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Purpose of 2L/3L Grades

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1 hour ago, Deadpool said:

You'll be surprised at how many students stop caring about school once they've secured positions. 3LOL is the commonly referred to acronym. My friends were happy to just pass their courses and many took the pass/fail option when York went on strike. 

I am not surprised, but I do hope they're secure in their positions.

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2 hours ago, Deadpool said:

You'll be surprised at how many students stop caring about school once they've secured positions. 3LOL is the commonly referred to acronym. My friends were happy to just pass their courses and many took the pass/fail option when York went on strike. 

Very foolish. 

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In fairness, most people in law school just pass their courses. If I was a B/B+ student in 1L and 2L and could be a B/B+ student in 3L by riding the curve, why wouldn’t I? 

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2 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

In fairness, most people in law school just pass their courses. If I was a B/B+ student in 1L and 2L and could be a B/B+ student in 3L by riding the curve, why wouldn’t I? 

If you know what you plan on doing and your future employment doesn't turn on grades, you would be nuts not to. But lots of people are in fields where grades matter for some time. Have a look at the lateral opportunities at big firms or top boutiques - grades are a factor well into your law career. 

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9 hours ago, onepost said:

When did 2L/3L grades become irrelevant to clerkships, in Ontario or elsewhere? Even assuming you apply ASAP, your first-semester 2L grades will be extremely important. 

When is the time to apply for clerkships?

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10 minutes ago, krnprykt said:

When is the time to apply for clerkships?

Non-SCC/ONCA was after Christmas if I remember correctly.

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9 hours ago, wtamow said:

I'm also focusing on the job aspect of it, I just don't see a 2L OCI position as a secured job. You presumably have a stable, secure job that you've been working in for a number of years... but a 2L summer student isn't guaranteed to be hired back, for a number of different reasons.

If you are back on the market after articling, or have a change of heart and want to switch to a different area of law, is it not in your best interest to keep your grades up? Even if you stay on after articling, is it not in your best interest to at least engage with the material that you might be working with in the future? Especially since you have a choice on which courses you should take? Not only that, but many courses in 2L/3L aren't graded credits.

To me, it is incredibly irrational (and honestly scary) to just drop everything once you've gotten a 2L job. Especially since you're paying for the courses anyway, and you get to select which courses to take. What else should someone do for 16 months of law school?

I'm not offended, just the idea makes me anxious.

Oh no I completely agree with you and did keep my grades up for the reasons you’ve cited. There is no guarantee of anything past articles and employers will ask for a transcript in the earlier years of practice. I don’t think people should stop caring once they land a 2L summer, and I honestly don’t think people do. Like sure, law students love to brag about how little they’re studying or how little they now care. But make no mistake, they still care lol

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1 hour ago, easttowest said:

Non-SCC/ONCA was after Christmas if I remember correctly.

SCC and ONCA are post Christmas (well into January). I think AB was the only court which had applications due before Christmas, and they required applicants to send their fall grades when they became available. 

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2 hours ago, Ambit said:

If you know what you plan on doing and your future employment doesn't turn on grades, you would be nuts not to. But lots of people are in fields where grades matter for some time. Have a look at the lateral opportunities at big firms or top boutiques - grades are a factor well into your law career. 

But what I’m saying is that a many law students (I would argue most law students) are just going to get the same grades regardless of their effort level (within reason). If I was a B student who would get a B while gunning it and would get a B while slacking, I’d slack. 

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1 hour ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

are just going to get the same grades regardless of their effort level

Based on what?

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10 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Based on what?

Because grades are at least somewhat based on non-effort factors such as intelligence, writing ability, etc, and by virtue of the curve most students will get a B or B+ (or whatever a school curves to). 

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7 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Because grades are at least somewhat based on non-effort factors such as intelligence, writing ability, etc, and by virtue of the curve most students will get a B or B+ (or whatever a school curves to). 

Right. I guess I agree to you. But effort (as I'm sure you agree) is at least one factor, and minimizing that will still have some impact on grades. A student who's typically top third of their class at a B+ average (or whatever that is on any given school's distribution) would drop to say, median, unless there's also a similar lack of effort sufficiently across the 3L student body. 

This may in fact be a tip to students who want to improve their grades - 3L typically has a less competitive curve, if you can find a way to compete with other 3Ls.

Regardless the best advice is to not drop the ball. Don't spend 12 hours a day in the library (in 3L or in any year, including 1L), but don't not go to class, not read, study 3 days before the exam and hope to maintain your performance from past years.

You may. Or you may not. A year of bad grades will sink what was otherwise a good transcript.

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7 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

SCC and ONCA are post Christmas (well into January). I think AB was the only court which had applications due before Christmas, and they required applicants to send their fall grades when they became available. 

 

I see. If you’re going to get a letter from the Dean of my school you have to go through an internal application, the deadline for which is early November, 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

You may. Or you may not. A year of bad grades will sink what was otherwise a good transcript.

I don't think students understand how true this is until their own transcript is like this.

Bad grades towards the beginning is at least somewhat excusable with "learning curve, had trouble getting used to the material, etc" but bad grades in the end (especially when it is generally a less competitive atmosphere and you get to choose courses you want or take ungraded courses) doesn't seem excusable unless your excuse is "I already got a job so I decided to slack off".

I also think this doesn't occur that often anyway, since law students tend to be type A personalities.

Edited by wtamow
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On 7/15/2019 at 12:43 PM, healthlaw said:

I don’t know why people get so offended when law students treat law school as a means to an end (not you in particular but this type of reaction is evoked quite often) 

Many people, including myself, went to law school to get a job; even a specific type of job. Of course I wanted to learn the law. But the most important objective for me, and possibly OP, was landing a job. At $20k+ per year I don’t think there is anything wrong with focusing on the job aspect of it 

If you're spending 20k+ per year (a lot more, realistically, given foregone income while going to law school), studying in a field you want a job in, why wouldn't you want to learn as much as possible as the field you're going into? Not just for professionalism reasons, but for self-protection, to make it more likely you don't screw up in practice? Now, that effort to learn given the curve isn't going to be perfectly reflected in marks, one may just get the average, but why slack off? Unless one is raising a family (and even then, what do you think your work schedule will be like...), what better things does one have to do?

 

On 7/15/2019 at 6:17 PM, BlockedQuebecois said:

In fairness, most people in law school just pass their courses. If I was a B/B+ student in 1L and 2L and could be a B/B+ student in 3L by riding the curve, why wouldn’t I? 

See above. Also, how is a B/B+ just passing? I don't see that getting the same marks in 3L, even if working smarter not harder, is slacking off.

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4 hours ago, epeeist said:

If you're spending 20k+ per year (a lot more, realistically, given foregone income while going to law school), studying in a field you want a job in, why wouldn't you want to learn as much as possible as the field you're going into? Not just for professionalism reasons, but for self-protection, to make it more likely you don't screw up in practice? Now, that effort to learn given the curve isn't going to be perfectly reflected in marks, one may just get the average, but why slack off? Unless one is raising a family (and even then, what do you think your work schedule will be like...), what better things does one have to do?

I wasn’t advocating for people to slack off, I certainly never did. I was responding to the idea that it’s somehow wrong to treat law school as merely a means to an end. 

I continued to do well because there are no guarantees after articling and it’s certainly easier to navigate the job market with a good transcript than a bad one. But I’m not going to pretend I wouldn’t have put in significantly less effort if I didn’t feel like my grades mattered. The effort it takes to earn an A/A+ is not the same as that needed to learn the class material well enough for it to benefit you in practice. I wouldn’t have “slacked off” but I certainly wouldn’t have gone the extra mile 

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On 7/15/2019 at 12:59 PM, wtamow said:

I'm also focusing on the job aspect of it, I just don't see a 2L OCI position as a secured job. You presumably have a stable, secure job that you've been working in for a number of years... but a 2L summer student isn't guaranteed to be hired back, for a number of different reasons.

If you are back on the market after articling, or have a change of heart and want to switch to a different area of law, is it not in your best interest to keep your grades up? Even if you stay on after articling, is it not in your best interest to at least engage with the material that you might be working with in the future? Especially since you have a choice on which courses you should take? Not only that, but many courses in 2L/3L aren't graded credits.

To me, it is incredibly irrational (and honestly scary) to just drop everything once you've gotten a 2L job. Especially since you're paying for the courses anyway, and you get to select which courses to take. What else should someone do for 16 months of law school?

I'm not offended, just the idea makes me anxious.

I largely agree with you but most people I know who got into Big Law (myself included) during OCIs totally phoned it in after 1L. 

One factor that made it easier to slack off was that it was common knowledge that most of the big firms did not check 2L/3L transcripts. To my knowledge this has changed (including with my firm), which provides some incentive to the students to keep their grades up, but on the whole it seems that many of us conducted ourselves (wrongly or not) as if all that matters are OCIs and that we were more or less “set for life” if successful in this regard. 

After OCIs I skipped probably 75% of law school, only showing up to those classes that made attendance mandatory. 

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On 7/17/2019 at 10:56 PM, DudeDilligence2019 said:

After OCIs I skipped probably 75% of law school, only showing up to those classes that made attendance mandatory. 

That not very dude dilligent of you. 

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