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Author Topic: Law Schools That Have No Curve  (Read 7962 times)

Swearengen

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Re: Law Schools That Have No Curve
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2005, 03:25:44 AM »
Just as it's said above (right, why am I repeating it?! ;) University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall Law School, just like Yale, does not have a curve, in fact, does not give grades at all (LOL)

GOSH!  Read the freaking post above.  Just because it doesn't have ABCDF grades doesn't mean there is no curve or no grades. 

federalregulations

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Re: Law Schools That Have No Curve
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2005, 04:37:42 AM »

"Anarchic" isn't a word often associated with the Ivy League. But it's how students, faculty, and even the immediate past dean describe Yale Law. And with good reason: The traditionally grueling first term is un-graded (and subsequent courses are graded on an honors, pass, low-pass, or fail basis), there are virtually no course requirements past first term, and professors are free to choose what they want to teach. Current Dean Harold Koh, an international human-rights expert who served as assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration, recently took a class to a screening of the legal thriller Runaway Jury , during which he loudly enumerated the film's many procedural errors.

High-minded. Classes at Yale are highly theoretical; this is not the place to look for the nuts and bolts of practice. "You're going to have to cram for six miserable weeks for the bar exam anyway, so why waste time preparing when you're in law school?" A recent contracts course included a long, spirited discussion over whether Pepsi could in theory be held liable for its TV commercial offering a Harrier Jet to customers who collected 7 million Pepsi points. At other schools, "I might spend time going over statutes," says Richard Brooks, an associate professor who teaches contracts. But this high-minded approach has its limits, students say. "Most people coming from Yale haven't spent time taking bankruptcy or even business organization, and you come to a big firm and it's a large part of what you do," says 2004 grad Matt Alsdorf, now an associate at a large New York firm. "It isn't a deficit you can't make up, but sometimes have to go to the library and take out a book on securities."

For the full report, go to USNews.

Dolce, I guess you are aware your profile is kinda funny -- I mean, come on, 177 LSAT? I'm assuming you're familiar with Sidis v. F-R Publishing Corp.!

A.J.

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Re: Law Schools That Have No Curve
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2005, 06:39:08 AM »
Yale. You either get "Pass" or "Honors". And you could probably fail a class, but I doubt that happens very often. Realistically, anyone who gets into Yale is probably going to put forth some effort, but there isn't a whole lot of pressure to go nuts. I mean, even if you get all "Pass" scores, you still graduated from freakin' Yale Law. I'd guess that getting a lot of "Honors" would give the top Yale students priority for the super prestegious clerkships, like working for a Supreme Court justice. But really, as long as you graduate and pass the bar (as over 94% do- which is actually disturbingly low [it really should be 100% on the first attempt] in my opinion considering the outrageously high GPA and LSAT scores of their student body) you'll have an enormous advantage over the graduates from almost every other law school.


"Anarchic" isn't a word often associated with the Ivy League. But it's how students, faculty, and even the immediate past dean describe Yale Law. And with good reason: The traditionally grueling first term is un-graded (and subsequent courses are graded on an honors, pass, low-pass, or fail basis), there are virtually no course requirements past first term, and professors are free to choose what they want to teach. Current Dean Harold Koh, an international human-rights expert who served as assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration, recently took a class to a screening of the legal thriller Runaway Jury , during which he loudly enumerated the film's many procedural errors.

High-minded. Classes at Yale are highly theoretical; this is not the place to look for the nuts and bolts of practice. "You're going to have to cram for six miserable weeks for the bar exam anyway, so why waste time preparing when you're in law school?" A recent contracts course included a long, spirited discussion over whether Pepsi could in theory be held liable for its TV commercial offering a Harrier Jet to customers who collected 7 million Pepsi points. At other schools, "I might spend time going over statutes," says Richard Brooks, an associate professor who teaches contracts. But this high-minded approach has its limits, students say. "Most people coming from Yale haven't spent time taking bankruptcy or even business organization, and you come to a big firm and it's a large part of what you do," says 2004 grad Matt Alsdorf, now an associate at a large New York firm. "It isn't a deficit you can't make up, but sometimes have to go to the library and take out a book on securities."

For the full report, go to USNews.

HAHA, I read that too.







Dolce, I guess you are aware your profile is kinda funny -- I mean, come on, 177 LSAT? I'm assuming you're familiar with Sidis v. F-R Publishing Corp.!


Wow that was weak flame.   :-\

180

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Re: Law Schools That Have No Curve
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2005, 04:10:22 PM »
I would never go to a law school without curves, I like a lil extra.

headlesschicken

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Re: Law Schools That Have No Curve
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2005, 05:20:37 PM »
Good point about yale, but even they probably have a set grading distribution, at least for larger classes.

Actually Yale does not have a set grading distribution; the "curve" is left entirely up to the individual professor. http://www.yale.edu/bulletin/html/law/grades.html  Now, as Vino pointed out, there's obviously pressure for profs to be reasonable and not give everyone honors, and I imagine that any professor that did this would be pressured back into a more normal distribution of grades by the other members of the faculty. However, the overall distribution remains entirely up to the individual professor. Some professors will give out only a few honors in each course, while others will distribute them more liberally.
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mj

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Re: Law Schools That Have No Curve
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2005, 05:58:08 AM »
Quote
I'm assuming you're familiar with Sidis v. F-R Publishing Corp.!

Tell us what that case is about!

genghishhan

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113 F.2d 806
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2005, 08:30:01 PM »
Quote
I'm assuming you're familiar with Sidis v. F-R Publishing Corp.!

Tell us what that case is about!

You ask, I respond!

Plaintiff, a former child prodigy, sought review from an order of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, granting defendant magazine's motion to dismiss plaintiff's first two causes of action, which alleged violation of plaintiff's right to privacy and violation of N.Y. Civ. Rights Law 50 and 51.

Sidis was the subject of a biographical sketch in a weekly magazine published by F-R Publishing. Plaintiff contended that the article violated his right to privacy, and was in violation of N.Y. Civ. Rights Law 50 and 51. The court held that although the article was a ruthless exposure of a once public person, who since sought and has now been deprived of the seclusion of private life, because great deeds had been expected of plaintiff, his subsequent history, containing the answer to the question whether he had fulfilled his early promise, remained a matter of public concern and possessed considerable popular news interest. Additionally, the court held that the advertisement in the forthcoming issue of the magazine was not a basis of recovery under N.Y. Civ. Rights Law 50 and 51 because the magazine article itself was unobjectionable.

William James Sidis was a famous child prodigy in 1910. His name and prowess were well known to newspaper readers of the period. At the age of eleven, he lectured to distinguished mathematicians on the subject of Four-Dimensional Bodies. When he was sixteen, he was graduated from Harvard College, amid considerable public attention. Since then, his name has appeared in the press only sporadically, and he has sought to live as unobtrusively as possible. Until the articles objected to appeared in The New Yorker, he had apparently succeeded in his endeavor to avoid the public gaze.

Among The New Yorker's features are brief biographical sketches of current and past personalities. In the latter department, which appears haphazardly under the title of "Where Are They Now?" the article on Sidis was printed with s subtitle "April Fool." The author describes his subjects's early accomplishments in mathematics and the wide-spread attention he received, then recounts his general breakdown and the revulsion which Sidis thereafter felt for his for his former life of fame and study. The unfortunate prodigy is traced over the years that followed, through his attempts to conceal his identity, through his chosen career as an insignificant clerk who would not need to employ unusual mathematical talents, and through the bizarre ways in which his genius flowered, as in his enthusiasm for collecting streetcar transfers and in his proficiency with an adding machine. The article closes with an account of an interview with Sidis at his present lodgings, "a hall bedroom of Boston's shabby south end." The untidiness of his room, his curious laugh, his manner of speech, and other personal habits are commented upon at length, as is his present interest in the lore of the Okamakammessett Indians. The subtitle is explained by the closing sentence, quoting Sidis as saying "with a grin" that it was strange, "but, your know, I was born on April Fool's Day." Accompanying the biography is a small cartoon showing the genius of eleven years lecturing to a group of astounded professors.

on curve

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Re: 113 F.2d 806
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2005, 10:13:34 PM »
Quote
I'm assuming you're familiar with Sidis v. F-R Publishing Corp.!

Tell us what that case is about!

You ask, I respond!

Plaintiff, a former child prodigy, sought review from an order of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, granting defendant magazine's motion to dismiss plaintiff's first two causes of action, which alleged violation of plaintiff's right to privacy and violation of N.Y. Civ. Rights Law 50 and 51.

Sidis was the subject of a biographical sketch in a weekly magazine published by F-R Publishing. Plaintiff contended that the article violated his right to privacy, and was in violation of N.Y. Civ. Rights Law 50 and 51. The court held that although the article was a ruthless exposure of a once public person, who since sought and has now been deprived of the seclusion of private life, because great deeds had been expected of plaintiff, his subsequent history, containing the answer to the question whether he had fulfilled his early promise, remained a matter of public concern and possessed considerable popular news interest. Additionally, the court held that the advertisement in the forthcoming issue of the magazine was not a basis of recovery under N.Y. Civ. Rights Law 50 and 51 because the magazine article itself was unobjectionable.

William James Sidis was a famous child prodigy in 1910. His name and prowess were well known to newspaper readers of the period. At the age of eleven, he lectured to distinguished mathematicians on the subject of Four-Dimensional Bodies. When he was sixteen, he was graduated from Harvard College, amid considerable public attention. Since then, his name has appeared in the press only sporadically, and he has sought to live as unobtrusively as possible. Until the articles objected to appeared in The New Yorker, he had apparently succeeded in his endeavor to avoid the public gaze.

Among The New Yorker's features are brief biographical sketches of current and past personalities. In the latter department, which appears haphazardly under the title of "Where Are They Now?" the article on Sidis was printed with s subtitle "April Fool." The author describes his subjects's early accomplishments in mathematics and the wide-spread attention he received, then recounts his general breakdown and the revulsion which Sidis thereafter felt for his for his former life of fame and study. The unfortunate prodigy is traced over the years that followed, through his attempts to conceal his identity, through his chosen career as an insignificant clerk who would not need to employ unusual mathematical talents, and through the bizarre ways in which his genius flowered, as in his enthusiasm for collecting streetcar transfers and in his proficiency with an adding machine. The article closes with an account of an interview with Sidis at his present lodgings, "a hall bedroom of Boston's shabby south end." The untidiness of his room, his curious laugh, his manner of speech, and other personal habits are commented upon at length, as is his present interest in the lore of the Okamakammessett Indians. The subtitle is explained by the closing sentence, quoting Sidis as saying "with a grin" that it was strange, "but, your know, I was born on April Fool's Day." Accompanying the biography is a small cartoon showing the genius of eleven years lecturing to a group of astounded professors.

For the full report go to Lexis-Nexis.

malittle

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Re: Law Schools That Have No Curve
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2005, 11:29:35 PM »
Quote
For the full report go to Lexis-Nexis.

LOL ;)

landauer2

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Re: Law Schools That Have No Curve
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2005, 08:37:48 PM »
Quote
"Anarchic" isn't a word often associated with the Ivy League. But it's how students, faculty, and even the immediate past dean describe Yale Law. And with good reason: The traditionally grueling first term is un-graded (and subsequent courses are graded on an honors, pass, low-pass, or fail basis), there are virtually no course requirements past first term, and professors are free to choose what they want to teach

Even if we acknowledge that grades do not serve as a benchmark of quality with clear meaning, they do operate as a powerful incentive. Students use grades to define themselves in positive or negative fashion, as in "I am a B student." Many faculty would assert that, without grades, students won't work.

Nowadays we read these studies confirming that grades are not necessary to motivate learning. But faculty members who have taught a pass/fail course in a school in which marks are given are likely to howl in disagreement. Their experience supports the theory that grades are necessary to motivate students: in pass/fail classes (or for students who elect a pass/fail option for an otherwise graded class) students simply do not work as hard as they do in graded courses.
 
Eliminating grades entirely would do much to create the conditions for encouraging different learning motivations. Law school structures do not tend to provide the types of flexibility and student control that would be conducive to this support, though. As a society we may have so firmly entrenched with the message that one learns only for reward, that encouraging learning for its own sake may indeed be quite difficult, in fact, impossible.