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Should You Brag About Your Law School Grades On Facebook?

from the depends-on-your-goals dept

Cross-posted from

In a way, I’m surprised we don’t have more stories about people posting their grades on social media sites. The kids are already using Facebook and Twitter as a running diary of their lives, so you’d expect there to be more instances where people throw their law school transcripts up on the internet.

In fact, let me ask the question this way: why wouldn’t you post your grades on Facebook? They’re clearly important to you. If you did well, you can brag about them just as surely as one of your friends is bragging about the exploits of their kids or dogs. If you did poorly, you can seek the solace of friends who you don’t actually like well enough to have a beer with. Why wouldn’t you post them?

The obvious answers seem painfully old-timey. “It’s in poor taste to brag about your grades.” “Your transcript should be private.” “You got an ‘A’? Go f*** yourself.” These are the thoughts of a previous generation. For the Facebook generation… I mean, have you seen what people post? This is nothing.

A law student decided to post his solid grades on Facebook. I bet you can guess what school we’re talking about. Let’s just say that it’s a school that seems to admit students who like to draw attention to themselves when things are going well by subtly upturning their collars….

Yeah, we’re talking about UVA Law because that’s where this kind of thing is most likely to happen. A law student there posted his recent grades on his Facebook page. Here was the initial post sent to us by a tipster:

A few things jump out from this posting:

  • Thank you for your service.
  • It’s not really “bragging” if you got Bs.
  • He’s only a first year.

Look, if I saw this from one of my Facebook friends, I’d simply respond like this and move on:

But other people at UVA Law were annoyed by this perceived display of self-aggrandizement. That inspired our guy to make a follow up Facebook post:

“Deprive non-law school friend of updates about my life” is the new killing it.

Again, this wouldn’t be something I would do, but this is how people use social media. It’s UVA! I bet this isn’t even the most “look at how special I am” Facebook post by a UVA Law student since I started writing this story. I reached out to the guy (via Facebook) who posted his grades, but he has not yet responded. I assume he’s somewhere trying to figure out why so many people care that he posted his grades on Facebook while simultaneously firm in his belief that his 1L grades were an appropriate starting point for a public Facebook discussion. It’s the world we live in.

In the battle between propriety and Facebook, Facebook wins. Facebook won. People better get used to seeing this kind of thing, at least from 1Ls who don’t yet know any better.

More stories from Above The Law:

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 3:42pm

    Of course it doesn't occur to him that this is liable to be the dog biting him on the butt later.

    Seems to me I've heard of clients suing their lawyers for substandard defenses. Ones where the barrister should have/could have put up a much stronger defense or the quality of that defense left a lot to be desired.

    Setting up these figures into a sort of public record with Facebooks' known habit of invading what would normally be info you wouldn't obtain easily, seems to me to be setting up the first step later in life of being able to have a case on just such a substandard theme. All it takes is the loss of a case, whether the merits were for or against. It's not the if such a case has merit, it's that you've just provided the evidence that no matter what level of defense standard you've put up, it's not as high as it should have been.

     

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  2.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    Re:

    Alternatively, he can point to this and say that the information about him was public before he was hired. Caveat emptor, and all that.

     

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  3.  
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    The Old Man in The Sea, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

    Grades per se tell you nothing much

    Grades such as this really do not tell you much about how a person will operate in the "real" world. They only tell you how they have operated in the "academic" world. There is a significant mismatch between the two.

    I have worked with those who have been academically superior to me (and they were really good) but they had their blind spots and in various cases couldn't see outside the box. They hadn't been taught the necessary techniques. So a less academic person who had been taught the techniques was able to show them a better way. In some cases, they took off with it. In other cases they didn't.

    Just because this young one hasn't aced it in every class, this doesn't mean he has less ability than someone who has. It depends on a lot of other factors, including how they cope in exams and how well they can regurgitate the specific information they have been taught.

     

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  4.  
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    AC, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 4:35pm

    This is news?

    I can't decide what's the bigger yawner here:
    1. Somebody posted marginally personal information on Facebook.
    2. Somebody thought it was a big enough controversy to write 500 words about it.
    3. I took time out of my precious web browsing time to critique the critique.

     

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  5.  
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    Atkray (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 4:39pm

    hmmm

    Am I the only one that thought this was going to be about AJ?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Reality check, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 4:44pm

    Why not?

    Who cares? There are no jobs for lawyers anyway.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    lkj, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 4:52pm

    Prospective clients

    with client confidences that they want kept will surely keep this posting in mind, assuming he is ever admitted.

     

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  8.  
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    Chris ODonnell (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 5:09pm

    My son mentioned on FB that he made Dean's List with a 3.75. But he isn't at UVA Law School, he is a freshman at a public liberal arts school.

    He got one comment. It was me grounding him for not getting a 4.0 :)

    Given the quality of a lot of the crap I see on FB, somebody mentioning they killed it in school that semester seems like a non-issue. Hell, out local paper calls out local kids that make Dean's List or Honors or whatever it may be called at their school.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 5:53pm

    Re: hmmm

    Probably, because AJ doesn't even come close to being that polite.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 5:58pm

    There are no jobs for lawyers just like there are no jobs for doctors. Neither can make much money without finding something wrong to work on. That means either you got bad news or you are fixing to get bad news.

     

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  11.  
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    Trevor (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 6:01pm

    Law School

    I just graduated law school this past December, and am currently studying for the California Bar in February (fun times...)

    I like to take a few minutes every day to take my mind off of whatever it is I am relearning at the time so I don't go crazy (I'm looking at you, Property) and saw this post.

    I wasn't the top of my class. I was happy to be in the middle. However, grading is different depending on the school. Some give out A's through F's, and some are strictly on a point scale. Additionally, grades are given out differently. This guy got a B in torts and an A- in Crim Law. Good for him. Compared to the students at his school, he did pretty good.

    To contrast, I mentioned that I just graduated. To graduate with honors, you need a cumulative GPA of a 2.8. A 2.8! The valedictorian last year had a 3.4. Compared to my school this guy would crush it. Or would he? Unless grading is standardized across schools (not the case for law schools) it is completely subjective.

    Additionally, with our honors cut at 2.8, our Bar pass rate this past July was 78%, and last February was 92%. The State average hovers around 65%. What does that say? Grading scales are subjective.

    I heard a funny anecdote a while back, and have learned it rings true: A students are research attorneys, B students are their assistants, and C students are trial attorneys.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Grades per se tell you nothing much

    This.

    I still have trouble believing how many people seem to think that A = good at your job.

    Colleges and universities, with their focus on multiple choice questions (with a very few research or discussion papers here and there), don't ask students to understand what it is they're studying, rather they ask them to memorize and learn material by heart. The majority of students who have A's are just good at memorizing textbooks but they tend not to be very skilled when it comes to applying their knowledge to practical situations.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Law School

    "Unless grading is standardized across schools (not the case for law schools) it is completely subjective"

    Easy, let's standardize tests at law schools so that when someone posts their grades on fb we can compare them apples to apples.

    We can call it --- No Lawyer Left Behind

     

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  14.  
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    Jesse (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 7:48pm

    Re: This is news?

    Absolutely. I kept waiting for the punch line, such as: "The school overreacted and expelled him for posting his grades."

    Where's the dirt?

     

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  15.  
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    alanbleiweiss (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 8:39pm

    It never fails to amaze me as to how overly sensitive others are when someone makes a comment on their own life situation, if that status isn't something they cared to know or where they might have their own desired "privacy".

    Sharing life situations is exactly what Facebook's own marketing machine emphasizes the service is for. While others have the free will to criticize, their opinion shouldn't force people who choose to share with friends and family in that venue to curtail such sharing.

    Instead, the critic might be wise to instead grow up and let people say what they want about their own lives on their own social timelines, lest one day they themselves say something innocently only to be blasted and ridiculed ceaselessly without having all the facts, let alone knowing the state of mind of the poster.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2013 @ 4:10am

    I remember when I was in early grade school. I was about a B student, 3.2 GPA, but I was also fluent in Arabic as well. I even remember translating for this one student new to the country and the teacher on several occasions. I never got acknowledged for speaking two languages, never got an award. Instead, the kid who got A's and could spell better than I could (my spelling was about average) in a spelling contest, and only spoke one language, got acknowledged and got awards. In retrospect, nobody cares if your spelling is slightly above average if all you speak is one language ;) The person who gets even average grades and speaks two languages well is much more worthy of receiving awards. I suppose this showed how backwards our educational system used to be (this was many many years ago). Things have changed now, now bilingual or multi lingual students get acknowledged, like they have been in many other countries (including Arab countries) many many years ago. This country is an embarrassment when you can leave school speaking only one language and be considered an outstanding student because you can spell slightly better than the bilingual.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    AB, Jan 26th, 2013 @ 8:06am

    Modern Creative Law

    Or like creating bad news. Sort of like modern creative dance but with subpenas so there is no escape for the victims.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2013 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: This is news?

    "The school overreacted and expelled him for posting his grades."

    That's exactly what I was thinking. Then I got to the end and the whole article is about someone posting something completely innocuous on Facebook.

    Um, okay. What about the trillion other boring posts by random people on Facebook?

     

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  19.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Jan 26th, 2013 @ 10:18am

    Bragging about law school grades

    Okay, I will brag about my grades in law school. I had probably the lowest grade point average of anyone in my law school! REALLY proud of it!
    Why? Easy - I didn't have a sugar daddy, or some sort of "cushion" to help me. Working 50 hours a week (and going to night school), helping with the three kids, because "that's what Dads do", long commute - hey, you want dedicated, diligent, capable, or you want someone who goes to school because Daddy wants that and there is nothing else to do.
    Well, one semester, after the Dean threatened to expel me for poor grades, I was near the top, and made the highest grades in contracts ever - held the record for six years - but it was a severe strain for my wife, and after that, being a husband and Dad was more important, so ....

    I think, other than the initial hire, judging by grades is normally just finding out who had the way "greased" for them. "Every thing should be as simple as possible, but no simpler" - Einstein. Grades are too simple an evaluation.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2013 @ 10:44am

    So... What exactly was the point of this article and why did it needed to be posted here?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Trevor (profile), Jan 26th, 2013 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Bragging about law school grades

    Same boat. 4 years night school, 35 mile commute working 44 hours per week, married with twin 22 month olds.

    I think it says more that we could handle it and finish than not having responsibilities and getting high grades....

    /Humble brag

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    crade (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Re:

    Yeah, I don't get it either.. People post status updates on facebook.. Am I missing something that is special about posting lawschool grades, vs posting other school grades vs posting any other sort of "hey family, this is whats going on with me" type stuff?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Evan Guthrie, Dec 31st, 2014 @ 7:49pm

    Yes

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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