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 9974 times)

Miss P

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #60 on: January 13, 2009, 09:32:43 PM »
Fair enough.  I just feel like it's the cool thing to do for older LSDers to pick on Wally (or any 1L) for expresing their views on anything where they have incomplete info.  I think there was another thread a while back where Wally answered a question about exams and he started off by saying "I'm a 1L and I haven't taken any exams yet, so take this with a grain of salt, but my impression is...."  And he still got poo for it....older LSDers saying "stfu til you take some exams Wally."  You're right though, it's a relevant question.  Sorry I jumped the gun...it just seemed to me like your question might have had "stfu noob" tone you see from certain other high post count posters.  I was more responding to them than you.

It's cool.  Wally and I are interpals, though, and I don't generally harass him (or anyone else, other than Hank and tm., maybe) for harassment's sake -- and certainly not because I think it's a cool thing to do.  (Aren't we both posting on a message board about law school?  Enough said.) 

I surely agree with you that he is bright and thoughtful and that he has gathered an extraordinary amount of knowledge about law school.  I assume, however, that we can also agree that he is sometimes a bit quick to jump to conclusions and he occasionally writes authoritatively about things with which he doesn't have a whole lot of experience.  That's all. :)

But anyway, I think Wally has done a really good job of looking at practice exams, looking at model answers, contacting older students to ask for advice/exams/outlines, etc.  imo, he's more qualified to talk about exams than me, even though I'm a 2L.

I am sure that all of this is true.  I just don't know that he's qualified to talk about how grades are determined until he actually sees multiple grades based on exams with which he is familiar, taken by people with whom he is familiar. 

ETA: For me, I'd say that being reasonably intelligent and detail-oriented, generally understanding the material, paying attention to my professors' idiosyncracies, and carefully organizing my answers have earned me decent grades -- B+ to A, for the most part, on a B curve.  Being slow has hurt me some, maybe the difference between a B+ and an A- a couple of times.  But I really don't know what accounts for the difference between an A and an A- or a 178 and and a 181.  I have to chalk some of it up to luck. 
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2009, 07:48:34 PM »
Read "Getting to Maybe."

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

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #62 on: January 14, 2009, 08:29:21 PM »
Read "Getting to Maybe."

Too generic for some classes, but definitely a good start for the OP.

Mina

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2009, 06:09:31 PM »
I.
There is only one thing that impacts your 1L grades.

Your ability to apply law to facts. The person's Dexterity with the Law.

this assumes the following:

1. You know the Law Cold
2. You read the Facts meitculously
3. You MUST  in every paragraph TAKE the facts and analytically PLUG them into the law
(4. You adress counterarguements)
And 5. YOU do NO BS (i.e. day-dream arguments)

What is meant by Hard-work?  Work can be hard because it is long, or because it is tedious, or because it is mentally draining, or because the technique employed is one that would make a simple job more complex.(e.g. a wagon with square wheels)

This term is too vague to garner any benefit

What is meant by intelligence?
A horse-trainer would likely be considered intellgent when he tames wild horses, a mechanic would be considered intelligent according to his abaility to fix cars, and likewise, a lawyer would be considered intelligent according to his command of legal books. A person who can train horses, fix cars, and practice law, would be considered intelligent according to those three subjects.

The idea of intellegence as somehow existing apart from any trade or discipline is one that cannot be sustained empirically.


And of Luck?
"Men are in control of roughly half their fate, the other half is governed by fortune."- Machiavelli

There is no luck, only skilled or unskilled. You choose which you are going to be.


II. Thinking like a lawyer.
Law shcool exam question:
Man shoots other man. Discuss:

Normal Person:
He is guilty of a crime, he shot him, this falls with murder or assult, his acts show he wanted to shoot him and he did beyond a reasonable doubt. &c.
 

Lawyer:
He MAY have killed him. He could have shot the man in the toe, or maybe the bullet did not hit him. If the Bullet hit him, theyre MAY be an assult. If there was an assult, we would have to see if there could have been defenses. Some valid defenses would be self defense, defesne of 3rd persons. For example, if the man tried to shoot the shooter 1st or attacked him, then the shooter may be justfieid in shooting this man. However, if the defense was one that did not call for a weapon it would not be justified, as it would likely be an escalation.

Other incomplete defenses would be defense of property, or intoxication. If the man shot the other under the influence, he might be partially excused, because it would likely be hard to show Mens Rea, if at all.

It is also possible, the man was a police officer, if so, he may have defense of authrotiy. 

Its also possible the man was killed. if so, it would probably be relevant whether this could be seen as a heat of passion killing, even though it does not sound like it. It also seems the man shot him for no reasons, and as such, can probably match the elements of a delibarate killing and willful killing. The last element for murder 1, would be premdittated, and while the facts do not show that the man premeditated, had he purchased a gun for that purpose it could be seen as some sort of premditaation.


Its also possible this is a movie, in which case there was some sort of consent, and may be no crime at all occurred.


&C.


keywords:
1. May be, Probably, Possible, Can be, Likely, more likely than not etc.
2. because, since, as, due to &.
3. Seems, sounds, appears, smells
4. DONT ASSUME ANYTHING, NO TUNNEL VISION

--> Don't Assume, Don't Assume, Don't Assume. Each fact is ALWAYS different, even if similar. 

Thats all I can think of at the moment. 



Miss P

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2009, 06:38:11 PM »
I.
There is only one thing that impacts your 1L grades.

Your ability to apply law to facts. The person's Dexterity with the Law.

This is not true.  There is at least one other factor that makes a big difference, speed.  I also imagine that a lot of exams are close enough in quality that it would be very hard to determine the difference between an A and an A- or a C and a C+ (or to make the same determination again).  Thus, there is some luck involved.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2009, 07:09:46 PM »
That was a very odd post format....

Miss P

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2009, 07:17:11 PM »
That was a very odd post format....

Hmm, yes.  Which reminds me, I think organization is pretty important, too.  You're trying to communicate effectively to someone who has to read dozens of crap essays on the same topic.  If I were a prof, I would appreciate a very clear presentation.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Mina

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2009, 08:35:44 PM »
I.
There is only one thing that impacts your 1L grades.

Your ability to apply law to facts. The person's Dexterity with the Law.

This is not true.  There is at least one other factor that makes a big difference, speed.  I also imagine that a lot of exams are close enough in quality that it would be very hard to determine the difference between an A and an A- or a C and a C+ (or to make the same determination again).  Thus, there is some luck involved.

I do not think we disagree. Speed is part of one's ability to apply law to facts.
Luck has no impact at all to an essay that applies law to all the facts very well.
Luck's effects are limited to the class of exams that fall short of excellence.
No one should be aiming at mediocrity. 
 
Also, luck does not impact one's skill in spotting issues when mastery has been attained.



Miss P

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2009, 08:46:25 PM »
I.
There is only one thing that impacts your 1L grades.

Your ability to apply law to facts. The person's Dexterity with the Law.

This is not true.  There is at least one other factor that makes a big difference, speed.  I also imagine that a lot of exams are close enough in quality that it would be very hard to determine the difference between an A and an A- or a C and a C+ (or to make the same determination again).  Thus, there is some luck involved.

I do not think we disagree. Speed is part of one's ability to apply law to facts.

No, it's not.

Luck has no impact at all to an essay that applies law to all the facts very well.
Luck's effects are limited to the class of exams that fall short of excellence.
No one should be aiming at mediocrity. 
 
Also, luck does not impact one's skill in spotting issues when mastery has been attained.

Given the limited number of issues on each exam, there will usually be people who have spotted the same number of issues at about the same quality level.  It's luck that separates them.  And also, you know, a lot of exams are not standard issue spotters.  On policy and other more creative questions, there is an even less objective measure of quality, and luck separates the mediocre into different grades, the good into different grades, etc.  Finally, if you are graded on a curve, your grade depends in part on the quality of other students' answers -- luck.  I can tell you that this has definitely helped me get As in classes where I probably earned less and A-/B+s in classes where I thought I had earned more.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Mina

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2009, 09:54:36 PM »
Yes I am adding to the facts. But this is because the facts command my addition. 

There are two types of facts.

Facts that command you speculate externally (like my hypo). And, facts that are self-contained.
This is a judgement call, decided on each fact. My hypo clearly required it. Others may not, when you are unsure, speculate about the issue, i.e. just raise it and don't discuss it. (there could be this issue, but I would need more facts) 

You helped me bring out two basic points also:

1. To apply the law to facts YOU NEED TO PRACTICE THIS "SKILL" ALL SEMESTER NOT AT THE END. For example, looking at  exam from day one will help one know what they are looking for, and apply newly learnt law to complete set of facts.

2. Second, One way to look at the exam, is a chance for you to speak about the law, whenever it is reasonable to do so. I don't like saying this because it is over-simplictic, and its abstract form overshadows the actual skill that one needs to cultivate.

3. Try to test the hypo's assumptions. Professors really love to test this. Another way to phrase this: is to ask for more facts which CAN or MAY 'reasonably' touch upon some elements of a legal rule, or case holding but DOES NOT do it clearly in the hypo.

The last idea is experimental; so make sure your professor tests people like this. One way is to ask them if you should speculate while revieiwng their exams (during office).