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.  

For information on grading systems prior to 2005, contact the Law School Registrar at registrar@law.wisc.edu.


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 5, 2016, with data from all semesters beginning with Fall 2013 and ending with the Spring 2016 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 4.05
4.08
4.09
4.08
4.04
5% 3.72 3.71 3.73 3.71 3.70
3.73
10% 3.59 3.58 3.57 3.56 3.58
3.62
15% 3.49 3.50 3.50 3.49 3.49
3.51
20% 3.43 3.45 3.44 3.43 3.44
3.47
25% 3.37 3.38 3.35 3.37 3.37
3.39
30% 3.33 3.30 3.29 3.32 3.32
3.35
35% 3.25 3.26 3.24 3.26 3.27
3.30
40% 3.19 3.21 3.19 3.21 3.22
3.25
45% 3.14 3.16 3.16 3.16 3.18
3.20
50% 3.10 3.10 3.12 3.12 3.14
3.16
55% 3.06 3.07
3.09 3.08
3.10
3.12
60% 3.00 3.01
3.06 3.03
3.05
3.08
65% 2.96 2.96 3.00
2.98
3.00
3.03
70% 2.91 2.93 2.96 2.92 2.96
2.98
75% 2.84 2.87 2.91 2.87 2.89
2.93
80% 2.78 2.80 2.82 2.82 2.84
2.86
85% 2.73 2.71 2.72 2.69 2.72
2.75
90% 2.65 2.58 2.57 2.57 2.58
2.59
95% 2.43 2.47 2.42 2.44 2.43
2.43

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 4.05
4.08
4.09
4.08
4.04
1% 3.94
3.90 3.94 3.94 3.92
3.95
2% 3.86 3.82 3.86 3.84 3.80
3.85
3% 3.78 3.78 3.80 3.78 3.77
3.78
4% 3.75 3.72 3.75 3.75 3.74
3.75
5% 3.72 3.71 3.73 3.71 3.70
3.73
6% 3.67 3.69 3.70 3.68 3.66
3.72
7% 3.65 3.68 3.64 3.64 3.63
3.70
8% 3.62 3.61 3.60 3.60 3.61
3.69
9% 3.59 3.59 3.59 3.58 3.60
3.63
10% 3.59 3.58 3.57 3.56 3.58
3.62

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