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Loyola Law School Will Artificially Adjust Every Students Grade Positively by 0.333 pts in the Next Month

In a New York Times article posted yesterday by Catherine Rampell entitled Law Schools, Grades Go Up, Just Like That, Rampell noted that in the last two years, at least 10 law schools have adjusted their grading systems to make them more lenient.

In fact, within the next month Rampell reports that Loyola Law School Los Angeles will adjust every law student’s grade recorded within the last few years by adding on an extra 0.333 to every grade. This change is not because all of the Loyola Law School students were working harder, rather the law school is retroactively inflating its grades to make its students look more attractive in a competitive job market.

Rampell noted that, “students and faculty say they are merely trying to stay competitive with their peer schools, which have more merciful grading curves. Loyola, for example, had a mean first-year grade of 2.667; the norm for other accredited California schools is generally a 3.0 or higher.”

Aside from Loyola’s projected increase, other schools that have undergone deliberate changes to their grading systems in the last two years include law schools like New York University, Georgetown, Golden Gate University and Tulane University. In fact, Tulane just announced the change this month.

Artificial inflation of students’ grades seems to be viewed by these law schools as one way to protect their own reputation and rankings while also rescuing their students from the increasingly tough economic climate. This comes in response to an increase in the complaints from thousands of students every year who are finding difficulty when seeking employment after graduating from law school.
 
However, it is still unclear whether artificially inflating students’ grades is actually having a positive impact on those students’ experiences in the job market. When presented with students from a law school that has publicly made it known that it has artificially increased its students’ grades some major firms take that into account but others do not.

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