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Academic Standards and Related Procedures - MLS


A. The Anonymous Grading System

To ensure fairness in final course grades, the School of Law uses an anonymous grading system for examinations. In those courses which examinations are graded anonymously (experiential courses and seminars are generally the only exception), students must place only their exam number on the exam or course paper.  Students are therefore also cautioned against writing anything in exams or course papers that is extrinsic to the subject matter of the course, that might develop instructor sympathy, or that has behind it other non-objective motives.  When aspects of a course are graded without anonymity, such as when a paper assignment cannot be graded anonymously or grading consideration is given for class participation, the Records Office combines the anonymous and non-anonymous scores into one final grade.  Also, M.L.S. students are graded “off” the J.D. curve.  As such, depending on how many M.L.S. students are in a given course, anonymity might not be possible if the M.L.S numbers are so few that any submission identifies the student.

  1. Anonymous grading imposes reciprocal obligations.  No student shall—on an  exam or any other assignment that is graded anonymously course paper, or in any other manner prior to the time exam or course grades are officially completed and submitted—purposefully reveal to the course professor facts identifying by name, or otherwise providing information concerning the identity of, the author of a particular exam or other any other assignment that is graded anonymously.
  2. If a professor determines there is probable cause to believe that a violation of this rule has occurred with respect to an exam or paper in his/her course, s/he shall report this determination to the Dean of Students.
  3. If there is a concurrence in the professor's probable cause determination, the student may be subject to the provisions regarding student conduct and procedures governing student discipline contained in the UCLA Student Conduct Code.

B. Grading Scale

For Grading Scale, see the UCLA’s Registrar webpage.
Exceptions to the above Grading Scale are that the Law grade of “P” will be the equivalent of the Graduate Division grade of “S” and the Law grade of “NC” will be the equivalent to the Graduate Division grade of “U.”

C. Distribution of Grades

There is no mandatory distribution of grades for M.L.S. students whether they are in courses with J.D. students or courses with only M.L.S. students. 

D. Grade for Class Performance/Participation

In addition to the grade determined on an anonymous basis, an instructor may give a grade for class performance.  This grade may be in the form of an increase or decrease, not exceeding one grading unit (e.g., B to B+ or  B–, C+ to B– or to C), or it may be in the form of “points” awarded so long as the points provided for class participation do not exceed 20% of the total points available for the course.   An instructor must announce not later than the end of the first week of instruction that grades for class performance will or may be given.  The announcement may be verbal, included in the syllabus, or posted on the instructor’s webpage. 

The grade for class performance should reflect the quality (as distinguished from mere quantity) of a student’s participation in class discussion.  A student should never be penalized for asking questions.  However, the class performance grade may reflect a student’s attendance, level of preparation for class and/or performance on assigned exercises.     

In courses for which grading is not primarily anonymous, such as seminars, letter-graded experiential courses and “hybrid” courses in which grading is only partially anonymous (determined by a non-anonymous paper and an anonymous exam), participation can count for more than one grading unit at the professor’s discretion.

E. Pass/No Credit Grading

For Pass/No Credit grading is equivalent to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading. See the UCLA’s Registrar webpage.

F. The One-Time Prospective Pass/No Credit Option

Students may prospectively elect to be graded on a Pass/No Credit basis in no more than one (1) course, carrying no more than four (4) semester units of credit.  This option must be elected by the last day of instruction. 

The above option applies to courses in which letter grades would otherwise be assigned.  

This option, once elected, shall not be revocable or transferable, even if hindsight proves conclusively that a different choice would have been more beneficial. 

G. Grade Change Rule

 For grade change rules, see the UCLA’s Registrar webpage.

H. Repetition of Courses

For repetition of courses, see the UCLA’s Registrar webpage.