Student Bar Association talks transitioning law classes to Pass/No Pass basis

Student Bar Association senators discussed the possibility of transitioning law classes to a Pass/No Pass grading scale at its meeting Tuesday.

Officials announced last week that the deans of six of GW’s 10 schools, excluding GW Law School, will allow undergraduate students to take “most” of their classes on a pass/fail basis after administrators moved classes online for the rest of the semester. SBA senators said law school officials approached the body and asked it to administer a survey to law school students about moving to pass/fail, and the body debated releasing the results of the survey at the meeting.

SBA President Damilola Arowolaju said Emily Hammond, the law school’s senior associate dean for academic affairs, will report the survey’s findings at a faculty meeting Wednesday, where law school officials will listen to faculty discuss the possibility of moving classes to a pass/fail basis. Either the faculty or interim Dean Chris Bracey will decide whether the school will implement any changes to its pass/fail guidelines, he said.

Arowolaju said administrators have solicited input from alumni, law firms and other “interested parties” as they work toward making their decision.

He added that the executive leadership of the SBA decided not to release data from the survey “to maintain professionalism and integrity.”

But some senators expressed disagreement with the SBA executive branch’s decision not to release the information. SBA Sen. Andrew Trinker said the body should release some, but maybe not all, of the survey’s data to the senate and student body, while Student Association Sen. AJ Link, Law-G, said he is concerned about officials using undisclosed results to justify their decision.

“If the administration and the faculty decide that they want to keep letter grades for whatever reason, it looks like they’re not providing the information given by students as a shield for their decision,” Link said.

Arowolaju said the executive branch will take the request to release data “under advisement.”

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