Mandatory Grade Policy

Type of Class

Grade Distribution
(described below)
  • First-year doctrinal courses
  • Professional Responsibility (regardless of size)
3.25 3.30 3.35 Must substantially follow distribution as determined
by the Vice Dean
  • Upper-level courses of 30 or more students
3.25 3.30 3.35 Should follow distribution to the extent practicable
  • Upper-level courses of 10 to 29 students
  • All sections of Legal Research & Writing courses offered in the Legal Practice Program (regardless of size)
3.20 3.30 3.40 Should follow distribution to the extent practicable
  • All Courses that Satisfy the Upper-Level Writing Requirement
3.20 n/a 3.50 Should follow distribution to the extent practicable
  • Upper-level courses of 9 or fewer students
  • Clinics (regardless of size)
3.20 n/a 3.70 n/a
Limits on Mean GPA
  • Faculty shall ensure that the mean grade for each class falls between the maximum and minimum grade means described above.
  • Faculty should not treat the upper (or lower) bounds as the target grade mean for their classes and should seek a target mean of 3.30 in classes enrolling 10 or more students.
Distribution of Grades
A (including A+ if available) 10%
A- 20%
B+ 35%
B 20%
B- or below 15%
Legal Practice Program

Grading in all first-year Lawyering Skills classes shall be on an Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail scale.

The Director of the Legal Practice Program shall supervise and coordinate grading in the Program and seek substantial uniformity in distribution across its sections.

Grade of A+

A single grade of A+ may (but need not) be awarded in a class with 30 or more students. No grade of A+ may be awarded in a class of fewer than 30 students.

Certain Students Not Counted

Solely for purposes of establishing compliance with the Grading Policy, faculty shall disregard the following students:   

  • LL.M. students
  • Other non-J.D. students
  • Students awarded a grade of D or F.

Example: 32 students are enrolled in Taxation of Derivatives. Of the 32 students, one is an LL.M. student and one is a non-J.D. graduate business student. The faculty member awards one J.D. student a grade of D. All other students receive grades of C- or better. In order to satisfy the Grading Policy, the grade mean of the 29 J.D. students receiving a C- or better must fall between 3.20 and 3.40 (the range for a 29-student class).

The Grading Policy does not establish standards for grading LL.M. and other non-J.D. students.

Grades may be based on the results of assigned written work wholly or may include class participation.