FAQ: Grading, Honors, Journals, & Competing Teams

Grade Cutoff Points (Ranking Chart) – After Spring 2024

Class of 2024 (Recent Graduates)
• Top 10% = 3.781
• Top One-Third = 3.526
• Top One-Half = 3.401

Class of 2025 (3Ls)
• Top 10% = 3.780
• Top One-Third = 3.495
• Top One-Half = 3.358

Class of 2026 (2Ls)
• Top 10% = 3.797
• Top One-Third = 3.527
• Top One-Half = 3.367

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.

Chancellors Scholarship

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.

Gressman-Pollitt Awards

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.

Dean’s List

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:

Competing Teams

Holderness Moot Court

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.

Broun National Trial Team

The Broun National Trial Team gives students the opportunity to gain skills and experience in trial and litigation techniques.