The School of Law requires that all students hold a baccalaureate degree before matriculation at Santa Clara. Newly admitted students must have their undergraduate college or university forward an official transcript showing the date the degree was conferred, directly to the Law Admissions Office. We must receive the transcript no later than the first day of orientation or you will be at risk of being administratively withdrawn from the School of Law. Students who fail to resolve an outstanding transcript issue by October 1 will be administratively withdrawn from the School of Law, and will be responsible for all tuition due as a result of the withdrawal. Note that students who are administratively withdrawn will have their scholarship offers rescinded, and their federal aid subject to Return to Title IV calculations, which could result in an outstanding tuition balance.
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.
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. We strongly recommend that any student, who is enrolled as a full-time student, limit their work to 20 hours per week or fewer. 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.
Petition to Graduate
Students entering their final year of law school must complete the petition to graduate by the first Monday in October. The petition to graduate is available online.
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 in eCampus. 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. Transfer students from CBA-approved schools must complete 58 units at Santa Clara 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:
101A and 101B Legal Research and Writing 1 and 2
102A and 102B Contracts 1 and 2 (full-time)
102C and 102D Contracts 1e and 2e (part-time)
106 Criminal Law
114A and 114B Civil Procedure 1 and 2
465 Critical Lawyering Skills Seminar
200 Constitutional Law I
201 Constitutional Law II
302 Professional Responsibility (formerly Legal Profession)
See “Juris Doctor Program of Study” for rules on when these courses are to be taken.
Upper-Division Proficiency (UP) Points
Students are expected to earn at least 4 points for proficiency in UP-eligible courses before they graduate. See “Juris Doctor Program of Study” for more information on this requirement.
Experiential Course Requirement
Each student must successfully complete one or more experiential course(s) totaling at least six credit hours. An experiential course is a simulation course, a law clinic, or a field placement that focuses on professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession. See “Juris Doctor Program of Study” for more information on this requirement.
Regular Classroom Instruction Requirement
Students must complete at least 64 credit hours 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
A– = 4.00
NC No Credit
B+ = 3.67
B = 3.33
NP No Pass
B– = 3.00
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 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.
Students in the Exchange-to-LL.M. program in U.S. Law are graded on a Standard Letter Grade basis and 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:
- Secure all necessary approval signatures on the LL.M. in US Law Grade Option Petition form
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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 and for the summer session, students must elect the option within the first two weeks of the start of the session. 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 second week 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 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.
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), and Civil Procedure (114) 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%
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 Proficiency Points Eligible Classes, 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 16%
No more than 23%
C- and below
No fewer than 8%
No more than 12%
Current Upper-Division Proficiency Points Eligible Classes, Upper-Division Required Courses and Courses Tested on the California Bar Exam subject to the grade normalization policy:
– 200. Constitutional Law I
– 201. Constitutional Law II
– 248. Business Organizations
– 281. Wills and Trusts
– 290. Community Property
– 302. Professional Responsibility
– 310. Criminal Procedure: Investigation
– 311. Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
– 320. Evidence
– 324. Remedies
– 540. Advanced Torts
– 543. Real Estate Conveyancing
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 are computed annually based upon the relevant cumulative grade point averages at the end of the spring semester. Effective Fall 2017, full-time and part-time students are ranked together. The levels are First Year (FY), Upper Division (UD) and Graduating Class (GC). The level is based on the level of completion of the juris doctor program of study.
The level of First Year (FY) is assigned to students who started their first year of law school in the fall semester of the current academic year.
The level of Upper Division (UD) is assigned to students who are not in the First Year class (FY) or the Graduating Class (GC).
The Graduating Class (GC) is assigned to students who have petitioned to graduate for the current academic year no matter how many years they have been enrolled. Class rank at the time of graduation is computed for the entire graduating class combined (December, May, and July graduates).
Students in the top 20 percent of their level, based on GPAs, are recognized on the Dean’s List. Students’ current and cumulative GPAs are available on eCampus.
Spring rankings are usually available late July and graduating class 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 Courses
Midterm grades in year-long courses are “pencil grades” and do not appear on transcripts. Students should check their midterm grades on eCampus. This presently applies to two upper-division courses:
- LAW 505A, Northern California Innocence Project A
- LAW 331, Advanced Trial Techniques
The content of certain first-year classes, such as Legal Research & Writing, Contracts and Civil Procedure, extends over a full year; however, these courses are formally divided into separate, semester-long courses. Thus, final grades are assigned for all first-year courses at the end of each semester.
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.
The Student Services Office posts grades to eCampus. Under no circumstances will Student Services personnel give out grades via phone or e-mail.
Official transcripts may be requested on eCampus. Information on ordering transcripts is posted on the Office of the University Registrar’s FAQ page.
Individual professors may, at their discretion, use supplemental grade posting or grade availability including a summary of grades awarded.
Fulfillment of Course Requirements
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.
Limitation on Cumulative Units
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, including summer abroad externships
– The Panetta Fellowship Program
– Credit for classes taken in the interdisciplinary program with the School of Education and Counseling Psychology
– Juvenile Justice courses
However, a student who does both a summer abroad externship and a semester-long international externship may count up to 16 units of such fieldwork toward the 86 units required to graduate:
Students are limited to a maximum of 3 externship placements.
For more information, contact the Externship Program Office at (408) 551-3266.
Students may earn no more than 8 units of academic credit in all Honors Moot Court and Honors Trial Team activity (including Honors Moot Court Internal, Honors Moot Court External, Honors Trial Team External, and all Honors Moot Court Boards.) All units are graded CR/NC.
Students who complete Advanced Trial Techniques have earned two units that apply towards this limitation, allowing for six more units in other activities.
Limitation on Journal Credit
Students may earn no more than a total of 4 units of academic credit from journal work. 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.
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 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 are ineligible for additional financial aid. Students using federal student aid (student loans) to pay for summer tuition should contact Law Admissions and Financial Aid prior to dropping summer classes or withdrawing to discuss the consequences of withdrawal. Students who withdraw may have to repay a portion of the federal student aid disbursed for the summer term.
Upper-division students who are academically disqualified for the first time with a GPA below 2.33 are permanently disqualified and not eligible for readmission. Exception: Second-year students who are academically disqualified for the first time with a GPA below 2.33 at the end of Spring semester 2021 may be readmitted to the law school by passing the State Bar of California First-Year Law Students’ Examination administered in October or June following the disqualification (readmitted for either the spring semester following the disqualification or the following fall semester) and are subject to the “Readmission on Directed Study following the California First-Year Law Students’ Examination” policy below.
Students who are academically disqualified after completion of 86 units may not petition for readmission.
Readmission on Directed Study following the California First-Year Law Students’ Examination
Students with a GPA below 2.33
Students who are academically disqualified at the end of the first two semesters of law school with a GPA below 2.33 may be readmitted to the law school by passing the State Bar of California First-Year Law Students’ Examination administered in October or June following the disqualification (readmitted for 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. Students who do not take and pass the State Bar of California First-Year Law Students’ Examination within this time frame are permanently disqualified and not eligible for readmission.
Readmitted students are subject to the Directed Study policy. 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.
Students who are readmitted following academic disqualification are not eligible for federal student aid. Students may appeal that result based on injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances. The appeal must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory progress and what has changed in their situation that will allow them to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation.
There are additional requirements to reestablish federal student aid eligibility. Appeals will be reviewed by the Law Admissions and Financial Aid Office and may be denied or approved. For the complete federal student aid satisfactory academic progress policy and appeal process, please visit the Law Admissions and Financial Aid website.
Students with a GPA of 2.33-3.0 after their first year
Students finishing the first year of law study with an unrounded cumulative GPA of 2.33-3.0, and students readmitted to the Law School following successful completion of the California First-Year Law Students’ Examination after first year disqualification, are subject to the Directed Study policy. Students subject to the Directed Study policy remain subject to the policy until graduation regardless of improvements in their GPA.
- Successfully complete Legal Analysis (373a) by the end of their second year in law school
- Meet with a faculty member from the Office of Academic and Bar Success as soon as feasible after being identified as subject to the policy, to discuss (a) the reasons for their being subjected to the policy, (b) the purpose of the policy, 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.
Elective courses originally graded A-F may be repeated on a P/NP basis only. 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. Elective courses originally taken for CR/NC may be repeated on that basis only.
A notation on the transcript will indicate that a course has been repeated. Students who repeat a course will not receive double credit for the course. The units for the course are counted only once.
Determination of Units Awarded for Courses Offered by the Law School
One academic unit of study is an amount of work that reasonably approximates:
- not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work per week for fifteen weeks, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
- at least an equivalent amount of work as required in subparagraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including simulation, field placement, clinical, co-curricular, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
For purposes of this policy, fifty minutes suffices for one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction. An “hour” for out-of-class student work is sixty minutes. The fifteen-week period may include one week for a final examination.
For purposes of paragraph (1), as applied to a fourteen-week semester, this standard means as follows:
- a one-unit class will meet 50 minutes per week, to equal 700 minutes in total for the semester;
- a two-unit class will meet 100 minutes per week, to equal 1,400 minutes in total for the semester;
- a three-unit class will meet 150 minutes per week, to equal 2,100 minutes in total for the semester; and
- a four-unit class will meet for 200 minutes per week, to equal 2,800 minutes in total for the semester.
The Dean’s Office and the Office of Student Services will work with Law School faculty to ensure that the appropriate number of units is assigned to each of their course offerings. When class meetings are canceled, faculty members should consult this policy to ensure that their courses remain in compliance with this requirement.
SCU Law Competency Model
Santa Clara Law is one of the first law schools in the country to adopt a competency model designed 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 road map 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.
Altering the Academic Program
Leave of Absence
Registered students in good academic standing may petition for a leave of absence for up to one year. The LOA request form should be submitted to the senior assistant dean for student services. 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. Returning students are required to meet with a faculty advisor in the Office of Academic and Bar Success within the first month of the semester.
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 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 Withdraw Request Form to the senior assistant dean for student services. A student’s account balance must be cleared of all charges before diplomas will be released to the student or other outside agencies.
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.
Bay Area Consortium
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, University of California, Berkeley, 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.
Students who have successfully completed one year of study at another law school accredited by the American Bar Association may apply to transfer to Santa Clara. The Admissions Committee will consider whether their qualifications are such that they would have been admitted to enter Santa Clara Law as a first-year student. Letters of recommendation from law school professors are often helpful. Admission decisions also weigh heavily a student’s law school performance.
We typically reserve seats for 10-20 talented students each year. Final decisions about admission to the fall semester are not made until the summer months, after the School of Law has received an official transcript showing final semester grades and a dean’s letter of good standing.
To enroll in fall, students must apply by July 1.
To enroll in spring, students must apply by November 1.
To apply for admission students must complete the application and return it with the $75 nonrefundable application fee.
To apply, students must supply:
- An official transcript from their undergraduate degree-granting school
- An official transcript from their law school
- A letter from their dean saying they are in good standing and eligible to return
- Their JD-CAS report sent directly from LSAC
Note: Applications are not considered complete until an official transcript for all coursework taken (including current semester) is received.
Upon acceptance, a student’s law school record will be evaluated. A Santa Clara required or elective course is 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, transfer students from ABA-approved schools must complete 56 semester units at Santa Clara Law. Transfer students from CBA-approved schools must complete 58 units at Santa Clara Law. Eighty-six units are required for graduation.
Transfer students may receive UP credit for course work completed at their home school as long as they have taken an UP-eligible class and received a C+ or higher as an upper-division student. Students may not receive UP credit for a course, even if it is categorized as UP-eligible, if it was taken as part of the first-year curriculum at the school from which they transferred.
Transfer students must have completed courses totaling 50 graded units at Santa Clara to be eligible for honors at graduation. Transfer students are eligible to participate in the Santa Clara Law Review and the Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Journal.
For more information, contact the Law Admissions Office at email@example.com 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, pass notifications or certifications of completion 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.
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.
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.
Enrolling as a Non-Degree Student in a SCU Graduate/Professional Program
To provide graduate and professional school students at Santa Clara University with the opportunity to explore fields and disciplines outside their degree programs, Santa Clara University students in graduate and professional schools may apply to enroll as non-degree students in classes offered by another graduate and professional school of the University. There are a number of policies that are associated with the decision to enroll in a course outside of one’s program. Please contact the Law Student Services Office for additional information and the registration from.
Enrolling in Selected Counseling Courses offered through the School of Education and Counseling Psychology
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:
– CPSY 200. Psychology of Interpersonal Communication
– CPSY 216. Psychology of Human Development
– CPSY 275. Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling
To receive credit, students must earn a grade of C or better. These units transfer as Credit/No Credit 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.
Students with Disabilities
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 strives to ensure that enrolled students with disabilities be given equal opportunity for full participation in all of its programs without discrimination based on disability¹ and with the aid of reasonable, effective and appropriate accommodations or adjustments in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended (ADAAA). In accordance with those statutes and their implementing regulations, the School of Law does not provide accommodations to students who have not requested accommodations or who have not adequately documented their disabilities. The School of Law is not obligated to provide accommodation(s) if they are unreasonable and therefore, result in an undue financial or administrative burden or hardship; require a fundamental alteration to the program, service or activity; violate accreditation requirements; or require the waiver of essential program or licensing requirements.
¹A ‘disability’ is a physical, medical, intellectual, psychological or other type of impairment that significantly impacts or substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record (or past history) of such an impairment; or being regarded as having a disability. Students with various types of diagnoses and conditions may qualify as a student with a disability. They include but are not limited to: learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, blind or low vision, deaf or hard of hearing, mobility or chronic health conditions, and psychological disorders.
The Office of Accessible Education (OAE), previously known as Disabilities Resources (DR) has, been designated by the University to ensure students with disabilities equal access to all academic and University programs. Student requesting accommodations must register with OAE by completing the online application at scu.edu/oae. Once the student has provided all the necessary documentation and completed the application, OAE will review the submitted materials and follow up accordingly. Please note, all information and documentation submitted to OAE are confidential.
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.
Santa Clara University School of Law Student Learning Outcomes
The Santa Clara University School of Law seeks to achieve nine essential student learning outcomes through its academic program:
- Santa Clara Law graduates shall know the relevant substantive and procedural rules of law in those subjects constituting the core of the curriculum, and shall be capable of assimilating new information into the structure of the law.
- Santa Clara Law graduates shall use analytical skills, logic, and reasoning to evaluate legal questions.
- Santa Clara Law graduates shall know how to find the legal and factual information appropriate to evaluate a legal issue or problem.
- Santa Clara Law graduates shall write in an organized, accurate, well-reasoned, clear, and concise manner.
- Santa Clara Law graduates shall know the legal rules governing the ethical obligations of lawyers, and shall exercise those responsibilities.
- Santa Clara Law graduates shall demonstrate compassion and concern for others.
- Santa Clara Law graduates shall be capable of using their creativity to devise solutions to problems.
- Santa Clara Law graduates shall communicate and collaborate effectively with others.
- Santa Clara Law graduates shall take responsibility and proactively manage their work.
Formal Student Complaints
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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.