Property (D2) — Syllabus

Fall 2019
Professor Schnably
Office, Office Hours, and Faculty Assistant

Final Grades & Exam Review

The final grades are available through CaneLink. This was the distribution in Property (D2):

Grade Distribution-Property (D2)
The average grade was 3.011.

As you may know, there is a required distribution of grades in first-year substantive courses (other than Spring semester electives). It is described at p. 12 of the Law School Handbook, which sets out the School’s academic policies:

“Students in first-year courses are graded in accordance with the following grade distribution.

     “1. The combined total number of ‘A,’ ‘A-’ and ‘B+’ grades awarded in each course shall equal or exceed 20 percent of the number of students graded in that course; and

   “2. The combined total number of grades of B or higher awarded in each course shall equal or exceed 45 percent of the number of students graded in that course.

“The sum of ‘C-,’ ‘D,’ and ‘F’ grades in first-year courses shall not be less than 5 percent nor more than 15 percent of the number of students graded in that course, (subject to waiver for a particular course in unusual circumstances by vote of the Faculty or by the Dean prior to the submission of grades).

“It is the responsibility of the Dean to interpret the proper implementation of the First-Year Grade Distribution.”

The distribution of final grades in this class complies with this provision. The required distribution did not affect the grades I gave. I would have given the same grades in the absence of the required distribution.

Policy on Grade Changes. As you may know, under the Law School Handbook (p. 13), a faculty member cannot change a final grade in a exam course unless there is a mechanical error (such as an error in addition of points) that would affect the grade:

“A final grade submitted to the Law Registrar’s Office cannot be changed by a faculty member, or anyone else, to reflect a re-evaluation of the student’s examination answers or other work. If, however, an arithmetical or transmittal error is discovered, the error will be corrected. No change of grade takes effect without the approval of the Dean or Vice Dean. Requests to have such errors corrected must be made by the instructor, and the Dean's or Vice Dean’s decision communicated to the Law Registrar’s Office before the end of the semester immediately following the semester or summer session in which the error was made.

“There are no grade appeals.”  

Review of Exam Answers. Under the Law School Handbook, p. 13, students have a right to review their exam answers in case of essay exams. If you want to review them on your own, please email my assistant, Ms. Sue Demmings. (If the email link here doesn’t work, you can find her email here.) No appointment is needed simply to review your answers. Ms. Demmings will send you a copy of the exam, model answers, and your answers. Pleae note that the model answers are being put together and may not be immediately available.

Please also note that I don’t write comments on answers, so feedback from simply reviewing your answers without meeting with me will come from comparing model answers (when they become available) with your own answers. Keep in mind that good answers, unlike Tolstoy’s happy families, are not all alike. Good answers to a given question may vary significantly, especially in the positions taken.

Feedback on Exams. I will be happy to give you feedback on what you might do on future exams to improve your performance. If you want to schedule a meeting, please e-mail Ms. Demmings and let her know, and she will schedule an appointment.

  • The appointments will begin in February.
    • Note: if your grade was C or lower and you want to meet with me before February, please email me, and I will schedule an appointment before then. I won’t have the model answers until February, however.
  • I will have certain times set aside for exam review meetings. Ms. Demmings will let you know when your appointment will be. The appointment will not conflict with the Section D schedule (including LCOMM) or any of the electives. If when you receive the email scheduling your appointment you discover you have a specific conflict, please let her know.
  • Before we meet, you should re-read the exam, your answers, and the answers, and I will re-read your answers before we meet.

If your overall grade performance this semester isn’t what you were hoping for, keep in mind that many students in the same situation in past years have improved their GPA significantly in the second semester. The key to doing so is to go over your fall exams with all the professors who gave essay questions, and then take action to address any problems you discover in doing so. Also, if you did generally well but there is one course where you fell short of your expectations, resist the temptation to write it off as one of those mysteries of grading. It’s still worth it to go over the exam, because there might be some feature of your approach to writing answers that doesn᾿t matter on some exams but hurts you on others.

Ground Rules: You Must Read These Carefully Before the First Class