) mean."

In addition to that, there's a new grading policy that was adopted last semester. Correct if wrong, but I think it allows professors to use the mean GPA of the students in the class, but only if it's higher than a 3.3.


By saying "shady", what I meant was that I didn't like how UVA allows its profs to set whatever grade distributions as long as it adheres to a 3.3 mean. I'd much rather have a set distribution such as: 10% A 15% A- 40% B+ and so forth. This way, we won't get a situation where a narrow/wide grade distribution hurts top/bottom students respectively.

Also, the academic policies link you posted is old. UVA updated the language of its grading policy in its 4/30/2013 update to the link although at the core, probably not much has changed.

Link: --LinkRemoved--

firstimer
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby firstimer » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:02 am

canoe wrote:
Also, the academic policies link you posted is old. UVA updated the language of its grading policy in its 4/30/2013 update to the link although at the core, probably not much has changed.

Link: --LinkRemoved--


That's odd - the new grading policy has no mention of the 3.3 mean...it simply says that the policy requires "instructors award grades in each course to a mean that will be enforced by the vice dean of the Law School. Instructors should ensure that grades have an adequate distribution around this mean."

Why the change?

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seahawk32
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby seahawk32 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:10 am

canoe wrote:By saying "shady", what I meant was that I didn't like how UVA allows its profs to set whatever grade distributions as long as it adheres to a 3.3 mean. I'd much rather have a set distribution such as: 10% A 15% A- 40% B+ and so forth. This way, we won't get a situation where a narrow/wide grade distribution hurts top/bottom students respectively.

Also, the academic policies link you posted is old. UVA updated the language of its grading policy in its 4/30/2013 update to the link although at the core, probably not much has changed.

Link: --LinkRemoved--



Oh, ok. Is this your 0L summer? If so, stop worrying about this. You don't get to choose your first semester classes or professors. If you feel the need to prepare and obsess, at least do something useful -- read Getting To Maybe and the TLS guides on success in law school.


P.S. I do wonder why the new policy doesn't mention the 3.3 median.

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jkpolk
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby jkpolk » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:19 am

seahawk32 wrote:
canoe wrote:By saying "shady", what I meant was that I didn't like how UVA allows its profs to set whatever grade distributions as long as it adheres to a 3.3 mean. I'd much rather have a set distribution such as: 10% A 15% A- 40% B+ and so forth. This way, we won't get a situation where a narrow/wide grade distribution hurts top/bottom students respectively.

Also, the academic policies link you posted is old. UVA updated the language of its grading policy in its 4/30/2013 update to the link although at the core, probably not much has changed.

Link: --LinkRemoved--



Oh, ok. Is this your 0L summer? If so, stop worrying about this. You don't get to choose your first semester classes. If you feel the need to prepare and obsess, at least do something useful -- read Getting To Maybe and the TLS guides on success in law school.


P.S. I do wonder why the new policy doesn't mention the 3.3 median.


The new policy of curving to class mean is logically certain to result in grade inflation. I assume the new language is the school's way of recognizing that/tipping their hand on trying to artificially bump up the raw GPA of all UVA law students.

Also, about distributions in general...it's pretty tough to say IN GENERAL what professors do because it would require broad data analysis that is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to any individual student. My experience has been that teachers practically never give below a B-, and tend to favor a narrow distribution, but that's based on a very small sampling of classes/professors/anecdotes.

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:21 am

seahawk32 wrote:P.S. I do wonder why the new policy doesn't mention the 3.3 median.


I'd imagine it's because professors no longer need to adhere to a 3.3 median. They can now vary their median within a range to accommodate the GPA of the incoming class.

So if you take a class where 30% of the students are on law review, the professor will be able to allocate more A grades.

I guess they could have spelled it out a little more clearly - i.e. what degree of flexibility is permitted by the vice dean.

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Br3v
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Br3v » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:24 am

Do I have this right?

Old way: each class the median was B+, professor could give any mixture they wanted as long as median was met

New way: each class the median is the median grade of the students in the class coming into the semester? Professor can still give any mixture?

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jkpolk
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby jkpolk » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:27 am

Br3v wrote:Do I have this right?

Old way: each class the median was B+, professor could give any mixture they wanted as long as median was met

New way: each class the median is the median grade of the students in the class coming into the semester? Professor can still give any mixture?


Mean not median. Otherwise, as i understand the change, yes.

I'd just like to add that the fear of a professor balancing A BUNCH of A+s with C+s (or other prohibitively low grades) is misplaced. By and large it seems that professors understand the effect of a bad grade on a student's GPA/future and, anecdotally, care about not fucking people over. A professor's distribution doesn't materialize randomly, the professor thinks about the exams/students/etc. Professors do talk about this, and I think there is a (compassionate) tendency to favor a B- floor over a C+ Floor, and an A/A- ceiling over an A+ ceiling (barring hyper-excellence/hyper-failure, each of which SHOULD be acknowledged on the curve).

j.hill86x
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby j.hill86x » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:32 pm

Has any UVA student ever heard of getting a scholarship offer after 1L grades come in? I know that as a 0L im jumping the gun a bit here, but someone in the financial aid office implied as much to me and I wanted to see if it were true. I know this would probably require >3.8 but as someone who's entering with no money its at least something interesting to think about.

(Yes, I already know how hard it is to get a 3.8 and that I shouldn't ever plan on it. I'm coming to UVA regardles of the answer to this question. Please save the lecture).

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:20 pm

j.hill86x wrote:Has any UVA student ever heard of getting a scholarship offer after 1L grades come in? I know that as a 0L im jumping the gun a bit here, but someone in the financial aid office implied as much to me and I wanted to see if it were true. I know this would probably require >3.8 but as someone who's entering with no money its at least something interesting to think about.

(Yes, I already know how hard it is to get a 3.8 and that I shouldn't ever plan on it. I'm coming to UVA regardles of the answer to this question. Please save the lecture).


I've never heard of it. What leverage would you have to negotiate? Besides with a GPA like that, you should be cruising through OGI with a pick of firms to choose from, making the debt load less of a burden.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:40 pm

canoe wrote:Since UVA doesn't have a strict grade distribution requirement as long as they maintain a 3.3 mean, are there cases in which 1L students really aiming for an A get screwed when a professor gives around <=5% A's and almost all B's?

A couple pages back someone mentioned that the school is discontinuing the policy of allowing professors' grade distributions from being disclosed to students.

UVA's grading policy seems to be a little shady b/c it gives too much discretion towards professors.


...too much discretion to the people responsible for teaching you material then evaluating your performance on an exam based on that material?

...screwed because there might not be enough A grades, which clearly you deserve, and are in a position to know how many should be up for grabs?

OK.

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5ky
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 5ky » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:12 pm

Seriously, 0Ls, seriously

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anon sequitur
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby anon sequitur » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:22 pm

If I recall correctly in a post waaay back that VanWinkle reported asking for scholarship dollars after 1L and was denied. His leverage was that he was going to transfer to HYS otherwise, and that didn't work. I have heard anecdotally of lower ranked schools doing this to prevent all their best students from transferring, but I've never heard of top 20 school doing it.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:24 pm

j.hill86x wrote:Has any UVA student ever heard of getting a scholarship offer after 1L grades come in? I know that as a 0L im jumping the gun a bit here, but someone in the financial aid office implied as much to me and I wanted to see if it were true. I know this would probably require >3.8 but as someone who's entering with no money its at least something interesting to think about.

(Yes, I already know how hard it is to get a 3.8 and that I shouldn't ever plan on it. I'm coming to UVA regardles of the answer to this question. Please save the lecture).


Oh my God. I missed this before but...

I hate everyone and everything on this earth.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:30 pm

thesealocust wrote:
j.hill86x wrote:Has any UVA student ever heard of getting a scholarship offer after 1L grades come in? I know that as a 0L im jumping the gun a bit here, but someone in the financial aid office implied as much to me and I wanted to see if it were true. I know this would probably require >3.8 but as someone who's entering with no money its at least something interesting to think about.

(Yes, I already know how hard it is to get a 3.8 and that I shouldn't ever plan on it. I'm coming to UVA regardles of the answer to this question. Please save the lecture).


Oh my God. I missed this before but...

I hate everyone and everything on this earth.


I'm actually going to rephrase this, because if I don't do something to vent my seething contempt for everyone and everything I'll probably just flip over my desk and start punching strangers:

j.hill86x wrote:Hi everyone! I'm going to do better than 97% of the other entering first year law students. Those amateurs won't even know what hit 'em!

Once I have done so, is the school going to pay me to stay put instead of joining my intellectual peers at Yaal?

If so, how much?

I need to know so I can have my broker plan accordingly.

Yours in studious anticipation,

J. "I'm coming to UVA regardles of the answer to this question. Please save the lecture." Hill86x

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:35 pm

Law students, ladies and gentlemen! They'll be here all week.

j.hill86x
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby j.hill86x » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:40 pm

thesealocust wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
j.hill86x wrote:Has any UVA student ever heard of getting a scholarship offer after 1L grades come in? I know that as a 0L im jumping the gun a bit here, but someone in the financial aid office implied as much to me and I wanted to see if it were true. I know this would probably require >3.8 but as someone who's entering with no money its at least something interesting to think about.

(Yes, I already know how hard it is to get a 3.8 and that I shouldn't ever plan on it. I'm coming to UVA regardles of the answer to this question. Please save the lecture).


Oh my God. I missed this before but...

I hate everyone and everything on this earth.


I'm actually going to rephrase this, because if I don't do something to vent my seething contempt for everyone and everything I'll probably just flip over my desk and start punching strangers:

j.hill86x wrote:Hi everyone! I'm going to do better than 97% of the other entering first year law students. Those amateurs won't even know what hit 'em!

Once I have done so, is the school going to pay me to stay put instead of joining my intellectual peers at Yaal?

If so, how much?

I need to know so I can have my broker plan accordingly.

Yours in studious anticipation,

J. "I'm coming to UVA regardles of the answer to this question. Please save the lecture." Hill86x


Hah! good one! let's do you now!

"This SOB thinks hes gonna do well when he gets to law school after I just SLAAAAAAVED over my 3.1 and am networking my ass off just to make sure I get one solid biglaw offer come OGIs!? The incredulity! The Arrogance! The sheer DISRESPECT for the 15 hour days I logged in the library! ANY 0L who comes on here thinking they're gonna kill it in law school is going to face my wrath! And I'll be DAMNED if a 0L who thinks he's gonna kill it at MY SCHOOL no less doesn't get a taste of my brilliant sarcasm and witty insults so that he thinks twice before the next time he comes on TLS with this overconfident bullshit. With that said, let me type out said brilliant and witty response because I'm at a meaningless 1L summer job due to the fact that my shit fall semester grades and piss-poor interview skills precluded me from getting anything worthwhile. I.e. anything that would've kept me from perusing TLS of all places on a friday afternoon".


Thank you kindly.

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North
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby North » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:43 pm

You dudes are making me think the AdComms were exaggerating how chill UVAer's are.

What, now I can't even trust AdComms?

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:56 pm

j.hill86x wrote:
Hah! good one! let's do you now!

"This SOB thinks hes gonna do well when he gets to law school after I just SLAAAAAAVED over my 3.1 and am networking my ass off just to make sure I get one solid biglaw offer come OGIs!? The incredulity! The Arrogance! The sheer DISRESPECT for the 15 hour days I logged in the library! ANY 0L who comes on here thinking they're gonna kill it in law school is going to face my wrath! And I'll be DAMNED if a 0L who thinks he's gonna kill it at MY SCHOOL no less doesn't get a taste of my brilliant sarcasm and witty insults so that he thinks twice before the next time he comes on TLS with this overconfident bullshit. With that said, let me type out said brilliant and witty response because I'm at a meaningless 1L summer job due to the fact that my shit fall semester grades and piss-poor interview skills precluded me from getting anything worthwhile. I.e. anything that would've kept me from perusing TLS of all places on a friday afternoon".


Thank you kindly.


:lol:

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Legal_Padawan
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Legal_Padawan » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:04 pm

North wrote:You dudes are making me think the AdComms were exaggerating how chill UVAer's are.

What, now I can't even trust AdComms?


For real. Is UVA actually more 'collegial' than other T-14s? Or are they all the same?

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:20 pm

After my summer associateship, all the UVA summers were stoked as hell to get back to law school and all the other summers were substantially more non-plussed about returning to theirs.

On the ground, UVA attracts way more happy/normal/human people than other schools, but 1L in particular tends to warp people, and it's certainly not without its... well, law students.

Certainly a better group than its peers, in my experience, but it's still law school and still filled with law students trying to become lawyers :D

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:23 pm

j.hill86x wrote:"This SOB thinks hes gonna do well when he gets to law school after I just SLAAAAAAVED over my 3.1 and am networking my ass off just to make sure I get one solid biglaw offer come OGIs!?


Anyone keeping up would know that thesealocust has no idea what his GPA is.

In all seriousness, if you do want that 3.8GPA, learning to take advice from those who have been through it before you might be a good place to start.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby NoodleyOne » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:42 pm

j.hill86x wrote:Hah! good one! let's do you now!

"This SOB thinks hes gonna do well when he gets to law school after I just SLAAAAAAVED over my 3.1 and am networking my ass off just to make sure I get one solid biglaw offer come OGIs!? The incredulity! The Arrogance! The sheer DISRESPECT for the 15 hour days I logged in the library! ANY 0L who comes on here thinking they're gonna kill it in law school is going to face my wrath! And I'll be DAMNED if a 0L who thinks he's gonna kill it at MY SCHOOL no less doesn't get a taste of my brilliant sarcasm and witty insults so that he thinks twice before the next time he comes on TLS with this overconfident bullshit. With that said, let me type out said brilliant and witty response because I'm at a meaningless 1L summer job due to the fact that my shit fall semester grades and piss-poor interview skills precluded me from getting anything worthwhile. I.e. anything that would've kept me from perusing TLS of all places on a friday afternoon".


Thank you kindly.

Jesus, you're going to be loads of fun.

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UVAIce
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVAIce » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:43 pm

Now I know why Vice Dean Geis took away all the grade distribution books: CRAZY LAW STUDENTS! Watch out, Curvezilla is going to get us all.

You'll be okay. Regardless of how they change the curve it really shouldn't impact where your class rank is going to be, which is really what matters. Grades in law school suck, get over it.

When you get your 3.8 and try to negotiate with UVA for money, I hope that you transfer to HYS. I really enjoy the nice people at my school; I would not go to law school anywhere else. Having the chance to meet some folks from HYS and "T6" schools has made me realize how great UVA is.

That all being said: Where are my grades! I need to obsess over Symplicity and OGI bidding.




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