Grading

UC Irvine School of Law grades on a scale of A+ (4.3) to F (0.0).

IP (in progress) will be assigned at the end of the first semester in all year-long courses.

After grades post to transcripts, the Law Registrar will generate a letter for each in-progress course offered during the semester, indicating the A to F level of performance for each student. In-progress letters will be available in the Law Registrar’s Office until the official grades for the class post at the end of the second semester.

Students can take up to 8 self-selected units of Law School upper-level courses on a credit/no-credit basis. Credit/no-credit grading options are at the instructor’s discretion and must be elected and enrolled in by the end of the second week of classes in any semester. 

For fall 2020, students can take an additional 4 self-selected units of Law School upper-level courses on a credit/no-credit basis in any course exceeding enrollment of 24 students, which must be elected by the end of the fourth week of classes. 

For the spring 2021 semester, first-year students may petition to take one doctrinal course (i.e., Statutory Analysis, International Legal Analysis, Common Law Analysis: Torts, or Constitutional Analysis) on a Credit/No-Credit (i.e., satisfactory [S]/unsatisfactory [U]) basis. These Credit/No-Credit units for first-year students in spring 2021 will not count against the 8 self-selected units available for second- and third-year students to take upper-level courses on a Credit/No-Credit basis. First-year students can petition to change the grading option in one doctrinal course in spring 2021 up until noon on April 1, 2021. Changes to the grading option by first-year students must be approved in writing for good cause by the Assistant Dean for Student Services. The Assistant Dean for Student Services will not process a change to the grading option for a first-year student unless the student has met first with the Career Development Office to discuss the potential impacts of changing the grading option. To initiate the petition process, please fill out an academic petition at the following page: https://apps.law.uci.edu/academic-petitions/

In order to receive credit for a law course taken credit/no credit, a law student must obtain a minimum grade of C- (1.7).

All examinations will be graded anonymously.

Required Medians and Grade Distributions

All first-year courses have a required median of B+ and the following grade distribution:

A+ As outlined below.
A 19% - 23%
A- 19% - 23%
B+ 19% - 23%
B 19% - 23%
B- or below 14% - 18%

For Academic Year 2020-2021, the grade distribution for all first-year courses has been adjusted to the following:

A+ As outlined below.
A 19% - 23%
A- 19% - 23%
B+ 19% - 23%
B or below 33% - 41%

Advanced, non-clinical courses with enrollment of 25 or more J.D. students have a required median of B+ (3.3) and the following grade distribution: 

A+ As outlined below.
A, A- 33% - 39%
B+, B 41% - 45%
B- or below 14% - 18%

For Academic Year 2020-2021, the grade distribution for all advanced, non-clinical courses with enrollment of 25 or more J.D. students has been adjusted to the following:

A+ As outlined below.
A, A- 33% - 39%
B+ or below 55% - 63%

Instructors are encouraged, but not required, to give roughly the same number of, respectively, A, A-, B+, and B grades.

In all advanced, non-clinical courses with enrollment of 16 to 24 J.D. students, no more than 50% of grades shall be in the A-range (i.e., A+, A, or A-), and no more than 50% of grades shall be a B- or below.

In all advanced courses with enrollment of 5 to 15 J.D. students, and for all non-advanced clinical courses, the following restrictions apply:

  • For courses with an even number of students, no more than 50% of students may receive grades of A+ or A, and no more than 50% of students may receive grades of B- or below.
  • For courses with an odd number of students, the course median shall be between A- (3.7) and B (3.0).

All directed research courses, advanced clinics, and all upper-level courses with enrollments of 4 or fewer students shall be subject to no required median or grade distribution.

In all advanced courses, including clinics, and all first-year courses there shall be a required number of A+ grades equal to the following. This chart lists the minimum and maximum number of A+ grades. For example, a course with between 21 and 40 J.D. students must have at least one A+ and at most two A+ grades.

Number of Students Faculty shall give at least the following number of A+ grades: Faculty shall give no more than the following number of A+ grades:
1-20 0 1
21-40 1 2
41-60 2 3
61-80 3 4
81-100 4 5
101-120 5 6
121-140 6 7

Non-J.D. students are not counted in or graded to the required median.  UCI non-law students will be graded according to the Academic Senate grading standards.

J.D. GPAs will not include grades for non-law coursework.

Class Awards

Faculty Award

The student(s) receiving the highest grade in each section of each first year class, with the exception of Legal Research Practicum, will receive the Faculty Award.  The Award is discretionary in upper-level classes.

Dean’s Award

The student(s) receiving the second highest grade in each section of each first year class, with the exception of Legal Research Practicum, will receive the Dean’s Award.  The Award is discretionary in upper-level classes.

Class Rank

J.D. class rank will not be made public, as per the Academic Rules, Standards and Procedures (PDF).

Incomplete Courses

If a student is unable to complete the requirements for a course for reasons that the student has disclosed to the Assistant Dean for Student Services, the Assistant Dean for Student Services will consult with the instructor in order to arrange for the student to receive a grade of Incomplete for the course. The instructor and the student will agree on a deadline date for the completion of the course requirements in a written and signed document which will be placed in the student’s file until such time as he or she completes the course requirements and the Incomplete grade is changed by the instructor to a letter grade.

Failure to complete the course requirements within agreed deadline date will result in the Incomplete grade transformed to the letter grade of "F" and will appear on the student transcript, as per the Academic Rules, Standards and Procedures (PDF).

To request the Incomplete be changed to a letter grade, a student must fill out a form available in the Law Registrar's Office.

Spring 2020 Mandatory Credit/No Credit Grading Policy

Statement of UCI Law Dean L. Song Richardson Regarding Mandatory Credit/No Credit Grading Policy for Spring 2020 (PDF)

UC Irvine School of Law implemented a mandatory credit/no credit grading policy for spring 2020 semester courses.

All transcripts include the following notation:          

Due to Covid-19, SPR2020 Law Grades Reqd S/U
Exception: Short Sessn & WTR QTR Grades Post

Final grades for yearlong courses ending in spring 2020 also receive a grade of credit/no credit.

January 2020 short session courses and winter quarter courses cross-listed with the law school may have letter grades.

A grade of credit is given for a performance that is the equivalent of a C- or higher.

Credit will be indicated by “S” for satisfactory.

No Credit will be indicated by “U” for unsatisfactory.

Median grades and grade distributions do not apply.

Grade-point averages will be recalculated at the end of the fall 2020 semester