How to Become an Essay Grader for JD Advising
JD Advising periodically seeks essay graders to assist with our bar exam courses. Are you interested in being an essay grader or wondering what it takes to grade essays for JD Advising? We answer some frequently asked questions below. Read on to see how you can become an essay grader for JD Advising!
How to Become an Essay Grader for JD Advising
JD Advising Bar Prep Courses
Before we get into how to become an essay grader for JD Advising, we thought we would provide you with a bit of background regarding how attorney essay graders fit in with our bar prep courses. We offer two types of bar exam prep courses: “Premium” courses (available in UBE only) and “On-Demand” courses (available in UBE and California Bar Exam). Both courses include assigned essays that students submit for grading. We discuss our courses in more detail below!
All of our courses include outlines and access to our MBE QBank filled with “real” MBE questions previously used by the NCBE on the bar exam. There are a couple of notable differences between our “On Demand” courses and “Premium” courses, especially when it comes to essays.
On Demand Course
In our On-Demand courses, students have eight essays and two performance tests that they can submit for grading. These essays can be submitted throughout bar prep on designated weekends. Students can submit as many or as few essays as they want on any given designated weekend (although we do have suggested essay submission schedules for students in this course!). Essay graders for On-Demand courses check in on designated weekends to see if students submitted any work for grading.
Live Course (UBE Only)
Students in our Premium course submit more essays for grading than students in the On-Demand course. Live course students have 3-6 assigned essays and/or performance tests to submit each week of the course. Additionally, students in our Premium course also submit a practice final exam for grading. This works out to around 40 essay submissions that need to be graded. Essays are assigned weekly in the Premium course, and students have specifically assigned essays that they can submit each week. Essay graders for the Premium course check in weekly for student assignments.
What do essay graders do?
So how do essay graders fit into the above framework? To put it simply, essay graders are responsible for grading the essays submitted by students. Essay graders are assigned a number of students at the beginning of each administration. When one of the essay grader’s assigned students submits an essay, the essay grader is responsible for providing timely feedback to that student. There are also other essay grading opportunities throughout the course of any given administration. Essay graders are responsible for grading all assigned essays submitted by students.
What does feedback look like?
Essay Graders provide feedback directly to students by incorporating feedback directly into the document containing the student’s essay. We never want students to only receive a score at the top of their essay with no context about what they did right or how they can improve. JD Advising believes that students need context as to why a student received a particular score. This means that essay graders work through submitted work by providing specific and personalized feedback. This includes everything from letting students know when they miss rules or miss incorporating certain facts into their analysis to more broad feedback such as how to best organize an essay. Essay graders also highlight what students are doing well so students can be sure to carry those components into essays moving forward.
What kind of qualifications do essay graders have?
First and foremost, essay graders excel on the bar exam. The majority of essay graders score within the top 90th percentile on the Uniform Bar Exam. Essay graders are also high-achieving law school students. Many graders have experience tutoring or teaching students. All of our essay graders are licensed attorneys.
Do I have to report to JD Advising’s offices for grading?
Essay grading is a remote position. JD Advising essay graders are located throughout the country and hail from the East Coast, West Coast, Great Lakes, Southwest, and everywhere in between!
Do you have to be in academia to be an essay grader?
The short answer is no! While some essay graders are in academia, the vast majority of essay graders are full-time practicing attorneys or clerks for state or federal judges. Attorneys who have exposure to different types and styles of writing as well as attorneys who analyze and/or provide feedback on legal writing tend to excel as essay graders. Likewise, attorneys who have prior tutoring or teaching experience also tend to find essay grading enjoyable.
How will I know how to grade an essay?
JD Advising provides you with training before you start grading essays! This training includes videos to watch, a packet of materials to review, and practice grading mock essays. Videos cover subjects such as how to provide feedback to students, how to score essays, the specifics of how to approach essay grading, and the specifics regarding how to approach performance tests. We also provide you with training on how to use our course platform, how to download work, and how to return graded work. Our training is all pre-recorded so graders can complete it on their own time.
Before grading actual student essays, essay graders are also required to grade samples of mock student work before officially getting started. We provide feedback to essay graders on this round of grading so graders have a better understanding of how to grade student work. Most graders have training finished within a couple of weeks!
Additionally, essay graders are not in this alone. JD Advising is always available to answer any questions or address any concerns that might come up throughout the course of a bar exam administration.
How many essays would I have to grade?
Essay Graders select the number of students they would like to take on, and the same grader might vary the number of students from administration to administration. For most graders, this is usually 10-20 On-Demand students or 5-10 Live course students. The main takeaway here is that essay graders should only take on as many students as they can handle during any particular administration. Essay graders are paid per essay graded.
JD Advising assigns students to essay graders. Essay graders follow the same students throughout the course of the bar exam administration so they can comment on how students incorporated the grader’s prior feedback. Essay graders do not receive assignments based on the subject area (e.g. grading only torts questions during a particular administration).
When do I grade essays?
JD Advising has an internal deadline by which essay graders must complete grading student work. Graders can get their grading finished on their own time within that designated timeframe. Most graders tend to grade essays on evenings and weekends as that is typically when they have the most free time, but some grade during the work day if their schedule allows.
Why apply to be an essay grader?
There is not one factor that motivates essay graders, and we find essay graders choose to grade with us over and over again for a multitude of reasons! Some essay graders enjoy watching students’ capabilities grow throughout the course of a bar exam administration. Others genuinely liked preparing for the bar exam, and they like to stay within that world. At the end of the day, all essay graders want students to pass the bar exam!
How do I apply to be an essay grader?
You can email your resume and bar exam score report to email@example.com to be considered for this position. We begin evaluating the need for essay graders in the fall for the February bar exam administration and in the spring for the July bar exam administration. We suggest applying in September/October for the February administration and in March/April for the July administration.