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Sheds light on the current state of grade inflation at top law schools and on the requirements for clerking.

By Ben Feuer

Popular law school blog Above the Law recently got ahold of a massive screw-up at UVA Law School wherein the names, grades and class ranks of all clerkship applicants were released publicly.  Rather than look at this from the rather obvious standpoint of schadenfreude, it's a lot more interesting to think about this information in the abstract, considering how it plays into the larger landscape of law school admissions.

Clerkships are one of the most sought-after prizes a law school student can attain, and UVA has always done well in finding clerkships for its students.  It's now clear that the school retains an unusually large amount of data about its applicants, which may help their chances (being the top law school closest to Washington DC can't hurt either, though).

The grade inflation is, simply put, staggering.  The LOWEST ranked student in the entire class had a GPA of around 3, or a B average in normal terms.  The vast majority of students were clustered between 3.4 and 3.8.  Presumably this has now become de rigeur for clerkships, and it makes one wonder if this is yet another weapon top schools use to keep lower ranked schools away from elite opportunities like clerkships.

Anyway, follow the link, check out the data and form your own opinions.


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