I originally posted this as a comment to Phaedrus' immediately preceding post, but it became too long to be a comment on a post:
Phaedrus, you still have it all wrong. Grades and class rank only have a HIGHLY tenuous correlation to intelligence, writing ability, and logical thinking.
The only way to make the correlation strong enough to be statistically significant, thereby making it a genuinely useful indicator of something practical (other than for employers who just want the "type" that is usually at the top of the class), is to extend the timeline over a period of many, many years (decades?). Even then, good luck controlling for all those spurious causes that arise during the intervening period.
That's all a (general) statistical way of saying "grades and class rank don't say jack shit about the individual, and they don't really even say much about the overall class." You know this.
My solution to the school-related issues these 1Ls are experiencing is simple: just. give. up. You know, as Fight Club and The Postal Service might say. Stop struggling. Accept it, and the benefits will come, including higher grades for a lot of people.
Everyone (me more than most...) is going to rage against "the system" of law school/the profession, but it's better to stop allowing it to get in your head as early as possible. Critique it, spot the flaws, whatever, because they exist in abundance...just don't allow it to drive you insane.
Bottom line: they'll get over it. Move your own ass to another table. Better yet, stop doing your non-law review work at school like a good 3L. ;)