Mississippi College School of Law seeks to provide a superior legal education within the context of a Christian institution. Our aim is to create an institutional environment that promotes intellectual and practical learning. Our student body and faculty reflect a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Out of this diversity, we seek to create a scholarly community in which students and faculty discuss issues freely in a variety of settings, both formal and informal.
Our curriculum is designed to train students to become skilled and ethical lawyers capable of adapting their practice to a changing legal world. To accomplish this goal, we have looked to a liberal arts model in shaping the law school’s curriculum. Our courses emphasize individual responsibility for learning, while providing every student instruction in the substantive and analytical skills necessary for successful practice.
We provide grounding in the common law and statutory foundations of our legal system, but also explore emerging doctrine, employing in each context the traditional methods of legal analysis, enriched by the insights of related disciplines. To assure that our curriculum incorporates the most current scholarship, our faculty is actively engaged in research in their respective areas of expertise. In addition to courses in legal doctrine, we offer a wide range of instruction in the skills of modern practice. Because we view writing as the most fundamental of these skills, we emphasize teaching of writing at every stage of legal training. In addition, we offer courses in oral advocacy, counseling, negotiation, and the many skills of pretrial and trial advocacy. Because of our location in a major legal center, we are able to draw on leading practitioners and judges as adjunct professors and as supervisors of externship programs.
We recognize the law school’s responsibility to the legal community and the larger society. Consequently, the law school and its faculty are involved in a variety of activities to improve the legal system, including research and advocacy in law reform projects, service on bar association committees, and teaching in continuing legal education programs.
All of these goals reflect the commitment of the law school and the founding institution to the belief that human beings are God’s creations, equally entitled to dignity and respect. In every setting, we seek to train lawyers of high intellectual and practical ability, who are committed to ethical practice; to assisting the disadvantaged; and to free and open discussion of issues of law, policy, and values.
MC Law is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, the International Association of Law Schools, and the American Society of Comparative Law. J.D. graduates are eligible to take the bar exam in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. MC Law is approved by the ABA to offer the LL.M. degree to students holding an academic law degree from a foreign university, but the ABA does not accredit LL.M. programs. LL.M. graduates are eligible to take the bar examination in several states. Interested persons should consult with the bar examining authorities for specific states for eligibility requirements. For further information regarding eligibility for admission to the bar, see the section on Admission to a State Bar in this catalog for further information regarding bar admissions. The Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar of the American Bar Association may be contacted at 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654-7598, telephone, 312-988-6738.
Mississippi College is accredited by The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, education specialist degrees, the education doctorate, and the first professional doctorate in law. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 2033-4097, or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Mississippi College. The Commission is to be contacted only if there is evidence that appears to support the university’s significant noncompliance with a requirement or standard.
The law library is an integral part of the total law school program. With a collection of more than 348,000 volumes and volume equivalents, the library exceeds the basic research needs of the law student and the practicing attorney. Around this nucleus the law library is rapidly developing resources that will also serve the needs of legal scholars and specialists. Emphasis is placed on the development of the collections of statutes, legal periodicals, federal and state legislative materials, reports of all federal courts, and reports of all state appellate courts. Federal administrative agency materials, specialized loose-leaf services, and treatises to meet needs in areas of importance are also being collected. The law library is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries and is a selective U.S. Government depository library.
The law library operates a computer lab to give students access to computer-assisted legal instruction, electronic legal instruction, and word processing services.
The law library, located on the first, second and third floors of the law school, is designed to provide appropriate facilities for students, faculty, and visiting attorneys. Separate areas are available for individual and group study, photocopying, microforms and computerized legal research. Westlaw, Lexis, and internet databases are accessible in the computer lab and by wireless access. Students have access to wireless printing.
Standards of Conduct
Law students are expected to maintain acceptable standards of conduct in their personal and professional activities. Breaches of these standards may result in action by the dean of MC Law who exercises authority over law students for personal or academic misconduct. This authority is separate and apart from the authority of criminal or civil authorities and is exercised from an educational perspective. Educational actions may vary depending on the circumstances but may include dismissal from law school. In appropriate cases, the dean may refer matters to the student Honor Court for proceedings under the Honor Code. Use of Mississippi College computer resources is subject to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The AUP can be found at http://www.mc.edu/offices/academic-computing/acceptable-use-policy/. Failure to read the AUP does not excuse the student from the requirements and regulations contained therein.
Proceedings to examine alleged misconduct are educational proceedings and may vary in form depending on the circumstances. The law student will be provided due process in such proceedings, but does not have the right to have an attorney present in the proceedings. The due process rights are notice, an opportunity to be heard, and notice of the action taken.
Statements of Compliance with Federal Education Laws
In compliance with federal law, including provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Mississippi College does not illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, or military service in admissions, in the administration of its education policies, programs, and activities or in employment. Under federal law, the University may exercise religious preferences in employment in order to fulfill its mission and purpose.
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (Confidentiality of Student Information)
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Students have specific, protected rights regarding the release of such records or information contained therein. Mississippi College will release confidential or personally identifiable information only with the student’s written consent and will release information defined as “Directory Information” only in the best interest of the student.
Each year (fall semester) MC Law publishes a law school directory including information on faculty, staff and students. Within the first fifteen calendar days after the beginning of the fall semester, faculty and staff should contact Office of Human Resources, and students should contact the MC Law School Director of Student Records to make changes. Students also should view their Personal Information in Banner Web to assure the accuracy of the information and to determine what changes, if any, should be made in the university’s student information system. Under FERPA, currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of their information if they do not wish to have such information published in the directory. A request to withhold information should be filed in writing with the Director of Student Records within the first fifteen days of the beginning of the fall semester. Absent a written request to withhold directory information, Mississippi College assumes that the student approves disclosure in the law school directory. All listings in the law school directory are taken from information contained in the university’s computer information system.
Parents can file a copy of their income tax return with the registrar to establish that their child/student is a dependent for the purpose of receiving grades. A student may give written permission to the university registrar to release grades to parents.
A law school student who does not wish any information released for any reason may file a written request with the dean of the law school. A confidential notice will be placed on the student’s record and this confidential status will remain on their record permanently until a signed release by the student is filed with the dean.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the ADA of 1990
In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Mississippi College does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs or activities. If students need special accommodations due to learning, physical, psychological, or other disabilities, they should direct their inquiries to the Assistant Dean for Student Services, 151 East Griffith St., Jackson, MS, 39201.
Title IX Compliance
Mississippi College has completed the self evaluation study required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for men and women and, as such, does not discriminate on the basis of sex in employment or admissions except in those instances which are claimed and exempted under Section 86.12 of the guidelines based on conflict with the religious tenets of the Mississippi Baptist Convention. Official Grievance Procedures have been established and copies may be obtained from and complaints filed with the Office of the President, Box 4001, Telephone: 601.925.3200 or the Vice President for Planning and Assessment, Box 4029, Telephone: 601.925.3225.
Non-Discrimination and Equality of Opportunity
MC Law does not use admissions policies or take other action to preclude admission of applicants or retention of students on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.
Academic facilities at Mississippi College are designed primarily for use in the education of Mississippi College students; other uses, although quite worthy in themselves, should not be allowed to interfere with that primary purpose.
The use, possession, or distribution of illicit drugs by students at MC Law is expressly forbidden and the same shall not be tolerated on any property owned or controlled by Mississippi College, nor shall the same be tolerated at or as a part of any activity undertaken at or under the direction or supervision of Mississippi College. In addition to possible legal sanctions, disciplinary action for violation of this regulation may include expulsion or other severe penalty.
Alcoholic beverages will not be served or consumed on the MC Law campus.
Student Complaints Procedure
This procedure is available for resolving student complaints that involve the MC Law program of legal education. Its process—while not mandatory—may also be used to resolve other complaints that directly involve MC Law. This procedure will not be used if there is another procedure that is specifically provided for a certain type of complaint. There is no appeal process for grades, and this procedure does not apply to complaints regarding grades.
When faced with a matter of concern, a student should—as would a wise attorney—attempt to resolve the issue at the lowest level using informal methods. It is often helpful to approach the person with a relationship to the concern and make that concern known. Very often simply making known the concern will permit a discussion and a resolution.
If informal procedures do not provide for a resolution of the concern, a student may make a written complaint to the Associate Dean for Academics (for academic matters), the Assistant Dean for Students (non-academic matters), or another official designated by the Dean. The written complaint should state the nature of the concern, describe what steps were taken in an attempt to resolve the concern, and provide any relevant information which would assist in reviewing the complaint.
The official receiving the complaint will inquire into the matter and work to resolve the complaint. After completing the inquiry and resolution steps, the official will provide a written decision to the student. The official may obtain the assistance of others in this process. There will be no hearings, but the official may discuss this matter with the student.
If the student is dissatisfied with the decision, the student may appeal the decision to the Dean. The appeal should be in writing, must include the basis for the appeal and the reasons why the decision was not appropriate, and include any information that would be helpful in acting on the appeal. The appeal must be received by the Dean’s office within 21 calendar days from the date of the decision. The Dean will decide the appeal and provide a written action on the appeal to the student. The Dean’s decision is final and may not be appealed.
MC Law will maintain a copy of all complaints, decisions, and appeal actions.
Complaints made in good faith are important to the proper functioning of MC Law and resolving matters of concern to students. No retaliation or adverse action may be taken against a student who submits a complaint in good faith.
Mississippi College’s policy regarding “Sexual Harassment, Fraternization & Workplace Harassment” is found in Policy 3.11 of the university’s Policies and Procedure Manual. MC Law follows those procedures. For other forms of harassment not covered by this policy, MC Law will use the complaint policy above or faculty created procedures (listed below) to resolve those allegations. It should be noted that the normal give and take of the classroom and the utilization of standard classroom teaching procedures involving the questioning students, challenging student reasoning, and commenting on academic matters does not constitute harassment and will not be subject to these procedures. MC Law is committed to the fair treatment of its students, faculty, and employees and expects actions of those in the MC Law community to reflect the respect and dignity afforded to fellow human beings.
Mississippi College School of Law Harassment Policy
Mississippi College School of Law, as a constituent school of Mississippi College, an institution of Christian higher education, is committed to the belief that human beings are God’s creations, equally entitled to dignity and respect. It is the belief of the faculty and administration that lawyers and law students, in particular, should strive to uphold the highest standards of respect for all persons. In keeping with this belief and commitment, the Law School has adopted the following Harassment Policy:
1) Mississippi College School of Law is committed to protecting academic freedom and freedom of expression of all members of the Law School community. This policy of harassment shall be applied in a manner that protects academic freedom and freedom of expression of all parties to a complaint.
2) The law school prohibits harassment on the basis of gender, race, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability where such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to offend a reasonable person and to unreasonably interfere with such person’s academic or work performance or otherwise create a hostile academic or work environment.
3) In addition, Mississippi College School of Law prohibits sexual harassment. Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s employment or education; (b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as the basis for significant academic or employment decisions affecting such person; or (c) such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to offend a reasonable person and to unreasonably interfere with such person’s academic or work performance or otherwise create a hostile academic or work environment.
The following examples of such behavior are not meant to be illustrative, but not exhaustive, of conduct that could possibly constitute sexual harassment, if unwanted:
A. Physical assault.
B. Direct sexual propositions, invitations, or other pressure for sexual activity.
C. Subtle pressure for sexual activity, an element of which may be conduct such as leering or ogling.
D. Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, or letters of recommendation.
E. A pattern of conduct not legitimately related to the subject matter of a course, if one is involved, intended to discomfort or humiliate, or both, that includes one or more of the following: comments of a sexual nature or sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes.
F. A pattern of conduct that would discomfort or humiliate, or both, a reasonable person at whom the conduct was directed that includes one or more of the following: unnecessary touching, patting, hugging or brushing against a person’s body; remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body; or remarks about a person’s sexual activity or speculations about a person’s sexual experience.
G. A pattern of conduct which implies discrimination or hostility toward a person’s personal, professional, or academic interests because of sex.
H. Exhibiting lewd photographs or calendars.
4) This policy is intended to protect students, faculty, (including adjunct faculty), administration, and staff (i.e. “the member”) from harassment by anyone that the member comes into contact with on the Law School property or as a result of Law School-sponsored or Law School-related events and activities. It is intended to protect the members from harassment by other students, faculty (including adjunct faculty), administration, staff, contractors, visitors, interviewers, and other such persons. The Law School will make its best efforts to prevent and remedy the situation, keeping in mind that the Law School’s ability to prevent and remedy the harassment will vary with the amount of control the Law School has over the alleged harasser.
5) Any member of the Law School community who believes the member has been subjected to harassing conduct is encouraged to speak to the Assistant Dean of Students, unless it is inappropriate or uncomfortable for the member to do so. In such a case, the member may speak with the Associate Dean for Academics or the Title IX/EEO Coordinator at Mississippi College. If the member is not satisfied with the resolution, the member may make a written appeal to the Dean of the Law School, or—if the matter involves the Dean—to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mississippi College. Action on the appeal is final.
6) Any staff or faculty member receiving a report that conduct may be legally actionable shall refer the member to the Assistant Dean of Students, under normal circumstances, but when it is inappropriate to report the matter to the Assistant Dean of Students or as requested by the student, the referral may be made to any of the persons listed to whom such initial reports may be made.
7) All reports made to the Assistant Dean of Students or to any of the listed persons will, if unresolved, be reported to the Dean unless it is inappropriate to do so or at the request of the member. In such a case the incident should be reported to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mississippi College or to the Title IX/EEO Coordinator at Mississippi College.
8) Any complaint of harassment will be investigated in a fair and expeditious manner. The confidentiality of all parties will be respected to the extent possible insofar as it does not interfere with the Law School’s legal obligation to investigate allegations and take corrective measures or as otherwise provided by law. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, the Law School will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct to the extent that it is within the Law School’s control. Any retaliation against any person complaining or cooperating in an investigation shall not be tolerated.
9) This policy shall not be construed to impose liability on the Law School or Mississippi College for acts of harassment for which it is not otherwise legally liable; nor shall this policy be deemed to waive any exemptions from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any other provision of law to which the school may be entitled.
10) The Law School will notify the Title IX/EEO Coordinator of Mississippi College when necessary, to coordinate resolution of complaints.
Listing of Contact Information for Educational Officials at the Law School and at Mississippi College (MC)
|Assistant Dean of Students
|Associate Dean for Academics
|Law School Dean
|Vice President for Academics, MC
||Dr. Ron Howard
|Title IX/EEO Coordinator, MC
||Dr. Debbie Norris