UVA Law Students Taking Questions

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BigLawer
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby BigLawer » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:05 pm

Has anyone else had the experience where they killed it first semester, and then got crushed 2nd? I am in panic mode, all grades above median last semester, and just got a B in a class I thought I crushed... seriously felt like I left that exam with an A. So I had a 3.7...now it looks like I will be sitting at a 3.42 or so (unless a prof who gives almost exclusively B+s gives me an A-)

Anyone else have this experience? Curious how OGI went.

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:06 pm

BigLawer wrote:Has anyone else had the experience where they killed it first semester, and then got crushed 2nd? I am in panic mode, all grades above median last semester, and just got a B in a class I thought I crushed... seriously felt like I left that exam with an A. So I had a 3.7...now it looks like I will be sitting at a 3.42 or so (unless a prof who gives almost exclusively B+s gives me an A-)

Anyone else have this experience? Curious how OGI went.


It will go the way your final GPA suggests it will go. Your mix between the semesters is - or is very nearly - irrelevant.

bananapeanutbutter
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby bananapeanutbutter » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:31 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Wow a lot of misinformation is starting to pop up in this thread about grading.

1. Professor's often vary wildly in how they grade (just as an example Jeffries, Johnson, and Harmon are all professors that hand out a ton of B- and below grades in their courses. While professors like Kordana and Walt don't give out many sub B grades at all--sometimes literally none in the former's case. And the idea that it's "hard" to get that sort of grade is just wrong). That's one of the reasons schools like NYU, Columbia, NU etc. have enough sense to mandate exactly how professors are to distribute grades. There's a reason UVA is in the minority in the top 14 on this topic. Another thing people need to consider is that this is UVA law--not a run of the mill law school. The competition is high and everyone knows how grade focused firms are. You can quickly get a B- just for doing something like typing up an exam that is only 10 pages. Fall below that and getting a C+ is not hard at all.

2. Knowing which professors give out those kinds of grades is obviously unimportant first semester when you don't have a choice in your professors. But second semester that info is critical. You do not want to put yourself in a position where you end up getting a B- or worse spring of 1L from an elective. If you're a student who is right at a 3.3 after first semester, or below, that could instantly mean no firm job and suddenly being at risk for no job at all. On the other hand if your'e aware of a class that gives out a lot of B+s you could take that with the assurance that it won't hurt your GPA, and then focus harder on a more difficult class that you have trouble with.

3. Working "hard" means literally nothing--probably less than nothing. The way law school grades are given out that just doesn't have much of an impact. Making matters worse is that everyone works extremely hard so that essentially neutralizes that as an advantage for most people (I say most because some people do things like study 14 hours a day--maybe for them you can say that working hard is giving them an advantage. I don't know).

4. Although there are some nice professors who are concerned with not hurting a student's employment prospects--that's not the majority. If they don't agree with your exam, it's too short, or they are especially impressed by a few select student's exams, etc. etc. most will not think twice about giving out B- or below grades. This is especially true of the older professors.

Having finished 1L, I'm not sure I agree with your sentiment. It's not a bad thing that some professors give a lot of B-'s or even a C+, because very few people get a C+ and the overall curve is the same. This allows these professors to give more A's to really good exams. While it admittedly would be awful to get a C+, I'm sure these C+ exams are to the professor clearly based on being so grossly inferior to the A exams. An exam that would normally be perfectly fine or maybe a bit below average is not getting a C+.

If everyone is bunched around a 3.3 then the people who will get the jobs will be those who are the most charming at the interviews, have experience for a major corporate company or happen to be well connected. The disparity in grades allows many who would otherwise have nothing special to have an opportunity to get jobs based on the merit of their performance on law school exams.

The bottom line is not everyone gets jobs, and if you can get into a school like UVa then you can learn and read about enough test taking strategies and enough of the course materials to avoid ever getting a C+. If everyone had a 3.3, the employment #'s would be the same, but the 50% who get lesser jobs or no jobs would have really never had a chance to make law school a worthwhile gamble from the get go.

It would be unfair to the person who studies really hard and does their best to get say a 3.4 overall on merit but is graded down to a 3.3 so the boomer whose dad's a partner can party and merit a 3.2, but wind up getting the same 3.3. This leads to a scenario where the 3.2 is clearly taking jobs away from the 3.4.

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5ky
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 5ky » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:00 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
BruceWayne wrote: 2. Knowing which professors give out those kinds of grades is obviously unimportant first semester when you don't have a choice in your professors. But second semester that info is critical. You do not want to put yourself in a position where you end up getting a B- or worse spring of 1L from an elective. If you're a student who is right at a 3.3 after first semester, or below, that could instantly mean no firm job and suddenly being at risk for no job at all. On the other hand if your'e aware of a class that gives out a lot of B+s you could take that with the assurance that it won't hurt your GPA, and then focus harder on a more difficult class that you have trouble with.


I don't understand. You choose second semester electives in November, no? At that point you have no idea if you're above median or below median, so you have no way of knowing which distributions are beneficial. Isn't that effectively the same as not having a choice which distribution you get?


You can add drop in January if you so desire. I don't agree with BW on anything else, though, we've been over it numerous times.

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seahawk32
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby seahawk32 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:28 pm

Just checked SIS. 3/4 grades were posted tonight.

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:38 pm

5ky wrote:You can add drop in January if you so desire. I don't agree with BW on anything else, though, we've been over it numerous times.


I too have often disagreed with BW, but I think some of his post is helpful. If you're at median, taking a prof that has a wide curve is a gamble, and probably one to avoid - especially if in your second semester. While you might hit the jackpot and get an A+ by taking PR with Cohen or something similar, there's an almost equal chance of ending up with a C+ and your 3.3 GPA just went down to a 3.2.

I also think it's important that where a professor has this sort of flexibility that could affect a student's entire future, that information by way of grade distributions should be available to the student body.

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dailygrind
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby dailygrind » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:05 pm

I tend to think that the info should be available to the student body, but it's hard for me to get up in arms about it cuz 1) I'm a graduate now and what do I care; and 2) you guys get the benefit of a more relaxed curving paradigm and I can't fight the urge to be like damn dude, stop complaining.

KdRw19
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby KdRw19 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:30 am

Can anyone shed some light on the Biglaw prospects for a very slightly above median (3.35-3.38) GPA in the LA/SF markets?

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:48 am

KdRw19 wrote:Can anyone shed some light on the Biglaw prospects for a very slightly above median (3.35-3.38) GPA in the LA/SF markets?


Non-zero, but it will depend heavily on your background. That GPA range is definitely competitive for firm jobs from UVA, but the grades themselves won't get you over the line in many places.

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5ky
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 5ky » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:01 am

albanach wrote:
5ky wrote:You can add drop in January if you so desire. I don't agree with BW on anything else, though, we've been over it numerous times.


I too have often disagreed with BW, but I think some of his post is helpful. If you're at median, taking a prof that has a wide curve is a gamble, and probably one to avoid - especially if in your second semester. While you might hit the jackpot and get an A+ by taking PR with Cohen or something similar, there's an almost equal chance of ending up with a C+ and your 3.3 GPA just went down to a 3.2.

I also think it's important that where a professor has this sort of flexibility that could affect a student's entire future, that information by way of grade distributions should be available to the student body.


Oh yeah, I'm all for gaming wherever possible. And I'm not a fan of them taking away the grade books. I can see why they might not want to release them anymore for future classes, but they could have kept them there. But what I'm saying is that BW vastly overrates the difference between UVA's system and others.

Here's NYU's (for 1L):

A: 4-8% (target 6%)
A-: 10-16% (target 13%)
B+: 24-33% (target 28-29%)
B: "Remainder" (aka a ton)
B-: 4-11% (target 7-8%)
C: 0-5%
D/F: 0-5%

And here's Michigan's:

Image

And here's Northwestern's:

Image

I couldn't find anything on Columbia except an article that says on average, only 24% of students will get an A level grade and 10% receive below a B-, but that was from 2009 and I'm not sure if they changed it.

These just aren't that different from UVA. UVA might be in the minority in terms of not having rough guidelines, but the grades are comparable, particularly the number of B-s and below, which is what BW is concerned about. It may seem like UVA professors can do whatever the hell they want, but if we instituted a policy like that, any change would be almost imperceptible. Cohen's classes would max out on the A+s and, maybe, C+s, and Abraham would hit the top end for B+s. But people keep mentioning those two because they are the greatest examples of flat and narrow curves -- and for Cohen we're talking (on average) 2-3 more A+s and C+s than a normal class.

When you see the raw scores and distributions of exams, the A+s and C+s stick out like sore thumbs; they are WAY above and WAY below their peers. Professors aren't giving out C+s because they can, they give them out because you have turned in a horrible exam, and giving them a gentleman's B- isn't fair to the people who got B-s or anybody else.

You won't stumble into a C+ simply because you wrote a short exam. Some of the very best exams are 10 pages or not much longer -- and under even, depending on the class. Believe it or not, in a class of 370, there are a handful of people who don't study a lot and don't care all that much. Maybe they don't really understand the material, or maybe they don't give a shit, but I know people who "studied" a few days before the exam by just rereading the casebook. No outline, no supplements, just rereading casebook and going into the final with the casebook and class notes, and then write a 6-8 page exam full of holes and errors because that's all their utter lack of preparation and understanding of the material will allow. I know it seems hard to believe that not everybody is putting in 10-12 hours at the end, with copious work during the semester, etc., but it's true. Simply by posting on this site, I'm quite confident not a single of you 0Ls will get a C+.
Last edited by 5ky on Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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North
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby North » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:24 am

5ky wrote:Simply by posting on this site, I'm quite confident not a single of you 0Ls will get a C+.

TYF this, the rest of your post, and for putting up with us.

envisciguy
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby envisciguy » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:12 pm

All the 0Ls really need to stop worrying about grades. You shouldn't worry about your performance before ever sitting through a single day of class. Enjoy your summer and worry about grades in December.

hooma
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby hooma » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:35 pm

Interestingly, I just checked my CSO transcript to see what the percentile benchmarks are, and they are no longer there. Maybe because they will need to recalculate them based on changes to the grading policy, or are they always changed depending on class performance (i.e., c/o 2013's 25th percentile is slightly different than 2014)? It seems more likely that all of these grading changes, while frustratingly less transparent to students, also makes our grades less comprehensible/meaningful to employers. Maybe they are not going to publish the benchmarks anymore either? Dean Mahoney has indicated that UVA is not going to abandon grades altogether, but maybe all of these changes represent a compromise.

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bgdddymtty
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby bgdddymtty » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:56 pm

North wrote:
5ky wrote:Simply by posting on this site, I'm quite confident not a single of you 0Ls will get a C+.

TYF this, the rest of your post, and for putting up with us.
Although I will say, from "a friend's" personal experience, that Doug Leslie will give you a C+ if you almost never show up to his class (and at least a B+ if you always show up).

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Legal_Padawan
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Legal_Padawan » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:10 pm

On a completely different note:
Is there a sizable contingent of Redskins fans at UVA? Where do people usually go to watch the games?

bananapeanutbutter
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby bananapeanutbutter » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:06 pm

What is the 10% cutoff gpa wise after 1l?

envisciguy
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby envisciguy » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:10 pm

Legal_Padawan wrote:On a completely different note:
Is there a sizable contingent of Redskins fans at UVA? Where do people usually go to watch the games?


I know there's a decent number of Skins fans and I personally know a couple diehards. Not sure where they go to watch the games, but Buffalo Wild Wings on Arlington and Wings Over by Ivy are both solid choices.

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Tom Joad
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Tom Joad » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:28 pm

Can somebody post the link the the 2012 OGI thread if they know how to find it? I have seen it before, but I can't find it now.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:35 pm

bananapeanutbutter wrote:What is the 10% cutoff gpa wise after 1l?


3.65ish, according to this thread.

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5ky
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 5ky » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Tom Joad wrote:Can somebody post the link the the 2012 OGI thread if they know how to find it? I have seen it before, but I can't find it now.


http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=186875

I suppose it's about the time to start the 2013 version. Best to not have it clutter up this thread.
Last edited by 5ky on Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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5ky
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 5ky » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:41 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
bananapeanutbutter wrote:What is the 10% cutoff gpa wise after 1l?


3.65ish, according to this thread.


Mid to high 3.6x, yes

This is also like the third or fourth time you have either stated or implied you have done very well, which you should probably stop, because people will hate you if you do that.

bananapeanutbutter
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby bananapeanutbutter » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:43 pm

5ky wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
bananapeanutbutter wrote:What is the 10% cutoff gpa wise after 1l?


3.65ish, according to this thread.


Mid to high 3.6x, yes

This is also like the third or fourth time you have either stated or implied you have done very well, which you should probably stop, because people will hate you if you do that.

A i'm anonymous. B there's something I'm thinking about that has historically required top 10 percent. Not stating/implying anything. I never said I did well.

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5ky
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby 5ky » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:47 pm

bananapeanutbutter wrote:A i'm anonymous. B there's something I'm thinking about that has historically required top 10 percent. Not stating/implying anything. I never said I did well.


The only thing that requires a hard cut-off at top 10% is order of the coif. Bear in mind that anything employment-related that says they require top 10% is a lie.

olive16
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby olive16 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:15 pm

Hey guys, I did a forum search but didn't find much. What's the cutoff for VLR and when do invites go out? From what I've found, seems to range from 3.71-3.75, but I can't find anything more specific than "early to mid July."

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thesealocust
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:17 pm

olive16 wrote:Hey guys, I did a forum search but didn't find much. What's the cutoff for VLR and when do invites go out? From what I've found, seems to range from 3.71-3.75, but I can't find anything more specific than "early to mid July."


It's the top 25 students, so it will be different every year depending on how students #26, 25, and 24 did. Historically it's above 3.70 and well below 3.8, 3.71 to 3.75 is probably about right.

It happens sometime later in the summer, I forget exactly when. It was definitely second half of the summer my year.




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