Leaves of Absence Voluntary
Voluntary Withdrawal / Voluntary Leave of Absence Process
A student who wishes to take a Voluntary Leave of Absence or withdraw from Suffolk University Law School must submit a completed Withdrawal or Voluntary Leave of Absence Request to the Academic Services Office. The Academic Services Office will process the paperwork related to the withdrawal or Voluntary Leave of Absence, including obtaining the approval of the Assistant Dean for Academic Services, Dean of Students or an Associate Dean in accordance with the Rule and Regulations.
Voluntary Leave of Absence
If a student is currently unable to continue the study of law, the student may take a Leave of Absence for up to one academic year. A student who wishes to take a Voluntary Leave of Absence must submit the Voluntary Leave of Absence Form to the Academic Services Office. If the Leave of Absence is for medical/psychological reasons, the student must support the request with medical documentation and, at the conclusion of the Leave of Absence, will be required to submit medical documentation to confirm the student’s ability to return to school. The documentation supporting a return to school will be reviewed by the “Leave of Absence Committee.” The Leave of Absence Committee will be comprised of the Dean of Students, the Associate Dean of Students and one Law School Associate Dean. Additional Law School or University Administrators will be added to the committee if and when appropriate. The Leave of Absence Committee may consult with the Director of University Health and Wellness (or designee) if and when it deems it appropriate to do so.
As a general matter, a student will not be permitted to resume his or her studies unless the Leave of Absence Committee is satisfied that the student has the ability to complete law school and has the judgment and integrity to function as a member of the profession. For example, the Leave of Absence Committee must be satisfied that the problems which precipitated the leave are resolved and that the student is able to handle all of the physical or emotional stress, as applicable, of attending law school, and that there is no significant risk of danger to the student or others or of disruption to the Law School or University environment. The Leave of Absence Committee may require the student to make available relevant health records, to permit the Leave of Absence Committee to communicate directly with the student’s physicians or counselors, and, in appropriate circumstances, to undergo additional medical/psychological evaluation.
Reentry may be conditional. For example, a student may be required to engage in regular and ongoing medical, psychiatric or psychological treatment when specifically related to the conditions giving rise to the leave if the Leave of Absence Committee believes that, without such ongoing treatment, the individual will not be able to function effectively as a student or will pose a significant risk to the health or safety of himself or others or a significant risk of disruption to the Law School or University environment.
If the Leave of Absence Committee determines that the student will not be permitted to return to the Law School, the decision may be appealed to the Dean of the Law School (or his/her designee). The Dean’s decision (or that of his/her designee) will be final.
No student may take a Voluntary Leave of Absence after the examination period begins or while consideration of his or her academic standing is pending. A student on a Leave of Absence that is either cleared to return by the Leave of Absence Committee or is not subject to the Leave of Absence Committee review is entitled to return to the Law School at the end of the term of the leave without reapplying for admission. A Leave of Absence will be granted to a first year student only under extraordinary circumstances. A Leave of Absence is considered a withdrawal for financial aid purposes and may result in the student owing money to the Law School and in the student’s federal loan entering repayment.
Students who fail to enroll at the conclusion of an approved Voluntary 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.
Students on a Voluntary Leave of Absence will not have locker access during the Leave of Absence. All locker contents must be removed within 10 calendar days of approval of the Voluntary Leave of Absence, or they will be considered abandoned property and confiscated by the Law School.
Students on a Leave of Absence will continue to have access to
- Student ID Card
- Westlaw and Lexis
A student who wishes to withdraw from the Law School must submit the Withdrawal Form to the Academic Services Office. No student may withdraw after the examination period begins or while consideration of his or her academic standing is pending.
Once a withdrawal request is approved, access to the following services will be deactivated
- Student ID Card
- Westlaw and Lexis
Lockers: Prior to removal of contents please contact a staff member of the Office of Academic Services for assistance. Contents not removed within 10 calendar days of approval of withdrawal will be considered abandoned property and will be confiscated by the Law School.
Important Information for Financial Aid Recipients
The Office of Financial Aid is required to recalculate federal student aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a Leave of Absence prior to completing 60% of a semester. In some cases, federal loans already disbursed to the student may need to be returned to the lender. This may result in the student owing money to Suffolk University.
Students with federal student loans are required by the federal government to complete exit counseling upon their departure from Suffolk University Law School. Exit counseling information is available on the Office of Financial Aid’s website. Federal loans will enter their grace or repayment periods as of the effective date of withdrawal.
Note that a Voluntary Leave of Absence is treated as a Withdrawal for federal student aid purposes. This means that federal loans will enter their grace or repayment periods during the Voluntary Leave of Absence. In addition, a student must complete exit counseling when taking a Voluntary Leave of Absence. To receive financial aid in future semesters, students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress. Please see the Office of Financial Aid for further information.