Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Law schools doing a disservice by inflating grades

According to this article in today's New York Times, law schools are happily leading us down the path of academic fraud and dishonesty. As a result of the tight job market in BigLaw, law schools across the country are easing up on their grading standards or, as is the case with Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, arbitrarily adding to students' grade point averages.

In the last couple of days both Brian Tannebaum and Scott Greenfield have touched on the malaise some new lawyers are stewing in as a result of life not living up to their dreams, now we have law schools practicing a modern form of puffery to get their students hired by BigLaw so that the school can benefit by marketing themselves as the gateway to BigLaw.

The path to success, in any field or endeavor, is not to "dumb down" the task at hand -- the true path to success is to encounter obstacles, work your way through or around them and fight your way to the end. Juries don't care what your GPA was in law school, whether you were on law review, what your scored on your bar exam or for whom you work -- they care about the facts, your client and how hard you are willing to work on your client's behalf (and whether or not they like your client).

If you're a criminal defense attorney, you're expected to lose. The deck is stacked against you and you have to be willing to pick yourself up off the floor time and time again if you hope to be successful. How is grade inflation going to help you do that?

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