William and Mary Law School

Mandatory Grade Policy (explanation follows this chart)

Type of Class

Minimum
GPA
Target
GPA
Maximum
GPA
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
3.25 3.30 3.35 Should follow distribution to the extent practicable.
  • Upper-level courses of 10-29
  • All sections of Legal Practice Program
    (regardless of size
3.20 3.30 3.40 Should follow distribution to the extent practicable.
  • Upper-level courses of 9 or fewer
  • Clinics (regardless of size)
  • Courses classified as satisfying the writing requirement (regardless of size)
3.20 n/a 3.70 n/a

 

Limits on Mean GPA
  • Faculty shall ensure that the mean GPA of each class falls between the maximum and minimum GPAs described above.
  • Faculty should not treat the upper (or lower) bounds as the target GPA for their classes and should seek a target mean GPA of 3.30 in classes enrolling 10 or more students.
Distribution of Grades

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

A (including A+ if available) 10%
A- 20%
B+ 35%
B 20%
B- or below 15%
 
Legal Practice Program

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

Courses Satisfying the Writing Requirement
  • Seminars that do not satisfy the writing requirement are subject to the same mean requirements as other classes of similar enrollment.
  • In courses classified as satisfying the writing requirement, the faculty member shall apply the mandatory limits on mean GPA separately to those students writing a qualifying paper (students are considered to have written a qualifying paper even if they have otherwise satisfied the writing requirement) and to those students who are not. The permissible range of mean GPA for students not writing a paper is based on total enrollment.

Example: 19 students are enrolled in Law and Social Order, which offers students the option of writing a paper that satisfies the writing requirement. Ten of the students take this option, 9 do not. The mean GPA of the 10 paper students must fall between 3.20 and 3.70 (the range for paper courses). The mean GPA of the 9 non-paper students must fall between 3.20 and 3.40 (the range for a 19-student class).

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, facuty 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. 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 mean GPA of the 29 J.D. students receiving a C- or better must fall between 3.20 and 3.40 (the range for a 20-student class).

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