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Sunday, December 14, 2008

"BigLaw Faces Grade-less JDs"

Michael Estrin (Bitter Lawyer, 12/11/2008)
ponders the consequences of law school pass/fail
grading systems on the hiring practices of big law firms,
asking: "Does the elimination of competition from a
highly-competitive profession make any sense what-

Estrin suggests that, as more top law schools (like
Harvard and Stanford) strive to make the law school
experience more collegial by implementing
pass/fail grading systems, law firms will be faced with
accepting "more young lawyers whose last significant
competitive experience was the LSAT." The author
also points out that stellar graduates with high GPAs
from other law schools may no longer have
the edge over job candidates from elite schools who
would have graduated at the bottom of their class in
a graded system.

Estrin concludes that the lack of competition inherent
in the pass/fail grading system may be detrimental to the
legal profession - "a lawyer who tells a client that they
'passed' the case likely won’t last very long."