1.21 Visiting Another School

The Law School presumes that J.D. students will be in residence at the Law School full-time for nine quarters and will complete 105 credit hours if they wish to earn a law degree from the Law School. That presumption may be overcome only by a demonstration that a student has an extremely compelling reason to relocate to a different part of the country.

The Dean of Students and the Faculty Rules and Petitions Committee review student requests to visit at another acceptable law school for all or a portion of the 3L year.  Very few of those requests are granted, and only for extremely compelling reasons. If the request is granted, the Dean of Students and the Registrar will determine how the credits at the other school may be applied toward the Law School degree.

The procedure to arrange visiting status at another law school involves two concurrent applications:

  1. You should submit a Petition to Visit Away to the Dean of Students. More information about the petition may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Students. Petitions are due no later than April 15 of the academic year prior to the visit and no petitions will be considered after that date. Requests will be prioritized based on the compelling circumstances behind the student’s request to visit, the availability of a top law school in the area, and the length of the requested visit (a quarter will be viewed more favorably than a year).  The Committee on Rules and Petitions meets each year after April 15 to review petitions for the next school year and endeavors to make decisions by May 1.
  2. You should contact the Admissions Office of the school you wish to visit as soon as possible to determine that school’s deadlines and requirements. (Be certain to indicate that you want a visiting student application, not a transfer application).
  3. You will need to submit document requests to the University Office of the Registrar/Law School Registrar if the school to which you are applying requires a transcript and/or a certificate of good standing.

Please keep in mind several things about visiting elsewhere:

  1. You must have completed a minimum of 2/3 of your academic work and residence requirement at the Law School prior to your visit away. Accordingly, 70 of the 105 credits you need to graduate must be completed at the Law School prior to your visit. You must also have completed both writing requirements, the professional responsibility course, and the professional skills course prior to your visit. These requirements have been established to increase the likelihood that students visiting away will complete their degree and will not be waived under any circumstance.
  2. The Law School places a number of restrictions on the classes for which a student visiting away may receive credit.  The burden to comply with those restrictions is on the student, and no exceptions will be granted.
  3. Students visiting away pay tuition and fees to the school they visit. Although loans will be available, your Law School scholarship support will not be available. Students should speak with the Associate Director of Admissions & Financial Aid about loan issues. In addition to tuition and fees paid to the school visited, students will also be charged a visiting fee by the Law School, the amount to be determined each year in the spring for the following year.  Currently, the fee is $1,000/quarter.
  4. Students visiting away need to maintain full-time status for the duration of the visit and must satisfy the Law School’s total residence requirement of nine full quarters. Two semesters away may be substituted for three quarters.
  5. The Law School Registrar will work with students approved to visit away to calculate the number of credits needed at the other law school.
  6. Students visiting away must arrange to have grades sent to the Law School Registrar at the end of each semester/quarter they are away. If they wish to graduate in a particular quarter, they must meet the grading deadline for that quarter and the University’s deadline for filing a graduation application. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to ensure the satisfaction of all of the Law School’s graduation requirements. If, at the end of the visit, the student remains short on credits or grades have not been received for work completed away, the student will not be able to graduate with their class. Students visiting away must contact the Law School Registrar BEFORE REGISTRATION for the final semester away to complete an initial degree audit verifying sufficient credits to graduate. They must also file an application to graduate with the University of Chicago before the beginning of the quarter in which they expect to graduate.