Grade Reform, Law Schools

Tulane: The Latest School to Adopt Grade Reform

Tough curve ahead.

By this point, you know the drill with grade reform:

A) Law school experiences embarrassing employment outcomes.
B) Administration refuses to admit legal education is ridiculously overpriced given the soft job market.
C) Students demand immediate administrative action to help students find work.
D) Administration has precisely zero ideas on how to help students get jobs.
E) Administration blames its own “tough grading curve” that allegedly “disadvantages” its students.
F) Administration enacts “grade reform.”
G) Students feel momentarily appeased.
H) Employers ask for class ranking and go back to putting 90% of the transcripts they receive from the school in question into the shredder.

Next year, Tulane Law School will make grading easier. Getting a good job with a Tulane Law degree will remain just as difficult as ever…

The Tulane move is very straightforward grade inflation. Here are the new grading rules at Tulane:

Required Mean GPA

Unless excepted below, the grades to J.D. students in all courses shall produce a mean GPA of between 3.20 and 3.30.

1. Exceptions
i. All seminars
ii. All clinic courses
iii. Classes of 12 J.D. students or fewer
iv. Legal Research and Writing

For the convenience of the faculty in complying with this rule, the following distribution guidelines are suggested but are not mandatory:

A grades: Approx. 35%
B grades: Approx. 50%
C+ grades and below: Approx. 15%

The old Tulane curve was around a 3.0.

But there is another interesting wrinkle to Tulane’s blatant grade inflation. No, not a wrinkle that has any chance of helping Tulane grads get jobs, but a wrinkle that could cost the school some money. A tipster reports:

Unanswered question about this: Tulane gives a hearty amount of scholarships to its incoming 1Ls on the condition that you keep a 3.0. Half the class would not get a 3.0 and promptly lose that money at the end of the year. Will this new curve mean more students get to keep the $$$? Unclear.

More students getting to go to law school for less money? Yeah right. Tulane will most likely “adjust” the scholarship threshold right after it’s done spinning about how this reform will be good for its students.

All of the schools that are “reforming” grades need to come up with an actual solution to the terrible job market their students are facing. This cosmetic bullcrap isn’t going to help anybody in the real world.

Earlier: Loyola Law School (L.A.) Retroactively Inflates Grades

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