Cornell Law School Grading Policy for JD Students
Faculty members are required to grade all courses, including problem courses and seminars, so that the mean grade for J.D. students in the course does not exceed 3.35. This policy is subject only to very limited exceptions.
As a matter of faculty policy, we do not release the academic rankings of our students. Interested individuals, including employers, have access to the 10% approximate cumulative grade point cut off for the most recent semester of completion.
Each semester all students whose semester grade point average places them in the top 30% of their class are awarded Dean’s List status. Students are notified of this honor by a letter from the Dean and a notation on their official and unofficial transcripts.
Academic Honors at Graduation
The faculty awards academic honors at graduation as follows: The faculty awards the J.D. degree summa cum laude by special vote in cases of exceptional performance. The school awards the J.D. degree magna cum laude to students who rank in the top 10% of the graduating class. Students who rank in the top 30% of the class receive the J.D. degree cum laude unless they are receiving another honors degree. Recipients are notified by a letter from the Dean and a notation on their official and unofficial transcripts.
Interested individuals who would like to discuss the policy or the grade curve in greater detail, should feel free to call Associate Dean Anne Lukingbeal at (607) 255-5839.