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2015-2016 School of Law Academic Catalog
Mississippi College School of Law
   
 
  Sep 19, 2017
 
 
    
2015-2016 School of Law Academic Catalog

Academic Information



Dean Approval

When any action is required by the dean, the dean may authorize another member of the faculty or staff to act on the dean’s behalf.

Law School Matriculation

Applicants selected for admission normally matriculate in August (fall semester) and attend a mandatory orientation. Some applicants are accepted on the requirement that they matriculate for a summer program. All other accepted applicants have the option of matriculating in the summer to take a designated course from the first-year curriculum. Students who matriculate in this optional program will take a designated course in the spring semester. Students who matriculate in the summer are required to attend the August orientation. A student is considered as having matriculated if enrolled on the first day of classes for the term.  The American Bar Association establishes the matriculation date of students for the purpose of its reports.

LL.M. students matriculate in the summer term.

Academic Load for the J.D. Program

Students may not register for more than 16 or fewer than 12 semester hours in any semester without the written permission of the dean. No student may take more than 18 hours in a regular semester. Students may take up to 6 hours during the summer session without permission of the dean.  Courses taken during the winter or May intersessions are not considered as part of a regular semester or summer term for purposes of determining academic load for a regular semester.

Students should keep these credit hour restrictions in mind when planning class schedules and summer session attendance. A total of 90 semester hours must be completed prior to graduation (see requirements for the Doctor of Jurisprudence  degree in the Degrees Offered  section of this catalog).

Academic Load for the LL.M Program

Students in the LL.M. Program are required to take 6 credits in the summer term and 12 credits in each regular semester (fall and spring). Any exceptions to the required academic load for LL.M. students must be approved by the Director of the LL.M. Program.

Residency Requirement, full-time students

The Doctor of Jurisprudence degree program is a three-year course of study requiring 5 semesters of no less than 12 semester credit hours each in residence at MC Law. Residency credit is awarded proportionately for summer work at MC Law. No “residence credit” is given for any course taken at another institution. For information on receiving permission to take courses for credit at another institution, see “Off-Campus Credit ” in this section of this catalog.

To graduate from MC Law, a transfer student must complete at least 60 hours in residence over the course of no less than 4 semesters in residence at MC Law. Residency work may be awarded proportionately for summer work at MC Law.

To graduate with honors, a J.D. student must take at least 60 semester credit hours at MC Law.

The accelerated two-year J.D. program allows the student to complete requirements for the J.D. degree over four regular semesters and three summer terms.

Distance Education Courses

A student may take a total of fifteen (15) credit hours through distance education courses. A “distance education course” is defined as one in which students are separated from the faculty member or each other for more than one-third of the instruction and the instruction involves the use of technology to support regular and substantive interaction among students and between the students and the faculty member, either synchronously or asynchronously.  The classroom component of a Remote Extern Program class is counted toward the distance education caps.

Unless a course is offered solely in a distance education format (e.g., the professor is in a location separate from all of the students), a student must obtain the permission of the Dean (or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) and the instructor to take the course synchronously or asynchronously.  A form requesting approval may be obtained from the Director of Law School Records.

Employment Restriction

A student in the first or second year shall not be employed in excess of 20 hours per week in any semester in which the student is enrolled in 12 or more credit-hours.  A student in the third year, with a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.75, shall not be employed in excess of 20 hours per week in any semester in which the student is enrolled in 12 or more credit-hours.  This restriction applies to the summer term (if 6 hours or more are taken) as well as to the regular year.  There is no employment restriction for a third year student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or above.  A student on probation shall not be employed.  Violation of this policy may subject a student to disciplinary action, including dismissal. 

LL.M. students are not eligible for any form of employment through work-study.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is required. Emergency absences are handled on an individual basis. Any student whose absences, excused or unexcused, exceed 25 percent of the time allotted for the course will not be allowed to take the final exam and will receive a grade of “F” for that course.

Absences due to illness will be excused by the instructor when a written statement of such fact is presented by the student within a week of the student’s return to class. Each unexcused absence in excess of a total of one week of classes for a regular semester, or the equivalent, may reduce the student’s final grade. Students should consult the course syllabus regarding rules for unexcused absences in each particular course.

In all cases a student will be held responsible for assignments and other work in the class during the student’s absence. The responsibility for work missed rests entirely with the student.

Dropping and Adding Courses

After registration closes, the adding and dropping of courses and other schedule changes must be made through the Director of Law School Records. Such changes will be allowed only with the permission of the dean of the law school. Permission will not be given for a student to enter a course after the third week of a semester or after one week of a summer term, except for writing requirements and special project classes which do not involve classroom instruction.

A course that is dropped during weeks 1-3 of the semester or term will not be entered on the student’s academic record if proper procedures are followed. A course that is dropped between week 4 and the official drop date will appear as a W on the student’s transcript. A student who drops a course after the official drop date of the semester or term will receive a grade of F unless there were circumstances involved over which the student had no control, as determined by the dean. After the official drop date of the semester or term, in case of a genuine emergency such as hospitalization or moving away from the area, a student may drop a course with special permission from the dean and a grade of W may be entered on the record. The dropping of any course without following the designated procedure and receiving the approval of the dean will automatically result in a grade of F.

Grades

Grading System

The law school uses the following grading system:

A Reserved for work which is definitely superior in quality.
B+ Intermediate grade.
B Given for work which is consistently good and which manifests sufficient interest, effort, or originality to distinguish it as above average work.
C+ Intermediate grade.
C Given for average work.
D+ Intermediate grade.
D Earns credit, but students with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 are not in good academic standing.
F Indicates failure and carries no credit.
W Withdrawal (does not count in the student’s academic standing).
P Indicates the student has done at least average work in a pass/fail course.
IP (In Progress) may be given to a student who has been hindered from completing work required in a course by circumstances beyond the student’s control, if prior arrangements are made with the faculty member to complete work at a later date and written permission from the dean has been obtained. A student receiving an IP grade must arrange with the faculty member to take whatever action is needed to remove the incomplete grades at the earliest possible date. A grade of IP not removed at the end of the next semester or summer term becomes an F; it cannot be removed by repeating the course.
AU Indicates a student has attended a course for noncredit for at least 75% of the regular class meetings.
NA Indicates no audit because the requirements were not met.

Quality Points

A 4.00 grade points per hour
B+ 3.50 grade points per hour
B 3.00 grade points per hour
C+ 2.50 grade points per hour
C 2.00 grade points per hour
D+ 1.50 grade points per hour
D 1.00 grade points per hour
F 0.00 grade points per hour
P carries no quality points. Courses graded with a P will not be counted in GPA calculations.

It should be noted that there is no “conditional” failure. A student who receives a grade of F in a course may not receive another grade without repeating the course.

Limit on Pass/Fail Credit Hours Earned

Effective with the class of 2018, no more than 12 pass/fail graded hours may count toward the 90 hours needed to earn the J.D. degree exclusive of Law Review and Moot Court Board.

Grade Point Average

Grade point average is based on graded work attempted at Mississippi College. If one repeats a course, both grades enter into calculation of the grade point average. Formula for calculation of the GPA: GPA = number of grade points divided by grade point hours. Credits in non-graded (pass-fail) courses do not carry grade points.

Mandatory Class Average for First Year Required Doctrinal Courses, Legal Writing and Legal Research

Absent exceptional circumstances, the grade point average for each section of first year courses, except for Legal Writing I , Legal Writing II , Legal Research I  and Legal Research II  shall be between 2.50 and 2.7999. In the event of exceptional circumstances, a professor may depart from this standard after consultation with the Associate Dean. Academic transcripts shall document that overall class average for first year doctrinal courses is expected to be between 2.50 and 2.7999.

Absent exceptional circumstances, the overall grade point average each semester for the sections for Legal Writing I , Legal Writing II , Legal Research I  and Legal Research II  shall not exceed 2.90. In the event of exceptional circumstances, the Director of Legal Writing or the Assistant Dean for Information, Technology and Research, may depart from this standard after consultation with the Associate Dean. Academic transcripts shall document that the overall class averages for the first year Legal Writing and Legal Research courses are expected not to exceed 2.90.

Dean’s List

Students who achieve a semester grade point average of 3.25 or higher on at least 12 graded credit hours (excluding non-graded or pass-fail courses) will be recognized on the Dean’s List for that semester. Students who meet this requirement will have a notation on their transcripts that they have earned “Dean’s List” recognition. Students earning Dean’s List recognition will receive an official certificate recognizing their achievement. Students in their final semester, who are enrolled for fewer than 12 graded credit hours and whose semester grade point average is 3.25 or higher may request that a Dean’s List certificate be issued to them, but the notation will not be on their transcripts.

Grade Requirement for Good Academic Standing and Limitation on Enrollment in Intersession and Summer Courses

A cumulative average of at least 2.00 on hours for which a student registered and received a letter grade is required for good academic standing and for graduation from Mississippi College School of Law.

A first year student who enters law school in the summer term and whose GPA for the summer term is below a 2.0 will be given an academic warning (Law Warning). Such student is eligible to continue in the fall semester.

Any first year student whose cumulative GPA is below 1.60 at the end of the first (fall) semester shall be dismissed from law school. Beginning with the GPA at the end of the first (fall) semester of the first year, any other student whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.00 will be placed on academic probation. Students on probation and those who have been on probation during law school must have their class schedules approved each semester by the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee or the Chair’s designee.

A student who is on academic probation may register for summer courses.  If the student does not earn the required cumulative GPA to be removed from probation, the student will be academically dismissed and will not be allowed to continue in summer school regardless of the ruling on any appeal.

A student who is on academic probation when registration opens for the summer or winter intersession courses may not register for and/or enroll in an intersession course.

A student whose GPA drops below a 2.0 at the end of a semester and has already enrolled in an on-campus summer school course will be removed from the course and the tuition will be refunded.

A student whose GPA drops below a 2.0 at the end of a semester and has already completed an intersession class while on probation, but before grades were available, may elect to be removed from the course and have the tuition refunded or to take a pass/fail credit for the course.

A student whose GPA drops below a 2.0 at the end of a semester and is enrolled in a study abroad program may elect to be removed from the course and have the tuition refunded or to take a pass/fail credit for the course.

A student has the right to appeal only upon first dismissal for failure to maintain good academic standing. Such appeal must be received no later than seven (7) calendar days after the effective date of dismissal. Upon the showing of exceptional circumstances, the Academic Standards Committee may, in the exercise of its discretion, set aside a dismissal and allow the student an additional Fall or Spring Semester of probation. Thereafter, any student failing to have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 shall be dismissed from law school with no right of appeal.

Dismissal from Joint Degree Programs

If a student who is enrolled in a joint degree program such as the J.D./M.B.A. is dismissed from one of the degree programs, then the student is automatically dismissed from the other degree program as well. The student may appeal for readmission to either or both of the programs. A student wishing to register an appeal should contact the Graduate Office immediately for a specific form to be used for that purpose.

Examinations and Grade Reporting

Regular examinations are held at the end of each semester for most courses. Instructors may schedule other examinations during the semester. Final examinations must be given at the time designated by the administration. Final grades for the fall semester are due to be reported from faculty to the Director of Law School Records not later than three weeks from the day of the last regularly scheduled final exam for first year students and four weeks from the day of the last regularly scheduled exam for upper level students. All grades are due for the spring semester not later than four weeks from the last regularly scheduled exam.  Summer term grades are due not later than three weeks after the last regularly scheduled exam.

A student who is deliberately absent from a final examination without legitimate reason will be given a grade of F in the course.

Incomplete Grades and Special Examinations

All examinations must be taken at the regularly scheduled time. A student who believes there are special circumstances over which he/she has no control that would prevent taking the regularly scheduled examination should make application to the faculty member and the dean of the law school for permission to take the examination at a different time. Joint concurrence in writing of the dean and the faculty member is required. All applications must be made in writing PRIOR to the date of the examination except in cases of real emergency.

When a student with such permission does not take the examination at the regularly scheduled time, the course grade will be recorded as “in progress” (IP) by the faculty member. An “in progress” grade automatically becomes an F at the end of the next semester if the requirements for the course have not been met by that time. This rule applies whether a student remains in school or withdraws.

A student with permission to take a special examination must arrange a time for the examination which is acceptable to the faculty member who teaches the course in question and the Associate Dean. Responsibility for initiating these arrangements rests upon the student. Upon completing the examination, the student should complete the proper form available in the office of the dean in order to remove the incomplete grade.

Any student requesting reasonable accommodations for a disability should disclose the disability upon admission to the law school or as soon a possible after the disability is known. Disclosures and requests for accommodation must be made in writing to the Director of Student Services.

Withdrawal from Law School

A student desiring to withdraw from MC Law should initiate the process using the Complete Withdrawal link in the MY MC student portal. Withdrawal from law school before the midpoint of the semester will not result in any grades being entered on the student’s academic record, provided proper procedure is followed. Failure to follow proper procedure may result in a grade of F for the courses in which the student was enrolled.

Failure to enroll during the regular academic year without receiving a leave of absence approved in writing from the dean results in automatic withdrawal and necessitates an application for readmission to resume the course of study.

Any claim for refund of tuition will be based on the date on which the student files a request for withdrawal with the dean of the law school. A student suspended or dismissed from law school for personal or academic misconduct is not entitled to any refund. For complete refund information, see “Refund Policy .”

Off-Campus Credit

Students must receive written permission from the dean prior to registering for any course for credit at another law school. Request for permission should include the name of the school, the exact title and number of the course to be taken, a course description and the amount of credit awarded by the school to be attended. As a general rule, students will only be given permission to take courses at another ABA-accredited law school if it is for the purpose of taking courses not offered at MC Law, to unite with spouses or for family emergencies requiring the physical presence of the student. A student must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher to receive permission to take courses at another law school. Except in exceptional circumstances as determined by the dean, students may not receive permission to take required courses at another law school. No student who has been on academic probation at any time during law school will be given permission to take courses at another school. See the section on tuition and fees for how tuition will be charged for taking courses at another law school. The dean of the law school reserves the right to determine whether any law course from another institution will be accepted toward the student’s degree at MC Law. No residency credit or quality points are awarded at MC Law for any course taken at another institution and no credit will be allowed for any course in which the grade earned was below a C. A fee of $100 will be assessed if the student is visiting another law school during the student’s final term of the law school. This fee is in addition to the graduation fee

Transfer to another Law School

After completing the first year of law school, a student may apply for transfer to another law school pursuant to the rules of that law school. MC Law will provide a transfer report to that law school upon request of the student. There is a fee to prepare this report for each school to which a transfer report is sent.

Graduation

Application for Degree

Application for the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree should be filed when the student registers for the last semester (or summer session) before graduation. Application for the LL.M. degree should be filed when a student registers for the spring semester. The candidate for degree is charged a graduation fee. This fee, together with all accounts of any nature, must be paid in full at least fifteen days before the date of graduation in order for the student to be eligible to receive a diploma.

Graduation in Absentia

A student must make a written request to the dean at least two weeks before graduation in order to be graduated in absentia.

Graduation with Honors

Students who earn a grade point average of 3.25 on academic work attempted graduate cum laude; those who have an average of 3.50 graduate magna cum laude; and those who have an average of 3.75 or better graduate summa cum laude. These requirements apply to both J.D. and LL.M. students. Transfer students must earn 60 credit hours at Mississippi College School of Law to qualify for these designations.

Limit on Time for Graduation

To be graduated from MC Law, a J.D. student must successfully complete 90 credit hours of law school coursework no later than five years after the date on which the student first enrolled in a law school.

Students admitted to the Executive Program must complete 90 credit hours of coursework no later than 72 months from the date on which the student first enrolled in the Executive Program.

Transcripts

All requests for transcripts of grades and credits earned must be made through Transcript Plus at https://www.credentials-inc.com/tplus/?ALUMTRO002415. Transcripts will not be issued for those whose accounts have unpaid balances. 

Transcripts for current law students are issued at no cost to the student by the Director of Law School Records, room 105.

Certificate Programs

MC Law offers certificates for J.D. students in several practice areas, specifically in Business and Commercial Law, Civil Litigation, Criminal Practice, Family and Juvenile Law, Health Care Law, International Law and Solo and Small Law Practice. These certificate programs assist students who have an interest in these practice areas by guiding them in design of their educational program while in law school to prepare them for practice in these particular practice areas. The certificates also provide recognition of academic excellence for students who fulfill the certificate requirements. 

Students must maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 in courses in the certificate program in which they participate to complete the certificate requirements. Additionally, students must earn at least a grade of C+ in any individual course that is counted toward the certificate. Each program consists of specified required courses, designated elective courses and skills courses, a writing requirement, and, in some programs, a minimum number of hours of courtroom observation. The writing requirement in satisfaction of the certificate requirements may also satisfy the writing requirement for the J.D. degree.  Students may earn only one of these certificates in the J.D. program. A student may, however, earn both the Civil Law Certificate (described below) and one of the practice area certificates. Students seeking to earn a certificate in one of the designated practice area must apply for admission to the certificate program with the designated faculty advisor for that program. The designated faculty advisor is identified in the registration materials provided to students each fall and spring semester, or this information may be obtained from the Director of Student Records.

Click the following links for more information about the various certificate programs.

Certificate in Civil Litigation  

Certificate in Business and Commercial Law  

Certificate in Criminal Practice  

Certificate in Family and Juvenile Law  

Certificate in International and Comparative Law  

Certificate in Health Law  

Certificate in Civil Law Studies  

Certificate in Solo and Small Law Practice