Is "big class" really bad?


Gab2009

Let me ask something for you guys!

I might be a little naive and have been admited only in small classes program until now (Chicago, Michigan, UVA and UCLA), but still waiting for some other answers including NYU, which I find very interesting!

The question is: How the size of an LLM class can be a problem if all the classes are taken with JD's and separate for topics, concentration, ets? Sorry if it is a stupid question but I really get confused about it!

Let me ask something for you guys!

I might be a little naive and have been admited only in small classes program until now (Chicago, Michigan, UVA and UCLA), but still waiting for some other answers including NYU, which I find very interesting!

The question is: How the size of an LLM class can be a problem if all the classes are taken with JD's and separate for topics, concentration, ets? Sorry if it is a stupid question but I really get confused about it!
quote
NLR

thx Gab for raising this very meanful question.
I have been wondering the same thing recently.
I like small classess, but also want to know about things in the NYU huge class.

Let me ask something for you guys!

I might be a little naive and have been admited only in small classes program until now (Chicago, Michigan, UVA and UCLA), but still waiting for some other answers including NYU, which I find very interesting!

The question is: How the size of an LLM class can be a problem if all the classes are taken with JD's and separate for topics, concentration, ets? Sorry if it is a stupid question but I really get confused about it!

thx Gab for raising this very meanful question.
I have been wondering the same thing recently.
I like small classess, but also want to know about things in the NYU huge class.

<blockquote>Let me ask something for you guys!

I might be a little naive and have been admited only in small classes program until now (Chicago, Michigan, UVA and UCLA), but still waiting for some other answers including NYU, which I find very interesting!

The question is: How the size of an LLM class can be a problem if all the classes are taken with JD's and separate for topics, concentration, ets? Sorry if it is a stupid question but I really get confused about it! </blockquote>
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Santa

My personal opinion (no experience, just prejudice):

A small LLM class

1. brings with it a whole atmosphere: being hand picked for your own qualities and to select a coherent class. (might just be something the small LLMs use as a false argument)

2. guarantees good guidance and availability of faculty for the LLM students.

3. brings together a small number of people that are in the same situation and will get to know eachother very well; this has for consequence that you can do activities together and in that way increase the bond.

Just things I consider.

My personal opinion (no experience, just prejudice):

A small LLM class

1. brings with it a whole atmosphere: being hand picked for your own qualities and to select a coherent class. (might just be something the small LLMs use as a false argument)

2. guarantees good guidance and availability of faculty for the LLM students.

3. brings together a small number of people that are in the same situation and will get to know eachother very well; this has for consequence that you can do activities together and in that way increase the bond.

Just things I consider.

quote
Gab2009

Thank you for the replays guys!

Yes, I do think that maybe the LLM office (if the school have one), might handle better a small class. Point taken here!

But going really into the classes, I heard that in schools with small programs, the classes are normally componded by 1 or 2 llm';s and all the others are Jd's...

well...I am really uncertain about if I will take into consideration the size of the class when I will be making my decision....

But one positive point about small classes, at least at Umich, where they have an LLM office going on, is that they already know me by name! it makes my hope about a personalized and careful program higher!

Thank you for the replays guys!

Yes, I do think that maybe the LLM office (if the school have one), might handle better a small class. Point taken here!

But going really into the classes, I heard that in schools with small programs, the classes are normally componded by 1 or 2 llm';s and all the others are Jd's...

well...I am really uncertain about if I will take into consideration the size of the class when I will be making my decision....

But one positive point about small classes, at least at Umich, where they have an LLM office going on, is that they already know me by name! it makes my hope about a personalized and careful program higher!
quote
mav09

Now, I have heard this lot of times that smaller class sizes are very important but so far have not come across a very sound explanation. The key questions that arise are:
a) What is a small class?
b) Would a small class signify a better atmosphere, a more serious approach, more attentiveness in class?
c) Would a small class signify better attention by faculty?
d) Would a smaller class produce better students?
e) What are the advantages and disadvantages of studying in a small class?

a) A small class is not very clearly defined however references and exerts from universities, its colleges and professors indicate that ideally a small class is one where student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1, ensuring plenty of personal interaction with your professors.
Now this definition is found in co-relation to a specific class setting and more particularly to those confined to high schools and may not have a direct relationship with professional education which is usually on a much higher footing.
Now let this be contrasted with a definition of large class which is as follows:

This question was put to some senior academics attending a UNESCO Regional Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. . Here are excerpts of views expressed.

There is nothing like a large class. The large class is only in the mind of the orthodox teacher
A large class is one with more students than available facilities can support
Large classes have more than 100 students enrolled
There is no fixed number. The large class depends on the discipline- smaller number for engineering, science and medicine and larger number for the arts, humanities, and social sciences

There is no agreed definition of a large class in the literature, nor should there be. One persons large class is what some others consider as regular, small or normal.
Result--> thus it is the relative class size that requires consideration. A class should be considered larger if resources cannot cope up with student requirements at optimum levels. Now a class at Yale or Stanford which has 12 to 15 students in corporate law course is relatively smaller class in comparison to that of UPenn or any other schools which have comparatively large class sizes.


In relation to the above questions, the most primary query is how class sizes affect students. The response to this brings out a mixed result. Different class sizes have been found suitable keeping in mind several other factors.
Advantages of small class.
Individual attention from Professors
Feedback on performance
appears to be most needed for students with low motivation, those with little knowledge of the subject matter, or those who have difficulty grasping conceptual material.
Advantages of large class
Increased Student Achievement
Better social skills and increased social interactions and networking
Increased attentiveness in class

Each class setting has its advantages and disadvantages, however research suggests that what counts is not the size of the class, but the quality of the teaching. Research suggests that the key to effective instruction and student learning, regardless of class size, is engaging students in active learning.
I hope we have better evidence in relation to smaller class sizes and their vital importance to LLM classes considering the fact that most students have superior skills and above average IQs when academic performance is concerned and would a larger class size handicap their performance and detrimentally affect their learning curve.


Now, I have heard this lot of times that smaller class sizes are very important but so far have not come across a very sound explanation. The key questions that arise are:
a) What is a small class?
b) Would a small class signify a better atmosphere, a more serious approach, more attentiveness in class?
c) Would a small class signify better attention by faculty?
d) Would a smaller class produce better students?
e) What are the advantages and disadvantages of studying in a small class?

a) A small class is not very clearly defined however references and exerts from universities, its colleges and professors indicate that ideally a small class is one where student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1, ensuring plenty of personal interaction with your professors.
Now this definition is found in co-relation to a specific class setting and more particularly to those confined to high schools and may not have a direct relationship with professional education which is usually on a much higher footing.
Now let this be contrasted with a definition of large class which is as follows:

This question was put to some senior academics attending a UNESCO Regional Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. . Here are excerpts of views expressed.

• “There is nothing like a large class. The large class is only in the mind of the orthodox teacher”
• “A large class is one with more students than available facilities can support”
• “Large classes have more than 100 students enrolled”
• “There is no fixed number. The large class depends on the discipline- smaller number for engineering, science and medicine and larger number for the arts, humanities, and social sciences”

There is no agreed definition of a large class in the literature, nor should there be. One person’s large class is what some others consider as ‘regular’, ‘small’ or ‘normal’.
Result--> thus it is the relative class size that requires consideration. A class should be considered larger if resources cannot cope up with student requirements at optimum levels. Now a class at Yale or Stanford which has 12 to 15 students in corporate law course is relatively smaller class in comparison to that of UPenn or any other schools which have comparatively large class sizes.



In relation to the above questions, the most primary query is how class sizes affect students. The response to this brings out a mixed result. Different class sizes have been found suitable keeping in mind several other factors.
Advantages of small class.
Individual attention from Professors
Feedback on performance
appears to be most needed for students with low motivation, those with little knowledge of the subject matter, or those who have difficulty grasping conceptual material.
Advantages of large class
Increased Student Achievement
Better social skills and increased social interactions and networking
Increased attentiveness in class

Each class setting has its advantages and disadvantages, however research suggests that what counts is not the size of the class, but the quality of the teaching. Research suggests that the key to effective instruction and student learning, regardless of class size, is engaging students in active learning.
I hope we have better evidence in relation to smaller class sizes and their vital importance to LLM classes considering the fact that most students have superior skills and above average IQs when academic performance is concerned and would a larger class size handicap their performance and detrimentally affect their learning curve.
quote
Gab2009

thank you for the very informative explanation, lol...but I still have one problem...

It is ok that the number of llm enrolled is large, like 200-400 people. What I truly don't understand is how the actually number of llm's makes the size of each class (course) bigger! I mean, you are not gonna sit in a room with other 150 people, all rigth? In my mind, you are going to sit in a small room, with just 20-40 people that are taken the same course as you. Is it correct or I am wrong?
In case it is correct, the only difference between small and big llm's classes is the attention each llm can have from the llm's office (if the schools have one - I heard that in CLS, for example, the llm's and jd's office is the same).

please, help needed here!

thank you for the very informative explanation, lol...but I still have one problem...

It is ok that the number of llm enrolled is large, like 200-400 people. What I truly don't understand is how the actually number of llm's makes the size of each class (course) bigger! I mean, you are not gonna sit in a room with other 150 people, all rigth? In my mind, you are going to sit in a small room, with just 20-40 people that are taken the same course as you. Is it correct or I am wrong?
In case it is correct, the only difference between small and big llm's classes is the attention each llm can have from the llm's office (if the schools have one - I heard that in CLS, for example, the llm's and jd's office is the same).

please, help needed here!
quote
Cecilia_A

thank you for the very informative explanation, lol...but I still have one problem...

It is ok that the number of llm enrolled is large, like 200-400 people. What I truly don't understand is how the actually number of llm's makes the size of each class (course) bigger! I mean, you are not gonna sit in a room with other 150 people, all rigth? In my mind, you are going to sit in a small room, with just 20-40 people that are taken the same course as you. Is it correct or I am wrong?
In case it is correct, the only difference between small and big llm's classes is the attention each llm can have from the llm's office (if the schools have one - I heard that in CLS, for example, the llm's and jd's office is the same).

please, help needed here!


If it may be of any help, I remember talking to someone who went to NYU, and this person told me he was disappointed by the big size of classes. He said it could depend - if you happen to like a subject nobody else does, you could wind up in a small class, but in general, classes are quite big (especially the most popular ones).

I guess this could be explained by the fact that the number of enrolled students is very high, but NYU doesn't compensate by increasing the number of courses/seminars in proportion. Hence the higher (in average) size of classes.

Could someone confirm? Because the above only comes from one talk with a NYU alumnus...

<blockquote>thank you for the very informative explanation, lol...but I still have one problem...

It is ok that the number of llm enrolled is large, like 200-400 people. What I truly don't understand is how the actually number of llm's makes the size of each class (course) bigger! I mean, you are not gonna sit in a room with other 150 people, all rigth? In my mind, you are going to sit in a small room, with just 20-40 people that are taken the same course as you. Is it correct or I am wrong?
In case it is correct, the only difference between small and big llm's classes is the attention each llm can have from the llm's office (if the schools have one - I heard that in CLS, for example, the llm's and jd's office is the same).

please, help needed here!
</blockquote>

If it may be of any help, I remember talking to someone who went to NYU, and this person told me he was disappointed by the big size of classes. He said it could depend - if you happen to like a subject nobody else does, you could wind up in a small class, but in general, classes are quite big (especially the most popular ones).

I guess this could be explained by the fact that the number of enrolled students is very high, but NYU doesn't compensate by increasing the number of courses/seminars in proportion. Hence the higher (in average) size of classes.

Could someone confirm? Because the above only comes from one talk with a NYU alumnus...
quote
mav09

last i spoke to a friend at NYU, I had a similar concern. She mentioned that some classes such Tax are really large but as far as corporate law program was concerned, she said that the average class size was around 50 to 60 people if I am not mistaken.
Maybe an NYU alumnus might throw some light on the same.
Another case could be Georgetown which selects 350 LLM students and in terms of my discussion with a friend and alumnus he said that class sizes would rarely exceed 60, though it may not be the same for each and every program but might have been true for International law program which my friend undertook there.
Someone will be able to throw more light on this aspect.

last i spoke to a friend at NYU, I had a similar concern. She mentioned that some classes such Tax are really large but as far as corporate law program was concerned, she said that the average class size was around 50 to 60 people if I am not mistaken.
Maybe an NYU alumnus might throw some light on the same.
Another case could be Georgetown which selects 350 LLM students and in terms of my discussion with a friend and alumnus he said that class sizes would rarely exceed 60, though it may not be the same for each and every program but might have been true for International law program which my friend undertook there.
Someone will be able to throw more light on this aspect.

quote
Gab2009

thank you guys!

So, i am getting to conclude that it is true! size matters in this sense!

It is too bad...really disapointed by it!

thank you guys!

So, i am getting to conclude that it is true! size matters in this sense!

It is too bad...really disapointed by it!
quote
loop_

I think size matters, but it's not the size of the llm class that matters, it's the student-faculty ratio.

my view is that the size of the llm class only matters in terms of (1) social life; (2) attention from graduate program; and (3) the overall quality of llm candidates; (4) prestige?

remember that if you are doing all your classes with the JD students, and an llm of size 50 or 250 isn't going to make a difference if the JD class is 1000-1500. In fact as mentioned above (or in another thread) what changes is the proportion of llm students per class.

It would be extremely odd if you expect 50 people with disparate interests to be taking all the same classes together, or that there are separate classes for llm students (save for the introductory course)

I think size matters, but it's not the size of the llm class that matters, it's the student-faculty ratio.

my view is that the size of the llm class only matters in terms of (1) social life; (2) attention from graduate program; and (3) the overall quality of llm candidates; (4) prestige?

remember that if you are doing all your classes with the JD students, and an llm of size 50 or 250 isn't going to make a difference if the JD class is 1000-1500. In fact as mentioned above (or in another thread) what changes is the proportion of llm students per class.

It would be extremely odd if you expect 50 people with disparate interests to be taking all the same classes together, or that there are separate classes for llm students (save for the introductory course)
quote
Stagista11

I agree with most of what Santa said in another post concerning which to choose between UVA and NYU. small class is only an asset to you, 'cause you're very likely to receive broader attention by faculty. On the other hand, given that 1500 on 2000 applicants at NYU want to focus on tax, corporate and international private law, if you're one of the few interested in HR or other less competitive/popular courses, even a class like the NYU's won't be negative...
with regard to NYU (and perhaps also Columbia), they have 85/90% foreign applicants...they just understood the business...they make $ 13M (more or less) every year with LL.M students...

I agree with most of what Santa said in another post concerning which to choose between UVA and NYU. small class is only an asset to you, 'cause you're very likely to receive broader attention by faculty. On the other hand, given that 1500 on 2000 applicants at NYU want to focus on tax, corporate and international private law, if you're one of the few interested in HR or other less competitive/popular courses, even a class like the NYU's won't be negative...
with regard to NYU (and perhaps also Columbia), they have 85/90% foreign applicants...they just understood the business...they make $ 13M (more or less) every year with LL.M students...
quote
yasminm

Agree completely with the comments posted by Cecilia and Stagista. I definitely think big classes can be run effectively if the classes were naturally geared towards teaching them that way (so for example, corporations in most institutions is taught in a big-lecture style class, because it doesn't detract from the value of the education), but quite another in the model in some of the places mentioned where you cram 500 people into an LLM cohort because the LLM Program is seen more as an important funding source than anything else. A class is only as good as its least shining entrant, and in a school more interested with getting the funds that LLM students bring, that 500th entrant is unlikely to be of the intellectual standard of the 25th person in Yale (or the 50th person in U of Chicago, or the 150th person in HLS).

Agree completely with the comments posted by Cecilia and Stagista. I definitely think big classes can be run effectively if the classes were naturally geared towards teaching them that way (so for example, corporations in most institutions is taught in a big-lecture style class, because it doesn't detract from the value of the education), but quite another in the model in some of the places mentioned where you cram 500 people into an LLM cohort because the LLM Program is seen more as an important funding source than anything else. A class is only as good as its least shining entrant, and in a school more interested with getting the funds that LLM students bring, that 500th entrant is unlikely to be of the intellectual standard of the 25th person in Yale (or the 50th person in U of Chicago, or the 150th person in HLS).
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mav09


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rbp

As a JD student, I would just like to say that I have never found any correlation between the size of the class and quality of the teaching. Some large classes are excellent and some small classes are not. It all boils down to the instructor.

As a JD student, I would just like to say that I have never found any correlation between the size of the class and quality of the teaching. Some large classes are excellent and some small classes are not. It all boils down to the instructor.
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yasminm

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Universe

.

.
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mav09

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yasminm

I apologize Universe (and I really do mean it). I just see it as pointless to engage in a debate with someone who presumably just got admitted into a particular program and insists on defending it to the death as if admission to a particular program is in any way indicative of one's self-worth.

I apologize Universe (and I really do mean it). I just see it as pointless to engage in a debate with someone who presumably just got admitted into a particular program and insists on defending it to the death as if admission to a particular program is in any way indicative of one's self-worth.
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Universe

Yasminh you need to challenge this...idiot.

Yasminh you need to challenge this...idiot.
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yasminm

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