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Justacceptme

Culture at U of A- current students

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I am doing some research on which schools to apply to, and I have a few questions for current students (or anyone that knows). I am interested in learning about the culture at the U of A... are grades posted publicly? Do books needed for common assignments get hidden or go missing? Do students socialize much out of classes? Is it easy to get involved with student clubs? 

Grateful for any input! 

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1. Are grades posted publicly?

I can only speak for 1L classes.

For my cohort  you receive your grades for exams when you pick them up from Student Services. You provide them your anonymous ID and professor and they give you your exam. The professors also email out information about the grade distribution for the class. No one knows how another person did on an exam unless that person provides that information.

For LRW the professor releases the grades for the entire class for a particular assignment and you have to go into the file and open up the document that is associated with your anonymous ID. If someone knows your anonymous ID they can view your grade.

2. Do books needed for common assignments get hidden or go missing?

I've never heard of that happening. Almost everyone is pretty chill and cool with one another. I'm sure there are some uber gunners out there, but I haven't heard of any of them purposely trying to sabotage other students.

3. Do students socialize much out of classes?

Some do, some don't. It depends on the personal preferences of the individual student.

 If you want to be friends with the entire school and have lots of people to hang out with make sure you attend all of the social gatherings early in 1L.

4. Is it easy to get involved with student clubs?

Yes.

Essentially all of the clubs are open to everyone. You pretty much just have to show up. If you want a leadership role in some of them you may have to participate in elections or applications, but if you just want to participate there are no restrictions.

There are only a few activities that are selective--e.g. law review and competitive moots

Edited by Toad
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From an upper-year who has experience from multiple law schools:

I've never seen grades posted publicly.

I've also never seen books needed for common assignments. Not much assigned that you can't get online. That aside, I've never seen anything cut-throat like that. It's certainly more competitive than other law schools, and you can certainly notice more competition (e.g. for dean's list, multiple medals available), but nothing beyond the pale. Everybody largely recognizes that in a smaller market, you don't want to piss off the people you'll be working with for the rest of your career.

Students socialize out of class, but must of it is confined to certain groups/clubs. Not as social as other law schools, though.

Pretty easy to get involved with clubs. Most have open meetings and events that anyone is welcome to. There's pretty much at least one club every week that's hosting some kind of lunch and learn or other talk that's open to the whole school.

As with any law school, it's difficult to pinpoint one exact culture that pervades the school. There will always be a diverse sampling of students to some extent.

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