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Author Topic: My bad behavior was reinforced  (Read 2105 times)

jack24

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My bad behavior was reinforced
« on: May 13, 2009, 09:35:39 AM »
I hate property law.  I understand why people like it, but out of my 6 classes this semester, property 2 was my least favorite.  Last semester in Property I paid attention and took fantastic notes.  I went to study groups and made a thorough outline.  I got a B on a 2.7 curve.  That's not a great grade, but I was pleased because I felt like it was my weakest subject.
This semester I decided to throw property 2 on the backburner.  I worked really hard this semester in my other classes, but I just couldn't pay attention to my monotone professor in property.  I did crossword puzzles during class, I took no notes at all, and at the end of the semester I didn't know anything.   I had a couple days before the final, so I crammed and tried to avoid disaster.   I got a B on a 2.7 curve.   What a joke.  I spent a couple hundred hours the first semester, and I spent around 30 hours this semester and I got the same grade.  Hopefully all the hard work I put in on my other classes and on the law review competition will pay off. 


*Edit*
Sorry for the random post.  I just want to reaffirm my opinion that law school grades are a bad indication of how much you've learned or how well you will do as an attorney.  I'm completely biased and I've never done any research. 

Dxion

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Re: My bad behavior was reinforced
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2009, 10:39:05 AM »
Thanks.

M_Cool

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Re: My bad behavior was reinforced
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 01:50:54 PM »
When almost everyone gets near the curve, it does provide a counter incentive to work hard.  You can work very very hard and likely not end up with an A, and you can do almost no work at all and likely not get lower than the curve.

I did pretty well last semester, and I worked my ass off probably averaging close to 80 hour weeks every week.  This semester I probably put in 1/5 of that time or maybe even less?  I seriously studied like an hour a day at most though I did seriously cram the last 3 weeks of the semester.  I'm interested to see my grades.  I actually feel like I performed better on the exams this semester and was overall more prepared for TAKING the exams rather than just knowing a ton of material that isn't very useful for doing well on an exam (e.g. facts of cases, interesting roads into other areas of the law, philosophy behind the law, etc).  It will be hilarious if I get better grades this semester even though I feel like I know far less about this semester's subjects.

Talk Is Cheap

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Re: My bad behavior was reinforced
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 01:56:45 PM »
Wait...law school grades are pretty arbitrary? This is an outrage!

jack24

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Re: My bad behavior was reinforced
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009, 02:07:32 PM »
Wait...law school grades are pretty arbitrary? This is an outrage!

Now all of the future law professors on here need to do something about it over the next few decades.  But they all get mostly As so they probably think grades are a perfect indication of how awesome they are.

Talk Is Cheap

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Re: My bad behavior was reinforced
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2009, 02:09:12 PM »
If I were a law professor, things would be different. Of course, that will never happen.

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

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Re: My bad behavior was reinforced
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2009, 02:13:21 PM »
When almost everyone gets near the curve, it does provide a counter incentive to work hard.  You can work very very hard and likely not end up with an A, and you can do almost no work at all and likely not get lower than the curve.

I did pretty well last semester, and I worked my ass off probably averaging close to 80 hour weeks every week.  This semester I probably put in 1/5 of that time or maybe even less?  I seriously studied like an hour a day at most though I did seriously cram the last 3 weeks of the semester.  I'm interested to see my grades.  I actually feel like I performed better on the exams this semester and was overall more prepared for TAKING the exams rather than just knowing a ton of material that isn't very useful for doing well on an exam (e.g. facts of cases, interesting roads into other areas of the law, philosophy behind the law, etc).  It will be hilarious if I get better grades this semester even though I feel like I know far less about this semester's subjects.

Unfortunately, I couldn't agree more.  On the exam, thinking like a lawyer often entails knowing a few rules but really playing around with the facts, rather than knowing a lot of rules and trying to cram the facts into them.

OP: I disagree.  I think that, in the legal world, you want a lawyer who understands "less is more," rather than a worker bee who grinds out too many hours on a simple case.  Among other things, law school exams measure that.

Of course, it's not a perfect system.  The law school exam was probably invented by some lazy HLS hack in the late 19th century, as he had to find some way to assess his students.  (Recall that the Socratic method was largely a historical accident, thanks to Langdell.)  Asking students to sort out a long hypothetical must have seemed like a decent way to rate them, but let's not forget that it, too, was a historical accident.

The sad thing is that most 2Ls and 3Ls have checked out because of this realization.  They're spending two of their best intellectual years in rigor mortis, rarely paying attention and disaffected by the entire system.

Ninja1

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Re: My bad behavior was reinforced
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2009, 08:30:17 PM »
When almost everyone gets near the curve, it does provide a counter incentive to work hard.  You can work very very hard and likely not end up with an A, and you can do almost no work at all and likely not get lower than the curve.

I did pretty well last semester, and I worked my ass off probably averaging close to 80 hour weeks every week.  This semester I probably put in 1/5 of that time or maybe even less?  I seriously studied like an hour a day at most though I did seriously cram the last 3 weeks of the semester.  I'm interested to see my grades.  I actually feel like I performed better on the exams this semester and was overall more prepared for TAKING the exams rather than just knowing a ton of material that isn't very useful for doing well on an exam (e.g. facts of cases, interesting roads into other areas of the law, philosophy behind the law, etc).  It will be hilarious if I get better grades this semester even though I feel like I know far less about this semester's subjects.

Unfortunately, I couldn't agree more.  On the exam, thinking like a lawyer often entails knowing a few rules but really playing around with the facts, rather than knowing a lot of rules and trying to cram the facts into them.

OP: I disagree.  I think that, in the legal world, you want a lawyer who understands "less is more," rather than a worker bee who grinds out too many hours on a simple case.  Among other things, law school exams measure that.

Of course, it's not a perfect system.  The law school exam was probably invented by some lazy HLS hack in the late 19th century, as he had to find some way to assess his students.  (Recall that the Socratic method was largely a historical accident, thanks to Langdell.)  Asking students to sort out a long hypothetical must have seemed like a decent way to rate them, but let's not forget that it, too, was a historical accident.

The sad thing is that most 2Ls and 3Ls have checked out because of this realization.  They're spending two of their best intellectual years in rigor mortis, rarely paying attention and disaffected by the entire system.

The replied to post plus the parent almost certainly sum up the entire law school experience, especially the final paragraph. Even at the end of 1L, I notice that most people have already started to punch out mentally.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

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

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Re: My bad behavior was reinforced
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009, 11:18:37 PM »
Oh, I'm a 1L and I'm totally checked out.

I want to do trial work, so next year I'll probably move in that direction with Moot Court, Evidence, and Crim Pro, but everything else will likely be a waste.

Talk Is Cheap

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Re: My bad behavior was reinforced
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2009, 01:10:15 AM »
"Less is more" has become my personal approach this semester, too. We'll see if it pans out...