Law School, Tips & Tricks

Law School Grading Curve & Why It Stinks

The law school grading curve is a monster all its own. 

If you are not familiar with the law school curve, I will do my best to break it down.

When graded on a true curve, the number of  A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, etc. given at the end of the year are predetermined before the class even begins.  1L yr has a standard curve that is generally set so that the median grade i is a B-, however, this can vary slightly from school to school.

law school curve

When applied to you, the curve takes all the “raw” grades from the final exam and distributes them according to the predetermined allotments.  This means that in bigger classes you almost always have a better chance of attaining a higher grade because there are simply more higher grades to be given out and still keep the class median at B-.

For me, the trouble with the curve starts with the fact that everyone in law school is most likely a smart, hard-working, A deserving (by undergraduate standards at least) student and under the curve, only a select few will attain A’s.  No matter how much “A worthy” effort students produce only a small fraction of students will receive an A’s when judged in comparison to the work of their peers.

Even more stressful is the fact your entire grade comes down to one exam.  And, that one exam is not simply judged on merit but is compared to your classmates, your friends.

Then, add the fact that after your final exam it can take over a month for your grades to be revealed.

But, as one of my favorite professors suggested after finals,
“just fugetttaaahhbbouuut it”

There is absolutely nothing else you can do to affect your place on the curve after finals.  So just give in and celebrate the fact that you’ve made it through finals and let the Law Fates play out as they may.

So essentially the best thing you can do is prepare for finals in whatever way works best for you, then kill those exams!  Because there is nothing else you can do!

Best Wishes,




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