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Messages - confusedatquinnipiac

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31
General Board / Re: A Defense of the Law School Curve
« on: January 14, 2008, 10:48:31 AM »

For example, let's say your class has multiple sections of a required 1L course.  Some professors are naturally going to grade more harshly than others.  If professors are not held to a mandatory curve, students who have the misfortune of ending up in the hard-graded section will be at a disadvantage vis-a-vis those in the easy graded section.  A mandatory curve provides at least some protection from the capricious whims of a professor who might otherwise be inclined to grade very harshly.  Is the variable of the exam-taking skills of the people who happen to be in your class a nice variable with which to contend?  Probably not, but is the one I've just described any better?

This still doesn't stop one of our crim professors from refusing to follow the curve and give Fs/Ds to 1/3 of the class (my pathetic C+ is actually viewed a sa good grade using his system)

Secondly and similarly, the curve provides at least some insulation from the effects on grades of a bad teacher.  Bad teaching, mistaken teaching, or poor materials affect all students' grades equally, and don't place students in the problem section at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the students in more effectively-taught sections.
Same as first point I made

Third, without the curve, the pressure for grade inflation would be intense.  None of us needs to be reminded of the importance of law school grades to our career prospects and futures.  It's not hard to understand why schools would face constant pressure to drive the average GPAs up. 

This assumes though that the curve is at a good level--- my school's for instance is set pretty low thus making our educational background look even worse as we try to seek employment

Fourth, I have seen the argument on this board that law schools should grade based on the comprehension of the material rather than the quality of the final exam answers of the other students.  The problem with this is that legal employers' behavior makes it reasonable to believe that they don't particularly care about students' comprehension of the material.  Virtually everyone with whom I've discussed summer and post-graduation employment has been astonished to discover that, with the exception of certain basic rudimentary concepts, very little of what they learned in law school was necessary for them to function in their employment.  The vast amount of the knowledge that they actually use in their work, they claim, comes from their on-the-job training.  Moreover, I don't believe that legal employers place so much emphasis on school pedigree because they think that higher-ranked schools teach better, nor do I believe that they place so much emphasis on grades because they believe that students with better grades understand the Rule Against Perpetuities better.  If they cared about your comprehension of the material or the quality of the curriculum at a given school, a written test would be a more effective means of selecting employees.  I think that legal employers use these as proxies for intelligence and analytical skills.

I agree with you....Why not a huge curriculum overhaul then in all law schools so that the things you learn are practically important? I find it odd how, for instance, the things you are tested on for the bars is the same material you learn your first year; years before actually taking the test

I am not arguing the curve causes problems etc. but just that either my school is messed up when it comes to these issues, or that the situation is more complex and cannot be answered by merely the existence of a curve, even though the curve might help overall

32
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: wtf con law
« on: January 13, 2008, 07:56:02 PM »
I don't know whether this really answers your question but I (at least so far) haven't been finding Con Law that bad because my BA was in Political Science and History, both of which I focused on the founders for. One of the classes I took though really helped out even though it was after the founding, Constitutional History since the Civil War, and the book is helping me quite a bit. Its a casebook but I really like the writing style and would recommend looking into it if you need some extra help (your library probably has it so you won't have to buy it)- Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (edited by Akhil Amar, P. Brest, S. Levinson, and J.M. Balkin)--- hope that helps

as far as founding era, look into the federalist papers and Madison's notes on the convention or for an overview, anything Forrest McDonald is usually pretty good

33
General Board / Re: Issue Spotting
« on: January 13, 2008, 05:25:29 PM »
Issue spotting was described by a Bar/Bri guy as the grey area surrounding a fact, not pointing out the fact.

Say you have a case which defines assault as "touching" another person in an unwelcome way.  Then say you have a man whose boss blew cigar smoke in his face.  Note: I have no idea if that's what assault is, since our Torts class didn't cover it.

The issue here is whether the case law that you learned applies to that situation.  Do the cigar smoke particles, which do have a physical substance, count as having touched the man's face?  Was his boss really assaulting him, when the instrumenet used was not attached to his boss (not an arm, leg, tooth, etc.)?  Issue spotting isn't saying, "Oh!  this fact is just like X v. Y, it's arguing the grey area--because exam hypos will never, ever line up exactly with cases you read in class. 

Summary: See the fact.  Find the cases that apply.  Then argue how they cases are similar and should apply.  Then argue how the cases are different and should not apply.  Then come to a conclusion.

I know you wouldn't know since your class didn't cover it, but I just thought I'd help clarify for any intersted 0Ls who read the board.... a battery is an offensive or harmful contact with the person made without a valid excuse such as consent, so in this case the smoke blowing in the face might be a battery. An assault is putting another individual in the immenent apprehension of a battery; so if the man saw the smoke blowing in his face (which he did) it would be battery and assault. But if for whatever reason he was not put in apprehension of the contact, it could only be a battery.

34
General Board / Re: Post Your Grades as you get them!
« on: January 13, 2008, 03:45:33 PM »
Contracts -- A+ -- Unorthodox prof who didn't/doesn't really teach that well, but think I started getting it in Nov. I think everyone just gave up.

CivPro -- A+ -- Great prof who let you know EXACTLY what she wanted, but she wanted EVERY step of the analysis on the exam. I think most just left stuff out.

Prop -- A -- Got lucky. I thought I whiffed on the essays, but I guess everyone did.

Torts -- A -- My hardest and favorite class. Thought I did well, but not that well. Most satisfying A I've ever gotten b/c I felt like an idiot in this class most days.

Lawyering -- B -- Oh well.

I was freakin' psyched when I saw these. I was thinking maybe 1 or 2 A's.  I would have been disappointed if I had gotten more than 1 C.  Anyway, round 2 starts Monday. Good luck all.
Wow my school doesn't even have A+ as a grade.... the highest you can get is an A

35
General Board / Re: Issue Spotting
« on: January 13, 2008, 03:43:55 PM »
Paul should file a lawsuit in federal court against the manufacturer of the automobile,
and the dealership that sold him the car.

There is diversity of juristdiction in this case.

Is there diversity? I know there would be between Paul and Fred but it says that the dealership that sold him the car is from MI and so is Paul, so since they are both from MI wouldn't it destroy complete diversity between the parties?

36
General Board / Re: Why harsher curves at lower-ranked schools?
« on: January 13, 2008, 01:18:16 PM »
Isn't it a little unusual then that employers find both the ranking of the school and the grades important? You figure they would realize that a B+ at a tier one is the average of the class just as a B- at a tier three would be.... seems like there should be a better way of reconciling the two variables

granted the higher ranked schools are better but shouldn't employers when looking at the lower ranked schools take into consideration the curve differentiation?

37
General Board / Re: Grades?
« on: January 12, 2008, 02:58:09 PM »
So Civ pro is worth how many credits?

My understanding is as follows...

A
B+
B-
C+
and maybe a B- in Torts...

This leaves you w/ a gpa right around 3 correct?

I can understand concerns about the scholarship but by no means do I consider this grades poor..

Actually I mistyped... its a B- in legal skills, not B+, but I am almost positive i did better than a B- in Torts.... Crim is 3 credits, Legal skills 2 (and 2 for Legal skills 2 spring semester which is graded seperately) 4 credits for torts and 6 in total for contracts (25% of grade fall semester and 75% spring) and 5 civ pro (25% fall-75% spring) and then the other two classes in the spring are property (4 credits) and constitutional (4 credits)

So right now the only "real grades" I have (excluding the TBA torts) are the C+ crim and the B- legal skills which averages to a 2.466666- which is the reason for my panic :(

38
General Board / Is there anyone I can talk to?
« on: January 11, 2008, 05:36:19 PM »
I am just wondering, since I am not good at administrative messes, if anyone knows if there is generally someone employed at the law school I can talk to about how I am doing etc.? In other words, is there any position at my school that could help me better understand what I can and cannot do based on my grades and how they compare to the other students etc?

39
General Board / Re: Grades?
« on: January 11, 2008, 09:56:03 AM »
Does crappy grades just keep you from the best jobs or all jobs? In other words, does this ensure I will never be employed after graduation?

40
General Board / Re: Grades?
« on: January 10, 2008, 11:04:53 PM »
btw, Civ Pro is like contracts, the B- is only 25% of my grade, with the other 75% coming from the spring exam

what should I make of my Civ Pro professor's remarks in light of my grade?

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