The law program is predicated on day students holding minimal employment and evening students holding only ordinary employment. First-year full-time students are advised not to seek employment. If they do choose to work, we recommend hours be limited to 10 hours per week. No full-time student should accept employment that exceeds 20 hours per week. Those who need to work more than 20 hours per week should enroll in the part-time program. A part-time student should not accept employment that exceeds 40 hours per week. The School of Law is sympathetic to students with limited funds, but its full-time program cannot be varied to accommodate working students.
Regular and punctual class attendance is required of all students in all classes. Individual faculty members may utilize class attendance and punctuality in assessing grades or granting credit for a course.
Professors will take attendance in first year classes. Students not regularly attending classes will be referred to the office of the senior assistant dean of student services. Generally, a student is not deemed to have satisfactory attendance if the student misses more than 20% of the class minutes.
In upper-division courses, individual faculty members are responsible for monitoring attendance and punctuality as each deems appropriate. Students unable to attend class regularly and punctually should consider petitioning to take a leave of absence.
Petition to Graduate
Students entering their final year of law school must complete the petition to graduate by the first Monday in October. Return completed forms to the Student Services Office.
The law school assumes no responsibility for a student’s failure to complete the graduation requirements as outlined. Students should check their progress regularly by running a degree audit accessible via the eCampus system “Degree Progress” link. Direct questions regarding degree audits or graduation requirements to the Student Services Office.
Number of Units Required
Students must successfully complete 86 units of study while maintaining academic good standing to earn the J.D. degree and graduate. Students must successfully complete at least 56 of these units in courses offered by the School of Law. A student successfully completes units by earning a grade not lower than D- in a graded course, a grade of “pass” in a graded course for which the student has elected the P/NP option, or a grade of “credit” in a course graded CR/NC.
Period of Study and Distribution of Units
Students pursuing the J.D. degree must complete the course of study within 48 months of matriculation. The senior assistant dean for student services may extend this period not to exceed 12 months for good cause. Students pursuing the joint J.D./MBA or J.D./MSIS degree must complete the course of study within 60 months of matriculation. Matriculation means the date on which a student first begins studies for the J.D. degree at any law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Unless granted a leave of absence by the senior assistant dean for student services, students must enroll in no fewer than 8 and no more than 17 units in both the fall and spring semesters of each academic year. After completing the first year of law study as either a full- or a part-time student, a student may enroll either full or part time in any succeeding semester. Students may also enroll in summer session classes.
Academic Good Standing
Students must be in academic good standing to be eligible for graduation. This requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.33 or above at the end of each academic year.
Courses Required for Graduation
A student must successfully complete the following required courses:
101. Legal Research and Writing
106. Criminal Law
114. Civil Procedure
200. Constitutional Law I
201. Constitutional Law II
302. Legal Profession
See “Juris Doctor Program of Study” for rules on when these courses are to be taken.
Supervised Analytical Writing Requirement
Students must successfully complete a significant piece of legal writing under the supervision of a faculty member following the first year of law school. See “Juris Doctor Program of Study” for more information on this requirement.
Professional Skills Requirement
In addition to legal analysis, research, and writing, a competent lawyer employs a variety of other professional skills, including interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, negotiation, drafting, and trial advocacy. Students must take one class that meets the Professional Skills requirement. See “Juris Doctor Program of Study” for more information on this requirement.
Regular Classroom Instruction Requirement
Students must complete at least 45,000 minutes in regularly scheduled class sessions at the law school. See “Juris Doctor Program of Study” for more information on this requirement.
Students must be in ethical good standing at the time of graduation. Graduation may be denied or delayed based on charges or findings of academic dishonesty or moral turpitude. A student may not graduate while there is a pending charge of academic dishonesty or moral turpitude.
Commencement typically is the second or third Saturday in May at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are not required for attendees. Caps and gowns are required for participants. Students who file a petition to graduate by the October deadline will receive information by e-mail for ordering caps and gowns, announcements, and other such paraphernalia. Students who fail to turn in the petition by the deadline will not receive information and may not be included in the commencement program. December graduates may participate in the commencement ceremony either immediately before or after they graduate.
Graduation with Honors
Students must have received letter grades in graded courses totaling at least 65 units (50 units for transfer students and for students spending one year visiting at another law school) to graduate with honors. The categories are as follows:
- Top 2 percent of combined full- and part-time class = summa cum laude
– Next 3 percent of combined full- and part-time class = magna cum laude
– Next 5 percent of combined full- and part-time class = cum laude
- Order of the Coif: The School of Law is a member of the Order of the Coif, a nationally recognized legal honor society. Students receiving honors at graduation will be inducted into the Order.
General grading scale
|A = 4.33||CR Credit|
|A– = 4.00||NC No Credit|
|B+ = 3.67||P Pass|
|B = 3.33||NP No Pass|
|B– = 3.00||I Incomplete|
|C+ = 2.67||**** Grade not turned in yet|
|C = 2.33||NS No Show|
|C– = 2.00||NR Not Reported|
|D+ = 1.67|
|D = 1.33|
|D– = 1.00|
|F = 0.00|
The A range denotes outstanding scholarship; the B range indicates above-average work; the C and C+ indicate work demonstrating professional competence; C- and D describe work that is below the range of professional competence but sufficient for credit. F is failing work, unsatisfactory for unit credit.
LL.M. in U.S. Law Grades
Students in the Exchange/LL.M. program in U.S. Law are graded on a Standard Letter Grade basis.
Students in the LL.M. program in U.S. Law are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis in all courses.
Students in the LL.M. program in U.S. Law for whom English is a second language in which they have not reached academic competence may request additional time, up to time and a half, for exams. These students may also request the use of a translating dictionary. Absent an approved request for language accommodations, students are required to follow standard exam rules.
Exchange/LL.M. program in U.S. Law students are not eligible to petition for language accommodations.
Grade Option Petition:
Students in the LL.M. program in US Law may petition to be graded with regular letter grades (A, B, etc) instead of Pass/No Pass. To do so:
a. Secure all necessary approval signatures on the LL.M. in US Law Grade Option Petition form
b. Submit the form to the Law Student Services Office by the end of the 4th week of classes during the fall and spring semester and by the end of the 2nd week of classes in the summer term
c. Students can rescind this request until the end of the 10th week of classes during the semester and by the end of the 3rd week of classes in the summer term. After this time, students may not elect or rescind a grade option change
d. Summer term deadlines will apply to off-cycle and short-term courses
Some classes are only offered on a Credit/No Credit or Pass/No Pass basis and the option cannot be changed. These are designated as Credit/No Credit or Pass/No Pass on the schedule of classes.
Students taking exams in courses on a graded basis are not eligible to petition for language accommodations.
In certain elective courses, no letter grades are awarded. Students are evaluated in terms of whether their work meets the level of professional competence. (In a graded course, this would be a grade of C or above.) Students who perform at a level of professional competence receive a grade of “credit.” Students who perform below this level receive “no credit”, and the course does not count toward the hours required for graduation. CR/NC units are not counted toward the maximum number of units permitted on a P/NP basis.
Students may choose to take non-required courses that are normally graded A through F on a P/NP basis.
For the fall and spring semesters students must elect the P/NP option within the first four weeks of the start of the semester. Summer students must elect the option at the time of registration. The election must be made in writing and submitted to the Student Services Office. The P/NP election is irreversible after the fourth week of fall or spring or after the first day of summer class.
J.D. students may take no more than two elective courses on a P/NP basis in any one semester and no more than 12 units on a P/NP basis during the entire program of study. More such units are recorded on student transcripts but do not count toward graduation.
Students in the LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law and LL.M. in International and Comparative Law programs may take no more than 4 units on a P/NP basis during the entire program of study. More such units are recorded on student transcripts but do not count toward graduation.
Students who achieve a grade of C or better in a course for which they have elected the P/NP option receive a grade of “pass”. Students who achieve a grade in the C- through D range receive a “no pass”. Failing students receive an F.
Transcript posts indicate P, NP, or F. Grades posted as NP do not count toward the minimum units required for graduation. Under no circumstances should a student ask to see the actual grade received.
For honors consideration, J.D. students must have a minimum of 65 units of traditionally graded credit (i.e., excluding both P/NP and CR/NC units). Transfer J.D. students must have 50 units of traditionally graded credit.
Generally, the right to audit courses is limited to practicing attorneys and judges. Current students may petition to audit a course on a space-available basis. Tuition is charged for audited courses which are designated as such on student transcripts.
A student’s academic standing is determined by the cumulative grade point average (GPA), which is calculated by dividing the total grade points scored, in accordance with the above norms (e.g., A = 4.33, B = 3.33, C = 2.33, etc.), by the number of units of graded work attempted. A student’s cumulative GPA is expressed as a number carried out three decimal places.
To be in academic good standing, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.33 at the end of the spring semester of any attended year. Each student must maintain satisfactory academic standing as a prerequisite for continued attendance in the law school. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.33 or higher in order to graduate. For purposes of determining academic standing, a student’s cumulative GPA is computed only after the spring semester of each academic year.
In determining whether a student qualifies to continue study at the law school following the first two semesters of law school, the grade that a student receives in Legal Research and Writing shall be considered if and only if it is a C- or below.
Grade Curve and Normalization
It is the School of Law’s policy that grades in required and bar-tested courses fall within a norm (e.g., that grades in various sections are similar). The policy is as follows:
1. First-Year Substantive Courses
Instructors in Contracts (102), Torts (103), Property (104), Criminal Law (106), Civil Procedure (114), and Constitutional Law I (200) shall give final grades that fulfill the following grade distribution obligations:
No fewer than 8%
No more than 12%
A through B–
No fewer than 45%
No more than 55%
C– and below
No fewer than 8%
No more than 12%
2. Legal Research and Writing (101)
Instructors shall give grades in Legal Research and Writing that fulfill the following grade distribution obligations:
No fewer than 10%
No more than 15%
A through B–
No fewer than 50%
No more than 60%
C– and below
No minimum percentage requirement.
No more than 12%
- In determining whether a student qualifies to continue study at the law school following the first two semesters of law school, the grade that a student receives in Legal Research and Writing shall be considered if and only if it is a C- or below.
3. Advocacy (105)
Instructors shall give grades in Advocacy that fulfill the faculty policy mandating a median grade between B and B-.
4. Upper-Division Required Courses and Courses Tested on the California Bar Exam
Courses tested on the California Bar Exam and all courses required for graduation with the exception of those set forth above shall be subject to the following grade distribution obligations:
No fewer than 10%
No more than 15%
A through B–
No fewer than 50%
No more than 60%
C– and below
No fewer than 8%
No more than 12%
Current upper-division courses subject to the grade normalization policy:
- 201. Constitutional Law II
– 248. Business Organizations
– 281. Wills and Trusts
– 290. Community Property
– 302. Legal Profession
– 310. Criminal Procedure: Investigation
– 320. Evidence
– 324. Remedies
i) In courses subject to grade normalization, the dean may, for good cause, approve a deviation from the required distribution of grades if the number of students registered in the course at the end of the grading period is 25 or fewer and the instructor requests such an exception.
ii) In upper division bar and required courses, grades of C- or below must be assigned to all students who perform below the range of professional competence. If fewer than 8% of the students in a class perform below this level of competence then the professor may assign fewer grades in the C- or below range.
In determining compliance with the required array of grades, fractions may be rounded up or down or both. For example, in a class of 70 students, 8 percent equals 5.6 students and 12 percent equals 8.4 students. By rounding up and down, the instructor in a first year class of 70 students may give 5-9 grades of A/A- and 5-9 grades of C- or below.
Percentile rankings for each class year and program (e.g., first-year day, first-year evening, etc.) are computed annually based upon the relevant cumulative grade point averages at the end of the spring semester. J.D./MBA and J.D./MSIS students are ranked with second-year students until their graduating year. Students in the top 20 percent of their class, based on GPAs, are recognized on the Dean’s List. Class rank at the time of graduation in the spring is computed for the entire graduating class combined (December, May, and July graduates). Students’ current and cumulative GPAs are available on eCampus. Spring rankings are usually available late July and graduate rankings are usually available early September.
Faculty Submission of Grades
Grades are due 30 days from the date that the bulk of the exams are available for grading. Grades for courses with papers are due 30 days from the end of the exam period. Once grades are submitted to the Student Services Office, there is usually a delay of several days before the grades are posted to individual student records and available to students on eCampus.
It is not possible to provide earlier grades for students visiting SCU from another law school. Students who will be visiting the semester prior to graduating should check graduation grade deadlines with their home school.
Once submitted to the Student Services Office, a grade may not be changed except to rectify a computational error in deriving the grade or a clerical error in recording the grade. Computational or clerical errors do not include a subjective re-evaluation of the content of student work.
Faculty members who seek a grade change for the cause named must present a written petition to the associate dean for academic affairs. Before taking effect, all grade changes must be signed by the instructor and approved by the associate dean.
Midterm grades in year-long first-year courses are “pencil grades” and do not appear on transcripts. Students can check these grades on eCampus.
For compelling reasons, instructors may award a grade of I (“Incomplete”). The instructor may not award a grade of Incomplete for students in their final semester of law school or in courses in which the grade is determined by final examination. Both the student and instructor should sign the Incomplete Grade form.
When a grade of Incomplete is authorized by the above rule, work required to remove the grade of Incomplete must be submitted to the instructor no later than the last day of classes of the next following semester or by an earlier date specified by the instructor. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in an automatic conversion of the incomplete grade to a grade of F. See “Fulfillment of Course Requirements” below.
Availability of Grades
The Student Services Office posts grades to eCampus. Under no circumstances will Student Services personnel give out grades via phone or e-mail.
The Office of the University Registrar is the sole source of copies of academic transcripts. For details see www.scu.edu/studentrecords/Frequently-Asked-Questions.cfm#transcript.
Individual professors may, at their discretion, use supplemental grade posting or grade availability including a summary of grades awarded.
It is the policy of the law school faculty that all course requirements be completed in a timely manner. All students enrolled in a course for which there is a final exam must complete all assignments made by the professor and take the exam at its scheduled time.
If completion of the course requirement takes the form of a paper or series of papers in place of a final exam, students must submit material at the time specified by the professor. In no event shall this be later than the end of the exam period of the semester during which the course is taken, absent prior approval by the faculty member and the senior assistant dean for student services. Eligible students who are not able to complete requirements by the deadline should complete an Incomplete Grade form, obtain the professor’s signature of approval, and return the form to the Student Services Office.
In calculating the 86 units required to graduate, a student may count no more than 12 units from any combination of fieldwork (i.e., not including the seminar units earned in conjunction with the field work) from the following:
- All Externships, not including summer overseas internships
– The Panetta Fellowship Program
– Credit for classes taken in the interdisciplinary program with the School of Education and Counseling Psychology
– Juvenile Justice courses
Students are limited to a maximum of 3 externship placements.
Any additional field work units may be reflected on a student’s transcript, but will not count toward graduation.
For more information, contact the Externship Program Office at (408) 551-1609.
Students may earn no more than 8 units of academic credit in all appellate moot court activity (external competitions, the HMC Internal Competition, Internal Moot Court Board or External Moot Court Board). All units are graded CR/NC.
General Standard of Academic Good Standing
At the end of the first academic year of two semesters and every academic year thereafter, students must achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.33 for all completed courses. Grades earned during a summer session may not be used to raise a student’s GPA from the prior academic year. Failure to achieve or maintain a 2.33 GPA will result in academic disqualification.
In determining whether a student qualifies to continue study at the law school following the first two semesters of law school, the grade that a student receives in Legal Research and Writing (101) is considered if and only if it is a C- or below. In determining whether a student qualifies to continue study after the second or later years, the grade in Legal Research and Writing (101) is included in calculation of the cumulative GPA.
Grades earned in on-campus summer sessions or Summer Abroad programs are not used in calculating a student’s cumulative GPA for purposes of academic qualification or disqualification at the end of the immediately preceding academic year.
Students who are academically disqualified after registering for and attending the on campus summer session may (a) withdraw from the summer session and receive a full tuition refund for that session or (b) continue the on-campus summer session and, if reinstated in the law school on the Program of Directed Study, receive credit for the summer courses completed. Students using financial aid for summer tuition should consult the Law Financial Aid Office prior to dropping summer classes.
Students enrolled in Summer Abroad courses may complete the courses, and such courses will be included on subsequent transcripts. Students who choose to withdraw from an overseas course after registration for and beginning of attendance at an overseas summer session will not receive any refund of tuition or reimbursement for any incidental expenses such as transportation, housing, or meals.
Students who are academically disqualified for the first time at the end of the second year with a GPA below 2.33 are permanently disqualified and not eligible for readmission.
Students who are academically disqualified after completion of 86 units may not petition for readmission.
(Students with a GPA below 2.20)
Student who are academically disqualified at the end of the first two semesters of law school with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.20 are not eligible for readmission. There is no administrative or faculty discretion to waive this rule and readmit a disqualified student in this category. The Faculty Judicial Committee does not have jurisdiction to consider cases relating to academic disqualification.
Readmission on Directed Study following “Baby Bar” Exam
(Students with a GPA of 2.20 through 2.32)
Students who are academically disqualified at the end of the first two semesters of law school with a GPA of 2.20 through 2.32 inclusive, may be readmitted to the law school by passing the State Bar of California “Baby Bar” exam within one year of the disqualification (either the spring semester following the disqualification or the following fall semester). Students may be readmitted no more than once. It is the student’s responsibility to register for, pay for, and complete the exam, all within a timely manner. The “Baby Bar” exam is given in June and October.
Readmitted students are subject to the Program of Directed Study. They must achieve a 2.33 GPA at the end of the first year of the academic year following readmission. In determining whether a student qualifies to continue study at the law school, only those grades earned subsequent to the first year of law school are considered. For all other purposes (class rank, journal eligibility, etc.) the cumulative GPA, including the first-year grades, is used.
For students with a GPA of 2.33-2.80 after their first year
Students finishing the first year of law study with a cumulative GPA of 2.33-2.80, and students readmitted to the Law School following successful completion of the California “Baby Bar” exam after first year disqualification, are subject to the Program of Directed Study. Students subject to the program of directed study remain subject to the program until graduation regardless of improvements in their GPA.
In determining whether a student is subject to the Program of Directed Study following the first two semesters of law school, the GPA is considered with the Legal Research and Writing (101) grade and without it. If either GPA is below the requirement, the student will be required to join the program.
Students subject to the program must, like all students, complete all required courses and, in addition, must:
a. If a full-time student, complete Constitutional Law II (201) and Evidence (320) in the second year of law school and, in the case of part-time students, to the extent possible, complete Civil Procedure (114), Constitutional Law I (200), Constitutional Law II (201), and Evidence (320), in the second year of law school
b. Complete the following courses on a graded basis (i.e., P/NP precluded): Business Organizations (248), Wills and Trusts (281), Criminal Procedure: Investigation (310), and Remedies (324)
c. Complete Advanced Legal Writing: Analysis (373a) by the end of their second year in law school
d. Meet with a faculty member from the Office of Academic and Bar Success as soon as feasible after being identified as subject to the program, to discuss (a) the reasons for their inclusion in the program, (b) the purpose of the program, and (c) class scheduling for their ensuing years in law school.
Students who receive a grade of F in a required course and are otherwise eligible to continue legal studies must repeat the course; that is, must re-register for the course, pay tuition, regularly attend class, and successfully complete all course requirements. Upon completion of the repeated course, the grade and units earned replace the initial grade and units in the GPA calculation, although the initial grade and units will still appear on the transcript, and a transcript notation will indicate that the course has been repeated. Students may not repeat a required course in which a grade of D- or higher was received.
Students who receive a grade of F, No Pass (NP), or No Credit (NC), in an elective course need not repeat the course. Students may make up the units necessary to fulfill graduation requirements by taking another course or, space permitting, repeating the original course.
1. Elective courses originally graded A-F may be repeated on a P/NP basis only.
2. Elective courses originally taken for a grade or for P/NP can be repeated on a P/NP basis only. Students must earn a grade of C or better to pass. P/NP grades received for repeated courses will be counted toward the maximum P/NP grades allowed each semester and cumulatively.
3. Elective courses originally taken for CR/NC may be repeated on that basis only.
4. A notation on the transcript will indicate that a course has been repeated.
SCU Law Competency Model
Santa Clara Law is one of the first law schools in the country to adopt a competency modeldesigned to provide students with the building blocks they need as they move through their law school experience to practice. Simply, competencies are observable knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors critical to successful performance. The SCU law competency model provides students with a roadmap that articulates and makes transparent what they need to enter practice.
Many legal organizations use competencies in developing their lawyers. A competency model framework is a structure that articulates core competencies and defines each individual competency (such as legal writing or problem-solving) required for entry-level professional practice in terms of performance factors and observable behavioral elements, so they can begin to understand what it looks like and what is expected. Performance factors are the specific skills and behaviors that together fully describe the core competency. Behavioral elements are simply descriptions of the observable behaviors that would be exhibited by students who have mastered a performance factor.
The competency model framework primarily focuses on skills and is not structured around traditional subject areas, but instead emphasizes foundational competencies that are important to everyone in the field and that students can obtain across a wide selection of Courses, Clinics, Externships and extra-curricular activities inside and outside of the law school.
Leave of Absence
Registered students in good academic standing may petition for a leave of absence for up to one year. The Leave of Absence form should be submitted to the senior assistant dean for student services. A $250 registration cancellation fee is assessed to students who were enrolled in classes at any time during the semester from which they are withdrawing. The registration cancellation fee of $250 and/or full or partial tuition will be assessed, depending on the requested date of the leave. Students on leave of absence are expected to register for the term immediately following the expiration of the leave. Returning students should contact the Student Services Office prior to the registration period to ensure that they have a registration appointment.
A student who takes a leave of absence after receiving a grade of “C” or lower in any course offered as a Fall one-semester course during the first year but before receiving final grades for other courses must retake the one semester course upon his or her return. Upon completion of the repeated course, the grade and units earned replace the initial grade and units in the GPA calculation, although the initial grade and units will still appear on the transcript and a transcript notation will indicate that the course has been repeated.
After a leave of absence has been granted, if a student does not return by the date specified, the law school may permanently withdraw the student. A student will not be readmitted without submission of an application for admission that will be reviewed by the appropriate faculty committee.
Students who wish to withdraw from the law school must submit the Withdrawal Request form to the senior assistant dean for student services. A student’s account balance must be cleared of all charges before grade transcripts, financial aid transcripts, or other documents will be released to the student or other outside agencies. A $250 registration cancellation fee is assessed to students who were enrolled in classes at any time during the semester from which they are withdrawing.
Students who do not register for classes and meet the financial clearance deadline for any regular academic period will be administratively withdrawn from the law school.
After withdrawal from the law school, a student will not be readmitted without submission of an application for admission; a student must reapply through the Office of Admissions and complete the formal competitive admissions process. The Student Services Office advises the appropriate campus offices regarding student withdrawals. Withdrawing students should contact the ACCESS Card Office for information regarding the process of canceling their card. Their office phone number is 408-551-1647.
After satisfactory completion of one year of law study, subject to the limits stated below, students may enroll in not to exceed one course each semester offered by the following schools which have joined the SCU School of Law in a Bay Area consortium: University of San Francisco School of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, and University of California, Davis, School of Law.
Students may enroll in a course offered by a consortium school only if the same course is not offered by the SCU School of Law during the same semester and only if the course is not comparable to externship courses offered by SCU School of Law. In addition, absent prior approval by the senior assistant dean for student services based on good cause shown, students may not enroll in a course covering substantially the same subject matter as a course designated as “required” by the School of Law. Students pay tuition to SCU for courses taken at a consortium school.
Students receive credit toward the 86 units needed for graduation for courses completed at consortium schools only if the School of Law receives an official transcript from the consortium school reflecting a grade of C or better in a graded course. Consortium course grades of C or better will be reflected as “credit” on the SCU transcript.
1. Admission to Advanced Standing
Applicants who have completed one year of law school study may be considered for advanced standing. Transfer students may apply to begin their studies at SCU in either the fall or spring semester; however, all students must complete a minimum of 56 units at the SCU School of Law. Applications should be submitted several months before the beginning of the term. The Admissions Committee considers whether the applicant’s qualifications are such that the applicant would have been permitted to enter the law school as a first-year student. They also consider the quality of work for which credit is being sought. Admitted transfer students are generally in the top 25 percent of their class. Admissions decisions will not be made before an official transcript showing the final semester grades at the prior school has been received.
Upon acceptance to SCU, the law school will evaluate the applicant’s record and determine the amount of credit to be allowed toward graduation. An SCU required or elective course is considered satisfactorily completed if the student has received a grade of C or above for a course with similar content and unit value. To meet residency requirements, students must complete 56 semester units at the School of Law. For graduation, 86 units are required. The law school will evaluate the applicant’s record and determine the amount of credit to be allowed toward graduation. This credit will not be used in computing the student’s grade point average.
Transfer students must have completed courses totaling 50 graded units at SCU School of Law to be eligible for honors at graduation. Transfer students are eligible to participate on the Santa Clara Law Review, the Santa Clara Journal of International Law, and the Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal.
For more information, contact the Law Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-554-5048.
Students who would like to apply Santa Clara course work toward a degree at another law school accredited by the American Bar Association should follow the same admissions procedures as transfer applicants. In addition, applicants should provide a letter from the dean of the law school attended certifying that credit earned while attending SCU Law will be accepted toward the student’s degree requirements and that the home school understands that grades at SCU Law will not be available for a month after the end of final examinations. At the end of each semester, SCU Law professors are allowed 30 days from the date that exams are available for grading to turn in final grades. It is not possible to provide earlier grades for visiting students. Students who will be visiting the semester prior to graduating should check graduation grade deadlines with their home school.
Summer Courses and Programs
Students may enroll in law courses offered by SCU School of Law during the summer, either at the University or in a Summer Abroad program. Units successfully completed count toward the 86 units needed to graduate.
Subject to exceptions stated in the next sentence, a student may count toward the 86 units needed to graduate no more than a cumulative total of 4 units successfully completed during one or more summers in summer law courses, either domestic or foreign, offered by another ABA-accredited law school.
The School of Law will not recognize credit for any summer course taken elsewhere covering substantially the same subject matter as a course designated as “required” by the School of Law, and will not recognize credit for any summer course taken elsewhere if that course is comparable to the externship courses offered by SCU School of Law. The dean may lower the number of units permitted to transfer under this rule based upon fiscal or operational concerns of the law school.
Students pay tuition charged by the ABA-accredited law school that they attend to that school. In addition, in order to transfer credits to SCU for units taken during the summer from another ABA-accredited law school, students may be required to pay SCU a per unit transfer fee set by the administration. The transfer fee may vary.
Students must check with the senior assistant dean for student services prior to registering for another school’s summer class or program to ascertain the fee and must obtain that dean’s approval prior to registering for another school’s summer class or program. Units earned in such a class or program will not be counted toward the 86 units needed to graduate absent such prior approval.
Units completed in a summer program offered by another ABA-accredited law school will be counted toward the 86 units needed for graduation provided that the School of Law receives an official transcript from the school at which units were taken that reflects a grade for the units of C or better in a graded course. A letter grade of C or better will be reflected as “credit” on the SCU transcript.
Law students may audit courses in other SCU graduate departments with prior approval from the senior assistant dean for student services; however, most outside courses do not contribute toward the minimum number of units needed for graduation. To request approval, students should submit a General Petition form to the senior assistant dean for student services and to the course professor. Tuition is charged for all non-law courses. Students should consult the Bursar’s Office for current fees.
With prior approval from the senior assistant dean for student services, law students may enroll for credit in selected counseling courses offered through the School of Education and Counseling Psychology. These courses include
- CP 200. Psychology of Interpersonal Communication
– CP 215. Psychology of Childhood
– CP 266. Counseling the Adolescent
– CP 275. Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling
– CP 312. Counseling for Contemporary Problems
To receive credit, students must earn a grade of C or better. These units transfer as CR/NC grades. A 3-unit quarter-long course counts toward 2 semester units of credit when the grade is transferred. These units count toward a maximum of 12 allowable field units. See the section on Limitation on Cumulative Units above.
Visiting at Other Law Schools
With prior approval from the senior assistant dean for student services, a limited number of students who have successfully completed the first year of study at the School of Law may visit away for no more than two semesters at another ABA-accredited law school, including in semester-abroad programs offered by such schools. The course of study during such a visit may not include any course comparable to the internship or externship courses offered by the School of Law. Notwithstanding such a visit, students must still successfully complete 56 units of credit toward the J.D. degree in courses offered at the School of Law.
Approval of such a visit is given to students demonstrating serious and unforeseen hardship, including but not limited to medical emergency, unexpected relocation of a family member or life partner, or severe financial difficulty. The dean may deny any other request for a visit based upon educational, fiscal, or operational concerns of the School of Law.
To obtain approval, students must submit a petition to the senior assistant dean for student services identifying the school at which the student desires to visit, the student’s proposed course of study, the unit value of the course of study, the dates of the visit, the student’s reason for seeking approval, and any other information the dean deems necessary or appropriate. In deciding whether to grant or deny a petition, the senior assistant dean for student services may also consider the student’s academic record. The senior assistant dean may also impose appropriate conditions on the visit (e.g., a “required” course may not be taken, or certain courses must be taken at the School of Law upon completion of the visit).
Students will receive credit toward the 86 units needed for graduation for courses completed during a visit elsewhere only if the School of Law receives an official transcript from the other law school reflecting a grade of C or better in a graded course A letter grade of C or better will be reflected as “credit” on the Santa Clara University transcript. Students visiting away during their last semester must ensure that official transcripts are submitted to the Student Services Office as soon as possible to ensure that the J.D. degree is posted in time to certify the student for the bar exam.
Students must pay the tuition charged by the other law school to that school. A $250 registration cancellation fee will be assessed to students who withdraw from courses at the School of Law in order to visit at another law school.
The School of Law does not discriminate on the basis of disability. Any information concerning an applicant’s disability provided during the admissions process is strictly voluntary and will be kept in accordance with state and federal laws relating to confidentiality. No limitations are placed on the number or proportion of persons with disabilities who may be admitted or enrolled.
The School of Law provides academic accommodations necessary to afford equal opportunity and full participation in all law programs for qualified students with professionally verified disabilities. To facilitate the verification of disabilities and the determination of appropriate accommodations, the law school encourages voluntary self-identification by students with disabilities as soon as possible after admission.
The dean of the School of Law is the senior administrative officer responsible for law school policies affecting students with disabilities. With the advice of the appropriate faculty committee, and the administrative staff responsible for implementing policy, the dean ensures that these policies are both educationally sound and responsive to the needs of students with disabilities.
The Policy and Procedures for the Provision of Academic Accommodations to Students with Disabilities at Santa Clara University is available from the Office of Disabilities Resources. Accommodations are provided through the Office of Disabilities Resources. Visit http://www.scu.edu/studentlife/disabilities/lawstudentinstructions.cfm for instructions for accessing accommodations.
For more information, contact the Office of Disabilities Resources at 408-554-4109.
As an ABA-accredited law school, Santa Clara Law is subject to the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools. The ABA Standards may be found at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/standards.html. Any student at the law school who wishes to bring a formal complaint to the administration of the law school of a significant problem that directly implicates the school’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA Standards should do the following:
1. Submit the complaint in writing to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Senior Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. The writing may consist of e-mail, U.S. mail, or fax.
2. The writing should describe in detail the behavior, program, process, or other matter that is the subject of the complaint, and should explain how the matter implicates the law school’s program of legal education and its compliance with a specific, identified ABA Standard(s).
3. The writing must provide the name, official law school e-mail address, and street address of the complaining student, for further communication about the complaint.
4. The administrator to whom the complaint is submitted will acknowledge the complaint within three business days of receipt of the written complaint. Acknowledgment may be made by e-mail, U.S. mail, or by personal delivery, at the option of the administrator.
5. Within three weeks of acknowledgment of the complaint, the administrator, or the administrator’s designee, shall either meet with the complaining student, or respond to the substance of the complaint in writing. In this meeting or in this writing, the student should either receive a substantive response to the complaint, or information about what steps are being taken by the law school to address the complaint or further investigate the complaint. If further investigation is needed, when the investigation is completed, the student shall be provided either a substantive response to the complaint or information about what steps are being taken by the law school to address the complaint within three weeks after completion of the investigation.
6. Appeals regarding decisions on complaints may be taken to the Dean of the law school. Any decision made on appeal by the Dean shall be final.
7. A copy of the complaint and a summary of the process and resolution of the complaint shall be kept in the office of the senior assistant dean for student services for a period of eight years from the date of final resolution of the complaint.