Grading System for Students Entering University of Wisconsin Law School Prior to September 2005

At the University of Wisconsin Law School, for students who matriculated prior to September 2005, most courses are graded on a numerical scale from 65 to 95.  There is no grade above 95. The Law School's grading guidelines for faculty provide that for all first-year courses, and for advanced classes with an enrollment exceeding 30, the mean grade normally should fall between 82.5 and 84.0.  For advanced classes with an enrollment of 30 or less, the mean grade normally should fall between 81.5 and 85. 

Some seminars and upper-level courses are graded on a letter-grade system instead of on the 65 - 95 numerical scale. Letter grades that a student receives are not included when calculating the student's GPA.

The Law School does not make available students' class rank (except to the ten rising 3Ls with the highest GPAs, to assist them in seeking highly competitive judicial clerkships and fellowships). Instead, we provide tables relating grade averages to approximate position in the class. Because the distribution of student grade averages has proven to be very consistent from year to year, the tables are cumulative summaries of the average grades for the previous three academic years. The tables are re-calculated each semester as soon as all of the information for the most recent semester is available. See the tables below.

Letter Grades

Although the Law School operates on a numeric grading system, the approximate letter-grade equivalents for Law Students are as follows:

  • 87 through 95 - A
  • 85 through 86 - AB
  • 83 through 84 - B
  • 80 through 82 - BC
  • 77 through 79 - C
  • 70 through 76 - D
  • 65 through 69 - F

Please feel free to call Jane Heymann, Curricular Coordinator, at 608-262-6413 if you need any additional information about our grading system.

GPA

Class Standing Table for Students Who Entered Law School Before September 2005

This chart is the final numeric chart and should be considered to be current from Spring 2007 onward for students who started before 2005. The numbers in the table have been rounded to one decimal place, using conventional rounding rules (e.g., 83.43 becomes 83.4, while 83.47 becomes 83.5).

Class Standing
  32-45 Credits 46-60 Credits 61-79 Credits 80+ Credits
Top 90.8 91.6 92.0 92.1
5% 87.8 87.9 88.1 88.4
10% 86.7 86.9 87.2 87.2
15% 86.2 86.5 86.7 86.8

20%

85.7 86.1 86.3 86.4
25%
85.3 85.8 85.9 86.0
30% 84.9 85.5
85.7 85.7
35% 84.6 85.2 85.4 85.4
40% 84.2 84.8 85.1 85.0
45% 83.8 84.6 84.7 84.7
50% 83.4 84.3 84.4 84.4
55% 83.0 83.9 84.0 84.0
60% 82.4 83.6 83.7 83.6
65% 81.7 83.2 83.4 83.2
70% 81.0 82.8 82.9 82.8
75% 80.3 82.3 82.5 82.4
80% 78.8
81.8 82.0 82.0
85%
81.4 81.5 81.4
90%
80.7 80.8 80.8
95%
79.8 80.0 80.1
 
 
The Top 10%, broken down into 1% Increments
  32-45 Credits 46-60 Credits 61-79 Credits 80+ Credits
Top 90.8 91.6 92.0 92.1
1% 88.8 89.7 89.7 90.2
2% 88.3 88.7 89.1 89.3
3% 88.1 88.3 88.6 88.9
4% 88.0 88.0 88.3 88.6
5% 87.8 87.9 88.1 88.4
6% 87.3 87.7 87.9 88.1
7% 87.2 87.4 87.7 87.8
8% 87.0 87.2 87.5 87.5
9% 86.8 87.1 87.3 87.4

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