I finished my grading the other day. I'm pleased to say that by and large the students in both Internet Law and Jurisprudence did really well. I turned in the highest grades I've given in years, maybe ever. Lots of A's.
Average score on the final for Internet Law was an astounding 3.14 (out of 4.0); by the time I factored in class participation the class average rose to a 3.29. I round down, so that 3.29 became a B, but even so about a quarter — a quarter! — of the class got an A.
The scores were even higher in Jurisprudence (a very small, and thus somewhat self-selected class): The exam average was 3.25 and the final average was 3.38. A third of the class got an A (including one A+ — not that it has any official meaning).
It's possible I just gave easy exams this year, but while I suppose they were a little predictable if you were paying attention, I don't think they were all that easy. We have great students — and they keep getting better.
What do you cover in the jurisprudence class? I’m interested in what various people teach in such classes (texts, topics, etc.) and so would be very pleased to hear.
This was the plan; reality deviated from it in minor details.
Readings Fall 2006
I. Introduction [3 classes]
II. Where does one find the law? (Sources of “law”)
III. Is international law different from municipal law?
H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law 208-31 (1961). 547
V. Reprise [one class]
Interesting. No Dworkin at all, I see, and a lot more ‘law’ and less philosophy than I’ve often seen. (I don’t know that I think that’s bad, just an observation.)
No Dworkin unedited, but quite a bit in the secondary sources, e.g. Davies & Holdcroft with, extensive quotation.
But yes, more ‘law and society’ and less legal philosophy than in your standard jurisprudence casebook treatment.
Why do you assume that the grades have to be normed. If everyone learned what you were trying to teach they should get an A. If no one did the whole class should fail.
I don’t curve (norm) my grades (except in the first year classes, where it is required by the law school in an attempt to achieve greater equity between sections). Nothing would please me more than if everyone aced the exam. It just hasn’t happened yet.
Of course, if everyone wrote wonderful essays I’d credit my wonderful teaching…. Which means that the converse could also be true: if everyone failed, there’s certainly a good chance that this would be my fault, either for doing a bad job in the classroom or for setting an unreasonable exam, or for grading it with unreasonable expectations.