To be eligible for the degree of Juris Doctor, a student must complete the following requirements during a period, not more than 84 months after the student has started at the law school or a law school from which CUA has accepted transfer credit:
a. Earn at least 84 semester hours of credit while maintaining a cumulative average of at least 2.15 and a semester average of at least 1.82 (students admitted 2003 through fall 2010) or maintaining a cumulative average of at least 2.25 and a semester average of at least 1.82 (students admitted fall 2011 and subsequently);
b. Satisfactorily complete all First Year Courses.
c. Satisfactorily complete the Upper Level Writing Requirement (see Academic Rule XIII);
d. Satisfactorily complete the Professional Skills Requirement (see Academic Rule XIV);
e. Satisfactorily complete the Professional Responsibility and Constitutional Law II courses;
f. Satisfactorily complete the Transition-to-Practice Requirement (see Academic Rule XV);
g. Attend six professional education programs during their time in law school (see Academic Rule XVI);
A. Registration Dates
Registration dates are listed in the Academic Calendar. Students who fail to register for any courses prior to the first day of class incur a late registration fee. Students may add or drop courses through the Add/Drop period listed on the Academic Calendar. No course may be added after the Add/Drop deadline.
B. Course Loads
A full-time student may not enroll for more than 16 or fewer than 12 credit hours per semester; a part-time student may not enroll for more than 11 hours or fewer than 8 credit hours per semester. Students who seek to deviate from these course load limits must seek written permission from the Office of Academic Affairs.
C. Course Withdrawals
Students are permitted to withdraw from an elective course after the Add/Drop deadline but before mid-semester as long as the resulting course load remains within the limitations specified in Rule II(B) supra. Students who wish to withdraw from an elective course after mid-semester must request permission of both the course instructor and the Office of Academic Affairs. Approval will ordinarily not be given if the resulting course load is below that specified in Rule II(B) supra. In no event will withdrawals be authorized after the last day of class for that semester.
Students enrolled in more than 12 credit hours per semester shall work no more than 20 hours per week. Students desiring to work more than 20 hours per week may not remain in full-time status and should contact the Office of Academic Affairs regarding the possibility of switching to the part-time division.
IV. LIMITATION ON SIMULTANEOUS ENROLLMENT IN OTHER DEGREE PROGRAMS
Due to the intensive nature of law study, students may simultaneously enroll in another degree program outside CUA Law only with the prior approval of the Academic Dean. This prohibition does not apply to students enrolled in a CUA Law joint degree program with another department of CUA.
V. GRADING AND GOOD STANDING
Grades for all students will be based on the following letter-grade scale: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, F (Failure), F* (Administrative Failure)
The grade of F* should be given to students who did not officially withdraw from the course, but who failed to attend and participate in course activities through the last day of classes.
Letter-based grades will be converted to numerical values to calculate grade point averages, to determine class rank, and to determine academic status as follows: A+=4.33; A=4.0; A-=3.67; B+=3.33; B=3.0; B-=2.67; C+=2.33; C=2.0; C-=1.67; D=1.0; F=0; F*=0.
B. Good Standing:
The faculty revised the Good Standing criteria in academic year 2010–2011. The change is effective for the class entering CUA Law in fall 2011and subsequently.
1. To be in good standing, students who entered CUA Law before fall 2011 must:
a. maintain a cumulative average of at least 2.15; and
b. attain a semester average of at least 1.82 for each semester.
A student whose cumulative average falls below 2.15 or whose average falls below 1.82 for any semester is placed on probation (see Rule VII: Probation, Exclusion, and Readmission).
2. To be in good standing students who entered CUA Law fall 2011 and subsequently must:
a. maintain a cumulative average of at least 2.25; and
b. attain a semester average of at least 1.82 for each semester.
A student whose cumulative average falls below 2.25, or whose average falls below 1.82 for any semester, is placed on probation. (see Rule VII: Probation, Exclusion and Readmission).
C. First-year Students: Academic Standing
1. Exclusion: A student whose cumulative average for the first year is below 1.82, and whose average for the spring semester is less than 2.25, will be excluded from CUA Law.
2. Probation: A student whose cumulative average for the first year is below 1.82 but whose average for the spring semester is at least 2.25 will be placed on probation and must then attain an average of at least 2.25 for each semester subsequently and must raise his or her cumulative average to 2.25 by the end of the second semester on probation or be excluded. A student whose cumulative average for the first year is below 2.25, but not below 1.82, will be placed on probation.
3. Class Rank: Academic standing and class rank for first-year students in both the full-time and part-time division will be based on all work completed in the first two semesters. Students will not be ranked at the completion of the first year unless all required courses have been completed and the student does not have any incomplete grades at the time of ranking.
D. Summer School:
Summer school is not a semester. Summer school grades are computed with grades for the succeeding regular semester.
E. Students at Academic Risk
Students who enter CUA Law in fall 2011 and subsequently who, after the first semester of law school, have a GPA below 2.33, will be notified that they are academically at risk. This notification will be by letter and will not appear on the academic transcript.
F. Students with GPA below 2.25 Precluded from Participating in Journal Writing Competition
Students who have a GPA below 2.25 will not be allowed to participate in the Journal Writing Competition.
G. Standards of Grade Distribution
1. The faculty acknowledges the importance of applying grading standards consistently, particularly in required courses, to protect the integrity of those standards as a reliable measure of student performance and to assure that students’ academic averages and class rankings are truly comparable.
2. Where the credentials of entering students have been balanced across sections, as in the first year, or where there is a sufficiently large sample of students in a class, there is no empirical basis to justify widely divergent medians, means, or distributions of grades among those sections and classes. CUA Law, therefore, prescribes mean/median ranges for its courses. This rule applies to first-year courses, upper-division courses, and seminars and clinics. CUA Law prohibits the faculty from submitting grades that are widely divergent from these prescribed ranges. However, under certain circumstances, a faculty member may submit grades that are marginally divergent. The grade ranges become merely advisory in small classes (i.e., classes where there are 16 or fewer students (see below).
3. The distribution of grades shall be as follows:
a. In all first-year courses and upper-division courses, other than seminars, clinics, and small classes covered by Rules V(G)(3)(b) and V(G)(3)(d) below, the grade distribution shall have a mean falling within a range of 3.00–3.30 and an advisory median of B/B+.
b. In seminars and clinics, except those covered in Rule V(G)(3)(d) below, the grade distribution shall have a mean falling within a range of 3.00–3.60 and an advisory median of B/B+. A “seminar” is a course, ordinarily of not more than 20 students, in which students have substantial responsibility for class presentations and discussion. With respect to courses in which credit is based on the submission of a supervised paper or on a supervised clinical performance, the median and mean grades shall be within the same range prescribed for seminars and clinics.
c. Grades at the level of exceptional (A+) will be awarded only when the student’s work for the course is of unusually high quality compared to that expected generally of law students. While grades at the level of unsatisfactory or failure (C-, D, F, or F*) may be uncommon, those grades will be awarded when the student’s work product fails to reflect minimally competent law schoolwork for the course.
d. In any upper-level course where actual student enrollment is 16 or fewer or where the course enrollment cap is 16 or fewer, the mean grade ranges above become advisory rather than mandatory.
4. Enforcement of Distributional Ranges
a. Faculty members are responsible for calculating and verifying themean and median grade for each course (excluding delayed examinations/papers) and for including such information in their submission of grades. The mean and median for each course must fall within the applicable range as indicated above for the appropriate category of the course with the exception provided in Rule V(G)(4)(e) below. For purposes of computing the mean and median only, faculty members shall calculate all grades of C, C-, D or F as a 2.0. However, this has no effect on the calculation of an individual student GPA. Each student will receive the numerical value of whatever grade he or she earns in a course (i.e., an A+ will be calculated as a 4.33; an A will be calculated as a 4.0; an A- will be calculated as 3.67; a B+ will be calculated as a 3.33; a B will be calculated as a 3.0; a B- will be calculated as 2.67; a C+ as a 2.33; C as 2.0; C- as 1.67; a D as 1.0; and an F as 0). In assessing compliance, the top and bottom of the range is the number taken to two decimal points (e.g., 3.00 and not some fraction subject to being rounded off thereto). Whether a mean and median falls within the published range is to be determined after the addition or subtraction of any discretionary steps.
b. After approval by the Academic Dean, the Registrar shall post the mean and median with the grades for all courses.
c. The Academic Dean shall enforce faculty compliance with the published standards of grade distributions.. Such enforcement applies equally to all categories of courses, including electives, as well as staples and first-year courses, with the exception of small classes, covered by Rule V(G)(3)(d). For classes falling within this exception, ranges are advisory rather than mandatory.
d. If a faculty member submits grades outside the published range, the Academic Dean will automatically return them for appropriate adjustment. Grades not adjusted will not be posted and will not be entered into the record.
e. A faculty member may submit a written request for an exception to this rule, with a detailed written justification. The Academic Dean is permitted to make an exception and post grades that are not widely divergent pursuant to such a request. If a faculty member submits grades outside of the published range without the required detailed written justification, the Academic Dean will return the grades for adjustment. Grades not adjusted will not be posted and will not be entered into the record.
f. Transfer students will be subject to the normal academic standing requirements based on work at CUA Law.. However, transfer students will not be ranked during their attendance and will be ranked at graduation only if they complete two-thirds of the work required for the J.D., or 56 credit hours, at CUA Law.
VI. RETAKING REQUIRED COURSES
A. Retaking Required Courses
If a student’s grade in a required course (i.e., all First Year Courses, Professional Responsibility, and Constitutional Law II) is an F or F*, the student must retake the course the next time it is offered in the student’s division. In determining which section of the course should be taken, consideration will be given to the student’s preference, but the Office of Academic Affairs will make the final decision. Both grades will show on the student’s transcript and both grades will be included in the computation of the cumulative average. A student may not retake a class in which a passing grade was received.
B. Retaking Elective Courses
A student may retake a failed elective course. However, both grades will show on the student’s transcript and both grades will be included in the computation of the student’s cumulative average. A student may not retake a class in which a passing grade was received.
A. Probation: Cumulative Average
1. A student placed on probation for failure to maintain the required cumulative average of at least 2.25 (or 2.15 for students who entered CUA Law prior to 2011) must attain a semester average of 2.25 (2.15 for students who entered CUA Law prior to 2011) in the following semester or be excluded from CUA Law.
2. A student placed on probation also must raise his or her cumulative average to at least the required level (2.25 or 2.15 respectively) to be removed from probation. A student whose cumulative average is below the required level at the end of two successive semesters on probation will be excluded from CUA Law.
B. Probation: Semester Average Below 1.82
A student placed on probation for attaining a semester average below 1.82 must attain an average of at least 2.25 (or 2.15 for students who entered CUA Law prior to fall 2011) in the following semester or be excluded from CUA Law.
C. Required Participation in Academic Excellence Program
1. First Year Students: The following students are required to participate in the Academic Excellence Program: a) any student whose average for the fall semester falls within the lowest 15 percent of the class; b) any student who has received the grade of D or F in any course; and c) any student referred by the Office of Academic Affairs. Each of these students must develop and implement a written individual academic plan approved by the Assistant Dean for Student Support. No first-year student required by this rule to participate in the Academic Excellence Program will be permitted to register for courses in the fall semester until the student provides the Office of Academic Affairs with a statement, signed by the Assistant Dean for Student Support, confirming that the requirements of this rule have been satisfied.
2. Upper Division Students: An upper-division student placed on probation is required to participate in the Academic Excellence Program. Such students must develop and implement a written individual academic plan approved by the Assistant Dean for Student Support. No student required by this rule to participate in the Academic Excellence Program will be permitted to register for courses in any subsequent semester until the student provides the Office of Academic Affairs with a statement signed by the Assistant Dean for Student Support confirming that the requirements of this rule have been satisfied.
3. All Students: In addition to the categories above, the Dean, the Academic Dean, or their designees have the discretion to mandate participation in the Academic Excellence Program on an individual basis.
D. Probation Will Not be Repeated
A student who has been restored to good standing and who subsequently attains an average of less than 1.82 for any semester, or whose cumulative average falls below 2.25 (or 2.15 for students who entered CUA Law prior to fall 2011) will be excluded from CUA Law without being given a second probation period.
E. Readmission Following Exclusion
1. As a general policy, students excluded for academic deficiency will not be readmitted to CUA Law. The faculty will consider an excluded student’s petition for readmission upon a showing of special circumstances affecting his or her academic performance while here or substantially changed circumstances since the exclusion.
2. An excluded student will be considered for readmission only once and normally will not be considered within the first year following exclusion. Any student who wishes the faculty to waive the one-year waiting period must request such waiver in writing and give reasons therefore.
3. An excluded student seeking readmission must be able to complete the remaining work for the degree within the maximum period of candidacy (84 months from the date the student first commenced law study).
4. Student representatives to the faculty and to any faculty committees are not permitted to vote on matters pertaining to a student’s petition for readmission.
5. A student who is readmitted following exclusion must, in the first year of readmission, repeat all required courses in which he or she did not previously receive grades of C or better.. Only prior work completed with grades of C or better will be applied toward degree requirements. A student’s cumulative average after the first semester following readmission will include courses completed prior to exclusion in which the student earned a grade of C or better.
6. Required standards of performance following readmission differ depending on how much work has been completed at the time of exclusion:
a. A student readmitted to CUA Law after the first year of law school work must attain an average of at least 1.82 in the first semester following readmission and must maintain a cumulative average of at least 2.25 (or 2.15 for students who initially entered CUA Law prior to fall 2011) by the end of the second semester after readmission.
b. A student readmitted to CUA Law after accumulating academic credit beyond the first year of law school work must attain an average of at least 2.25 (or 2.15 for students who initially entered CUA Law prior to fall 2011)in the first semester following readmission and must maintain a cumulative average of at least 2.25 (or 2.15 for students who initially entered CUA Law prior to fall 2011..
c. A readmitted student who does not meet the required standard of performance following readmission will be excluded from CUA Law without being given a further probation period.
VIII. CLASS ATTENDANCE AND COURSE REQUIREMENTS
A. Class Attendance
Regular and punctual attendance at class meetings or equivalent course exercises is a condition of receiving credit in all courses. If a student misses more than two hours of class for each credit hour assigned to the course, the instructor may direct the Office of Academic Affairs to exclude the student from the course. Instructors in limited-enrollment courses (seminars, clinics, simulations, etc.) may set stricter attendance rules for those courses, including required attendance at the first or other specified class meetings. If a student fails to meet these requirements, the instructor may direct the Office of Academic Affairs to exclude the student from the course. Each instructor is responsible for announcing and enforcing the specific attendance policy for that course.
Repeated exclusion from classes for violation of these rules shall be grounds for dismissal from CUA Law upon a vote of the faculty.
B. Course Requirements
Individual instructors are free to determine their own teaching method and materials and whether the grade in their course will be based on examination, a research paper, a combination of the two, or pursuant to Rule IX. Individual instructors also may designate prerequisites or co-requisites for their courses.
A Written Examination
Except as provided in sections B – D below, each student’s grade shall be based solely on anonymous written examination(s) administered pursuant to Rule X.
B. Courses Exempt by Category
Lawyering Skills Program courses, clinical courses, externship courses, simulated lawyering skills courses, seminars, and all courses that satisfy the Writing Requirement pursuant to Rule XIII are not governed by Rule IX (A). Instructors in those courses may establish other criteria on which to base grades. The criteria must be set forth in writing and distributed to the students in the course at or before the first class meeting.
C. Instructor Option Regarding Student Work Product
1. In any one-semester course other than those listed in paragraph IX (B), at the instructor’s option, up to 30 percent of the final grade may be based on student work product other than the final examination. In any two-semester course other than those listed in paragraph IX (B), at the instructor’s option,up to 30 percent of the final grade may be based on student work product other than the semester-end examination(s).
2. The student work product that comprises the non-examination portion of the final grade may consist of answers to written problems; research or drafting assignments; periodic quizzes; a mid-semester test; classroom demonstrations, presentations, or reports; individual or team exercises such as simulations of interviews, depositions, arguments, hearings, negotiations, or any other activity during the semester that can be objectively assessed and compared among students.
3. Any instructor intending to base a portion of the final grade on student work product other than a final examination must make that election, set forth the criteria for the grade in writing, and distribute the criteria to the students in the course at or before the first class meeting. The instructor may not add non-examination grading component criteria after the initial distribution of the criteria to the students. Previously announced non-examination grading criteria may be eliminated or changed by the instructor so long as the change is made in writing and distributed to the students before the last day of classes.
4. When final grades are submitted to the Academic Affairs Office, the instructor must submit a written worksheet or compilation that identifies the non-examination component(s) for each student.
5. The instructor should grade the non-examination components on an anonymous basis whenever feasible.
D. Instructor Option Regarding Classroom Performance
At the instructor’s option, the instructor’s assessment of classroom performance, may raise or lower a student’s grade for the course by a single letter-grade step. A single letter-grade step change is a change from an A to an A+ or A-, from a B+ to an A- or B, etc. However, no grade of D or F may be created or altered though addition or subtraction of a step under this section. The grades for the class, including any classroom performance steps, must meet the grade distribution requirements of Rule V(G).
Anonymous written examinations are conducted in all courses at the end of each semester, except as provided in Rule IX.
A. Times and Place for Examinations
Examinations will be administered according to a posted schedule during a specific period following the end of all regular class meetings. All exams must be taken during that period unless a grade of “Incomplete” is entered for good cause. The posted examination schedule will designate specific starting times for exams and will be issued in draft form no later than the beginning of the semester. Examinations that deviate from the time limits set in Rule X(C) below must be identified at that time.
Faculty members or others hired for the purpose of administering examinations will be assigned as proctors for each room in which examinations are being taken. Proctors will distribute and collect exams in the assigned room and will remain in the room during the exam.
C. Time Limits for Examinations
The duration of all in-class examinations will be between one and four hours, as determined by the instructor. In non-required courses, an in-class examination may exceed the four-hour limit on the condition that students are advised of that longer duration no later than the first day of class.
The amount of time allowed will be stated on the examination itself, and this time is absolute. At the stated expiration time, all students must turn in all examination materials promptly to the proctor. The proctor is instructed to notify the Office of Academic Affairs regarding the examination papers of students who continue to write past the time limit. Any student who is unavoidably late for the beginning of an examination may see the Academic Dean or the Academic Dean’s designee, who may extend the deadline for that student for sufficient reason. Similarly, students who become ill during an exam should report the illness to the proctor. The proctor will collect that student’s examination materials and will report the illness to the Academic Dean or the Academic Dean’s designee, who may extend the deadline or reschedule the exam.
D. Rescheduling of Examinations
1. Students may request the rescheduling of examinations because of personal or family illness, an emergency, or an exam conflict. Any rescheduling will be to the earliest possible date following the originally scheduled time at which all other rescheduled students will be available to take the examination. No examination will be rescheduled to a time prior to the time at which the examination period starts. Examinations will be rescheduled in advance of the regularly scheduled time only in extraordinary circumstances. In these instances, the affected instructor will be consulted by the Academic Affairs Office prior to making such an accommodation.
2. If a student has two exams in less than 48 hours (the 48-hour period is computed from the starting time for each exam), one exam will be rescheduled so that the exams will be at least 48 hours apart.
3. Reasons of personal convenience do not warrant rescheduling examinations.
4. Matters relating to employment do not generally warrant rescheduling of examinations. Students who are required by their employers to travel outside of the area may submit documentation of the travel requirement to the Academic Affairs Office to request rescheduling
5. Take-home exams and paper due dates are excluded from rescheduling considerations.
E. Failure to Appear for Scheduled Examination
Any student who, without approved rescheduling, fails to appear for an examination at the time scheduled will receive an F for that exam.
F. General Examination Format
Examinations will consist of a series of questions or problems dealing with the subject matter of the course. In preparing examinations, instructors may designate the weight or timeallocation for each question or problem.
G. Take-Home Examinations
An instructor is permitted to give a take-home examination in any course. Take-home exams should be distributed and returned at fixed times, and the time allotted should be neither so short nor so long as to interfere with other examinations being administered. Policies stated above with respect to deadlines, and failure to appear apply to both in-school and take-home exams. Instructors should avoid using the take-home format as a substitute for a term research paper, and should write the exam in a manner so that it can be answered from required course materials.
Take-home exams should be written in the same format as regular exams and should be returnable within a maximum of 48 hours after distribution. The instructor should specify appropriate amounts of time for preparing and writing exam answers and should set maximum page or word limits for the exam.
H. Materials in Examination Rooms
Instructors should announce in class, advise the proctor, and indicate on the examination questions what materials, if any, students may bring into the examination room. Any other notes, books, or materials must be placed out of reach. Cell phones must be turned off and placed with other materials out of reach. Students are allowed to use earplugs during the exam. Students are not allowed to use the headphones from any electronic device.
I. Anonymity of Examinations
Examinations are taken and graded anonymously. Students are responsible for obtaining exam numbers according to procedures set by the Office of Academic Affairs. Students must identify their exams using only their exam number. To preserve grading anonymity, students are prohibited from contacting current semester faculty on grade-related matters between the date that the exam is administered and the date that the grades are posted in Cardinal Station.
J. Review of Exams C+ or Below
Any student who receives a grade of C+ or below in any course is required to meet with the instructor to review and discuss the examination and the model answer prepared by the instructor. For grades received in the spring term, this review must occur no later than four weeks after the start of fall classes. For grades received in the fall term, this review must occur no later than six weeks after the start of spring classes. No student required to review an examination by this rule will be permitted to register for courses taken in the semester subsequent to the semester when the grade was posted unless the student provides the Office of Academic Affairs with a statement signed by the instructor assigning the grade of C+ or below, confirming that this requirement has been satisfied. The limitation on registering for courses shall apply up to, but not including, the registration period for courses to be taken in the last semester of the student's legal study.
A. Students in all courses are expected to complete their coursework within the semester in which the course is offered. In examination courses this means taking the exam at the time scheduled. In courses in which research papers comprise all or part of the coursework, such papers must be submitted at the times fixed by the instructor, but in no event later than the last day of scheduled exams for the semester.
B. When a student is unable to complete the course requirements (other than examinations) on the due date because of illness or other hardship, the student should advise the instructor promptly. The instructor may then direct the entry of a grade of “Incomplete” for the course. Incomplete grades must be made up at a time determined by the instructor and, in any event, no later than mid-semester of the following semester, as noted in the Academic Calendar. Incomplete grades shall be used only in extraordinary cases and shall not be used when the student simply has failed to complete coursework. A student whose transcript reflects a grade of incomplete will not be officially ranked. Failure to complete coursework on the due date or, in the case of an incomplete, by the middle of the following semester, will result in the entry of a grade of F for the course.
C. No grade of “Incomplete” may be given for Summer School courses.
A. Availability of Grades
Final course grades are available through Cardinal Students.
B. Class Rank
Class ranks for J.D. students will be computed after each spring semester and upon graduation. Students completing their degrees in summer or mid-year will be ranked with J.D. students finishing in the following May. Transfer students will not be ranked during law school, and will be ranked at graduation only if they complete at least two thirds of the required credits for the J.D., i.e., 56 credits, at CUA Law.
C. Grade Changes
All course grades are considered final once submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs. The Academic Dean may change an otherwise final grade only on written certification from the instructor that either: (1) the final grade reflects an incorrect mathematical computation or recordation or (2) in determining the particular exam or paper grade, the instructor evaluated the student’s work differently from that of all others in the course. (The latter criterion does not contemplate changes in the classroom performance [Rule IX(D)] portion of any final grade).
No final grade will be changed merely to restore a student to good standing, to assure academic credit for the course, or to improve class rank at this institution or any other; or because, on review, the instructor is persuaded the student had a better (or worse) grasp of the course material than the exam or paper evidenced on its face.
In no event may any final grade be changed unless the instructor’s written certification reaches the Academic Dean by the middle of the semester following that for which the grade was entered.
D. Submission of Grades
Instructors are expected to submit final course grades as soon as possible. Grades are to be submitted no later than three weeks from the conclusion of the examination period. Instructors who are responsible for submitting one hundred or more final grades in a particular semester may request an extension of up to one week from the Academic Dean. In order to award honors at graduation, grades of graduating students in their last semester must be submitted at a time to be designated by the Academic Dean.
E. Dean’s List
At the end of the first year of legal study, students whose cumulative GPA is in the top third of their class and division will be honored by inclusion on the Dean’s List. At the end of each fall and spring semester thereafter, students whose cumulative GPA for the semester is in the top third of the class and the division in which they are enrolled for that semester will be honored by inclusion on the Dean’s List. Students are not eligible for inclusion on the Dean’s List if, in the relevant semester, they failed to carry the minimum credits required for the division in which they are enrolled for that semester, if they are visiting away, or if there is an “Incomplete” grade recorded for that semester. Although they will not be ranked in their class until graduation, transfer students are eligible for Dean’s List honors for any semester in which they satisfy all the conditions above. For purposes of Dean’s List recognition, any grades earned during summer school will be included with those grades earned during the fall semester.
F. Latin Honors
Beginning with the graduating class of 1994, CUA Law awards academic honors to graduating J.D. students. The basis for the award of honors are: summa cum laude (top student in the evening division and top three students in the day division); magna cum laude (top 10 percent of the graduating class in each division); and cum laude (top one-third of the graduating class in each division.)
XIII. UPPER LEVEL WRITING REQUIREMENT
Each student must complete at least two substantial writing projects after the first year of law school. These projects usually involve legal research and analysis as well, but the instructor supervising a writing project that satisfies this requirement is expected, to the extent practicable, to critique the student’s writing apart from the research and analysis, discuss these critiques with the student, and base a significant portion of the grade on the writing itself. Although some courses satisfy the criteria for both the Upper Level Writing Requirement and the Professional Skills Requirement (see Rule XIV), students may not count a course for both the Writing Requirement and the Professional Skills Requirement, except for students completing a clinical course of 6 or more credits.
B. Upper Level Writing Requirement: General Guidelines
1. Each upper-division student must complete the two writing projects with a grade of B- or better. In a qualifying paper course where the course grade is not the same as the grade for the writing component, the writing component grade must be a B- or better to satisfy this requirement.
2. Any work used to satisfy the Writing Requirement must include three basic elements: (1) close faculty supervision of the writing process; (2) submission of at least one substantially complete draft in addition to the final product; and (3) feedback on the interim draft(s) in the form of written comments, regular conferences, or both. In addition, each writing project must include a research component appropriate to its scope and genre.
3. Reworking or expanding prior papers, modifying work done for employers, or compiling research done by others is unacceptable
4. Effective with the class entering in fall 2010, the Writing Requirement must be met by successfully completing one practice-oriented legal writing course listed in Rule XIII (B)(5) below, and one scholarly legal writing course listed in section XIII (B)(6) below.
5. The practice-oriented legal writing courses are designated as such in the CUA Law Announcements and/or in the course registration materials. They include:
a. Appellate Advocacy;
b. Legal Drafting (any section or specialty);
c. A course or courses that will meet the requirements for an Applied Legal Writing Portfolio;
d. VIS Competition; and
e. Additional courses that may designated as such by the Office of Academic Affairs
6. The scholarly-writing courses are designated as such in the CUA Law Announcements and/or in the course registration materials. They include:
a. Law Journal Writing or Law Journal Editing courses;
b. Directed Research (DR);
c. Qualifying Course Papers (QP); and
d. Advanced Legal Writing Courses as designated by the Office of Academic Affairs.
C. Writing Project Categories and Specifications
1. Practice Orientated Legal Writing Courses
a. Appellate Advocacy: The brief writing project must satisfy all the criteria in Rule XIII(B)(2) above. Briefs completed in the Appellate Advocacy Course may satisfy this requirement.
b. Legal Drafting courses: Descriptions of these courses appear in the CUA Law Announcements.
c. Applied Legal Writing Portfolio: This option recognizes that writing skills may be developed by experience in creating legal documents as part of a law school course or multiple courses. To complete an Applied Legal Writing Portfolio, the student must produce a portfolio of at least three original written projects, each of which satisfies the criteria in Rule XIII(B)(2). The written products may be a variety of legal documents (including, but not limited to, such documents as a legal opinion letter,; a demand letter or similar communication to an opposing party or attorney, a pleading, a memorandum of points and authorities, a proposed order of settlement, a contract, lease, license, or similar agreement, an appellate brief, comments on draft legislation or regulation, a will or trust agreement, a proposed statute or regulation), etc. that are neither boilerplate nor substantially rewritten by an instructor. In addition:
i. Each written product submitted as part of the Applied Legal Writing Portfolio must be of high quality and reflect substantial analytical and writing work and be of a length appropriate to the task undertaken..
ii. Each written product submitted as part of the Applied Legal Writing Portfolio must be accompanied by a certification from the supervising instructor that it satisfies these requirements. The completed Portfolio and accompanying certificate(s) must be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs in order to receive credit toward the Upper-level Writing Requirement.
d. VIS International Arbitration Moot Court Competition: A description of this course appears in the CUA Law Announcements.
2. Scholarly Legal Writing Courses
a. Law Journal Writing Project or Law Journal Editing Project: The law journal writing project must be completed in combination with the course in Law Journal Writing, and the law journal editing projects must be completed in combination with the course in Law Journal Editing. Both courses are open only to members of one of CUA Law’s journals. The requirements for these courses are specified in the respective course descriptions.
i. Law Journal Writing is open only to members of one of CUA Law’s journals engaged in a writing project for the journal. While the course is not mandatory for journal members, a student may not count a law journal writing project toward the Upper-level Writing Requirement unless the student has enrolled in and completed all course requirements, including completion and submission of the journal writing portfolio.
ii. Law Journal Editing is mandatory for all third- and fourth-year law journal members who have responsibilities for supervising student writing projects, and only students enrolled in this course may supervise students enrolled in Law Journal Writing.
iii. A student may apply one or the other of these courses, but not both, toward fulfillment of the writing requirement.
iv. Each journal’s faculty adviser(s) must certify to the Academic Affairs Office those students who have successfully completed writing or editing projects that meet the course requirements.
b. Directed Research Project (“DR”):
i. Any student enrolled in DR must attend the Seminar in Academic Legal Writing.* Upper Level Writing Requirement Credit will not be posted for the DR unless the Office of Academic Affairs receives verification that the student satisfactorily attended the Seminar in Academic Legal Writing and satisfied all the other requirements relating to completion of a DR project.
ii. Although the page number requirement is left to the supervising instructor’s discretion, it is unlikely that a DR paper of acceptable scope and quality could be done in fewer than 40 pages.
iii. DR is a two-credit course. A student may register either for two consecutive semesters (i.e., fall/spring; spring/fall; spring/summer; summer/fall) or for a single semester. The grade and credits will be awarded only upon the completion of the second semester. Both credits will be awarded for the same semester and will not be split between semesters.
iv. To register for DR, the student must submit a topic statement signed by the supervising instructor, which includes the tentative research and writing schedule agreed to by the student and the instructor. At a minimum, this schedule should include dates for (1) the submission of a research bibliography; (2) submission of at least one substantially complete draft; (3) the return of the first draft to the student with extensive written comments; and (4) submission of a final paper that responds to the written comments. These stages, and any additional interim deadlines required by the supervising instructor, should be spread out over the semester or semesters for which the student is registered for the course.
v. The customary due date for the submission of the final DR project is the first day of the examination period for the semester in which the paper is due. Individual instructors may, however, set an alternative deadline for any time up to, but not past, the last day of the examination period. Within this time period, each instructor has the discretion to waive deadlines or to impose penalties for missed deadlines. If the final paper is not submitted by the end of the examination period, the instructor must enter a failing grade unless an “Incomplete” grade is justified under Rule XI.
c. Qualifying Course Paper (“QP”).
i. A QP is one that satisfies the criteria in Rule XIII (B)(2) and is 2, written in conjunction with a seminar or other course with an enrollment of no more than 24 students. Prior to the start of the course, the instructor should announce to prospective students the procedures to be followed and the criteria for the QP.. The student must submit a written statement of topic within the time designated by the instructor teaching the course (normally, within the first two weeks of the semester). The student and instructor shall then agree on a tentative schedule for submission of drafts and provision of feedback.
ii. An instructor may choose to require more than one paper to satisfy the QP requirement.. Although the length of the QP is left to the supervising instructor’s discretion, it is unlikely that a single paper of acceptable quality could be done in fewer than 25 pages, or a similar combined page count for multiple shorter papers.
iii. Any student enrolled in a QP course must attend the Seminar in Academic Writing.* While credit and the grade for the course will be awarded when the instructor submits the grade, the QP will not count toward satisfaction of the Upper Level Writing Requirement unless the Academic Affairs Office receives verification that the student satisfactorily attended the Seminar in Academic Legal Writing and satisfied all the other requirements relating to completion of the QP project.
*The Seminar in Academic Legal writing is a non-credit, three-hour seminar offered at the beginning of each semester that covers topics related to conducting scholarly legal writing.
d. Advanced Legal Writing Courses. The Office of Academic Affairs may designate courses in this category if their primary focus is the development of legal writing skills and the process of legal writing, and where the writing projects meet the criteria in Rule XIII(B)(2).
All students are required to complete at least one Professional Skills course before graduation. Professional Skills courses are designated as such in the CUA Law Announcements. The Professional Skills requirement is satisfied by completion of a Transition to Practice course (see Rule XV).
XV. TRANSITION-TO-PRACTICE REQUIREMENT
Effective with the class entering in fall 2013 and all subsequent classes, all students must fulfill the Transition to Practice Requirement by completing either a clinical course or a capstone course offered for at least three credits. Capstone courses are restricted to students completing their third or fourth year of coursework.
Clinics and capstone courses share the following features: require students to synthesize doctrine and skills; require students to exercise professional judgment as they perform a range of lawyering tasks in simulated or actual litigation, transactional matters, policy matters, or community legal education and training; require students to assume a professional role and take responsibility for the progression or management of one or more simulated or actual cases, projects, or matters; offer opportunity for students to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical issues in simulated or actual practice contexts; and include a classroom instructional component involving engagement of each student in skills performances that are assessed by the instructor.
All students are required to attend six professional education programs prior to graduation. Further information on these programs is set forth in the Rules of Professional Conduct for Law Students.
XVII. STUDENT RECORDS AND TRANSCRIPT
Each student’s file, containing material from application through graduation, is maintained at CUA Law. Information in the file is available to the student upon written request, consistent with the requirements imposed on the law school by CUA and by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment). The student record policy is online at http://policies.cua.edu/StudentLife/studentrecords.cfm
Permanent and official transcripts of law school work are maintained in the CUA Enrollment Services Office. All requests for transcripts should be made to that office or through Cardinal Station.
XVIII. COURSES OUTSIDE THE LAW SCHOOL DURING THE REGULAR SCHOOL YEAR
Matriculated students are expected to take all their courses at CUA Law. In circumstances related to family, health, and other unusual personal situations, the Academic Dean may permit a student to visit at another law school for not more than two semesters. Upon application to the Academic Dean, a student may also be permitted to visit at another school for no more than one semester to participate in a program for academic and professional advancement at another institution if the program is rigorous and unavailable at CUA Law.. The time away from CUA Law may not exceed two semesters.
A student who visits at another law school must pay a “transient student fee” to CUA Law to cover administrative expenses and will receive credit only for courses in which the student receives a satisfactory grade ( i.e., equivalent of C+ or better according to the grading scale of the visited school). Such credits will satisfy the credit hour and residency requirements for the J.D. degree, but the grades will not be entered on the student’s permanent record and will not be included in calculating the student’s cumulative average and class rank. Students must earn a minimum of 56 credit hours at CUA Law to be ranked at graduation.
Except for students transferring from another ABA-accredited law school, no credit toward the J.D.degree will be given for coursework done before matriculation at CUA Law. For students enrolled in joint degree programs, CUA Law will accept 12 credits taken at the other CUA school. However, no credits will be accepted toward the joint degree program if they were earned prior to law school matriculation.
Within the limits of maximum course load (Rule II(B) supra), students may request permission from the Academic Dean to take courses relating to the law in other schools or departments of CUA for credit toward their J.D. degree. No more than three such courses will be approved unless the student is a joint degree candidate. Students should arrange for permission to take courses in the school or department before registration. Grades in such courses will be entered on the student's record but will not be computed into their average.
Within the limits of maximum course load (RuleII(B), supra), students may request permission to take courses at other law schools for credit toward their CUA Law degree. Such permission will not be given unless the course is not offered at CUA Law, or unless it is impracticable for the student to take or have taken the course at CUA Law prior to graduation. The other law school shall apply its standards for admission, tuition, and fees for its course(s). Only courses in which satisfactory grades (the equivalent of C+ or better according to the grading scale of the visited school) are earned will be credited toward degree requirements at CUA Law.
XIX. SUMMER & INTERSESSION COURSES AT OTHER LAW SCHOOLS
A. Approval will not be given for students to take courses elsewhere that are required courses here, or that will be offered here during the remainder of the student’s program of studies. Approval will not be given for summer or intersession courses that will officially begin or conclude during the regular law school year
B. Upon timely application to the Office of Academic Affairs, a student may be permitted to participate in another law school’s structured summer program abroad or intersession program where the program offers unusual academic, professional or cultural enrichment, even if the program includes non-required courses that are or may be offered here.
C. Students employed more than 20 hours per week in the summer will not be authorized to take at another law school any combination of courses or credit hours, which require more than 10 classroom hours per week.
D. No transfer credit will be given for summer or intersession coursework at another law school unless the student earns a grade that is satisfactory (the equivalent of C+ or better) according to the grading scale of that law school. Students are responsible for seeing that transcripts of summer or intersession work are forwarded promptly to CUA Law Registrar.
E. Summer or intersession courses at other law schools will not count toward the residency requirements for the CUA Law J.D. degree.
XX. INTERRUPTION OF STUDIES
A. Academic Leave
1. A student in good standing who must interrupt his or her studies for adequate reason, such as health or military service, may be granted an academic leave for a stated period, usually not to exceed one year. The student should apply in writing to the Academic Dean, stating the specific reasons for requiring the leave. An academic leave, if granted, will be effective as of the last day of the semester in which a student was most recently enrolled. Students on academic leave are expected to return to CUA Law when their stated duration of leave has expired. Students who do not return from an academic leave when scheduled to do so will be subject to Administrative Withdrawal during the semester for which they failed to return.
2. The period of academic leave is counted as part of the time allowed for the completion of degree requirements. All degree requirements must be completed within 84 months after the student has commenced law study. Any outstanding “Incomplete” grades must be changed in accordance with the policy on incomplete grades by the date published in the Academic Calendar, whether a student is registered for the current semester or not. If the academic leave extends beyond the period approved by the Academic Dean, the student will be considered to have withdrawn from CUA Law. He or she must apply for readmission to be reinstated and satisfy current degree requirements.
3. Students may apply for an academic leave for a semester if they are not enrolled in courses for that semester up until administrative withdrawals are processed for that term (usually the last date to enroll in any class offered for that semester,including modular (i.e. dynamically dated) classes.
B.. Term Withdrawal
1. Students who wish to leave CUA Law temporarily during a semester in which they are enrolled in classes will receive a term withdrawal for that term. An additional request must be made if the student wishes to extend the leave into a future semester. This extension will be considered an academic leave subject to the terms stated above. The Office of Academic Affairs notifies the CUA Law Registrar and the CUA Law Financial Aid Office of this action. The student will receive confirmation of the approved action from the Office of Academic Affairs once it is finalized. A residential student granted an academic leave or term withdrawal must also cancel his/her housing agreement with housing services.
2. Term Withdrawal During the Drop/Add Period: Students enrolled in classes who subsequently drop all their classes within the drop/add period will be considered to be on a term withdrawal, effective as of the date they notify the Office of Academic Affairs or the date they drop from the last class in which they are enrolled. They will receive a notation on their transcript that they dropped every class in which they were enrolled, and are subject to the tuition refund schedule policy. Students who drop all classes without notifying the Office of Academic Affairs will be deemed to have withdrawn from the academic program. Students seeking to drop all courses for the semester must notify the Office of Academic Affairs. If the separation is expected to go beyond the start of the next semester, they must apply for an academic leave pursuant to Rule XXI(A).
3. Term Withdrawal After the End of the Drop/Add Period: Students who are currently enrolled in classes and who decide to withdraw from all their classes after the last day of drop/add will be considered to be on a term withdrawal, effective as of the date they notify CUA or the date they withdraw from the last class in which they are enrolled if they do not notify CUA. They will receive a grade of “W” in every class in which they were enrolled, and are subject to the tuition refund schedule policy.
NOTE: Students on Term Withdrawal (Official or Unofficial) or Academic Leave will be reported to the National Student Clearinghouse as "not enrolled" with an effective date as noted above. Recipients of federal student loans will enter their loan grace period, and if they have previously used up their loan grace period, will immediately enter into loan repayment. “Official” means that the student notified CUA Law; “Unofficial” means that the student did not notify CUA Law, but stopped attending all the courses in which he or she was enrolled.
C. Permanent Withdrawal
Students who no longer wish to continue to study at CUA Law should notify the Office of Academic Affairs. Studentswho make the decision to leave before finishing the semester in which they are enrolled will be withdrawn as of the date they notify the Office of Academic Affairs. For students who inform CUA Law of their intent to withdraw for a future semester, the withdrawal date will be the last day of the semester in which they are currently enrolled.
Students who withdraw from CUA Law during a semester in which they are enrolled are subject to the tuition refund schedule policy regardless of the reasons for their withdrawal. Exceptions to the refund schedule will be considered by the Withdrawal Committee (dean of students, associate vice president of enrollment services, director of financial aid, academic representative appointed by the provost). Students who withdraw during a semester will receive a “W” grade in each class in which they were registered.
Students who do not enroll in CUA Law for a given semester and do not inform CUA Law of their intentions to leave on a temporary or permanent basis will be administratively withdrawn from CUA Law as of the last date to enroll in any class offered for that semester,including modular( i.e. dynamically dated) classes.
Students who have withdrawn from CUA Law will be reported to the National Student Clearinghouse as "not enrolled" with an effective date as noted above. They will enter their federal student loan grace period, and if they have previously used up their student loan grace period, they will immediately enter into loan repayment.
If a student who has withdrawn from CUA Law subsequently decides to return,, he orshe must submit an application for admission to the CUA Law Office of Admissions. That application will be considered as an application to the first-year class. Credits earned prior to withdrawal from CUA Law cannot be applied to a subsequent application for admission.
XXI. STUDENT CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE
CUA Law students are subject to the Standards of Student Conduct as set out in the CUA Policies and Procedures Affecting Students and to the jurisdiction of the Student Judiciary. All members of the CUA Law community are subject to the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Law Students.
Students contemplating taking any bar examination should check the requirements of their jurisdiction carefully to ensure that their academic programs conform to any special rules. Some states require registration with the bar examiners while still a law student. Some states require specific coursework before a law school graduate may take the bar examination.
XXIII. CREDIT THAT MUST BE EARNED IN REGULARLY SCHEDULED LAW SCHOOL CLASS SESSION
Students who elect to participate in approved studies or activities away from CUA Law, or in a format that does not involve attendance at regularly scheduled class sessions, may use such time spent to satisfy CUA Law’s residency and credit hour requirements, provided the conditions of this section are met.
A. At least 65 credits of the total credited toward satisfying the “in residence” and “credit hour” requirements for graduation shall be in actual attendance in regularly scheduled class sessions at CUA Law or, with the Academic Dean’s approval, at another law school.
B. The remaining hours may be earned for other studies or activities such as clinical fieldwork (see Rule XXIV), directed research (see Rule XIII), participation in moot court and law review, and courses relating to law taken outside CUA Law (see Rule XVIII). Students should be aware that state bars may have a more stringent requirement for credit hours earned in classes with regularly scheduled classroom sessions. Students should thus become acquainted with and are responsible for complying with the specific requirements of any state in which they may wish to seek a license.
With regard to clinical courses, the CUA Law Announcements will designate how much credit is given for regularly scheduled classroom sessions and how much credit is given for other studies and activities including fieldwork. (See Rule XXIII on maximum credit that may be obtained for studies and activities outside regularly scheduled classroom activities.) No more than one course designated as a clinical offering may be taken per semester without prior approval of the Director of Experiential Learning.
A. Reporting the Complaint
B. Resolving the Complaint
When a formal written complaint has been made in accordance with Rule XXVIII(A), the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs will:
1. Acknowledge receipt of the complaint within five (5) business days of receipt;
2. Investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve it within thirty (30) business days. Within the thirty (30) day period the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs will either meet with the complaining student, or respond to the substance of the complaint in writing. During the meeting, or in the written response, the student shall either receive a substantive response to the complaint or information about what steps are being taken by the law school to address or further investigate the complaint. If further investigation is needed, the student shall be provided with information about what steps are being taken by CUA Law to obtain the information and the anticipated timeframe for additional response.
3. If, due to extraordinary circumstances, CUA Law is unable to meet these timeframes, the Dean may authorize an extension of time and the student will be notified of the extension and the reason for the extension.
Within ten (10) business days of written notice from the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs regarding final resolution of the complaint, the student may appeal the decision in writing to the Dean.. If such appeal is filed, the Dean shall respond, with a written decision, within thirty (30) business days. The decision of the Dean shall be final.
D. Written Record of Complaints
The Office of Academic Affairs shall maintain a complete written record of each complaint and how it was investigated and resolved.