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Author Topic: Who wants to make me feel better?  (Read 1172 times)

gilliebear

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Who wants to make me feel better?
« on: January 18, 2008, 11:55:42 AM »
Hola, I just joined the board. I am a 1L at a T30 law school.

I have a problem...I am feeling really destroyed about a grade I received on the largest writing assignment for my LR&W class. We had two assignments throughout the semester.  The first assignment, a memo, I received an A- on, got pretty much only two comments about organization and failing to include a case the teacher wanted to be mentioned. His comment was "I know you are capable of writing an excellent trial brief"

So I did my trial brief, probably put in 3 times the amount of time spent on the memo, visited the teacher about my organization, worked with my TA on several occasions, revised, revised, revised. I went through the instructions, grading rubric, double checked to make sure all the cases were included, focused on everything the teacher said he wanted include, etc. etc. Turned it in feeling completely confident and proud of the effort I had done. Then I get my grade for the class, a B+. I was a little disappointed and confused.

I am applying for a job which requires a writing sample so I emailed the professor asking for my grade on the final brief since I want to submit the assignment which got the highest grade. He emailed me back. You got a B on the final brief. Needless to say, I am shocked, really upset, confused, the whole spectrum of crappy emotions.

I am not a crybaby, nor do I feel like I am only deserving of top grades or something. But this really hurts. I don't understand how I could do so well on my first assignment, having never written anything legal before, and then go down on the grade spectrum when I put even more effort and nitpicked to the teachers liking. Normally if this happened, I would say to myself, ok letís see what you can work on for next time, but I don't think I would do anything different. And itís hard for me to blame the teacher for being an ass because I like to hold myself accountable.

Sorry for the rant, but I feel really bad and alone. I am supposed to be working on this application for a scholarship today and I just don't have any motivation and my confidence has gone out of the window. I don't want to talk to my friends about this, my boyfriend doesn't understand, and my parents just say "oh well try harder next time". Thanks.

aXXo

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Re: Who wants to make me feel better?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2008, 11:59:07 AM »
I got a B- on my first draft, then got a C on the final draft because I hadn't done as much rewriting as my classmates.  The fact is that not everyone can get bumped up and others get bumped down.  I just didn't put in work, but you did and clearly missed some things that you needed to do that at least some of your classmates with a lower grade on the first draft discovered.  Try to meet with your prof and get some insight into the process.  Good luck. 

jacy85

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Re: Who wants to make me feel better?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2008, 12:05:42 PM »
A B+ is not a bad grade, nor is a B for that matter.

A brief and a memo are fundamentally different.  A memo is objective, highly centered on legal reasoning.  A brief, on the other hand, is channeling that legal reasoning into a highly persuasive argument.  Objectivity and persuasiveness are two very different skills, and many writers have more natural talent for one than the other.  Personally, I did alright on my memo, and hit the ball out of the park with my brief.  I worked very hard on both documents, went to my professor for help and suggestions, etc.  I just happened to be better out of the gate w/ brief writing.

That doesn't mean I'm not now a good objective writer.  I just had to work a little harder at it.  It seems to be the opposite with you - the objective analysis is your strength.  It's a waste of time and energy to get upset about being innately better than one over the other.  Use your memo as your writing sample, since you're a stronger objective writer.  And talk to your legal writing professor on the best ways to improve your persuasive writing skills.

Bottom line, there's no point in whining about it or beating yourself up.  Focus on improving what you can improve, and appreciate the fact that you have a lot of the basic tools.  Persuasiveness can be learned - there's a lot of finesse that's needed, there are a lot of judgment calls on what facts to include, which arguments to make, and how to organize it.  You'll get better with work and practice.

Jumboshrimps

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Re: Who wants to make me feel better?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2008, 12:35:03 PM »
WTF? At my school, people were thanking their lucky stars if they got out of legal writing class with a grade higher than C-. Either you go to one of those ridiculous grade-inflated schools or you need to appreciate your tremendous success is what is probably the most difficult class you will take in law school.

Bob Loblaw Esq.

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Re: Who wants to make me feel better?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2008, 01:02:38 PM »
i would also imagine that the first assignment is not graded with nearly as much scrutiny as subsequent assignments.  I assume that each the prof would expect more and more from you with each subsequent assignment.  so, not only would you have to pick up slack that you left off from your first memo, but you would also have to excel in the new "concepts."

gilliebear

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Re: Who wants to make me feel better?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2008, 02:02:31 PM »
WTF? At my school, people were thanking their lucky stars if they got out of legal writing class with a grade higher than C-. Either you go to one of those ridiculous grade-inflated schools or you need to appreciate your tremendous success is what is probably the most difficult class you will take in law school.

Yes, I happen to go to one of those grade-inflated schools, so a B is considered "average"

Its interesting though because I struggled when writing the memo about the objectivity part and on my first draft received a lot of comments like "Your sentences are strong and persuasaive. Save that for your brief."

Thanks all for the advice. I am feeling a little bit better. The professor said he would be sending back comments, so I will wait for those and then go from there.


sir_scott

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Re: Who wants to make me feel better?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2008, 02:08:10 PM »
Your parents are right.  Also, if it walks like a crybaby, and quacks like a crybaby, then ...

Jhuen_the_bird

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Re: Who wants to make me feel better?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2008, 02:27:50 PM »
Even on a B curve, a B+ is not worth being upset over ... I know ppl in my section who worked just as hard as you and got C's in legal writing, so chill.

Alamo79

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Re: Who wants to make me feel better?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2008, 04:50:28 PM »






Does that make you feel better?

gilliebear

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Re: Who wants to make me feel better?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2008, 05:20:26 PM »






Does that make you feel better?

Yes! Thanks  ;D