Class Rank Results, 2011 Edition

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jul 22, 2011 in The 2L Life | Subscribe

Happy Almost-the-Weekend everybody! :D

There’s been a lot going on this past week and all sorts of news in the legal arena that I’ve been wanting to comment on but just haven’t had the time. The internship at I-Cubed has been a lot more enjoyable than I thought corporate work would be,1 grades for Summer Session I courses have all come in,2 it looks like I’ll be the CrimLaw tutor next Spring for the 1Ls and this Fall for the 2LEs,3 I was invited to give a leadership development presentation to the NCCU SGA earlier this week4 — there’s just been a lot going on in a very short amount of time!

Which brings me to the topic of this post: the 2011 class rank charts that we finished gathering data for over a week ago :beatup:

Before diving in to the data, I want to give a huge *THANK YOU* to everyone who participated! We had nearly two-dozen people submit their anonymous information, including folks from the upper and lower ends of the spectrum.  Coupling those with some data points provided by the Registrar we’ve got what should be fairly accurate models for each of the 3 classes submitting information.

Now for some charts…

CLASS OF 2012 (Day Program):  ONE YEAR LATER

We’ll start with my class, since it’s my blawg :P

Class of 2012 Rankings: the top is 2011 (after 2L) and the bottom is last year (after 1L)

The NCCU Law cohort that started in August 2009 began with 169 students, which had whittled away to 157 by the time our 1L year was finished.

Factor out the 18ish folks who fell below a 2.0 and another handful who enrolled in the 4-year JD-MBA program (pushing them into the Class of 2013), then add in folks who transferred in from the Evening Program or are from the August 2008 cohort who are now “in sync” with our class (either from being in a dual-degree program or being readmitted after falling below 2.0 in the 2008-09 year), and we’re down to 152 people.

You can see the impact of students being able to self-select their courses as each of the percentile cutoffs have climbed since last year.  The biggest jumps have come at the lower end of the ranking spectrum; for example, the 50th percentile cutoff is actually higher than my GPA last year when I was at the 40th percentile.

You can also tell from my class rank that there’s a decent amount of fluidity in the rankings. I jumped from #62 to #32 in the span of a year,5 with only a just-over-three-tenths-of-a-point bump in my GPA (e.g. a hair’s breadth greater than the difference between a B- and a B).

Not to continue beating the same dead horse, but that data point tends to reaffirm my argument that your 1L grades don’t matter. ;)

CLASS OF 2013 (Day Program)

Based on the incoming class profile, this year’s 1Ls were an interesting mix.

On the similarities side of the ledger, their class started out slightly larger than mine (174 for them compared to 169 for us) but had shrunk the same amount (-12 students apiece by the end of 1L year). The 75%ile/median/25%ile LSAT scores were also practically identical between the two cohorts.

Class of 2013 Rankings

But on the differences, the Class of 2013 was more polarized. The median age was almost the same (25 to our 24) but the Class of 2013 had more “really young” students in the 21-24 range and more “not as really young” students in the 40+ range. On the GPA side, they also had more students who did better than us in undergrad (75%ile GPA was +0.11) and more students who did worse (25%ile GPA was -0.12).

That polarity also shows up from two points in the 1L ranking data: (1) both their 15%ile and 25%ile GPAs are higher, meaning their high achievers racked up comparably more of the high grades than ours did; and (2) it looks they’ll have a lower number falling below a 2.0, meaning their low achievers soaked up comparably more of the low grades than ours did. Really high and really low grades were more broadly distributed in the Class of 2012.

You can also see the effect of the C-curve to an extent. Even with the low-ranked students taking up more of the bad grades, the median is still almost two-tenths of a point below a B-. And even with their higher-achieving high achievers, no one in the Class of 2013 scored above a 3.78.

CLASS OF 2014 (Evening Program)

When I started this data gathering operation I really didn’t expect anyone from the law school’s Evening Program to send me their information. They were extended the invitation of course, but I only know maybe 3-4 people in the entire program who I know have been to law:/dev/null at least once so I figured the odds of someone seeing the call for submissions were a bit low.

Class of 2014 (Evening) Rankings

You can imagine my shock when I ended up getting just as many submissions from the Class of 2014 evening students as I did from the Class of 2012 day students :surprised:

The Class of 2014 Evening Program started out with 34 students in Fall 2010, which has since shrunk to 32.

They’re also ranked separate and apart from their Day Program colleagues so the data isn’t quite as useful for analysis except on a year-over-year basis. For example, on a percentage basis the 1LE 15%ile and 25%ile cutoffs are markedly higher than the corresponding 1L cutoffs.

But there are also only 8 1LE’s at a 3.1 GPA and above, when there are twice as many 1L’s at 3.2+. In other words, to borrow an over-used cliché, comparing the Evening Program to the Day Program is akin to comparing apples and oranges.

One commonality that can be culled from the data is that the Evening Program is obviously bound by the same curving process since their median GPA (even with fewer students) is similar to the median for the day program.


So that’s the class ranking data for the academic year ending May 2011! And it concludes what I can now officially designate as my first successful use of this blawg as a crowd-sourcing app :spin:

Hope all of you have a good night and a great weekend ahead! :D


From the grade-related archives:

  1. :surprised: []
  2. :D []
  3. :spin: []
  4. B-) []
  5. Roughly 19%, going from the 40th percentile cutoff to a smidge over the 21st percentile. []

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1 Comment

Jul 23, 2011 at 1:10 PM



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