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Author Topic: Law school for the rest of us: Advice/questions for/from T2/3/4 students:  (Read 35078 times)

Matthies

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The purpose of this thread is to discuss general questions, strategies and obstacles related to law schools outside the top 50. The majority of law students go to these schools, yet there is very little in the way of books or threads discussing topics specific to these level schools. A lot of the advice given to students at top schools does not work down here, or is just plain BAD for people not going to them.

Here Rev and I will try to answer questions and give advice from what we have personally learned thus far.

As to me, I have three years and 70 or so credits at T2 school ranked 70ish I think.

This thread is more about general strategies and questions, than school specific questions, so save those for another thread.

If you will be attending a school outside of the top 50, or a currently a student at one, please feel free to ask any questions and post any advice you might have.

Thanks!

*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

Thistle

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here i will attempt to not blatantly flirt with the ladies or drop sarcastic one-liners; but will endeavor to actually give good advice.

i am an older, nontrad 1L at a t3 school, dead middle of my class.  why on earth would you want advice from someone in the middle of his class?  because at least half of you will be joining me there.  only one-fourth can be top 25% and one-fourth can be bottom 25%.  the rest of you will be taking a seat next to me.

so ask away.


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JD

slacker

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here i will attempt to not blatantly flirt with the ladies or drop sarcastic one-liners; but will endeavor to actually give good advice.

Darn it! I wanted this job. Oh well.

Thistle

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here i will attempt to not blatantly flirt with the ladies or drop sarcastic one-liners; but will endeavor to actually give good advice.

Darn it! I wanted this job. Oh well.


no, look i said attempt *not* to -- the job is open in this thread
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JD

PhiMuAmberkins

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How's UALR Rev?  I'll be at Fayetteville in the Fall...finally got all my stuff taken care of and *hopefully* will be graduating soon. 

On a advice/question/something actually pertaining to this thread note, I'm so incredibly confused about grading curves.  My school doesn't curve grades, so I've never experienced this at all.  Anyone care to explain? 

Thistle

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good for you!

UALR has a C curve -- i would imagine fayetteville is the same, but i'm not sure.  a C curve means that roughly 50% of the class will receive a C.  our grade distribution worked out somewhat like this:

A - 5-10%
B - 10-15%
C - 50%
D - 10-15%
F - < 5%

a 2.71 is the class median, and works out roughly to 65th out of 131.  on campus interviewers will almost always require a 3.0 or better to grant an interview.  network early is my motto.
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JD

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Rev - gotcha. (I'm reading this board about as well as I'm reading for classes anymore. I figure my summer w/bar-prep will not be fun; this semester is my last bit of 'time off' for a bit.

Curves. The law school curve is a mandatory grading scale. I copied one from the Loyola Chicago web site (not my school, but I found it on a quick search):
The official grade curve (revised as of September 21, 2004) is:
A 5-10%
A- 5-15%
B+ 10-20%
B 20-30%
B- 10-25%
C+ 10-25%
C 5-20%
C- 0-10%
D 0-10%
F 0-5%

This means that for a class that falls into the curve (25 or more students, with some exceptions, I didn't copy all those bits), from 5-10% of the students can get an A. From 5-15% of the class can get an A-. Etc. On the lower end, it's at the instructor's discretion whether or not a C- or lower is awarded.

Some schools don't have a minimum percentage for a grading curve, so the A range might be 0-10%, for example. Also, the number of students in a class for it to fall into the curve can vary. Some schools it could be a higher number such as 40 or 50. For the Loyola curve, it looks like most of the students would fall into the B range, but schools can also change the percentages for what the "average" student gets.

This forced 'only so many people for the best grades' approach tends to make grading very tight. You'll be at school in a section full of people who are used to getting good grades, but only a certain, and fixed, percentage, will be able to get those A's.

Another note about curves, for those who end up on the lower end of things. In law school, people don't usually flunk out, but they can grade out. Again, going on the Loyola information, students need a 1.75 gpa or better their first semester, first year to continue. Post that semester, they need a cumulate 2.0 gpa. That is, if you can't maintain a 2.0 GPA at that school, you'll merit an academic dismissal (ie, grade out).

So, aside from the considerations of who you can interview with, whether you get onto law review, and all that for those with the higher grades, those with the lower grades need to consider if they want to or will be able to continue.

Thistle

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yeah, loyola chicago is a B curve, so you can see the difference
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JD

PhiMuAmberkins

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Awesome, that helps a lot.  Thanks!

slacker

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One thing I forgot...because curves can vary so much from school to school, a lot of people will probably want to know your class rank. Since that gives your relative place in the pecking order of those on the same curve, it's considered more meaningful, sometimes, to those who just look at numbers. (Which is a lot of would-be employers).