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Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading

AZWildcat

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Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading
« on: January 27, 2008, 05:27:27 PM »
I am an editor of the San Diego Law Review (before I get the "TTT" comments from the know-it-all 0Ls, we are ranked 23 [Leiter] and are the 15th most submitted to journal [Be-Press/ExpressO]) and we are publishing an article from a USD professor about 1L grades.  The paper covers many other topics including the socratic method, student anxiety and mental health, and a few of the law school misperceptions.  The paper also cites many other articles on tangental law student topics.

I have a few personal misgivings about this paper, but I don't think it's appropriate to make any pointed public criticism.  It is SDLR's policy (and most law reviews follow this policy as well) to publish all professors from our school.  That said, I think it's another valuable perspective to add to your body of knowledge before entering school. 

Enjoy!

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID1018729_code514132.pdf?abstractid=1018729&mirid=1

Re: Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2008, 09:21:42 PM »
I am an editor of the San Diego Law Review (before I get the "TTT" comments from the know-it-all 0Ls, we are ranked 23 [Leiter] and are the 15th most submitted to journal [Be-Press/ExpressO]) and we are publishing an article from a USD professor about 1L grades.  The paper covers many other topics including the socratic method, student anxiety and mental health, and a few of the law school misperceptions.  The paper also cites many other articles on tangental law student topics.

I have a few personal misgivings about this paper, but I don't think it's appropriate to make any pointed public criticism.  It is SDLR's policy (and most law reviews follow this policy as well) to publish all professors from our school.  That said, I think it's another valuable perspective to add to your body of knowledge before entering school. 

Enjoy!

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID1018729_code514132.pdf?abstractid=1018729&mirid=1


Thanks for the link... very insightful and intimidating.  I really enjoyed the first 20 pages, but I'm not too confident that the professorís approach will do much to alleviate the situation.  Telling students they're winners despite receiving poor grades (and thereby worse career prospects) seems a bit vacuous.

Anyone else read it?

Miss P

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Re: Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 09:24:30 PM »
tag

I am Penny Lane

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Re: Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2008, 09:38:05 PM »
tag for later.

AZWildcat

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Re: Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2008, 02:39:12 AM »
Thanks for the link... very insightful and intimidating.  I really enjoyed the first 20 pages, but I'm not too confident that the professorís approach will do much to alleviate the situation.  Telling students they're winners despite receiving poor grades (and thereby worse career prospects) seems a bit vacuous.

Anyone else read it?

Thanks for your reply.  As with anything, I'd recommend reading it with a discriminating eye. 

However, I'm not sure your conclusion was where he was driving.  I don't think Professor Morris would say poor grades means you're a winner.  I think he would say not to let grades, especially your first set of grades, define you.  To that end, I completely agree with him.  But as you've correctly pointed out, the near term practical ramifications (i.e. jobs) are problematic.  Professor Morris would probably counter by noting that one of the more famous USD law grads is not famous in law but baseball (Theo Epstein, general manager of the Boston Red Sox).

Lenny

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Re: Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2008, 05:34:10 AM »

It is SDLR's policy (and most law reviews follow this policy as well) to publish all professors from our school. 
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID1018729_code514132.pdf?abstractid=1018729&mirid=1


My experience is that most Law Reviews specifically avoid publishing professors from their own school.  Neither here nor there for the purposes of this thread, but just my observation.

Re: Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2008, 10:07:29 AM »
Thanks for the link... very insightful and intimidating.  I really enjoyed the first 20 pages, but I'm not too confident that the professor’s approach will do much to alleviate the situation.  Telling students they're winners despite receiving poor grades (and thereby worse career prospects) seems a bit vacuous.

Anyone else read it?

Thanks for your reply.  As with anything, I'd recommend reading it with a discriminating eye. 

However, I'm not sure your conclusion was where he was driving.  I don't think Professor Morris would say poor grades means you're a winner.  I think he would say not to let grades, especially your first set of grades, define you.  To that end, I completely agree with him.  But as you've correctly pointed out, the near term practical ramifications (i.e. jobs) are problematic.  Professor Morris would probably counter by noting that one of the more famous USD law grads is not famous in law but baseball (Theo Epstein, general manager of the Boston Red Sox).

True.  My statement was more a pithy summary of my feelings about the article.  The author doesnít argue that failing students are winners.  Rather (as you said), he argues that students with poor grades shouldn't give up.  If they "withdraw" from learning, they waste the opportunity to receive an excellent education.

Nonetheless, I feel that the authorís suggested approach will not result in healthier, happier students. Regardless of studentsí attitudes, career prospects are worse for students with poor grades.  And, regardless of studentsí attitudes, students are generally disappointed/anxious/depressed when they realize their career options have worsened.  Therefore, I think itís a bit empty to tell students their grades shouldnít define them.  After all, grades define career prospects, and career prospects are the primary reason students attend law school.

I completely agree with the author that another major cause of students' anxiety/depression is the feelings that they don't have direct control over their own grades.  An external locus of control leads to anxiety, depression, etc.  Students, through feedback, should know what they must do to succeed.  I think the author would agree with me on this.  It just seems the authorís approach is like putting a band-aid on a wound that could have been prevented (or, at least, foreseen).

AZWildcat

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Re: Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2008, 10:23:26 AM »

It is SDLR's policy (and most law reviews follow this policy as well) to publish all professors from our school. 
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID1018729_code514132.pdf?abstractid=1018729&mirid=1


My experience is that most Law Reviews specifically avoid publishing professors from their own school.  Neither here nor there for the purposes of this thread, but just my observation.

And what experience is that?

AZWildcat

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Re: Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2008, 06:34:44 PM »
Thanks for the link... very insightful and intimidating.  I really enjoyed the first 20 pages, but I'm not too confident that the professorís approach will do much to alleviate the situation.  Telling students they're winners despite receiving poor grades (and thereby worse career prospects) seems a bit vacuous.

Anyone else read it?

Thanks for your reply.  As with anything, I'd recommend reading it with a discriminating eye. 

However, I'm not sure your conclusion was where he was driving.  I don't think Professor Morris would say poor grades means you're a winner.  I think he would say not to let grades, especially your first set of grades, define you.  To that end, I completely agree with him.  But as you've correctly pointed out, the near term practical ramifications (i.e. jobs) are problematic.  Professor Morris would probably counter by noting that one of the more famous USD law grads is not famous in law but baseball (Theo Epstein, general manager of the Boston Red Sox).

True.  My statement was more a pithy summary of my feelings about the article.  The author doesnít argue that failing students are winners.  Rather (as you said), he argues that students with poor grades shouldn't give up.  If they "withdraw" from learning, they waste the opportunity to receive an excellent education.

Nonetheless, I feel that the authorís suggested approach will not result in healthier, happier students. Regardless of studentsí attitudes, career prospects are worse for students with poor grades.  And, regardless of studentsí attitudes, students are generally disappointed/anxious/depressed when they realize their career options have worsened.  Therefore, I think itís a bit empty to tell students their grades shouldnít define them.  After all, grades define career prospects, and career prospects are the primary reason students attend law school.

I completely agree with the author that another major cause of students' anxiety/depression is the feelings that they don't have direct control over their own grades.  An external locus of control leads to anxiety, depression, etc.  Students, through feedback, should know what they must do to succeed.  I think the author would agree with me on this.  It just seems the authorís approach is like putting a band-aid on a wound that could have been prevented (or, at least, foreseen).

I think it's the well prepared and informed people, like you, who do well in law school.  You know what you're getting into.  It's not for most people that go, but it is for some people.  I did similar research, knew what I was getting into, and am happy I went.

Lenny

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Re: Law Professor Writes About 1L Grading
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2008, 06:52:06 PM »

And what experience is that?

Editor of my school's law review; most of my coworkers were editors on their respective law reviews.

We published one article from one of our professors all three years I was there, and that was seen as a big deal.  I'm not really sure why it is that way, but it does seem to be the norm.