Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Law school grades: slicing and dicing the numbers

The second semester of law school at U of L has started, but I still have one foot stuck in the fall semester. The reason: grades are out. We received our results over the winter break, and professors are now holding individual meetings to discuss the results. In our Contracts class yesterday, Professor Grace Giesel told us not to freak out about the marks we received. In the transition from high school to college, she said the bottom half of students usually drop out. And in the transition from college to law school, the bottom 90 percent of students drop out. So she said the experience we had in those earlier schools, when we walked into a classroom, looked around and quickly decided that we could “beat these guys easy” is essentially no longer going to work. With that in mind, Giesel provided a breakdown of our grades for the first semester, and the number of people who received each score.

  • A (5)
  • A minus (7)
  • B plus (9)
  • B (13)
  • B minus (8)
  • C plus (8)
  • C (12)
  • C minus (3)
  • Less than C minus (3)

Seeing this list was somehow comforting, at least to me. My overall grade of a B for the course put me right in the middle, which is absolutely fine. My other grades were similar – nothing lower than a B, nothing higher than an A minus. My grade point average of 3.12 is hardly spectacular, but it’s solid enough to put me somewhere in the top one third of the class, at least according to these ranking tables from previous years. An upper level student tells me we’ll receive our actual rankings in a few weeks, and then again after each subsequent semester in law school. So the task ahead is simple: repeat what I just went through another five times over the next two and a half years, and I should be able to graduate. Simple, maybe. Difficult, definitely.
(Image: Columbia Law School blog site)

1 comment:

  1. Update: Dean Urbach says rankings will be posted sometime in February.