by WSJ.com

How promising a lawyer was young Elena Kagan? Judging by her grades at Harvard Law School, you'd be lucky if she was drawing up a contract for you, but maybe less so if you wanted to sue someone over a fender-bender.

As part of her 1986 Supreme Court clerkship application, Kagan filed her most recent transcript, giving a snapshot of her academic interests and performance. She got a B- (her worst grade) in Torts. She did marginally better in Criminal Law, with a B, and managed a B+ in Administrative Law. For the rest, it was all A or A-, except for passing ungraded courses in Accounting and Copyright.

Five Harvard professors, writing separate letters of recommendation in her third year, left no doubt of her potential, however.

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