MrAnon wrote: dingbat wrote:
MrAnon wrote:C's are pretty lousy. Indicative of no study at all. B- could be no study or just terrible prep and nervousness. If someone studies properly and writes decently the worst they'll realistically get is a B, but that's a 3.0 and awful for law school.
I thought that with grading on a curve thè worst people in the class (10-15%) end up with a C
While this would encompass those who don't study or write properly, it also means that I'd everyone studies their ass off, the weakest person in the section ends up with a C even if s/he works their ass off and writes decently (but is last because everyone else is better)
Like getting last place at the olympics doesn't mean you suck, just that everyone else there is better
Technically I don't believe "C" is on Fordham's curve. They'd award the grade if necessary though. C+ probably is on the curve. From my experience it would be very difficult for a competent student to get below a B- and for a competent student to actually get a B- would be a bit of a surprise. If you have a decent feel for what's going on, know your stuff, and can write well and spot issues, without any superman type edges, you are starting at a B. Getting the B+ and so on requires some edges.
Mr. Anon's post is very accurate. I just thought it couldn't hurt to add a couple specifics that I've learned after speaking with some of my 1L teachers and other department heads over the last two years.
First, only required classes have a mandatory curve. So that's all the 1L classes, including LRW, plus corporations, con law, and a general professional responsibility classes. An important note is that there are multiple specialized professional responsibility classes and these are generally smaller groups and are uncurved. Many upper level classes will not have a mandatory curve, however Fordham administration recommends a curve for classes with more than 20 people and strongly recommends a curve for classes with more than 40 people. I know of multiple younger faculty members that strictly adhere to the curve as they are still looking to make a good impression for tenure discussions which begin in the faculty member's third year teaching.
For the curve itself, professors are required to give at least 4% of the class (3 people in a typical 1L class of 80) some type of C. Anecdotally, the vast majority of professors will give a C+. Professors may give up to 16-18% of the class A's of some sort, but have to balance the number of A's and A-'s given. This means there are about 7 A's and 7 A-'s in a typical 1L class. Professors have the discretion to give an A+ instead of an A, but I have never heard of a teacher giving out more than 2 A+'s in a class.
Then, about 35% of the class will get a B and 35% of the class will get a B+, depending on how many A's a professor has distributed. Around 10-12% of the class will get a B-.
I agree with Mr. Anon that it is difficult to get lower than a B without a massive mistake being made or a complete lack of preparation. I do think however, that one can secure B+'s in any class with a few strategic tips and good typing speed.
Note, all the numbers above change each year and are based primarily on conversations that took place two years ago. Each number will change slightly each year and they also may vary by department, however, next year's numbers are likely very similar to those discussed above. I wouldn't have posted so much, but I see so many posts and hear so many people talk about the curve without a detailed understanding of it and this can negatively affect how one prepares. Hope this all helped.