Following is the faculty policy on grades (effective 2004):
- Mean Grade Requirement; Grounds for Exception
- The expected mean grade in all courses other than seminars shall be 3.30.
- The Law School shall not record grades for a class in which the mean is more than .05 above or below the expected mean grade (i.e., between 3.25 and 3.35), unless the professor requests an exception and submits adequate justification.
In classes with 20 or fewer students (counting only JD's if non-JD students are graded separately), faculty can request an exception from the Associate Dean on the ground that (a) the method of evaluation for the class renders it inappropriate to conform to the mean requirement or (b) the class did not generate an appropriate grade distribution. In classes of more than 20, faculty can request an exception from the Associate Dean for some other truly exceptional reason.
In short, the only classes that are automatically exempt from the mean requirement are seminars. All other deviations must have the approval of the Associate Dean before the grades can be recorded.
- Distribution of Grades
- Mandatory Distribution of Grades in First-Year Large Sections:
- 30 to 40% of grades must be A+, A, or A-; and,
- at least 5% of grades must be C+, C, D, or F.
- Recommended Distribution of Grades in Other Courses:
- about 35% of grades should be A+, A, or A-;
- about 55% of grades should be B+, B, or B-; and,
- about 10% of grades should be C+, C, D, or F.
- A maximum of 6% A+ grades (rounded up to the next whole number) may be awarded in classes other than seminars.
- Exemption for Seminars
- The rules established in Part I and II shall not apply to seminars. But even in seminars, there should be a distribution of grades from A+ to B or below. A maximum of 15% A+ grades (rounded up to the next whole number) may be awarded in seminars.
- Treatment of First-Year Students in Upper-Class Courses and Non-J.D. Candidates
- Professors may calculate separate curves for first-year and upper-class students in courses that enroll both. Each curve considered separately shall be subject to these rules.
- If a class includes students who are not J.D. candidates, and if those students are graded in a way that does not place them in direct competition with J.D. candidates, then in calculating the mean grade, the grades of those students shall be disregarded.