The degree of Juris Doctor (JD) will be awarded to candidates who:
- have successfully met the course requirements for graduation, set forth infra;
- have successfully completed 85 semester credits;
- have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.20 at the time of graduation;
- have been in full-time residence (at least 9 credits) for 5 semesters;
- have completed all graduation requirements within 72 months of the date the candidate first matriculated at the School of Law;
- have successfully completed 61 credit hours of “in-class” coursework1; and
- have fulfilled 50 hours of qualifying pro bono service.
Required Courses for Graduation2
- Required Core Courses
- LAW 550S Torts: 4 credits
- LAW 552S Contracts: 4 credits
- LAW 554S Civil Procedure: 4 credits
- LAW 565S Legal Methods I: 3 credits
- LAW 568S Introduction to Interviewing, Negotiation, and Counseling (one-week course): 1 credit
- LAW 558S Criminal Law: 4 credits
- LAW 560S Constitutional Law: 5 credits
- LAW 566S Legal Methods II: 3 credits
- LAW 830S Professional Responsibility: 3 credits
- LAW 556S Property: 4 credits
- Additional Required Courses
- At least one legal writing course designated as meeting the standard of the Upper-Level Writing requirement [WUL], as indicated by the course materials.
- At least one Skills course, as indicated by the course materials.
- At least one Statutory course, as indicated by the course materials.
- Requirements for Concentrations
- The School of Law offers optional concentrations in three areas: Health Law, Business and Entrepreneurship Law, and Intellectual Property Law. Concentration requirements can be found here. If you have any questions about a concentration, please contact the appropriate concentration director:
- Health Law
Prof. Barry Furrow, firstname.lastname@example.org, 215.571.4706
- Business and Entrepreneurship Law
Prof. Karl Okamoto, email@example.com, 215.571.4761
- Intellectual Property Law
Dean Daniel Filler (interim director), firstname.lastname@example.org, 215.571.4705
Pro Bono Service Requirement
All students are required to perform a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono service. Students can begin performing pro bono service in the Spring Semester of the 1L year and can receive credit for up to 25 hours of pro bono service performed during the Spring Semester of the 1L year. Starting in the summer after the 1L year, the cap is lifted, and students must complete the remaining 50 hours of pro bono service by the end of their final year to be certified to graduate.
In order to qualify for credit towards the requirement, the pro bono service must be law-related. In addition, students may not receive financial compensation or academic credit for providing pro bono service. Moreover, a licensed attorney or other qualified supervisor must adequately supervise and review any and all work. The service must be:
a) On behalf of people who cannot afford to pay for legal services, have limited access to legal services, or are underserved by the private bar, or
b) Aimed at protecting the rights of an individual or individuals in situations raising important public interest concerns and/or important rights belonging to a significant and underserved segment of the public.
Government work, including working for the district attorney or public defender (or their federal/local equivalents) qualifies for credit towards the Pro Bono Service Requirement under our definition of pro bono. Judicial clerkships and internships, however, do NOT qualify for credit towards the Pro Bono Service Requirement because they do not fall within the parameters of pro bono service for Drexel’s program.
If you have any questions about the Pro Bono Service Requirement, please click here or contact the Director for Pro Bono and Public Service Programs, Karen Pearlman Raab, email@example.com, 215.571.4722.
Completion of Coursework
In the term in which you intend to graduate, all coursework must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. the last day of the term, i.e., the last day of the published examination period. Exceptions to this policy will be made only in extraordinary circumstances and with approval of the Dean of the School of Law.
Students in their second to last term should apply for their degree through DrexelOne by the published deadline. Once the application has been processed (i.e., the information verified and recorded by OSA and the University Registrar), the student is considered a degree candidate. Successful degree candidates will be awarded the Juris Doctor (JD) by Drexel University. Diplomas will be available for pick-up at the Law School or by mail approximately one month after graduation.
A list of degree candidates is presented to the faculty for approval prior to commencement. The Senior Associate Dean of Students shall, at this time, identify any students whose personal conduct or academic performance merits special concern or praise by the faculty.
Upon successful completion of all graduation requirements:
- Graduating students whose cumulative grade point average falls within the top 3.000% will be awarded the honorary designation, summa cum laude (“with highest distinction”);
- Graduating students whose cumulative grade point average falls between the top 3.001% and 10.000% will be awarded the honorary designation, magna cum laude (“with high distinction”);
- Graduating students whose cumulative grade point average falls between the top 10.001% and 25.000% will be awarded the honorary designation, cum laude (“with distinction”).
A student must complete at least 5 semesters in residency prior to graduation. A semester in residence includes any semester during which a student successfully completes 9 or more credits, including a semester at another law school. Students who plan to graduate early (i.e., in less than three years) must notify the administration of this fact by submitting an Intent to Graduate Early form to the Office of Student Affairs and applying for graduation on DrexelOne no later than the published deadline.
Please note, while it may be possible for some students to complete the graduation requirements in only five semesters, the School of Law cautions all students against early graduation. It is important to consider the consequences of leaving the academic environment early, especially in terms of: (a) the legal job market and employment cycles; (b) loan deferment and repayment obligations; (c) bar prep courses and the bar exam; and (d) the opportunity to broaden one’s formal legal education. If you are considering early graduation, please speak with the Director of Student Advising.
Students may participate in the current year’s Commencement ceremony if they have graduated after the prior Fall Semester, are graduating after the current Spring Semester, or expect to graduate after the following Summer Semester. Students with outstanding Code of Conduct issues may not participate in Commencement.
1The following are not considered in-class coursework: the field component of co-ops and field clinics; independent study and Student-Faculty Colloquium courses (e.g. LAW 800S and 801S); courses not offered by a law school; and co-curricular programs such as Law Review; Moot Court; and Trial Team. In-house clinics are considered in-class credits.
2Required courses vary slightly for the Class of 2013. See Appendix A.
- Grade Point Equivalent. The School of Law uses a letter grading system, in which each letter grade is assigned a numerical grade point equivalent, as follows:
|| In Progress
- Cumulative Grade Point Average. A student’s cumulative grade point average is arrived at by multiplying the grade point equivalent for the letter grade received in each course by the number of credits assigned that course, adding those products, and dividing that sum by the total number of credits completed in School of Law courses for which letter grades are assigned.
- Credit/No Credit Courses. Some courses are graded on a credit/no credit basis and those classes are not included in the cumulative grade point average, although the credits received in those courses will be counted toward the required credits for graduation.
- Grades from Outside the School of Law. The School of Law does not include grades earned outside the School of Law, including at other law schools, in the calculation of cumulative grade point average.
First-Year Grade Distribution
- Grade Distribution for All Courses Except Legal Methods:
- Class Mean: 2.8 – 3.0
- 15 – 20% = A, A-
- 10 – 15% = C and below
- Grade Distribution for Legal Methods:
- Class Mean: 2.8 – 3.0
- Distribution: No specified distribution
Upper-Level Grade Distribution
The grade distribution for upper-level courses depends primarily on the number of students in the class and the type of class.
- Classes of 40 or more:
- Mean:2.9 – 3.1
- Classes of 17-39:
- Mean: 2.9 – 3.1
- Classes below 17, plus co-op classes, upper-level writing courses, skills classes and clinic classes:
- Mean: 3.3 – 3.5
- Distribution: No specified distribution
Grading policies are mandatory but can be waived in exceptional circumstances with the approval of the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs.
Many courses in the School of Law include an anonymously graded final examination, although professors may incorporate a variety of assessment tools in their classes such as short papers, presentations, group projects, and mid-term examinations. Professors will typically set forth the precise method of assessment, including the components of the final grade, in their syllabi and course materials.
Grades will be posted online and the Office of Student Affairs will announce the time and manner of distribution of grades.
A student may only apply for a change of grade on the grounds that the grade was awarded contrary to the provisions of this handbook, or was the proximate result of discrimination initiated by the faculty member responsible for issuing the grade on account of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. The burden of proof is on the student to prove the allegations. Any petition for change of grade under this subsection shall be made to and considered by the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs, and his decision shall be final.
Professors may apply to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs for a change of grade only upon a showing that there was a clerical error in recording a grade or other similar situation, and his decision shall be final.
C. Registration and Coursework
First-Year Required Courses
LAW 550S Torts: 4 credits
LAW 552S Contracts: 4 credits
LAW 554S Civil Procedure: 4 credits
LAW 565S Legal Methods I: 3 credits
LAW 568S Introduction to Interviewing, Negotiation, and Counseling (one-week course): 1 credit
LAW 558S Criminal Law: 4 credits
LAW 560S Constitutional Law: 5 credits
LAW 566S Legal Methods II: 3 credits
LAW 5xxS First-Year Elective Course: 2 credits
Incoming first-year students are assigned a faculty advisor by the Senior Associate Dean of Students. The advisor’s name will be distributed to students during the first weeks of the semester.
The faculty advisor is a resource for students, especially with regard to academic questions. Faculty advisors will give guidance on course selection in the second and third years and serve as a resource for students as to services available within the School of Law and the University. In addition, Prof. Clare Coleman serves as Director of Student Advising, and is available to provide guidance to students on course selection and law school resources.
All first-year students will be administratively registered for their Fall and Spring term classes by the Director of Academic Services. Details about Spring first-year electives will be disseminated in the prior Fall term. Information about registration for the following Summer and Fall Semester will be distributed to students during their first-year Spring Semester.
All upper-level students are required to register online via DrexelOne during the prescribed registration period. Registration packets will be posted online in advance of the Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters. Students will also be permitted to add and drop courses during the designated add/drop period at the beginning of each semester. See the section on Withdrawal from Courses for further information on late course drops.
Fall and Spring Semesters:
The maximum number of credits for these semesters is 15; the minimum number of credits to be considered full-time is 9. The maximum number of credits may be increased to 16 with permission of the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs based on exceptional circumstances. Students may register as part-time students with less than 9 credits with the permission of the Senior Associate Dean of Students. Note that the minimum amount of credits to qualify for federal aid is 4.5.
With the exception of co-op, students may take a maximum of 7 credits for Summer Semester. Note that the minimum amount of credits to qualify for federal aid is 4.5.
Current ABA regulations permit students to take a maximum of 4 credits of online coursework per term. Students are not permitted to apply more than 12 credits of online coursework towards their JD degree. First-year students are not permitted to take online coursework.
Regular and prompt attendance is required in all courses. Students shall be permitted absences up to, but not exceeding 20% of the regularly scheduled classes in any course. Individual faculty members may set attendance and class preparation policies for their classes that require greater than 80% attendance; such policies must be set out in writing on the first day of class.
Any student who fails to comply with law school attendance policies in a given course may be withdrawn from that course.
Students may not enroll in courses where the class schedules conflict and therefore will preclude full attendance in all classes. Students engaged in co-ops must insure that their co-op obligations do not conflict with their regularly scheduled classes.
Students wishing to audit a course must receive prior permission from the instructor and the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs. Students will be billed on a per-credit basis for audited courses. The student’s transcript will reflect a grade of “AUD” for audited courses.
Students may not attend courses unless they are enrolled for credit or audit.
If a student receives a failing grade (“F”) in a required course, the student must retake the course in order to graduate. Both the failing grade and the grade from the retake will appear on the student’s transcript and both grades will be factored into the student’s cumulative grade point average.
With permission of the Senior Associate Dean of Students, who will confer with the faculty member teaching the course, a law student may retake a non-required upper-level course for credit if the student received a failing grade (“F”) in the course on the first attempt. If a student retakes an upper-level course after receiving a failing grade on the first attempt, both the failing grade and the grade from the retake will appear on the student’s transcript and both grades will be factored into the student’s cumulative grade point average.
No student may retake any course in which they have already received a passing grade (D or above) unless required to do so by the Faculty Committee on Scholastic Standing.
An independent study permits a student to work closely with an individual professor to complete a significant research project. Students seeking these opportunities must meet with a faculty member to consider possible research projects and be prepared to submit a proposal prior to approval. Independent study may be pursued in any semester, although faculty members can only supervise a limited number of students each term. To enroll, a student must submit an Independent Study Proposal form to the Office of Student Affairs, including a description of the project, a proposed due date, and the signatures of the supervising faculty member and the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs.
Students may complete no more than 6 credits of Independent Studies prior to graduation and no more than 3 credits of Independent Studies in any semester. The Student-Faculty Colloquia are included under “independent studies” and count toward the limits stated above. Exceptions to these limits will only be granted in exceptional circumstances by the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs. Students may not satisfy the Upper-Level Writing Requirement (WUL) through an Independent Study.
Joint Degree Programs
Drexel University currently offers four joint degree programs with the School of Law: a JD/PhD in Psychology; a JD/MBA; a JD/MSPP; and a JD/MPH. Students must be admitted to the JD/PhD program prior to matriculation to the School of Law. Law students may apply for admission to the other three programs during their first year of law school.
Students should visit the Joint Degree Programs page and/or contact Leanne M. Marshall (firstname.lastname@example.org), the law school’s joint degree liaison, for more information. To the extent that the academic rules and requirements of this handbook conflict with the rules for a joint degree program, the rules for the joint degree program control.
Individual law students are permitted to participate in legal matters under limited circumstances designated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In order to serve as a “certified legal intern,” a student must complete all of his or her first-year classes, at least 42.5 semester credits overall, and both Professional Responsibility and Evidence. He or she also must be certified by the Associate Dean for Experiential Learning as being of good character and competent legal ability, and as being adequately trained to perform as a legal intern. Students may only engage in these activities under the supervision of an approved attorney.
For further information about qualifications for the student practice rules, please visit the Certified Legal Intern page.
Withdrawal from Courses
First-year students who wish to drop a course must make a written request to the Senior Associate Dean of Students and permission will be granted only upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances. The School of Law may adopt separate add/drop policies for first-year elective courses.
Upper-level students will be permitted to add or drop classes online through the first week of the semester. To add or drop a course after the first week of the semester, students must obtain permission from the Director of Student Advising, and requests will only be granted for good cause. No requests to add classes will be granted following the end of the second week of the semester. Dropping a course following the second week of the semester is considered a Withdrawal and a grade of “W” will be recorded on the transcript, unless exceptional circumstances are found by the Director of Student Advising. Other policies may apply to courses that do not start at the beginning of the semester. No withdrawals are permitted after the last day of classes in the term.
Students who request to withdraw from individual courses should be aware that if their credit load for the semester drops below 4.5 credits, they will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid.
Leaves of Absence
- Military Leave of Absence
A student may request a leave of absence to fulfill a military service obligation at any time and the leave will be granted upon submission of the appropriate documentation. Any student who receives a military leave of absence will be entitled to return to the School of Law within a reasonable time after discharge from service or deployment.
- Leaves of Absence for Any Other Reason
A student who wishes to take a leave of absence for any reason other than military service must submit a written request for a leave of absence to the Senior Associate Dean of Students prior to the final class session of any term. The written request should set forth the requested length of leave, the reasons for the leave, and if appropriate, include any documentation in support of the leave. Once the reading period and examinations have begun, a student may not take a leave for the term except under extraordinary circumstances and with permission of the Senior Associate Dean of Students. If the student does not notify the Senior Associate Dean of Students of his or her intent to take a leave of absence in writing, a failing grade will be entered for every class in which the student has not completed all course requirements.
A leave of absence may be granted for no more than three semesters, exclusive of the Summer Semester. Returning students must comply with all required documentation. Students who request a leave of absence may be liable for all or part of the tuition for that term in accordance with the tuition refund and credit policy set forth infra, and must comply with all financial aid rules with respect to any loan monies they may have received.
A student who wishes to return from a leave of absence must notify the Senior Associate Dean of Students in writing before the date designated when the leave was granted. Failure to submit notification of the intent to return in a timely manner will result in withdrawal from the School of Law.
Leaves of absences will be granted for first-year students only in extraordinary circumstances, and the length of any leave may be limited by course sequencing.
Students must take a formal leave of absence for any term in which they are not enrolled.
Withdrawal from the School of Law
A student must submit a notice of withdrawal in writing to the Senior Associate Dean of Students prior to the final class session of any term. The student will meet with the Senior Associate Dean of Students before the withdrawal is processed by the University. Once the reading period and examinations have begun, a student may not withdraw except under extraordinary circumstances and with permission of the Senior Associate Dean of Students. If the student does not notify the Senior Associate Dean of Students of his or her intent to withdraw in writing by the last day of classes in the term, a failing grade will be entered for every class in which the student has not completed all course requirements.
A student who withdraws from the School of Law will not be readmitted, except under extraordinary circumstances and with the permission of the Senior Associate Dean of Students. In all other situations, the withdrawn student must reapply to the School of Law through the Admissions Office.
Tuition Refund and Credit Policy
Students who withdraw from a course for the semester are subject to the University’s tuition refund and credit policy for “Semester Terms” found here.
Please note that for first-year students, the first week of the Fall Semester is Orientation week, and the first week of Spring Semester is the INC class. For all other students, it is the first week of classes.
Students who were awarded financial aid should meet with the Assistant Director of Financial Aid to discuss the financial implications of withdrawal. Questions about the refund policy linked above should be directed to the Bursar’s Office.
Credit for Courses Taken at Other Drexel University Colleges
Subject to the requirements set out below, students who have completed their first year of legal education may apply up to 4 semester credits towards their JD requirements for courses taken at another Drexel University college.
- Prior to registering for a non-School of Law course at Drexel University, the student must obtain the approval of the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs. A course outside the School of Law will not be approved for credit toward the JD degree unless it bears a close relation to the student’s future legal practice or the study of law in general. Except in exceptional circumstances, any such course must be a graduate level course.
- Upon successful completion of a course taken outside the School of Law, the grade achieved is recorded in the student’s academic records and credit is awarded; however, the grade is not averaged into the student’s cumulative grade point average. For purposes of this Section, “successful completion” of a course is defined as receipt of a grade not lower than C or its equivalent.
- Credits earned in courses outside the School of Law prior to the completion of the first year shall not be applied toward fulfillment of the requirements for the JD degree.
- This section does not prevent a student enrolled in a concurrent degree program approved by the faculty from taking courses outside the School of Law in accordance with the provisions of that concurrent degree program. To the extent that these rules conflict with the rules for a concurrent degree program, the rules for the concurrent degree program control.
- Students are also permitted, with the approval of the Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Faculty Affairs and the host college, to take a course at another Drexel college without seeking credit toward the JD
No more than 35 transfer credits may be received from courses taken at other law schools. Students are required to complete a minimum of 50 credits at Drexel University to receive their JD degree from the Earle Mack School of Law.
Visitorships and Regular Terms at Other Law Schools
Students who have completed their first year of legal education may earn academic credit for courses taken during the regular academic year while visiting at a law school approved by the American Bar Association. Grades received in courses taken at another law school are not included in the computation of a student’s cumulative grade point average at the Earle Mack School of Law. No credit will be awarded by the School of Law unless the following conditions have been met:
- A student requesting approval to visit at another school must file a written request with the Senior Associate Dean of Students, showing good cause and detailing the student’s plans and the reasons for the request to visit. Approval will only be granted in extraordinary circumstances. If seeking to fulfill specific course or graduation requirements while visiting, this intention must be explicit in the request.
- Prior to the commencement of a visitorship, the student must request a letter of good standing from the Office of Student Affairs, indicating anticipated courses to be taken, and whether the student intends for any courses taken as a visitor to satisfy graduation requirements. Satisfaction of graduation requirements with outside courses requires the approval of the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs.
- After completion of each visiting term, the Office of Student Affairs must receive an official transcript from the law school at which the student is visiting in order for credits earned at that institution to be added to the student’s record at the School of Law. Academic credit may be awarded at the School of Law for courses that the student passed with a grade of C (or its equivalent) or above. The Director of Academic Services will notify the student of the number of transfer credits recognized by the School of Law.
- Students may not receive transfer credit for a course that is deemed to duplicate coursework already completed at the School of Law. Conversely, students may be prohibited from completing a course for credit at the School of Law if they have already received transfer credit for a similar course.
Study Abroad and Summer Terms at Other Law Schools
A student may earn academic credit for courses taken during the summer term at other law schools approved by the American Bar Association. Grades received in courses taken at another law school are not included in the computation of a student’s cumulative grade point average at the School of Law. A student may only earn up to 7 transfer credits for courses taken during a summer term. No credit will be awarded by the School of Law unless the following conditions have been met:
- Prior to the commencement of summer study at another law school, the student must request a letter of good standing from the Office of Student Affairs, indicating anticipated courses to be taken, and whether the student intends for any courses taken as a visitor to satisfy graduation requirements. Satisfaction of graduation requirements with outside courses requires the approval of the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs.
- After the summer term is completed, the Office of Student Affairs must receive an official transcript from the law school at which the student visited in order for credits earned at that institution to be recognized by the School of Law. Academic credit may be awarded at the School of Law for courses that the student passed with a grade of C (or its equivalent) or above. The Director of Academic Services will notify the student of the number of transfer credits recognized by the School of Law.
- Students may not receive transfer credit for a course that is deemed to duplicate coursework already completed at the School of Law. Conversely, students may be prohibited from completing a course for credit at the School of Law if they have already received transfer credit for a similar course.
D. Final Examinations and Papers
Preparation for the Examination Period
Prior to each examination period, the Office of Student Affairs will post detailed policies and procedures for that exam period on the School of Law’s website. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these policies and procedures. Unfamiliarity with these policies will not excuse noncompliance.
Every student will be assigned an anonymous number to be used for identification purposes on all examinations and papers that will be graded anonymously that semester, unless otherwise instructed for a specific in-class assignment. Students will be notified via e-mail when anonymous numbers are available in Community Property, the law school’s intranet. Students are responsible for completing the Exam Policies and Procedures Verification and retrieving their anonymous numbers prior to the start of the examination period.
For any anonymously graded examination or assignment, students should write only their anonymous number – and no other identifying information – on their materials.
In order to retain anonymity, students should not reveal their anonymous numbers to other students or to faculty.
The Director of Academic Services will post the authorized materials for each examination prior to the examination period. Use of unauthorized materials during an examination is a violation of the Code of Conduct.
Use of Laptop Computers for In-Class Examinations
All students are permitted to take their in-class examinations using laptop computers, provided the laptop meets the standards set forth by the School of Law technology staff (Lawtech) and the student uses School of Law-designated examination software (currently Exam4) during the examination. Students are required to use their computers for any multiple choice components of in-class exams.
Students must adhere to any laptop restrictions designated for specific exams; failure to do so will be considered as a possible violation of the Code of Conduct.
A student who opts to take an examination using a laptop computer with the designated examination software must provide his or her own laptop computer. That laptop computer must meet all requirements designated by Lawtech.
In addition, any student who wishes to use a laptop in conjunction with the Exam4 software is required to upgrade to the latest version of the software, as designated by Lawtech, and test the software each semester by submitting a practice exam. Those who fail to do so are not entitled to technical assistance during the exam period. Click here for more information about Exam4. Lawtech will notify students when new versions are available and can assist any students that have difficulty downloading or installing the software.
Except when expressly authorized by the instructor, electronic devices other than laptop computers (e.g., cell phones, PDAs) may not be used at any time during an in-class examination, including when the student has temporarily left the exam room.
While an in-class examination is in progress, students are not permitted to communicate with anyone other than examination administration staff members. Students may not contact the course instructor(s) directly with questions or concerns about in-class or take-home examinations before grades have been released, as this may compromise the anonymity of the examination, and may result in possible sanctions under the Code of Conduct.
If a technical (computer) problem arises during an examination and the problem cannot be resolved in 5 minutes (or 10 minutes if the exam has not begun), or Lawtech assistance is required a second time, the student will have two options: to use an in-exam emergency laptop, if eligible (see below); or to continue in a Bluebook.
In-Exam Emergency Laptop Program
To be eligible to use the in-exam emergency laptops, a student must have 1) installed the latest version of Exam4 available, as stated by Lawtech; and 2) successfully submitted a practice examination with the latest version of Exam4 at some point during that term before the published deadline.
The in-exam emergency laptops will only be made available to students who meet the above requirements, whose technical issues first occur after the student has arrived in the exam room and begun the process of logging in to take the exam, and only after Lawtech has been unsuccessful in repairing the issue within the allowable time limit (5 minutes during an exam or 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of an exam).
After Lawtech has exceeded the allotted time, they will advise the student of the status of the problem, and the student may opt to either continue in a Bluebook, or be escorted to a “crash room” to use one of the in-exam emergency laptops. The process of switching to an in-exam emergency laptop involves the gathering of your materials, going to the crash room (which may be on a different floor in the building from the exam room), re-activation of a blank exam, and Exam4 start up time. As such, the choice to move to an emergency laptop may take up to 15 minutes from the exam time and the student will not receive extra time on the exam for the time lost in switching to an in-exam emergency laptop.
As in the switch to Bluebook, the student will have not have access to anything previously typed, and will be starting on a blank page. If Lawtech is able to retrieve any part of the exam typed prior to the crash, it will be added to the materials given to the professor, and, if possible within the timeframe of the exam, it will be given to the student as he or she continues the exam.
Only three in-exam emergency laptops will be kept; therefore only the first three eligible students who opt to use the laptops at a given time will receive them.
The in-exam emergency laptops will not be given out in the following situations:
- The loss or theft of a student’s own laptop;
- Malfunctions prior to arrival in the exam room and the commencement of the login process for the exam;
- Personal mishaps (e.g., spills);
- Take-home exams; or
- For any personal use, for any length of time, outside of an exam.
This is not a comprehensive or exhaustive list and may be amended as deemed necessary by the Law School Administration. Decisions regarding the distribution of the emergency laptops are made at the discretion of the Senior Associate Dean of Students and the Office of Student Affairs.
Deferral of In-Class Examinations
Except as set out in the examination deferral policy below, a student enrolled in a course that requires one or more in-class examinations must take the examination(s) at the scheduled time.
A student’s failure to take or submit an examination at the scheduled time will result in a failing grade (“F”) for the examination unless the student (1) has arranged for a rescheduled examination; (2) has arranged for a temporary grade of INC (Incomplete); or (3) has dropped or withdrawn from the course prior to the last day of classes for that semester.
Deferral of an in-class examination is permitted only under very narrow circumstances. A student may request to have an in-class examination deferred when there is an examination conflict. An examination conflict is defined as two or more in-class examinations scheduled to occur on the same calendar day. Also, at the discretion of the Director of Student Advising, certain extraordinary circumstances – e.g., injury or illness; serious injury, illness or death of a member of the student’s immediate family; significant family event scheduled prior to the announcement of the examination schedule – may pose a “conflict” that warrants examination deferral. Requests for examination deferral due to extraordinary circumstances must be accompanied by appropriate documentation, e.g., doctor’s note, travel documents.
Requests for examination deferral must be submitted to the Director of Academic Services in writing, using an Examination Conflict/Deferral Form, by the deadline stated in each term. Students may choose which exam is deferred in the case of a conflict. The Director of Academic Services shall designate the time and place for a makeup examination, which will occur on the next available day, unless it results in a student having an exam on three consecutive days. In no case will a student be permitted to take an exam on a date prior to the regularly scheduled time. Students shall be notified about the date, time, and location of the makeup examination no later than the last day of classes. The decision of the Director of Academic Services is final.
A makeup examination replaces the examination originally scheduled for the course and carries the same consequences. The conditions for the makeup examination shall be identical to those established by the course instructor for her or his in-class examination. Students who fail to sit for a makeup examination within the prescribed time period shall receive a failing grade on the examination in question. The makeup examination shall be scheduled so that the instructor has adequate time to evaluate the examination and to submit a grade within the uniform grade deadlines established by the School of Law administration.
Should an emergency or unanticipated problem arise immediately before an in-class examination is scheduled to begin, the student should contact the Director of Student Advising directly to request an emergency deferral. Examples include serious personal injury or illness; serious illness, injury, or death of a member of the student's immediate family; or other similar event beyond the student's control. The student will be asked to bring written documentation of the emergency or problem with them to the makeup examination. Failure to provide adequate documentation will be treated as a possible violation of the Code of Conduct.
Should an emergency or serious illness arise during an examination, the student should immediately bring it to the attention of the proctor, who will notify the Director of Academic Services.
Take-Home Examinations and Papers
Instructors may elect to give a written paper or take-home examination in lieu of an in-class examination. Each student in the course in which a take-home examination is given must retrieve and submit the examination according to the procedure established by the course instructor. Students are required to submit their answers electronically, via Exam4, for all take-home examinations administered by the Office of Student Affairs.
Unless arrangements have been made for the temporary grade of INC, a written paper or take-home examination submitted after the date set by the instructor will be accepted for credit only at the instructor’s discretion. Take-home examinations submitted beyond the prescribed time limit will be reported, by anonymous number, to the instructor and subject to penalty at the instructor’s discretion.
Disclosure of Information about an Examination
Because of examination deferrals, some students may not have taken an examination when originally scheduled. It is a violation of the Code of Conduct for any student to disclose the form, content, degree of difficulty, or any other information pertaining to the exam, or discuss the exam in any way with any student who has not yet taken the examination.
Students seeking exam accommodations due to a permanent or temporary disability must follow the procedure outlined in the Accommodations section of this handbook, listed under General Policies. Students with disabilities requesting classroom accommodations and services at Drexel University need to present a current accommodation verification letter (AVL) to their instructors. Students with disabilities requesting exam accommodations and services need to obtain an AVL and present it to Prof. Clare Coleman, Director of Student Advising, in the Office of Student Affairs. Individual professors do not have the discretion to accommodate disabilities absent an AVL letter from ODS. The university does not grant retroactive disability accommodations.
At the discretion of the Senior Associate Dean of Students, students for whom English is a second language may be eligible to use a translation dictionary and/or other accommodations. Students for whom this is applicable should contact the Senior Associate Dean of Students.
The faculty is committed to providing feedback on exams to assist students seeking to improve their performance. Students who receive a grade of C or below may request individual review of their exam with a professor. In addition, faculty may provide other appropriate feedback on exam performance, such as providing model exam answers, holding group review sessions, etc. The Director of Academic Skills and Writing Specialist are available to provide additional support. Exam review is primarily designed for the purpose of helping students improve their work. Grade changes are permitted only in extremely rare circumstances (see section on Grade Changes).
E. Academic Standing
Letters of Good Standing
Students who require a letter of good standing or attendance to be sent to other education institutions, lenders, insurers, or employers, must complete the appropriate Letter of Good Standing request form (available in OSA, or here) and submit it to the Office of Student Affairs.
Referral for Academic Skills
At the discretion of the Senior Associate Dean of Students, students with cumulative grade point averages above 2.20 and below 2.67 may be required to meet with the Director of Academic Skills and/or the Writing Specialist, and to attend Dean’s Scholar sessions.
- Academic Good Standing: All students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 in order to remain in academic good standing.
- Academic Probation: Students who have cumulative grade point averages below 2.20 will be placed on academic probation and will be required to meet with the Director of the Academic Skills Program and to participate in any programs she requires for that student. All students (other than first-year students discussed below) may remain on academic probation for only one semester. In order to avoid academic dismissal, a student on academic probation must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 or higher by the end of the next semester in which they are registered for 9 or more credits. If a student who has been on academic probation previously (including during the first year) later achieves a cumulative grade point average below 2.20 again, the student will be academically dismissed at that time.
- First-Year Students
- First-year students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 at the end of the Spring Semester of their first year. Failure to achieve a 2.20 grade point average will result in academic dismissal.
- First-year students who fail to achieve a 2.20 cumulative grade point average after the Fall Semester will be placed on academic probation and will be required to meet with the Director of the Academic Skills Program and to participate in any programs she requires for that student.
- Co-op and Clinic Participation
Students on academic probation are not eligible to participate in co-op or clinical programs.
- Dismissal Notice from Senior Associate Dean of Students. A student who has been dismissed for academic reasons shall be notified of the dismissal in writing by the Senior Associate Dean of Students. The notice of dismissal shall include an outline of the procedure for filing a petition for reinstatement.
- Effective Date for Notice.Dismissal notices will be sent by first-class mail to the student’s addresses in DrexelOne, and by e-mail with return receipt requested. The notice will be deemed effective upon mailing.
- Students Who May Petition for Reinstatement. Any student dismissed for academic reasons may file a petition for reinstatement to the Faculty Committee on Scholastic Standing. Petitions should be sent to the Senior Associate Dean of Students who will forward them to the Faculty Committee on Scholastic Standing.
- Content of Petition. The petition for reinstatement must be filed within 10 calendar days after the dismissal notice is deemed effective and must include the following information:
- Specification of Reason for Academic Failure. The student must establish that the student possesses the requisite ability to perform satisfactorily in law school and that the student's current grade point average does not indicate a lack of capacity to satisfactorily complete legal studies at the School of Law.
- Circumstances Beyond Student’s Control Caused Failure. In addition to (1), the student must also establish that academic poor performance was the result of non-recurring circumstances beyond the student's control, and thereby rebut the presumption raised by the student's record that the student's poor scholarship was due to lack of ability or failure to apply oneself diligently to the study of law.
- Medical or Psychological Causes. If the extenuating circumstances raised by the student are related to a physical or psychological incapacity suffered during the course of a term or before or during an examination, convincing medical proof of the existence of the condition must accompany the petition for reinstatement. The student must also demonstrate that the incapacity has been remediated and will not further impede the student’s academic performance.
- Consideration of the Petition for Reinstatement
- Review by Committee. The Faculty Committee on Scholastic Standing will consider the petition for reinstatement and any supporting written materials. The Faculty Committee, in its discretion, determines whether to allow the student to present his/her reasons for reinstatement in person, and will consider (though not necessarily grant) the student’s request for an in-person presentation. At the presentation, the student may provide any evidence he or she wishes relevant to the standard set forth above in B (1) and (2).
- Members of the Committee. The Faculty Committee on Scholastic Standing shall consist of three members of the faculty. The Senior Associate Dean of Students may provide information to the faculty Committee and may attend student in-person presentations to the Committee. The Director of Academic Services shall serve as an ex officio member of the committee.
- Standards for Readmission. The Faculty Committee on Scholastic Standing will review the petition for reinstatement and all supporting materials. If the Committee finds that the student has made a satisfactory showing that the student has the capacity to satisfactorily complete legal studies at the School of Law and that the student’s academic failure was due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, the Committee may recommend to the Dean of the School of Law that the student be reinstated and on what conditions reinstatement should be imposed.
- Terms of Readmission. The Committee’s recommendation may include that a student retake all or some of the required first-year courses. If pursuant to the Committee’s recommendation a student retakes a first-year course in which the student received a passing grade, the student’s transcript shall reflect both the initial grade and the grade from the retake. However, the student shall not receive academic credit for both the initial course and the retake, and for purposes of calculating the student’s cumulative grade point average, both the initial grade and the grade for the retake will be used.
A student who receives a failing grade in a first-year course must retake the course. If the student received a failing grade for reasons other than a violation of the Code of Conduct, both the failing grade and the grade from the retake will appear on the student’s transcript and both grades will be factored into the student’s cumulative grade point average.
- Final Decision on Reinstatement by Dean. Upon receipt of the Committee’s recommendation, the Dean will make the final decision on whether to deny the petition or to reinstate the student, subject to any conditions that the Dean may impose. The Dean’s decision is final and the student will be notified in writing of the decision.
F. Student Employment
Employment During Law School
Students may not be employed in excess of 20 hours in any week of any semester in which they are taking 9 or more credit hours. First-year students, in particular, are discouraged from engaging in outside employment. Every student taking 9 or more credits is required to sign an affidavit each year confirming that he or she is in compliance with this provision. The form is available in OSA or online.
Modifications of Academic Rules and Policies
All rules governing academic performance and student conduct may be modified or amended under the authority of the Dean and the faculty. Modifications or amendments to rules governing academic performance and student conduct shall be applicable to students currently enrolled when the Dean and the faculty determine that such modifications are necessary and appropriate and will not cause undue hardship to students currently enrolled.