Friday, May 24, 2013

Law School Grades -- Only B- Or Better?

A professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is promoting grade inflation in his forthcoming article.

Professor Joshua Silverstein says that "U.S. law schools should set their required grade point average for good academic standing at the B- level, giving C grades only for unsatisfactory performance."

He notes that "many law schools ranked in the top tier by U.S. News have essentially eliminated the use of C grades, while fourth-tier schools award large numbers of Cs, often under policies that encourage or require it."

Finally, someone is actually verbalizing what has become common place in the legal academe. With the higher-ranked schools eliminating the C grade and the lower-ranked schools still awarding C's (or lower), the students at the lower-ranked school's suffer disproportionately.

The graduates of the higher-ranked schools will generally have an easier time finding employment anyway, now couple that with a higher gpa, and the students at the lower-ranked schools are all but doomed.

"[L]ow grades damage students’ placement prospects,” Silverstein writes. “Employers frequently consider a job candidate’s absolute GPA in making hiring decisions. If a school systematically assigns inferior grades, its students are at an unfair disadvantage when competing for employment with students from institutions that award mostly As and Bs."

This issue has received press in the last few years with administrators at Loyola Law School Los Angeles retroactively inflating grades in 2010. "The school retroactively inflated its grades, tacking on 0.333 to every grade recorded in the last few years. The goal is to make its students look more attractive in a competitive job market."

ABA Journal -- Law schools should mostly ditch C grades, law prof argues


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