Law School Discussion

What's Up with the Professor Gag Rule on Discussing Grading Styles?!

I keep asking my professors about how they grade the exams and how to do well, but I get nothing out of them but vapid platitudes about "arguing both sides" and "writing clearly and concisely."

Law school is so unfair that way.  Everything is so arbitrary and unclear.  I'm reading a book by Duncan Kennedy that totally rips on the entire law school system, and I love it.  He mentions how law school cultivates a few legal analysis skills in the minority, whereas it could have constant feedback and really turn everyone into a great lawyer.

(#@$*@#$

 >:(

nerfco

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Re: What's Up with the Professor Gag Rule on Discussing Grading Styles?!
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2008, 06:10:57 PM »
Just write things that make sense. It won't be so bad.

vap

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Re: What's Up with the Professor Gag Rule on Discussing Grading Styles?!
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2008, 06:16:24 PM »
I didn't have this problem.  One of my 1L profs even went over two of his past exams, delineating point-by-point how a student could have done well.  For example: "This question was worth X points.  The first issue was Y, and it was worth Z points.  To get full credit, you had to say A, B, and C regarding that issue."

I understand it's the exception, but there are some good profs out there.  Sounds like you got the shank!

Re: What's Up with the Professor Gag Rule on Discussing Grading Styles?!
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2008, 06:50:14 PM »
What do you mean, YES YES YES?

nealric

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Re: What's Up with the Professor Gag Rule on Discussing Grading Styles?!
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 07:37:41 PM »
Quote

You are given past memos and past briefs.  You would never get more than that in the real world.  There is not a lot of hand holding in the legal world.  You can figure out the formatting and what kind of answers professors like from the model answers.  You can figure out what is important from the memos.
   

Seconded.

The purpose of law school is not to teach you the substance of various bodies of law. Of course they could make things more clear and teach you more "law", but that isn't the point. Nobody holds your hand when you have to learn substantive law in practice.


Quote
I keep asking my professors about how they grade the exams and how to do well, but I get nothing out of them but vapid platitudes about "arguing both sides" and "writing clearly and concisely."

For most profs it's pretty simple. They make a fact pattern with a series of issues they want you to address and assign a maximum number of points for the fact pattern. You get a certain number for noticing that there is a given issue, a certain number for knowing the proper rule to apply, a certain (usually large) number for applying the rule and showing in depth understanding for how its applied, and a certain number of brownie points for nice writing (if you are too disorganized or not concise, profs might not notice that you spotted issues or might not be able to follow your analysis). They then add up all the points and put em on a curve.

Most exams are designed to have some easy issues that almost everyone will spot, as well as some tougher ones designed to separate the As from the Bs.

Re: What's Up with the Professor Gag Rule on Discussing Grading Styles?!
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2008, 09:12:10 PM »
Quote

You are given past memos and past briefs.  You would never get more than that in the real world.  There is not a lot of hand holding in the legal world.  You can figure out the formatting and what kind of answers professors like from the model answers.  You can figure out what is important from the memos.
   

Seconded.

The purpose of law school is not to teach you the substance of various bodies of law. Of course they could make things more clear and teach you more "law", but that isn't the point. Nobody holds your hand when you have to learn substantive law in practice.

Lol.  Some of you guys have really drank the cool aid.  The real answer is, since law schools exams are graded on a curve, teaching students how to succeed would only make the exams harder to grade, and the same amount of students would fail. 

Ninja1

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Re: What's Up with the Professor Gag Rule on Discussing Grading Styles?!
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 07:59:01 AM »
...

He mentions how law school cultivates a few legal analysis skills in the minority, whereas it could have constant feedback and really turn everyone into a great lawyer.


If law school was at all about turning out competent, ready to practice lawyers, it would take at least four and probably five years like a Ph.D. program.

Matthies

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Re: What's Up with the Professor Gag Rule on Discussing Grading Styles?!
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 08:42:12 AM »
I keep asking my professors about how they grade the exams and how to do well, but I get nothing out of them but vapid platitudes about "arguing both sides" and "writing clearly and concisely."

Law school is so unfair that way.  Everything is so arbitrary and unclear.
 

 >:(

Which is exactly why itís make so much sense to base your predictive ability to do well in law school on a completely subjective multiple choice exam where the question types never change!  ::)