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Author Topic: What constitutes "good grades"?  (Read 13428 times)

unlvcrjchick

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2009, 04:52:21 PM »
Wait...is it the same grading scale and curve for the part-time classes as full-time classes?  If the answer to that question is yes, then I don't think your complaint holds water.

It is.  But the GPA that can get you into the top one-third of the part-time class might not be enough to get you into the top one-third of the full-time class.  So you're an honor student when ranked with the part-timers but then you're not once you're lumped with the full-timers.  How is this fair, especially when the part-timers are not true peers of the full-timers?  I notice hardly anyone addresses the merits of my "peer" argument:  they just ask the same question you just asked me.  Who cares if the scale and curve are the same if the entire purpose behind the ranking system (being ranked in accordance with your peers) is subverted? So my complaint still holds water.

soundsgood

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2009, 05:13:09 PM »
That is because your "peer" argument is pretty much inconsequential once you answer the curve question.  Curves are designed to take out all sorts of inequities between to peer groups.  Your arguments focus on all of the advantages full-time students have, and all of the disadvantages part-time students have.  However, those students don't compete against one another head-to-head for grades--so the inequities don't come into play for your GPA.  If your GPA wasn't high enough to make the Top 1/3 it was not because of some hidden bias or unfair disadvantage.  It was because you didn't beat enough of your part-time peers on exams throughout law school.


unlvcrjchick

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2009, 05:29:11 PM »
That is because your "peer" argument is pretty much inconsequential once you answer the curve question.  Curves are designed to take out all sorts of inequities between to peer groups.  Your arguments focus on all of the advantages full-time students have, and all of the disadvantages part-time students have.  However, those students don't compete against one another head-to-head for grades--so the inequities don't come into play for your GPA.  If your GPA wasn't high enough to make the Top 1/3 it was not because of some hidden bias or unfair disadvantage.  It was because you didn't beat enough of your part-time peers on exams throughout law school.



Actually, that is not the purpose of a curve.  The curve system is designed to eradicate inequities among the students in ONE peer group/class/course, not among different peer groups (i.e. different classes, and the part-timers and full-timers are different classes).

soundsgood

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2009, 05:57:46 PM »
Part-timers at UNLV graduating in 2008 are not some completely foreign peer group to full-timers at UNLV graduating in 2008.  Any differences can be substantially accounted for by a curve.

I stand by my argument that the system is not unfair.  You got stuck in a bad situation as one of the few students who placed in the Top 1/3 as a part-timer and not after the curves were combined.  That doesn't mean the system is unfair.  The same thing could happen to a full-timer next year.  The moral of the story is, when attending UNLV, one should place in the top 20% and not worry about being left out.

unlvcrjchick

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2009, 06:23:48 PM »
Part-timers at UNLV graduating in 2008 are not some completely foreign peer group to full-timers at UNLV graduating in 2008.  Any differences can be substantially accounted for by a curve.

I stand by my argument that the system is not unfair.  You got stuck in a bad situation as one of the few students who placed in the Top 1/3 as a part-timer and not after the curves were combined.  That doesn't mean the system is unfair.  The same thing could happen to a full-timer next year.  The moral of the story is, when attending UNLV, one should place in the top 20% and not worry about being left out.

Part-timers are foreign enough to be considered a different peer group.  You want further proof of this?  Part-timers are often discriminated against in the job market, for many legal employers figure that they don't have as much commitment to law, since they were unwilling to quit their jobs and devote themselves full time to the practice of law. 

In statistics, students are taught that the purpose of a bell curve is to account for inequities in a given class/peer group.  So you may stand by your argument, that is fine, but know that your view of the curve system is wrong because it wasn't designed to account for substantial differences among different peer groups.  This would explain why some other law schools that do have part-time programs rank the part-timers separately from the full-timers. So apparently I'm not the only one who finds UNLV's system unfair.

And my situation in the part-time class was echoed by most of those in my class who ranked in the top third.  I told you that only a few students who were ranked in the top third in the part-time class were ranked upon graduation.  Therefore, MOST of the part-timers were left out, not just a few. And in a job market where part-timers are having their commitment to law questioned, the only thing that makes up for that is being ranked.

But like I said before, I will agree to disagree.

soundsgood

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2009, 06:32:38 PM »
I just don't believe you that pretty much the entire top 1/3 of the part-timers were shut out from the top 1/3 overall.  That seems pretty much like a mathematical impossibility. 

And frankly, I have zero sympathy for part-timers.  Everything you have talked about as a blatant miscarriage of justice is something you should have taken into account before going part-time.  It is not like part-time status doesn't come with benefits.  You don't accumulate debt, and you can get into a more reputable school with lower GPA/LSAT scores.  Weigh the costs and benefits. 

Additionally, if I were a full-timer at UNLV I'd be pissed that part-timers were integrated into my rankings distribution.  If someone pulls a bunch of A's and A-'s against lesser competition, do they really deserve a top 10% ranking?

thorc954

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2009, 06:44:17 PM »
After reading this thread, I figured out why at least one person wasnt top 30% at that school...

unlvcrjchick

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2009, 06:49:42 PM »
I just don't believe you that pretty much the entire top 1/3 of the part-timers were shut out from the top 1/3 overall.  That seems pretty much like a mathematical impossibility. 

And frankly, I have zero sympathy for part-timers.  Everything you have talked about as a blatant miscarriage of justice is something you should have taken into account before going part-time.  It is not like part-time status doesn't come with benefits.  You don't accumulate debt, and you can get into a more reputable school with lower GPA/LSAT scores.  Weigh the costs and benefits. 

Additionally, if I were a full-timer at UNLV I'd be pissed that part-timers were integrated into my rankings distribution.  If someone pulls a bunch of A's and A-'s against lesser competition, do they really deserve a top 10% ranking?

My undergrad GPA was a 3.94, I was on Law Review, and I was published.  So there goes your assumption that everyone in the part-time class has lesser abilities than those in the full-time class.  Besides, one's experiences and achievements in the real world speak more to ability than grades/LSAT scores, and at least law schools recognize this when it comes to the part-time program.  It's just a shame that legal employers put more emphasis on grades than on actual writing ability and commitment, things that aren't necessarily reflected in one's grades.  

I may not have accumulated as MUCH debt as your typical full-timer, but do I still have debt?   Oh you betcha, and the debt I do have will take me longer to pay off, thanks to my being unable to obtain a six-figure-paying position, unlike many of those *were* ranked.  You may not believe me that most of the part-timers were shut out of ranking, but it's true.  If most of them hadn't been shut out, I wouldn't think the system is unfair.

unlvcrjchick

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2009, 06:52:21 PM »
After reading this thread, I figured out why at least one person wasnt top 30% at that school...

Yeah, and you had to resort to personal attacks instead of attacking my argument.  I am still an Attorney-At-Law while you're still slaving away in law school.  Good luck to you in the real world:  you'll need it.

soundsgood

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2009, 07:21:11 PM »
I didn't make an assumption that "everyone in the part-time class has lesser abilities."  I made an assumption that it would be easier to get top grades in the part-time section than in the full-time section.

And maybe real-world accomplishments and experiences speak more to a person's ability than LSAT/GPA.  Whether you are right is irrelevant to my statement.  LSAT/GPA are by far the most important factors in admissions, and part-time programs have lower requirements for LSAT and GPA.  Students at Georgetown Part-time are all quite accomplished, I'm sure.  That does not change the fact that the scores for the part-time section are lower than the full-time section.  Most part-timers can get into a better school than they would otherwise because of the lower admissions requirements for part-time programs.

And honestly, do you really feel that you would have that six-figure job if UNLV did rank, and your rank was oh, say, "Top 40%" from a low-tier 2?