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Messages - ethelmag

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Law School Admissions / Re: How exactly does the "curve" work
« on: February 28, 2005, 01:59:39 PM »
The curve works differently at different schools, and sometimes differently for different professors within a school. I have this info from my husband, who finished law school a few years ago, and some law professors he is friends with who have visited at various other schools.

The basic idea of a curve is that the grades for any given class should fall roughly on a bell curve. That is, most students should have a score in the middle of the range, with fewer students on the high and low ends.

What exactly is the "middle" varies widely. Some schools dictate that the middle of the curve should be, say, a B. Other schools are more precise, and will dictate to a professor that 50% of the class should have a B, 15% B+, 15% B-, 8% A-, 8% C+, and so on (I'm making these numbers up). Other places leave all discretion up to the professor. Still other places might say something like "at least 2 students must get a C- or lower," or "you can't fail more than 2 students".

This curve explains a lot of why law students feel their grades are "random". If you feel like you did really well on an exam, then you expect an A. But maybe you feel great about it because it was really easy, so everyone else also did well, your performance was only average for the class, and you end up with a B. Then in another class you felt like you totally messed up on the exam, but that's because it was really hard and everyone else did even worse than you, and all of a sudden you've got an A+.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Hoya Lawyas!
« on: February 21, 2005, 03:29:23 PM »
Congrats! Info from my GULC acceptance pack (a couple of weeks ago) says that the Open House is on March 31-April 1. There are also receptions at law firms in 8 major cities on various days.

I'm not going to be at the open house, but I'm visiting next week to see the campus and sit in on a class and everything.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Constitutional Law Carrer
« on: February 18, 2005, 06:23:44 PM »
I just discovered that Leiter updated his Supreme Court clerks list through the current term. You can see the new list on his blog:

There's a ray of hope here for the GW-bound: they had one student make it to a Supreme Court clerkship within the past couple of years.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Constitutional Law Carrer
« on: February 18, 2005, 03:38:20 PM »
Now, by "top" i assume you mean HYSCCN - not so much G-Dubs or WashU? 

Brian Leiter made a list of what schools placed the most clerks at the Supreme Court between 1991 and 2001. Harvard, Yale, and Chicago are the big winners, but it's possible to get there from other schools. You really have to be at the top of your class, though, and get a good federal appellate clerkship first.

The list:

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v Wade
« on: February 13, 2005, 03:35:34 PM »
Clearly your information is wrong. The Supreme Court isn't even having oral arguments on February 18. You can see their 2004-2005 argument calendar here, on their website.

Summaries of the cases can be found at Duke Law School's fantastic Supreme Court website. I looked up all the February cases except the ones obviously not about abortion (i.e. It's probably not in Exxon Mobile vs. Saudi Basic Industries), and none of them involve anything even close to abortion.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: GULC Students
« on: February 08, 2005, 11:35:24 PM »
Do many GULC students live in the suburbs? I don't think I could stand living in a city, without huge expanses of grass and grocery store. Also, I'm bringing my husband and two cats to D.C. with me, so dorms and probably student apartments are out.

I lived in the D.C. area for a while before I was married, right after I finished college. I had an apartment in Arlington, which was pretty good. I hear Maryland is nice, too, and might be more convenient with the Metro lines that GULC is near.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Firefox
« on: February 06, 2005, 11:45:10 PM »
tabbed browsing kicks ass.  it is 1000x better than ie.  no more popups or nasty security holes.

Agreed! I've been using Firefox since it was in beta, nearly two years now. I'm so used to tabbed browsing that when I find myself forced to use IE at a library computer or something, I'm majorly slowed down.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Georgetown online status check??
« on: February 03, 2005, 06:19:59 PM »
No, Georgetown will only give out the decision via postal mail. And every acceptance gets a cute little handwritten note at the bottom. Mine was about singing groups at Georgetown, since I talked about my college singing groups in my personal statement.

I think the liberal dominance of higher education is already past its peak. It's still going on, and most professors still (consciously or subconsciously) expect their colleagues and even students to be fellow liberals, but enough people are worried about the situation that a critical mass has been reached. There was a fantastic article in the Chronicle of Higher Education a month or two ago about how the liberal bias perpetuates itself and harms even liberals by locking out opposing views and losing touch with reality. And now we're starting to see things like the President of Brown University attacking the lack of intellectual diversity on campus.

Students like us (I'm a libertarian) are actually kind of lucky, as I see it. We get to be in the forefront of bringing intellectual diversity to campuses that have marginalized people like us for decades. I'm excited about it.

You should definitely tell those schools about your political experiences. At one or two liberal schools, it might even turn out to be a plus that you're a conservative.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Georgetown online status check??
« on: February 01, 2005, 11:26:50 AM »
Yeah, the admitted students site definitely opens 4 days after you're accepted. I live in California, and managed to sign on to the site before my acceptance letter came in the mail.

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