Academic Probation, Academic Disqualification, and Requests for Reinstatement

1. Good Academic Standing

a.      Definition. “Good Academic Standing” is measured by a student’s cumulative grade point average at the end of each grading period. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 to be in good academic standing. There is no rounding. If a student’s grade point average falls below good academic standing, the student is either placed on probation or disqualified, as described below.

b.      Grading periods used for calculation. For purposes of this rule, “grading period” means the fall semester, the spring semester, the required summer standard session for spring admit students, and any summer session in which a student takes 8 or more credit hours.

2. Academic Probation

a.      Probation, generally. A student will be placed on academic probation if, as of the immediately preceding grading period, the student has a cumulative grade point average below good academic standing.

b.      Requirements of student on probation. A student placed on academic probation must comply with the following obligations to be allowed to continue his or her legal education at the law school:

i.      The student must meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or his or her designee for counseling.

ii.     The Associate Dean or his or her designee will offer the student information regarding the student’s necessary grade point average to avoid academic disqualification, as well information about academic resources.

c.      Financial aid considerations. A student placed on academic probation should also consult with the Office of Financial Aid if that student receives financial aid.

3. Academic Disqualification

a.      Conditions causing disqualification. A student will be academically disqualified from the law school if any of the following occur:

i.     The student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 1.8 (for students who entered in Summer 2019 through Fall 2020) or 1.5 (for students who entered in January 2021 and thereafter). Starting in fall 2021, all students will fall under the 1.5 automatic dismissal policy.

ii.     The student is on academic probation and did not achieve a cumulative grade point average meeting the requirement of good academic standing as of the end of the probationary semester.

iii.     The student was previously academically disqualified, granted reinstatement, but the student’s cumulative grade point average falls below good academic standing in any semester following reinstatement.

iv.     The student was previously on academic probation and then, at any point during the student’s enrollment, the student’s cumulative grade point average falls below good academic standing a subsequent time.

b.     Right of petition for reinstatement; exceptions. Except as set forth below, a student who is academically disqualified under paragraphs 3(a)(i), 3(a)(ii), or 3(a)(iv), may petition the Academic Standards Committee for reinstatement and permission to continue his or her studies on academic probation for the following semester, or such period as the Academic Standards Committee deems appropriate.

i.     A student who is academically disqualified under paragraph 3(a)(iii) does not have a right to petition for reinstatement under this section.

ii.    A student may petition the Academic Standards Committee regarding his or her academically disqualified status only once during his or her studies at the law school.   Additional attempts to petition for reinstatement are prohibited and will not constitute a denial by the Academic Standards Committee for purposes of paragraph 3(f).

c.     Petition for reinstatement; requirements. A petition under paragraph 3(b) must meet the following.

i.     The petition must be submitted, and may be submitted by e-mail, to the chair of the Academic Standards Committee no later than 5:00 pm two business days after the date that the Associate Dean provides written notice of academic disqualification to the student.

ii.     The petition must allege facts that meet each of the standards referred to in paragraph 3(e) below.

d.     Hearings on petitions for reinstatement. The committee may elect to conduct a hearing, but a student has no right to an in-person hearing. The decision to deny a hearing is unappealable.

e.     Criteria for the grant of petitions for reinstatement. The Academic Standards Committee may grant a petition if the student establishes the following:

i.     Extraordinary circumstances contributed to his or her inability to meet the academic requirements of the law school;

ii.     The student’s failure to meet the standards for continuing his or her studies does not indicate a lack of capacity to complete the program of study or to pass the bar exam and, in fact, the student possesses that capacity; and

iii.     The circumstances resulting in the student’s academic disqualification have been remedied or no longer exist.

f.     Decision on petition. The chair of the Academic Standards Committee, or his or her designee, will inform the student of the Committee’s decision within two days after the Committee makes it.

i.     If the Committee denies a petition for reinstatement without prejudice, the disqualified student may petition for reinstatement again but must meet whatever time deadlines or other requirements are set by the Committee in its ruling. If the Committee denies a student’s petition with prejudice, the student must apply to the Office of Admission should the student wish to return to the Law School. If admitted, the student would be required to restart the J.D. program. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all denials are with prejudice.

ii.     As a condition of reinstatement, the Committee may require, among other things, that the student re-take certain law school classes or otherwise address deficiencies by doing additional reading or taking classes on writing.

iii.     A student who is reinstated shall be reinstated on academic probation. As such, the student must comply with all requirements stated in section 2(b).

g.     Appeal from denial of petition for reinstatement. A student whose petition for reinstatement is denied by the Academic Standards Committee may appeal the decision to the Dean.

i.      The appeal will be limited to a review of whether the Academic Standards Committee committed prejudicial procedural error. The fact that the Academic Standards Committee has denied a student’s petition and reached a decision that the student feels is erroneous is substantive and not procedural, and is therefore, not grounds for an appeal to the Dean. The Dean’s review may not include a review of the substance (i.e., the basis) of the student’s petition to the Academic Standards Committee or the student’s perceived correctness of the Committee’s decision.

ii.     A student wishing to appeal to the Dean must do so by 5:00 pm two business days after the date that the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee or his or her designee provides written notice of the denial to the student. The student should submit his or her appeal to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who will forward the appeal to the Dean.

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