2017-18 Bulletin of the Duke University School of Law

Scholastic Standards 51 The following are abbreviated versions of some of the most frequently asked questions about Duke Law School’s rules and policies. For a complete listing, please visit http://law.duke.edu/about/community/rules/ . Grading Policy Duke Law School uses a slightly modified form of the traditional 4.0 scale. The modification permits faculty to recognize especially distinguished performance with grades above a 4.0. There is an enforced maximum median grade of 3.3 in all first-year courses and in all upper-level courses with fifty or more students. Beginning in September 2012, distribution of grades in these classes is required as follows: Numerical Grade Percentage of Class 4.1-4.3 0-5% 3.5-4.0 20-40% 3.2-3.4 30-50% 2.8-3.1 20-40% 2.0-2.7 0-5% There is also a forced maximum median grade of 3.5 in upper-level courses with enrollments of ten to forty-nine students. A grade higher than 4.0 would be comparable to an A+ under letter grading systems. A grade of 1.5 is failing. The transcripts of students who enrolled at Duke in 2003-2004 or earlier reflect two slightly different grading scales. Through the academic year 2003-2004, the first year for most of the Class of 2006, the enforced maximum median grade was a 3.1 and faculty were permitted to give a limited number of grades of up to 4.5. The scale in effect beginning 2004-2005 and through Spring 2012 had an enforced maximum median of 3.3 and the highest possible grade has been lowered to 4.3. Graduation Honors and Class Rank Duke Law School recognizes the achievement of attaining and maintaining high grades through graduation honors. Order of the Coif membership is awarded to the top 10 percent of the graduating class, based on all grades. Highest Honors, or the summa cum laude designation, is awarded to the top two percent of the graduating class based on all grades; High Honors, (magna cum laude) are awarded to the top 15 percent of the graduating class, based on grades earned in upper-level courses; and Honors (cum laude) are awarded to the top 35 percent of the graduating class, based on grades earned in upper-level courses. Duke Law School also recognizes the top five percent of the rising third-year class and the graduating class based on all grades. The law school does not release class rank. Maximum Course Loads No first-year student other than a dual-degree student shall take courses other than those of the required first-year program. First-year dual degree students who wish to take law courses other than their required first-year courses must obtain prior permission from the dean’s office. No student shall take for credit courses totaling more than 16 course credits per semester nor audit and take for credit courses totaling more than 17 course credits per semester, except with the permission of the dean’s office. Minimum Course Loads To receive credit for a semester-in-residence, a student shall take for credit courses totaling at least 12 course credits counting toward that student’s law degree requirements, except with the permission of the dean. In no event shall permission be given to a student to take “for credit” courses totaling less than 10 course credits counting toward that student’s law degree requirements per semester or that which may be prescribed by the American Bar Association as the minimum number credits for a semester-in-residence. The above restrictions shall not apply to candidates for the one-year LLM degree programs. Determination of Credit Hours Credit hours allocated to all Law School coursework, including classes, clinics and externships, and regardless of degree program, are determined pursuant to Law School Policy 3-3 . Scholastic Standards

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