Because some profs tell students how to answer their questions or even tell them hints about the exam, usually only to those students who constantly go ask them questions or visit them at their office. Because some profs adjust final grades based on other factors such as class participation or impression of a student after exams are marked. Letter course grades are assigned after exams are marked and the exam mark does not determine the full grade. The prof has discretion in assigning individual letter grades and also who to fail or not to fail, or who to give an A to, based on a personal impression of the student. Of course some classes do not have 100% exams and nothing is anonymous when assigning final letter grades to individual students at the end. Marking anonymous exams and assigning individual course letter grades to students are two distinct phases.
And yes I consider students who go to all their 8AM classes diligently and write down word for word and regurgitate everything the prof says as gospel to be keeners. Or the ones who always go to talk to the prof after class, every class.
This forum is obviously self-selecting to there might be a skewed demographic on here of law keeners but what I said is still true.
Actually I have noticed that the uber keeners tend to take classes with older established tenure profs in large lecture sections in order to get self-validation about beating most of their classmates academically, and also to get those fancy reference letters. I never see the uber keeners in small more practical seminars with young practitioners who are not “distinguished” profs.
I’m not cynical, just practical. Plus saw what happens to others, the so called non-deans listers, who fall through the cracks every year. Law school should not be your whole life or total focus, but if it is, you (not you personally, but the typical law student) are missing the whole point of the school phase. Law school or university is more like a vacation or break from real life responsibilities most of the time, a time to self-reflect and explore other opportunities out there in a low risk environment, and of course meet new people and do whatever you want pretty much. As Jeff Spicoli would say, "Hey bud, let's party!"
Just enjoy it and don’t worry about grades or what others are doing. Just graduate and do your own thing because it’s your life after all.