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Revisiting class rank

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Aug 5, 2010 in The 1L Life

Last month I posted a pie chart for y’all with class rank info on the Class of 2012 at NCCU Law, except that there wasn’t really much class rank info actually in it. The only thing I knew for certain at the time was that my GPA was the cutoff for the 40th percentile… because I happened to be the guy at the 40th percentile1 :beatup:

Fast forward a month, and several of my Legal Eagle colleagues were wondering if I had gathered any additional details given my penchant for graphs, tables and other data.

Slightly more 1L class rank data

And of course the answer is: of course ;)

After talking with about a dozen folks about their own grades/ranks, I tweaked the class rank chart to what you see here.

I know the GPA cutoffs for the 15th and 25th percentiles are solid. The Top 10% minimum GPA is just an estimate though; I haven’t really mingled with the super-smart folks in law school, and the only one I know 100% for certain who’s in that group decided to be coy and would only say the chart data “might be pretty close” :beatup:

I also added in my estimate of how many people fell below NCCU Law’s strict-C threshold and got academically dismissed at the end of the semester. It’s a very rough guess on my end, basically just taking the number of people I know personally who didn’t make it multiplied by the number of sections, taking a multi-year average of our historical 1L attrition data minus the folks who had already dropped, then weighting each of those two separate numbers and adding them together. I have -0- confidence that it’s an accurate count but I’m reasonably sure I’m ±5, so I included it anyway for informational purposes.

In the unlikely-but-possible scenario that my guess is a close approximation to the actual number of folks who will be gone, the attrition data highlights the challenge those of us in the middle of the pack academically are going to have trying to improve our class ranks this upcoming year. For example, being 62 of 157 puts me at the 40% mark now, but starting next week I’ll be 62 of ~139 (or less) — instantly dropping me down to 45%. It’s definitely a steep hill to climb.

Upside: at least I won’t have Contracts anymore :spin:

Have a great night y’all! :D

  1. Even though it’s not going to net my any academic excellence awards, I do appreciate my class rank being a nice round number :beatup: []

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Learning what I already knew

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jul 12, 2010 in The 1L Life

Class ranks got released today, and I got to re-learn what I already knew from my 1L GPA: I’m a decisively average student :beatup:

I rank 62 out of 157 1Ls. That puts me at a hair’s breadth inside the top 40%.

At least it's better than undergrad ;)

The chart to the right shows where I’m at, though not much else. I’m not sure if the registrar will be allowed to provide us with the GPA cutoffs for a given percentile, or how many of those in the bottom 50% are folks going home for not making above a 2.0 — if I can get that info I’ll update the chart to something more meaningful.

I did notice that if we were at 157 1Ls in April (I think this # excludes the evening students), that means we had already lost 12 of the 169 folks who started in the day program back in August. My assumption is that we’ll lose about 20 more students due to the GPA cutoff, putting our cumulative 1L attrition near the historical 20%ish mark. That’s all just speculation though.

On the bright side, I consider this a remarkable improvement over my undergraduate career :D

When I finally made it through N.C. State my 2.612 GPA placed me firmly in the bottom 25% of our 166 graduating seniors in the Computer Science Department, a byproduct of my spending far more time advocating for students through the Student Senate and UNCASG than I did writing code in front of a computer. My chronic bad grades were sufficiently legendary that I was even introduced to someone at a CSC function as “the George W. Bush of N.C. State’s Computer Science Department” — because I “can successfully run the world, but can’t successfully pass [my] classes.”1  :beatup:

One year and a strict-C curve later, and I’ve vaulted from the bottom quartile to just short of the top third with a mere +0.066 change in GPA.

It might not net me any BigLaw job offers or a spot on the law journal, but I’m gonna go ahead and call that a success ;)

Heading to bed so I can get up early for some hearings tomorrow — observing and/or co-mediating a pair of Medicaid appeal cases from the NC Office of Administrative Hearings ::joy:: Have a great night y’all! :D

  1. Though, for the record, I still considered it a compliment because I’m still a W fan :P []

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Where are my @#$%ing grades?? >:o

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jun 7, 2010 in The 1L Life

Several of my classmates at NCCU Law are expecting tonight’s entry to contain remarks on race relations and my Race & the Law class. Several of my UNCASG colleagues are expecting tonight’s entry to discuss a letter I wrote to the Raleigh News & Observer on the budget cuts proposed to North Carolina’s public universities.  And several of my regular law:/dev/null readers are expecting more $$$-related tips.

Hopefully all of you will forgive me, because I need to rant briefly :mad:

<rant>

Final exams for the 1L Spring semester wrapped up on May 3rd. In other words: over a month ago.

Now MDG has always been on-point with grading, so we got our CivPro grades over 2 weeks ago — making §103 the first section of 1Ls to get any grades at all. And based on what fellow bloggers have told me, taking over a month to grade 1L exams seems to be a common trait of law schools across the country so I think I’ve been fairly patient.

And even though we weren’t given any official timeline from the registrar for when our grades would show up, Professor CrimLaw provided some insight when I asked… mentioning that June 7 was the deadline for professors to submit grades, and giving us a specific date when we’d no longer be in post-1L-but-not-quite-2L limbo.

Well guess what today is…

And guess how many grades §103 are missing…

I’ll give you some hints: it’s June 7, and all of us are still missing 2-3 grades apiece :mad:

We’re apparently the only section still missing grades too, highlighted by the numerous Facebook updates from my §102 colleagues celebrating official 2L status :mad:

I love my law school. And I’m a big fan of all of my teachers.

But y’all… this is ridiculous :mad:

Some of us would like to know for sure that we’re coming back in August. Especially when some of us *cough cough* are halfway through summer session classes that won’t count if we fall below the strict-C threshold and get kicked out effective at the end of Spring semester :beatup:

Do better, professors. Do better.

</rant>

Sorry to put y’all through that, I’m just mildly stressed out that 2 of my missing grades are in my 2 worst classes (Contracts and Legal Research)… and out of the grades I’ve gotten, I’m underperforming my predictions :beatup: At this point I don’t even care about my precise GPA so much as I am wondering if I’ll have to repeat anything next year.

Fingers are crossed we’ll get the rest tomorrow. And at the very least I’ll have a more upbeat blog entry ;)

Have a great night y’all! :)

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Year 1 is DONE!! :)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 3, 2010 in The 1L Life

It’s official folks: TDot is a 2L! :D

The Civil Procedure II exam earlier today wasn’t my best work — unmitigated disaster would be a better description — but the only part that matters is that it’s OVER! :)  As of 12:05pm-ish I’ve successfully made it through a third of my legal education.

Way back in July after finally wrapping up my undergrad work at NC State, I was driving back to Virginia Beach to see Nan & Pops and was having a conversation with a colleague of mine who I’ll leave nameless. She expressed her “worry” over my choice to attend NCCU Law.  Specifically, she seemed to think I was going to wash out within the first year.

To her, and the other haters I’ve picked up along the way:  #lmfao :*

Good luck to those of you still facing exams, and congratulations to the ones who have already wrapped up!  Have a great night everybody :D

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Like Christmas Eve Eve (in May)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 1, 2010 in The 1L Life

Back when I was a kid, I had the hardest time falling asleep on Christmas Eve knowing that in only a few short hours there would hopefully be presents under the tree, or at the very least — and often more highly prized :beatup: — a bunch of candy in a stocking.

When I got a bit older, and especially when I moved out on my own, the whole giving and receiving of gifts thing took a back seat to spending time with loved ones… and cooking a doggone tasty dinner ;) So I found myself having a hard time sleeping on the eve of Christmas Eve instead, with the wide variety of work and festivities moments away.

Not sure if any of y’all have had a similar experience, but that’s a rough approximation for right now :)

Tomorrow starts the last round of studying for Civil Procedure II, the last exam on the 1L docket at the NCCU School of Law. Then Monday morning at 9am is the exam, and 3 hours after that… freedom :spin: I’ll have to officially re-title law:/dev/null as “A 2L Blog”, and then get busy enjoying not having schoolwork to do.

Needless to say I can’t wait :D

But first, a solid 24 hours of studying and 3 hours of exam-taking stand in the way. Keeping my head down and fingers firmly crossed…

Good night y’all :)

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4

T[K]O’d…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 29, 2010 in The 1L Life

Ugh.

Sound familiar? It should :beatup:

I mentioned yesterday that the final exam for Contracts II was this morning at 9:00am. After studying extensively, feeling fairly comfortable with the material, I turned to the first page of the exam this morning…

…and was promptly stumped :(

@#$%

It took me just over an hour to work my way through 30 multiple choice questions, most of which were decided by me narrowing down to what seemed like two equally-plausible answers and just randomly guessing between them.

@#$%^&@ #$!#

I then spent the second hour trying to put together something competent on the essay, my response for which (I learned after consulting Madame Prosecutor post-exam) likely left out several chunks of analysis.

@#$%^&@ #$!# $%^#$% &**!@ #$#% :mad:

There’s at least a chance that the curve will lift me up to passing.  But after my barely-passing performance last semester, followed by my equally barely-passing performance on this semester’s midterms, this makes #3. It certainly looks like an unpleasant trendline…

But the past is in the past, and I’ve got roughly -0- ability to change it now. So I’m taking the night off, then back on the studying grind with Torts tomorrow in preparation for Saturday’s exam. I’ll keep y’all posted on how it goes :)

Good luck to everyone still going through exams!  And have a great night everybody! :D

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Pause

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 27, 2010 in The 1L Life

Sorry folks, no entry for tonight.  The lack of sleep and less-than-stellar eating habits of exam time caught up to me yesterday. Body is currently engaged in all out warfare against a particularly vicious breed of germ of some kind.

This seems to be a recurring theme around law exams — at some point you’d think I’d learn my lesson… :beatup:

But speaking of exams, think I survived Property II this morning at least ::high fives all around:: Usually do poorly on the multiples but bang out the essay; this time it seemed flip-flopped. Will find out in a month or so.

Have a good night, and hopefully I’ll be in a more chipper mood mañana :)

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In the home stretch…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 25, 2010 in The 1L Life

Final exams at NCCU Law started back on Saturday with Criminal Law I @ 9am. Most of my 1L colleagues seem to agree that it was a fairly easy exam since it was/is essentially an introductory course, compared to us being in the 2nd semester of all our other subjects.

So it’s fair to say the real home stretch for the semester starts this coming week. Day off tomorrow to study, Property II @ 9am Tuesday, day off, Contracts II @ 9am Thursday, day off, Torts II @ 2pm Saturday, day off, then Civil Procedure II @ 9am the following Monday.

Don’t know if I’ll be able to keep the blog updated because I’m working hard to try and have a 3.0 by the end of the year — so at least 2 of my 3 New Year’s resolutions will happen — but I’ll do my best to keep y’all posted throughout the week :)

GOOD LUCK to everyone out there with exams this week and next! I’ve got faith all of you are gonna do amazing :D

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The first last day…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 21, 2010 in The 1L Life

Today was the official last day of classes for the Legal Eagles at NCCU Law :D

::high fives to the 1Ls::

So it’s the first last day of classes of my law school career. Now there’s a brief 2-day reprieve for “reading days,” then CrimLaw exam at 9am this Saturday.

GOOD LUCK to everyone out there with exams coming up! :)

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A quick and easy way to feel like a social leper

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 19, 2010 in The 1L Life

Just abruptly change your study habits :beatup:

I forced myself to stay at NCCU Law today despite the final exam tension. And I successfully sat (relatively) still for a whopping 4 hours doing actual school-related work.

I was understandably proud of myself…

…until I emerged from the basement to an array of stunned and inquisitive looks from classmates reminding me that I usually depart promptly when classes end. A random bystander would have been forgiven for thinking one of my appendages had arbitrarily fallen off.1

::awkward turtle motion::

Wonder what will happen if this turns into a habit over the next few days? :P

  1. Or alternately that I had just emerged from the Legal Eagle equivalent of the champagne room. Some people apparently have a misguided belief that I’m cool/trendy. If only they knew… []

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