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Legal Eagles: I need your help plz :)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jul 7, 2011 in The 3L Life

Good evening folks! :)

I hope all of you had an amazing Independence Day weekend — the 235th celebration of my favorite holiday evah — and a solid start to the abbreviated-and-soon-to-end workweek :D

On my end I made my annual trip with 雅雅 up to Virginia Beach to see Nan and Pops, though the festivities this year were somewhat dampened (literally and figuratively) by thunderstorms that spanned Virginia and North Carolina… and the start of Summer Session II classes this past Tuesday :beatup:

Class this week plus that trip plus the preceding week helping with NCCU Law‘s Legal Eagle Law Camp was the reason for my most recent extended hiatus from the blawgosphere.1 The Law Camp in particular was an interesting experience that I’ll hopefully have time to write about in a later entry — it included everything from sitting in on an actual arson trial (featuring extensive vulgarity and sexual innuendo) with ~35 7th-10th graders, to witnessing the Durham PD’s drug interdiction unit arrest two people for trafficking in cocaine2 in the parking lot of a Burger King where I happened to be getting lunch with about 20 of those same campers, to watching my group successfully put on a full mock trial even after the group’s star witness was a no-show on trial day, to a bunch of other randomness in between :crack:

But that’s not the reason for tonight’s entry ;)

Those of you who have been reading law:/dev/null for awhile3 might recall the pie chart of class ranks I put together last year for the Class of 2012 day program.  I’m hoping to create new ones this year for all the classes, so we can (i) gauge how much the average GPAs have climbed between 1L and 2L year now that students can self-select their electives, and (ii) compare the GPAs across classes / programs / years. Did this year’s 1Ls perform significantly better or worse compared to last year’s?  Does the evening program really have higher median GPAs as rumored?  What are the odds of a now-3L reaching #.## GPA based on the curve and colleagues’ grades? Those are the types of questions I’d like answered.

However I’ve got two problems: my source for grade info last year is no longer around, and my new class rank doesn’t have the serendipitous function of being a cutoff for a round-number percentile like it was when I was the 40% guy last year.

And that’s where you come in…  :angel:

I know folks are über-secretive about law school grades, even though we all find out something anyway.  Taking that preference for discretion into account, I’ve created a temporary page on the blog (linked at the top) called “2011 Data4 that includes a comment field where you can anonymously enter your own GPA and class rank.  By entering in a fake name and using a fake email address, your comment will go into the WordPress “moderation queue” we have here behind the scenes, I can then harvest your GPA/rank without ever knowing who you are, and then delete your comment without it ever appearing to the outside world.

As of this entry I’ve got 14 people who’ve already shared their data — 4 from the class of 2012, 6 from 2013, and 4 from 2014.  That’s a solid start, but most of the folks who have commented are in a fairly narrow band rank-wise and I need folks across the spectrum to get accurate charts. So if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to shoot me your info I’d really really really appreciate :)

Once I’ve got enough data points to put the charts together, I’ll delete the 2011 Data page and put up a new entry with the approximate grade distributions.

Thanks in advance for your help, and feel free to recommend that a classmate send in their info too ;) Have a great night! :D

  1. And yes I realize I’ve had roughly the same excuse for randomly disappearing for most of the past two semesters now. Cut me some slack! :beatup: []
  2. One of whom made the unwise decision to resist arrest and was restrained with force as a result. []
  3. *THANK YOU* btw! :* []
  4. UPDATE on 07/13/2011:  Got all the data we needed so the page has been modified to remove the comment form and all the comments that were submitted have been deleted. Thanks for your help! :D []

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Law school has made me an extremist…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jun 24, 2011 in The 3L Life

…at least with respect to my learning style :beatup:

Way back during 1L Orientation in August 2009, all of us were given a survey to help figure out how we best absorbed information — basically imagine a Myers-Briggs test for learning instead of personality.  My results were heavily tilted toward “kinesthetic” learning at 67%, meaning essentially that I learn best by doing something first and then refining it as needed.1  My secondary learning style was visual at 25% (learning by seeing), then down at the bottom I had a smidgen of preference for aural learning at 8%.

Well earlier today was counselor training for NCCU Law‘s Legal Eagle Law Camp that we have each summer for 7th-11th graders, and we were given the exact same test from Orientation.

And I’m now even more out-of-sync with how law school teaches people :crack:

My “learning by doing” preference has climbed to 83%, “learning by seeing” has dropped to 17%, and — you’ll notice those two numbers add up to 100% — my “learning by hearing” has dropped to 0%. So in a nutshell I get pretty much nothing at all out of attending the usual lecture-style classes and am better off teaching things to myself through some kind of interactive method.2

I’m not sure if my law school experience has pushed me in this direction or if I was already headed that way and law school just accelerated the process, but it makes me that much more eager for the May 2012 end of my formal education to get here so I can knock out the bar exam and start really learning stuff…

That’s it from me tonight y’all, have to get up early tomorrow to start studying for this Intellectual Property exam — have a great night! :D

  1. Kinesthetic learners are the types of folks who get furniture from IKEA and just start putting it together without consulting the directions or asking how it’s done.  In the law school context, we prefer things like clinical work (usually) or trial team competitions… basically the exact opposite of traditional law school teaching methods :beatup: []
  2. Which actually explains some of my grades this past year, since my highest grade in the Spring was an A- in the interactive Trial Practice class (even with being held in contempt), and my highest grade in the Fall was an A in the ZombieLaw class I taught myself in the days before the exam. []

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An inauspicious start to the summer

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 23, 2011 in The 3L Life

For whatever reason, Mondays are the red-headed stepchildren of the week. I always thought it was an ill-deserved reputation; after all, Monday signals the start of the work week and all the cool stuff that happens when people work on doing cool stuff.

The popular perception of Mondays

Besides, if nothing else it means you can start making money again for another 5 days ;)

But, every now and then, I can see why people hate Mondays…

  • I’ll be volunteering as a counselor for NCCU Law‘s Legal Eagle Law Camp, where 2Ls and 3Ls spend a week teaching 7th-11th graders about our legal system. The volunteers can either get paid or get course credit, and I opted for the 1-credit over the $$$… only to discover that getting the course credit will entail assignments on the side and 3 extra class meetings on either Wednesdays or Thursdays :beatup:
  • Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, since there was an open spot in my Thursday schedule. Except that my USPTO class has now randomly been moved from Tuesdays — where it was scheduled in our course registration system, and around which I’ve planned my summer work and travel schedules — to Thursdays. (A change that just got announced when? Today.)
  • And I still don’t have any Spring 2L grades… :mad:
  • Aside from the academic drama, I also somehow managed to sprain my left thumb this weekend. The pain got bad enough that I decided to go buy one of those immobilizer things you can find at just about any big box or department or drug store in the country (theoretically). So I go to the Super Target closest to my house to save gas, just to discover they only sell them in Small/Medium sizes instead of a one-size-fits-most style :surprised:  They suggest the Walgreen’s that’s on the way home to my apartment… which I visit, and which is out of them entirely. By the time I’m done the Rite Aid up the street is now closed. The closest Walmart is out-of-stock too. So I end up having to drive to a Walmart in a neighboring county until I can finally get my hands on one, wasting more gas than if I had just gone there in the first place and burning an hour of my life in the process. :crack:
  • And the whole trek takes just long enough that, by the time I get close to my apartment, there’s a car accident blocking both westbound lanes of Fayetteville Street nearest to the apartment complex — the only portion of roadway that can be used to get into the complex, since there’s a median with trees blocking the entrance from the eastbound lanes ::headdesk::

Yes, I realize things could be worse; that could have been me in the car accident, or I could have broken my thumb instead of spraining it (or I could have all my grades but they turn out to be F’s :beatup: ).

But I’m still adding Mondays to my list of things to avoid in the future… :mad:

Hope Monday went better for the rest of y’all out there — have a good night! :)

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