Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Why You Got a B on the Exam

First of all, let me just say this was an unusually strong group of exams. I've been doing this for a lot of years, and I don't think I've ever had a class give such strong answers. You all must have worked really hard, and I appreciated that. Nevertheless, because of the curve, I couldn't give everyone an A, and there had to be some way to sort them out. And while you seemed to have a good grasp of the black letter law, your analysis could have gone deeper. There were policy issues that you could have covered in greater detail. While it was clear you had done all the reading, there was an element of synthesis that some papers had which your didn't. You also misstated the holdings of some of the cases. It sometimes comes down to relatively superficial differences between exams, and your failure to spell-check may have had an effect. I wish you would have formatted your answer in a more organized way. Your exam was at the bottom of the pile and I had already given too many As. While your reasoning was solid, your ultimate conclusion was not the one I had in mind, and arguing for the other side might have been better supported by the facts. You missed a few of the issues that were on my checklist. You failed to cover all of the different parts of the question as written. You didn't reference as much of the course material as I would have liked. You failed to take a position one way or the other. I was tired. I don't like you. I have an unconscious bias against people like you. It was all random. I didn't mean anything personal by it. I know I promised you an A in exchange for that one night, but I couldn't go through with it.