Workshops Steer Students Toward Great Grades


First-year law students needing a little help with their grades – and who doesn't? – now have a place to go for inspiration.

On the evenings of Jan. 31, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, workshops titled "How You Can Make Your Grades Work for You" will get underway for 1L's. About 150 students have signed up for the two-hour workshops, and space remains.

During the workshops, the students will have an opportunity to explore their values, especially those that brought them to law school, the relation of those values to their grades and the relation of their grades to those values. They will hear from practicing lawyers and upper-class students about how they reacted to their own grades and how they processed that experience. The lawyers will talk about the importance of their own grades and other people's grades in legal practice.

The students will be invited to discuss how they think Hermione Granger – the fictional Harry Potter's friend – responded to getting a "C" in Torts, and they will be asked to offer her whatever advice they would have deemed appropriate.

Finally, the students will role-play being at three different law firms – a tort boutique, a firm that gets its clients from TV advertisements, and a two-person firm. A program facilitator will play a client who is the parent of a victim of medical malpractice. The task for the students will be to convince the facilitator to hire their firm. The students will receive some instructions, but will ultimately have to decide on how to present themselves and their firm to a potential client. Who will the client choose? On what basis?

The workshops are being funded by the Arsht Family Initiatives in Ethics, a grant won by Professors Robert Rosen and Scott Rogers and four second-year students – Tamara Barnes, Christine Job, Rachel Laura Kipnis and Aamir Saeed.

Professor Rosen said in an e-mail that Miami Law Dean Patricia D. White is "very supportive" of the workshops, and that she spoke at some length about them during her recent "chat" with first-year students.

"Some students may not have been able to decide on the spot, so this will give them a second opportunity," Professor Rosen said.