Law School Discussion

1L Law School Sections - How does your school rank your class?

Two questions:

1. Does your school have sections and if so, are you ranked within or without?
2. Does your school rank the 2nd and 3rd years or just the first year?


I go to Wake Forest.  Our 1L class is split into 4 sections of 40 students.  In the end we are all ranked against each other.  Our 2L and 3L classes are ranked within the whold 2L or 3L class as well.

Righgt now, I am sitting across from a JD/MBA in my summer internship who is screaming that this is the most statistically absurd process he has ever heard of and that all sections should be ranked only within their section.  To rank everyone together is unfair because we all didn't have the same professors while ranking within the section would produce the "proper" top 10, 25, 33, etc for each section and therefore the school.  If you rank the whole school together and you had one section where the professors all graded to the middle then no one in that section had a fair chance of making it to the top, etc...

I understand his argument but I explained that it doesn't really matter because how would you rank the 2Ls and 3Ls.  They are all in different classes.  And he said, "What!?  Why does your school rank the upper classes1? Most schools only rank the first year!"  He likes to scream a lot.

Re: 1L Law School Sections - How does your school rank your class?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2006, 07:44:11 AM »
Every year is ranked.

The section argument makes sense except that, as you pointed out, it would be obsolete and pointless after the first year.  usually, sections are divided up so that there are a couple of hard grading teachers in each section.  In the end, it all washes out.
The thing to watch for are clever students who find out what teachers are the easier graders the second or third year (especially if the curve is not mandatory after the first year).  Some students will focus on taking these "easier" classes to bolster their GPA and rank.  To what extent they accomplish this, Im not sure.

Re: 1L Law School Sections - How does your school rank your class?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2006, 08:33:02 AM »
You should tell that guy to stab himself in the face... what an ass master.

Speaking of absurd, if it was the way he wanted it, you'd go into interviews w/ firms saying, "Ah yes, as you can see by my resume, I was ranked number 2 in subsection 4 of my first year class. Clearly this demonstrates my ability to be second best amongst one fourth of my class" Now doesn't that sound like a silly thing to say? Did everyone have the same teachers in high school? Nope. And they still managed to rank everyone.It was rocket science.

And aome (at least the one I'm going to) schools have their bar prep classes, e.g. wills and trusts, on a forced curve, so if you take the classes you need to take to (prepare for) pass the bar, the GPA thing will take care of itself. You can all laugh at the guy who takes "easy" classes to boost his GPA, and then can't pass the bar.