Hamline Policies

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Attendance Policy: Law Students

Owner: School of Law

Pertains to: Law students

Description: Hamline University School of Law pursues quality legal education as a duty to its students, as a duty to the profession, as a duty to future clients of its students, and as a duty to society. For these reasons the Attendance Policy is established.

Details:

Preamble

Classroom experience is: 1) an exploration of knowledge; 2) a development of skills; 3) an examination of professional attitudes. These are critical components of a quality legal education. Hamline University School of Law pursues quality legal education as a duty to its students, as a duty to the profession, as a duty to future clients of its students, and as a duty to society. For these reasons the Attendance Policy is established.

I. Taking Attendance

A continuing record will be kept of each student's absences and late arrivals, but no daily reporting of attendance need be made.

II. Excessive Absences - Effect of

Students are required to attend class regularly in a punctual and prepared manner. Instructors will report promptly to the Registrar's Office the names of students whose accumulated absences are in their opinion excessive. It is an honor code violation to falsely sign an attendance sheet for a student not present in class. It is an honor code violation to sign in for a class that was not attended in substantial part.

Individual instructors may make these requirements more specific when they deem it necessary for a particular course. Examples of courses where more specific requirements would be appropriate include skills courses and clinical courses. Instructors who do so must communicate that information in writing to their students at the beginning of the course.

If there is a conflict between attendance at a hearing required by a course and another class, the conflict shall be resolved in favor of the hearing. This rule shall not be interpreted to extend beyond hearings in court or before an administrative body. The student who misses a class because of the hearing has the right and duty to make suitable arrangements to cover the materials of that class, if the absence is not to be counted. In addition, observance of a major religious holiday (e.g. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Good Friday) shall not be deemed absence for purposes of this policy.

Any instructor may request that a student be removed from the course if the student fails to meet the attendance standard or the instructor's particular attendance requirements. Such request should be directed to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The student shall be notified of the instructor's request and will be afforded an opportunity to present reasons why the student should not be removed from the course. The decision whether to withdraw the student from the course will be made by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in consultation with the instructor for the course. Withdrawal from the course for failure to meet the attendance requirement shall result in a "W" on the student's transcript for the course.

III. Lateness

Lateness will be dealt with in the discretion of the instructor involved. Persistent or frequent lateness may be the basis for reduction of the grade awarded in a course. Instructors will notify their classes at the beginning of the term of their policies regarding lateness, under Academic Guideline 1107C 5. Instructors should seek to avoid holding students past the scheduled class period. Students should not be penalized for lateness reasonably necessitated by such holding over.

IV. Unpreparedness

Unpreparedness means an obvious want of minimal preparation of assigned materials for class recitation or discussion. Persistent or repeated unpreparedness may be the basis for reduction of the grade awarded in a course, under Academic Guideline 1107C 5. Provided, however, that wherever possible, students should be given an opportunity to redeem prior unsatisfactory performance. Distinguished class recitation or discussion may be the basis for increasing the grade awarded in a course, under Academic Guideline 1107C 5.

V. Sanctions

The making of a false statement to an instructor or other school official with respect to any of the foregoing matters, or initialing an attendance form for another, constitute violations of Section 3.01 of the Code of Conduct of the most serious order.

1111 Policy on Employment

A "fulltime student" means a J.D. student who devotes substantially all of his or her working hours to the study of law [A.B.A. Standards, Section 304]. Any fulltime J.D. student who is employed in excess of 20 hours per week may be deemed in violation of this Standard.

1112 Certification under Limited Practice

J.D. students are certified under the Limited Practice Rule in Minnesota as soon as they have completed 24 credits and register in an appropriate Clinical course. No formal certificate is issued either by the School of Law or by the Supreme Court. Further information on Limited Practice can be obtained by consulting the applicable Supreme Court rules for the State of Minnesota.

1113 Class Ranking

A. All J.D. classes shall be ranked at the end of each semester in order of descending cumulative grade point average. (Students are not ranked until after they have completed their second semester.) The class rank will appear on the student's official transcript.

B. J.D. Student classification will be determined by cumulative earned credits. All students graduating after Fall, Spring and Summer of an academic year are ranked together. Graduation rank and honors are determined after the Spring Semester, with August graduates not receiving final graduation rank and/or honors until completion of graduation requirements.

C. Transfer students into the J.D. program will be ranked only on the basis of grades received at Hamline University School of Law in the class with which they will graduate, and following two full semesters of attendance.

D. Beginning with the second semester of the first year, J.D. students who receive a 3.250 or above grade point average for any semester of 8 or more graded Hamline credits shall be placed on the "Dean's Honor Roll" for that semester. Such achievement will appear on the student's official transcript. Any student with a grade of "I" for any semester will not be eligible for the Dean's Honor Roll for that semester until the "I" has been removed from his/her record.

E. Students who transfer in, and advanced standing students, in the J.D. program will not displace from rank students who attend Hamline for their full legal education, but will be co-ranked.

1114 Graduation Requirements

A. J.D. Program

  • Completion of required courses

  • Completion of 88 semester credits

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.000 or above

  • Completion of course work for the JD Degree within 5 years (full-time) or 6 years (part-time)

  • 6.000 Residency Points. All Hamline law school students must earn 6.000 Residency Points in order to graduate. Students will earn 1.000 Residency Points for each full-time (1216 credits) semester successfully completed, and 0.750 Residency Points for each part-time (811 credits) semester successfully completed. Consequently, full-time students must successfully complete 6 semesters (or appropriate equivalent) of full-time study, and part-time students must successfully complete 8 semesters (or appropriate equivalent) of part-time study. Students may accumulate the 6.000 Residency Points required for graduation by combining semesters successfully completed on a full-time and part-time basis. Both full-time and part-time students may also graduate one semester early by earning an appropriate number of credits during at least two summer terms.

Students who are uncertain about whether their planned course of study will allow them to earn the required number of Residency Points should meet with the Registrar to review their plans prior to registration.

B. LL.M. Program

  • Completion of required courses.

  • Completion of 24 semester credits.

  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above.

  • Completion of all requirements within a 3 year time period.

1115 Graduation Honors

The School of Law will honor its outstanding graduating J.D. students in the following manner:

Summa Cum Laude: Students who complete their required course work with a cumulative grade point average of 3.750 or higher will graduate Summa Cum Laude.

Magna Cum Laude: Students who complete their required course work and earn a final class rank (as calculated pursuant to Rule 1113B) in the top ten percent of their graduating class will graduate Magna Cum Laude.

Cum Laude: Students who complete their required course work and earn a final class rank (as calculated pursuant to Rule 1113 B) in the top twenty percent of their graduating class will graduate Cum Laude.

1116 Transfer Credits from Other Institutions

A J.D. student in good standing at another approved law school or a Hamline J.D. student visiting at another approved law school may receive transfer credits for all courses in which the student received grade of 2.000 on a 4.000 point scale, or its equivalent or above. Grades for transfer credit courses will be recorded on the student's transcript, but will not be calculated into the student's grade point average. For graduation from Hamline University School of Law, a transfer student must complete at least 45 units of credit in residence at this law school.

A student at Hamline University School of Law who wishes to take courses at other law schools for credit must seek approval in advance from the Dean's Office. See the Registrar for the policy on visiting away.

1117 Exceptions to the Rules

The Dean will have authority to grant exception to the requirements of these rules for a good cause upon such conditions and in such circumstances as he or she deems appropriate. The Dean will report promptly in writing to the faculty on all exceptions he or she has granted to the requirements of these rules. All requests for exceptions to these rules must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Comment

The Dean will grant an exception to Rule 1108 Probation and Disqualification only in the most unusual circumstances when such circumstances are found by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs applicable to any request for an exception to such rule. Students seeking exceptions to enforcement of Rule 1108 should present their case to the Associate Dean.