Grading System

for Students Entering University of Wisconsin Law School in September 2005 and thereafter

Letter Grades

Students who entered the University of Wisconsin Law School in September 2005 or thereafter (i.e., the Classes of 2008, 2009,  2010,  2011, 2012, 2013 and thereafter) receive letter grades for most law school courses.  The grading scale ranges from A+ to F.  For purposes of calculating student grade point averages, letter grades are converted to numerical equivalents according to the following conversion table:

Letter Grade G.P.A.
A+  4.3
A 4.0 
A- 3.7 
B+  3.3 
3.0 
B- 2.7 
C+ 2.3 
C 2.0 
C- 1.7 
D+  1.3 
1.0 
D-  0.7 
0

Grades of S or U 

In the following courses, the instructor may elect to give a grade of S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory) in lieu of letter grades:  Trial Advocacy; Appellate Advocacy; Lawyering Skills; Advanced Legal Writing; and seminars in which the enrollment is less than 20 students and the principal basis for the grade is a paper or class presentation.

Grades of S or U must be given in lieu of letter grades for Law Journal, Moot Court, Directed Reading and Directed Research.  Clinical courses are graded on the basis of S+, S, S-, and U.  S+ can be awarded to no more than 15% of the students in each clinical program.  Grades of S, S+, S- and U are not taken into account in computing a student's GPA.  

Computing Your GPA

Students starting law school in the Fall of 2005 and thereafter: 

To calculate your GPA, disregard any courses in which you received a grade of S or U.  Those courses do NOT factor into your cumulative grade point average. (Also, disregard the letter grades earned in any non-Law courses -- i.e., those offered by a different department in the University, because those are graded on the University's 4.0 scale, not the Law School's 4.3 scale).  Next, multiply the numerical equivalent of the letter grade you received in each other course you have completed, times the number of credits that you earned in the course.  (For example, if you received a B in Property, which is a 4-credit course, you would multiply 3.0 times 4, and the result is 12.0 GPA "points").  After you have multiplied the number of credits times the numerical equivalent for the grade you received in each course, then add all your GPA "points" together and divide it by the total number of credits represented by your letter-graded courses.  The resulting quotient is your GPA.  It should be rounded to the second decimal place, using conventional rounding methods; e.g., a 3.2489 becomes a 3.25; whereas a 3.24489 becomes a 3.24.  

For example, a student who in the Fall of 2012 received an A in Torts, a B in Civil Procedure, a C in Substantive Criminal Law, a B+ in Fall Legal Research and Writing, and a B+ in Contracts; and who in the Spring of 2013 received a B in Property, an A- in Spring Legal Research and Writing, an A- in Criminal Procedure, a B in Contracts II, a B- in Constitutional Law I, and an S for participation in the summer Remington Center clinical program after his first year of law school would have a GPA of 3.16, calculated as follows:

A in Torts:             4.0 x 3 credits = 12 GPA points
B in Civ Pro:           3.0 x 4 credits = 12 GPA points
C in Crim Law:        2.0 x 3 credits = 6 GPA points
B+ in Contracts:     3.3 x 4 credits = 13.2 GPA points
B+ in LRW I:           3.3 x 3 credits = 9.9 GPA points

B in Property :        3.0 x 4 credits = 12 GPA points     
A- in Crim Pro:        3.7 x 3 credits = 11.1 GPA points
B in Contracts II:    3.0 x 3 credits = 9 GPA points
B- in Con Law I:      2.7 x 3 credits = 8.1 GPA points
A- in LRW II:          3.7 x 3 credits = 11.1 GPA points

Remington Center Clinical – 7 credits of S – not included in GPA calculation

These courses represent 104.4 total GPA points, which, divided by 33 letter graded credits, equals 3.16363, which should be rounded to 3.16.  (Please note, the example above is based on the 1L curriculum as it  existed in the Fall of 2012). 

Keep in mind that although your GPA is calculated using only credits for which you receive a letter grade, the six columns in the Class Standing chart set forth below are based on the total number of completed credits, not just letter graded credits.  Therefore, you should consult the column that includes your TOTAL credits completed, when determining your class standing.

Class Standing

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 table below.

The following table was produced on July 6, 2015, with data from all semesters beginning with Fall 2012 and ending with the Spring 2015 semester.  The columns are divided based on total credits completed, not just on letter-graded credits.

Class Standing 
  0-17 Credits 18-33 Credits 34-45 Credits 46-60 Credits 61-79 Credits
80+ Credits
TOP 4.10 4.09
4.08
4.09
4.06
4.01
5% 3.72 3.72 3.73 3.72 3.72
3.73
10% 3.61 3.57 3.59 3.58 3.58
3.62
15% 3.50 3.50 3.51 3.50 3.50
3.51
20% 3.43 3.45 3.45 3.45 3.43
3.46
25% 3.37 3.36 3.38 3.38 3.38
3.39
30% 3.30 3.29 3.31 3.33 3.32
3.35
35% 3.24 3.24 3.25 3.27 3.29
3.30
40% 3.19 3.19 3.20 3.23 3.22
3.26
45% 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.16 3.18
3.22
50% 3.09 3.10 3.12 3.12 3.15
3.18
55% 3.04 3.06
3.06 3.07
3.10
3.13
60% 3.00 3.02
3.01 3.03
3.06
3.08
65% 2.94 2.97 2.96
2.98
3.01
3.03
70% 2.88 2.92 2.93 2.92 2.96
2.98
75% 2.81 2.86 2.86 2.87 2.89
2.93
80% 2.75 2.79 2.80 2.82 2.83
2.86
85% 2.65 2.69 2.69 2.70 2.72
2.74
90% 2.47 2.57 2.56 2.55 2.56
2.59
95% 2.14 2.39 2.35 2.38 2.38
2.44

Top 10% in 1% Increments
  0-17 Credits 18-33 Credits 34-45 Credits 46-60 Credits 61-79 Credits
80+ Credits
TOP 4.10 4.09
4.08
4.09
4.06
4.01
1% 3.94
3.94 3.91 3.91 3.95
3.95
2% 3.84 3.83 3.86 3.85 3.84
3.85
3% 3.78 3.79 3.80 3.78 3.79
3.79
4% 3.75 3.75 3.75 3.75 3.75
3.76
5% 3.72 3.72 3.73 3.72 3.72
3.73
6% 3.70 3.69 3.70 3.69 3.69
3.72
7% 3.67 3.65 3.67 3.67 3.64
3.70
8% 3.66 3.62 3.64 3.65 3.62
3.66
9% 3.63 3.59 3.63 3.62 3.60
3.64
10% 3.61 3.57 3.59 3.58 3.58
3.62

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