# Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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### AuthorTopic: Curves at law schools and how do they work?  (Read 19656 times)

#### Specks

• Sr. Citizen
• Posts: 111
##### Curves at law schools and how do they work?
« on: March 11, 2008, 03:09:24 AM »
I was just wondering if anyone out there would be kind enough to explain how curves work in law schools. I keep hearing things like  3.3 vs 2.8 etc but I haven't a clue what any of it really means. If there are some kind souls wonderful enough to explain this I would be forever grateful.

Also, does anyone by chance know the curve structures of UNLV, UC Davis and Loyolla M?

#### \$Bill

• Sr. Citizen
• Posts: 995
##### Re: Curves at law schools and how do they work?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2008, 08:09:19 AM »
If the curve is at 2.7, that means that half the class will be above and half below.  Its a harsh curve.  I preface (suffix?) this by pointing out that I am not a math major and do not understand if its exactly an average, some sort of median, or a mean (which I doubt).

If you want to know your schools curve go to the "academics" section of their website, and they'll give the "suggested" grading structure, which may or may not be followed by any given professor.

#### limegreen

• Sr. Citizen
• Posts: 521
##### Re: Curves at law schools and how do they work?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2008, 10:02:43 AM »
It's a median if half of the people are below and half above.

#### \$Bill

• Sr. Citizen
• Posts: 995
##### Re: Curves at law schools and how do they work?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2008, 10:28:52 AM »
It's a median if half of the people are below and half above.

There you go.

#### nealric

• Global Moderator
• Sr. Citizen
• Posts: 2259
• a.k.a. Miguel Sanchez
##### Re: Curves at law schools and how do they work?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2008, 11:22:55 AM »
At least at my school the prof has discretion on how to distribute grades to create the median.

If the curb is a B+, the proffessor is within his/her discression to give every person in the class a B+, or to give out only As and Cs with nothing in between.

Chief justice Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Now who's being naive?

#### LifesaBitch

• Full Member
• Posts: 79
##### Re: Curves at law schools and how do they work?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 05:48:41 PM »
At least at my school the prof has discretion on how to distribute grades to create the median.

If the curb is a B+, the proffessor is within his/her discression to give every person in the class a B+, or to give out only As and Cs with nothing in between.

I think most schools utilize a B- grading curve.
Northwestern - Class of 2011!

#### nealric

• Global Moderator
• Sr. Citizen
• Posts: 2259
• a.k.a. Miguel Sanchez
##### Re: Curves at law schools and how do they work?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2008, 03:52:39 PM »
As a general (but not universal) rule, top schools have higher curves than lower ranked schools.

Most of the t14s that have grades are on a B/B+ or B+ curve. A lot of T2 schools are on a B-, Some TTTs are on a C+ or C.

Chief justice Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Now who's being naive?

#### StudentUVA

• Sr. Citizen
• Posts: 2856
##### Re: Curves at law schools and how do they work?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2008, 09:52:25 AM »
We have a B+ curve. But profs distribute the grades as they wish. Most seem to keep it fairly close, and don't fail anyone. To show you the grade distribution of one of our actual classes:

Nothin below B-
B-'s: 6
B's: 6
B+:10
A-: 6
A: 3
No A+'s

#### Refused Party Program

• Sr. Citizen
• Posts: 494
##### Re: Curves at law schools and how do they work?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2008, 12:51:49 PM »
Here there is 3.17 (B+/B) curve that is on the median and the mean. As others have pointed out, the professor can grade tightly or grade broadly, it is up to them (at least here).

The odd result of this is that an "easy" test can end up being your worse grade. If the test is easy, most people did well, which means your margin for error is much smaller.

#### deedeeleigh

• Sr. Citizen
• Posts: 195
##### Re: Curves at law schools and how do they work?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2008, 03:51:18 PM »
I'm curious as to how this gets equalized across sections in LS. Is the top 1/3 of each section calculated, and that becomes the top 1/3 of the class (entire 1L class)? If the teacher's have discretion to give higher or lower grades, that's the only way that seems fair. Otherwise, if a teacher (ore more than one) in a section likes giving out A+'s, you could have a much higher ratio of higher ranked students in one section, which I don't believe actually ever happens.

Anybody know?