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providence

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providence last won the day on December 6

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  1. There is a lot of last-minute deal-making in crim. Ideally, we get written instructions signed by the client (you can do it on a notepad or whatever) and have a witness there - a student, a colleague we grab in the hallway - and take notes and do a file memo.
  2. providence

    Things I Wish I Knew (Before Starting Law School)

    Legal employers do often ask for undergrad transcripts - how much weight they put on them is not entirely clear. My grades were really good and potential employers brought this up often. My experience with clerking is that they can be fairly important.
  3. providence

    Things I Wish I Knew (Before Starting Law School)

    Oh I thought you were talking about raw scores that were curved up. I'm not sure what you mean by "one class doesn't curve and a different one does." Do both classes give As to at least some students? If so, then if you don't get As, you're not one of the top students. If they don't give any As at all, that's unusual, but do they at least give B+s or B? If C is literally the best you can do even if you write a perfect or near-perfect exam, that's a weird course/program that I'd get out of. There are lots of science programs that are hard and challenging but it is possible to get a good grade - especially when people in the class do want to apply to med school. Anyway I don't know your school/program and wasn't intending to debate it. The point is that 99% of the time if someone has a C average it's not because they were in a hard program that they enjoyed where it was impossible to get a good grade. There may be the odd exception to that and if you're saying that's you, fair enough - that is what the LSAT and other factors are for, to help people compensate for poor grades where there may be extenuating circumstances.
  4. providence

    Things I Wish I Knew (Before Starting Law School)

    Well if you were pre-med (as was I) I would assume there were people in the class who still got grades that were competitive for med school (ie. As). It wouldn't take two years of me getting Cs to recognize that that isn't getting me into med school and if I had to switch schools and/or programs to do better, I would. So I'd say that is a lack of ability to do well in that material coupled with a lack of thinking through consequences and the future. If it's an uncurved grade, who cares? I had exams in law school where the highest score was a C in terms of the percentage of questions right, but it was curved up to an A.
  5. providence

    Things I Wish I Knew (Before Starting Law School)

    I would say that yes, good grades do almost always indicate at least some work ethic. Even if you have all bird courses at an easy school, people still fail them. You likely still have to write papers and hand them in on time, and prepare for final exams - even if the material is super easy it still needs to be organized in your mind, you have to memorize things, etc. I've never heard of anyone getting an A by not coming to class, not handing in assignments, not engaging with the professor etc. There may be people who skip class a lot and do the work on their own, or people who don't need to do much if they attend class and absorb what is taught, but you have to do one or the other. And yes, weak grades generally do indicate a lack of work ethic, and if they don't indicate that, then there's a lack of intelligence and/or insight and/or maturity and focus, none of which bode well for success in law school. To get bad grades consistently in all your classes, either you're not applying yourself, or you're working hard and still not understanding the material, or not realizing that this particular course/school/program is not right for you and your skills, and not being proactive and switching programs. I never understand how people who claim to have wanted to go to law school, or med school, all their lives, can tolerate semester after semester of getting 2.5 and 3.0 and not think that they need to do something about that, but hope to get in on a wing and a prayer and magically getting in the top 0.05% on the standardized admission test.
  6. providence

    Things I Wish I Knew (Before Starting Law School)

    Yeah but good undergrad grades at least indicate a decent work ethic over time. Even if it’s a supposedly “easy” program, you have to show up and do the work. Plenty of people crash and burn in law school because they don’t know how to take notes, don’t keep up with the readings etc.
  7. providence

    U of T grading

    Someone has to be and if the shoe fits...
  8. providence

    U of T grading

    Wow, they're really trying to soothe everyone's ego. They're like Oprah "An A for you, and A for you, a B+ for you..." Edit: you could have this grading system: Excellent, wonderful, amazing, brilliant performance - top 15% of the class - A++++ Stunning, great performance - top 30% of the class - A+++ Awesome, very impressive performance - top 45-55% of the class/bottom 45-55% - A++ Very good, awe-inspiring performance - bottom 10% of the class (optional) - A+ Everyone gets some kind of A+ and a pretty descriptor. If I am in the bottom 50% of the class, I'm an A++ and I'm awesome and impressive. I'm still in the bottom 50% of the class. It reminds me of some of my high school advanced math and science classes where the profs would give tons of bonus questions, so your final mark could be 110% or 115%. And you might have an overall class average for all your classes of 105 or 106%. I think they did that partly to boost people at the top without taking marks off people at the bottom and dealing with angry parents, kids stressed about not getting scholarships to college, etc. But basically, when several kids in a class had 105 or 110%, 90 or 95% did not look so impressive anymore. It was still objectively a 90 or 95% which is supposed to be a good mark, but the student who had it still knew that 8 or 10 kids had higher marks than them by 10 or 15%, and when the teacher wrote letters for colleges etc they would be putting the 90% in the top 25 or 30% of the class, not the top 5 or 10%, and saying they performed very well, not that they had outstanding performance.
  9. providence

    U of T grading

    The new system says: https://handbook.law.utoronto.ca/guidelines-and-procedures/grading-and-honoursdistinction-standing HH = elite performance - 15% H = superior performance - 30% P = strong performance - 45-55% LP = adequate performance to pass but significantly below the standard of the class - up to 10% I look at "elite" as = A+. I know there was no A+ before, but this scale seems to do more distinguishing at the top and less at the bottom. I look at "superior" as B+ to A. I wouldn't call a B "strong" but I wouldn't call it "adequate." It's "average/acceptable" to me. With 45-55% of the class getting P, I'd say it's essentially a B. I look at "adequate" as C-range grades. So to me, I would read HH as A+ and high As. H as mostly B+, maybe some lower/borderline As or A-s if they exist. P as mostly B, maybe some C+ thrown in. LP as C and D.
  10. providence

    Things I Wish I Knew (Before Starting Law School)

    #1: Do you know what sociopath means? I don't think it means what you think it does. What you describe is a person lacking in social skills. Agreed law school has lots of those. #2: Duh. #3: This is getting back into the which classes are easier debate. I took Tax and didn't find it harder than other classes. #4: I don't understand what anyone's race has to do with their undergraduate grades. Are you saying that Indian and South Asian males, white males and white mature females had higher undergraduate marks than Indian and South Asian females, white males and white mature males so some sort of affirmative action is going on for those groups? What about other races? And does that mean that the people with bad undergraduate grades did well enough in law school that you assumed they'd always been good students? Doesn't this mean that they were appropriately admitted then? @BlockedQuebecois maybe s/he was the student rep on an admissions committee? #5: I'm sure @ProfReader will have something to say about how easy it is to "stumble into" a law professor job. You're discounting peoples' efforts and years of education. Also, sure, some students may be "smarter" than some profs. The profs aren't there purely for their smarts. Whoever is smarter, the profs a) know more than the students do on their subject area and are responsible for getting you to know more than you currently do and b) are in a position to grade you and determine your future, so as @BlockedQuebecois says, you should respect them and try to learn from them. Also how do you know whether or not they are from underprivileged backgrounds? And that same argument applies - there aren't many students in law school whose "Mom was on smack." There are lots of brilliant people who never make it to law school as students due to socioeconomic issues. #6: Duh. But brevity in issue spotting isn't important because your prof wants to get the marking out of the way. It's important because it shows your own clarity and organization of thought and focus on the correct issue - the same things principals, judges, clients and other counsel will want to see in your writing.
  11. providence

    U of T grading

    Yeah, that is U of T’s problem. It charges outrageous tuition, offers inadequate financial aid, bills itself as prestigious, but then not all grads can get high-paying jobs.
  12. providence

    U of T grading

    Has anyone considered that a P also lowers B students to potentially make them look like C students? A B was always considered respectable. A P is often the bottom grades. I would personally way rather have a B than a P.
  13. providence

    U of T grading

    I would agree that people who are advantaged generally will be advantaged in being able to get good grades. But unfortunately no law school can erase a lifetime of advantage in 3 years. All it can do is make sure there is a crack for others to get through - and that is grades. I would be nowhere in life if my grades didn’t give me the opportunity to be in a gifted high school program, get scholarships to great undergrad institutions, get into law school and get scholarships and awards to go there, and get good grades in law school. Yes, there should be more people like me who have this opportunity, and I was all too often surrounded by privileged people. But the solution isn’t to close the door on the few like me who can make it on grades - it is to figure out how to give that opportunity to more people.
  14. providence

    U of T grading

    No, it’s on the students who are being denied an opportunity to distinguish themselves. A lot of law firm bias is unconscious bias, not malicious. Grades level the playing field. They force everyone to compete against one standard. This gives unconscious bias less room to operate and allows talent to shine rather than social graces or connections.
  15. providence

    U of T grading

    But they’re still on the bottom half. Are you saying that because it’s called “P” now that employers can’t figure that out? That somehow everyone gets the benefit of the doubt that they might be the top 10% or so of the P and therefore at the bottom end of the top half and this makes some huge difference? Don’t employers simply ask for class rank if they want to know where someone stands? This seems like an ego-boosting exercise to somehow make mediocre students feel better about being mediocre. It does kind of remind me of kindergarten....
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