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on grades and class ranks

16 February, 2009

I’ve read over and over throughout the blawging world how people feel that law school grades are arbitrary and it doesn’t matter how you think you did. I disagree with this. I think that notion comes from false expectations and not understanding the law school grading process. Most law schools grade on a curve. So yes, how you do depends very much on how your classmates do. You could get 80% of what you were supposed to get and earn an A, or you could earn a C if everyone else did the same. It probably FEELS random, but ultimately it’s not – students are essentially in competition with one another.

Knowing all of this, I set my expectations at a reasonable level. I understood that it is extremely rare for people to get all A’s in law school. That was difficult because for the past two and a half years, I have in fact earned straight A’s. On the other hand, I didn’t think I was going to be earning C’s in all of my classes. I mostly had my sights set on B’s.

And without giving any specifics, I was never disappointed and often pleasantly surprised. My lowest grade was in fact a B. And class ranks came out last week – I won’t pinpoint my rank but I am somewhere in between the top 15 and 20% of my class. After sweating it out and worrying for months, I know that I’m actually handling this whole law school thing. And…I’m keeping my scholarship (thankfully!).

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Llama Momma permalink
    16 February, 2009 1:22 pm

    I knew it all along…let me know when you want your celebratory dinner!

  2. 16 February, 2009 1:37 pm

    Thanks, Llama! I’ll have to let you know – the next few weeks are crazy because of appellate briefs and oral arguments.

  3. A.T. permalink
    16 February, 2009 9:29 pm

    That is so fabulous! Congrats, darling. Sooooooo proud of you. Sorry I’ve been MIA but life around here is quite hectic with two. Hoping to visit sometime this spring or summer! Miss you!!!!!!!!!

  4. 17 February, 2009 7:55 am

    Nice. Good job.

  5. 17 February, 2009 11:04 am

    Aunt Tine: Thanks! Miss you too.

    Butterflyfish: Thank you! 🙂


  1. Blawgs I Read: Exhibit L « 0L to 3L: My Journey to & through Law School

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