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Messages - unlvcrjchick

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1
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 17, 2009, 01:57:57 AM »
I also think your "peers" argument is rather funny.  I have friends in the part time section that are taking civ pro from the same professor I am.  We study together.  We go to the same school.  We are taking the same professor.  We aren't peers? 

On a side note, if I get arrested for burglary and go to trial, will the people I've never met, likely would never meet, nor have anything in common with, yet are called a "jury of my peers", not my peers?

Hmm.

You have to deal with generalizations when classifying peer groups, and I already explained the differences between the part-time and full-time students.  Sure, the differences don't apply to every single student, but overall numerous differences between the two classes exist.  The fact that you happen to take a class with a study partner who also happens to have the same professor doesn't mean a thing.  This is especially true because, at the end of the day, you're not competing against that student for your A, B, whatever - at least, you won't be competing with him/her until the very end.

As for your "jury of your peers," crim-pro argument, the "peers" part of a jury is actually referring to the jury pool from which jurors are pulled and not the jury itself.  This is why only the jury pool need reflect an accurate representation of your community (thus making it more likely that you'll have true peers, those who share similarities to your background, in the jury) and not the actual jury.  Besides, simply referring to them as a "jury of your peers" doesn't make those people your "peers."  It's just how the courts refer to the jury, on a colloquial basis.

At the end of the day, though, you just proved to me that the system IS unfair, if what your contracts professor said is true.  Especially since your professor appeared to have discretion to give out less A's to the part-timers because he thought that their performance didn't match up to the full-timers.  Hmm, indeed.

However, I must take my leave of this discussion.  It's taking up too much of my time and my intention with my first post wasn't to engage in a lengthy debate.

2
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 16, 2009, 08:43:28 PM »
I feel like I'm arguing with a brick wall.  I will try to respond clearly so you can not misconstrue my statements this time.

1.  5 people that make 100,000 from UNLV.  I'm sure this is true.  Were these people in the median of the class?  My general point (so don't argue at the periphery) is that ranking is counterproductive after a certain point.  My school tells us not to put class rank on our resume if outside the top 30%.  You claimed that your job prospects suffered because you were not assigned a ranking.  I think, more likely, it is the fact that in this economy top 40% is not quite good enough from a tier 2.

2.  My initial reference to GPA/LSAT scores had to do with the cost/benefit analysis one should undertake before going part-time.  You complained of all the disadvantages in an earlier post.  I pointed out that there were good things about being a part-timer, like lower admissions standards (and thus a higher-ranked school).

3.  I did say part-timers were lesser competition.  Maybe a false assumption.  But I NEVER said that grades were lower for part-time students.  In fact, I've consistently said that the curve should ensure that grades are the SAME for part-time students.  I simply said that it would be easier to obtain good grades against lesser competition.  

4.  To summarize (and satisfy your curiosity):  Grades should not be lower for part-time students because they are on the same 3.0 curve as full-time students (This is why it is fair for you to be "lumped in" with full-timers).  I think it would be harder to get good grades in the full-time section (This is why I would be mad that someone that got the same good grades, but in an easier section, would have the same class rank as me).  These are different concepts, and are in no way contradictory.

Did you ever stop to think that I "misconstrued" your statements - which I don't think I did - because they weren't clearly written the first time?  Regarding putting your rank on your resume, many employers ask you for your "class standing," even if you're outside of the coveted top third.  If employers were only interested in the top third, then they would simply say "only top third need apply" or "top third preferred."  On more than a few occasions, a legal employer asked me to disclose my standing even though I was unable to do so:  I had to have the Registrar's office send a letter to such employers, explaining to them their ranking policy of not assigning ranks to those outside of the top third.

Again, I agree with your premise that the grades should be the same among the classes because it's the same curve.  And in response to dashrashi, yes, there are more curve-less classes available to the day students (Law Review, Society of Advocates, writing courses, externships, this one legal research class I took, which wasn't curved, etc.).  It's a fact that there exist more class offerings for the day students.  I am quite sure I mentioned this earlier, but it was awhile ago, so it was probably lost in the shuffle.  This could be an important factor that could account for the discrepancy, and like you acknowledged, dashrashi, there could be others.  However, I'll be the first to admit that I don't know all of the variables that could account for the ranking differences. 

Plus, if it truly is harder to obtain good grades in the day section - and that is highly debatable - then you're acknowledging that it's actually unfair to be ranked with the "easier" night section.  After all, if it were a fair system, you shouldn't be pissed.

3
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 16, 2009, 07:44:20 PM »
After reading this thread, I figured out why at least one person wasnt top 30% at that school...

Yeah, and you had to resort to personal attacks instead of attacking my argument.  I am still an Attorney-At-Law while you're still slaving away in law school.  Good luck to you in the real world:  you'll need it.

Sorry for the personal attack, I will keep personal attacks out of it (although you seemed to be pretty hypocritical in your reply). 

Regardless, your argument makes no sense.  If the same curve is used in the part time program as the full time program, like you said it was, the same amount of A's are given out in the part time as the full time.  Therefore, part time students are at absolutely no disadvantage in the class rankings compared to full time students.  You have exactly the same shot at getting the same grades.  It makes absolutely no sense to suggest that if the same curve is used and you are competing with only part time students that you are some how disadvantaged in the process.

Im still slaving away in law school?  I dont think so.  I already have a job lined up with a firm that pays 160K plus full market bonuses (not skadden bonuses but still good enough).  I have ten credits left to graduate, and I go to a school that fully embraces grade inflation.  At an absolute minimum, I will graduate top 15% of my class and be welcomed with open arms to the firm.

Apology accepted, and I didn't feel I personally attacked you:  I just said "good luck, you'll need it."  And that is true, especially in light of this crappy economy.  If you felt I did, I apologize.  Congratulations to you on your obtaining such a prestigious job:  I mean that.  I agree with your premise that the system seems fair because it's the same curve among the full-timers and the part-timers.  However, I'm going by the end result, namely that so many of the part-timers who were ranked were shut out of the ranking when lumped with the full-timers.  Plus, I look to the fact that many schools that have part-time programs keep the part-timers separate from the full-timers.  To me, this is an acknowledgement by those schools that the separate system is the most fair one in light of the arguments I've already given (I don't want to rehash them).  But really, at the end of the day, there is no point to argue it anymore, for UNLV won't change its system .

4
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 16, 2009, 07:35:48 PM »
I didn't make an assumption that "everyone in the part-time class has lesser abilities."  I made an assumption that it would be easier to get top grades in the part-time section than in the full-time section.

And maybe real-world accomplishments and experiences speak more to a person's ability than LSAT/GPA.  Whether you are right is irrelevant to my statement.  LSAT/GPA are by far the most important factors in admissions, and part-time programs have lower requirements for LSAT and GPA.  Students at Georgetown Part-time are all quite accomplished, I'm sure.  That does not change the fact that the scores for the part-time section are lower than the full-time section.  Most part-timers can get into a better school than they would otherwise because of the lower admissions requirements for part-time programs.

And honestly, do you really feel that you would have that six-figure job if UNLV did rank, and your rank was oh, say, "Top 40%" from a low-tier 2? 

Do I honestly feel that?  The answer to that would have been yes before the recent recession.  I know at least 5 people who are making such salaries and they graduated from UNLV, low-tier 2 notwithstanding.  Yes, LSAT/GPA are the most important factors in admissions; I'm not arguing otherwise.  However, you then said that the part-time students are "lesser competition."  That implies that you think part-timers lack the intellectual capabilities as the full-timers.  That may have not been your intention, but one could easily infer that.  Oh and since you acknowledge that law-school grades are typically lower for part-timers, then why do you still deem it fair that the part-timers are lumped with the full-timers?  After all, you did say that you'd be pissed if you were lumped with the part-timers.  Just curious.

5
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 16, 2009, 06:52:21 PM »
After reading this thread, I figured out why at least one person wasnt top 30% at that school...

Yeah, and you had to resort to personal attacks instead of attacking my argument.  I am still an Attorney-At-Law while you're still slaving away in law school.  Good luck to you in the real world:  you'll need it.

6
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 16, 2009, 06:49:42 PM »
I just don't believe you that pretty much the entire top 1/3 of the part-timers were shut out from the top 1/3 overall.  That seems pretty much like a mathematical impossibility. 

And frankly, I have zero sympathy for part-timers.  Everything you have talked about as a blatant miscarriage of justice is something you should have taken into account before going part-time.  It is not like part-time status doesn't come with benefits.  You don't accumulate debt, and you can get into a more reputable school with lower GPA/LSAT scores.  Weigh the costs and benefits. 

Additionally, if I were a full-timer at UNLV I'd be pissed that part-timers were integrated into my rankings distribution.  If someone pulls a bunch of A's and A-'s against lesser competition, do they really deserve a top 10% ranking?

My undergrad GPA was a 3.94, I was on Law Review, and I was published.  So there goes your assumption that everyone in the part-time class has lesser abilities than those in the full-time class.  Besides, one's experiences and achievements in the real world speak more to ability than grades/LSAT scores, and at least law schools recognize this when it comes to the part-time program.  It's just a shame that legal employers put more emphasis on grades than on actual writing ability and commitment, things that aren't necessarily reflected in one's grades.  

I may not have accumulated as MUCH debt as your typical full-timer, but do I still have debt?   Oh you betcha, and the debt I do have will take me longer to pay off, thanks to my being unable to obtain a six-figure-paying position, unlike many of those *were* ranked.  You may not believe me that most of the part-timers were shut out of ranking, but it's true.  If most of them hadn't been shut out, I wouldn't think the system is unfair.

7
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 16, 2009, 06:23:48 PM »
Part-timers at UNLV graduating in 2008 are not some completely foreign peer group to full-timers at UNLV graduating in 2008.  Any differences can be substantially accounted for by a curve.

I stand by my argument that the system is not unfair.  You got stuck in a bad situation as one of the few students who placed in the Top 1/3 as a part-timer and not after the curves were combined.  That doesn't mean the system is unfair.  The same thing could happen to a full-timer next year.  The moral of the story is, when attending UNLV, one should place in the top 20% and not worry about being left out.

Part-timers are foreign enough to be considered a different peer group.  You want further proof of this?  Part-timers are often discriminated against in the job market, for many legal employers figure that they don't have as much commitment to law, since they were unwilling to quit their jobs and devote themselves full time to the practice of law. 

In statistics, students are taught that the purpose of a bell curve is to account for inequities in a given class/peer group.  So you may stand by your argument, that is fine, but know that your view of the curve system is wrong because it wasn't designed to account for substantial differences among different peer groups.  This would explain why some other law schools that do have part-time programs rank the part-timers separately from the full-timers. So apparently I'm not the only one who finds UNLV's system unfair.

And my situation in the part-time class was echoed by most of those in my class who ranked in the top third.  I told you that only a few students who were ranked in the top third in the part-time class were ranked upon graduation.  Therefore, MOST of the part-timers were left out, not just a few. And in a job market where part-timers are having their commitment to law questioned, the only thing that makes up for that is being ranked.

But like I said before, I will agree to disagree.

8
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 16, 2009, 05:29:11 PM »
That is because your "peer" argument is pretty much inconsequential once you answer the curve question.  Curves are designed to take out all sorts of inequities between to peer groups.  Your arguments focus on all of the advantages full-time students have, and all of the disadvantages part-time students have.  However, those students don't compete against one another head-to-head for grades--so the inequities don't come into play for your GPA.  If your GPA wasn't high enough to make the Top 1/3 it was not because of some hidden bias or unfair disadvantage.  It was because you didn't beat enough of your part-time peers on exams throughout law school.



Actually, that is not the purpose of a curve.  The curve system is designed to eradicate inequities among the students in ONE peer group/class/course, not among different peer groups (i.e. different classes, and the part-timers and full-timers are different classes).

9
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 16, 2009, 04:52:21 PM »
Wait...is it the same grading scale and curve for the part-time classes as full-time classes?  If the answer to that question is yes, then I don't think your complaint holds water.

It is.  But the GPA that can get you into the top one-third of the part-time class might not be enough to get you into the top one-third of the full-time class.  So you're an honor student when ranked with the part-timers but then you're not once you're lumped with the full-timers.  How is this fair, especially when the part-timers are not true peers of the full-timers?  I notice hardly anyone addresses the merits of my "peer" argument:  they just ask the same question you just asked me.  Who cares if the scale and curve are the same if the entire purpose behind the ranking system (being ranked in accordance with your peers) is subverted? So my complaint still holds water.

10
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 16, 2009, 04:17:04 PM »
I'm still sort of confused about why you feel the system is so "unfair."  From my understanding, part-timers take (almost) all of their classes with other part-timers, and full-timers with full-timers.  Therefore, in each individual class, your performance on the exam is curved in relation to your fellow part-timers.  If the same 3.0 curve is used for both part-time and full-time sections, the grade breakdown should be very similar for each section.  While your GPA upon graduation is compared to the those of full-time students, you earned that GPA competing against fellow part-timers--your peer group.  Maybe the top 10% of part-timers are much smarter, or vice versa, but that doesn't change the fact that the top 10% should be essentially the same grade cutoff.  Curves are designed to account for differences amongst different sections, and to remedy the exact problem of which you complain.

I already explained it adequately enough.  They should keep us ranked only with the part-timers until the VERY END.  It ISN'T fair to lump us together with the full-timers, who have more opportunities to excel in law school (I already listed them above), especially since we had for 3 years been ranked with just the part-timers.  Trust me, if you were in the part-time program, being ranked with the part-timers, and then suddenly find that your top one-third rank from the first 3 years is lost when lumped together with the full-timers, you would be highly pissed.  Being ranked in the top one-third is what gives you a much better opportunity to obtain an attorney job upon graduation and passing the bar.  The fact that you achieved that among your real peers (the part-timers) and yet had that taken away from you when suddenly compared to the full-timers (who aren't your peers) is unfair.  Period.

Your argument is crap. Everyone, whether it be full-timers or part-timers, has different obstacles. Maybe UNLV should create a separate ranking for students with kids too. And why stop there? There should be a number one in the class with 1 kid, a number one in the class with 2 kids and so on.

Further, part-timers statistically have lower LSATs and GPAs than full-timers. By having a separate ranking system you're essentially saying that UNLV should institute a handicap scheme.

My argument is crap?  Your slippery-slope argument is so ridiculous, it's laughable.  The obstacles and characteristics I listed are the ones practically EVERY part-time student experiences, and not just a rare obstacle that hardly anyone experiences. And using your number-of-children example:  most part-timers do have children, which is not true of the younger, full-time students.  So the part-timers share enough characteristics, ones that the full-timers don't have, to consider them a separate peer group.  It's unfortunate that you fail to see the true definition of a peer.  The full-timers are not my peers simply because they attend the same law school. And do the part-timers take classes with the full-timers?  No, they do not.  The only time they would is if the part-timers got lucky enough to take a class during the day, and that rarely happens since part-timers are working full time.  So why the hell should they be lumped with the full timers when they really are in a class of their own?

About the "statistics" you mention:  that again is mostly due to part-timers having LESS time to study than the full-timers, and not due to a "handicap" or inability to do the work.  If they were unable to do the work, then why the hell would the law school admit them?  To drive their rankings down because these "handicapped" people were unable to pass the bar?  I don't think so. BTW, only one of the people in my part-time class failed the bar exam:  I and everyone else passed.  So we are certainly not "handicapped."

Also, accepting your argument as true, that the part-timers have lower GPA's on average than the full-timers, then my conclusion is correct:  namely that a separate, yet equal (5% of the part-time class still gets A's, just like in the full-time class) ranking should be applied.  If GPA's are lower among most part-timers, then why shouldn't there be a separate ranking system for them, assuming that this *is* a common, defining trait that is shared equally among the part-timers?  This is yet another reason why the part-timers should not be considered "peers" of the full-timers; that is, assuming that your "statistics" are indeed true.  

You first said that the full-timers and part-timers equally share obstacles, and then you followed this up by saying that the part-timers still tend to have lower GPA's than the full-timers, which distinguishes them enough to consider them to be separate from the full-timers for peer-classification purposes.  You just proved my argument for me, thank you very much.

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