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August 30, 2011

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Campos writes well. He seems to say that law school grades have become less important for hiring, which I find interesting, since the prestige California firms, at least, were intensely focused on grades back in the '80's. My school (then top-13) maintained a 4-digit GPA ranking for all students, and I once saw a study it commissioned on the relation between LSAT score and law school performance. That study, on the score/grade relation for the 5-6 classes preceding mine, perfectly predicted my eventual grades.

While Campos's message is spot on, I'm starting to wish that we could have had a better messenger.

While being a law professor means he's gotten a lot of attention from other academics, it's unfortunate that he doesn't get a lot of respect from his peers as a scholar and that he's a bit of a media attention whore. Not having published a substantive journal article in a decade doesn't help.

Even worse, is that he seems to have below average course evaluations. I've checked those publicly available on Colorado's website, and it is true that on some important categories his reviews seem to be almost a full point lower than the average. They weren't abysmal, but as I recall it took a lot of incompetence for me to give a professor a mark lower than Excellent or Above Average.

See http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2011/08/what-an-ad-hominem-argument-is-and-isnt.html

(Of course, Leiter doesn't really seem to care to engage with his substantive criticisms. For the record I still hate his guts.)

On balance he's done more good than harm, but it would have been nicer to have a more respected academic doing this.

Good summary. "Now I can summer at the cape (tear)!" is one hell of a nice line.

Dufu,

I think a majority of people's professor rating boil down to two things:

1) I got the grade I wanted
2) I didn't have to work to hard for it

Agreed with everything in this Sigma's post (and Campos') except this:

"I was vindicated in having high hopes for a guy who wrote a book called The Obesity Myth."

It's not a myth.

It was just reported all states have obesity rates greater than 20% of the population.

Even the thinnest state, Colorado, is getting fatter.

We need emergency federal regulations mandating all food producers and restaurants to use low carb or zero carb ingredients, such as Splenda and lower carb breads, in new product lines and in their current product portfolios and increase the use of fat.

Atkins/Paleo/South Beach/Dukan diets are the only way to halt the obesity epidemic.

“born with a predisposition to excel at certain sorts of intellectual mazes”

He's actually referring to a predispoistion to get a 3.9 at Williams. By "mazes" he means all the salad tossing required to get a 3.9. That is, the maze from middle school to a top law school.

Like most professors he's totally unaware that the grades he gives reflect his students' abilities much less well than their LSATs.

dufu,

Brian Leiter? Really? He's a cock loving philosophy professor. But maybe that's redundant. Analytic philosophy = philosophy for stupid people who don't know they're stupid.

"This is probably as close as he can get to acknowledging HBD without being branded a racist."

He's not dumb. He knows just how far he can push things and still survive in academia. Which means, of course, he's going to be miles behind what's really going on in HBD.

"This is probably as close as he can get to acknowledging HBD without being branded a racist."

I'm not aware of too many scientists that believe intellectual abilities are not at least somewhat related to our genes i.e., HBD. Tying it in with race is another kettle of fish that is so murky, it's not worth my time to study/investigate.

Genes are pretty far-removed from behavior/cognition if you think about it completely mechanistically. Being so married to this theory (or should I say hypothesis) that genes totally and utterly determine intelligence is missing the mark IMO.

Nicolai,

I said I absolutely despise Leiter. But there is something to his personal criticisms of Campos. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

davver,

Do you know anything about the way most law school classes are graded?

With the exception of some seminar-style classes, the only grade you get comes from the final exam. Evaluations are filled out on the last day of class. Students don't get their grades until 4-6 weeks later.

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