Grading Criteria for the College of Law Legal Clinic
1. Grade Scale
- Grades will be assessed on the following scale: A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D, or F.
- Grades for the Clinic will be based on student performance in the following areas:
Class Preparation and Participation
- An A represents exemplary quality in all aspects of the student’s work. To earn an A, a student must attend and actively participate in all classes and case conferences; demonstrate a complete and thorough understanding of the facts and legal issues involved in each of her cases; show that all of her files and case action sheets are complete, up-to-date and well-documented; conduct herself in a courteous, respectful and professional manner at all times; demonstrate initiative and significant case development; adopt a genuinely client-centered approach to her case work; develop the habits of a reflective practitioner; arrive at all appointments, including interviews and court appearances, on time and thoroughly prepared; collaborate well with colleagues; fulfill each and every core course requirement; support every decision with sound research, critical analysis, and consideration for all reasonably foreseeable consequences; and keep the clinical faculty fully and completely advised of all matters pertinent to her representation –all in an exemplary manner.
- A B+ represents outstanding quality in all aspects of the student’s work. To earn a B+, a student must demonstrate that she achieved all of the goals that an A represents in a manner worthy of special recognition but not perfect in every respect.
- A B represents excellent quality in all aspects of the student’s work. To earn a B, a student must demonstrate that she strived to achieve all of the goals that an A represents.
- A C+ represents above-average quality in most aspects of the student’s work. To earn a C+, a student must make substantial progress towards the attainment of the goals set forth above.
- A C represents average quality work. To earn a C, a student must fulfill every core course requirement.
- A D+ represents below-average work. To earn a D, a student must have failed to fulfill one or more core course requirement.
- A D represents unacceptable work. To earn a D, a student must not only have failed to fulfill one or more core course requirement, but must also have neglected a client or a legal matter in a non-fatal manner.
- An F represents failing work. To earn an F, a student must have knowingly or recklessly committed an act that would constitute malpractice if the student were licensed to practice law.
2. Case Work (50%)
Fifty percent of the grade will be based on the student’s representation of his or her clinic clients. Clinic faculty will evaluate student performance in the areas of professional competence, legal analysis, productivity, resourcefulness, independent thinking, and skills development.
3. Class Preparation and Participation (20%)
Twenty percent of the grade will be based on the student’s preparation for and participation in classroom sessions and case conferences. Students are expected to attend all sessions, complete all readings and classroom assignments, and actively engage in all class discussions and exercises.
4. Journals (20%)
Twenty percent of the grade will be based on the quality and timeliness of the student’s journals. Journals will be assessed on the basis of the student’s development of the following thinking skills:
Comprehension: the ability to explain, interpret, and make use of information;
Application: the ability to solve problems by applying law to facts;
Analysis: the ability to break down information into constituent parts in order to make the relationship among the parts clear;
Synthesis: the ability to pull together a variety of ideas, viewpoints, problems, or concepts into a single framework or pattern;
Synthesis Evaluation: the ability to make sound judgments about the use, value, and implications of information.
5. Professionalism (10%)
Ten percent of the grade will be based on the level of professionalism the student demonstrates over the course of the semester. Clinical faculty will evaluate each student’s degree of professionalism in terms of working relationships, reliability, accountability, self-motivation, and professional responsibility.