Student Policies

Introduction

Student policies and procedures regarding academic and non-academic topics may be found both in the Law School Rules and Regulations and in the relevant sections of the law school website. Here are the appropriate links:

Students must conduct themselves in accord with all Law School rules and regulations and University standards. The rules and regulations specifically identified below are only a subset of the more general rules and regulations.

In addition, each state has character and fitness and other qualifications for admission to the bar. Students should consult the bar admission authorities in the state in which he or she intends to practice law to determine these requirements. Information about the requirements for admission to the bars of various states is available at www.americanbar.org.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is required in all courses, as is mandated by our accrediting authorities. No student should enroll in any course without the intention and capability of satisfying this requirement. Failure to attend a class regularly may cause reduction in the grade, loss of credit for the course, additional remedial work, denial of residence credit or other appropriate sanctions in the discretion of the instructor or the Dean.

  • Since regular attendance is required in all courses, registration for courses that meet at the same time or overlapping times is not permitted. The Registration and Records Office will review student schedules for courses both in the Law School and in other University divisions, including the schedules of joint degree students. If any conflict is discovered after the add/drop period, the student will be required to drop one of the conflicting courses, and will lose the credits that would have been earned for that course.
  • Students are responsible to register for courses consistent with their program, class prerequisites, and credit limits. In instances where a student registration does not follow their program guidelines, prerequisite requirements, or credit limits, the enrollment will be removed or credit will not be earned in the course.

Class Absences

Any student who needs to miss a class due to religious observance, callback interviews, or similar conflicts should communicate with the professor in advance of the conflict. Absences due to illness should be communicated in a timely fashion to the professor. Any circumstances resulting in multiple absences should be communicated in a timely fashion to the Dean of Students.

Students may not call or conference call into a law school class session. In the limited instances where law school course work includes group work and the use of conference calls (e.g., ITP or clinic), the student(s) must make the conference call arrangements, including any technological support, themselves or with the professor. The law school does not provide conference call hardware or services. This paragraph does not apply to practicum courses.

Recording of Classes

Law school policy on the recording of classes leaves that decision to each individual professor's discretion. If you will be absent from class and want to record the class session(s) missed, then you must first ask the professor for permission to record and abide by their response. If the professor says no, then you need to ask one or more colleagues in that class to share their class notes with you. If the professor agrees, then you must arrange for the recording with a classmate. The law school does not provide recording hardware or services.

Employment During Law Studies

A student may not be employed more than 20 hours per week in any week in which the student is enrolled in more than twelve credits of class.

Accommodations

All requests for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act must be presented to Services for Students with Disabilities, Suite 500, Abbott Hall, 312 503 4042. SSD determines all accommodations and communicates those to the Dean of Students, who then implements the accommodations.

  • Where applicable for the accommodation for first year and other scheduled exams, the law school will provide a room for each accommodated exam. Room assignments are communicated shortly before the start of the exam period.
  • Where applicable for the accommodation for self-scheduled elective courses, the law school does not provide a room for an accommodated exam. All accommodated students must self-schedule exams and keep track of the accommodated time. This allows accommodated students to take self-scheduled exams in the same manner as all other law students, either by finding a quiet place in the law school or going somewhere else of your choosing.
  • Any accommodated student with an in-class midterm must notify Student Services of the exam to schedule a time and room.

Any law student who for whom English is not the first language may be eligible for additional exam time. The following presumptions apply to making these decisions:

  • the student bears the burden of establishing the need for additional examination time;
  • the applicant must attest that English is not his or her native or first language; and
  • any student admitted to the JD program does not need additional examination time.

Considering these presumptions, the following criteria will govern the determination of who will qualify for extra time:

  • the number of years the student has lived in a country in which English is the principal language;
  • the number of years the student has been educated in a school which English was the principal language of instruction;
  • the number of years the student has worked in a country in which English is the principal language;
  • all degrees granted for studies in which English was the principal language of instruction;
  • how recently the student has lived, worked, and/or studied in a country in which English in the principal language;
  • whether the student exhibits exceptional English language ability; and
  • whether the student will be unduly burdened unless he or she receives additional time.

During the Fall semester student petitions will be solicited. Determinations of extra time shall apply to the fall and spring semester.

Student Complaints

Northwestern Law School is committed to addressing student concerns about significant problems that directly affect the law school's program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA's Accreditation Standards. Any student having such a concern should submit the concern in writing to the Associate Dean for Student Services. The Associate Dean for Student Services shall work with the appropriate administrator to address the complaint. The Associate Dean for Student Services, or another Associate Dean as appropriate, shall keep a record of all such complaints and their resolutions.