Grade Cutoff Points (Ranking Chart) – After Spring 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNC School of Law will not rank the first-year students (Class of 2022) until the end of the Fall 2020 semester. For the Spring 2020 semester, all law grades were assigned on a pass/fail basis.
Class of 2020 (3Ls)
- Top 10% = 3.720
- Top 33.3% = 3.532
- Top 50% = 3.400
Class of 2021 (2Ls)
- Top 10% = 3.760
- Top 33.3% = 3.480
- Top 50% = 3.342
Class of 2022 (1Ls)
- Top 10% = TBD
- Top 33.3% = TBD
- Top 50% = TBD
Grading Policy FAQ
First-year students are not ranked until after two semesters of grades have been recorded. These rankings are typically not available until mid- to late June.
For second- and third-year students (and graduates starting with the Class of 2009*), only the top 10 students in each class receive an individual class rank. For the rest of the class, grade cutoff points for the top 10 percent, top third and top half of each class are communicated to students, and the most recent cutoffs will appear here on the UNC Law website (see link below).
After the first year, rankings are redone each semester, and the grade cutoffs will vary from semester to semester and from class to class. Therefore, inter-class comparisons are not valid, though intra-class comparisons within the same time frame are. Additional grade cut-off information is made available to third-year students solely for use in judicial clerkship applications.
The grading scale ranges from a high grade of A (4.0), A- (3.7), B+ (3.3), B (3.0), B- (2.7), C+ (2.3), C (2.0), C- (1.7), D+ (1.3), to a low passing grade of D (1.0).
An A+ (4.3) may be awarded in exceptional situations (e.g., an A+ should not be awarded as a matter of course to the top student in each class, but only if the top student’s performance is exceptional compared to the next student in the class). There is no D-; a failing grade is F (0.0).
Faculty members will report letter grades (with pluses and minuses, as appropriate) to the registrar. Some designated courses are graded on a pass-fail basis.
The law school’s highest merit-based award is the Chancellors Scholarship, a renewable scholarship covering full tuition and fees, that is awarded to a small number of students in each first-year class.
Certificate of Merit
The Certificate of Merit is awarded at a professor’s discretion to the student or students who achieve the highest grade in the class.
The Eugene Gressman & Daniel H. Pollitt Oral Advocacy Awards, given by faculty of the Writing and Learning Resources Center, recognize outstanding oral advocacy in the first-year Research, Reasoning, Writing, and Advocacy (RRWA) Program.
The top 50% of the class in any semester is eligible for the Dean’s List provided he or she has no grades of Incomplete or Absent from Final Exam (AB). Dean’s List for first-year students are also awarded but is not announced for the fall semester until the end of the first year along with the spring semester awards.
The law school awards honors designations to students who graduate with high grade point averages.
- Highest Honors = any student achieving a 4.0 or higher
- High Honors = the top 10%
- Honors = the top one-third of the class
Order of the Coif
The top 10% of the graduating class is eligible for election by the faculty into the Order of the Coif. Only students who have completed at least 75 percent of their law studies in graded courses are eligible for consideration.
The following are the journals at the UNC School of Law:
- North Carolina Law Review
- North Carolina Banking Institute Journal
- North Carolina Journal of International Law
- North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology
- First Amendment Law Review
The Holderness Moot Court Program gives law students the opportunity to develop practical skills in legal research and writing, client counseling, appellate oral advocacy, and negotiation.
The Broun National Trial Team gives students the opportunity to gain skills and experience in trial and litigation techniques.