Those who advanced (and some who did not) have been actively involved in service to the legal profession through bar associations, Supreme Court agencies and committees, and the broader community. They also had particularly good interviews. Law school grades were seldom mentioned, and, when they were, merely as a passing compliment leading to a broader question.
Of the ten applicants with the highest GPAs, only 30% advanced to the next round (listed by highest rank first): Judge Vorhees, Ms. Lewis, and Mr. Slaughter.
Of the ten applicants with the lowest GPAs, 50% advanced (listed by highest rank first): Ms. Metzel, Judge Bradford, Judge Willis, Mr. Young, and Judge Nation.Schumm notes that an applicant's class rank is probably a better measure of the person's law school performance than their actual grade point average. Unfortunately, many of the applicants did not disclose their class rank, particularly those with a lower GPA. I realize that grades aren't everything, but if you ever had to practice in front of a judge who seems to really struggle to understand the law, you would understand why some would prefer candidates who performed at least better than the average student in law school. Poor performance in law school might also reflect more on a student's poor writing skills than their actual mental aptitude.