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Law Commentator Calls Law School Grades a Fraud

While the law school grading process is most commonly derided by those law students and lawyers who fall on the western side of the bell curve, I rarely hear of law professors challenging the grading process -- until now. The above video, courtesy of Paul Caron at Tax Prof Blog, includes a lengthy tirade by legal commentator and former Georgetown Law professor Greta Van Susteren, admitting that she typically gave all of her students "A"s because she felt that they worked hard and deserved them. Van Susteren also explains that there's really no legitimate way to distinguish between an "A," an "A-" and a "B+" and she wasn't willing to "ruin students' lives" by making an arbitrary and undeserved distinction. Finally, Van Susteren says that if students don't do well, it's likely the professor's fault.

While I don't agree that a poor law school record will ruin one's life (and if it does, a student probably didn't have much resilience to begin with), I admire Van Susteren's willingness to put the interest of her students first, rather than the interest of the school in maintaining its bell curve. Of course, since Van Susteren is a TV commentator and not a legal academic, I'm not sure that her thoughts will generate any more serious consideration by law schools than if they'd been offered by a disgruntled law student.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on September 23, 2008 at 02:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)


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