Thursday, November 03, 2005

Southwestern GPA

So it appears that SWLAW will be bumping up the mean GPA from a 2.2 - 2.4 to something higher. Now the question remains on whether the GPA adjustment is going to be set retroactively. Anyway here are a couple of emails I received with regards to the matter.
Hey Southwesterners,

The decision on retroactivity for grade adjustments will be made next Friday. It is far from a sealed deal. Some of us, not part of any group/club/honors program, decided to write a letter and put together a petition. The petition is growing and will be handed in this Friday. Look out for the petition in upper division classes. We are not in a position to demand so this is more about a show of support.

You too can write an email to Professor Grimes/Dean Garth or just visit Grimes and have a chat with him. Grimes is a nice person and happens to head the adjustment committee. SPECIFIC EXAMPLES of how the curve has unfairly harmed you are the MOST helpful . Others have already gone to Professor Grimes and Grimes seems to suggest that our input really does make a difference. If it helps at all, wouldn't it be worth it?
Hey guys,

I know this is getting old but it won't matter next week. Attached is a list of the professors. We have learned that the full-time faculty gets to vote. If this is incorrect let me know. However, if you know a professor on a personal level, please speak to them. Many have not even thought about it. If you know which way a professor is leaning, please email me so I can keep a tally. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

I may be stating the obvious here, but I fervently hope bumping the law school gpa is accompanied by a bump in the LSAT score for incoming students... otherwise, the bar pass rate will fall even further, and that is not good for SW graduates and their job prospects. I suspect the bar pass rate will take a hit for about two years, because the higher law school gpa will allow more students to graduate who otherwise would not. The bar pass rate of the bottom 10 percent is very low, typically less than 15 percent.

an 05 grad

Anonymous said...

I think saying what Anonymous said simplifies the issue too much. Maybe the fact that the school constantly beats into their students' heads that they are just average or below average causes the bar passage rate to fall as well. You can only be told for so long that you are stupid before you start to believe it. I think student morale has a lot to do with the success of SW students, or lack thereof.

Anonymous said...

My question is how this curve will be retroactively applied. If it starts applying to this year's graduating class, then it would be unfair to the 05, 04 grads.

Also, if the curve is raised, does this mean that academic probation cutoff would be a 2.6 or 2.8?

I agree with raising the incoming LSAT score. It won't help but to lower our ranking even more, which in return will make job prospects even worse, if the lower quarter receives a 3.0 gpa but only 5% of them pass the bar.

Stanford, UCLA, USC can get away with it b/c they have significantly higher entrance requirements that prospective employers can feel assured that if you are good enough to get in, you are good enough to be hired.

Wayne said...

I think and would hope that the AP cutoff remain the same at 2.0. My biggest qualm with the current GPA curve was that it was too close to the AP cutoff which I think resulted in some people being kicked out of school unfairly.

I don't know how it would be applied retroactively but my thinking is that at some point lawyers typically stop relying on what their grades were in law school when applying for work and it is at that point that the new GPA probably shouldn't be applied retroactively.

Anonymous said...

i'm all in favor of bumping up the curve.

southwestern currently sends out a letter explaining the lower grade curve along with each transcript. most hiring partners and HR people probably don't even read this letter. i know the hiring partner at my firm & the HR person didn't bother with the letter.

without higher grades to compete with other law school students in the area, southwestern's perrenial status as a last resort for employers will continue. it's time to change for the good of the students.

there might be a hit in the bar passage rate with the curve raise, but the cost of having current and former students bad-mouthing the school has done irreparable harm to the school's reputation.

somebody once told me southwestern has a good reputation in the LA area. from my own experience, southwestern has a dismal one, and it's only exacerbated when transcripts filled with C's are turned in to employers.