Grade Reform, Law Schools, Loyola Law School, Television, Videos

Stephen Colbert Rips Loyola-L.A.’s ‘Foolproof Plan to Get Their Graduates Better Jobs’

Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) hoped to quietly jump on the grade-inflation bandwagon in order to help make its students more competitive in the legal marketplace. The school bumped letter grades up a notch, so that a C- became a C, a B became a B+, and an A+ became an A+you’reasuperamazinggunnerrockstar.

But the quiet jump has resulted in a lot of noise. After we wrote about the school’s retroactive grade inflation, the Los Angeles Times and later the New York Times picked up on it.

And last night, Loyola had its big moment on the Colbert Report:

The upside is that Loyola-L.A. just broke through to a whole new audience of potential applicants. The downside is that we can hear the deflation of the hopes of all the Loyola law school grads who planned to wow employers with their amazing GPAs.

We reached out to Loyola about being mocked by one of America’s most influential people. A response from Dean Victor Gold, after the jump.


The Colbert Report is a funny show, and last night was no exception. However, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles takes its grading standards seriously. And the humor of the Colbert Report’s “Law 101″ segment on the grade curve change at Loyola obscured the real reason behind it: Loyola’s old grade curve was among the lowest in the nation because many other schools had already raised their curves.

A campus study found that only one other ABA-accredited law school in California had a comparable curve. In effect, a B- at Loyola was a B or higher at almost all other law schools. So after many months of deliberation, Loyola’s faculty voted to change Loyola’s curve in order to level the playing field. Because we were acting years after many other schools, we made the grade change retroactive back to the class of 2007. Even now, our mean first-year grade is just a B, still lower than at many other law schools.

This change has no effect on grading standards at Loyola. Letter grades will still reflect the quality of a student’s work compared to his or her classmates. The main difference is that now Loyola’s grades will accurately reflect the quality of our students’ work compared to their peers at other schools.

As for Stephen Colbert, we’re considering inviting him to speak at Loyola’s 2011 commencement ceremony so he can see first-hand the quality of our students. Plus, we thought he might need an excuse to take “Law 101″ on the road.

Victor Gold
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

I’s on Edjukashun – Loyola, Texas Textbooks & Wal-Mart [Colbert Nation]

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

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