The ultimate lawyer joke

Is this revelation in the New York Times about law school grade inflation the ultimate lawyer joke--on us? And maybe lawyers?

One day next month every student at Loyola Law School Los Angeles will awake to a higher grade point average.

But it's not because they are all working harder.

The school is retroactively inflating its grades, tacking on 0.333 to every grade recorded in the last few years. The goal is to make its students look more attractive in a competitive job market.

In the last two years, at least 10 law schools have deliberately changed their grading systems to make them more lenient. These include law schools like New York University and Georgetown, as well as Golden Gate University and Tulane University, which just announced the change this month.


Harvard and Stanford, two of the top-ranked law schools, recently eliminated traditional grading altogether. Like Yale and the University of California, Berkeley, they now use a modified pass/fail system, reducing the pressure that law schools are notorious for. This new grading system also makes it harder for employers to distinguish the wheat from the chaff, which means more students can get a shot at a competitive interview.

But aren't these actions self defeating as recruiters, for whom this grade dishonesty is aimed, simply adjust their expectations, canceling out the presumably wonderful grades? Yes, we are a nation of laws, not (wo)men, so shouldn't all these presumably bright people who slogged through three years of law school (full time; evenings and part time takes longer), often taking on deep debt, have been aware of the lawyer surplus--going on for years--and either dropped out and/or prepared for an alternative career?

There is a shortage of say, good auto mechanics. Or were they blinded by the legal high life portrayed on such soapy television dramas as Boston Legal which impaired their judgment? Is this an indication that lawyers have become still yet another new entitlement class who will now utilize their newly acquired legal skills to sue the government, the schools, the law schools, anyone!, for their right to a legal job?

What do you call a bunch of lawyers with inflated grades without a job? A good beginning. Scary.