Law Schools Drop Grades

In the wake of the Coronavirus, many law schools are moving classes online and dropping grades.

Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia are amongst the top law schools to ditch the grading system in response to the outbreak, Bloomberg reports.


In replacement of a grading system, law schools have adopted the pass/fail system for the spring semester.

Law schools, such as Cornell, Boston College, and Berkeley have all adopted the pass/fail grading system.

Additionally, according to Bloomberg, Notre Dame, Arizona State, University of Minnesota and New York University are all considering pass/fail.

Part of the reasoning behind the switch, according to The Harvard Crimson, is due to the unpredictable nature of the crisis.

“It has become more apparent by the day how deep, wide, and longstanding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic might be,” an email from Harvard Law officials reads. “Thus, while we all hope for the best, we thought it important to give you the space and flexibility to meet the unknowable challenges that lie ahead – difficulties in securing child care, the risk to friends and family of illness or economic dislocation, and many things we cannot today foresee.”


Some experts warn that switching grades to pass/fail could affect career prospects for law students as law firms tend to rely on grades to hire talent.

However, in a statement to students, law firm Hogan Lovells reassured that “academic performance is just one of many indicators of potential.”

Sources: Bloomberg, The Harvard Crimson

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.