5.2 Academic Leaves
Students may take a leave of absence at any time during their course of study at the Law School. Voluntary leave may be taken for personal, medical, parenting, and/or military service related reasons. Students interested in taking a leave of absence from the Law School should speak with the Dean of Students and complete the Leave of Absence form. Pursuant to ABA Standards 311(b), a student must complete requirements for the J.D. degree no later than 84 months after a student has commenced law study at the Law School or a law school from which the Law School has accepted transfer credits.
Return from a leave of absence is not guaranteed and return from a leave of absence may require compliance with conditions set by the Dean of Students, including submission of a written petition to return due no later than two weeks before the registration period for the quarter in which the student hopes to return. Students who are on leave of absence for more than six quarters will be administratively withdrawn from the Law School.
Availability of student health insurance (U-SHIP) during a leave of absence will be governed by the student health insurance policies at the time the leave is taken. Other University and Law School privileges, facilities, and services are not available to students on leaves of absence, unless otherwise indicated. Students on a leave of absence cannot hold work-study or maintain University student employment positions. Law Students cannot hold positions on a student run journal while on a leave of absence.
Personal Leave of Absence
Students may contact the Dean of Students to apply for a personal leave of absence for any reason. A student may be approved by the Dean of Students for a leave of absence of up to six academic quarters.
Medical Leave of Absence
Students may apply for a medical leave of absence if temporarily unable to continue in their program due to illness or injury. A student may be approved for a medical leave of absence by the Dean of Students for up to six academic quarters. Return from a medical leave of absence will require the student to provide documentation from a medical or mental health provider clearing them to re-engage with full academic coursework.
Parental Relief Leave of Absence
A student who becomes a parent during their program may request a one-quarter Parental Relief Leave of Absence to care for the new child, and pregnant students for whom it is medically necessary, may request a Parental Relief Leave of Absence during pregnancy. Such leaves may be granted by the Dean of Students. Students are still eligible for University privileges during a Parental Leave of Absence. (For more information, refer to the Graduate Student Parent Policy.)
Military Leave of Absence
Students may apply for a military leave of absence in order to fulfill service in armed forces. This includes students from countries outside the United States who leave for service in their country’s armed forces.
Curricular Degree Leave of Absence
Students may apply for a leave of absence to pursue another degree program that is integral to their legal studies. The appropriateness, relevance, and length of time of the additional degree will be evaluated by the Dean of Students office. A student may be approved by the Dean of Students for a curricular degree leave of absence for up to three years.
Note, however, that some jurisdictions may shorten this period. For example, New York requires bar applicants to complete their coursework within 60 months of commencing their legal studies.