Prop1 Final Exam Grades & Comments

May 19th, 2014

Hello everyone. I apologize for interrupting your summer break with this note. I have submitted grades for Property I.  I am very proud of all of you. On the whole, you nailed it. I put together really difficult fact patterns that were quite open-ended, with the intent that there would be many, many, many correct answers. I thought I had considered all the possible answers, but several of you came up with things I didn’t even think of. Well done.

Additionally, many of you incorporated various concepts we talked about in class that were not in the textbook (such as the Coase Theorem, various natural law concepts, etc.). And one of you correctly used the word “dissental” to characterize Judge Kozinski’s dissent from denial of rehearing en banc in Vanna White v. Samsung. (“The dissental by Kozinski would characterize this as overprotection.”)  I sent a note to Chief Judge Kozinski and he replied, “love, love, love.” I understand that he also added it to his case to persuade Bryan Garner to add word “dissental” to the next edition of Black’s law dictionary (add it alongside “neck doily,” my humble contribution to legal language).

For some comic relief, one of you used the phrase “fiduciary doodie.” I did not take any points off, but I chuckled. Another noted the uncanny resemblance between Bookie (a/k/a Snooki) and Amy Winehouse: “The leopard tights and hair bump could only be Bookie or Amy Winehouse. and Amy is thinner and never went to the gym.”

Finally, despite all of your concerns, almost every single one of you managed to completely answer the question within the word limit. In other words, the differences between the A, B, and C was not due to an inability to write within the word limits.

You can download the exam here.

You can download the A+ paper here. If this is your paper, please drop me a line.

The Grades

First year classes are subject to the school’s mandatory grading curve (see p. 84 of the handbook):

grades assigned in classes of 40 or more students shall conform to a mandatory grading distribution. That distribution provides for a required 9-16 percent for A+/A, a required 16-30 percent for A+/A/A-; a required 16-30 percent for C+/C/C-/D+/D/F; and a required 9-16 percent for C/C-/D+/D/F. The class average shall be 2.85-3.15.

I think you will find that I maximized the grades here. I approached the upper limits of the grades allowed above an A-, and approached the lower limits of grades below C+. In addition, the class average was very close to the upper limit (3.326). In other words, there were many more As than Cs, and the class averages were quite high.

Here is the full breakdown.

  • Average: 3.136
  • A and above – 15.2%
  • A- and above – 27.3%
  • C+ and below: 22.7%
  • C and below: 9.1%



Thank you all for a great semester.