What are law school grades based on?

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roaringeagle
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What are law school grades based on?

Postby roaringeagle » Sun May 13, 2012 8:17 pm

Forgive my ignorance as a 0L, but people keep talking to me about "points". Cover X amount of points and you are golden. I have also heard that professors respect inferences and interpretation of the law as well. What are "points" and how does interpretation play into test taking? Every day in class what should I be focusing on concerning the test which is your whole letter grade? Are there other aspects of the test that come into play concerning grading?

jarofsoup
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby jarofsoup » Sun May 13, 2012 8:23 pm

There is no method to the madness. If you know how to write a law school exam you are likely to do ok your first semester.

There are a lot different types of law school exams. I am guessing that you are referring to and issue spotter/race horse exam.

adonai
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby adonai » Sun May 13, 2012 8:58 pm

In the traditional law school issue spotter exam, points refers to how many arguments you make in the analysis. You have to spot the issue, then use the facts in the fact pattern to argue why a certain part of the law applies to a situation. The more arguments you make, the more points you score. Some profs will give points for any argument no matter how minor or frivolous, others will only give you points for those that are credible/impressive. You have to do all this better and faster than your classmates. Usually there are more issues than you can spot in the allotted time, sometimes there are a set amount of issues, and so you have to spread your time evenly unless you are an absolute genius and can spot all the issues AND do in depth and impressive analysis.

LSATNightmares
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby LSATNightmares » Sun May 13, 2012 9:59 pm

adonai wrote:In the traditional law school issue spotter exam, points refers to how many arguments you make in the analysis. You have to spot the issue, then use the facts in the fact pattern to argue why a certain part of the law applies to a situation. The more arguments you make, the more points you score. Some profs will give points for any argument no matter how minor or frivolous, others will only give you points for those that are credible/impressive. You have to do all this better and faster than your classmates. Usually there are more issues than you can spot in the allotted time, sometimes there are a set amount of issues, and so you have to spread your time evenly unless you are an absolute genius and can spot all the issues AND do in depth and impressive analysis.


Right on. Also, professors secretly give "points" if you can do this coherently in an organized format with minimal grammatical and spelling errors. The so-called legal format is IRAC. You state the issue, then the legal rule, then the analysis, then give your conclusion.

A great book that I recommend that every 0L read in the summer before law school is Getting to Maybe. It discusses this. You'll hear about the book everywhere here on TLS.

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JoeFish
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby JoeFish » Sun May 13, 2012 10:04 pm

A few examples:

My torts professor said "I do a straightforward issue-spotter. Say something relevant, you get a point. My tests are out of 600 points" (I assume she tried to make sure she could find at least 600 in her exam before she finalized it) "The most anyone's ever scored was in the high 200s".

The Civ Pro professor: "I have no set maximum scoring. Basically, you say something good, you get a checkmark. There's no high score; the highest score will go to whoever says the most."

My ConLaw professor: "If you say something that's relevant, interesting, and non-obvious, you get a point. If you say something wrong, you lose a point." When asked if that theoretically meant one person could get more points on 1 question than anyone else got on 5, he said "I suppose that if anyone knows more about one question than everyone else knows on 5 questions, then yes."

4 of my 6 exams had some sort of multiple choice; one was 2/3, two were 1/3, one was 1/4. My contracts exam had multiple choice questions that had 8 answer choices; they'd be like (A, B, C, D, A&B, A&D, A&B&C, all of the above.) If you got the right answer you'd get a few checkmarks, if your answer was mostly right you'd get one, if it was mostly wrong you'd lose one, if it was completely wrong you'd lose a few.

So, lots of possibilities, but most things are some form of either Issue Spotter or MC.

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roaringeagle
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby roaringeagle » Sun May 13, 2012 10:21 pm

LSATNightmares wrote:
adonai wrote:In the traditional law school issue spotter exam, points refers to how many arguments you make in the analysis. You have to spot the issue, then use the facts in the fact pattern to argue why a certain part of the law applies to a situation. The more arguments you make, the more points you score. Some profs will give points for any argument no matter how minor or frivolous, others will only give you points for those that are credible/impressive. You have to do all this better and faster than your classmates. Usually there are more issues than you can spot in the allotted time, sometimes there are a set amount of issues, and so you have to spread your time evenly unless you are an absolute genius and can spot all the issues AND do in depth and impressive analysis.


Right on. Also, professors secretly give "points" if you can do this coherently in an organized format with minimal grammatical and spelling errors. The so-called legal format is IRAC. You state the issue, then the legal rule, then the analysis, then give your conclusion.

A great book that I recommend that every 0L read in the summer before law school is Getting to Maybe. It discusses this. You'll hear about the book everywhere here on TLS.


gonna order it soon ty

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bk1
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby bk1 » Sun May 13, 2012 10:25 pm

As you will soon learn, the answer is the same as it is with everything else: it depends. For example:

Some profs have "rubrics" but in reality just give whatever kind of grade they feel like it. Some profs give points if you get stuff that isn't on their rubric. Some don't.

In class focus on learning the material that will be covered on the test. Doing actual practice tests will help you hammer out how to do the test.

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roaringeagle
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby roaringeagle » Sun May 13, 2012 10:28 pm

bk1 wrote:As you will soon learn, the answer is the same as it is with everything else: it depends. For example:

Some profs have "rubrics" but in reality just give whatever kind of grade they feel like it. Some profs give points if you get stuff that isn't on their rubric. Some don't.

In class focus on learning the material that will be covered on the test. Doing actual practice tests will help you hammer out how to do the test.


pardon, but what the hell is a rubric?

Also how will I know what material to focus on? Will the professor give hints or is there some other way to tell?

rad lulz
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby rad lulz » Sun May 13, 2012 10:32 pm

roaringeagle wrote:pardon, but what the hell is a rubric?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubric_(academic)

Also how will I know what material to focus on? Will the professor give hints or is there some other way to tell?


Bro you have gone to school before, yes?

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JamMasterJ
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun May 13, 2012 10:36 pm

bk1 wrote:As you will soon learn, the answer is the same as it is with everything else: it depends. For example:

Some profs have "rubrics" but in reality just give whatever kind of grade they feel like it. Some profs give points if you get stuff that isn't on their rubric. Some don't.

In class focus on learning the material that will be covered on the test. Doing actual practice tests will help you hammer out how to do the test.

BK, do you recommend GTM?

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roaringeagle
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby roaringeagle » Sun May 13, 2012 10:47 pm

rad lulz wrote:
roaringeagle wrote:pardon, but what the hell is a rubric?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubric_(academic)

Also how will I know what material to focus on? Will the professor give hints or is there some other way to tell?


Bro you have gone to school before, yes?


law school is not college. I'm not your bro, pal.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun May 13, 2012 10:54 pm

roaringeagle wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
roaringeagle wrote:pardon, but what the hell is a rubric?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubric_(academic)

Also how will I know what material to focus on? Will the professor give hints or is there some other way to tell?


Bro you have gone to school before, yes?


law school is not college. I'm not your bro, pal.

A rubric's still a rubric, duder

rad lulz
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby rad lulz » Sun May 13, 2012 10:55 pm

roaringeagle wrote:I'm not your bro, pal.

I'm not your pal, buddy.

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sundance95
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby sundance95 » Sun May 13, 2012 11:01 pm

Image
Image

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roaringeagle
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby roaringeagle » Sun May 13, 2012 11:02 pm

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=123092

yes I'm partially killing my thread.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sun May 13, 2012 11:06 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
bk1 wrote:As you will soon learn, the answer is the same as it is with everything else: it depends. For example:

Some profs have "rubrics" but in reality just give whatever kind of grade they feel like it. Some profs give points if you get stuff that isn't on their rubric. Some don't.

In class focus on learning the material that will be covered on the test. Doing actual practice tests will help you hammer out how to do the test.

BK, do you recommend GTM?


I would read it just to read it. But do not be surprised if you are not blown away by anything said in the book. It is just nice to have a foundation on which to build your test-taking skills.

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bk1
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby bk1 » Sun May 13, 2012 11:15 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
bk1 wrote:As you will soon learn, the answer is the same as it is with everything else: it depends. For example:

Some profs have "rubrics" but in reality just give whatever kind of grade they feel like it. Some profs give points if you get stuff that isn't on their rubric. Some don't.

In class focus on learning the material that will be covered on the test. Doing actual practice tests will help you hammer out how to do the test.

BK, do you recommend GTM?


Yeah. It's repetitive and maybe its message will be clear to you without it (hint: the message is ARGUE BOTH SIDES), but it doesn't hurt to read it just in case it does help you (you have no idea whether it will or it wont'). Even though I read it, its message didn't click for me until I took my first practice test.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun May 13, 2012 11:18 pm

rad lulz wrote:
roaringeagle wrote:I'm not your bro, pal.

I'm not your pal, buddy.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuQK6t2Esng

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kalvano
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby kalvano » Sun May 13, 2012 11:44 pm

A better book is the "8 Secrets" book by Whitebread. GTM is kind of lame.

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togepi
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby togepi » Mon May 14, 2012 12:20 am

kalvano wrote:A better book is the "8 Secrets" book by Whitebread. GTM is kind of lame.


This is the first time I've seen "8 Secrets" mentioned on TLS. Kind of off topic, but still relevant as it's towards taking law school exams, what would you say are the reasons why 8 Secrets is better than GTM? Or are they better off as supplements to each other?

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kalvano
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby kalvano » Mon May 14, 2012 12:26 am

GTM is basically "argue both sides". I suppose if you have absolutely no familiarity with thinking about things from various angles, that could be useful, but I found it repetitive and boring. The Whitebread book is much shorter and to the point: how to organize and present your answer on a law school final.

Pretty much anyone can learn the law necessary for a final. The trick is presenting it to a professor. Whitebread assumes that you know the law, and gives some very practical tips for the best way to convey that knowledge for the maximum possible points on an exam.

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togepi
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby togepi » Mon May 14, 2012 12:32 am

So from that I could generalize and say that

GTM - Theory
8 Secrets - Applications

I guess I'll read GTM soon and then 8 Secrets a few weeks before law school and probably read them a few more times throughout, especially if I nuke first semester haha

Thanks for the info Kal

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angrybird
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby angrybird » Mon May 14, 2012 12:34 am

8 Secrets seems like a lot. just read The Secret.

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laxbrah420
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby laxbrah420 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:41 am

angrybird wrote:8 Secrets seems like a lot. just read The Secret.

obvious, but necessary
http://youtu.be/RRdWntqCLwg

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Dignan
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Re: What are law school grades based on?

Postby Dignan » Mon May 14, 2012 12:58 am

I'm not sure why you're asking a bunch of law students about law school grades. If you want the inside story on how exams are graded, you should seek wisdom from law school professors. Here's a helpful explanation from a well-known GW prof:

http://www.concurringopinions.com/archi ... _grad.html


roaringeagle wrote:Forgive my ignorance as a 0L, but people keep talking to me about "points". Cover X amount of points and you are golden. I have also heard that professors respect inferences and interpretation of the law as well. What are "points" and how does interpretation play into test taking? Every day in class what should I be focusing on concerning the test which is your whole letter grade? Are there other aspects of the test that come into play concerning grading?




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