Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Washington Times, Law Schools' Pass/Fail Decision Doesn't Ace All Tests:
Law schools, like colleges and universities, increasingly are assigning pass/fail grades to facilitate remote learning amid travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the grading scheme doesn’t level the playing field, professors say.
“For those [students] who are in the middle of class, this was a god-send. For students who were already very high in their class, this is good news because they can’t go down,” said Josh Blackman, who teaches constitutional law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. “But for students who want to move up in the class row and are set to graduate, this is definitely a setback.”
Law school grades play an outsized role in graduates landing clerkships and entry-level professions, meaning that third-year students now eyeing graduation, the state bar exam and future employment face greater uncertainty than ever before.
TaxProf Blog coverage of law school grading policies in Spring 2020:
- Karen Sloan (Law.com), Law Schools Adopt Pass-Fail Grades As They Move Online Amid COVID-19 (Mar. 19, 2020)
- Jon Adler (Case Western), Grading In The Time Of Coronavirus: For Most Law Schools, Pass/Fail Is A Mistake (Mar. 23, 2020)
- Josh Blackman (South Texas), Law Schools Should Not Abandon Standard Grading Policies For All Students Due To The Coronavirus (Mar. 23, 2020)
- Josh Blackman (South Texas), Law Professors Quietly Oppose Pass/Fail Grading (Mar. 25, 2020)
- Josh Blackman (South Texas), Law Students Quietly Oppose Pass/Fail Grading (Mar. 26, 2020)
- Karen Sloan (Law.com), 'People Are Pissed': Pass/Fail Grading Controversy Roils Law Schools (Mar. 26, 2020)
- Karen Sloan (Law.com), Law Students Share Anxiety, Support On Reddit Over Grading Policies In Wake Of Coronavirus (Mar. 27, 2020)
- Noah Zatz (UCLA), The Case For Mandatory Pass/Fail Grading In Spring 2020 (Mar. 28, 2020)
- Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Thoughts About (And Mostly Against) Pass-Fail Law School Grading During Covid-19 (Mar. 29, 2020)
- Michael Krauss (George Mason), Should Law Schools Grade Pass-Fail This Semester? (Mar. 29, 2020)
- Diane Klein (La Verne), Of Prisoner's Dilemmas And Straw Men: A Response To Blackman, Adler, And Krauss On Law School Grading (Mar. 29, 2020)
- Noah Zatz (UCLA), Crisis Grading Policy 2.0: Universality Over Carve-Outs (Mar. 29, 2020)
- University Of Chicago Law School Sticks To ‘Status Quo’ Grading, Bucking Peers’ Move To Mandatory Pass-Fail (Mar. 30, 2020)
For complete TaxProf Blog coverage of the coronavirus, see here.