Law School Discussion

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Poll

Which of the following has the biggest impact on 1L grades?

Intelligence
 28 (29.2%)
Hard Work
 35 (36.5%)
Memory
 4 (4.2%)
Typing Speed
 10 (10.4%)
Luck
 19 (19.8%)

Total Members Voted: 96

Author Topic: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?  (Read 9964 times)

jack24

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What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« on: January 08, 2009, 12:12:54 PM »
Every test is different, and I'm pretty sure that if you score a 0 on any of the first three categories then you will get poor grades.  I got a B or B+ in every class this semester, and I'm wondering what separates the 3.6ers from the 3.2ers. 


Intelligence may have a lot to do with it on some tests, but none of my teachers mark down for dumb stuff, they just gave positive points for positive logic.  Seems to me like a combination of memory and typing speed could possibly make up for an intelligence problem.

Hard work is really important in any endeavor, but in my experience, the Final exam only hits on about 10%-25% of the information presented in the course. 
On my torts exam (an "analyze all possible claims and defenses" format) nobody I talked to even came close to putting down everything they had because they ran out of time.  I'm a fast typist, and I still could have gone on for another 2 hours.  In that situation, someone who knows 3 hours worth of good information will probably do just as well as someone who knows 6 hours of information.

On another exam, one of the three essay questions had to do with a topic we only spent two days on in class.  One guy told me that he was totally unprepared on many subjects, but he just happened to have reviewed the material that came up on the test in detail the night before.

Lets say you have two students in civ pro: A, who studies civ pro 15 hours a week, and B, who studies 10 hours a week.  Over a semester, that would give student A a 75 hour studying advantage.   But if the test only covers 10% of the material, then that advantage is really only 7.5 hours.  Sure, in theory it is more likely that the person who studies more would cast a wider net and catch more relevant material, but I doubt that is always the case.

TheDudeMan

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 12:52:54 PM »
Saying that grades are based on intelligence is ridiculous.  That would imply that knowing the most will lead to the best grades and there are plenty of students that know everything and bomb and plenty who BS their way through and ace law school exams.

Many professors will openly admit that law school exams do nothing other than to test your ability to take law school exams.

,.,.,.;.,.,.

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 02:07:22 PM »
bump.

I haven't seen my grades yet, but, judging from the model answers, it's a combo of writing well and being analytically sharp.  Law school exams are a performance.

nealric

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 04:40:08 PM »
You need to be intelligent but it needs to be the right kind of intelligence.

 
Georgetown Law Graduate

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

jack24

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 04:49:16 PM »
You need to be intelligent but it needs to be the right kind of intelligence.

So, on a slightly different note: If scientists analyzed ten students around the top ten percent and compared them to 10 students around the 33rd percentile, would the most substantial difference between the groups would be intelligence?


,.,.,.;.,.,.

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 04:53:53 PM »
You need to be intelligent but it needs to be the right kind of intelligence.

 

Can you elaborate?

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 08:35:59 PM »
"Washing machines work hard." -National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
"Don't read what they write about you, just measure it in inches."  Andy Warhol

mzing12

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 09:49:33 PM »
Everyone's equally intelligent in law school ... chances are everyone has similar LSATs, GPAs, backgrounds, etc, and those are all "intelligence qualifiers" in the same way people are using law school exams to make the same judgment. Except, of course, the people who vote "intelligence" are often voting to flatter themselves.

The only option on here that's probably more relevant than any of the options is practical common sense. As in, having the common sense to understand you have to completely unlearn your past academic background (if you have one) and relearn things the "law school way", which is a way of thinking that only exists in law school and seems to have nothing to do with law. Otherwise you go back to past habits that will destroy you. That's what happened to me.

Note to English major 0Ls: forget everything you were taught the past 4 years about approaching problems. It's the exact opposite of what you need to do in law school.

krystal82

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2009, 10:10:57 PM »
I type really slow, hence I opted to hand write my exams, i'm certain that if I typed faster, i would've done better.

For someone who types slow, what would be the best strategy to adopt? Be more concise with the rules, and do more analyis? I know this is something I need to work on but it will takes years to improve, how do I make the best of it?

,.,.,.;.,.,.

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2009, 11:14:11 PM »
Everyone's equally intelligent in law school ... chances are everyone has similar LSATs, GPAs, backgrounds, etc, and those are all "intelligence qualifiers" in the same way people are using law school exams to make the same judgment. Except, of course, the people who vote "intelligence" are often voting to flatter themselves.

The only option on here that's probably more relevant than any of the options is practical common sense. As in, having the common sense to understand you have to completely unlearn your past academic background (if you have one) and relearn things the "law school way", which is a way of thinking that only exists in law school and seems to have nothing to do with law. Otherwise you go back to past habits that will destroy you. That's what happened to me.

Note to English major 0Ls: forget everything you were taught the past 4 years about approaching problems. It's the exact opposite of what you need to do in law school.

I haven't gotten grades back, but

1. I totally disagree with the bolded.  Being analytically sharp with facts and law is the purpose of law school, and it's basically all I did as an English major.

2. Reez is right on, but I disagree with the "typing too fast" idea.  This depends entirely on the professor.  Some professors like sharp, concise analysis that requires citing just the right case and arguing in just the right way, but some professors (*cough* Civil Procedure *cough*) love to see that you can throw random rules -- 41(a) and settlement! -- out there because they have a rule checklist.