1.11 Registering for Classes

Overview

To graduate, the Law School requires all J.D. students to be in residence, full-time, for nine quarters, with no fewer than nine credit hours per quarter. J.D. students must complete 105 credit hours, including a professional responsibility class, a professional skills class, and two substantial pieces of writing.  Students who have passed a state bar exam in the United States prior to matriculating in the J.D. program at the Law School may be exempt from certain required classes.  Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Dean of Students and Deputy Dean depending upon legal coursework completed at other institutions.  

To graduate, the Law School requires all LL.M. students to be in residence, full-time, for three quarters, with no fewer than nine Law School credit hours per quarter.  Please note, however, that LL.M. students must earn a minimum of 30 credits from the Law School to sit for the New York bar exam.  

First-year students are assigned to sections and registered by the Registrar for all classes except their third-quarter elective.

Second- and third-year students and LL.M. students register themselves for classes using web-based registration systems.  Non-first-year students seeking to register for first-year required classes must contact the Registrar.

The Law School course registration process is fully described and governed by the online registration instructions, which are updated quarterly.  Please see http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/registration for the most up-to-date registration instructions. 

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.

Seminars and Simulation Classes

Students are permitted to enroll in up to four seminars and/or simulation classes per academic year, no more than three of which may be taught by individuals who are neither tenured professors, tenure track professors, clinical professors, visiting professors, emeritus professors, Schwartz lecturers, tenured University of Chicago professors who have permanent offices at the Law School, nor senior lecturers. In some instances, preferences are granted to second- or third-year students. While many seminars and simulation classes can accommodate all of the registering students, on occasion, certain seminars and simulation classes will be oversubscribed; enrollment into seminars and simulation classes is typically via the bidding process (see Bidding below). Generally, seminars are capped at 20 students.  In some seminars, enrollment is limited to a smaller number. Regardless of whether a seminar or simulation class has a waitlist, all seminars and simulation classes are considered “limited enrollment classes.”  Students are required to drop all seminars and simulation classes in excess of the four seminar rule before the end of the third week of the quarter.  Multi-quarter seminars count as one seminar.  With the exception of Greenberg Seminars, all multi-quarter workshops (e.g., the Law and Economics Workshop, the Legal Scholarship Workshop, etc.) and seminars are considered seminars under this rule.

Limit on Enrollment in Corporate Lab & Courses Taught by Corporate Lab Faculty

Students may enroll in no more than 14 total credits with the Director of Corporate Lab Programs and any other instructor who teaches in the Corporate Lab, including no more than nine credits in the Corporate Lab Clinic itself.  All credits taken during the second and third years with any instructor who teaches in the Corporate Lab count toward this 14 credit limit.

The Corporate Lab instructors for the 2013-14 school year are expected to be Sean Kramer, Ellis Rogenbogen, Naveen Thomas, and Professor David Zarfes.                    

Waitlisted/Closed Classes

Students must attend the first meeting of a seminar, simulation class, or a course with a waitlist in order to stay enrolled in the class.  A student who is on the waitlist and wishes to register for the class must attend the first class as well.  In many cases, the professor is able to accommodate the students on the waitlist who attend the first class. A student who wishes to drop a limited enrollment class (whether a seminar, a simulation class, or a course that was included in the bidding process) must do so by 9:00 a.m. on the date specified by the Office of the Registrar.   Please note that many faculty will drop students who do not attend the first class, regardless of whether or not the class has a waitlist.

It is the student’s responsibility to make sure classes are dropped by the deadline.  Students should not assume that by not attending the first meeting they have been dropped from a class.

Bidding

During the initial bidding and registration period of each quarter, students bid online for certain offerings, including all seminars and simulations. Students may bid for up to five offerings per quarter and must rank them in order of preference. The maximum number of credits in which a student can be registered via the bidding process is 14; the actual number is typically lower due to pre-registration into continuing classes, clinics, independent research projects, etc.  Generally, 2Ls, 3Ls, and LL.Ms are on equal footing—there is no seniority system, since many of these seminars are offered only once or in alternating years.  Please note, however, that faculty may choose to alter the priority system for their particular class based on the particular nature of the class.  The Office of the Registrar publishes online a list of biddable classes approximately 10 days prior to the start of the bidding process, including the number of available seats for each class.  Please see each quarter’s registration materials for additional information. 

Greenberg Seminars

Greenberg Seminars, open only to Law School students, are designed to afford students the opportunity to engage in informal discussions with Law School faculty members on a range of topics. The groups, normally limited to 12 students, meet in a faculty member’s home five or more times over one or more quarters. Topics and participating faculty are announced prior to the Autumn quarter registration period. Participating students earn one credit.  Attendance at all sessions is required to earn the credit. Priority is given to third-year students who have not previously participated in a Greenberg Seminar.  Greenberg Seminars are graded Pass/Fail.  Greenberg Seminars do not count towards the limit of four seminars/simulations per academic year (see the Seminars and Simulation Classes section for additional details). 

Classes Outside of the Law School

During their second and third years, J.D. students may take up to four classes (for a total of twelve credits) outside the Law School for credit toward their J.D. degree, subject to the following conditions: (1) the courses must bear a relation to their future legal practice or to the study of law in general; (2) the course must be graduate level, although exceptions are occasionally made for undergraduate foreign languages that students have not previously studied or that students test into; (3) students must petition through the Office of the Registrar (see http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/petitions/nonlawcourse) and receive permission before enrolling in any class outside the Law School; (4) students may take no more than two classes outside the Law School during any given quarter; (5) students taking classes outside the Law School during their final quarter of study must explain the Law School’s grading deadlines to the faculty member and the faculty member must agree, in writing, to provide a final grade or a provisional pass (if taking a class at Booth) by the University deadline for submission of grades for graduating students; (6) the class may not have substantial overlap with any class taken at the Law School or any prior institution; and (7) classes at other law schools or universities may not be substituted.  Satisfaction of these 7 conditions is determined by the Dean of Students and the Office of the Registrar. 

Classes offered by other units/departments within the University that are cross-listed with the Law School do not count against the 12-credit limit, and law students do not need to petition to register in those classes.  Law students registered in cross-listed classes must register for the classes using the LAWS-prefixed course number and also must receive a numerical grade (e.g., law students may not register to take cross-listed classes for a letter grades nor Pass/Fail).    

Determinations about the appropriateness of a particular class for a particular student’s course of study should not be interpreted as universal approval of the class for all students in a given year or in subsequent years.

Students may take classes in other departments on either a graded or pass/fail basis. Students and the instructor in the class will establish the conditions of the grade. If the graded option is selected, a letter grade will be recorded on the Law School transcript but will not be included in the calculation of grade point averages.

LL.M. students may take non-Law School classes with an approved petition, but the credits will not count towards the 27 credits required to graduate, nor will those classes count toward the 9 credits per quarter residency requirement.

Please follow these steps to register for a class outside of the Law School in any unit/department of the University but Booth:

  1. Go to the University of Chicago Class Schedules and Registration interface (https://classes.uchicago.edu/) and click on the Advanced Search link.
  2. Choose a department from the list and click the SEARCH button. 
  3. Review the list of classes offered by the department and select a graduate level class that you would like to take. 
  4. Email the instructor of the class in which you seek to enroll.  In some cases you will need the professor’s approval to register, and you should establish with the professor whether you will be taking the class pass/fail or for a letter grade.
  5. Complete the online petition to take a non-Law School class for credit.  The petition is available at: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/petitions/nonlawcourse
  6. Petitions may be submitted through the end of the first week of class. Petitions submitted thereafter will not be considered.
  7. After your petition is submitted, you will receive either an approval or denial from the Dean of Students or the Office of the Registrar via email.
  8. If the petition is approved, the Assistant Registrar will enroll you and notify you once that process is complete.

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.

As soon as the Booth registration is completed (typically the Monday of the second week of the quarter), you will receive an email confirmation of your registration status. If you decide not to take the Booth class for which you registered, you must immediately notify Booth and the Law School Registrar (in no case later than the end of the third week of classes). Booth registration, course attendance, and grading are governed by all applicable Booth rules.

Booth registration information for non-Booth students, including links to course information, syllabi, exam schedules, and deadlines, is available at:

Students taking a Booth course who would like to elect Pass/Fail grading are required to complete the Pass/Fail Request form in the Booth Dean of Students’ Office (typically by the Friday of the fourth week of the quarter). After this deadline, no changes can be made to a Pass/Fail request.  If you intend to take a Booth course Pass/Fail, make certain that it is permitted, as some professors do not allow the Pass/Fail option.

For additional information on taking classes across the Midway, please visit http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/acrossthemidway.

Adding/Dropping Courses

For classes not governed by the rules applicable to limited enrollment classes, students must complete all adds or drops to their class schedule by the third week of the quarter. These deadlines are strictly enforced. After the third week, there can be no changes in a student’s enrollment except in extraordinary circumstances. A student who fails to complete a class and who does not obtain special permission from the Dean of Students to drop after the deadline will receive a “W” (up to the last day of classes) or a failing grade (after the last day of classes) on his/her transcript for that course. Permission to drop a class after the deadline will not be granted (even with a W) if (1) the class was included in the bidding process and oversubscribed at the time of registration; (2) the student has received 50% or more of the final grade; (3) the professor objects to the drop; (4) the student will have less than nine credits for the quarter; or (5) the request fails to meet the aforementioned “extraordinary circumstances” condition.

Additions after the first week require the permission of the professor.  In light of ABA requirements concerning class attendance, faculty generally do not allow students to add a course after the first week.

These rules also apply to compressed schedule courses and multi-quarter courses, unless explicitly contravened in the course description.

Conflicts Between Classes

Pursuant to ABA requirements, students may not register for two classes if there is a time conflict with any portion of any of the time slots (including pre-scheduled make-up time slots) or if travel time between classes would make the student late for the second class.

Similar Classes

Certain courses will cover substantially similar material. Accordingly, students may not receive credit for both classes. Examples of such overlapping classes include the following (this is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of such classes):

  • International Law and Public International Law
  • Trial Advocacy and Intensive Trial Practice Workshop

The same course taught by different professors (or the same professor), e.g., Corporate Finance here and at Booth.

It is impossible to list all of the similar classes outside the Law School. If you note similarities in the course descriptions, you should contact the Registrar or the Dean of Students to determine whether both classes may be taken.  The burden to avoid overlapping classes falls on the student.

Petitions

For actions outside the usual procedures, petitions are available online at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/academics/petitions.  Petitions are required to do the following:

Registration Restrictions

Students may not register for classes beyond their first quarter if they:

  • Have registration restrictions placed by any office of the University (such as the Bursar’s Office, the Financial Aid Office, etc.);
  • Have not satisfied their immunization requirements; or
  • Have not furnished the Office of the Registrar with an official transcript of their undergraduate work or of graduate work done before matriculation at the Law School. The transcript(s) must be sent directly from the other institution(s) to the Law School and must bear the degree earned. Additional restrictions pertaining to specific quarters/classes/students are listed online at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/registration.