« Vacancy #2 on Supreme Court 2012 - Viewing the applications: The ages of the applicants | Main | Vacancy #2 on Supreme Court 2012 - Gender is a qualification »

Monday, July 09, 2012

Vacancy #2 on Supreme Court 2012 - Viewing the applications: the law school grades of the applicants

Ind. University-Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor Joel Schumm has prepared for the ILB an introductory review of the materials submitted by the candidates for the upcoming vacancy on the Indiana Supreme Court. This entry is on the applicants' grades. See also the earlier entries on the applicants' ages and letters of recommendation.

It has become a tradition here on the ILB to report the law school grades and class rank of applicants. As described in an earlier entry: First on the list of statutory “considerations” for each member of the judicial nominating commission to weigh in evaluating Supreme Court applicants is “Legal education, including law schools attended and education after law school, and any academic honors and awards achieved.” Ind. Code § 33-27-3-2(a)(1).

Question IV.B. on the application form directed candidates: “List below all law schools and post-J.D. programs attended. Attach a certified transcript from each to the original application and attach copies of each transcript to each application copy.”

In addition, the form asked for "Degree and Class Rank."

The next question asked applicants to “[d]escribe any academic honors, awards, and scholarships you received and when.”

As in prior years, some applicants disclosed GPA and class rank on their applications while others did not. The completed applications will soon be posted online, but the transcripts may only be reviewed in person.

The following list, which was compiled by reviewing both the applications and the transcripts, is sorted by GPA and offered with the caveat that grading practices at some law schools have changed over the years.

Vorhees Notre Dame 3.671 “3 or 4”/180
Clark IU-Maurer 3.57 Top 10%
Fisher IU-Maurer 3.55 Top 10%
Kozicki Loyola (Chicago) 3.47 46/170
Joven IU-Maurer 3.39 Top 20%
Lewis Loyola (Chicago) 3.38 54/145
Orr IU-McKinney 3.33 Top 15%
Slaughter IU-Maurer 3.29 Top 15%
Gooden IU-McKinney 3.22 __
Tavitas Notre Dame 3.157 __
Rush IU-Maurer 3.12 Approx. Top 24%
Hardman IU-Maurer 2.93 __
Parsons IU-McKinney 2.93 80/219
Brown IU-Maurer 2.86 __
Metzel IU-McKinney 2.86 __
Bradford IU-McKinney 2.74 104/185
Willis IU-McKinney 2.74 __
Kuzma IU-Maurer 2.7 Top 34.7%
Young IU-McKinney 2.57 __
Nation IU-McKinney 2.45 __
Roper IU-McKinney 2.32 “Low 25%”
Gull Valparaiso non-traditional grades __

How much do grades matter in the selection process? At a recent IBA Young Lawyers Division Luncheon, Judge Tim Oakes asked rhetorically when was the last time a summa or magna cum laude law school graduate was chosen through merit selection. The answer would appear to be Justice Ted Boehm, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School who was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court by Governor Bayh in 1996.

Here are links to the grades of applicants for the 2010 and 2012 Supreme Court vacancies.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 9, 2012 09:13 AM
Posted to Vacancy #2 on Supreme Court 2012