Summary of Changes, 2012-13

INTRODUCTION

In an effort to keep students abreast of changes to the Student Handbook, the Office of the Dean of Students puts together a brief document summarizing the significant substantive changes and/or clarifications made to the Student Handbook for the new academic year.  While other changes are made, they are primarily stylistic or informational (updating addresses, telephone numbers, etc.).  Students are still expected to familiarize themselves with the contents of the entire Student Handbook.[1]

Please note that the Student Handbook contains an interpretation of faculty-developed academic policies.  For information regarding the genesis and development of academic policies, please contact the Deputy Dean.  If you have questions regarding the implementation of academic policies, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of the Registrar.  For information on non-academic policies contained within the Student Handbook or other questions about the Law School, the University, or life in general, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students.

Sincerely,

The Office of the Dean of Students

SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES OR CLARIFICATIONS

1.6       CLINICAL & EXPERIENTIAL PROGRAMS

This section contains the following substantive changes or clarifications:

(1)   Changed: Students must bid or register for clinics in which they wish to participate only once (please see the quarterly registration instructions online for details on how to bid or register for specific clinics); the registration system allocates to each enrollment the default minimum credits for the quarter; adjustments based on actual work performed are reported by the clinical supervisors at the conclusion of each quarter to the Office of the Registrar; students continuing participation in a clinic (as indicated by the clinical supervisor at the conclusion of each quarter participation) are automatically registered for the next quarter by the Office of the Registrar.  Previously, students registered or bid for the clinic each quarter they wished to be enrolled in the clinic.

(2)   Added: Students who work in a clinic over the summer are treated as returning clinic students in the Autumn quarter and may continue with their clinic work during the following academic year.  These students are automatically pre-registered by the Office of the Registrar (as indicated by the respective clinical supervisor) and therefore do not need to bid nor register themselves for the same clinic for the following Autumn quarter.

(3)   Changed: Students should keep in mind that they need to be enrolled in and earn at least nine credit hours per quarter to be considered full-time, and students must earn at least 105 credits to graduate.   If the student is counting on a clinic to meet these minimums, the student must be sure to earn enough hours in the clinic, or the student may face serious consequences.[2] Any student intending to earn clinical credits in a given quarter above the default minimum credits for a clinic—whether to meet the nine credit hour full-time requirement or the 105 credits to graduate requirement—should provide the Registrar with written confirmation from their clinical supervisor that sufficient clinical work will be available to that student to meet the necessary hours requirement.  This language clarifies the policy for graduating students who intend to rely on clinic credits to meet the required 105 credits to graduate.

1.7 EXTERNSHIPS

This section is a new addition to the Student Handbook:

(1)   Added: As a rule, the Law School does not grant academic credit for student externships with entities outside of the Law School.  The sole exception to this prohibition on academic credit for work done with outside agencies is for work undertaken through a student’s participation in one of the Law School’s clinical programs (e.g., the Gendered Violence and the Law Clinic or the Prosecution and Defense Clinic).  Law School students have nevertheless chosen to participate in externships with outside entities (the FBI, Cook County State’s Attorney, judges, etc.) and found the experience worthwhile.           

1.11     REGISTERING FOR CLASSES

This section contains the following substantive changes or clarifications:

(1)   Changed: Initial registration takes place several weeks prior to the start of each academic quarter. Students are notified of the availability of online class schedules and registration procedures via email. The registration process for each quarter generally comprises of four periods: (1) initial bidding for limited enrollment offerings and registration for non-limited enrollment offerings; (2) online add/drop; (3) late add/drop (a paper-based process); and (4) the withdrawal-only period (students abandoning a class after the last day to drop receive a grade of “W” if they drop the class up to the last day of classes or a failing grade if after the last day of classes).  Students must refer to the online academic calendar for specific dates for each quarter (http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/academiccalendar/13-14).  Deadlines are strictly enforced.  Previously, the bidding period and the registration period for non-limited enrollment offerings occurred during separate periods of time, and they will now occur simultaneously.   

(2)   Changed: The process and procedures for Law School students to take a class at Booth are established and implemented by Booth.  If you are interested in taking a class at Booth, please follow the instructions detailed on the Booth website at http://departments.chicagobooth.edu/srs/nonmbastudent/Law.asp. You need to submit a Petition to Take a Booth Course for Credit (http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/petitions/boothregistration).  Credits for Booth classes count toward the twelve credit limit and the maximum of two non-Law School classes per quarter.  Previously, Law School students wishing to take a class at Booth for credit did not need to submit a petition. 

1.15     EXAM POLICIES

This section contains the following substantive changes or clarifications:

(1)   Added: Law School exams are administered using ExamSoft test-taking software.  All students are responsible for being familiar with the Law School’s exam policies.  The most up-to-date information on the Law School’s exam policies is available at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/academics/examprocedures and at https://www.examsoft.com/dotnet/Default.aspx?f=uclaw.  Students should review both websites before every exam period to ensure that they are complying with all Law School policies.  Ignorance of exam policies will not excuse failure to adhere to policies, and a failure to adhere to exam policies may lead to disciplinary action.

(2)   Added: Prohibition on Cutting and Pasting.  Students are not permitted to download or cut/copy and paste into their in-class or take-home examination answers any material(s) from outside the examination OR cut/copy and paste any material(s) from inside of their examination to an outside source.  This rule also strictly prohibits a student from drafting an answer into Microsoft Word or another word processor and copying that answer into the exam software.  In other words, the only time cutting or copying and pasting is permitted during an exam is when a student types information into one answer field during the exam and moves it into another field during the exam.  Audits of student exam files are conducted each exam period, and violation of this rule may subject a student to disciplinary action.   

(3)   Changed: Students are advised to keep an electronic copy of documents related to exam submission until grades are posted.  ExamSoft permits students to access unformatted versions of exams taken using ExamSoft applications.  To access the exams, go to https://www.examsoft.com/uclaw.  After logging in to ExamSoft, click on the Exam History button.  Released submissions appear under the View Results heading.   

Faculty members sometimes return annotated versions of students’ exam answers to the Office of the Registrar.  These materials can provide valuable feedback, and students are strongly encouraged to collect them as soon as they become available if the faculty member has chosen to annotate and return the exams.  The Office of the Registrar keeps such materials until a student graduates or until a year has elapsed since the examination administration, whichever comes later.  This section was updated to reflect the use of ExamSoft and Office of the Registrar procedures related to old exams.   

1.18     JOURNALS

This section contains the following substantive changes or clarifications:

(1)   Changed: In recent years, approximately 20% of the students in each first-year class have been invited to join The Law ReviewPreviously, approximately 15% of the students in each first-year class had been invited to join The Law Review.

(2)   Changed: Approximately 15% of the first-year class is selected for The Law Review on the basis of grades.  Previously, approximately 12% of the first-year class was selected for The Law Review on the basis of grades. 

(3)   Changed: Thirteen students are also selected for The Law Review through the writing competition.  Previously, approximately twelve students were selected for the Law Review through the writing competition. 

9.3       FINANCIAL AID

This section contains the following substantive changes or clarifications:

(1)   Changed: Student Loans.  Loan determinations are made by the Student Loan Administration (sla.uchicago.edu), which is located on the 4th floor of the Bookstore Building, (970 East 58th Street). All questions regarding the awarding of student loans and loan applications should be directed to that office at student-loans@uchicago.edu or 773-702-6061.  

All loans are disbursed at the beginning of each quarter. Federal Direct Unsubsidized, Direct PLUS and Perkins loans must be paid out in three equal disbursements. Your loan will be applied to your tuition account, and any excess funds will be refunded to you for living expenses deposited directly to the checking or savings account of your choice if you sign up for direct deposit.  If you don't sign up for direct deposit, refund checks will be mailed to your current address on file.  Most refunds are available during the first week of the quarter.  This section has been updated to reflect current Student Loan Administration practices related to the distribution of loan payments.   

(2)   Changed: Disbursement of Federal Direct Unsubsidized, Federal Direct PLUS and Alternative Loan Funds.  The timing of loan disbursements is contingent upon the timeliness of your application to the Student Loan Administration.  Once loan funds are received at the University, your tuition account will be credited for the amount of the loan.    The Bursar's Office will generate a refund when loan funds applied to your tuition account exceed your costs. These funds are generally available during the first week of classes. Refunds are either sent to your personal bank account (if you have signed up for direct deposit) or the Bursar will mail a check to your address on file. Funds received after the quarter begins will be applied to your tuition account as they arrive. Please visit the Bursar's web site at http://bursar.uchicago.edu/students.html for more information on the direct deposit service.  This section has been updated to reflect current Bursar Office practices related to the distribution of loan payments (direct deposit, etc.).   

19.8     SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

This section contains the following substantive changes or clarifications:

(1)   Added: The Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call is available to answer any general or personal questions related to sexual assault. The Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call ensures that the full breadth of University resources is available to assist the student through the crisis, explains procedures at the police station or the emergency room, gives general information about the criminal justice system and University disciplinary procedures, and provides referrals for counseling and other services, such as legal advocacy. The Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call will remain in contact with the student as long as the student wishes.

The University of Chicago will make every reasonable effort to preserve an individual's privacy and protect the confidentiality of information related to sexual assault. Because sexual assault is a serious crime that may threaten the community as a whole, in rare instances the University may be obliged to pursue an alleged sexual assault through internal disciplinary procedures without the cooperation of the victim. Always in such instances, the University will inform the victim of its obligation to address a community safety issue.  This section has been updated to reflect current University policies related to the handling of sexual assaults involving members of the University of Chicago community.    


[1]Lawyer’s Caveats: Please keep in mind that the rules and policies described in this Student Handbook and other University publications are subject to revision at any time.

[2] Students must be enrolled in and complete at least nine credits each quarter while enrolled at the Law School.  Failure to do so may result in a delayed graduation date (students must complete nine quarters of nine credits each to graduate).  Furthermore, failure to complete nine credits during a quarter may trigger an obligation to return student loans, if the loans require a student to maintain full-time status.