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Why Should Law Schools Give Away Better Grades When They Can Sell Them Instead?

Gradeinflation The New York Times reports that next month, every student at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles will "awake to a higher grade point average," but not because of anything the students did. Rather, the school has simply decided that by retroactively inflating its grades by 0.333 for every grade recorded in the last few years, it can make its "make its students look more attractive in a competitive job market."

I'm sure this type of thing happened all the time when Grasshopper Lipman was in law school last month or whenever it was, but back in my day the grading process worked something like this: You studied, you took a test, the professor gave you a grade, and, well, that was your grade. Who knew that there was an additional possible step where the school just turbo-boosted your GPA to make you look better? Had I been able to take advantage of such a booster program my grades might have been good enough to make me a real judge today, instead of just a fake judge.

Now that we've established that law schools are willing to ignore and improve upon the actual grades students receive if it will make them and their students look better, maybe its time to talk price? Over at The Cuban Revolution, Brian Cuban suggests the next logical step: Law schools should adopt a “Frequent Flyer Model” to grading and sell grade increments. As Cuban explains it,

When I am short on American Airlines Frequent Flyer miles for that trip to Europe, I buy an extra 10k miles for a grand. When I am short an incremental + grade away from that coveted Law Review spot or Big Law job, does it not make sense for the law school, instead of engaging in an illusory and inflationary grading practice for free to monetize it? They should sell me an increment and help me bump the Law Review geek that actually worked for it while at the same time  filling the depressed funding coffers. Like American Airlines, they could offer cut-rate weekend special grade boosts for the C students about to accept a job at The GAP.

Exactly. Why just give away better grades when you can sell better grades?

Posted by Bruce Carton on June 22, 2010 at 10:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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