Third Party Communications
Communications with Law Students' Relatives, Friends, and Other Third Parties
In a professional school setting, it is rarely appropriate for school administrators and members of the faculty to communicate with an adult student’s relatives, friends or other third-parties about matters pertaining to that student. Thus, the following policy applies to such communications:
- Except in the particular circumstances described below, administrators and members of the faculty of the law school will not communicate or meet with relatives or friends of a law student, or other third-parties regarding matters relating to the student’s enrollment in the law school including, but not limited to, performance in class, grades, academic standing, registration, disability accommodations (or requests for accommodations), financial aid, disciplinary matters, attendance and use of student services.
Exceptions to the policy include
- Communications or advocacy by third-parties specified by other law school policies or procedures (for example, when a student is using an advisor in accordance with the Student Disciplinary Procedure). In such cases, the third-party communications will be limited to what is specifically permitted under the other policy or procedure.
- Third-party communications regarding financial information, provided that the student submits an Authorization to Release Financial Aid Information form to the Financial Aid Office.
- Situations where a student is unable, due to significant illness or injury, to timely communicate important information such as the ability to sit for an exam as scheduled. In such cases, the appropriate law school administrator will accept information from the third-party, but will not share information with the third-party (unless the communication is permissible under applicable privacy laws). Also, in such cases, the student will be expected to resume direct communications with the law school as soon as he/she is able to reasonably do so.
- Extraordinary situations as determined at the discretion of the Dean, the dean’s designee, and/or the Dean of Students. In any such situation, the student must adequately waive any privacy rights under applicable laws or the communication must be permitted without waiver under applicable privacy laws.
- Situations where communication with a third-party is deemed appropriate by University Legal Counsel.
Exclusions to the policy include
This policy does not apply to situations in which:
- a student requests, in writing, that the Law School provide information related to potential employers, bar authorities, scholarship providers, other schools (for the purpose of transfer) or professional organizations;
- a student requests, in writing, a letter of good standing, recommendation, enrollment confirmation, student practice confirmation or transcript be sent to a third party;
- communications occur between and among law school and university personnel with legitimate educational interests; and/or
- the information requested is included in the University’s Directory Information.
Nothing in this policy prohibits a law school administrator or member of the faculty from accepting information from a third-party or providing a third-party with generally available information on law school policies and procedures.