Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Pass/Fail  (Read 5725 times)

cooleylawstudent

  • Guest
Re: Pass/Fail
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2010, 12:11:40 PM »
so if some chump was on academic probation at that point would they've said "ok nevermind your good"

and if they retroactively changed your 1L then could someone who was academicly dismissed (for all D's) show up and go, "its all good man..."?

Even in a school filled with "gods" there is always going to be at LEAST one of each of these groups per class.

Morten Lund

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: Pass/Fail
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2010, 12:55:57 PM »
Is it possible that HLS has a few coasters in their classes, who will now coast more under a system that is, or at least gives the appearance of being, more lenient?  Sure.

But if so, that number will be vanishingly small, and not worth changing a policy for.

Moreover, those "coasters" will still be people who are intelligent and driven, so even if they coast through law school they are unlikely to be a drag on HLS' reputation. 

In fact, the very top schools frequently allow, and occasionally encourage, alternative approaches to law school that might be considered "coasting" in other schools.  An extreme and non-representative example (my detail facts may be off a little):  a few years back a man entered Yale Law School.  He was heavily involved in politics, to the point where he barely attended class for much of his first year, and instead spent the time volunteering on a Presidential campaign.  YLS encouraged him to take as much time as needed, and this in no way impacted his graduation.  He later became the 42nd President of the US.

You have to remember that the basic philosophy of these schools is that every student is already proven.  HLS isn't trying to flunk anybody.  They would be thrilled with a 100% graduation rate.  The exams aren't there to see who is good and who is bad, but are simply educational exercises.

At YLS, some professors famously never even read the exams, let alone graded them.


cooleylawstudent

  • Guest
Re: Pass/Fail
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2010, 01:26:49 PM »
That dosnt actually answer any of the questions that I asked, but of hell of a ballet dancing around them.

If the prof didnt read or grade the essays, how did he decide the grade(even if pass, highpass, lowpass)? Did he throw a dart at the wall, or was he all about the MC portion of it?

Morten Lund

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: Pass/Fail
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2010, 01:40:21 PM »
That dosnt actually answer any of the questions that I asked, but of hell of a ballet dancing around them.

If the prof didnt read or grade the essays, how did he decide the grade(even if pass, highpass, lowpass)? Did he throw a dart at the wall, or was he all about the MC portion of it?

Any apparent tapdancing was unintentional.  To be more specific:  I am not aware that anybody has ever (i.e. under current policies) been on academic probation at YLS, or even received a low pass.  Certainly nobody has flunked out.  I have heard rumors of failing grades, mostly for failing to show up for the exam, but that may just be urban legend.  I can't speak specifically for HLS, but I suspect the same is true there.  In fact, I suspect you will find that "academic probation" is exceedingly rare at all top ten (semi-arbitrary cutoff) law schools.

Therefore, your questions do not apply.  You are applying the wrong paradigm.

And as to YLS professors who (alledgedly) didn't read the exams?  Everybody got a Pass grade.

Of course, there were/are also classes that didn't have a exams at all.

Cicero

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 201
  • UF 2012
    • View Profile
Re: Pass/Fail
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2010, 01:50:16 PM »
Not worrying about having to beat all of your classmates to make an A or not even having to take a final sounds really nice. I think it would allow driven students to work in an atmosphere with less stress and fear, and focus more on what they are learning. On the other hand, I do see the potential for students taking advantage of the system. However, I would think that almost all of the students at HLS and YLS  would fall into the former category, especially if they desire to become a judge, a professor, a partner at a big law firm, etc. Those in the latter category would be quickly found out and denied these positions. I'm also thinking that there may be student pressure and general pride that would push students who might at first fall into the second category to fall in line and become part of the first.

cooleylawstudent

  • Guest
Re: Pass/Fail
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2010, 02:57:30 PM »
which classes dont give exams? If no exam do they only do P or is there someway to still give a HP in it?

quote author=Morten Lund link=topic=4023662.msg5381360#msg5381360 date=1277487621]
That dosnt actually answer any of the questions that I asked, but of hell of a ballet dancing around them.

If the prof didnt read or grade the essays, how did he decide the grade(even if pass, highpass, lowpass)? Did he throw a dart at the wall, or was he all about the MC portion of it?

Any apparent tapdancing was unintentional.  To be more specific:  I am not aware that anybody has ever (i.e. under current policies) been on academic probation at YLS, or even received a low pass.  Certainly nobody has flunked out.  I have heard rumors of failing grades, mostly for failing to show up for the exam, but that may just be urban legend.  I can't speak specifically for HLS, but I suspect the same is true there.  In fact, I suspect you will find that "academic probation" is exceedingly rare at all top ten (semi-arbitrary cutoff) law schools.

Therefore, your questions do not apply.  You are applying the wrong paradigm.

And as to YLS professors who (alledgedly) didn't read the exams?  Everybody got a Pass grade.

Of course, there were/are also classes that didn't have a exams at all.
[/quote]

Morten Lund

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: Pass/Fail
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2010, 03:07:57 PM »
which classes dont give exams? If no exam do they only do P or is there someway to still give a HP in it?

Thoses classes were rare, but there were some.  I took a class called "Bearing Witness," for instance, which had no exam.  It was an examination of the concept of "bearing witness" from legal/judicial, social, and religious perspectives.  We had weekly writing assignments, but they were short and easy - basically a pre-discussion position paragraph on the reading.  Sometimes they were collected (but not graded), but often just used as fuel for in-class discussion.  Grades were basically based 100% on class participation.

Fun and interesting class.



cooleylawstudent

  • Guest
Re: Pass/Fail
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2010, 03:14:00 PM »
do you think more lower T schools will follow the trend?


brkl93

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Pass/Fail
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2010, 01:48:03 AM »
I doubt it   :( try again ...........

Jamie Stringer

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 8588
    • View Profile
Re: Pass/Fail
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2010, 01:37:37 PM »
HLS hasn't done class rankings for a long time.  The current grade system is low pass, pass, high pass.  So basically A-, A and A+ got lumped together in high pass while pass lumps B and B+ and low pass = B-.  I'm sure its not an exact match-up, but that's basically it.  There is a mandatory curve, so the ratio of low pass, pass and high passes will be pretty constant (so unlike YLS, low passes are common at hls).

I agree with everything you wrote in your previous post except this. There is no mandatory curve, but a "recommended" curve. That was made clear back in November '09 with the email that got sent around to faculty and later, to students. For what it's worth, almost all of the professors I've had thus far (and believe me, it's a limited number), have said they were either going to stick to the recommended curve or give out grades that were around there (maybe one or two less LPs, but not eliminating that category altogether).

Also, for those who would have had A+ under the prior system, there is the Dean's Scholar Prize which notes the top one or two grades in the class. So those superstar types can still get recognition :)
Quote from: Tim Mitchell

F*cking bi+ch drinks a 1 oz bottle of goose and thinks she's French