How much more "difficult" is law school (in terms of grades)

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hds2388
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Re: How much more "difficult" is law school (in terms of grades)

Postby hds2388 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:15 pm

hds2388 wrote:It's not arbitrary at all. Certainly it can be surprising for many people when they get their grades (largely because they worked hard, but their grades don't correlate; this is probably where the arbitrariness argument comes from.) I got straight A's my first semester...I worked exactly as hard as most people I would say (I did the homework every night, and I outlined for finals.) The differences for me were:

1. Getting to Maybe (Highly Recommend)
2. LEEWS (Highly Recommend)
3. Attended the schools academic tutoring program things (most schools have it).
4. Lots of practice exams (well, not that many...but maybe 3-5)

That's it. On top of that I did poorly on my LSAT...so take that supposed predictive power!


I should add, because this doesn't resolve my overall thesis of "grades aren't arbitrary" that, for me, I feel my success has come from preparing for the system of law school as well as the content. Furthermore, I would recommend preparing for the system first, because it will help you filter and form your analysis of the content.

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: How much more "difficult" is law school (in terms of grades)

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:19 pm

0LNewbie wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:As a 0L, I'm glad to finally hear someone in LS say the bolded. I was willing to believe that if I go to my state school where tons of people are getting in with 155s/3.2's, everyone would be just as smart/hard working as me, but it was pissing me off to believe it.

Even at the HYS level, there are people who work hard and people who slack off in law school, despite most of them having 170+ and high 3.x GPAs. However, that doesn't always mean working hard will equate to doing better. Some of those slackers will somehow end up at the top of the class anyway and irritate you to no end, and there's always at least one person with the highest possible GPA/LSAT and who worked 10 hours a day and still did poorly because they just didn't "get" something.

Even if people aren't as "smart" or as "hard working" as you they still might do better. Don't get focused on the wrong things.


I understand that there isn't a 100% correlation between effort/intelligence and grades. I just hate when people claim that grades are completely arbitrary. I have to believe that some combination of effort put in to learn the law + raw analytical ability can produce a statistically reliable determinant of grades.

Maybe I just want it to be more of a meritocracy than it is.


Your first semester of law school you will read about 1500 pages of text, not counting any supplements you may choose to read. You will inevitably understand and remember some of it better than other parts of it.

You are then going to be tested over only a portion of that reading and your weekly lectures. If the prof decides to test you on the exact portion of shit you don't quite 100% understand in his/her class, the exam will expose your weakness and the curve will eat you up.

Torts and Property, I knew cold. All of it. I did well.

Walking into civil procedure I made the comment, "if class action aren't on this, I will kill it, if they are, who the fuck knows?"

Class actions were on it. I got pwnt. Everything else in the class i could recite to you verbatim. Something about class actions just threw me off every time and I ran out of time at the end of the semester to learn it better.


I thought Renzo summed it up quite well...

Renzo wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
Even if people aren't as "smart" or as "hard working" as you they still might do better. Don't get focused on the wrong things.

This is crucial to understand. I am neither smarter nor more hardworking than my classmates, but there are classes where I have been above the curve despite not putting in a ton of effort. There have also been classes where I worked my dick off and still got pwnt. Some things just "click" for some people, sometimes a "weird" exam question will make some look like geniuses and others like dummies, and it'll have very little to do with understanding of the law, smarts, or work ethic.

Renzo
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Re: How much more "difficult" is law school (in terms of grades)

Postby Renzo » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:25 pm

hds2388 wrote:
hds2388 wrote:It's not arbitrary at all. Certainly it can be surprising for many people when they get their grades (largely because they worked hard, but their grades don't correlate; this is probably where the arbitrariness argument comes from.) I got straight A's my first semester...I worked exactly as hard as most people I would say (I did the homework every night, and I outlined for finals.) The differences for me were:

1. Getting to Maybe (Highly Recommend)
2. LEEWS (Highly Recommend)
3. Attended the schools academic tutoring program things (most schools have it).
4. Lots of practice exams (well, not that many...but maybe 3-5)

That's it. On top of that I did poorly on my LSAT...so take that supposed predictive power!


I should add, because this doesn't resolve my overall thesis of "grades aren't arbitrary" that, for me, I feel my success has come from preparing for the system of law school as well as the content. Furthermore, I would recommend preparing for the system first, because it will help you filter and form your analysis of the content.


This would be convincing if you had done poorly, done all those things, then done better. As it is, you might just be one of those people who "gets" law school, and you'd have done well without all LEEWS/GTM/Etc.

I don't mean to disparage your advice; I think all of the things you listed are great. But I have a friend who read GTM, listened to LEEWS, studied hard, did practice exams, and still did very poorly 1L year. He just didn't "get" the whole law school exam thing (but don't cry for him, he's an engineer, so he has an IP job lined up).

hds2388
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Re: How much more "difficult" is law school (in terms of grades)

Postby hds2388 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:38 pm

Renzo wrote:
hds2388 wrote:
hds2388 wrote:It's not arbitrary at all. Certainly it can be surprising for many people when they get their grades (largely because they worked hard, but their grades don't correlate; this is probably where the arbitrariness argument comes from.) I got straight A's my first semester...I worked exactly as hard as most people I would say (I did the homework every night, and I outlined for finals.) The differences for me were:

1. Getting to Maybe (Highly Recommend)
2. LEEWS (Highly Recommend)
3. Attended the schools academic tutoring program things (most schools have it).
4. Lots of practice exams (well, not that many...but maybe 3-5)

That's it. On top of that I did poorly on my LSAT...so take that supposed predictive power!


I should add, because this doesn't resolve my overall thesis of "grades aren't arbitrary" that, for me, I feel my success has come from preparing for the system of law school as well as the content. Furthermore, I would recommend preparing for the system first, because it will help you filter and form your analysis of the content.


This would be convincing if you had done poorly, done all those things, then done better. As it is, you might just be one of those people who "gets" law school, and you'd have done well without all LEEWS/GTM/Etc.

I don't mean to disparage your advice; I think all of the things you listed are great. But I have a friend who read GTM, listened to LEEWS, studied hard, did practice exams, and still did very poorly 1L year. He just didn't "get" the whole law school exam thing (but don't cry for him, he's an engineer, so he has an IP job lined up).


I can see where you are coming from definitely. I don't believe I am one of the kids who "gets law school," but then again, its hard to comment on my understanding vs. other peoples. A better way to perhaps have pitched my advice is "this is what worked for me." That said even if there are kids who "just get law school" (again a myth in my opinion) grades still aren't arbitrary, they are just predetermined. I would say my success came from trying hard to understand how to learn what I was going to be learning; I'm not smart enough for my grades to have been predestined.

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Nogameisfair
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Re: How much more "difficult" is law school (in terms of grades)

Postby Nogameisfair » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:43 pm

hds2388 wrote: I can see where you are coming from definitely. I don't believe I am one of the kids who "gets law school," but then again, its hard to comment on my understanding vs. other peoples. A better way to perhaps have pitched my advice is "this is what worked for me." That said even if there are kids who "just get law school" (again a myth in my opinion) grades still aren't arbitrary, they are just predetermined. I would say my success came from trying hard to understand how to learn what I was going to be learning; I'm not smart enough for my grades to have been predestined.


What the what?!

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Borhas
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Re: How much more "difficult" is law school (in terms of grades)

Postby Borhas » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:45 pm

senorhosh wrote:Compared to undergraduate studies, how much more difficult is it to get "good" grades at law school?

For example, as an undergraduate chem major, how good my grades are is almost directly proportional to how much I study. More studying = more A's.

How is law school like? Are grades less based on studying and more based on the individual's intellect (more abstract or concrete) What are the differences in getting a "good" grade in LS and in undergraduate classes?

Thanks


law school is much harder, not the material but to get an A

in college I got an A in physics, the material was more difficult than any law class, the test was more difficult, but I did not nearly put in as much effort to get that A than for any grade in law school

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Nogameisfair
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Re: How much more "difficult" is law school (in terms of grades)

Postby Nogameisfair » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:48 pm

Nogameisfair wrote:
hds2388 wrote: I can see where you are coming from definitely. I don't believe I am one of the kids who "gets law school," but then again, its hard to comment on my understanding vs. other peoples. A better way to perhaps have pitched my advice is "this is what worked for me." That said even if there are kids who "just get law school" (again a myth in my opinion) grades still aren't arbitrary, they are just predetermined. I would say my success came from trying hard to understand how to learn what I was going to be learning; I'm not smart enough for my grades to have been predestined.


What the what?!


Oh also, as a third-year with pretty strong grades, I can firmly say that law grades are mostly arbitrary. Doing all that studying really only gets you in the running for an A and ensures that you wont get the lowest grade on the curve. Everything else depends on what the professor had for breakfast in the morning.

hds2388
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Re: How much more "difficult" is law school (in terms of grades)

Postby hds2388 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:51 pm

Nogameisfair wrote:
hds2388 wrote: I can see where you are coming from definitely. I don't believe I am one of the kids who "gets law school," but then again, its hard to comment on my understanding vs. other peoples. A better way to perhaps have pitched my advice is "this is what worked for me." That said even if there are kids who "just get law school" (again a myth in my opinion) grades still aren't arbitrary, they are just predetermined. I would say my success came from trying hard to understand how to learn what I was going to be learning; I'm not smart enough for my grades to have been predestined.


What the what?!


In explaination, what I meant is if there really are these people out there for whom law school is this innate talent, and they will get A's because they just know what to do, those people sound far smarter than I am. My vague and confusing wording only serves as evidence of this.

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Borhas
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Re: How much more "difficult" is law school (in terms of grades)

Postby Borhas » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:53 pm

hds2388 wrote:It's not arbitrary at all. Certainly it can be surprising for many people when they get their grades (largely because they worked hard, but their grades don't correlate; this is probably where the arbitrariness argument comes from.) I got straight A's my first semester...I worked exactly as hard as most people I would say (I did the homework every night, and I outlined for finals.) The differences for me were:

1. Getting to Maybe (Highly Recommend)
2. LEEWS (Highly Recommend)
3. Attended the schools academic tutoring program things (most schools have it).
4. Lots of practice exams (well, not that many...but maybe 3-5)

That's it. On top of that I did poorly on my LSAT...so take that supposed predictive power!


that there are good and bad exams is true

but the difference between a B+ and an A- is arbitrary in many classes... to get straight A's isn't pure luck, but it's not pure skill either. Unless you are getting A/A+ in every class, you are getting some A- and an A- is really not much different than one of the better B+ exams when it comes right down to it.

One reason why I like the P/H/HH system is that it probably more accurately conveys the real distinctions between students without having to split hairs/be arbitrary.




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