Grades and Grading
The grades recorded in the School of Law are the official grades and the determination of grade point averages and satisfaction of law school requirements is based on the grades recorded in the School of Law.
Grades are recorded in the School of Law as numerical grades ranging from 65 through 100 or, where authorized, by the letters “S” (Satisfactory) and “U” (Unsatisfactory).* The grades of S and of 70 through 100 are passing grades and carry course credit. The grades of U and of 65 through 69 are failing grades and carry no course credit. A 70 is the lowest passing grade and a cumulative grade point average greater than 77.499 is the minimum required for graduation.
The numerical grades do not correspond to percentages and do not necessarily correspond to traditional letter grades (i.e., 80 to 90 does not necessarily correspond to a “B”). It is perhaps more helpful to think of numerical grades in terms of benchmarks.
The following reflects the grade benchmarks for each class.
|Top 10 %|
* The 65-100 grading system was adopted in the 2007-2008 academic year. Prior to that year, students were graded on a 55-100 scale where the grades of S and 60-100 were passing grades. Over the years from 2001-2007, the median graduating GPA of all graduates was approximately 80.7. Over the same period, MU graduates with grade point averages above 87.5 tended to be in the top 10% of the graduating class, while graduates with grade point averages above 84.8 tended to be in the top 20% of the graduating class.
At the end of each semester, students are included in the first year, second year or third year class lists and are given a class rank based on their position in their class list. Classes are ranked by expected date of graduation.
When calculating the class rankings for the first year and second year classes, summer grades are included in the rankings for the following Fall semester.
The graduating class ranking is determined as of the end of the summer semester and includes all students graduating within the academic year (preceding fall and spring semesters and current summer session).
Current class ranks are no longer routinely made public. Students are provided with individual class ranks and they can elect to disclose the information if they choose. To view current class ranks, please log into TWEN.
A student qualifies for inclusion on the Dean’s List with a semester average greater than 85.999.
A student qualifies for the Dean’s List for that semester if their semester grade point average is in the top 1/3 of the class. This new designation applies for Class of 2021 and beyond.
J.D. Degree Cum Laude
Any student with a graduating grade point average greater than 96.999 is eligible for the designation of Juris Doctor Summa Cum Laude upon graduation.
Any student with a graduating grade point average within the top 7 percent of the graduating class is eligible for the designation of Juris Doctor Magna Cum Laude.
Any student with a graduating grade point average within the top 12 percent of the graduating class is eligible for the designation of Juris Doctor Cum Laude.
Order of the Barristers
The Order of the Barristers is a national law school honor society founded for the purpose of promoting legal advocacy and of advancing the ethical standards of the legal profession. Members are selected based upon participation and excellence in the advocacy programs of the School of Law.
Order of the Coif
The Order of the Coif is a national law school honor society, founded for the purpose of encouraging legal scholarship and of advancing the ethical standards of the legal profession. It has established chapters in the leading law schools of the country. Its members are selected by the faculty from the top ten percent of the graduating class and rank highest in scholarship, and whose achievements as students make them worthy of this distinction. Selections are made after six semester grades and rankings have been determined. To be eligible for membership in the Order of the Coif students must complete 75 percent of their law studies in graded courses. Starting in 2014, transfer students will be considered as having completed their first year of law studies in graded courses for purposes of calculating the 75 percent of coursework in graded courses requirement.