Academic Rules & Regulations

The rules of the law school are listed below. Select the blue headline for the appropriate policy to read the content. If you have any questions regarding the policies, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 617-573-8157.

Rules and Regs

A. General Requirements

A candidate for the degree of Juris Doctor must be in good academic standing and comply with the following requirements:

  1. A candidate must have completed at least six semesters of full-time study in law school or at least eight semesters of part-time study in law school. A student in good academic standing may, in extraordinary circumstances and with the permission of the Dean of Students Office, complete an upper-class year of study at another ABA-accredited law school (see policy on Visiting Out, Study Abroad, and Electives at Non-Suffolk Programs.)
  2. A student admitted with advanced standing based on course work completed at another ABA-accredited law school must complete at least four semesters of study at Suffolk University Law School in order to receive the Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University. In exceptional circumstances this requirement may be reduced at the discretion of an Associate Dean.
  3. A candidate’s complete law school record must (i) show a cumulative weighted average of at least 2.000; and (ii) show unsatisfactory grades outstanding in no more than three courses. A student in good academic standing but in violation of Regulation I(A)(3) may submit a petition to remedy such violation by fulfilling conditions to be determined by an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Conditions may include retaking a final examination or rewriting a final paper in a course in which the student received an unsatisfactory grade, or repeating a course in its entirety. Completion of such conditions will not affect GPA or credits earned. The conditions set by the Associate Dean for a student to remedy a violation of Regulation I (A) (3) shall be final and not subject to appeal.
  4. The ABA, as a national accrediting authority for law schools, has established in ABA Standard 311(a) that a law school shall require, as a condition for graduation, successful completion of a course of study of not fewer than 83 credit hours, at least 64 of which shall be in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction at the law school. Suffolk University Law School requires all students to complete at least 84 credit hours of study in order to be eligible to graduate. The Law School adheres to the definition of “credit hour” established in ABA Standard 310(b), as set forth in Regulations I(B)(2) and I(C)(2).
  5. Any student who completed their first-year prior to the 2016-2017 academic year with a cumulative GPA of 2.670 or higher but less than 3.000 in the first year must take Advanced Survey of Core Legal Principles in the student’s final year. Any student who completes their first year during the 2016-2017 academic year or later with a cumulative GPA of 2.670 or higher but less than 3.000 must complete all of the following courses in order to be eligible to graduate:
    1. Evidence;
    2. Trusts and Estates;
    3. Business Entity Fundamentals;
    4. Commercial Law Survey, Commercial Sales, or Secured Transactions;
    5. Constitutional Law/Criminal Procedure;
    6. Family Law and
    7. Advanced Survey of Core Legal Principles (must be taken in the student’s final year).
    [Revision to Rule I. A. 5. approved by law faculty on 5/19/16 and 3/2/17]
  6. Prior to graduation, every student must satisfactorily complete:
    1. six credits of upper-level experiential learning courses (as defined by ABA Standards 303 and 304)
    2. two continuing legal education seminars and
    3. a minimum of 50 hours of practice-based learning completed in any of the following ways:
      1. First Year Summer Internship Program placement;
      2. 50 hours of legal work completed through the Pro Bono Program;
      3. 50 hours of legal work completed under the supervision of an attorney.

    Students completing Sections b and c of this requirement must submit certification of completion to the Academic Services Office. Part-time students in the Evening Division are exempt from section c. of the requirement, but are encouraged to complete it.

    [Rule I.A.6.approved by law faculty on 2/13/14 and amended 5/19/16. Rule I.A.6. applies to students entering the law school in the Fall 2015 semester and later.]

  7. All students are required to take a Diagnostic Exam covering selected bar-related subjects taught during the first year of study in the day division and the first two years of study in the evening division. Results of the diagnostic exam will be reported to students but will not appear on their transcripts and will not affect their grade point averages. However, students are required to complete the Diagnostic Exam in order to be eligible to graduate, and this requirement will be included in each student’s degree audit. The Diagnostic Exam may be offered in an online format. Students scheduled to graduate before 2020 will be required to take the exam during designated periods in their final year of study. Students scheduled to graduate in 2020 or later will be required to take the exam during designated periods in the fall of their second year of study if enrolled in the day division or the fall of their third year of study if enrolled in the evening division.
  8. [Approved by law faculty on 4/17/14]

  9. All students must complete the required courses in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Practice Skills, Property, Torts, and Professional Responsibility.
  10. All students must complete the Legal Writing Requirement (see Rule I. H.)
  11. All students must complete the Base Menu Requirement unless they are placed on Academic Warning or are subject to the requirements of Rule I.A.5.
  12. All students are subject to the provisions of the Academic Standing Requirements (Rule II.C.) and must complete any requirements set forth under Rule II.C. or by the Academic Standing Committee.
  13. The Law Faculty may revise these degree requirements or impose additional requirements from time to time. Students will be provided advance notice of such changes.
  14. Degrees are awarded by the Trustees at Suffolk University on the recommendation of the faculty. Recommendation may be withheld by the faculty for good cause other than failure to meet the foregoing requirements.

B. Day Division

The Day Division course of study consists of three academic years (6 semesters) of full-time study. Day Division students must devote a substantial amount of time to the study of law. First-year students in the Day Division are expected to treat the study of law as their sole occupation during the academic year. Upper-class students in the Day Division are strongly encouraged to limit employment and volunteer work to no more than 20 hours per week during the academic year. Additional limitations on outside commitments, including employment, may be set for students subject to action under Rule II.C. (Academic Standing Requirements).

  1. Credit Hour Requirements: The academic year consists of two semesters, the first or fall semester, commencing in August and the second or spring semester, commencing in January. The Day Division course of study requires six semesters of class work. Completion of a total of 84 credit hours is required in order to earn the Juris Doctor degree.
  2. Definition of Credit Hour: The study of law, as well as its practice, requires diligent preparation, engaged attention, and thoughtful reflection. In order to prepare students thoroughly for legal practice, the Law School adheres to the federal and ABA definitions of a credit hour. Standard 310(a) of the American Bar Association Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools requires that: “A law school shall adopt, publish, and adhere to written policies and procedures for determining the credit hours that it awards for coursework.” ABA Standard 310(b) provides:
  3. A "credit hour" is an amount of work that reasonably approximates:
    1. not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work per week for fifteen weeks, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
    2. at least an equivalent amount of work as required in subparagraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including simulation, field placement, clinical, co-curricular, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

    The Law School adheres to ABA Standard 310 concerning credit hours. The following policies and procedures are intended to comply with Standard 310.

    (a) Credit for Classroom Instruction

    The number of credit hours awarded for a course is a representation of the amount of work that the course requires. A credit hour signifies a certain minimum amount of classroom or instructional time, plus time for out-of-classroom student work expected in the course, such as class preparation, homework assignments, papers, projects, exam study, and examinations. In general, the definition of credit hour calls for two hours of out-of-classroom work to be required for every hour of classroom instruction.

    The specific number of weekly classroom and out-of-classroom hours required to satisfy the definition of a credit hour depends on the length of the relevant academic term, as set forth below.

    (i) Fall and spring terms

    The Law School’s fall and spring terms each consist of a thirteen week session and a two week examination period. In order to satisfy the definition of credit hour in the fall or spring term:

    A one-credit course will ordinarily meet for 55 minutes each week, followed by an examination period. Students are expected to spend, on average, a minimum of 2 hours on out-of-class work per week during the semester (including during the exam period).

    A two-credit course will ordinarily meet for 110 minutes each week, followed by an examination period. Students are expected to spend, on average, a minimum of 4 hours on out-of-class work per week during the semester (including during the exam period).

    A three-credit course will ordinarily meet for 165 minutes each week, followed by an examination period. Students are expected to spend, on average, a minimum of 6 hours on out-of-class work per week during the semester (including during the exam period).

    A four-credit course will ordinarily meet for 220 minutes each week for 13 weeks, followed by an examination period. Students are expected to spend, on average, a minimum of 8 hours on out-of-class work per week during the semester (including during the exam period).

    If a class does not meet every week or does not have an examination or final paper, an equivalent amount of time will be allocated during the term to direct classroom instruction and/or student out-of-class work per week to fulfill the credit hour requirement. Any faculty member who misses or cancels a regularly scheduled class session must schedule a make-up class and/or assign an equivalent amount of out-of-class work.

    (ii) Summer term

    The summer term includes one twelve week session and a one week examination period. In order to satisfy the definition of credit hour in the summer term:

    A one-credit course will ordinarily meet for 60 minutes each week for 12 weeks, followed by an examination period. Students are expected to spend, on average, a minimum of 2 hours on out-of-class work per week during the term.

    A two-credit course will ordinarily meet for 120 minutes each week for 12 weeks, followed by an examination period. Students are expected to spend, on average, a minimum of 4 hours on out-of-class work per week during the term.

    A three-credit course will ordinarily meet for 180 minutes each week for 12 weeks, followed by an examination period. Students are expected to spend, on average, a minimum of 6 hours on out- of class work per week during the term.

    A four-credit course will ordinarily meet for 240 minutes each week for 12 weeks, followed by an examination period. Students are expected to spend, on average, a minimum of 8 hours on out-of-class work per week during the term.

    If a class does not meet every week or does not have an examination or final paper, an equivalent amount of time will be allocated during the term to direct classroom instruction and student out-of-class work per week to fulfill the credit hour requirement. Any faculty member who misses or cancels a regularly scheduled class session must schedule a make-up class and/or assign an equivalent amount of out-of-class work.

    (iii) Winter session

    The winter session, also known as “intersession,” is a one week term with an examination, paper, or project. In order to satisfy the definition of credit hour in the winter session:

    A one-credit course will ordinarily meet for 750 minutes during the week. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 30 hours on out-of-class work during the week or an equivalent number of hours over a longer period of time if a paper or project is due on a date after the end of the winter session.

    (iv) Special sessions

    Any law programs (e.g., overseas law programs) offered for academic credit by the Law School that are not scheduled to correspond to a standard fall, spring, summer, or winter session will be designed to ensure an allocation of weekly classroom time and out-of-classroom work sufficient to satisfy the definition of a credit hour as set forth above.

    (b) Out-of-class Student Work in Courses that Involve Classroom or Direct Faculty Instruction:

    Out-of-classroom work within the definition of a credit hour may include, but is not limited to: reading assignments; case briefing; study groups and review sessions; written assignments other than examinations (including preparatory memos, journals, and reflections on readings or experience); solving problem sets; participating in out-of-class simulations and role-playing exercises; research assignments; online assessments; posting to an online discussion board; court or other observations; conferences with the instructor, academic support instructors or teaching assistants; and other work that assists in comprehension of course content such as outlining and studying for examinations.

    As guidance for approximating the length of time to complete reading assignments, faculty may choose to rely upon academic literature indicating that, on average, a law student can read ten to thirty pages in 60 minutes, depending on the difficulty of the material. This estimate of time to complete a reading assignment does not include time to complete additional study and preparatory work typically required to understand and analyze the reading, such as briefing of cases, review of supplemental material, outlining, practice questions and examinations, CALI exercises, and participation in study groups and review sessions.

    All course instructors shall ensure that their course syllabi describe all required out-of-classroom work in sufficient detail to support a determination that such coursework meets the requirements of Standard 310(b)(1) as specified in section 2(a) of this policy. The Associate Deans for Academic Affairs shall keep all course syllabi on file and review them periodically to confirm that the amount of work assigned in each course complies with those requirements.

    All proposals for new courses must include a paragraph justifying the number of credit hours to be awarded. The Associate Deans for Academic Affairs shall keep these justifications on file. If a new course requires approval by the Curriculum Committee, the Committee shall make a determination of whether the number of credit hours sought for the proposed course complies with Standard 310(b).

    (c) Credit for Clinics and Externships

    Clinics and externships consist of a classroom component and a casework component (in the case of in-house clinics) or fieldwork component (in the case of externships). With respect to the classroom component for both in-house clinics and externships, a credit hour may be awarded for 55 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction per week, while students are expected to spend, on average, a minimum of 2 hours on out-of-class work per week during the semester performing clinic or externship work, preparing for class, completing class assignments or other academic work related to the course assigned by the supervising faculty member and supervising attorney.

    For the casework component of in-house clinics or the fieldwork component of externships, students must complete, at a minimum, 42.5 hours for one credit; 85 hours for 2 credits; 127.5 hours for 3 credits; and 170 hours for 4 credits.

    Students enrolled in an in-house clinic or for-credit externship must complete the required hours and submit detailed time logs or otherwise document their time for review by their supervising attorney or faculty instructor in accordance with established clinic and externship policies.

    (d) Credit for Directed Study

    Students enrolled in an independent Directed Study may be given one or two credits. Students must complete a minimum of 42.5 hours of research and writing work for one credit and 85 hours of research and writing work for two credits.

    Students are responsible for keeping a detailed log of their hours and submitting the log to their primary supervising faculty member at the end of the semester. Students will be evaluated on a credit/no credit basis.

    (e) Credit for Student-Edited Law Journals

    Student members of law journals are eligible to receive one credit per semester for performing at least 42.5 hours of journal-related work, which may include completion of a note or comment, reading and evaluating journal submissions, and editing and cite-checking articles.

    Students are responsible for documenting this time in a manner approved by the faculty advisor of the journal. Students will be evaluated on a credit/no credit basis.

    (f) Credit for Moot Court, Mock Trial, and ADR Competitions

    Depending on the competition, students who participate in mock trial, moot court and ADR competitions are eligible to receive up to two credits per semester for competition-related work, such as brief writing, appellate advocacy, trial advocacy, arbitration advocacy, negotiation or mediation. Students are responsible for documenting this time in a manner approved by their faculty advisor/coach. Students must complete a minimum of 42.5 hours of work for one credit and 85 hours of work for two credits. Students may elect not to receive credit for participation in interscholastic competitions. Students will be evaluated on a credit/no credit basis.

    (g) Credit for Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants

    Students who serve as teaching assistants for a course are eligible to receive two hours of credit per semester for performing at least 85 hours of course-related work, such as, assisting with course design and administration, conducting review and discussion sessions, and mentoring students on study skills, time management, exam preparation, legal writing, or other academic skills. Students who serve as research assistants for a faculty member are eligible to receive two hours of credit per semester for performing at least 85 hours of work relating to the supervising faculty member’s project, such as conducting legal research, writing memoranda, editing, and cite checking. Student teaching assistants and research assistants are responsible for keeping a detailed log of their hours for review by the supervising faculty member at the end of each semester. Students will be evaluated on a credit/no credit basis.

    (h) Credit for Distance Learning Courses

    Students may receive credit for distance learning courses that are in compliance with ABA Standards. Distance learning courses for which students receive credit, whether offered in synchronous or asynchronous format, or a combination, shall require at least 42.5 hours of student work per credit hour. The Associate Deans for Academic Affairs shall collect and review distance learning course syllabi on a regular basis to determine whether such courses comply with Standard 310(b).

  4. Credit Enrollment Requirements: Day students not participating in the Accelerated JD Program are required to enroll in a minimum of 27 credits each year (not including summer sessions) and 12 credits each semester, for 6 semesters (not including summer sessions), except as otherwise provided in these Rules and Regulations. Enrollment in more than 27 credits in one academic year will not reduce the 27 credit minimum in any subsequent year, except as otherwise provided in these Rules and Regulations.

C. Evening Division

  1. Credit Hour Requirements: The academic year consists of two semesters, the first or fall semester, commencing in August, and the second or spring semester, commencing in January. The Evening Division course of study requires eight semesters of class work. Completion of a total of 84 semester hours is required in order to earn the Juris Doctor degree.
  2. Definition of Credit Hour: The definition of a credit hour for the Evening Division program is the same as for the Day Division, as set forth in paragraph I(B)(2).
  3. Credit Enrollment Requirements: Evening students not participating in the Accelerated JD Program are required to enroll in a minimum of 21 credits per year (not including summer sessions) and 9 credits each semester, for 8 semesters (not including summer sessions), except as otherwise provided in these Rules and Regulations. Enrollment in more than 21 credits in one academic year will not reduce the 21 credit minimum requirement in any subsequent year, except as otherwise provided in these Rules and Regulations.

D. Accelerated JD Program

  1. Participation in the Accelerated JD Program is limited to day and evening students admitted to the program by the Office of Law Admission.
  2. Credit Enrollment Requirements (Day): Day students in the Accelerated JD Program are required to enroll in a minimum of two summer semesters and four non-summer semesters of study. Minimum credit enrollment requirements for each semester of study may vary depending on program constraints and will be established by the academic associate deans. Accelerated day students should generally expect to enroll in at least 40 total credits over their first summer, fall, and spring semesters, at least 12 credits in the second summer, and at least 15 credits in the final fall and spring semesters.
  3. Credit Enrollment Requirements (Evening): Evening students in the Accelerated JD Program are required to enroll in either
    1. two summer semesters and six non-summer semesters of study; or
    2. three summer semesters and five non-summer semesters of study. Minimum credit enrollment requirements for each semester of study may vary depending on program constraints and will be established by the academic associate deans. Accelerated evening students should generally expect to enroll in at least 33 total credits over their first summer, fall, and spring semesters, at least 28 total credits over their second summer, fall, and spring semesters, and at least 9 credits in each of the final two semesters (third summer and fall, or third fall and spring).
  4. Withdrawal from Accelerated JD Program (Day): Day students who voluntarily withdraw or are required by the Academic Standing Committee to withdraw from the Accelerated JD Program prior to the second required summer of study will thereafter be subject to the credit enrollment requirements of section I.B. above, and any further summer study will be subject to the limitations of section IV; except that any day student who completes the first required summer of study in the Accelerated JD Program and satisfies all JD degree requirements by the end of the fifth non-summer semester of study will not be required to enroll in a sixth non-summer semester, or, if such student has not earned enough credits to graduate by the end of the fifth non-summer semester, any summer credits earned by the student while enrolled in the Accelerated JD Program may be applied to reduce the student’s course load in the final semester of study, even if such reduction results in a course load of fewer than 10 credits.
  5. Withdrawal from Accelerated JD Program (Evening): Evening students who voluntarily withdraw or are required by the Academic Standing Committee to withdraw from the Accelerated JD Program prior to the second required summer of study will thereafter be subject to the credit enrollment requirements of section I.C. above, and any further summer study will be subject to the limitations of section IV, except that any evening student who completes the first required summer of study in the Accelerated JD Program and satisfies all JD degree requirements by the end of the seventh non-summer semester of study will not be required to enroll in eighth non-summer semester, or, if such student has not earned enough credits to graduate by the end of the seventh non-summer semester, any summer credits earned by the student while enrolled in the Accelerated JD Program may be applied to reduce the student’s course load in the final semester of study, even if such reduction results in a course load of fewer than 7 credits.

A. Course Loads

  1. Day Division: No Day Division student may register for more than 16 credits or less than 12 credits in any one semester, or register for credits which result in more than 30 credits or less than 27 credits in any academic year.
  2. Evening Division: No Evening Division student may register for more than 12 credits or less than 9 credits in any one semester, or register for credits which result in more than 24 credits or less than 21 credits in any academic year.

B. Attendance and Assignment Policy

  1. General A student must take the courses and examinations for the section in which the student is enrolled. Each student is expected to perform all class assignments and to attend class meetings regularly and in a punctual manner. Failure to do so may result in exclusion from the course, which may result in a grade of No Credit, F, probation, suspension, or dismissal.
  2. Applicable Absence Limitation With respect to any course, a student is allowed to miss up to the “Applicable Absence Limitation” for that course. Students with absences in excess of the Applicable Absence Limitation shall be excluded from the course, unless such excess absences are excused in accordance with Paragraph 8, below. The Applicable Absence Limitation shall mean 15% of the total minutes of instruction required for the credit amount of the course and is defined by the following table:
    Credit Hours/Semester or Summer Session Applicable Absence Limitation/Semester or Summer Session
    1-credit course, meets once a week 100 minutes of class, or one class meeting
    2-credit course, meets once a week 220 minutes of class, or up to two class meetings
    2-credit course, meets twice a week 220 minutes of class, or up to four class meetings
    3-credit course, meets once a week 330 minutes of class, or up to two class meetings
    3-credit course, meets twice a week 330 minutes of class, or up to four class meetings
    3-credit course, meets three times a week 330 minutes of class, or up to six class meetings
    4-credit course, meets twice a week 440 minutes of class, or up to four class meetings
    4-credit course, meets three times a week 440 minutes of class, or up to five class meetings
  3. Year-long Courses In year-long courses, each of the semesters of the course shall have its own Applicable Absence Limitation as defined above. Students may not “carry-over” unused absences to increase the Applicable Absence Limitation in the second semester of a year-long course
  4. Add/Drop Period For elective courses, class meetings during the add/drop period shall be disregarded in determining whether a student has exceeded the Applicable Absence Limitation. This does not apply to required courses, summer session, inter-session or intensive courses.
  5. Inter-session and Intensive Courses Because inter-session and intensive courses normally are designed to have a limited number of class meetings, there is no Applicable Absence Limitation available for these courses. Students are expected to attend all class meetings of inter-session and intensive courses. An absence or significant tardiness to an inter-session or an intensive classes will result in the student being excluded from the course. To obtain a waiver to this rule, a student must submit a petition to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will only grant the petition if 1) the petition shows an extraordinary and unavoidable circumstance, and 2) the instructor believes that the amount of absence will not unreasonably alter the level of engagement expected of all students in the course.
  6. Reasons for Absences The absences taken within Applicable Absence Limitation in any course must relate to short-term: family, personal, religious observance, localized weather, commuting, work or illness issues.
  7. Reporting Absences to the Instructor, Dean of Students Any absences within the Applicable Absence Limitation should be reported directly to the instructor by the student. Any absences in excess of the Applicable Absence Limitation or any absences of more than three consecutive school days shall be reported to the Dean of Students by the student as soon as practicable.
  8. Excused Absences Beyond the Applicable Absence Limitation The Dean of Students does not excuse absences that fall within the Applicable Absence Limitation. However, the Dean of Students may make a determination that, on account of extraordinary circumstances affecting an extended period of time, a student shall be excused for a limited amount of time beyond the Applicable Absence Limitation. Such extraordinary circumstances must relate to health, bereavement, family, military, or significant personal issues. Excusals will not be granted for vacations or on-going conflicts resulting from the student’s normal employment commitments. In addition, excusals will not be granted to relieve Day Students of the limitation on employment set by the law school. The Dean of Students may not excuse absences for more than one week’s worth of classes beyond the Applicable Absence Limitation or in circumstances where a student would miss more than 10 consecutive days of classes during a semester regardless of the circumstances. Students who have circumstances causing them to be absent for more than these specified periods shall consult with the Dean of Students regarding a Voluntary Leave of Absence or course withdrawal.
  9. Student Responsibilities Regarding Absences and Attendance Records Students are advised to keep a personal record of all absences. In courses where the instructor requires the students to sign an attendance sheet (or otherwise mark themselves as present), it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that this is done in a timely manner for each class. Students who mark or sign as present a classmate who is absent shall be subject to disciplinary action. Students are responsible for responding to the instructor and/or the Dean of Students about issues of attendance.
  10. Reporting of Excess Absences; Exclusion Determination In any course in which a student has been absent for more than the Applicable Absence Limitation, the instructor of that course shall notify the Dean of Students, indicating the dates or number of class absences. Once it is determined that the student is to be excluded from that course as per Paragraph 2., an Associate Dean, in light of applicable circumstances and upon consultation with the reporting instructor and the Dean of Students, shall determine whether to allow the student to withdraw from the course or whether to exclude that student from the course and to award that student a grade of F for the course.
  11. Tardiness and Early Departures Excessive tardiness or early departures from class may result in exclusion from a course under this policy. Excusals will not be granted for tardiness or early departures for normal and foreseeable commutes or work schedules.
  12. Religious Observances Absences on any particular day for religious observances are permitted in accordance with Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 151C, §2B.

C. Academic Standing Requirements

  1. First-year students

    The provisions of section 1 apply to all first-year students, except that application of these provisions to students in the Accelerated JD Program shall be subject to the modifications set forth in section 1.e.

    (All other students are subject to the provisions of section 2 – Upper-class Students.)

    1. First-Semester Academic Standing
      1. At the end of the first semester, a student is not in good academic standing and will be dismissed from the law school if either of the following applies:
        1. the student receives final grades that are unsatisfactory in three of the student’s first semester courses, or
        2. the student receives two or more final grades of D+ or lower in first semester courses. The dismissal is final, and there is no appeal of the dismissal. The academic performance and individual circumstances of students who are dismissed pursuant to this section are not subject to review by the Academic Standing Committee.
      2. The Academic Standing Committee will review a student who has unsatisfactory final grades in two courses for the first semester but who does not fall under II. C. 1. a. i. Such a student is not in good academic standing and may be dismissed. The Committee may vote to allow the student to continue on academic probation. The Committee may also set other conditions of the student’s continued enrollment, including but not limited to a reduction in course load, participation in academic and other student support programs or courses, repeat of certain courses, or a leave of absence from the school. In determining if a student may continue, the Committee will take into account the following:
        1. whether the student experienced extraordinary circumstances during the first semester that affected the student’s academic performance or
        2. whether the student is likely to succeed in the study of law. If the Committee votes to dismiss the student, that dismissal is final and unappealable.
      3. Students who receive one unsatisfactory grade in the first semester will
      1. receive a notice from the Academic Standing Committee warning the student of the Academic Standing Requirements and advising the student of academic support resources, and
      2. be required to meet with a faculty member, advisor or associate dean, to be designated by the Dean, to discuss their first semester difficulties and devise a course of action for achieving academic success and passing the bar examination. Students may be directed to participate in the Academic Support Program, enroll in particular courses in the upper year curriculum, or take other appropriate corrective measures.
    2. Second-Semester Academic Standing
      1. At the end of the second semester of the first-year, a student is not in good academic standing and will be dismissed from the law school if either of the following applies:
        1. the student has a grade point average of less than 2.00 for that academic year, or
        2. the student has unsatisfactory grades in three or more courses for that academic year. The dismissal is final, and there is no appeal of the dismissal. The academic performance and individual circumstances of students who are dismissed pursuant to this section are not subject to review by the Academic Standing Committee.
      2. ii. The Academic Standing Committee will review a student who does not fall within the above dismissal standard (II. C. 1. b. i.) but has a grade point average for that academic year ranging from 2.000 to below 2.330 or was reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee after the first semester and failed to meet one or more conditions of continued enrollment set by the Committee. Such a student is not in good academic standing and will be dismissed unless the committee finds by clear and convincing evidence that:`
        1. the student experienced extraordinary circumstances during the academic year,
        2. the extraordinary circumstances affected the student’s academic performance,
        3. those circumstances are no longer an impediment to the student’s academic performance; and
        4. the student is likely to succeed in the study of law, which includes a likelihood of passing a bar examination.
          If the Committee votes to dismiss the student, that dismissal is final and unappealable
      3. A student who has a grade point average after the second semester of the first year ranging from 2.330 to below 2.500 is not in good academic standing and will be reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee. Such a student will be dismissed unless the Committee finds by clear and convincing evidence that the student is likely to succeed in the study of law, which includes a likelihood of passing a bar examination. Evidence relevant to the Committee’s determination of likely success for purposes of this paragraph may include, but is not limited to, the absence of unsatisfactory grades in the student’s academic record, the presence of grades of B+ or higher, and demonstrated improvement in the student’s academic performance in the second semester relative to the first. If the Committee votes to dismiss the student, that dismissal is final and unappealable.
      4. iv. Students who are not in good academic standing but are allowed by the Academic Standing Committee to continue will be placed on academic probation and Academic Warning. The Committee may also set other conditions of the student’s continued enrollment, including but not limited to a reduction in course load, participation in academic and other student support programs or courses, repeat of certain courses (whether or not required by paragraph II.C.1.c. below), or a leave of absence from the school.
    3. Repeating Courses Students allowed to continue on academic probation after the first or second semester will be required to repeat any course taken during the first year of law school in which they received a grade of C- or lower. The Academic Standing Committee may, within its discretion, vote to waive this requirement regarding any course for which the student received a grade higher than F.
    4. Academic Warning In addition to those students who are placed on Academic Warning pursuant to the above Second-Semester Academic Standing provision, the following students will also be placed on Academic Warning, but without review by the Academic Standing Committee:
      1. Any student with a grade point average for the first year, ranging from 2.500 to below 2.670
      2. Any student who has at least two unsatisfactory grades for that academic year, regardless of the student’s grade point average. Students who are placed on Academic Warning must enroll in, and earn a satisfactory grade in, the following courses:
        1. Legal Analysis & Methods (must be taken no later than the fall semester of the student's second year)
        2. Evidence
        3. Trusts and Estates
        4. Business Entity Fundamentals
        5. Commercial Law Survey, Commercial Sales, or Secured Transactions
        6. Constitutional Law/Criminal Procedure
        7. Family Law
        8. Fundamentals of Law (must be taken in the student’s final semester)

        With the exception of Legal Analysis & Methods (which must be taken no later than the fall semester of the second year) and Fundamentals of Law (which must be taken in the student’s final semester), these courses may be taken at any time prior to graduation and they serve as a substitute for the Base Menu requirements that are applicable to students who are not on Academic Warning. Students on Academic Warning remain subject to all other graduation requirements.

        Students who receive an unsatisfactory grade in the above courses must participate in the Academic Support Program and are required to repeat the course in which the unsatisfactory grade was received.

        Course Guidance and Curriculum Review. Students are strongly urged to take advanced courses that serve to reinforce first-year courses in which they received unsatisfactory grades. Such courses may include advanced legal writing courses and such other courses as may be designated as appropriate by the Law Faculty. Students are also strongly urged to take advantage of all of the bar exam preparation opportunities, offered at the law school.

        Students on Academic Warning may not exceed the normal semester credit load for their division.

        The Academic Warning designation is not subject to appeal.

        [Academic Warning course requirements amended by Faculty 3/2/17]

    5. Special Provisions for Students in the Accelerated JD Program
      1. Any student enrolled in the Accelerated JD Program who has completed fewer than three semesters of study is a “first-year” student within the meaning of section 1. Any other student in the Accelerated JD Program is an “upper-class” student within the meaning of section
      2. For students in the Accelerated JD Program:

        aa. The “first semester” for purposes of section 1.a. is defined as the period from the beginning of the first required summer term to the end of the first fall semester of study. All courses taken by students in the Accelerated JD Program during this period will be regarded as “first semester courses” for purposes of section 1.a.

        bb. The “second semester” for purposes of section 1.b. is defined as the first spring semester of study.

        cc. The “first year” for purposes of section 1.d. and I.A.5 shall comprise the first required summer term, the first fall semester, and the first spring semester of study.

      3. At the end of the first required summer term, a student in the Accelerated JD Program is not in good academic standing and will be dismissed from the law school if either of the following applies:

        aa. the student receives final grades that are unsatisfactory in three courses in that term, or

        bb. the student receives two or more final grades of D+ or lower in in that term.

        The dismissal is final, and there is no appeal of the dismissal. The academic performance and individual circumstances of students who are dismissed pursuant to this section are not subject to review by the Academic Standing Committee.

      4. A student in the Accelerated JD Program who receives two unsatisfactory grades in the first required summer term and is not subject to automatic dismissal will be placed on academic probation for the first fall semester of study without review by the Academic Standing Committee, must participate in the Academic Support Program during the first fall semester, and must meet with an Associate Dean no later than four weeks after final grades for the first summer term have been posted in order to discuss the student’s academic performance and whether the student should continue in the Accelerated JD Program.
      5. A student in the Accelerated JD Program who receives one unsatisfactory grade in the first required summer term must meet with an Associate Dean no later than four weeks after final grades for that term have been posted in order to discuss the student’s academic performance and whether the student should continue in the Accelerated JD Program.
      6. Any student in the Accelerated JD Program subject to review by the Academic Standing Committee may be required by the Committee to withdraw from the Accelerated JD Program as a condition of being permitted to continue as a JD student.
  2. Upper-class Students
    1. An upper-class student is not in good academic standing if he or she receives final grades below C in more than one course in any semester.
    2. An upper-class student who is not in good academic standing after a semester, but who does not fall within paragraph (2)(c), shall be placed on probation for the following semester.
    3. An upper-class student whose average for the semester is no greater than 2.000, who receives final grades below C in three or more courses, or who receives final grades below C in more than one course while on probation, is not in good academic standing and may be dismissed. The Academic Standing Committee may vote to allow the student to continue on probation. The Committee will not allow the student to continue unless it finds by clear and convincing evidence that:
      1. the student experienced extraordinary circumstances during the semester,
      2. the extraordinary circumstances affected the student’s academic performance,
      3. those circumstances are no longer an impediment to the student’s academic performance; and
      4. the student is likely to succeed in the study of law, including a likelihood of passing a bar examination.
    4. If a student who is not on probation but has been on probation previously and is not in good academic standing at the conclusion of a semester, he or she shall come before the Academic Standing Committee, which shall determine, based on the student’s overall academic record and the student's reasons for failure to maintain good academic standing, whether or not the student shall be dismissed or be permitted to continue on probation.
    5. Any student who fails to achieve good academic standing for the relevant year or semester three times will be dismissed, unless at least five members of the Academic Standing Committee vote that the student be allowed to continue on probation. (For example, a student would fall into this category if his or her grades for the first year were below the standards for good standing, his or her grades for the second semester of the second year were below the standards for good standing, and his or her grades for the first semester of the third year were below the standards for good standing.) In the event the student is allowed to continue on probation, the Academic Standing Committee shall set the conditions of such probation.
  3. Academic Standing Committee
    1. Petitions for permission to continue will be considered by the Academic Standing Committee, consisting of six faculty members, the Dean of Students (serving Ex Officio) and an Associate Dean. The Associate Dean, who shall be a member of the Law School Faculty, shall serve as chair of the committee, and shall only vote in the case of a tie. The presence of four members of the Committee, not including the Chair or the Dean of Students, shall be sufficient for a quorum.
    2. The student shall be afforded an opportunity to submit a petition in writing to the committee and to be heard before the committee prior to its decision. Full documentation of the circumstances must accompany the petition. If such reasons involve physical or psychological incapacity before or during examinations, full documentation of the problem from a treating professional must accompany the petition.
    3. If the committee allows a student to continue on probation, it may impose conditions, including but not limited to repeating a course, periodic meetings with a faculty advisor, an assistance program prescribed by the committee, limitations on employment or extracurricular activities, or taking a semester or years leave prior to continuing. The decision of the Academic Standing Committee is final. There is no appeal of its decision.
  4. General Provisions
    1. No student may graduate with final grades below C in more than three courses or with an average below 2.000.
    2. No student may enroll in the second semester of a two-semester course, such as Property, Legal Practice Skills, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law or Contracts, if the student receives a final grade of F in the first semester of the course.
    3. A student, whether or not in good academic standing, shall be required to repeat any required course in which he or she receives a grade of F. Both the original grade of F and the grade received upon repetition of the course shall be included in the student’s grade point average. For purposes of this Regulation II (C) (4) (c), the term “required course” shall mean all first year courses, including for evening students Constitutional Law and Property although offered in the second year. For purposes of this Regulation II (C) (4) (c) the term “required course” shall also include Professional Responsibility. For purposes of this Regulation II (C) (4) (c) the term “required course” does not include Base Menu courses. A Base Menu course in which a student receives a grade of F may not be counted in satisfaction of the Base Menu Requirement. For purposes of this Regulation II (C) (4) (c), the reexamination procedure prescribed by Regulation III (G) has no effect.
    4. An upper-class student taking a reduced program shall not be in good academic standing if his or her grade point average for the semester falls below 2.000 or if he or she receives grades below C in more than 30% of the total credit hours carried. A first-year student taking a reduced program shall not be in good academic standing if his or her grade point average for the first year falls below 2.000 or if he or she receives grades below C in more than 30% of the total credit hours carried
    5. For purposes of determining a student’s academic standing, a grade of No Credit shall be equivalent to an F.
    6. If a course description specifies a course to be a prerequisite for registration, a student shall not be treated as having satisfied the prerequisite if the student receives a grade of F with respect to the prerequisite course.
    7. g. Any student who receives an unsatisfactory grade (C- or below) in Legal Practice Skills is required to enroll in Advanced Legal Writing.
    8. A student who has been dismissed from the law school in accordance with any of the provisions of the Academic Standing Requirements may not reenroll in the J.D. program unless he or she complies with the law school’s Readmissions process and timeframes.  See Rule VI (Readmissions).
    9. Students on Academic Probation or Academic Warning may not exceed the normal semester credit load for their division.
    10. Dual Degree students who are academically dismissed from their non-law program will be automatically dismissed from the law school. In cases where a Dual Degree student is subject to conditions of enrollment in their non-law program due to academic deficiency, the Chair of the Academic Standing Committee will determine if such conditions will apply to the student’s law school courses.

D. Dean's List

The Dean’s List is an annual honor designation for students placing in the top 33%, solely for that academic year, of (i) the first year student body, or (ii) the upper-class student body, as the case may be. Those students who qualify for the Dean’s List will be determined annually, after completion of the spring term, by the Assistant Dean for Academic Services and the Academic Associate Deans using the grades from the year just completed. The Dean’s List will be announced shortly after grades for the spring term are posted. No change will be made to the Dean’s List G.P.A. once it has been determined.


E. Graduation With Honors

A student who has complied with all requirements for the degree of Juris Doctor, and whose scholastic achievements, in the judgment of the Faculty, have been outstanding, will be recommended for the degree with honors. The graduating student with the highest cumulative average in the day and evening divisions will be awarded the degree summa cum laude; the Faculty may in its discretion also award the graduation honors summa cum laude to additional students.

Honors will be determined as follows:

  • Summa Cum Laude: Students in the top 3 percent in each division.
  • Magna Cum Laude: Students in top 8 percent in each division but below the standard for Summa Cum Laude.
  • Cum Laude: Students in top 25 percent in each division but below the standard for Magna Cum Laude.

For the purposes of determining honors, the January and May graduates of the same calendar year will be considered the graduating class. Honor determinations for September graduates will be based on the honor determinations made in the preceding May of the same calendar year.  Students are eligible for honors only in the calendar year and division in which they actually graduate regardless of Leaves of Absence, early degree completion, change of division or any other change (unexpected or not) to their anticipated graduation date.   


F. Academic Integrity

  1. Any violation of academic integrity shall be viewed as a serious infraction of the Rules and Regulations of the Law School. Violations of academic integrity shall include, but are not limited to, dishonesty in the examination process and plagiarism in written work. Plagiarism is the representation of the language, ideas or format of another as one’s own in any writing submitted for academic purposes.
  2. Use of the work of another without proper attribution constitutes plagiarism whether or not the writer acts with intent to mislead or deceive. However, such intent, or the lack of it, may be considered in determining the proper sanction if a violation is established.
  3. It is not permissible to paraphrase more than a few words of the work of another. Any idea which is paraphrased from the work of another must be properly acknowledged. It is impermissible to use quotations from sources, even with acknowledgment,  unless the material quoted is properly identified in the text (e.g. by quotation marks, in a block quote, etc.), attributed, and cited including the specific page(s) where the quoted material may be found.
  4. It is also impermissible to copy substantial parts of the sentence structure, paragraph structure, or organizational format of the work of another, even if some words or ideas are changed from the original. Such borrowing is impermissible even if citations to the source are included in the text. A general citation of a source, without quotation, is not sufficient to acknowledge the borrowing of the words or intellectual structure of another’s work. Such citations indicate that the source supports the idea in the citing text, not that the words or structure of the cited work are used. Quotations must be given verbatim and indented or placed in quotation marks.
  5. Other than as provided in Rule I. H. 1. f. or as allowed under Academic Concentration rules, no student may submit the same written work, or substantially the same paper, in satisfaction of more than one academic requirement. If, in unusual circumstances, a student is authorized to submit the same work, or parts of the same work, in satisfaction of more than one requirement, written consent of all persons to whom the work is to be submitted must be obtained in advance, and retained by the student and all persons to whom the writing is submitted. It is permissible, with the consent of the professor, to use a paper submitted for course credit to satisfy the writing requirement as well.
  6. It is a violation of this regulation to provide any written work to another student, with the knowledge that it will be submitted as his or her original work in satisfaction of any course requirement or for any other school-related purpose.
  7. Academic credit may be withheld for any work which violates this regulation. Academic credit awarded for work which is later discovered to have been submitted in violation of this regulation may be withdrawn. A degree awarded in part on the basis of such course credit may be revoked.
  8. The presumptive sanction for a deliberate act of plagiarism is suspension or dismissal from the Law School.
  9. This regulation applies to all work submitted by a student for any course or school-related activity. This includes not only course papers and examinations but also written work for the law reviews, moot court competitions and similar law school-related activities. Where original work is expected, the regulation applies to drafts as well as final submissions. The regulation does not apply to those unusual situations in which the student is not expected to submit original work. For example, it might not apply to drafting pleadings in a clinical setting.
  10. Students are responsible for compliance with these requirements. A student who has any doubt about the propriety of his or her use of sources, or as to whether the work is expected to be original work, should consult with the relevant professor or supervisor before or at the time of submission of the work in question.
  11. By submitting any written work for academic credit or for any school-related purpose, the student represents that the work submitted complies with the provisions of these regulations.

G. Credit for Clinical and Other Non-Classroom Activities

  1. Cumulative limit on credits for ungraded, non-classroom work and clinical fieldwork. A student may count no more than 16 credits of ungraded non-classroom work and clinical fieldwork toward the degree. A student may not count more than 12 credits of clinical fieldwork toward the degree. These limits do not apply to the seminar component of an in-house clinic or an externship.

    Example: Student takes an eight-credit in-house clinic, for which four credits are assigned to the seminar component and four to the fieldwork. Only the four credits for fieldwork count toward the credit restrictions in this subsection.

    Example: Student takes an externship that includes a two-credit seminar and three credits for fieldwork. Only the three credits of fieldwork count toward the credit restrictions in this subsection.

  2. Limit on non-classroom ungraded activities in one semester. A student may not receive more than two units of credit in any semester for non-classroom ungraded activities, as opposed to regular course work. Non-classroom ungraded activities which count toward the two-credit-per-semester limit include directed study, law journal work (including Law Review, Transnational Law Review, Journal Of Health and Biomedical Law, Journal of High Technology Law, Moot Court, including Moot Court teams and Journal of Trial and Appellate Advocacy, research assistantships, and concentration thesis credits. The fieldwork component of an externship does not count toward this two-credit limit.

    Example: Student takes an externship which includes a two-credit seminar and three ungraded credits for fieldwork. The student may still receive two credits in that semester for other non-classroom ungraded activities.

    Example: Student receives two ungraded credits for work on a law school journal. The student may not receive additional ungraded credits in the same semester for a directed study, research assistantship or concentration thesis. The student may receive credits for the ungraded fieldwork component of an externship in that semester.

  3. Limit on enrollment in in-house clinics and externships. A student may only enroll in one in-house clinic while obtaining the Juris Doctor degree, unless he or she is granted a waiver by the Director of Clinical Programs. Students may not enroll in an in-house clinic and an externship during the same semester. A student may not enroll in more than one externship for credit during a single semester.
  4. Credit/ no credit grades for non-classroom activities. Non-classroom activities which are not graded under the law school’s generally applicable grading rules and fieldwork credits for externships shall be graded on a Credit/ No Credit basis. The grade of Credit shall be a satisfactory grade. The grade of No Credit shall be the equivalent of the grade of F. Students will receive a letter grade under the Law School’s general grading rules for the seminar component of an externship and for the seminar and fieldwork components of an in-house clinic.
  5. The instructor in any non-anonymously graded course may elect to grade the course on an Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail basis. Such grades will not be calculated into a student’s cumulative average. An instructor must notify the students at the first meeting of the course if the instructor elects the Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail basis of grading. Prospective students in a clinical course will be notified at the time of application if the instructor intends to utilize the Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail basis of grading. For all purposes under these Regulations, the grades of Honors, Pass, and Low Pass shall be satisfactory grades, and the grade of Fail shall be the equivalent of a grade of F.

H. Legal Writing Requirement Policy

Prior to graduation each student must complete a substantial piece of legal writing that demonstrates both proficiency in writing skills and mastery of the subject matter, known as the “Legal Writing Requirement.” It is strongly recommended that students complete the Legal Writing Requirement no later than their next to last semester prior to graduation. To satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement, students must satisfy the rules, requirements, and procedures listed below.

  1. General Rules
    1. A paper intended to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement must be substantial, meaning a length of at least 20 typewritten pages of double-spaced text (at least 4,000 words, not counting appendices). If in the judgment of the supervising faculty member, two or more pieces of written work cumulatively are the equivalent of a substantial piece of legal writing, they may jointly qualify to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement.
    2. The student’s research and writing for the paper should reflect the student’s own individual effort. It should be the student’s original work. A writing that is in whole or in part a product of plagiarism does not meet the standards of this requirement, much less the rules related to Academic Integrity set out in Regulation II (F), which should be reviewed by the student at the outset and which governs the student’s conduct. The student may not receive any assistance on the paper from anyone, unless the supervising faculty member has given the student express permission. The paper, or substantially the same paper, must not have been submitted for credit in any previous course. If in extraordinary circumstances, a student is authorized to submit the same work, or parts of the same work, in satisfaction of more than one requirement, written consent of all persons to whom the work is to be submitted must be obtained in advance and be on file with the Academic Services Office. To assure compliance with the rules related to academic integrity, and in order to submit a paper to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement, each student should be given a copy of this Legal Writing Requirement and shall certify before undertaking it that the student has read and understood the Legal Writing Requirement, including the rules relating to Academic Integrity (Regulation II (F)).
    3. Each student should use The Bluebook, A Uniform Manual for Citation or its equivalent for all citations.
    4. The student’s paper must demonstrate proficiency in writing skills and a mastery of the subject matter. In assessing whether the student has succeeded, the following criteria will be relevant:
      1. the quality of the student’s research;
      2. the manner in which the student treated and examined open questions;
      3. the creativity of the student’s ideas or synthesis of those of others;
      4. the organization of the paper;
      5. the clarity of the writing;
      6. the quality and accuracy of the analysis;
      7. the editing and proofreading of the paper;
      8. the student’s understanding of the topic; and
      9. the degree to which the student’s paper concisely and simply communicates the student’s ideas and analysis.
    5. In the discretion of the supervising faculty member, the faculty member may consider other factors in determining the student’s proficiency in writing skills and a mastery of the subject matter, including the student’s failure to meet any of the established requirements, procedures or deadlines.
    6. Each student must file a form with the Academic Services Office by his or her last semester prior to graduation, indicating the manner in which the Legal Writing Requirement will be satisfied and making the required certification. It is strongly recommended that students complete the Legal Writing Requirement no later than their next to last semester prior to graduating. A student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement in only one of the following ways:
      1. Full-time faculty supervised writing: A student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement by writing a paper under close supervision or oversight by a member of the full-time faculty, certified by the faculty member as meeting the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement. For example, a paper written for a course or seminar, or work as a directed study project or work prepared as a research assistant to a full-time faculty member, may qualify.
      2. Adjunct faculty supervised writing: A student may also satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement by writing a paper under close supervision or oversight by a member of the adjunct faculty in a course or seminar, with the approval of an Associate Dean, and certified by the adjunct faculty member as meeting the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement.
      3. Journal writing: If the student is a member of the Journal of High Technology Law, Journal of Health & Biomedical Law, Law Review, or Transnational Law Review, the student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement by writing a case comment, note, or other document that has been approved by that publication's Faculty Advisor(s), by writing it under close supervision or oversight by a member of the full-time faculty, certified by the faculty member as meeting the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement. The submitted writing must be accepted for publication or certified by the Board of Editors as of publishable quality. If the student is not a member of an Honor Board, a student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement by writing a case comment selected through the summer author competition and accepted for publication.
      4. Moot Court writing: If the student is a member of the Moot Court Board, a student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement by completing a bench memorandum, brief, or other writing under close supervision or oversight by a full-time faculty member and certified by the faculty member or the faculty advisor to the Moot Court Board as meeting the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement. Other writing may include writing for the Journal of Trial and Appellate Advocacy, if it is accepted for publication in the Journal, or certified by the Board of Editors as of publishable quality, and otherwise meets the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement.
      5. Writing for competition: A student may not use a brief prepared for an interscholastic moot court competition to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement if the rules of the competition prohibit faculty involvement in or supervision of the student’s brief. A competition brief may be used to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement only if such work is completed with close supervision or oversight by a full-time faculty member and is certified by the faculty member as meeting the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement. No student may use a co-authored or team brief to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement unless the supervising faculty member certifies that the student wrote a distinct portion of the brief that independently meets the standards of the Requirement.
      6. Restriction on fulfilling the experiential learning requirement: A course that is used for the Legal Writing Requirement may not also be used to satisfy the Experiential Learning requirement.
  2. Procedures, Requirements, and Deadlines Fulfilling the Legal Writing Requirement requires due diligence and steady progress by the student involved. Every student must follow the procedures, requirements, and deadlines below in order to complete the Legal Writing Requirement, except as expressly modified by the supervising faculty member to fit the needs of a paper for a course or alternative described in section H (1) (f) (i-v). These procedures, requirements, and deadlines are ordinarily the minimum that students should be expected to meet. No student shall seek exemption from these Legal Writing Requirement procedures, requirements, and deadlines except for reasons of severe illness or for personal emergencies of the most serious nature. Prior to the due date of the paper, students must submit a signed request for extension to the supervising faculty member, which sets forth in detail the extraordinary circumstances believed to justify the exemption.

    In responding to the student submissions set out below, the supervising faculty member should offer feedback to assist the student’s success, including one or more opportunities for the student to meet with the supervising faculty member. The supervising faculty member may also respond by commenting on the submissions received, suggesting ways to improve the work, and requiring, when the supervising faculty member deems it appropriate, submission of additional work or drafts by the student.

    1. Topic The student must submit to the supervising faculty member for such member’s approval a brief topic statement (not exceeding one page) describing the topic selected and the scope and focus of the paper. SUGGESTED DUE DATE: By the end of the second week of the semester.
    2. Research Plan and List of Authorities The student must submit to the supervising faculty member a research plan that includes a list of authorities, relevant to the topic selected, which the student proposes to examine. SUGGESTED DUE DATE: By the end of the fourth week of the semester.
    3. Outline The student must submit to the supervising faculty member an outline of the paper, showing the organization of the issues relevant to the topic, including what the student will discuss and how that discussion will be organized; how the authorities are to be integrated into a discussion of the issues; and the basic structure of the student’s analysis and conclusions. (A detailed outline should essentially be a “skeleton” for the first draft of the paper, so that, for example, a mere list of authorities would not be adequate to meet this standard. At the same time, students whose research and analysis lead them into new directions should feel that they can improve on their outline for their first draft.) SUGGESTED DUE DATE: By the end of the eighth week of the semester.
    4. First Draft The student must submit to the supervising faculty member a first draft of the paper’s discussion and analysis of the topic with appropriate citations and footnotes. SUGGESTED DUE DATE: By the end of the tenth week of the semester.
    5. Final Paper The student must submit to the supervising faculty member the final version of the paper for evaluation by the supervising faculty member. Because meeting deadlines is an important professional obligation, and supervising faculty need the opportunity to submit student grades in a timely manner, no paper submitted after the last day of the grading period for that semester will be deemed to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement. An exception may be made where late delivery occurs with approval of the supervising faculty member, after he or she considers the student’s written statement of the extenuating circumstances and supporting documentation, which the student must submit with the paper for any requested late delivery to be considered. Late papers without such approval may receive an incomplete or unsatisfactory grade or other late sanctions of the faculty member as well as be deemed not to be in compliance with the standards to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement. DUE DATE: No later than the last day of the grading period.

I. Elective Add/Drop Period

During the first week of classes a student who has registered for an elective course or courses may add or drop the course or courses. Course changes are not allowed before the first day of classes or after the close of the designated add/drop period, except with the permission of the Assistant Dean for Academic Services, the Dean of Students or an Associate Dean. Failure to withdraw within the add/drop period may result in a grade of No Credit (F).


J. Extensions Beyond End of Semester

Any paper or other project required for a final grade in a course must be submitted by the deadline set by the instructor for the course. If, for compelling reasons (other than a disability accommodation that may be granted for a specific project or paper, which must first be requested through the law school’s disability coordinator), the instructor allows an extension of time to complete the paper or project, the extension may be for a period no longer than 90 days from the end of the examination period. It is entirely within the instructor’s discretion to set the extended deadline for a period shorter than 90 days. No further extension may be granted unless approved by the Assistant Dean for Academic Services, the Dean of Students or an Associate Dean for extraordinary reasons. During any extension, the course grade will be recorded temporarily as “Incomplete.” However, if by the end of the examination period or extension, the paper or project has not been submitted, a grade of NO CREDIT (F) will be recorded.

If more than one unresolved Incomplete or Exam Excusal (as defined in Rule III. F.) appears in a student’s cumulative academic record, the student may not enroll in any courses for any subsequent semester or session until no more than one such Incomplete or Exam Excusal remains. Students who are unable to enroll in any courses for a semester due to this restriction will be placed on a leave of absence. A student’s academic standing for a given semester will be determined once all Incomplete(s) and/or Exam Excusal(s) are resolved.


K. Special Students and Reduced Course Loads

Special programs of study, including reduced course loads, not prescribed by the Faculty must be approved in advance of registration by the Dean of Students. A regular student who by adding or dropping courses does not take a normal course load during any academic year may be reclassified as a special student for annual tuition payment purposes. In no event will the total tuition cost of the Juris Doctor degree for a special student be less than that for a regular student. A student taking ten (10) credit hours or more per semester in the Day Division or seven (7) credit hours or more in the Evening Division per semester is a regular student for purposes of tuition. .

A first year student receiving fewer than 25 credit hours in the day division or fewer than 16 credit hours in the evening division will not receive a class rank. Without a class rank a student may not be eligible for certain honors including but not limited to some scholarships and honor board competitions.

All students are expected to complete Legal Practice Skills during their first year, including those who have been approved for a reduced-course load. No student may withdraw from Legal Practice Skills unless he or she is withdrawing from Legal Practice Skills as part of an overall Leave of Absence from school. Accordingly, withdrawals due to class absences, failure to complete assignments on time, or due to the likelihood of a low final grade in Legal Practice Skills will not be permitted.

A. Grading Policy

1. Grading standards for the required courses in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts.

The distribution of grades submitted in a course by a faculty member in each semester shall conform to the following limits:

A     5% to 10%
A- and higher     20% to 25%
B+ and higher     35% to 45%
B and higher     65% to 70%
B- and lower     30% to 35%
C+ and lower     20% to 25%
C and lower     10% to 16%
C- and lower     0% to 12%

2. B+ median: In courses other than those covered by paragraph 1 of this Policy and having an enrollment of 25 or more students, the required median final course grade is B+.

3. 2:1 ratio limit on grades above and below B+: In courses other than those covered by paragraph 1 of this Policy and having an enrollment of 25 or more students, the number of grades above B+ shall be no more than two times the number of grades below B+, and the number of grades below B+ shall be no more than two times the number of grades above B+.

4. Recommended adherence: In courses other than those covered by paragraph 1 of this Policy and having an enrollment of at least 15 and no more than 24 students, adherence to the B+ median and grading ratio set forth in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Policy is strongly recommended, except for courses defined as experiential courses under these Rules.

5. Courses with graduating students: Where an instructor submits an incomplete roster of final grades due to the early deadline for submitting the grades of graduating students, the instructor should make good faith judgments based on available facts and circumstances in an effort to achieve compliance with the mandatory B+ median and grading ratio limit.

6. The policies set forth in paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this Policy do not apply to the following courses: Advanced Survey of Core Legal Principles; Clinical Program courses; Fundamentals of Law; Introduction to US Law; Legal Analysis & Methods; and Legal Practice Skills.

B. Grading System

Students will be graded on a scale of 0.00 to 4.00. Faculty may request a half-step grade increase for a student’s class participation provided such participation was not already included in the original grade submitted. Faculty must submit to the Assistant Dean for Academic Services a list of students receiving grade increases at the time of, or prior to, submission of grades.

Cumulative and yearly grade point averages (GPAs) will be computed and recorded by a 0.0 to 4.00 system. A student’s official transcript will also show the letter grades awarded for all courses taken and will translate those letter grades into yearly and final cumulative grade point averages (GPAs).

Reports of grades are made as follows:

   Grading System   
A     4.00
A-    3.67
B+     3.33
B     3.00
B-     2.67
C+     2.33
C     2.00
C-     1.67
D+     1.33
D     1.00
D-     0.67
F     0.00

Grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+ and C are considered Satisfactory (but receiving satisfactory grades does not guarantee a grade point average sufficient to maintain good academic standing). Grades of C-, D+, D, and D- are considered Unsatisfactory. A grade of F is considered a Failure and no credit is awarded.

Once course grades are submitted by the instructor to the Academic Services Office they may not be altered (other than to correct a clerical error), and are not subject to appeal by students.

C. Grades and Examinations

Course instructors may use a number of different assessment methods for grading the students in their classes, including use of quizzes, one or more assignments (papers, memos, drafting exercises, simulations, oral exercises or presentations), class participation, mid-term examination, final examination, or final paper. This also includes following a traditional approach by offering a three-hour examination given at the end of the semester. The instructor will notify the students of the grading method used.

D. Class Rank

A student’s class rank is determined on the basis of his or her weighted average, which is cumulated after the first year. Official class ranks are compiled only at the close of each academic year. However, unofficial class ranks are compiled after the first semester for upperclass students. Only official class ranks may be recorded on a transcript.

Class rank will be recorded on the transcript for any student who requests it. For first-year students only, section rank will also be recorded at the student’s option.

A first year student receiving fewer than 25 credit hours in the day division or fewer than 16 credit hours in the evening division will not receive a class rank. Without a class rank a student may not be eligible for certain honors including but not limited to some scholarships and honor board competitions.

E. Examination Numbers

Examination numbers are used in all examinations. Only those students who have fulfilled their financial obligations to the University will receive examination numbers. A student must take the courses and examinations for the section in which he or she is enrolled.

The Examination Rules and Regulations govern all examinations. The Examination Rules and Regulations are available on the Law School’s web-site and Portal.

F. Failure to Take Examinations

No student may fail to take an examination scheduled for his or her program of study or take an examination not so scheduled. If for some compelling reason beyond his or her control the student is unable to take a scheduled examination, the student should contact the Dean of Students before missing the exam or as soon as practicable thereafter to request relief under the Exam Postponement Policy. An unapproved failure to take a scheduled examination will result in a grade of F for the examination.

If the Dean of Students approves a student’s request to postpone an exam and it is not feasible for the student to take the exam within 30 days of its regular administration or within a reasonable timeframe for grading if shorter, the student will be given an Exam Excusal and the student's grade for the course will be recorded temporarily as an “X”. A permanent grade of F will be recorded if the student fails to take the next regularly scheduled examination in the course. In situations where it is not feasible for the student to take an examination the next time it is offered after receiving an Exam Excusal, an Academic Associate Dean shall have discretion to determine a resolution.

A student who without permission fails to sit for a final examination will receive a grade of F for the course and may be dismissed.

No record will be made or credit given for an unapproved taking of any examination.

G. Privacy

Note: In accordance with the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, 20 U.S.C § 1232 (g)), commonly known as the “Buckley Amendment”, Suffolk University has adopted regulations to protect the privacy rights of its students. A copy of these regulations is available in the University Registrar’s Office and on the Law School’s web-site and Portal.

This Section IV of the Rules and Regulations does not apply to summer study undertaken in satisfaction of the requirements of the Accelerated JD Program or dual degree programs.

The following Paragraphs (A-D) apply to the Suffolk University Law School summer programs in Boston and Galway, Ireland. For non-Suffolk summer programs, see policy on Visiting Out, Study Abroad and Electives at Non-Suffolk Programs.

A. Eligibility

Suffolk University Law School offers a 12-week summer program in Boston open to students who have completed the first year of law school in good standing at an American Bar Association-accredited law school. An applicant to the program must present a letter of good standing from the dean of his or her law school.

All students participating in Suffolk University summer abroad programs must be in good standing. Additional requirements may apply. For more information, visit the Study Abroad page on the Law School’s website.

Notes: For purposes of the ABA residency requirement, the summer law program in Boston is equivalent to one-half semester. The Suffolk University Law School Summer abroad programs are not covered by this section (IV.A.)

B. Course Load

Any student in the day or evening division may take up to 6 credits in one summer without special permission. Any student wishing to take more than 6 credits in one summer must petition the Assistant Dean for Academic Services for special administrative approval.

C. Early Graduation Through Summer Law Program [Evening Students Only]

Any evening student who enrolls in two or more summer sessions in the Suffolk Summer Law Program and completes all degree requirements by the end of the fifth non-summer semester of study will not be required to enroll in a sixth non-summer semester, provided that the student has earned at least 9 credits through such summer study; or at least 8 credits in such summer study plus at least 4 credits in a Suffolk summer session not in Boston.

Students enrolled in the day division may not use summer credits to eliminate a full non-summer semester of study.

D. Application of Summer Credits to Final Semester

  1. Any day or evening division student may apply credits earned during a summer session to his or her final semester (without approval from the Assistant Dean for Academic Services), subject to the limitations set forth in paragraphs (2) and (3) below.
  2. Summer credits may not be used to reduce an evening division student’s course load to fewer than 7 credits, unless the student has enrolled in at least one Suffolk summer session and earned at least 3 credits through such summer study.
  3. Summer credits may not be used to reduce a day division student’s course load to fewer than 10 credits, unless the student has enrolled in at least one Suffolk summer session and earned at least 3 credits through such summer study.
  4. No student may use credits earned through summer study to eliminate a non-summer semester except as provided in paragraph (C) above.

A. Voluntary Leaves of Absences and Voluntary Withdrawals

If a student is currently unable to continue the study of law, the Assistant Dean for Academic Services, Dean of Students or an Associate Dean may grant the student a Leave of Absence for up to one year. A student granted a leave of absence is entitled to return to the Law School at the end of the term of the leave without reapplying for admission, subject to the requirements and process set forth in the Voluntary Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Policy. A Leave of Absence will be granted to a first-year student only under extraordinary circumstances.

A student who wishes to withdraw from the Law School must file a written request to do so and obtain permission from the Assistant Dean for Academic Services, Dean of Students or an Associate Dean. No student may withdraw after the examination period begins or while consideration of his or her academic standing is pending.

The specific process and form necessary for requesting a voluntary leave of absence or voluntary withdrawal are more fully described in the Voluntary Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Process, contained within this publication and on the Law School’s website and Portal.

B. Involuntary Leave of Absence

The Law School may place a student on an Involuntary Leave of Absence in certain circumstances. The process for an Involuntary Leave of Absence is more fully described in the section entitled, “Involuntary Leave of Absence” within this publication and on the Law School’s website.

C. Failure to Return at Conclusion of Leave of Absence

Students who fail to enroll at the conclusion of a Leave of Absence will be withdrawn from the Law School. Those in this situation who wish to return to the Law School must apply for readmission in accordance with the Readmissions Process outlined in the Law School Rules and Regulations.

D. Failure to File Previous Educational Transcript(s)

Transcripts verifying all academic credits undertaken and degree(s) conferred of a student enrolled in the Law School must be filed with the Law School no later than October 15 of the student’s first year. Students who fail to file transcripts by this deadline will be withdrawn from the Law School and will be responsible for any tuition charges under the tuition refund policy.

A. Consideration of Readmission Applications and Petitions

  1. Non-Academic Separations. A student who has previously voluntarily withdrawn from the law school with decanal approval who was administratively withdrawn for failure to enroll or attend classes, who has been previously dismissed for administrative reasons, or was dismissed for disciplinary reasons must submit a petition seeking readmission in order to reenter the law school. Such petitions, which must be submitted on a form provided by the Admissions Office, will be considered by the Admissions Office in consultation with the Dean of Students and Associate Deans . In the case of a student dismissed for disciplinary reasons, the Admissions Office will make a recommendation to the faculty, which will determine whether to readmit the student. A student who is readmitted to the law school after having withdrawn or having been dismissed for administrative or disciplinary reasons is subject to the academic requirements and regulations in force upon reentry. All petitions seeking readmission after a non-academic separation must address, in detail, the reasons for the student’s prior withdrawal or dismissal and provide a statement explaining why the prior circumstances will no longer affect the student’s ability to successfully study law and practice law.
  2. Academic Separations. A student who has previously been dismissed for academic reasons and wishes to reenter the law school must submit a written petition for readmission. Such petition, submitted on a form provided by the Admissions Office, will be considered by the Faculty Academic Standing Committee or its designees. The Academic Standing Committee shall not act favorably upon a readmission petition unless the petitioner has demonstrated to the Committee’s satisfaction by clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner possesses the requisite ability to succeed in the study of law.

The petition shall be in three parts:

  • Part I shall inform the Committee of the reasons for the petitioner’s academic deficiency while enrolled in the law school. Full documentation of the circumstances must accompany the petition. If such reasons involve physical or psychological incapacity before or during examinations, full documentation of the problem from a treating professional must accompany the petition.
  • Part II shall inform the Committee of all events in the petitioner’s life since the date of his or her academic dismissal that bear on the petitioner’s ability to succeed in the study of law. Part II shall include relevant information, supported when appropriate by verifying documentation, pertaining to the petitioner’s post-dismissal employment history and/or academic pursuits, post-dismissal medical history (to the extent that it bears on the ability to study law) and post-dismissal arrests and/or convictions, if any.
  • Part III shall inform the Committee of the reasons why the petitioner believes that he or she now possesses the requisite ability to succeed in the study of law. Included in Part III shall be an explanation of why the cause(s) of the petitioner’s academic deficiency will not continue to interfere with the petitioner’s ability to succeed in the study of law.

A petitioner’s failure to apprise the Committee of all relevant facts that bear on the petitioner’s ability to succeed in the study of law, including those that are adverse to the petitioner, or to furnish appropriate verifying documentation, in and of itself is grounds for denial of the readmission application.

Historically, readmission to the law school following academic dismissal is rarely approved. In those cases where the Committee acts favorably on a petition for readmission, the Committee has wide latitude to place conditions on readmission as it deems advisable in order to increase the likelihood that the readmitted student will succeed in the study of law. By way of example only, the Committee may require that no academic credit be awarded for a course for which the petitioner received a satisfactory grade while enrolled at the law school prior to academic dismissal. An applicant who is readmitted to the law school following academic dismissal is subject to the academic requirements and regulations in force upon reentry.

B. Time Restrictions on Certain Petitions and Applications for Readmission

  1. A student who withdrew from the law school with decanal approval or who was administratively withdrawn due to failure to enroll or attend classes must submit a petition for readmission no later than June 15th for enrollment in the next Fall semester, no later than November 1st for enrollment in the next Spring semester and no later than April 1st for enrollment in the next Summer School session. Such a former student must submit a petition, in letter form, as described in Paragraph A (1) above.
  2. If a student was previously dismissed for administrative or disciplinary reasons, the former student may not submit a petition for readmission sooner than 12 calendar months from the effective date of dismissal. If the applicant is readmitted, the applicant may not enroll before 24 calendar months have elapsed since the effective date of dismissal. The Administrative Committee shall indicate the “effective date of dismissal.”
  3. If a student was previously dismissed for academic reasons pursuant to Academic Rules and Regulations II C, the former student may petition for readmission to the law school no sooner than March 1 in the second calendar year following dismissal. The petition for readmission must be submitted no later than June 1 of the academic year in which the petitioner seeks to reenter the law school.

C. Procedure and Requirements for All Reapplications

All petitions for readmission must be submitted through the law school's Office of Admissions and must be accompanied by a completed readmission application form, available from the Office of Admissions. All petitioners for readmission must submit a Character and Fitness disclosure form with their readmission application. All petitioners must also have a valid score from an LSAT exam taken within five years of the date of desired readmission. Petitioners with LSAT scores older than five years must, in addition to submitting a petition as required above, retake the LSAT and submit an application through the LSAC in order to be considered for readmission.

All petitions and any accompanying materials must be received by the Office of Admissions by the appropriate date as set forth in Paragraph B (Time Restrictions). Petitions that are not submitted by said deadline will not be considered. Petitioners for readmission are not entitled to an interview regarding their petition.

D. Limit on Reapplication

If a petition for readmission by a former student is denied, the denial is final and unappealable. A subsequent petition for readmission may not be submitted within five years of the denial of the previous petition.

A. Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration

A candidate for the JD/MPA program must meet the admission criteria for both the MPA, as determined by the Sawyer School of Management, and the JD as determined by the Law School. No student will be considered for admission to the School of Management until the Law School Admissions Committee has acted favorably.

The curriculum requirements for the JD/MPA program are controlled by the respective schools. The JD/MPA degrees will be granted upon completion of 110 semester hours of work. Of this number, 80 semester hours must be completed in the Law School and 30 in the MPA program. Eighteen semester hours of electives are also required. At least nine semester hours must be taken in the Law School. The remaining nine hours may be completed in either the Law School or MPA program.

Course requirements for the JD/MPA program may be obtained from the Law School’s web-site.

B1. Juris Doctor/Masters of Business Administration

A candidate for the JD/MBA program must apply separately to the Law School and to the University Graduate Admissions Office, indicating, on both applications, interest in the JD/MBA. Applicants must meet the general admissions standards of both the Law School and the Sawyer Business School. No student will be considered for admission to the Sawyer Business School until the Law School Admissions Committee has acted favorably. The GMAT requirement is waived with substitution of the LSAT score for those with a favorable Law School admission decision.

A candidate for the four-year JD/MBA program may apply to both schools simultaneously or they may apply during their first or second year of enrollment in the Law School or as a first-year MBA student.

A candidate must obtain a total of 109 credits for the Dual Degree. To qualify for the Dual Degree, a candidate must obtain 72 credits in the Law School and 37 credits in the Sawyer Business School.

The JD/MBA graduate receives two diplomas, which are awarded when all requirements of both degrees have been fulfilled.

The dual JD/MBA program is open to full- and part-time students. JD/MBA students are strongly advised to enroll in the Law School for their first year in the JD/MBA degree and add MBA courses to their course load in the second year of the Dual Degree.

A student in the JD/MBA program must proceed according to either of the following tracks:

Track I- full-time

Year 1 MBA courses (31 credits)
Year 2 First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)
Year 3 Law/MBA courses (24-25 credits)(3 credits MBA)
Year 4 Law/MBA courses (24-25 credits)(3 credits MBA)

Track II – full-time

Year 1 First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)
Year 2 MBA courses (31 credits)
Year 3 Law/MBA courses (24-25 credits)(3 credits MBA)
Year 4 Law/MBA courses (24-25 credits)(3 credits MBA)

Full-time students who attend summer sessions may complete the dual JD/MBA program in 3 ½ years.

Track III- part-time evening

Year 1 First Year Law Curriculum (22 credits)
Summer Law courses (3 credits)
Year 2 Law Courses (21 Credits)
Year 3 MBA courses (19 credits)
Year 4 MBA courses (15 credits) Law Courses (6 credits)
Summer MBA courses (3 credits)
Year 5 Law courses (20 credits)

Course requirements for the JD/MBA program may be obtained from the Academic Services Office or Law School Office of Admissions.

B2. Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration Three-Year Program

Suffolk Law's Three-Year JD/MBA program allows students to complete both a JD and an MBA degree in three years, instead of four. In the three-year program students enroll in courses during the summers between their first and second year of study and between their second and third year of study in order to complete the requisite number of credits for both degrees. The program allows students to count a limited number of credits toward both degrees, thus reducing the number of credits that would be required if the degrees were earned separately.

A candidate must obtain a total of 109 credits for the joint degree. To qualify for the dual degree, a candidate must obtain 84 credits in the Law School, of which 12 credits may be awarded for courses taken in the Sawyer Business School; and 72 credits must be taken in the Law School. Candidates must obtain 37 credits in the Sawyer Business School.

A candidate for the Three-Year JD/MBA program must be a full-time student and is required to meet the admission standards of the Law School and the Sawyer Business School. A candidate MUST file two applications: one to the Law School and one to the University Graduate Admissions Office.

Both applications should indicate the selection of the dual degree. The Law School evaluates the application for admission criteria applicable to the Law side of the dual degree. The Graduate Admission Office evaluates the application for admission criteria to the MBA.

A student considering the Three-Year JD/MBA program should apply to the Law School as an Accelerated JD/MBA student.

Students in the three-year JD/MBA have two options for completing the program:

Track I

Year 1 First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)
Summer Law courses (8 credits)
Year 2 MBA courses (31 credits)
Summer MBA courses (6 credits) and Law (2 credits)
Year 3 Law courses (32 credits)

Track II

Year 1 First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)
Summer Law courses (10 credits)
Year 2 MBA courses (25 credits) Law Courses (4 credits)
Summer MBA courses (9 credits)
Year 3 Law courses (28 credits) MBA courses (3 credits)

C. Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Finance

A candidate for the JD/MSF program must meet the admission requirements for both the JD, as determined by the Law School, and the MSF, as determined by the Department of Finance in the Sawyer Business School. A candidate must obtain a total of 108-117 credits for the joint degree. In order to qualify for the joint degree, a candidate must obtain 78 credits in the Law School and at least 30-39 credits from the core curriculum and electives in the Department of Finance. A student in the JD/MSF program must proceed according to one of the following tracks:

Track One Track Two
Year 1 MSF courses (24 credits) First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)
Year 2 First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits) MSF courses (24 credits)
Year 3 Law (24 credits)/MSF courses (3 credits) Law (24 credits)/MSF courses (3 credits)
Year 4 Law (24 credits)/MSF courses (3 credits) Law (24 credits)/MSF courses (3 credits)

Course requirements for the JD/MSF program may be obtained from the Academic Services Office or the Law School Office of Admissions.

D. Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Course requirements for the JD/MSCJ program may be viewed online.

E. JD/LLM in Taxation

See requirements for the JD/LLM in Taxation set forth on the Law School website.

F. General Requirements, More Information

All dual degree candidates are subject to section II(F) of these rules and regulations, limiting credit for ungraded activities to 2 credits per semester. Students participating in a dual degree program are subject to all Rules, Regulations and Policies of the JD program. A dual degree student who is dismissed from the law school for academic or disciplinary reasons will be dismissed from the joint degree program and may only resume studies in one or both of the schools if the student is successful in reapplying to the school(s) in accordance with the school(s) readmission standards. Lesser academic or disciplinary sanctions and/or probationary conditions may apply in both schools as well. In the case of a dual degree within the law school (such as the JD/Tax LLM), a student dismissed from either law school program will be dismissed from both law school programs and if subject to lesser sanctions than dismissal, the sanctions will apply to both law school programs. For more information, please see the Dean of Students for more information.

For more information on the Dual Degree Programs, including the three-year JD/MBA program and the BSE/JD program, visit the law school’s web page under “Academic Programs”.

A. Designation of an Academic Concentration

The Law Faculty, upon the recommendation of the Curriculum Committee, may designate a particular grouping of courses with other academic requirements as an “academic concentration.” In making such a designation, the Law School Faculty will require that the proposed “academic concentration” comply substantially with the following description guidelines.

B. Purpose

Such designations are to be made in order to provide:

  1. Focus of school resources and faculty effort in areas of the law likely to benefit students, the reputation of the Law School and the outside legal community.
  2. Guidance in course selection and career development for students interested in pursuing a particular area of law practice.
  3. An opportunity for students to distinguish themselves in a competitive job market.
  4. Enhanced quality to the entire JD program.

C. Components of an Academic Concentration

An academic concentration shall consist of the following requirements:

  1. An introductory academic course or sequence of academic courses.
  2. Additional academic courses (including Base Menu courses) such that the total number of academic credits under (1) and (2) in each participating student’s program equals a minimum set for the academic concentration, which shall not be less than 14 credits, as determined by the faculty proposing the concentration and approved by the Law faculty.
  3. An experiential learning course or externship in an agency or law firm that has been designated by a concentration Faculty Director as providing practical experience related to the concentration.
  4. Successful completion of either a concentration thesis of publishable quality or the Law School’s legal writing requirement in a concentration course. A concentration Faculty Director must approve, in writing, the topic and supervisory arrangements for all students writing a thesis. All these must be written under the supervision of a full time faculty member. If a student wishes to have an adjunct faculty member supervise a paper written in satisfaction of a concentration’s legal writing requirement, the student must obtain prior approval by a concentration faculty director and an Associate Dean. [as amended 11/30/00]

In order to qualify for completion of the concentration requirements, a student must (i) attain upon graduation a minimum cumulative average of 3.250 in concentration courses and must not have received a grade less than 2.000 in any such course; (ii) attain upon graduation a minimum cumulative average of 3.000 for the entire JD program; (iii) satisfy the concentration writing requirement; and (iv) in the case of the civil litigation concentration, complete an externship or clinical program approved by the concentration Faculty Director.

D. Procedure for Student Enrollment in a Concentration

Any student who is in good academic standing and has successfully completed the first year of the Day program or of the Evening program may file with the Law School Assistant Dean for Academic Services a Notice of Enrollment in a particular academic concentration. A student may be enrolled in only one such concentration at any time but may change enrollment to another concentration. The Law School Assistant Dean for Academic Services shall forward a copy of each such notice to the appropriate concentration Faculty Concentration Director.

E. Completion of Requirements and Review of Student Record

Students pursuing concentrations will be responsible for ensuring that they have satisfied the requirements of their chosen academic concentrations. Upon completing the requirements of an academic concentration, a participating student shall submit to the Law School Assistant Dean for Academic Services a Notice of Concentration Completion specifying the courses taken, other programs completed in fulfillment of the concentration requirements, and how the student satisfied the concentration’s writing requirement. The Law School Assistant Dean for Academic Services’s only obligation will be to notify students of the need to submit the Notice of Concentration Completion and to verify information presented in those notices. The appropriate Concentration Faculty Director will determine in conjunction with the Law School Assistant Dean for Academic Services whether students submitting Notices of Concentration Completion have satisfied the requirements necessary to earn an academic concentration.

F. Graduation

1. Certificate. Upon graduation, each student who has completed all requirements for his or her academic concentration shall receive a certificate issued by the Law School indicating that the student has completed a concentration.

2. Certificate with Distinction. Concentration students who have either completed a thesis approved by a concentration Faculty Director or attained upon graduation a cumulative 3.50 average in all concentration courses shall receive a certificate indicating the student has completed the concentration with distinction.

3. Transcripts. Any academic transcript issued for a concentration graduate shall have a notation indicating that the student has completed his or her concentration, and, as applicable, whether a student has completed his or her concentration with distinction. An explanation of the nature of the concentration completed shall be attached to the transcript.

A student may receive a certificate and transcript notation in only one academic concentration. The certificates and transcript notations will make clear that these are academic concentrations, not practice specialties.

G. Concentration Directors

For each academic concentration designated by the Law Faculty, the Dean shall appoint a resident faculty member or members who shall serve as the concentration faculty director(s). The concentration Faculty Director(s) shall on an annual basis recommend to the Curriculum Committee for consideration by that committee and the Law School Faculty what courses or academic requirements should be added to or deleted from the concentration designation. However, routine amendments to concentration academic requirements may be adopted by the Curriculum Committee acting alone without subsequent Law School faculty validation. Routine amendments include amendments such as determining elective courses that may satisfy concentration requirements, as distinct from amendments affecting the structure or requirements of academic concentrations. In addition, the concentration Faculty Director(s) shall from time to time schedule conferences for faculty members teaching in the concentration, oversee the performance of adjunct faculty teaching in the concentration offering, and invite to the school speakers practicing in the area of the concentration. Faculty teaching in the concentration shall assist the concentration Faculty Director(s) in providing course selection and career development advice to students enrolled in the concentration.

H. Business Law and Financial Services Concentration

See requirements for the Business Law and Financial Services Concentration set forth on the Law School website.

I. Health and Biomedical Law Concentration

See requirements for the Health and Biomedical Law Concentration set forth on the Law School website.

J. Intellectual Property Law Concentration

See requirements for the Intellectual Property Law Concentration set forth on the Law School website.

K. International Law Concentration

See requirements for the International Law Concentration set forth on the Law School website.

L. Trial and Appellate Advocacy Concentration

See requirements for the Trial and Appellate Advocacy Concentration set forth on the Law School website.

M. Labor and Employment Concentration

See requirements for the labor and employment concentration set forth on the Law School website. Labor and Employment Law Concentration is no longer accepting new concentrators.

N. Legal Technology and Innovation Concentration

See requirements for the Legal Technology and Innovation Concentration set forth on the Law School website.

This section applies to programs that provide for academic specializations not otherwise categorized as an Academic Concentration.

Accelerator-to-Practice Program

[Approved by Law Faculty on 12/12/13]

The Accelerator Program is a specialized track of instruction within the law school designed to prepare students to create or enter solo or small private practices capable of profitably providing competent and affordable legal services to average income individuals and families upon graduation. The goal of the program is to introduce students to the theory, practice, business and technology skills needed to do satisfying legal work and contribute to meeting the needs of potential clients in the justice gap- those who do not qualify for free legal services but cannot afford to engage lawyers in a high priced legal market. The core components of this program include specialized professional development and law practice management instruction combined with successive practical training experiences, including training in an embedded fee generating law practice within the law school (the “Accelerator Practice”).

1. Accelerator-to-Practice Course Curriculum

Students enrolled in the Accelerator Program will be required to meet all current requirements for graduation. In addition to these requirements, students will be required to take a menu of required upper level courses equivalent to a minimum of 29 course credits in their second and third years. They will also be required to complete any requirements necessary to obtain SJC Rule 3:03 certification. Students in the Accelerator Program will be required to maintain a GPA of at least 2.67, as students on Academic Warning could not meet the course requirements of the program.

Required courses: 15 credits

Students must complete ONE of the following two courses:

  • Business of Practice: Hit the Ground Running
  • Twenty-First Century Legal Profession

Students must complete ONE of the following two courses:

  • Coding the Law
  • Lawyering in the Age of Smart Machines

Students must take all of the following courses:

  • Representation of Clients in Fee Shifting and Fee Generating Cases
  • Interviewing and Counseling and Negotiation for Lawyers or Interviewing and Counseling/Negotiation
  • Process Improvement and Legal Project Management

Electives:

Students must take at least two courses from among the following currently offered courses:
Administrative Law
Consumer Protection
Disability Law
Employment Law or Employment Discrimination
Conveyancing
Housing Discrimination Law, Theory & Practice
Family Law
Bankruptcy
Basic Federal Income Tax
Drafting Wills and Trusts
Estate Planning
Immigration Law
Mental Health Issues in Civil and Criminal Law
Practice Ready: Personal Injury Litigation
Pre-Trial Civil Litigation
Trial Advocacy
Trusts and Estates
Workers Compensation
Massachusetts Practice

(The above courses may not be available in every semester or year.)

2. Accelerator-to-Practice Experiential Training

Students will engage in a cumulative series of supervised work experiences to prepare them to be competent practitioners upon graduation. One or more of these will be in an embedded income generating law practice, to provide legal services to average income individuals and families, while teaching students how to engage in the skilled, ethical, reflective and sustainable practice of law.

The Accelerator Practice is a fee-for-services practice, replicating existing successful business models focused on alternate fee structures and cases providing for recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs. Student learning will include critical practice management tools in accounting and billing, marketing, external controls (financial auditing and effectiveness assessments) and other business competencies. The goal is that through the Accelerator Practice, students will learn a replicable model for building a sustainable and profitable practice.

In the summer between their first and second year, students will complete a residency at a solo or small private practice with a required pedagogical component similar to an externship seminar designed to contextualize the student experience. In the summer between their second and third year, students will be employed in the Accelerator Practice or in a solo or small practice engaged in succession planning with the goal of the student entering the practice after graduation with the likelihood of succession. In their third year, students will practice in the Accelerator Practice through mandatory enrollment in a full year eight credit clinical-type course.

The Law School does not allow a student to transfer between divisions unless the student can present a compelling reason for such a transfer. A request for transfer should take the form of a petition addressed to the Assistant Dean for Academic Services. Division transfers will not be permitted until the expiration of one full year.

Evening to Day

Students requesting transfer after the first year in the evening division should file a petition no later than March 1. To make up the necessary credits and residency requirements to meet degree requirements the student must follow one of two tracks:

Track I

In the spring of the first year, enroll in the day division Constitutional Law course (4 credits) in addition to the regular spring semester evening courses. A petition to overload must be filed. And Enroll in one Suffolk University Law School Summer Boston session, or equivalent sessions, of at least 4 credits

Track II

Enroll in two Suffolk University Law School Summer Boston sessions, or equivalent sessions, totaling no less than 8 credits.

For those students who request a transfer to the day division after or during the second year in the evening division, a determination will be made at the time of transfer based on the number of credits and days in residence completed as to the remaining degree requirements.

Students interested in transferring from the evening division to the day division should consult with the Assistant Dean for Academic Services.

Day to Evening

A determination will be made at the time of transfer based on the number of credits and days in residence completed as to the remaining degree requirements.

Students interested in transferring from the day division to the evening division should consult with the Assistant Dean for Academic Services.

A. Standard

A student may be placed on disciplinary probation, suspended, or dismissed for conduct unbecoming to a student of the law. Conduct unbecoming to a student of the law includes (1) violating any rule, regulation or policy of the Law School or University, (2) engaging in illegal activity entailing moral turpitude, (3) dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, academic dishonesty in a course, the examination process, the application process and plagiarism, or (4) any other conduct which reflects adversely on a student’s fitness to practice law. Examples of conduct considered to be violative of this standard include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Failure to comply with the request of a Law School or University representative acting in the performance of his/her duties.
  • Failure to comply with all Examination Regulations, including the Laptop Examination Rules.
  • Misrepresenting oneself as another.
  • Intentional disruption of the examination process.
  • Failure to properly disclose any information required by the Suffolk University Law School Application, Certification of Disclosures or Bar Authorization forms.
  • Using threatening or profane language or demonstrating threatening behavior toward a member of the Law School or University community.
  • Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any document, including but not limited to University forms or documents, documents submitted for admissions or financial aid purposes, and/or recommendations, or any other document required for participation in any Law School or University program, or other record or instrument of identification.
  • Inappropriate, unruly or unprofessional behavior (including excessive inebriation) at a University or Law School event.
  • Violation of any federal, state, or local law.
  • Participation in the disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration or other University activities.
  • Conduct that is lewd or indecent such as streaking, public urination, public defecation, or stripping.
  • Failure to register an event with the appropriate Suffolk department.
  • Unauthorized solicitation.
  • Failure to carry and/or present a Suffolk University identification card when requested.
  • Inappropriate communication with members of the University community.
  • Unauthorized use of the Suffolk University name, logo, mascot, or other symbol.
  • Unauthorized use of Suffolk University directories.
  • Unprofessional and disruptive physical behavior such as horseplay, excessive noise or throwing objects from windows, roofs, or balconies.
  • Physical assault or verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, or coercion, including, but not limited to, any conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person.
  • Any action that insults, stigmatizes, threatens, or endangers another individual or that subjects another person to physical or emotional injury, because of that individual’s race, gender, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, genetic information and/or personal characteristics*
  • Any action that violates the University’s Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment.
  • Sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature*
  • Use, possession, manufacture and/or distribution of illegal drugs or medications prescribed to another.
  • Attempted use or use of electronic devices that invade a person’s privacy.

*Violations related to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are covered by the University Sexual Misconduct Policy 

The Law School reserves the right to change the schedule of classes, the program of instruction, the requirements for credits or degrees, and any rule or regulation established for the government of the student body in the school. Any such change may be made applicable to students already enrolled in the Law School.