Law Schools Inflating Grades to Give Students Better Job Prospects

Law Schools Inflating Grades to Give Students Better Job Prospects

Law school isn’t getting any easier – but students’ grades are getting higher. According to 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. They include Loyola Law School Los Angeles, New York University, Georgetown, Golden Gate University and Tulane University. The goal is to make its students look more attractive in a competitive job market.

But if everyone knows the grades have been inflated, won’t that be taken into consideration? Maybe. Some recruiters at law firms keep track of these changes and consider them when interviewing, but some do not. I say if it helps students get a job, go for it!

Of course, the schools aren’t being completely benevolent with the grade inflation. It’s also a way for schools to protect their reputations. Law schools used to be able to practically guarantee postgrad employment to thousands of students every year, making high student loan debt worthwhile. But getting a job is a lot harder than it used to be, resulting in unsatisfied customers.

Besides grade inflation, another school strategy is offering stipends for students to take unpaid public interest internships (Duke and the University of Texas at Austin both engage in this practice). Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law even recently began paying profit-making law firms to hire its students! That seems a little less ethical than grade inflation…

With some law schools costing $150k, would you consider taking the chance that you might not get a job? You might try becoming an engineer instead…

Photo: UPenn