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Author Topic: Warning regarding Syracuse Law  (Read 5095 times)

bobol

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Warning regarding Syracuse Law
« on: June 23, 2012, 09:03:23 PM »
In September 2011 Syracuse Law implemented a new grading policy which has mad life for the SuLaw Class of 2014 miserable.  The result of the onerous grading policy has been to lead to a record number of academic casualties for the 2014 class.  The curve sets a portion of the SU students for failure. 

In addition to the number of students that have been forced out or quit SU's Class of 2014, the new grading curve has made it difficult for students to attain the 3.0  necessary to retain scholarship money and forcing the students into greater debt than when they decided to attend.  I am told by SU Law students that the grading policy has made the school much more cut throat.

Please understand that the students you compete with in Law School also got all "A''s" and "B's" in college.

I have provided a link to the grading policy below:
http://law.syr.edu/professional-career-development/employers/on-and-off-campus-interview-program/grading-policy.aspx

legend

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Re: Warning regarding Syracuse Law
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 01:49:42 AM »
This grading policy is essentially  what every law school in America does. Law school is difficult and no matter where you go 100% of students at an ABA school think they will be in the top 10% on the first day of class. The reason is as you stated all these students received A's & B's in college. These good students enroll in  law school where they are pitted against other top undergrad students in a competitive environment and 90% of that thought they would be in the top 10% don't end up there. This has been occurring law schools across the country for years, and it is how the law school works. It has nothing to do with Syracuse as an institution.

The scholarship withdrawal is also very common and all students should ask questions about scholarship conditions when entering this has been documented numerous times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all (N.Y. times did a whole story on it)

It doesn't appear as though anything is  wrong with Syracuse's policy their grading is simply how law school works. Anyone considering law school should know before enrolling there is an 90% chance they won't be in the top 10%. Furthermore, if you are lucky enough to get  100k scholarship to law school ask questions about it.  Don't assume everything will just be ok this to everything  in life.  If someone is giving you a 100,000 discount on anything you need to be asking questions.

like_lasagna

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Re: Warning regarding Syracuse Law
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 11:56:51 AM »
This grading policy is essentially  what every law school in America does.

completely false

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Warning regarding Syracuse Law
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 12:14:23 PM »
This grading policy is essentially  what every law school in America does.

completely false

If anything this policy seems fairly generous. 70-75% of the class will be in the C to B+ range, and 5-15% will be in the A- to A range. That's hardly an onerous grading curve. A few people will fail and few will score A's, and the majority will get Bs and Cs. Legend is correct, that is exactly what most law schools have implemented. Law school isn't like undergrad, you don't get a good grade just for showing up.

Now, if Syracuse has made it harder to retain scholarships by making the curve tighter, that sucks. And yes, every law school plays games with scholarships .Keep in mind however, that many law school have a curve set at 2.3-2.5. Syracuse's seems pretty easy by comparison. 

legend

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Re: Warning regarding Syracuse Law
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 08:32:10 PM »
Most law schools do have a curve that is set out like the one OP posted. I am not familiar with all 200 ABA schools, but the vast majority of difficult curve and 50% of students enrolled in law school finish in the bottom half of their class. I'm sure there are some schools out there that don't rank or have a more generous grading policy, but this is a pretty standard law school grading curve.

Cher1300

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Re: Warning regarding Syracuse Law
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 12:04:27 PM »
This grading policy is essentially  what every law school in America does.

completely false

Although I'm also not familiar with every ABA approved law school, that grading system seems pretty standard.  The only big difference between a law schools grading system, generally, is the mean.  The mean at our school is set pretty low at a 2.4 and students are required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative.   

From my experience, the curves are actually set to help a 1L.  For our first semester finals in contracts, the highest grade out of 120 points was a 79.  I believe the mean was 50-55.  If the exams aren't curved, the majority of students would fail because it is quite difficult to discuss or even spot every possible issue on an exam in the time frame given.  So you are competing against your classmates by trying to get as many points as possible.  And as mentioned above, all those students were A/B students in undergrad so the competition makes it much more difficult.   

As far as scholarships go, most 1Ls lose them after the first year because they have no clue as to how difficult it will be to get a 3.0 or 2.8 their first year.  As legend mentioned, one should ask questions.  Every one accepted to law school is used to getting As, and almost every student entering law school believes they will be in the top 10% percent of their class.  Since 90% of them are wrong every year, that shows just how difficult 1L can be even with a curve. 

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Warning regarding Syracuse Law
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 01:29:30 PM »
That's exactly right. Syracuse's mean is 2.9 - 3.11, which is not bad at all. Most of the people at my law school would have been thrilled with a mean that was anywhere close to 3.0. Grading was very harsh at my school, and many classes had a 2.5 - 2.7 mean. They actually got even tighter on grading in my last year because too many people were skating by with 2.0 -2.2 grades, and then failing the bar. 

jack24

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Re: Warning regarding Syracuse Law
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 04:09:39 PM »
It seems to me that the forced attrition rate under that policy would be very low.  2.2 is the requirement for graduation.

Why were a "number of students" forced out from the class of 2014?  Were their grades too low?  If so, that's a blessing.  Much better to fail out after 1L than not graduate after 3L, especially with Syracuse's brutal tuition. (44,000 per year.  Barf)


bobol

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Re: Warning regarding Syracuse Law
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2013, 12:48:43 AM »
It was humorous to read the opinions of those that posted that the Syracuse University grading curve was "fairly generous" and "typical".

Lets look at facts not groundless opinion.

18.2% of the 1Ls for the only reported year since SU instituted its new curve either failed out of otherwise e chose not return for their 2d year of law school. 

Lets see how that percent compares with other like New York law schools
- - St.John's 7.8%
- - Albany 5.6%
- - Buffalo 2.8%
- - CUNY 8.5%
- - Fordham 6.1%
- - Brooklyn 5.1%

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Warning regarding Syracuse Law
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2013, 05:44:30 PM »
18.2% represents all attrition, including transfers, etc. Academic attrition at Syracuse accounts for less than half of that, about 9%. In other words, 91% of the students at Syracuse passed their classes and moved on to 2L.

Although 9% is still higher than many law schools, it doesn't even place Syracuse in the top 25 for attrition.