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3. Registration

3.1 Educational Records

The Law School Office of the Registrar maintains each student’s education record. The Office of the Registrar can assist students with registration changes, examinations, and completion of various forms (bar examination paperwork, certificates for limited practice as a law student, and the like). The Office of the Registrar is located on the 3rd floor in the Student Services suite.

In the event that a clerical, technical, or other recordkeeping error is discovered in a student’s or alumnus’ education records, the Law School reserves the right to correct all affected record(s) at any time.

Students and alumni also have the right to request to correct education records that they believe are inaccurate.  To do so, current students should follow the grievance procedure set forth elsewhere in this Student Handbook, and students and alumni should follow the policy set forth in the University’s Student Manual section on University Policies and Regulations regarding non-grade corrections to a student’s education record.

3.2 Registration Overview

First-year J.D. students are assigned to sections and registered by the Office of the Registrar for all classes except their spring quarter elective.

Second-and third-year J.D. students, M.L.S. students, J.S.D. students taking elective classes, and LL.M. students register themselves for classes using a web-based registration system. Non-first-year students seeking to register for first-year required classes must contact the Office of the Registrar. Limited seats may be available in 1L classes. 

Students cannot take more than 14 credits per quarter, with no exception, including credits earned in non-law classes.

The Law School class registration process is fully described and governed by the online registration instructions that are updated quarterly. Please see http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/registration for the most up-to-date registration instructions. All registration deadlines are outlined in the Academic Calendar on the Law School website, and students are responsible for reviewing and abiding by the registration deadlines for each quarter.

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 consists of several periods:

  1. initial bidding for biddable courses and registration for non-biddable courses;
  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 withdrawal dates for each quarter (http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/academiccalendar). Deadlines are strictly enforced, and under no circumstances can a “W” be removed from a student’s record once the deadline has passed.

Limit on Enrollment in Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab Clinic & Courses Taught by Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab Clinic Faculty

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

The Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab instructors for the 2019-20 school year will be Professors Avratin, Kramer, and Zarfes.

3.3 Bidding

During the initial bidding and registration period of each quarter, students bid online for biddable classes. Biddable seminars and courses will be designated by the Office of the Registrar each quarter. Generally, seminars are capped at 20 students. In some seminars, enrollment is limited to a smaller number. All seminars are considered biddable classes. The deadline to drop biddable classes without a “W” is typically the Friday of the first week of classes. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for the exact deadlines each quarter. Once the deadline has passed, under no circumstances can a “W” be removed from a student’s record.

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 automatic registration into continuing classes, clinics, independent research projects, non-biddable class enrollments, etc. It is not guaranteed that students will be enrolled in classes they bid for. Generally, 2Ls, 3Ls, M.L.S students, J.S.D. students, and LL.M.s are on equal footing for purposes of registration. Please note, however, that faculty may choose to alter the priority system for their particular class based on the nature of the class. In some instances, 3L students receive priority in particular classes, and it will be noted as such in the relevant class descriptions. Please see each quarter’s registration materials for additional information.

3.4 Waitlisted/Closed Classes

Students must attend the first meeting of a seminar or a course with a waitlist in order to stay enrolled in the class. A student on the waitlist who wishes to register for the class must attend the first class as well. In some cases, the professor may be able to accommodate the students on the waitlist who attend the first class. A student who wishes to drop a biddable class (whether a seminar or a course that was included in the bidding process) must do so by the date and time specified by the Office of the Registrar.  (See the Academic Calendar for each quarter’s deadline at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/academiccalendar.) 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.

Responsibility for making sure classes are dropped by the appropriate deadline rests solely with the students. Students should not rely on faculty to drop them from classes, nor should they assume that by not attending the first meeting they have been dropped from a class. Students can view their class schedule at my.uchicago.edu.

3.5 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, and students must write and submit a short paper consistent with the faculty member’s requirements. Topics and participating faculty are announced prior to the autumn quarter registration period. Participating students earn one credit, which is by default allocated to the first quarter in which the seminar meets. Students may reallocate the credit to any other quarter in which the specific Greenberg seminar meets. To do, students must contact the Office of the Registrar within the applicable add/drop period. Attendance at all sessions is required to earn the credit. Second-year students may take only one Greenberg Seminar during their second year, and priority is given to third-year students who have not previously participated in a Greenberg Seminar and who are not currently registered in another Greenberg Seminar. In certain instances, faculty will determine enrollment for their section.  Students may bid for more than one Greenberg but initially will be enrolled in only one. Greenberg Seminars are graded Pass/Fail and do not count toward the 40 core credit requirement.

3.6 Auditing Law Classes

Permission to audit a Law class gives an auditor the opportunity to sit through a Law School class, but auditors may not hand in papers or participate in evaluations of the instructor or class. An auditor does not receive Law School or University credit for the class, nor is the class recorded on a transcript. Instructors may deny any request to audit a class.

Students enrolled at the University of Chicago may audit law classes with permission of the instructor. Students are required to obtain the approval of the instructor on the auditing petition available online at: https://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/academics/petitions. Students are not permitted to audit more than one Law class per quarter.

Individuals not currently enrolled at the University of Chicago are prohibited from auditing law classes unless they have been invited by the instructor and have submitted a completed auditing petition.

Please note that all petitions to audit Law School classes are subject to review by the Deputy Dean and/or the Dean of Students.

3.7 Classes Outside of the Law School[1]

During their second and third years, J.D. students may take up to four classes for a total of 12 credits, not more than six credits per quarter, outside the Law School for credit toward their J.D. degree and quarterly residency requirement.

Taking classes outside of the Law School is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The classes must bear a relation to their future legal practice or to the study of law in general;
  2. The class must be graduate level, although exceptions are made for undergraduate foreign languages that students have not previously studied or that students test into;
  3. With the exception of Booth School of Business classes,[2] 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 six credits 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; and
  7. Classes at other law schools or universities may not be substituted.  Satisfaction of these seven 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 such classes using the LAWS-prefixed course number and also must receive a numerical grade. Under no circumstances may a law student register to take cross-listed classes for a letter grade 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. and M.L.S. students may take non-Law School classes with an approved petition, but the credits for courses taken outside of the Law School will not count towards the 27 credits required to graduate with the LL.M. or M.L.S. degree.  LL.M. and M.L.S. students must take and pass no fewer than six Law School credit hours per quarter.  Please note, however, that LL.M. students applying to the New York bar must complete 30 credits.  In addition to the 27 credit hours LL.M. students must earn at the Law School, the New York bar permits LL.M. students to take up to three additional credits in “other courses related to legal training” in another school at the University of Chicago.  For further information regarding New York bar requirements for LL.M. students, please consult with the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs. 

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 my.uchicago.edu and click on the Class Search link.
  2. Choose a department from the list and set the course career to “Graduate.”
  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. 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 on the Law School website 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 Office of the Registrar via email.
  8. If the petition is approved, the Office of the 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. Students interested in taking a class at Booth must follow the instructions detailed on the Law School website at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/petitions/nonlawcourse/booth. Please also review the Booth website at https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/taking-courses-at-booth. Credits for Booth classes count toward the 12 credit limit and the maximum of six credits of non-Law School classes per quarter.

As soon as the Booth registration is completed (during the first week of Booth classes), students will receive an email confirmation of their registration status. If students decide not to take the Booth class for which they registered, students must immediately notify Booth and the Law School Office of the 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 online at:

Booth requires that students taking a Booth course who would like to elect Pass/Fail grading 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.  Students intending to take a Booth course Pass/Fail must 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.

3.8 Adding/Dropping Courses

For classes not governed by the rules applicable to biddable classes, students must complete all adds or drops to their class schedule by the end of the Instructor Approval Add/Drop period for each quarter specified in the Academic Calendar. The deadline is strictly enforced. After the Instructor Approval Add/Drop Period ends, there can be no changes in a student’s enrollment except in extraordinary circumstances. A student who drops a class 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. As a rule, a “W” will not be removed from a student’s record once the deadline has passed. Failure to complete a class without dropping, will result in a failing grade.

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 instructor objects to the drop;
  4. The student will have less than nine credits for the quarter;
  5. The student has begun the final exam; or
  6. The request fails to meet the aforementioned “extraordinary circumstances” condition.

Failure to read and follow the directions for adding or dropping a course or to take note of the applicable deadline is not considered an extraordinary circumstance.

Additions after the first week require the permission of the instructor. 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 mini-classes and multi-quarter classes, unless explicitly contravened in the course description.

3.9 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. There are no exceptions to this rule.

3.10 Similar Classes

Certain courses will cover substantially similar material. In such instances, students may not receive credit for both classes.[3] Examples of overlapping classes for which students may not receive credit for both include the following (this is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of such classes):

  • Constitutional Law I and Constitutional Law for LL.M.s
  • 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 at the Law School and at Booth.

It is impossible to list all of the potentially similar classes in other divisions or departments of the University. Students who note similarities in the course descriptions should contact the Office of the Registrar to determine whether both classes may be taken. These requests will be reviewed by the Dean of Students. Students ultimately bear responsibility for avoiding overlapping classes.

3.11 Registration 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:

3.12 Registration Restrictions

First year students will be unable to remain registered in classes if they:

  • Have not furnished the Office of Admissions or Office of the Registrar with an official transcript of their undergraduate work or of graduate work done before matriculation at the Law School by the deadline communicated by the Office of Admissions each year. The transcript(s) must be sent directly from the other institution(s) to the Law School and must bear the degree earned.

Students may be restricted from registering for classes if they:

  • Have registration holds placed by any office of the University (such as the Bursar’s Office, the Financial Aid Office, etc.); or
  • Have not satisfied the State of Illinois immunization requirements.

Students should check my.uchicago.edu prior to registration each quarter to ensure they do not have holds on their record that will impact their ability to register for classes.

Students who are not registered by 5:00 p.m. on Friday of the 3rd week of the quarter may be subject to administrative withdrawal and should immediately consult with the Dean of Students office.

Additional restrictions pertaining to specific quarters/classes/students are listed online at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/registration.

3.13 Non-Law Students

Registration

Non-Law School students wishing to register in a LAWS-prefixed offering must complete the Non-Law School Student Registration request form. This form must be completed even if the course offering does not require instructor consent.

Students should refer to classes.uchicago.edu and email the instructor(s) prior to submitting this request to fully ascertain prerequisites, course requirements, available grading modalities, and to request consent to register. If the course will be completed during the student's last quarter prior to graduation, the student should also inquire whether a grade will be available by the University’s graduating students grade submission deadline.

Students are expected to follow the same rules regarding courses, seminars, examinations, and papers that apply to law students. This includes all add/drop/withdraw/exam deadlines.

Grading

Law School courses must be taken for a letter grade or pass/fail. Professor approval must be obtained for pass/fail. Grade declarations are final after the end of the fifth week. If no declaration is made, a letter grade will be entered. Students may not register to audit law school courses.

The Law School uses a numeric grading scale, and Law classes are graded on a curve: https://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/handbook/academicmatters/grading. Once a numeric grade has been entered for a non-law student, that grade will convert to a grade on the University’s 4 point scale which includes plus/minus letter grades. To view the grades on this scale, please see the Common Grade Policy page at: https://registrar.uchicago.edu/records/grading/

Exams

Students must take exams on their own laptop computers. Students are assigned an exam number each quarter. Students are expected to take examinations as scheduled, though exceptions to this rule are made on a case-by-case basis (see http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/petitions/moveexam). Examinations may never be taken prior to the regularly scheduled exam administration.

Please Note: Class information is sent to students using their @uchicago.edu email accounts; this includes Canvas. If you are using an email address other than your @uchicago.edu one, you must set up forwarding from your @uchicago.edu account.

Non-Law students should be aware of the number of course units that are equal to the Law School’s credits. If a course is listed as 2 credits you will be registered for 75 units. Please check to see if your program allows you to register in a 75 unit course. The conversion of course units to Law School credits is below.

  • 50 units = 1 credit
  • 75 units = 2 credits
  • 100 units = 3 credits

If you are a Graduate Student-at-Large or Returning Scholar student, please follow this link: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/petitions/gsalorreturning

[1] This section of the Student Handbook does not apply to non-law students taking classes at the Law School, who are limited to six credits, governed by other Law School policies, and should consult the Law School Office of the Registrar and Section 3.13 Non-Law Students in this Handbook

[2] Please see below for information on how to register for a Booth course.

[3] Please note that students are not permitted to take classes at the Law School that substantially overlap in content with courses previously taken at another ABA-accredited law school.