5.1 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 a minimum of 105 credit hours if they wish to earn a J.D. 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 Rules and Petitions Committee review student requests to visit at another acceptable law school for all or a portion of the third 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 Office of 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:
- Students looking to visit away 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 Rules and Petitions Committee meets each year after April 15 to review petitions for the next school year and endeavors to make decisions by May 1.
- Students looking to visit away should contact the Admissions Office of the school they wish to visit as soon as possible to determine that school’s deadlines and requirements. (Be certain to request a visiting student application, not a transfer application). Students likely will need to submit document requests to the University Office of the Registrar/Law School Office of the Registrar if the school to which they are applying requires a transcript and/or a certificate of good standing.
Please keep in mind several things about visiting elsewhere:
- Students must have completed a minimum of 2/3 of their academic work and residence requirement at the Law School prior to visiting away. Accordingly, 70 of the 105 credits needed to graduate must be completed at the Law School prior to the visit. Prior to the visit, students also must have completed all graduation requirements, including the 40 core credit requirement, both writing requirements, the professional responsibility course, and the experiential learning requirement. These requirements have been established to increase the likelihood that students visiting away will complete their degree. Students who receive approval to visit away for a full year may be granted a reduction in the core credit requirement.
- 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.
- Students visiting away pay tuition and fees to the school they visit. Although loans will be available, Law School scholarship support will not be available. Students should speak with the Director of Admissions & Financial Aid about loan issues. In addition to tuition and fees paid to the school visited, students also will 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.
- Students visiting away need to maintain full-time status for the duration of the visit in order to satisfy the Law School’s total residence requirement of nine full quarters. Two semesters away may be substituted for three quarters.
- The Law School Office of the Registrar will work with students approved to visit away to calculate the number of credits needed at the other law school.
- Students visiting away must arrange to have grades sent to the Law School Office of the 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 (before the quarter in which they expect to graduate). It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to ensure 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 Office of the Registrar before registration for the final semester away to complete an initial degree audit verifying sufficient credits to graduate.