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NCCU Law 1Ls: What to Expect at Orientation

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Aug 8, 2010 in The 2L Life

Over the weekend I got an email from one of the long-time readers here at law:/dev/null — and a quick THANK YOU to all of you :* — reminding me that I still haven’t posted the Site Stats for July.

So I was going through the search terms to put that together, and saw “what to expect at nccu law orientation” among them. I figured that needs a bit more than the 1-line treatment I typically give the search queries each month :)

Before giving you my $.02, I need to stress that this is strictly 100% my own recollections and opinions taken from my three entries on Orientation last year. They are not in any way endorsed / vetted / reviewed / affirmed / or any other relevant verb’d by NCCU Law, the Student Bar Association, or anyone else. Your experience will likely be different — and hopefully less embarrassing than mine — so take all of this with the requisite grains of salt ;)

Also, since I’m in the NCCU Law day program these recollections are day program-specific. If you’re in the evening program you’ll go through the same stuff, it’ll just be structured differently.

We’ll start with some preliminaries:

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PREREQUISITES
====================

Attire: Last year I came to the first day of Orientation in a suit… and was one of at most a half dozen others to do the same :beatup: This will be the first impression you’ll make on your teachers and future colleagues so you don’t want to dress like a bum, but if you don’t want to do full business attire you can stick with your Sunday best.

Dennis Jansen (a 3L @ UMN Law) has this excellent post on Orientation fashion advice. And if you happen to be a lady, Huma Rashid (a 3L @ John Marshall Law) has an entire category of outfits just for you. Read them both. Trust me ;)

Parking: Not sure if things will be different this year, but last year we had the same places to park during Orientation as we did during the school year: (i) on the strip alongside the law school, (ii) in the Education Building parking lot, (iii) in the parking lot in front of the gym, (iv) the newly-paved lot across from the Criminal Justice building, and (v) a handful of other places you’ll only need if you end up getting to class really really late. Go to the NCCU Campus Map for directions. Plan to arrive early and you’ll be fine parking-wise :)

Sections: You can figure out what section you’re in already by looking at your schedule in Banner, but if you haven’t accessed that yet you’ll know for certain when you check in at Orientation. You’ll be split into your sections for most of the sessions all week.1

Technology: If you have a laptop and you’re planning on using it during the year, bring it with you on the first day. NCCU Law has a laptop loaner program where every 1L has the option to borrow an IBM ThinkPad from the school, but many of us prefer to use our own. Bringing it on Day One will give you a chance to get everything configured for use on the law school’s wifi network.

Timeline: Orientation is pretty much an all-day (or all-evening) thing each day. Plan to show up at 8-9am and plan to stay there until 5pm or later (more on the “or later” part for Day Two below).

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DAY ONE: WELCOME TO NCCU
====================

The first day of Orientation last year was the really basic nuts and bolts to life at NC Central University.

You’ll check in, hang out in the Fishbowl for a bit (and eat some of the breakfast items sponsored by your Student Bar Association ;) ), then go to the classroom where you’ll spend your 1L year for the rest of the day’s activities.

The day is broken up into 30-45 minute segments on various issues. You’ll get introduced to the Chief (the Dean of the law school) as well as the high-level law school staff. You’ll hear from the Registrar about basic class registration and related items. There will be a Q&A session on financial aid, student loans, and other money-related issues. There will be a segment on your respective learning styles from Dr. Psych. And you’ll hear from the IT folks about how to navigate the various law school facilities available to you.

The really fun stuff happens at the end, when you’ll get your login/passwords for both LexisNexis and WestLaw, putting oodles and oodles of cases at your fingertips for whenever you’re bored. And you’ll be given a tour of the law school — which will hopefully include a trip down to the SBA office to say hi to me :D

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DAY TWO: WELCOME TO LAW SCHOOL
====================

If Day One were designed to introduce you to NCCU, Day Two introduces you to the NCCU School of Law… and the long hours law school can consume :beatup:

In the morning your CivPro professor will give you an introduction to the legal system. After that you’ll hear a bit more detail about the various law school departments and how they can help you (career services, academic support, and so on).

At some point that day you’ll also get to hear from a panel of students about the rich legacy of NCCU Law, and then have a second law-related session where your Contracts professor will introduce you to briefing cases — and even assigning homework :surprised:

Once that’s done, you basically have a break to knock out the essential stuff you need to do. The Bookstore will have a “mobile store” set up in one of the courtrooms on the ground floor. You’ll be able to buy your parking permit on the 2nd floor. You’ll get your picture taken in the Fishbowl for the law school’s annual student profile thing. Etc etc etc.

Then that night there will be a reception in the Great Hall with NCCU Law alumni, followed by a session on professionalism with those alums and folks from the N.C. Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. The reception and professionalism session combine both the day and evening programs, so it’s an excellent opportunity to get to know your fellow 1Ls from all over the school :)

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DAY THREE: NOW GET TO WORK
====================

I actually had to skip the last part of Orientation last year because of a conflict with a UNC Board of Governors meeting I had to attend as UNCASG President — so even though I remember what was supposed to take place, this section of the post is also part speculation.

In the morning you’ll have some group discussions on To Kill A Mockingbird, one of the books you were assigned to read over the summer. You’ll also have another session on briefing cases as well — and you still have to turn in that homework even if you skip like I did :beatup:

You’ll also go over the Student Handbook and the Code of Conduct, as well as a session on avoiding plagiarism. And at some point you’ll be given a writing exercise.

The last event for the day will be a second panel with different students on it, that will basically be a Q&A for you to ask any lingering questions that didn’t get addressed during the rest of Orientation.  I’m on that second panel, so if you want to try and stump me feel free to start thinking of your questions now ;)

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TDOT’S ADVICE
====================

If I had a chance to do Orientation all over again, the only thing I’d change is that I’d be more relaxed.

Before law school several friends used to call me “the oldest and the coldest” in tribute to my unflappable personality (and balding scalp :beatup: ). But for some reason I was ridiculously nervous during Orientation, and I didn’t enjoy myself nearly as much as I should have.

You’re getting ready to start an amazing experience at a truly unique law school, and you’re going to meet people who will be colleagues and friends for years to come. Go in with the mindset to soak in as much information as you can, to meet as many folks as you can, and to enjoy yourself as much as you can — do that and you’ll be in good shape :)

***

That’s it from me — if you have any questions between now and Orientation feel free to send me an email! Looking forward to meeting y’all this week! :D

—===—

Orientation-related items from the law:/dev/null archives:

  1. No matter what anyone else tells you, §103 is the best :angel: []

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2

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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2

Shameless attention-whoring FTW

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jul 3, 2010 in Site Stats

You don’t have to be one of our long-time readers here at law:/dev/null to know that I like charts.

Facebook + attention-whoring = traffic spike!

And data.

And benchmarks. And tables. And trendlines.

And more charts just for good measure :beatup:

Grade distributions, tuition savings, site stats — I compulsively sprinkle data and tables throughout the blog. Besides, pictures spice up the text-only entries ;)

That also means I’ve started looking for more ways to spread the word in the hopes of attracting more eyeballs / readers / commenters :) There was political controversy in March, a new Twitter account in April… and a slight drop in May.

So to continue the outreach effort I borrowed a page from Huma over at TRPLS and created the Facebook page for law:/dev/null ;)

Apparently most of my Facebook friends never knew about this place, because after sending everyone invites the number of unique IP addresses we had visiting the site jumped by more than a third. Average pageviews per day climbed even more, at +37.7%.

Over a quarter-million pageviews!

And the really nifty thing for a guy who loves benchmarks? This past month we served up our quarter-millionth pageview! :D

I put together a chart (of course) that shows the cumulative number of pages viewed over time. For a blog visited mostly by spambots in its first few months, having real honest-to-goshness live bodies reading over 250,000+ pages is pretty doggone cool :spin:

Anyhow, enough on the statistics — I know the main reason y’all read these entries are for the search terms ;)

***

On the search query front, here are 20 of the 140+ unique search terms that brought folks here in June:

  • rick ingram sbp: I don’t know if this is the same person doing multiple searches or what, but this was our #2 most-frequent search result last month with a dozen queries (along with “rick ingram unc” and “rick ingram dth”). It’s a little peculiar since he’s only mentioned in one entry about his endorsement by the UNCCH Daily Tar Heel. Odd or obsessive? I’m not sure which… :crack:
  • when is 1l orientation for nccu school of law: Orientation for the night program starts on Monday, August 9th. The day program starts the next morning on August 10th. Double-check the start time the night before. Trust me.
  • cute bunny: nom nom nom :D
  • nccu law academic calendar 2010 2011: Can be found on TWEN at the Law School Registrar page. If you’re a pre-L, you’ll get your WestLaw registration info at Orientation. If you’re a 2L/3L/4LE, you should know to check there first before checking Google :P
  • when does nccu school of law give refunds from financial aid?: Around August 30th for the Fall, January 15th for the Spring, May 28th for Summer Session I, and July 9th for Summer Session II. Those dates change slightly based on the calendar and when financial aid actually hits your account with the University. Sometimes refunds happen early but don’t count on it.
  • ex con mother gets law degree: I’ve never been a fan of the adjective “ex con,” but yes I know one — she’s much cooler in person than you can tell from the news story ;)
  • nccu law grading: Sparked some controversy among the blawgs when I declared my support for NCCU Law’s strict-C model. It’s not all that great for getting a job, but I still think it contributes to making more competent attorneys compared to the alternatives :P
  • nc central law reputation: Depends on where you’re looking for a job. I’m not familiar with our national reputation (outside of HBCU’s), but within the state NCCU Law is known for producing highly-talented litigators. It’s one of the four key reasons why I made NCCU Law my first choice for law school — and I suspect it’s one of the reasons the NCCU Law 1L trial team excelled against dozens of teams from neighboring law schools ;)
  • what are acceptable 1l grades?: Whatever is high enough for you to get a job? ::shrug::
  • how long 25 page paper: 25 pages…
  • greg doucette myspace: MySpace? Eww :sick:
  • has anyone received an acceptance package from north carolina central state university school of law: NC Central State University School of Law? No. NC Central [notice there’s no extra word here] University School of Law? Yes. ;)
  • opening statement competitions: Are much harder than closing argument competitions :beatup:
  • received a rejection letter from nccu law stating to try again later: Assuming that language wasn’t part of the standard NCCU Law form letter, you probably should try applying sooner since we use rolling admissions like most law schools.
  • wanted one piece: Sounds like a challenge for the Reasonably Prudent Law Student :D
  • the pornstars in winston salem: I know the political hacks over at the Pope Center wanted UNCSA and its film school to be privatized, but I don’t think that’s what they had in mind…
  • it’s been a month and i still don’t have my law grades: You get no sympathy from me — welcome to the club :*
  • nccu law now tier two: Someone lied to you. The amount of $$$ the school would have to spend to climb to T2 would totally defeat the point of getting a T1 legal education at a T4 price ;)
  • dennis jansen birthday: Happens every year. When? You should probably ask him instead :P
  • nccu law section 103: Is the best section in the school, hands down. And if anyone tells you otherwise you tell them they can kick rocks. Then tell them TDot said they can kick rocks. Then send them to me so I can tell them in person they can kick rocks. B-)

I really get a kick out of the different search terms people use to get here each month… :spin:

***

And finally, here are the Top 5 most-viewed posts for the month of June 2010, with a heavy leaning toward grades and cash:

  1. On Spring ’10 final grades: Spring ’10 Final Grades (or, “A 2L. For srs.”) (06/08/10)
  2. On saving money: TDot’s Tips: More $$$-saving ideas (06/13/10)
  3. Also on saving money: TDot’s Tips: Tips for the pre-L’s on $$$ (05/29/10)
  4. On the legal effects of political cowardice: Unsolicited commentary on the legal clusterf*ck facing homosexuals (06/11/10)
  5. On my impatience: Where are my @#$%ing grades?? >:o (06/07/10)

Many thanks to all of you for supporting the blog, including the new folks who got here as a result of my shameless attention-whoring on Facebook :) I truly appreciate all of you! :*

—===—

Past Site Stats entries:

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6

Spring ’10 Final Grades (or, “A 2L. For srs.”)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jun 8, 2010 in NotFail

Pretty much ever since I started law:/dev/null — back when I decided to take a quantity-over-quality approach to these posts ;) — it’s been a challenge thinking of something to write about each night that at least a handful or so of you will actually enjoy reading.

Then this week happened. And I had three (three!) separate topics enqueued. Three! Topics that, I concede, got briefly postponed so I could rant about my missing grades. But topics that I fully intended to resume writing about tonight. (Three of them!)

And then the missing grades materialized. And the bodies started piling up… :beatup:

So in deference to the requests I’ve already gotten,1 I figured I’d spill the beans on my grades now rather than knock out those other entries and post grade info on Friday.

That’s how much I :heart: y’all ;)

We haven’t actually gotten any of the physical exams back yet so I’m not sure how my performance broke down in terms of multiples-vs-essays, but I’ll share my guesses where I can.

Without further ado, here’s the rundown for Spring 2010:

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CIVIL PROCEDURE II
====================

MDG switched things up from the usual final, giving us a set of multiples but then providing documents from a mock court case for the essay. Our objective was to review the documents and craft a letter to the client discussing the numerous FRCP-related concerns that existed.

It was during that portion of the exam that I stopped watching the clock and had time called before I got anywhere near finishing it :beatup:

CivPro II Final Exam Grades

The multiples were a challenge, with MDG describing them as “nuanced” and mentioning that even a fellow CivPro instructor missed a couple. The highest correct was 15 out of 20 multiples (75%) with the class average at 12 (60%) — high enough to pass the Bar, which is definitely a good thing given the difficulty.

The chart to the right shows how the final exam grades broke down. There was a +19-point curve.

My final grade for the course turned out slightly higher than anticipated, so my guess is I did well on the multiples. But I’m kicking myself for choosing a UNC Board of Governors meeting over an extra credit assignment we were given shortly after midterms though — the extra 5 points would have bumped the final grade to a B, bumping my 1L GPA above a 2.7 (eligible for some NCCU merit scholarships).

Lesson learned :headdesk:

Midterm exam grade: A-
Final exam grade: ???
Expected final grade for class: C+
Actual final grade for class: B-

Synopsis: Worse performance than last semester, but given how gratuitously I choked on the essay I’m satisfied with how it turned out. And now I know to do all available extra credit in the future :beatup:

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CONTRACTS II
====================

Not a whole lot to say here: Contracts clearly isn’t my thing.

The downside is that I now have to explain to future employers how I barely passed a core class two semesters in a row.

The upside? I never have to take Contracts again until the bar exam ;)

Midterm exam grade: C-
Final exam grade: ???
Expected final grade for class: C-
Actual final grade for class: C

Synopsis: I passed :surprised:

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CRIMINAL LAW
====================

If my perpetual flailing in Ks killed any briefly-nurtured dreams I had of going the intellectual property route, CrimLaw coupled with 1L Trial Team have convinced me to follow my heart and go the criminal prosecution route professionally. It’s something I had wanted to do for years, but never seriously considered since public employees don’t make much salary-wise.

But based on my grades it seems like the only thing I’ll be qualified to do :beatup:

The really crazy part? This was my best grade all year, and it was in the one class where I didn’t study for the final exam because I had a UNCASG meeting that weekend :crack:

Professor CrimLaw sent me an email making sure I knew that (i) I earned the grade I got but (ii) I shouldn’t make any professional decisions based on one course. He’s got a valid point but I don’t feel like I’m doing that here — I really, truly, and deeply hate Contracts too so technically it’s based on three courses :spin:

Midterm exam grade: A-
Final exam grade: ???
Expected final grade for class: A-
Actual final grade for class: A-

Synopsis: I’m 90% sure Professor CrimLaw isn’t a TDot fan, but I still enjoyed the course. And I’m glad I finally have something other than B’s and C’s populating my transcript ;)

====================
LEGAL RESEARCH & PERSUASION
====================

Along with not watching the clock in the CivPro final, this was my other instance of taking a strong starting grade and pissing it away through truly stunning incompetence.

Note to the pre-Ls: read directions!

Then when you’re done: re-read directions!

Then after that: re-re-read directions!

Trust me :beatup:

Cumulative grade after midterm: A-
Final memo grade: ???
Expected final grade for class: C
Actual final grade for class: C

Synopsis: It could have been worse I guess. At least the research skills we learned actually turned out to be useful. ::headdesk::

====================
PROPERTY II
====================

This was the only final exam where I didn’t have a gut feeling one way or the other on how it turned out. I’m not sure if it was from the stress of the looming Contracts final two days later or what.

My performance was worse than the midterm, but high enough that I ended up with the exact same grade I got in the Fall.

And I don’t remember any of it already :beatup:

Midterm exam grade: A- (and in Top 3)
Final exam grade: ???
Expected final grade for class: B+
Actual final grade for class: B+

Synopsis: At least I’m consistent :beatup:

====================
TORTS II
====================

Professor Torts is currently in Costa Rica with our Study Abroad folks, so I won’t know how the final exam turned out for a long while.

But I know enough to know I blew it :(

Back on the midterms I ended up with the #1 score out of the class on the multiples-only exam, so to end up with a final grade below even last semester’s I must have quite thoroughly FUBAR’d the final. And I feel fairly certain I did well on the essay, meaning I can only assume I botched the multiples.

Meh. Was never a fan of this class either…

Midterm exam grade: A (and in Top 3)
Final exam grade: ???
Expected final grade for class: A-
Actual final grade for class: B-

Synopsis: This was the only bona fide disappointment for the semester, but at least it’s over. I will most definitely not be taking Advanced Torts ;)

====================
FINAL SCORE: SPRING 2010 FINALS
====================

Expected End-of-Semester GPA: 2.756
Actual End-of-Semester GPA: 2.733

Actual End-of-1L GPA: 2.678 (Law school median: 2.000)

*****

So that’s the rundown on the 1L grades.

But one wrinkle added to the mix over the past 24 hours has been NCCU Law‘s strong adherence to the strict-C grading model: we have a policy that any 1Ls who have fallen below a 2.000 at the end of their first year are academically dismissed from the school (hence my reference at the start of this post to “the bodies piling up” once grades came out).

The policy is essentially a trade-off in exchange for the school giving a shot to folks who might not be academically qualified to get into other law schools, providing a level of access that I personally think does wonders for the legal profession (at least in North Carolina) because many of the best lawyers I crossed paths with when I worked for the State Bar were less-than-stellar students as undergraduates.

The 2.0 model forces students to perform. It produces good attorneys. It’s why so many judges in North Carolina are NCCU graduates. And it’s why many of my classmates and I have a huge chip on our shoulder when we listen to trash-talk from students at other law schools.

But the dark side of that 2.0-cutoff is that NCCU Law ranks #2 in the nation for 1L attrition at a public law school (we’re edged out by FIU Law). We’re around #7 among both public and private law schools combined.

1L attrition is the red bar on the right-hand side

Take a look at this PDF chart from NLJ if you need a visual. The picture to the left is North Carolina’s section of the report.2)

That means roughly 1-in-5 of my colleagues will not be returning this coming August, and I’ve already gotten messages that a couple very close friends who’ve been mentioned here at law:/dev/null are among the casualties :cry: It kinda kills the buzz from being able to officially declare myself a 2L…

I’m not sure where those folks will end up down the road, but if they happen to read this entry I’m hoping they’ll keep in touch and let me know if I can help. We might not all be destined to be lawyers, but I’m a firm believer we’ll all end up where we’re supposed to end up.

*****

I completely and totally *hate* ending posts on a sour note, so I do want to formally say *CONGRATULATIONS!!* to everyone in the Class of 2012 — both at NCCU Law and elsewhere — who can officially call themselves 2Ls! :) Good luck to all of you in your summer endeavors, and I hope you’ll keep coming back to law:/dev/null next year now that I get to officially keep chronicling this experience :D

Have a great night everybody!

—===—

From the grade-related archives:

  1. Including from classmates who said they were looking forward to tonight’s blog entry — that inflated my ego at least two-fold apiece ;) :D []
  2. To my Duke Law readers, I assure you its absence from the pic isn’t a sign of ill will — since Duke Law is a T14, they’re on the NY page of the report and I didn’t have time to do a Photoshop splicing of the pages together. If you want to know about Duke Law just download the PDF ; []

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3

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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1

Haunted by… CivPro

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 12, 2010 in The 2L Life

It’s been a couple months since the last time I had any crazy law-related nightmares. Even though the first one seemed to be like a bad episode of Law & Order, the latter ended up being about exams… with a CivPro flavor.

That trend continued this morning :crack:

Despite going to bed around midnight, I randomly woke up at 3:10am. In my dreams I was in the NCCU Law building and had just picked up my CivPro final exam. After pulling the exam from the envelope, I notice the whole thing is a lot thicker than I remember when I turned it in. I flip past the multiples to the essay, where for some reason each individual paragraph ended up on a separate page… which I guess irritated MDG, because I lost a point per page from the excess white space :mad:

There was also a disproportionate amount of red ink relative to the black text and white emptiness. After looking closer I notice my essay has a ton of spelling errors at -1 point apiece. It was really basic stuff too — one of the party names in the dream hypo was “Mr. Goodall” which I kept misspelling as two words “Good All”. Then I notice a bunch of basic possessive errors ([foo]s’ vs [foo]s’s) at -1 point each, and even a few homophone mixups (to vs two vs too and such) also at -1 point each.

And this is all on top of the fact that I never actually finished the essay :beatup:

Right before I woke up, I flipped back to the front page and saw I got a D+ on the final, then calculated in my mind that I’d end up with a C for the final grade. So I don’t know if I can really consider it a nightmare since I passed the class. But I certainly wouldn’t describe it as an enjoyable experience.

And this law thing is something I want to do for a living? Someone pass the Ambien…

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2

The wait continues…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 8, 2010 in NotFail

No one’s really sure when the final grades will be posted for 1Ls at the N.C. Central University School of Law. Some 2Ls have told us not to expect anything until June at the earliest, while the professors point us toward the school’s academic calendar requiring grades to be in by May 11 — Tuesday.

Regardless of when those grades come out, I figure I’ll keep up the tradition of post-exam handicapping by giving y’all a rundown of how I think things went :) I’ve also included the final grade I’m hoping for in the course.

  • Civil Procedure II: This was our last final exam and I choked. Or “royally FUBAR’d” to borrow the phrase-ology of a colleague. I felt comfortable about the multiple choice questions, but inexplicably stopped paying attention to the clock and ran out of time before touching 60%ish of the essay… which itself was worth 60%ish of the final exam grade :beatup: My only hope is that there’s a sizable curve on the exam, because otherwise I may come perilously close to having to retake the course. Hoping for: C+.
  • Contracts II: Out of the 18 exams we’ve taken during the 1L year, I’ve never left an exam feeling intellectually drained except with this one. Not to anthropomorphize much, but I felt like I got physically beat by this exam. Summed up my thoughts on it here. I’ll genuinely be content if I just pass. Hoping for: C-.
  • Criminal Law I: This was our first exam, and even though we were given 3 hours I had wrapped up after just 1. Not sure if that meant I knew things really well or really didn’t know things at all, but since the midterm turned out well I’m hoping I replicated that performance on the final. Hoping for: A-.
  • Legal Research & Persuasion: Not sure what to think here. I had a solid A going into the final memo, which was worth 40% of the final grade. But then this happened. So that memo will likely be a lead weight on my final grade. We’ll see what happens… Hoping for: C.
  • Property II: Don’t have a sense for how this exam turned out. It focused on concurrent estates, landlord/tenant items, and easements & covenants. I wasn’t terribly comfortable with the material, but also didn’t feel terribly uncomfortable after the exam. So maybe that’s a good thing. Hoping for: B+.
  • Torts II: In talking with my classmates, there seems to be a consensus that the Torts exam wasn’t as difficult as it could have been. I felt the same way. Downside is that means there’s likely not much curve and it’ll be minor nit-picky things that separate the A’s from the B’s from the C’s. But hopefully I’ll be high enough that this class will be a GPA boost. Hoping for: A-.

So it’s looking like I’ll end my Spring semester with a 2.583 GPA… even lower than the 2.618 from last semester :beatup:

I’m kicking myself particularly because those CivPro and LRP grades were totally avoidable self-inflicted injuries. But at this point what can you do other than pray?

If you’re still taking final exams this coming week, GOOD LUCK!! :D And I hope all of you have a good night :)

—===—

Past grade entries:

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6

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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