Earning the Grades

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Above the Law, a tabloid blog about the legal profession, reports that because Loyola Law School graduates were having trouble finding jobs the school decided to make big changes. Big, though not necessarily very, well, legitimate ones. Apparently Loyola Dean’s Victor Gold sent the following email to the Loyola community:

Last week the faculty approved a proposal to modify the grading system. The change will boost by one step the letter grades assigned at each level of our mandatory curve. For example, what previously was a B- would be a B, what previously was a B would be a B+, and so forth. All other academic standards based on grades, such as the probation and disqualification thresholds, are also adjusted upwards by the same magnitude. For reasons that will be explained below, these changes are retroactive to include all grades that have been earned under the current grading system since it was adopted. This means that all grades already earned by current students will be changed. It also means that all grades going forward will be governed by the new curve. The effect of making the change retroactive will be to increase the GPA of all students by .333.

Apparently the dean thinks other law schools are easier on grading anyway so why not just raise everyone’s grade to even everything out, or something?

While this little gimmick may be in an effort to help students, it seems very questionable. As if law firms can’t tell this is happening. Or, as Above the Law’s Elie Mystal explains:

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the number one thing hurting Loyola students in this job market is the grading curve. The school needs to convince prospective employers that its graduates will make better lawyers than USC law graduates. All this proves is that the Loyola administration can juke the stats.

If you want to help students during a recession, lower tuition. This cosmetic stuff wouldn’t even fly in Hollywood.

Wow. Is this even grade inflation or do we need a special new term for this sort of thing?

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer