The academic rules at the date of publication are listed below. From time to time the faculty may promulgate new rules or alter the present rules. Students are considered to be on notice of changes or additions to these rules when they are approved by the faculty and posted on the website of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. To the extent permitted, in extraordinary cases, exceptions to these rules may be granted by the dean for good cause shown.
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 the upper-division writing requirement, Academic Rule XIII;
c. satisfactorily complete a Professional Skills course, Academic Rule XIV;
d. satisfactorily complete the Professional Responsibility course;
e. satisfactorily complete the Transition to Practice course requirement, Academic Rule XV;
f. attend six professional education programs during their time in law school, Academic Rule XVI;
g. meet the minimum residency requirement. Residency means the number of Columbus School of Law semesters that a student must attend. A semester is defined as a fall or spring academic term. Summer school is not a semester.
Students enrolled in the full-time (day division) program must attend six semesters. Full-time students who attend one CUA summer session of three or more credits may switch to part-time status in their final semester.
Students enrolled in the part-time (evening division) program must attend eight semesters. Part-time students who attend two CUA summer sessions of four or more credits may accelerate their graduation by one semester (i.e. complete coursework by the end of their seventh semester). A part-time student who switches to the full-time division at the end of the first year of law school may graduate after six semesters.
II. REGISTRATION, COURSE LOADS,
COURSE WITHDRAWAL, AND DIVISION SWITCHES (OR DIVISION CHANGES)
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 (day-division) student may not enroll for more than 16 or fewer than 12 credit hours per semester; a part-time (evening-division) 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 Academic Dean’s office.
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.
D. Auditing of Classes
Students may enroll on an “audit” basis for elective courses. Students enrolled on an “audit” basis do not take the examination or participate in any other graded exercises in the class and do not receive credit toward the J.D. for the audited class. The limitations of Rule II(B) supra apply (i.e. the audited class shall not cause the student to exceed the maximum number of allowed credit hours and the student must retain the minimum number of required credit hours toward the J.D.). Auditors are not excused from class attendance requirements.
E. Changing Divisions
Switches or Changes between part-time and full-time are permitted by written application to the Academic Dean’s Office. Normally a student will be permitted to Switch or Change only once during his or her law school career.
III. MAXIMUM EMPLOYMENT
FOR FULL TIME STUDENTS
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 awarded 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.
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).
To be in good standing students who enter 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 law school.
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).
This rule applies to first-year courses, upper-division courses, and seminars and clinics. The law school 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 Rule V.6.c.iv).
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.
d. The Enforcement of Distributional Ranges
i. Faculty members are responsible for calculating and verifying (with faculty support staff assistance, if necessary), the mean 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 published range appearing in the law school Announcements, with the exceptions provided in paragraphs iii and v below. For purposes of computing the mean and median only, faculty members should 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 0.0. 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.
ii. After approval by the Academic Dean, the Registrar shall post the mean and median with the grades for all courses.
iii. The Office of the Dean shall enforce faculty compliance with the published mean/median ranges. 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.6.c.iv. For classes falling within this exception, ranges are advisory rather than mandatory.
iv. If a faculty member submits divergent grades, the Office of the Dean will automatically return them for appropriate adjustment. Grades not adjusted will not be posted and will not be entered into the record.
v. A faculty member may submit a written request, for an exception to this rule, with written justification. The Office of the Dean is permitted to make an exception and post grades that are not widely divergent subsequent to such a request. If a faculty member submits grades outside of the published range without the required justification the Office of the Dean will return the grades for adjustment. Grades not adjusted will not be posted and will not be entered into the record.
7. Transfer Students
Transfer students will be subject to the normal academic standing requirements based on work at this law school. 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 credits at this law school.
8. Procedure for Appealing Failing Grade
1. Retaking Required Courses
If a student’s grade in a required course is an F or F*, the course must be repeated 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 dean 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.
2. 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 GPA. A student may not retake a class in which a passing grade was received.
The faculty revised the Good Standing criteria in academic year 2010–11. The change was effective with the class entering in fall 2011, however, students who entered prior to that date retain the requirement effective when they entered:
1. Probation: Cumulative Average
a. A student placed on probation for failure to maintain the required cumulative average of at least 2.15 for students admitted prior to 2011; a cumulative average of at least 2.25 for students admitted in 2011 and subsequently, must attain the required minimum semester average (2.15 or 2.25 respectively) in the following semester courses or be excluded from law school.
b. Such student also must raise his or her cumulative average to at least the required level (2.15 or 2.25 respectively) to remove himself or herself from probation. A student whose cumulative average is below the required 2.15 or 2.25, respectively, at the end of two successive semesters on probation will be excluded from law school.
2. 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 2.15 for students admitted prior to 2011; an average of at least 2.25 for students admitted 2011 and subsequently in the following semester or be excluded from law school.
3. Required Participation in Academic Excellence Program
a. First-Year Students
Following the fall semester of the first year, the following students are required to participate in the Academic Excellence Program: a) any first-year student whose average for the first-year fall semester falls within the lower 15 percent of the class; b) any student who has received the grade of D or F in any course; or c) a student referred by the Office of Academic Affairs. Each student must develop and implement a written individual academic plan approved by the director. No first-year student required to participate in the Academic Excellence Program by this rule will be permitted to register for subsequent fall semester courses until the student provides the Office of Academic Affairs with a statement, signed by the director of the Academic Excellence Program confirming that the requirements of this rule have been satisfied. Furthermore, the dean or the dean’s designee has discretion to mandate academic support on an individual basis.
b. Upper-Division Students
An upper-division student placed on probation is required to participate in the Academic Excellence Program. Students must develop and implement a written individual academic plan approved by the director of Academic Excellence Program. No student required to participate in the Academic Excellence Program by this rule will be permitted to register for subsequent semester courses until the student provides the Office of Academic Affairs with a statement, signed by the director of the Academic Excellence Program, confirming that the requirements of this rule have been satisfied. Furthermore, the dean or the dean’s designee has discretion to mandate academic support on an individual basis.
4. 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 2.15 (students admitted prior to 2011) or 2.25 (students admitted 2011 and subsequently) will be excluded from the law school without being given a second probation period.
5. Readmission Following Exclusion
a. As a general policy, students excluded for academic deficiency will not be readmitted to the law school. The faculty will consider an excluded student’s petition for readmission upon a showing of circumstances affecting his or her academic performance while here or substantially changed circumstances since his or her exclusion.
b. 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.
c. A student seeking readmission subsequent to exclusion 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).
d. As a rule the faculty excludes the votes of student representatives to the faculty and to the Student Affairs Committee on matters pertaining to a student’s petition for readmission. However, upon written request of the student seeking readmission, the student representative will be permitted to vote on the petition.
e. 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 receive satisfactory grades (of C or better) during his or her previous attendance at the law school. Only satisfactory prior work (grades of C or better) will be applied toward degree requirements. The student’s average for the first semester after readmission will be based only on work taken in that semester. A student’s cumulative average after the first semester following readmission shall include earlier work (work completed prior to exclusion) in which the student earned a grade of C or better.
f. Required standards of performance following readmission.
i. A readmitted student after one year of law school work must earn an average of at least 1.82 in the first semester following readmission and must earn a cumulative average of at least 2.15 (if initially admitted fall 2003 to fall 2010) or 2.25 (if initially admitted 2011 or subsequently) by the end of the second semester following readmission.
ii. A student readmitted to the law school who has accumulated academic credit beyond the first year of law school work must earn an average of at least 2.15 (if original admission was prior to 2011) or 2.25 (if original admission was 2011 or subsequently) in the first semester following readmission and must maintain a cumulative average of at least 2.15 (if original admission was prior to 2011) or 2.25 (if original admission was 2011 or subsequently).
iii. A readmitted student will not be placed on probation at any time following readmission.
1. 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 coursework for each credit hour assigned to the course, the instructor may direct the dean’s office 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 dean’s office 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 the law school upon a vote of the faculty.
2. Course Requirements
Individual instructors are free to determine their own teaching method and materials and whether their course grade will be based on examination, a research paper, or a combination of the two, or pursuant to Rule IX. Individual instructors also may designate prerequisites for their courses.
1. Except as provided below in sections 2–4, each student’s grade shall be based solely on an anonymous written examination administered at the end of the course pursuant to Rule X.
2. Courses Exempt by Category
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 paragraph 1. Instructors in those courses may base their grades on criteria established by the individual instructors. The criteria must be set forth in writing and distributed to the students in the course at or before the first class meeting.
3. Instructor Option re Student Work Product
a. In any one-semester course other than those listed in paragraph 2, 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 2, 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 examinations.
b. 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 the like; or any other activity during the semester that can be objectively assessed and compared from one student to another.
c. Any instructor intending to base a portion of the 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 it to the students in the course at or before the first class meeting. The instructor may add no 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.
d. When the final grades are submitted to the dean’s office, the instructor must submit a written worksheet or compilation that identifies the non-examination component(s) for each student.
e. The instructor should grade the non-examination components on an anonymous basis, whenever feasible, especially in first year courses.
4. Instructor Option re Classroom Performance
At the instructor’s option, assessment of classroom performance, which includes participation in class discussions and in-class exercises other than those listed in section 3, 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. No grade of D or F may, however, be created or altered though an addition of or subtraction of a step as provided in this section. The grades for the class, including any classroom performance steps, must meet the requirements of Academic Rule V.6.d.i.
Anonymous written examinations are conducted in all courses at the end of each semester, except as provided in Rule IX.
1. Times and Place for Examinations
Examinations will be administered, according to a posted schedule, in a special period following the end of all regular class meetings. All exams must be taken during that period unless incompletes are entered for good cause. The posted schedule designates 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 section 3 below must be identified at that time.
Faculty members or others hired for the purpose 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.
3. Time Limits
In-class examinations will be one to four hours’ duration, as the instructor shall determine. In non-required courses, an in-class examination may exceed the four-hour limit on 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 their exams promptly to the proctor. The proctor is instructed to notify the Office of the Dean 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 dean or the 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 dean, who may extend the deadline or reschedule the exam.
4. Rescheduling of Examinations
a. Students may request rescheduling of examinations on account of personal or family illness or 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 not be advanced except in extraordinary circumstances. With regards to any exam rescheduled in advance of a regularly scheduled exam, faculty members will be consulted prior to the Office of Academic Affairs making such accommodations.
b. 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.
c. Reasons of personal convenience do not warrant rescheduling examinations.
d. 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 Dean’s Office to request rescheduling
e. Take-home exams and paper due dates are excluded from rescheduling consideration.
5. 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.
6. General Examination Format
Examinations in the law school will consist of a series of questions or problems dealing with the subject matter of the course. In preparing such examinations, instructors may designate the weight- or time-allocation for each question or problem.
7. Take-Home Examinations
An instructor may 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 take-home exams as well as to regular exams. In giving take-home exams, instructors should avoid using the take-home format as a substitute for a term research paper, and should presume that the exam can be answered from required course materials.
Take-home exams should be 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.
8. Materials in Examination Rooms
Instructors should announce in class, advise the proctor, and indicate on the examination questions what (if any) materials 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.
9. Anonymity of Examinations
Examinations are taken and graded anonymously. Students are responsible for obtaining exam numbers according to procedures set by the dean’s office. Students must identify their exams only with 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.
10. Review of Exams C+ or Below
Any student who has received the grade of C+ or below in any course is required to review the examination and the model answer the professor has prepared for that examination and discuss the review with the professor. For a grade received in the spring term, this review must occur no later than four weeks after the start of fall classes. For a grade 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 the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs a statement, signed by the professor assigning the grade of C+ or below, confirming the requirement of this rule 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 students' legal study.
1. 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.
2. When a student is unable, because of illness or other hardship, to complete coursework (other than the examination) on the due date(s), the student should advise the instructor promptly. The instructor may then direct the entry of a grade of incomplete in the course. Incomplete grades must be made up at a time determined by the instructor and, in any event, no later than midsemester, as noted in the Academic Calendar. Incomplete grades will be used rarely and only in extraordinary cases and will 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.
No incomplete may be entered for Summer School courses.
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.
1. Availability of Grades
Final coursework grades are available through Cardinal Students.
2. 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 this law school.
3. Grade Changes
Grades in any course are considered final once submitted to the Office of the Dean. The Office of the Dean may change an otherwise final grade only on written certification from the faculty member either (1) that the final grade reflects an incorrect mathematical computation or recordation or (2) that, in determining the particular exam or paper grade, the faculty member 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.4] 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; nor will a grade be changed because, on review, the faculty member 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 faculty member’s written certification reaches the Office of the Dean by the middle of the semester following that for which the grade was entered.
4. Submission of Grades by Faculty
Faculty members are expected to submit grades as soon as possible. Absent an extension from the dean, grades are to be submitted no later than four weeks from the conclusion of the examination period. 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 dean.
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. Note that 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.
2. Writing Requirement
a. Each upper-division student must complete the two writing projects with a grade of B- or better. In a qualifying 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 above to satisfy this requirement.
b. To satisfy the writing requirement a project 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 interim drafts 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.
c. Reworking or extending prior papers, modifying work done for employers, or compiling research done by others is not acceptable
d. The Writing Requirement must be met by taking a practice-oriented legal writing course and a second legal writing course in one of the categories listed in section ii:
i. All students MUST take ONE of the practice-oriented writing courses. The practice-oriented legal writing courses include:
>Legal Drafting (any section or specialty)
>A course that will meet the requirements for an Applied Legal Writing Portfolio
ii. A student must also complete one of the following to fulfill the second part of the writing requirement:
1. The courses in Law Journal Writing or Law Journal Editing.
2. Directed Research (DR). Any student enrolled in DR must attend a Seminar in Academic Legal Writing* that covers topics related to the writing process in order to receive a writing requirement credit. Writing requirement credit will not be posted for the DR unless the registrar receives verification that the student satisfactorily attended the academic writing seminar. The faculty member supervising the DR will be required to certify that each of the requirements of the Academic Rules has been met for each student using the DR to satisfy the writing requirement.
3. A Qualifying Course Paper (QP). Any student enrolled in a QP course must attend a Seminar in Academic Legal Writing* that covers topics related to the writing process. While credit for the course will be awarded when the faculty member submits the grade, the QP course will not count toward satisfaction of the writing requirement unless the registrar receives verification that the student satisfactorily attended the academic writing seminar. The faculty member supervising the QP will be required to certify that each of the requirements of the Academic Rules has been met for each student using the QP to satisfy the writing requirement.
4. The course in Advanced Legal Research and Writing.
* The Seminar in Academic Legal Writing will be a noncredit, three-hour seminar offered at the beginning of each semester.
3. Writing Project Categories and Specifications
a. Directed Research Project. Directed Research is a two-credit course.
i. A student may register either for two consecutive semesters (i.e., fall/spring; spring/fall; spring/summer; summer/fall) or for a single semester. In a two-semester project, the first semester should be devoted primarily to conducting research; the second semester should be devoted primarily to writing; the grade and credits will be awarded only upon the completion of the second semester. Note that both credits will be awarded for the same semester and will not be split between semesters.
ii. Although the page number requirement is left to the supervising instructor’s discretion, it is unlikely that a paper of acceptable quality could be done in fewer than 40 pages.
iii. To register for Directed Research the student must submit a topic statement signed by the supervising instructor, including 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.
iv. The customary due date for the submission of the final paper is the firs