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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feb vs July bar exam scaled scores
« on: May 14, 2014, 02:57:50 PM »
Yeah, I know what you mean.

My understanding (and this based only on the CA bar exam) is that the nature of the test taker pool (repeaters, etc) does not necessarily increase your chances of passing.

It would seem that a high performing student would benefit from being compared to lower performers, but I've been told the impact is minimal.

I was told that because the overall performance on the MBEs is lower than in July, scores which are already above average receive very little boost from scaling. Thus, someone who is borderline supposedly has a better chance of being pushed over the top due to scaling in July than in Feb.     

As far as the essays and PTs, I'm not sure. You still have to hit all the issues to get a 65. The fact that the pass rate is significantly lower makes me think the bar examiners aren't cutting much slack based on comparative performance.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feb vs July bar exam scaled scores
« on: May 14, 2014, 12:38:24 PM »
I seem to remember that at least in California it was considered a little more difficult to pass the Feb bar due to MBE scaling. Most people get less of boost in their MBE score in Feb as compared to July.

Current Law Students / Re: Law School Attrition
« on: May 14, 2014, 11:36:03 AM »
Are you confused about what you wrote yourself, or the idea of the bar being a gatekeeper?

I'm confused with your statement "...if you're talking about a weeding out process, you'd have to take that to the bar".

Take what to the bar? A school's attrition policy? There is no such requirement. Why would that be more fair than allowing the schools (and students!) to make their own decisions? 

It boils down to this:

We agree that there are too many people in law school who shouldn't be there. I believe the best way to weed them out is through academic attrition, you think it is through the LSAT and new ABA standards regarding admission.

Just make the LSAT harder and make an ABA standard requiring minimum admission standards

Making the LSAT harder will result in lower scores across the board, but won't solve the problem. Law schools will simply admit classes with lower average scores.

Creating new ABA standards is very lengthy, complex, and political process. As far as I'm aware, the ABA has shown no interest whatsoever in adopting such a recommendation. There would be huge pushback against such a standard from the law schools themselves as well as various interest groups.

That leaves academic attrition as the most viable option for dealing with underperformers.

Current Law Students / Re: Law School Attrition
« on: May 13, 2014, 10:56:59 PM »
Do, you even know what the ABA is?

Of course I do.

It's the American Barrister's Association, and is responsible for regulating solicitors and barristers in the United States, Canada, and Jamaica.

And if you are talking about a weeding out process you'd have to take that to the bar, that is far more rational if you are into "giving a chance"


Current Law Students / Re: Law School Attrition
« on: May 13, 2014, 08:25:46 PM »
I think weeding out underperformers through attrition is the better option.

Here's why:

Lots of people with lowish GPA/LSATs gain admission to local law schools, pass all their classes, graduate, and become lawyers. They are given an opportunity to prove themselves, and rise to the occasion. Many go on to become DAs, PDs, Main Street lawyers, etc. and play a vital role in the legal market.

Their classmates who are given the same opportunity and don't rise to the challenge should be weeded out, but I don't see the sense in throwing the baby out with the bath water. It makes more sense to me to give people the chance, then make the necessary cuts.

I don't know if attrition needs to be as high as 33%, but 5-10% seems low. Attrition (academic) at my school was only around 6% I believe. It should have been higher, probably more like 15%. 

There is also a political aspect to this issue which makes it unlikely that the ABA will attempt to impose numeric admission standards. The arguments against such bright line regulations range from the detrimental effect on URM enrollment, to the impact on legal services to the poor, to the impact on small firms. I imagine that the law schools, too, don't want the ABA making admissions decisions for them.   

Current Law Students / Re: Law School Attrition
« on: May 13, 2014, 04:25:52 PM »
I think it has much more to do with economics than hand holding. If schools routinely failed out 33% of their class they would lose large amounts of tuition money. Again, proving the point no school wants to kick students out removing one student can result in a loss of 60k to 80k over two years.

I don't think anyone was ever trying to argue that they "want" to fail them out
just that (for whatever reason) they DO

Well, I would argue that they don't fail them out "for whatever reason", they fail them out because they aren't meeting the minimum acceptable standards. If someone can't pass the first year courses, they're unlikely to pass the bar.

Law school attrition should probably be higher than it currently is. There were multiple people at my school who scraped by with barely acceptable grades, graduated, and never passed the bar. I'm not sure the school did them any favors by allowing them to repeat failed courses and continue.   

Current Law Students / Re: Law School Attrition
« on: May 13, 2014, 01:56:05 PM »
The sense of entitlement that all patients think they deserve to live probably sickens him as well

Yes, because a patient fighting for his life is entirely comparable to a lazy 1L who sits on his ass all semester and fails contracts.

Current Law Students / Law School Attrition
« on: May 13, 2014, 12:35:15 PM »
I posted a link to this article in another forum, but am reposting here.

Apparently, despite all the handwringing law school attrition it is at an historic low. It was very high in the 60's, dropped to 20% by 1975, and has not gone above 10% since 1994.

Grade inflation? Better academic support? A more qualified applicant pool? I don't know.

I remember my Con Law prof (an Ivy League grad) saying that 1/3 attrition was expected when he was in law school. Maybe our increasing sense of entitlement has convinced us that we deserve a J.D., and we balk at the idea of being told "no".

Widener U School of Law / Re: Widener TAP 2013
« on: May 12, 2014, 11:20:07 AM »

Interesting article, and pertinent to our conversation. According to this author, law school attrition is at a historic low. In 1966 attrition was 45% (!). It has been dropping since 1974, and is now around 10%.

It's all about perspective.

Widener U School of Law / Re: Widener TAP 2013
« on: May 12, 2014, 10:28:49 AM »
Citylaw brings up some good points.

Attrition rates have to be separated into academic/non-academic attrition, otherwise they make no sense. For example, I graduated from a part-time program where many of the students were balancing jobs and families along with law school. Our academic attrition was pretty low, but we had lots of people drop out because they couldn't handle the pressure, the expense, or they transferred.

Of course, at some lower ranked schools academic attrition is high because they're admitting people who didn't get in anywhere else. There are two ways to look at this practice. The conventional wisdom seems to be that these students are being ripped off by being admitted then failed out.

The thing I don't like about that theory is that it assumes that people have no personal agency whatsoever. No personal responsibility, no decision making power.

No one forces anyone to go to law school, and the requirements and expectations are available to anyone who takes five seconds to google them. Another view is that these schools are giving people an opportunity that they wouldn't normally have. And yes, there is some risk involved. But if the student works hard and dedicates themselves they will likely graduate, pass the bar, and realize their dreams.

Remember, a large majority of the people who begin law school will graduate and become lawyers. I meet lawyers literally every single day who couldn't get admitted to high ranked schools, went to a low ranked schools, and are successful practicing attorneys. I know quite a few who put their T1 counterparts to shame. It's all about the level of dedication you're willing to invest.   


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