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Messages - Lawprofessor

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Congratulations on the potential grade change. 

Interesting enough.  I had a Dean at a law school not return my phone call and come to find out a nephew of his died which prompted his having to leave town.  You dont know why he didnt return the email.  And the Dean didnt say he would change the grade.  Dont count the chicks before they are hatched.  Deans very rarely change grades because of the message it sends.

Impressive. I'm sure he'll be so much more sympathetic now that you've gone above his head without trying to handle the situation with him first...   ::)

Wouldn't have happened if the prof had responded to any of my attempts to contact him in the past 8 days.

And why should I care about what he thinks when the dean will change the grade for me?  It wasn't even my idea to have the dean speak with the prof....

Also, I'm sure the embarrassment of being reminded of the school's grading scheme does not outweigh the embarrassment of having a grade you've given overturned by the school administration.

I'm afraid I don't understand the kerfluffle over this either.  Fine, so there's no mandatory curve.  I know of a class where there's regularly an 8-pt spread between the highest grade and the lowest grade - grading clusters are not at all uncommon in classes where the raw material isn't that difficult and the main distinction between exams is how sophisticated the arguments are.  (That, incidentally, is the whole point of the curve - to translate a grading clusterf**ck into an intelligible, if totally subjective and somewhat meaningless distribution.)  And this isn't middle school, where 85% is automatically going to be tied to a B+.  Dunno, just seems like a lot of indignation over something that's unfortunate, but not necessarily unfair. 

I agree with this post.  As we all know law school exams/grades are based on not just what you did in a percentage on the exam, but based on what the rest of the class did on the exam as well.  Suppose out of the 20 people in the class 16 people scored 91+ and the OP and the 81% student and 78% student were the three lowest in the class.  It might mean that you get low passes.  It does not guarantee that you get low passes, but grades are at the discretion of the professor in that regard.  That might be the problem with an easy exam.  It means that people get a high percentage of the points but still get low grades.  And just because there is no manditory grading curve, does not mean that the professor cannot curve the grades.  One thing that I dont think was mentioned, but seems to be inferred is that this is the same professor teaching this class that taught the previous years classes that didnt give out any LPs.  If it is not him, then he cant be held to that standard and if it was him, he cant be held do that standard because those classes contained different students and no one knows what they did to deserve their grades.  How can someone take a class thinking they are guaranteed an excellent grade (I know the OP didnt say this, but someone else made this comment)??? 

I think at the end of the day, the only thing you can do is go to the professor and see why you received the grade you received.  Once it is explained to you you can decide how you respond.  Even if you disagree with the grade and his reasoning, be careful how you proceed.

Transferring / Re: Is it worth it?
« on: September 02, 2006, 08:23:02 AM »
This is what I've learned from talking to profs this week...

These are the factors, the more you have the better your chances

1) Rank and your school (Top 5%)
2) Reputation of Law School you from which you graduate (T10 best, T1 ok, T2 stretching it)
3) Federal Clerkship (Based alot on 1 and 2)
4) Being on Law Review or Journal
5) LLM from a Top School

Also, I've learned that LLM programs are not that difficult to get into.  According to my sources, they are basically a money maker for the school.

Thanks for the input all; transferring seems like my best bet, no matter what the current school offers me.

I didn't read all of this thread, so I apologize in advance if my advice is redundant.  But coming from someone who is also trying to crack into academia, I don't think this list is complete.  Certainly all of the things you listed are important, but probably the most important factor is your publication record.

As far as transferring, I think it's a tough call.  To begin with, as others have pointed out, most law profs come from a very small number of schools, namely Yale, Harvard, Chicago, etc.  Becoming a prof from a T4 or even a T2/low T1 is very unlikely -- not impossible, but unlikely.  But you will also HAVE to be at the very top of your class and on law review.  And if you transfer and end up w/median grades or worse and no law review, becoming a prof will be virtually impossible.  Now, becoming a prof may be virtually impossible from your current school, and so the risk may be the same. 

Edit: I also wanted to add that I don't think LLMs are all that important, and while they're probably more important for students who attend lower ranked schools, an LLM from, say Columbia, is not going to make you marketable if you werent remotely marketable before.  A phd however may make you considerably more marketable, especially given that the trend in academia is towards interdisciplinary scholarship.

Speaking as a law professor, the original list along with this one listing publication record are right on point.  If you want to become a law professor, you must set yourself up for it years before you actually intend to begin.  Best of luck.

Pursuing an LLM / Re: Point to an LLM?
« on: April 18, 2005, 04:35:33 PM »
Hi all, im only going to be starting law school next year (at where else but Michigan, as my name implies), and I was just wondering what the point of an LLM was.  I certainly would like to do legal research stuff, as well as maybe somewhere down the line teach at a law school (though I guess my chances are slim, as I go to "lowly" Michigan and not harvard or yale).  Do I need an LLM to do this?  Or are LLM's generally used to "offset" lower ranked schools?  Is it worth it only to do a LLM at a more prestigious school, like HYS?  Any input would be great, I am indeed a puzzled 1L to be.   

I would say that an LL.M. is probably only really necessary if you are going into teaching or taxation.  The real point of the LL.M. is to get some writing (i.e. publications) prior to your going on the market for teaching.  Now more than ever, in order to get into teaching, writing is a requirement.  I got my LL.M. from American University about 2 years ago and I was able to write 3 articles that I was ultimately able to get published.  It helped me find the time to write which once you graduate, you are going to have a hard time.  Going to one of the BIG schools, such as Michigan means you will not HAVE to get an LL.M.  My JD School was the University of Florida.  A good school, but in the world of law teaching, not good enough, and if you are going to teach, it helps to have one of the BIG schools on your resume, such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Michigan, etc...   It would have helped me even more had I gone to GW or Georgetown, but not having the knowledge that I have now hurt me in that I didn't think that it mattered that much.  I hope this helps.

Black Law Students / Re: So you want to be a law professor?
« on: January 06, 2008, 08:50:13 AM »
I am sorry to hear that. 

Hmm I wish you didn't have to have references.

I'm thinking I may not be interested in clerking after all. Hmmmm

What's wrong with references?  Just cause they're a pain to get people to do in a timely fashion?

No, it's because I don't have anyone to write them.

Black Law Students / Re: Black Law Student Discussion Board
« on: December 19, 2007, 08:38:58 AM »
Merry Christmas everyone and have a happy and safe holidays. :-*

Black Law Students / Re: Black Law Student Discussion Board
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:26:27 PM »
It goes well.  Every now and again I step out of the shadows.  It goes  excellently.  I dont think it could be better.

Whats shaking people?  I hope everyone is prepared to have a great holiday season. :-)

LOL. LP, out of hiding, man?  ;)  How goes it?

Black Law Students / Re: Black Law Student Discussion Board
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:25:39 PM »
Hey, on Christmas break so thought that i would drop in.  Nothing much going on, just out job hunting and hanging out.  Whats going on with you man?

Whoa, LP in the building!  What's been up, son.

Black Law Students / Re: Black Law Student Discussion Board
« on: December 09, 2007, 11:35:34 PM »
Whats shaking people?  I hope everyone is prepared to have a great holiday season. :-)

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