Do law firms read the newspapers? How about an article on lawyers in the New York Times? Do you think that lawyers talk to each other about this large sudden grade inflation? All these are obviously rhetorical questions. So why would anyone believe that lawyers would look at a student's grade and not his ranking?
So my question is why do law schools think lawyers would fall for this trick when everyone knows that the trick is in place? What is it that law schools know about how dumb lawyers are? (Just kidding, I don't really think that lawyers are dumb. I think that this tells us more about how dumb law school faculty are.) From the New York Times:
In the last two years, at least 10 law schools have deliberately changed their grading systems to make them more lenient. These include law schools like New York University andGeorgetown, as well as Golden Gate University and Tulane University, which just announced the change this month. Some recruiters at law firms keep track of these changes and consider them when interviewing, and some do not.
Law schools seem to view higher grades as one way to rescue their students from the tough economic climate — and perhaps more to the point, to protect their own reputations and rankings. Once able to practically guarantee gainful employment to thousands of students every year, the schools are now fielding complaints from more and more unemployed graduates, frequently drowning in student debt. . . .
Some schools bump up everyone’s grades, some just allow for more As and others all but eliminate the once-gentlemanly C.
Harvard and Stanford, two of the top-ranked law schools, recently eliminated traditional grading altogether. Like Yale and the University of California, Berkeley, they now use a modified pass/fail system, reducing the pressure that law schools are notorious for. This new grading system also makes it harder for employers to distinguish the wheat from the chaff, which means more students can get a shot at a competitive interview.
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.
“That put our students at an unfair disadvantage, especially if you factor in the current economic environment,” says Samuel Liu, 26, president of the school’s Student Bar Association and the leader of the grading change efforts. He also says many Loyola students are ineligible for coveted clerkships that have strict G.P.A. cutoffs. . . .
Labels: lawyers, rational expectations