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How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:56 pm
by jjlaw
I've heard that 2L classes have more forgiving curves. In some classes, everyone gets A's. I just finished 1L and am ranked around 40%. After 2L, is it possible to go from 40% to 15-20%? What are people's experiences in rank improvements after 1L?

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:00 pm
by Bildungsroman
How much can rank improve during 2L?

Calculate what your GPA would be if you took a full course load and got straight As.
Calculate what rank that would give you.
Calculate the difference between that rank and your current rank.
That much.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:06 pm
by monkey85
I've gone from 1L below median to 2L officially top 35% (I haven't broken out of that range, but about .02 GPA points below the top 15% mark).

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:26 pm
by andythefir
I've heard this a couple places, but I don't understand it. There are still curves in 2L, although they are more generous. Does this mean that 1L top 35% folks will fall below median? Do the top handful transfer, the next tier get overwhelmed with law review, and the tier after that check out because they have jobs? Why doesn't the top of the class keep their foot to the gas to get a clerkship? With a curve for some to go up others must go down.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:27 pm
by ajaxconstructions
andythefir wrote:I've heard this a couple places, but I don't understand it. There are still curves in 2L, although they are more generous. Does this mean that 1L top 35% folks will fall below median? Do the top handful transfer, the next tier get overwhelmed with law review, and the tier after that check out because they have jobs? Why doesn't the top of the class keep their foot to the gas to get a clerkship? With a curve for some to go up others must go down.


Because some people don't want clerkships?

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:30 pm
by MrAnon
Well gee, if you are around 40th percentile in your class after 1L, and you start making straight A's throughout 2L because everybody makes straight As throughout 2L, then guess where you will finish after 2L? 40th percentile. Why? because EVERYBODY made straight As throughout 2L, not just you.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:37 pm
by jjlaw
MrAnon wrote:Well gee, if you are around 40th percentile in your class after 1L, and you start making straight A's throughout 2L because everybody makes straight As throughout 2L, then guess where you will finish after 2L? 40th percentile. Why? because EVERYBODY made straight As throughout 2L, not just you.


Well gee, I'm not even going to address your logical flaw there, but my question is more aligned with what andythefir is asking. I only threw in the straight-A 2L curve comment because I'm wondering how much that really affects percentiles in 2L -- in other people's experiences, does this affect ranking that much or very little? But as andythefir is saying, there are people that might step off the gas pedal after a successful 1L, so if those people are moving down in rank, then some of us might be able to move up, if even a little bit.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:22 pm
by hiima3L
I improved roughly 15%.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:42 am
by Gamecubesupreme
While there are 2L courses where 90% of the class gets an A, that is NOT true with most doctrinal courses (Evidence, Admin Law, Estates & Trust, etc).

And those are courses most people will take because they're on the bar or because it is something they need for clerkship/big firms.

In other words, those are the courses that will allow you to move up in ranks if you get the A. I don't think there is a single person who can go through his/her 2L year without taking at least two doctrinal courses.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:27 am
by Dr. Review
Gamecubesupreme wrote:While there are 2L courses where 90% of the class gets an A, that is NOT true with most doctrinal courses (Evidence, Admin Law, Estates & Trust, etc).

And those are courses most people will take because they're on the bar or because it is something they need for clerkship/big firms.

In other words, those are the courses that will allow you to move up in ranks if you get the A. I don't think there is a single person who can go through his/her 2L year without taking at least two doctrinal courses.


Maybe not at your TTT school.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:40 am
by chasgoose
At my school another factor that helps the curve is an influx of LLM's.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:42 am
by Huluba
Grade cutoffs are generally higher for 2L's because of the looser curve, making it harder to move up in the rankings even if your GPA improves by a lot.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:44 am
by lifestooquick
Depends on the school. I think every school has their own curve system for 2L/3L. Also there's other factors - like at my school our 2L/3L grades are weighted twice what our 1L grades are. So if you do really well you have ample opportunity to move up.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:53 am
by kalvano
Went from top 50% to top 30%, expect to be top 25% or so on graduation in May. It's hard but it can be done.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:12 am
by $$$$$$
Went from bottom 15% to Median and could have gone higher but i'm too lazy at heart

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:11 am
by shock259
I don't understand how a curve can get "easier" second year. Even if more professors give out As, won't other students be getting more As, and then everyone's GPA will rise and no one's class rank will change?

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:12 am
by ajaxconstructions
shock259 wrote:I don't understand how a curve can get "easier" second year. Even if more professors give out As, won't other students be getting more As, and then everyone's GPA will rise and no one's class rank will change?


A lot of people just don't try after OCI. For good reason.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:14 am
by kalvano
shock259 wrote:I don't understand how a curve can get "easier" second year. Even if more professors give out As, won't other students be getting more As, and then everyone's GPA will rise and no one's class rank will change?


The curve is relaxed usually, so technically you are correct. However, some people don't try as hard, and some of the classes get a metic buttload more difficult.

1L, all you have to focus on is classes. 2L and 3L, you've got journals, moot court / mock trial, internships, job hunt, semester work, all kinds of stuff.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:18 pm
by hiima3L
shock259 wrote:I don't understand how a curve can get "easier" second year. Even if more professors give out As, won't other students be getting more As, and then everyone's GPA will rise and no one's class rank will change?


It doesn't across the board, it's just that there are all sorts of classes with different grading and you can game your GPA in ways you can't in 1L. For example, at my school (and I think in CA in general?), classes under 33 people (I think that's the number) don't have a mandatory curve, so the grading is entirely up to the professor for better or worse. From my experience most professors would grade from the B to A+ range, so for the most part, it's not much of a difference from 1L. But as other posters have mentioned, the doctrinal classes stay equally difficult and competitive.

I think the biggest factor is that people generally care way, way, way less about grades after 1L year and have lots of other stuff to worry about.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:16 pm
by TopGunner180
Definitly possible, but you'd have to score in the top 1% which is extremely challanging. I don't think you could make that large of a jump through sheer effort alone, you would need to get some real good solid help from someone who knew what they were doing.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:13 am
by shepdawg
I think most people stay the same. I moved up 1%

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:52 am
by Green Crayons
I went down. You don't hear about that happening because it fucking sucks.

Cheers.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:49 pm
by aarwu2000
Strategy to Boost your ranking and GPA from 2L to 3L year. Applies to Public Law Schools:
Step 1: download the grade distribution for your law school. It should be public information.Dig for it.
Step 2: identify all the professors that give out > 80% A's in their courses. Smaller class sizes correlate (usually) to relaxed to no mandatory curve. Take those classes. You'll find a lot of these classes are clinics, seminars, or a very niche area, which means likely smaller class sizes. Usually, a lot of 3L's take these that are thinking about BAR, starting their jobs, moving out and may not be as hungry as you.
Step 3: Dominate. Stand out more than the competition. Visit professors or shoot an email here and there (don't overdo it). Get interested in their research.

Good luck!

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:45 pm
by Wild Card
Yes, if top 40% is 3.33, and your 2L GPA is 4.00, that would put your cumulative GPA at 3.67, or top 15-20% or so.

Re: How much can rank improve during 2L?

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:37 pm
by savemefromlawschool
Don't let people discourage you. My 1L fall GPA was a 3.2 and my spring 1L GPA was a 3.84. My cumulative GPA is a 3.56 and I am in the top 20% of my class. I go to a school currently ranked at 40. I've heard a lot of older students say that its easier to get better grades during your 2L and 3L year because people stop trying. The only thing is, if you want to do big law you're first year GPA is crucial. Its basically the only thing that matters because they interview before your 2L year even begins.