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Academic Regulations

EXCERPTS FROM COLLEGE OF LAW FACULTY RULES AND POLICIES RELATING TO STUDENT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Last updated Oct. 27, 2020

 

3.  Class Scheduling

            A. Policy

Classes should be scheduled without reference to the convenience or inconvenience of student employment schedules.

            B. Capping

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.

 

 

3A. Determination of Credit Hours for Coursework

Standard 310(a) of the American Bar Association Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools requires that: “A law school shall adopt, publish, and adhere to written policies and procedures for determining the credit hours that it awards for coursework.” These policies and procedures are intended to comply with Standard 310.

          A. Credit Hour Calculation and Tracking

For courses of all types, a minimum of 42.5 hours of academic work per credit hour is required. The manner of documenting and tracking this work will vary depending upon nature of the course. The following sections outline default procedures for the most common types:

                        1. Traditional Lecture Courses with Final Examinations

Lecture courses with final exams should require “not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work per week” per credit hour over fifteen weeks, exam period included. Fifty minutes of classroom time shall satisfy the hour of required instruction; student hours of out-of-class work shall be sixty minutes.

As guidance for determining the length of time to complete reading assignments, academic literature indicates that an average law student reads ten to thirty pages per hour (60 minutes), depending on the difficulty of the material.

Any faculty member who must miss a regularly scheduled class session for any reason must schedule the equivalent amount of work over the semester. For terms other than the standard fall and spring, the calculated distribution of required times shall conform to the session length rather than for the default fifteen weeks.

                        2. Legal Research and Writing Courses, Seminars, and Simulations

Classroom time for legal research and writing courses, seminars, and simulations may be scheduled so that class meeting times may be achieved through class meetings or direct faculty instruction and may vary from week to week. The combined total of 42.5 hours of academic work includes time spent in class or under direct faculty instruction, time preparing for class or simulations, and time completing required assignments or simulations.

Ways of calculating out-of-class student work time include: by conducting a review of scholarly literature on the topic; by having a group of students log the time required to complete assignments; by having students report the amount of time spent on written assignments when they submit the assignments; or by having students report the amount of time spent on coursework during the semester when they complete end-of-term course evaluations.

                        3. Clinical Courses and Externships

Students enrolled in clinical courses and academic externships must complete required hours and submit time keeping records in accordance with established clinic and externship policies. Credit may be withheld for any student who fails to comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

                        4. Independent Studies (Research Problems)

Students shall submit detailed timesheets to their primary supervising faculty member every two weeks. Students must complete a minimum of 85 hours of research and writing work for two units of credit. Credit may be withheld for any student who fails to comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

                        5. Co-Curricular Courses

Students shall submit detailed timesheets to their faculty advisor every month, unless the faculty advisor indicates in writing that student work product (outputs) will be used to determine hours of work related to credit(s) earned. Students must complete a minimum of 42.5 hours of related work for each unit of credit.  Credit may be withheld for any student who fails to comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

          B.  Readings and other assignments shall be indicated on the course syllabus.

                        1. By the last day of classes in a given semester, all course instructors shall submit their course syllabi to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. In so doing, a course instructor certifies that out-of-class student work for the course meets the requirements of Standard 310(b)(1).

            [amended Nov. 27, 2017]

 

                        2. The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs shall keep all course syllabi on file and review them on a regular basis to determine whether assignments of out-of-class work comply with Standard 310(b)(1).

          C. Courses Taken in Other Colleges at the University of Kentucky

                        1. As part of the approval process for allowing a non-dual-degree College of Law student to enroll in a course in another college at the University of Kentucky, the student shall provide to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs a copy of the course syllabus and written certification from the course instructor that it complies with Standard 310(b).

                        2. For non-law courses within the dual degree programs offered by the College of Law and other schools at the University of Kentucky for which College of Law students will receive credit toward the J.D. degree, the student shall provide to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs the syllabi of such courses and written certification from the course instructors that the courses comply with Standard 310(b).  The student shall provide these materials to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs prior to the start of the semester in which the student is enrolled in said courses.

          D. Courses Taken at Another Law School

                        1. As a condition of approval of a College of Law student’s application to visit away at another ABA-approved law school, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs or the dean’s designee must obtain a written assurance from the school offering the course that the units of credit for the course(s) comply with Standard 310(b).

                        2. As a condition of approval of transfer credits by the College of Law, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the dean’s designee must obtain a written assurance from the school from which an applicant is seeking to transfer that the units of credit for the courses taken comply with Standard 310(b).

            [Rule 3A adopted May 11, 2017]

 

 

4. 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.

 

 

5. Outside Employment

            A. Policy

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.

 

  6. 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 5.3.3.1.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.

 

7. 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 8.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 5.1.3.2.

                        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.

 

7A. Externships

            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.

            C. Approval

An externship must be approved by the faculty through the Curriculum Committee, as with any new course. An externship may be approved on an experimental basis, to be offered no more than twice without permanent approval. Externship proposals must contain: (1) a clear statement of the goals and methods of the program and how the program is structured to achieve those goals and objectives; (2) the name and qualifications of the faculty member (who may be an adjunct faculty member) responsible for the course; (3) provisions for evaluation of the student’s academic performance by the faculty member and the field supervisor (where extant); (4) opportunities for student reflection and academic discussion through seminars, tutorials, guided reflection, or other methods.

            D. Supervision and Evaluation

All externships shall be supervised by a full-time faculty member or the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. This supervision will include an on-site evaluation before the externship is approved and periodically thereafter as the Associate Dean determines is necessary and appropriate. Each student shall be given the opportunity to anonymously evaluate the externship course. At the end of each academic year, the Associate Dean shall prepare a written report on and evaluation of each externship, which shall be kept on file at the College of Law and will be shared with the faculty member responsible for the externship instruction.

            [Rule 7A adopted by the Faculty March 11, 2010]

8. Examinations

            B.  Alternative dates

            The applicable examination rule in the College of Law will be University Senate Rule 5.2.4.7.

 

9. Grades

     A. Average grades

 

               1. General rule. The average grade in each course shall be in the range of 3.0 to 3.2.

 

               2. Exceptions.

                        a. Specified courses. The average grade shall be in the range of 3.0 to 3.5 in courses defined in Rule 10(B)(3), Litigation Skills, Legal Clinic, the two-hour course in Advanced Legal Research, and the one-hour courses in specialized legal research. The average grade shall be in the range of 3.0 to 3.3 in the first-year Legal Research and Writing course.                         

                        b. Small-enrollment courses. In any other course, not described above, with enrollment of 16 or fewer, the average grade shall be in the range of 3.0 to 3.4.

                    c. Incoming high grade point average. In any other course, not described above, in which the grade point averages of the enrolled students (weighted equally) average to 3.2 or more, the average grade shall not exceed that average. An instructor wishing to take advantage of this exception must request this calculation from the College of Law Registrar before the last day of classes for the term in question.

                        d. Research Problems (Independent Study). In Research Problems (Independent Study), there is no required average grade.

                        e. First-year courses. The average grade shall be in the range of 2.9 to 3.1 in first-year courses other than Legal Research and Writing.

 

                  3. Procedure. When an instructor submits grades, the College of Law Registrar will calculate the class grade point average. If it is not within the required range, the Registrar shall return the grades to the instructor. Grades that do not meet the requirements of this rule are not “submitted” for purposes of the grade deadline in part C of this rule.

            [Approved by the Faculty on May 9, 2019]

          B. Anonymity

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

Text Box: Note: The following Rule 9(D) applies to students matriculating before the Fall, 2020 term. For the new rule applicable to students matriculating thereafter, see the following Rule 9(D).        

 

 

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 fourth 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.

 

     D. Probation, Suspension, Repetition of Courses [new]

Text Box: Note: The following Rule 9(D) was approved by the University Senate on April 13, 2020, and is codified in the University Senate Rules at Rule 5.3.4.1. It is effective for students matriculating in the Fall, 2020 term or thereafter.

 

 

  

   1. Probation.

            a. Placement on probation. A student is placed on probation in any of the following circumstances.

                  i. After completion of the first semester, the student’s grade point average is below 2.0.

                  ii. After completion of any other semester, the student’s cumulative grade point average is below 2.2.

            b. Consequences of probation. A student on probation:

                  i. Must have all course enrollments approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs;

                  ii. May not have outside employment;

                  iii. Must raise his or her grade point average as follows:

                        (A). In the first following semester to 2.2 for that semester, and, by the end of the second following semester, to a cumulative average of 2.2; or

                        (B). If the first following semester is intended to be the student’s final semester, to a cumulative average of 2.2 by the end of that semester.

                  iv. Must enroll in and attend all Academic Success classes offered during the period of probation.

                  v. May not graduate from the College of Law.

            c. Removal from probation. A student who meets requirements (i) through (iv) of subsection 1(b) of this rule shall be removed from probation.

 

      2. Suspension.

          a. Placement on suspension. A student is suspended from the College of Law if

                  i. The student is on probation and fails to meet the requirements (i) through (iv) of subsection 1(b) of this rule within the time frame provided; or                             

                  ii. The student’s cumulative grade point average is below 2.2 at the end of any semester after having been removed from probation under subsection 1(c) of this rule.

            b. Consequences of suspension. A student on suspension may neither attend nor graduate from the College of Law.

            c. Removal from suspension. A student may not be removed from suspension except upon approval of the College of Law faculty (after consideration by the Academic Status Committee) and the Dean. The faculty may impose additional academic standards in individual cases, and in any case may impose other reasonable conditions of readmission including, but not limited to, specification of schedule of study (including specification of particular courses and limitation of hours), and the limitation of extracurricular activities. The faculty may also require the repetition of courses either with or without substitution of the grades awarded in the courses retaken. The student may have an opportunity to be heard at any Committee or faculty meeting hereunder. A student removed from suspension is placed on probation for the student’s next semester or summer term but is not thereby subject to subsection 2(a)(ii) of this Rule. A student suspended for a second time may not be removed from suspension.

 

            3. Repetition of courses. Any student who receives a grade of E in a required course must reregister for the course and complete all requirements therefor. A student who receives a grade of “D+” or lower in any first-year class must repeat that class until the student receives a grade of “C-” or better. When such a required course is retaken or when a student elects to repeat an elective course in which the student received a failing grade, both the initial and subsequent grade will be reflected on the student’s record and counted in the computation of grade point average for purposes of this Rule and Rule 10(A).

 

     E. Calculation of averages

 

Wherever an average is calculated under this Rule or Rule 10(A), it shall be carried to the tenths place. This means that the digit in the tenths place will be increased by one if the hundredths digit is 5 or greater, but the digit in the tenths place will be unchanged if the hundredths digit is 4 or less. All digits beyond the tenths place will otherwise be ignored.

            [Rule 9(E) added on May 9, 2019]

 

10. Requirements for Graduation

       A. Juris Doctor degree

Text Box: Note: The following Rule 10(A) applies to students matriculating before the Fall, 2020 term. For the new rule applicable to students matriculating thereafter, see the following Rule 10(A).  

 

 

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.

     A. Juris Doctor degree [NEW]

Text Box: Note: The following Rule 10(A) was approved by the University Senate on April 13, 2020, and is effective for students matriculating in the Fall, 2020 term or thereafter.     

 

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 2.2. All courses in the first year of law study are required, as is a course in professional responsibility, an upper division writing course, six upper division substantive courses, and six credit hours of experiential courses.

 

            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 9(B) was adopted by Faculty on January 30, 2014]

 

B1. Upper Division Substantive Courses [new].

Text Box: Note: The following Rule 10(B1) was approved by the University Senate on April 13, 2020, and is effective for students matriculating in the Fall, 2020 term or thereafter.   

 

A student must successfully complete Professional Responsibility as well as six of the following courses: Administrative Law, Business Associations, Constitutional Law II, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Secured Transactions, Taxation I, Trusts and Estates.

 

  C.  Professional Skills Requirement

Text Box: Rule 10(C) expires with students who commenced first year J.D. studies at any law school prior to academic year 2016-17. For the rule applicable thereafter, see Rule 10.C.1.</p>
<p>  
 

 

                        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

Alternate Dispute Resolution

Business Planning

Child Advocacy Today Externship

Children’s Law Center Externship

Civil Pretrial Practice

Department of Public Advocacy Externship

Depositions

Fayette County Attorney Externship

Federal Administrative & Tax Research

Federal Appellate Advocacy and Procedure

Federal Government Externship 

Foreign & International Legal Research

Immigration Law Externship

Innocence Project Externship

Institute for Compassion in Justice Externship

Intellectual Property Transactions

Judicial Externship

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Externship

Kentucky Legal Research

Kentucky Refugee Ministries Externship 

Legal Accounting

Legal Clinic

Legal Drafting

Lexington City Attorney Externship

Litigation Skills

Negotiating Process

Prosecutorial Externship

Regulation of Big Data

Supreme Court Decision Making

UK Healthcare Risk Management Office Externship

UK Office of Legal Counsel Externship

U.S. Department of Energy Portsmouth Paducah Project Office Externship

 

                        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.

          C.1.  Experiential Course Requirement

Text Box: Rule 10.C.1. is effective beginning with students who commenced first year J.D. studies at any law school in academic year 2016-17.</p>
<p>

 

            1.  A student must successfully complete one or more “experiential” courses totaling at least six credit hours.  An experiential course is a simulation course, law clinic, or externship, and is designated as such in the law school’s official course catalog with faculty approval.  To “successfully complete” the course means to receive a final grade other than E or F.

            2.  A course may be designated as “experiential,” and added to the law school’s official course catalog, as contemplated in sub-section (1) above, if the faculty determines that the course meets the requirements of 2015-16 ABA Standards 303(3), 304 and 305 and Interpretation 305-3, or any successor Standards or Interpretations.  A course may be deleted from the list of “experiential” courses in the course catalog by the Dean (or the Dean’s designate) if he or she determines that the course no longer meets these requirements or if the course is no longer offered.

            D. Pass-fail courses (Note:  The following Rule 10.D. was adopted by University Senate on December 8, 2014, and is codified in the University Senate Rules at Rule 5.1.2.1.4.)

            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]

 

          D1. Mandatory Pass/Fail Grading for Spring 2020 Courses

 

(1) All courses in the Spring 2020 term will be graded on a pass-fail basis.

 

(2) Credits awarded in courses which are currently taken pass-fail will be counted for purposes of the limitation on pass-fail hours in Faculty Rule 10(D).  All other pass-fail credits awarded under this rule will not be counted for purposes of the limitation on pass-fail hours.

 

(3) All students will be evaluated by the instructor as if this rule were not in effect. The instructor will assign a letter grade for each student in the course (unless the course is already designated pass-fail in the catalog).  The registrar will substitute a grade of “P” for any grade other than “E” or “I.” The grades of “E” or “I” will not be changed by this rule. The grading information reported by the instructor of each course shall not be communicated to the student.  The student will receive only the grade of P when the student is determined to have passed the course.  The award for the highest grade in the class will not be awarded in any class for the Spring 2020 semester.

 

(4) All requirements for class attendance and participation remain unaffected by this rule.

 

(5) When providing transcripts to students who completed courses during the Spring 2020 semester, the Registrar shall provide a statement to students explaining that, because of the unprecedented effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the College of Law faculty with University approval required that all courses be graded on a pass/fail basis.

 

(6) Notwithstanding the terms of other faculty rules, the conditions imposed on students readmitted to the College who are not in good academic standing are suspended for the Spring 2020 semester because of the unprecedented effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

(7) Students will be informed that they have the academic right under University Senate Rule 6.1.3.2 "to receive fair and just grades."  This rule states that "[s]tudents have the right to receive grades based only upon fair and just evaluation of their performance in a course as measured by the standards announced by their instructor(s) in the written course syllabus at the first class meeting."  College of Law faculty have decided, based on the emergency conditions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact on the College, University, and community, that mandatory pass-fail grading for all courses is the fair and just method for evaluating student performance in all such courses.  If any student believes that the grade received is not a fair and just evaluation, the student has the right to appeal the grades received.  That appeal will proceed without the student being advised of any of the letter grades that were awarded, because such an appeal would relate to the award of the grade of pass or fail, rather than the particular letter grade.  The student will receive the letter grade awarded if the student prevails in this appeal. In that event, the student would retain the right to appeal the letter grade received.

 

[Adopted by the faculty, March 26, 2020; approved by the University Senate, March 30, 2020.]

    

              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]

 

10A. 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 10A added by the faculty on September 25, 2014]

 

11.  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.

            B. Policy

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;