In order to fairly depict student achievement, law schools across the country are reviewing their grading systems and implementing changes. For example, Harvard and Stanford Law Schools are switching from the letter grade system to a pass/fail system. Stanford Law School Dean, Larry Kramer explains the benefits of the new system:
One, the new system conveys more accurate information to employers without diminishing student incentive to work; two, it reduces needless grading anxiety; and three, it encourages faculty to experiment more with evaluative things they do in their classes.
Columbia which combines the letter grade system with a credit/fail standard is reviewing its grading policies as well. NYU has already implemented changes, allowing professors to give more A’s. Some schools, such as Chicago, Northwestern, Penn and Berkeley have no intentions of changing their grading systems.
Although the grading systems vary greatly, ranging from pass/fail to traditional letter grades to a combination of the two, University of Pennsylvania Law School Dean Michael A. Fitts emphasizes that whatever system law schools choose, it must be useful to potential employers. “When you have a less refined grading system, people who are employing your graduates are going to make distinctions, but they’ll make them on their grounds.”
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