EXCERPTS FROM COLLEGE OF LAW FACULTY RULES AND POLICIES RELATING TO STUDENT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
Last updated July 23, 2015
III. Class Scheduling
Classes should be scheduled without reference to the convenience or inconvenience of student employment schedules.
Normally, an upper level course will not have more enrolled students than a number equal to half the size of a class. Enrollment in upper level courses may be capped at a lower number at the discretion of the instructor, in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, after consideration of such factors as: (1) room size and availability, (2) course availability, and (3) the distribution of the teaching load. This determination should be made early enough to be noted in the Curriculum Planning Guide.
C. Curriculum Planning Guide
It is the sense of the faculty that the listing of the subjects tested by the Kentucky Bar Examination may be misleading to students considering their course selection in the upper levels and it should be deleted from the Curriculum Planning Guide.
D. Schedules and elective courses
Law courses are either required or elective and are planned to provide a well rounded curriculum of such content as to give the student a balanced legal education. To this end, term programs are based on groups of courses for each "category" of students. Normally a category is composed of all students who first entered upon law during a given semester. Any student desiring to substitute in a particular term any course not offered to his category must obtain the permission of the Dean or the Dean's designate for approving schedules.
E. SBA Forum hours
No classes will be scheduled during an SBA Forum hour.
F. Make up classes
No make up classes will be scheduled on any of the last ten calendar days (i.e., including weekends) preceding the final day of regularly scheduled classes, except where necessary to make up a class missed during those ten days.
IV. Student Class Performance
A. Class attendance
Every student must maintain attendance satisfactory to the instructor in each of his classes. A student may be excluded from any course for excessive absences upon the recommendation of the instructor, with the concurrence of the Dean.
B. Excessive absence rule
Whenever any student has been absent from 25% of the total of any class meetings in any course, in any term, for whatever reason, he shall be disqualified to take the final examination in such course or to receive credit therefor. For the purposes of this rule, the following numbers of absences shall be deemed to constitute 25%: 4 absences in any 1-hour course, 7 absences in any 2-hour course, 11 absences in any 3-hour course, 14 absences in any 4-hour course. Absences in classes that meet for longer than 50 minutes shall count as absences in a number of classes determined by the proportion that the number of minutes the missed class bears to 50 (for example, an absence from a class that meets for 75 minutes shall count as an absence from one and one-half class meetings). Instructors may require special makeup assignments for absences not amounting to 25%, and may take unexcused absences into account in the final grade of the student along with the quality of daily work done, provided that the instructor acts in a manner consistent with a written policy distributed to the student in the first or second class meeting.
C. Procedure on violation of Rule IV.B.
Whenever an instructor determines that a student has exceeded the number of absences permitted by Rule IV.B. above, the faculty member shall notify the Dean or Dean’s designate of the violation and shall request that the Dean or Dean’s designate notify the student that they have been disqualified from taking the final examination in the course and from receiving credit therefor. Such notification shall be by letter to all addresses for the student on file with the University Registrar. In addition, the Dean or Dean’s designate shall make other reasonable efforts to notify the student. Upon notification, the student must initiate withdrawal by requesting the Dean or the Deans designate to permit withdrawal with a grade of W. If the student fails to initiate the withdrawal or cannot be located, the Dean, the Dean’s designate, or the faculty member may initiate withdrawal. If the withdrawal is initiated during the first half of the semester, the student may withdraw with a grade of W without the approval of the Dean or Deans designate or faculty member. During the last half of the semester, withdrawal requires the approval of the Dean or Deans designate after consultation with the faculty member. If withdrawal is not initiated or approved as provided herein, the student shall remain enrolled in the course and shall earn a grade of E for the course.
D. Class preparation
Effective instruction in the College of Law requires preparation of daily assignments by students. The case and problem method cannot be effectively used when students are not prepared. Therefore, the instructor may exercise wide discretion in taking action deemed necessary to insure that classroom performance will be maintained at a high level.
V. Outside Employment
Employment during the school semester often impairs a student's ability to devote the time needed for full time law school study. Accordingly, the law faculty strongly urges first-year law students not to undertake any employment, except in extraordinary circumstances and only after consultation with and approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean should generally decline to approve the request of a first-year student to work for more than ten hours per week. In no event may the Associate Dean approve employment, nor may a first-year student work, for more than twenty hours per week during the academic year.
Students in second and third year need not seek approval by the Associate Dean before undertaking employment during the school semester. Second- and third-year students are prohibited from working for more than twenty hours per week during the academic year.
This policy applies to employment outside of the law school and to employment by the College of Law.
B. Notice of policy
1. The faculty rule regarding outside employment shall be communicated to students through, inter alia, (1) in the College of Law Bulletin; (2) materials provided to entering students; (3) the Curriculum Planning Guide; (4) first year Orientation; and (5) a notice posted on the bulletin board of the Career Services Office; and (6) the College of Law web site.
2. The Career Development Office shall inform employers who advertise for term-time student workers through Career Development Office about this rule.
C. Enforcement of Policy
1. The Career Services Office shall inform any employer of this rule if the employer seeks to employ a law student for more than twenty hours per week during the term.
[Parts A-C approved by the Faculty on Apr. 4, 2008]
D. Scholarship and grant funds
A concerted effort should be made to increase scholarship and grant funds, as well as other financial aid, for law students; prospective entering students should be apprised of the available aid.
VI. Withdrawal by Students
A. General policy
All students at the College of Law are expected to complete their degree requirements without interruption other than for regularly scheduled vacation periods. It is expected that students will complete all courses or seminars in which they are enrolled. The following rules govern the situations where exceptions to this policy are necessary.
B. Withdrawal from the College and University (Note: The following Rule VI B. was adopted by University Senate 4/12/93 and is codified in the University Senate Rules at Rule 184.108.40.206.B. This Rule VI.B. is reprinted here only for convenience.)
1. First year students are expected to complete their first year of law study without interruption. If a student withdraws from the College and University during his or her first year of law study, readmission is not automatic. If a student withdraws during the first semester of law study, applications for readmission will be referred to the Admissions Committee; if a first year student withdraws during the second semester, applications for readmission will be referred to the Academic Status Committee; provided that in either of the above withdrawal situations, the Dean or the Dean's designate may grant a special leave of absence for the balance of the academic year for reasons relating to extended illness or equivalent distress.
2. After completion of all required first year courses, a student who withdraws from the College of Law and the University is subject to the rules stated herein regarding readmission after a leave of absence and grades for students who withdraw. To officially withdraw from the College of Law, a student must report to the University Registrar's Office to obtain a withdrawal card; this card must be signed by the Dean of the College of Law or the Dean's designate. If a student plans to complete a semester, but not reenroll for the subsequent semester, he or she must give the Dean or the Dean's designate written notice of such intention.
C. Withdrawal from individual courses or seminars
A second year student, a third year student, or a first year student with special permission of the Dean or the Dean’s designate may withdraw from any course or seminar within the first half of a semester or summer session. To withdraw from a course or seminar within the first half of a semester or summer session, the student must obtain permission of the Dean or the Dean’s designate. A student may withdraw from a course or seminar during the last half of a semester or summer session only on petition certifying reasons relating to extended illness or equivalent distress. This petition must be approved by the Dean or the Dean’s designate, with notice to the instructor after withdrawal. The instructor must assign a grade of W if the petition is approved.
[Part C amended January 29, 2015]
D. Readmission after a leave of absence
1. If a student withdraws from the College and University or does not continue enrollment and has complied with paragraph B(2) of this rule, the student will routinely be readmitted to the College provided that the student is in good standing and the absence was not longer than two semesters plus one summer term. No student will be readmitted pursuant to this paragraph more than one time.
2. A student who intends to remain away from the College for more than two semesters plus one summer term must request permission for a Leave of Absence. These requests are not routinely granted and will be referred to the Academic Status Committee for recommendation to the Dean.
3. Readmission for students who are not entitled to readmission pursuant to paragraphs B, D(1), or D(2) of this rule is not automatic. Applications for such readmission will be referred to the Academic Status Committee for a recommendation to the Dean. The Academic Status Committee may consider all relevant facts and circumstances, including the length of time out of the College and reasons for the absence. The Committee and Dean will normally not approve readmission for any student who has been away from the College for six regular semesters. Reasonable conditions, including the repetition of courses for no credit, may be imposed if readmission is approved.
VII. Completion of Course Work and I Grades
A. Completion of course work
Students in all courses, seminars, and other College of Law programs are expected to complete their course work within the semester during which the course is offered. In examination courses, this means taking the exam at the regular scheduled time. In courses where papers comprise all or part of the course work, such papers must be submitted at the times fixed by the instructor but in no event later than the last day of the scheduled exams for the semester. In clinical courses, all work must be completed at the times fixed by the instructor. Failure to complete College of Law work within the limits described in this paragraph shall result in an E grade unless the student withdraws from the course or receives an I grade. An I grade shall be awarded only as provided below.
B. Alternative dates for examinations
Alternative dates for examinations are governed by Rule VIII.B., below.
C. Late papers
A student unable to submit a paper by the scheduled time for submission because of urgent reasons relating to illness or extraordinary circumstances may request permission from the faculty member to submit a paper after the regular scheduled time for submission. Such a request shall be made or confirmed in writing and shall particularize the reasons for the request. Evidence of the reasons for the student's inability to submit the paper at the scheduled time may be required. The faculty member may:
1. Permit a delay in submission until any date prior to the last day of the examination period for the semester; or
2. Recommend to the Dean a delay in submission until a specified date subsequent to the last day of the examination period; or
3. Deny the request.
D. I Grades for incomplete work
1. Faculty members may submit an I grade for students who fail to complete required course work. Submission of I grades is governed by University Senate Rule 220.127.116.11.
2. Effect of Incompletes on Academic Status
The Faculty of the College of Law, the Law Faculty Academic Status Committee, or the Dean may act with regard to a student's status without reference to the presence of one or more I grades on the student's record.
A. Definition; standards
Externships are opportunities for students to obtain legal experience outside of the traditional classroom under the supervision of licensed attorneys. All externship employers must be government or nonprofit entities. A student may not receive compensation for externship work for which the student receives credit, but reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to the externship may be reimbursed.
B. Credit hours
Academic credit granted shall be commensurate with the time and effort required of and educational benefit received by each student. It is expected that students will devote at least 50 hours of work (excluding travel time) in an externship for each credit hour granted.
[Rule VIIA adopted by the Faculty March 11, 2010]
B. Alternative dates
The applicable examination rule in the College of Law will be University Senate Rule 18.104.22.168.
A. Average grades
The average grade in every course and seminar shall be in the range 2.90-3.10, unless the professor believes that special circumstances require that the average grade in a particular course or seminar be outside these ranges, in which case the professor shall submit a written explanation of these circumstances to the Dean's Office. These written explanations shall be attached to the grade summaries distributed after each semester by the Dean's Office. Special circumstances that may justify exemption of a particular course or seminar from these ranges include, but are not limited to, the fact that the average GPA of the class is outside the range; the size of the class; and the fact that the class grade is being determined at least in part on the basis of a paper that satisfies the writing requirement.
The average grade rule serves the fundamental interest of fairness to students and the secondary interest of encouraging students to use sound bases for selecting courses. It is the sense of the faculty that faculty members should respect these interests by good faith efforts to comply with the average grade rule. In particular, deviations must be justified by explanations that reflect serious consideration of the reasons for the rule.
The Dean may consider faculty explanations for deviations from the average grade range when reviewing faculty teaching.
The Associate Dean shall provide each adjunct faculty member with a copy of this average grade rule. When the Dean decides whether an adjunct faculty member should be offered the opportunity to teach a course at the law school, the Dean shall consider the extent to which that adjunct faculty member has deviated from the average grade rule and the explanation offered for any deviation.
[Amended by the Faculty on April 12, 2007]
For each course the faculty member will designate whether grading of examinations is to be anonymous or non anonymous and the students will be advised of this prior to taking the exam, and if possible, prior to registration.
C. Deadline for submission of grades
Grades are due in the Dean's Office not later than the beginning of the following session.
D. Exclusion for Poor Scholarship and Readmission. (Note: The following Rule IX.D. was adopted by University Senate 11/8/76 and is codified in the University Senate Rules at Rule 22.214.171.124.A. This Rule IX.D. is reprinted here only for convenience.)
All students in the College of Law must maintain a satisfactory cumulative grade point average, and failure to do so will result in the student being dropped from the College for poor scholarship. Any student who receives a grade point average below 1.5 for his or her first semester of law study may be dropped by the Dean on recommendation of the Law Faculty Academic Status Committee for poor scholarship. Any student who fails to achieve a 2.0 cumulative grade point average at the end of the first two semesters will automatically be dropped for poor scholarship. In addition, any student whose cumulative average falls between [below] a 2.0 at the end of any subsequent semester will also be dropped from the College.
Any student who receives a grade of E in a required course must reregister for the course and complete all requirements therefor. When such a required course is retaken or when a student elects to repeat an elective course in which he has received a failing grade, both the initial and subsequent grade will be reflected on the students record and counted in the computation of class standing, subject to Readmission standards below.
Any student dropped for poor scholarship may petition the Law Faculty Academic Status Committee for readmission. A recommendation to the Dean for readmission is within the discretion of the committee; however, in most cases, the following policies will guide the Committee, a student dropped after the first semester will be required to petition the full Faculty for readmission; in the case of students dropped at the end of the second semester, a student with cumulative grade point average of 1.9 and above will normally be readmitted, a student with a cumulative average below 1.7 will normally not be readmitted; any student dropped at the end of the third semester or thereafter will be subject to case-by-case analysis.
Any Student who is readmitted after being dropped at the end of the second semester and who fails to raise his or her cumulative grade point average to 2.0 by the end of the third semester will be readmitted again only at that time if she or he has made material progress toward raising his or her cumulative grade point average to 2.0. Material progress at a minimum shall mean obtaining a 2.0 GPA for the semester. Moreover, such student must raise his or her cumulative average to 2.0 by the end of the fo[u]rth semester. In addition to the foregoing academic standards for readmission, the Committee may impose additional academic standards in individual cases, and in any case may impose other reasonable conditions of readmission including, but not limited to, limitation of outside work, specification of schedule of study (including specification of particular courses and limitation of hours, and the limitation of extracurricular activities. The Committee with the approval of the full law faculty may also require the repetition of courses either with or without substitution of the grades awarded in the courses retaken. Failure to comply with the requirements and conditions of readmission will result in the student being dropped again from the College, in which case he or she will not be readmitted without approval of the University Senate Council upon the recommendation of the Dean following action by the full Law Faculty. Any student aggrieved at any time by recommendation of the Academic Status Committee may petition the full Law Faculty for review.
For purposes of the above rules, a student who is required by the Academic Status Committee to repeat fourteen (14) or more hours of the freshman curriculum in his or her third or fourth semester will be considered as enrolled in his or her first or second semesters.
A student who has once been dropped for poor scholarship and who fails to have a 2.0 cumulative average at the end of the semester or summer session in which he or she completes the 90th hour of course work will not be allowed to graduate from the College of Law. Such student will not be allowed to enroll in additional hours of course work in an attempt to achieve a 2.0 cumulative average.
X. Requirements for Graduation
A. Juris Doctor degree
Students admitted to the College of Law are eligible for the degree of Juris Doctor (J.D.) upon completion of a minimum of three academic years (six full time semesters or equivalent) of residence and 90 semester hours of courses in the College of Law with a grade point average of at least 2.0.
All courses in the first year of law study are required, as is a course in professional responsibility and an upper division writing course.
B. Upper Division Writing Course
1. To graduate from the College of Law, a student must successfully complete an upper class course that has an approved writing component. The student must designate to the Registrar which course the student is taking to satisfy this requirement.
2. A course with an approved writing component must require the following:
(a) The completion of a written document or documents that comprise, in total, at least 25 double-spaced pages, inclusive of footnotes and endnotes, for a two-credit course, or at least 40 double-spaced pages, inclusive of footnotes and endnotes, for a three-credit course. At least fifty percent of the student’s final grade must be based on the student’s written submission. The student’s written submission must demonstrate substantial independent research and original thought.
These documents may include traditional legal research papers or one or more memoranda or other transaction-related or litigation-related writings, so long as the student’s work is the result of substantial independent research, and the student’s written work product totals at least 25 or 40 pages, inclusive of footnotes and endnotes, as outlined above in this section B(2)(a)
(b) The submission of at least one preliminary draft of the document or documents, on which the Faculty Member will make detailed criticisms, suggestions, and comments, with a particular view toward improving the forcefulness, effectiveness, methodological soundness, and/or persuasiveness of the student’s written expression. During the course of the semester, the Faculty Member must have at least one private consultation with each student to discuss the student’s draft.
3. Courses that satisfy this writing requirement shall include:
(a) Seminars, which are courses with limited enrollment of no more than sixteen students, the primary focus of which is the preparation of a substantial research paper and the oral presentation and defense of that paper to the entire class. In extraordinary circumstances, the Dean may increase or decrease the enrollment in a seminar. All courses approved as seminars are deemed to satisfy the Upper Division Writing Requirement.
(b) Other courses that have, as their focus, the completion of a substantial writing project (or projects) that satisfy the requirements listed in subsection (B)(2)(b) of this rule. The faculty must specifically approve each non-seminar course as satisfying the Upper Division Writing Requirement under this rule.
(c) The course in Research Problems (often referred to as “independent study”) if the course satisfies the requirements listed in subsection (B)(2)(b) of this rule, unless the course is taken in the student’s final semester of legal studies. A faculty member may not supervise more than three (3) independent study projects in one semester without the prior approval of the Dean.
4. This Rule’s effective date is August 1, 2014.
[This amendment of IX(B) was adopted by the Faculty on January 30, 2014]
C. Professional Skills Requirement
1. A student must successfully complete a “professional skills” course as designated by this rule. To “successfully complete” the course means to receive a final grade other than E or F.
2. Designated “professional skills” courses are:
Advanced Estate Planning
Advanced Legal Research
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Child Advocacy Today Externship
Children’s Law Center Externship
Civil Pretrial Practice
County Attorney Externship
Department of Public Advocacy Externship
Energy & Environment Cabinet Externship
Federal Appellate Advocacy
Immigration Law Externship
Innocence Project Externship
Intellectual Property Transactions
International Business Transactions
Kentucky Refugee Ministries Externship
Lexington City Attorney Externship
Real Estate Transactions
UK Healthcare Risk Management Externship
UK Office of Legal Counsel Externship
[List in Part X(C)(2) as amended through May 15, 2014]
3. A new course may be added to the list in (C)(2) above by the faculty if the faculty determines that the course meets the requirements of ABA Standard 302(a)(4) and Interpretation 302-3, or any successor Standards or Interpretations. A course may be deleted from the list in (C)(2) above by the faculty if the faculty determines that the course no longer meets these requirements or by the Dean if the course is no longer offered.
[Approved by the Faculty Aug. 15, 2008, University Senate Council Aug. 18, 2008]
D. Pass-fail courses (Note: The following Rule X.D. was adopted by University Senate on December 8, 2014, and is codified in the University Senate Rules at Rule 126.96.36.199.D. This Rule X.D. is reprinted here only for convenience.)
In determining the number of hours credited toward the requirement for the J.D. degree:
1. No more than 6 hours of graduate courses outside of the College of Law shall be counted. All such courses must be approved by the faculty in advance. The College of Law will assign a grade if P if an student receives an A or B in the course; the College of Law will assign a grade of E if the student receives a C, D or E.
2. No more than 9 hours of courses in the law school that are offered on a pass-fail basis shall be counted.
3. No more than 12 of the total number of pass-fail credit hours, whether earned under 1. (above) or under 2. (above) shall be counted.
4. No more than one graduate school course outside the law school, graded on a pass-fail basis, may be credited in any one semester.
Students in joint degree programs may only take up to nine pass-fail course credit hours in the College of Law and may take no courses outside the College of Law for credit toward the J.D.
[As amended by the Faculty Oct. 23, 2014]
F. Credit for Foreign Study
The faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Law (the Law School) believe that the study of international law, as well as the study of the legal systems and cultures of other countries, contributes to and enhances students’ legal education. When the Law School has an opportunity to develop a relationship with a foreign law school so that interested students may have an opportunity to study abroad at the foreign law school, the Law School should seek to develop that relationship to permit qualifying students to study abroad. Such foreign study should be approved only when it is determined that the study will enhance a student’s legal education. Any such foreign study is subject to the following requirements:
(1) Foreign study is available only to students eligible to receive a J.D. degree from the Law School and in good standing at the Law School. Such students are permitted to study abroad only after the completion of their first year of study and may spend no more than two semesters of study at any foreign institution;
(2) A proposed course of foreign study must be approved in advance by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The course of study must comply with the ABA Criteria for Student Study at a Foreign Institute (the ABA Criteria);
(3) Students may earn no more than 35 credit hours toward the J.D. degree outside the Law School. This includes credit hours from foreign institutions (which may not exceed 30 credit hours), other ABA-approved law schools as a visiting student, and graduate-level courses taken outside the Law School;
(4) In order to count credit hours earned under this rule toward the J.D. degree, students must earn a grade of C or higher (or the equivalent grade) in each course. Credit hours will be applied toward the J.D. degree on a pass-fail basis, and grades earned at the foreign institution will not be reflected in a student’s Law School GPA or class rank;
(5) No more than six students may undertake study at any particular foreign institution(s) within a three-year period that includes the current academic year and the two previous academic years;
(6) A full-time faculty member at the Law School familiar with the course of study at the foreign institution must act as sponsor of the student’s foreign study. This faculty sponsor is responsible for performing the review of the student’s course of study in accordance with the ABA Criteria;
(7) Courses taken at a foreign institution shall not satisfy the senior writing requirement or the Professional Responsibility course requirement;
(8) Credit will be given only for approved academic coursework at the foreign institution. Credit will not be provided for participation in foreign externships and any other program foreclosed by the terms of the ABA Criteria;
(9) Student study at a foreign institution must comply with all other rules promulgated from time to time by the Law School administration for purposes of compliance with the ABA Criteria.
[Approved by the Faculty on Dec. 10, 2007]
XA. Pro Bono Recognition
A. Pro Bono Award
Upon the completion of 50 hours of independent law-related public service, a student shall receive the College of Law Pro Bono Award. While many of the components of recognition of this award should lie within the discretion of the Dean, at a minimum, the award should include a certificate and recognition of the students who have received the award at the College of Law graduation ceremony. A record of the award should be retained in the student’s permanent record at the College of Law.
B. Total Hours and Time Period
In order to receive the award, a student must complete 50 total hours of independent law-related public service as defined in Part C below. Except as provided in Part E below, the work must be completed after the student has completed his or her first year.
C. Definition of Pro Bono Activities
“Pro bono activities” are defined as independent law-related public service activities.
1. “Independent” means activities for which the student:
(a) does not receive compensation;
(b) does not receive a Summer Public Interest Law Stipend; and
(c) has not received academic credit.
2. “Law-related public service” means public service that attempts to alleviate social problems relating to legal processes, or otherwise addresses problems that attorneys and law students are well equipped to solve using legal skills or other skills that lawyers normally utilize. Such law-related public service can be provided to the following: one or more individuals; organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights; or charitable, religious, civic, community, government and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes. Such law-related public service must be conducted under the supervision of a licensed attorney and the participating student must comply with the requirements of Parts D. and E. below.
D. Activity Pre-approval and Reporting Requirements
Independent law-related public service hours may be earned in 1) a College of Law sponsored pro bono activity or 2) in an activity developed by individual students with the prior approval of the Dean or his designate. All hours earned must be reported to the Dean or his designate at the time and in the manner prescribed. .
E. First Year Student Participation in Pro Bono Program
First year students may participate in the pro bono program only through College of Law sponsored pro bono programs that are approved for first year participation by the Dean or his designate.
[Rule XA added by the faculty on September 25, 2014]
XI. Part Time Students
A. Full time study
Because the study of law at the University of Kentucky is a full time pursuit, all law students are expected to carry a full academic program (15 semester hours) and to devote their full time to the study of law.
There is no part time curriculum in the College of Law. Otherwise qualified students may be admitted by the Admissions Committee to take less than a full first year course load only in the following circumstances:
1. with appropriate contingent conditions, one of which will require that the first year course of study be completed in a period not to exceed two academic years; and
2. after the committee has considered all factors special to the situation, including but not limited to:
(a) the policy of the University to provide educational opportunities for U.K. employees;
(b) any extraordinary personal circumstances;
(c) the applicant's ability to provide diversity to the student body.