Each year more than 2,000 applicants seek to be admitted to the first-year JD class of approximately 195 students at the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto. Admission is, therefore, extremely competitive. Recent JD classes have had median undergraduate averages of about 86 percent and median LSAT scores of 168, rendering our JD student body among the most academically accomplished of any in North America.

The law school has recently (June 2012) decided to adopt a new grading scale for the JD program. The new grading scale will take effect for the incoming JD class of September 2012. The new grading scale is expected to more accurately reflect the high quality of the academic work produced by the students in the JD program.

The new scale will grade students on a modified honours-pass-fail basis. The most commonly awarded grade under this new system will be a “Pass with Merit.” A grade of Pass with Merit on a transcript indicates that the student has performed at a level that is consistent with the high level of performance of the student’s colleagues in the JD program. Under the new system course work that significantly exceeds the standard level of performance of the strong students in the JD program will be awarded a grade of “Honours.” A grade of Honours in a course indicates that the student’s command of the subject exceeds the standard set by the majority of his or her accomplished JD classmates. Truly outstanding performance in a course will be distinguished under the new grading system with a grade of “High Honours.” High honours grades will be reserved for performances that indicate elite performance among a group of highly accomplished peers. A marginal yet still passing performance in a course will be awarded a grade of “Low Pass.” A grade of Low Pass indicates that while a student’s performance is sufficient to receive academic credit, the student nevertheless did not achieve the level of performance generally reached by his or her classmates in the JD program.

Thus, the grading system for JD students commencing their studies in September 2012 or later will be as follows:

Grading Scale for Students Entering the JD Program in September 2012 or Later

Label

Meaning 

HH 

High Honours

H

Honours

P

Pass with Merit

LP

Low Pass

F  

Fail

Students who commenced the JD program prior to September 2012 will continue to be graded according to our previous grading system, as follows:

Grading Scale for Students Entering the JD Program in September 2011 or Earlier

Letter Grades

Definitions 

Excellent

B+

Very Good

Good

C+

Highly Satisfactory

C  

Satisfactory

Marginal

Inadequate

Note that the grading system used for students who entered the JD program prior to September 2012 does not make use of a number of grades that are part of the University of Toronto undergraduate grading scale. More specifically, the previous JD grading scale does not make use of the grades A+, A-, B-, or C-, D+ or D-.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Career Development Office if we can be of further assistance. 

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