If it Can't Be Lake Woebegone...A Nationwide Survey of Law School Grading and Grade Normalization Practices

59 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2007

See all articles by Nancy Levit

Nancy Levit

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law

Robert C. Downs

University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law

Abstract

This article explores various methods of grade normalization used by law schools. Based on a survey of 116 responding ABA accredited law schools, 84% have some form of grade normalization policy, and the trend is toward adoption of grade normalization. The survey assessed the types of normalization plans (distributional requirements, required means, required medians, set standard deviations, and informal policies), as well as the reasons schools have adopted such plans. It also inquired about methods for ensuring faculty compliance as well as justifications for departures from grade norms.

The article considers and responds to the arguments against grade normalization and makes the case for normalization on a broader regional or national level rather than just within schools.

Keywords: law school grading policies, grade normalization, grading normalization plans

JEL Classification: A22, A23, A29, I20, I21, I29, K10, K19, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Levit, Nancy and Downs, Robert C., If it Can't Be Lake Woebegone...A Nationwide Survey of Law School Grading and Grade Normalization Practices. University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, Vol. 65, p. 819, 1997 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=969765

Nancy Levit (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law ( email )

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

Robert C. Downs

University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law ( email )

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

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