ARTICLE I COURSE OF STUDY
Rule 1 Requirements for the J.D. Degree
1.1 In General The following requirements are normally completed within three years. Starting with the class of 2018, courses fulfilling subsections (e) – (g) below cannot be double counted to fulfill multiple requirements. The requirements for the J.D. Degree are:
(a) completion of the prescribed first year courses (see Rule 2.1);
(b) residence credit for six semesters (see Rule 1.2(c);
(c) participation in the required moot court program (see Rule 1.2(d));
(d) completion, before the end of the third year, of Constitutional Law 220.6;
(e) completion, before the end of the third year, of a course in Professional Responsibility (see Rule 1.2(f))
(f) completion of one or more experiential course(s) totaling at least six units (class of 2019 and beyond). Experiential courses include a simulation course, a law clinic, or a field placement. Classes prior to 2019 are required to complete, as either a 2L or a 3L, a professional skills course, which for the purposes of this rule is defined as an experiential course;
(g) fulfillment of the Writing Requirement during the third, fourth or fifth semester (see Rule 1.2(e); Appendix B); and
(h) completion of eighty-five units of credit.
1.2 Units of Credit Students earn units of credit by satisfactory completion of:
(a) courses and seminars given in the School of Law;
(b) Non-classroom projects under faculty supervision (see Rule3.1);
(2) faculty supervised research, writing, or study (see Rule 3.2);
(3) work done under other faculties of the University, including work in concurrent-degree programs (see Rule 4); or
(4) work in other law schools (see Rule 6).
(c) Residence Credit Students earn one semester of residence credit for each semester in which they complete an approved program of no fewer than ten units of credit.
(d) Moot Court Students fulfill the moot court requirement by satisfactory completion of the moot court program—also known as Written and Oral Advocacy—given in the second semester of the first year under the supervision of the Professors of Legal Writing.
(e) Writing Requirement Students fulfill the Writing Requirement by satisfactory completion of a written work either in a seminar or as independent work done for credit under the supervision of a member of the faculty. (Please refer to Appendix B for a detailed discussion of the scope and standards of the writing requirement, suggested ways to satisfy the requirement, and other related topics.)
(f) Professional Responsibility Students fulfill the professional responsibility requirement by satisfactory completion of at least two units of credit in a course in this subject that has been approved by the Dean. This requirement must be completed before the end of the third year.
(g) Transfer Students Students admitted to advanced standing may be allowed credit for up to thirty-two units and two semesters of residence credit for work completed at other law schools. Transfer students who have not completed equivalent training in research and advocacy must complete the required moot court program or its equivalent before graduation. The Dean will determine in each case whether and to what extent courses taken at another law school will be counted toward satisfaction of the program requirements of the School of Law.
Rule 2 Program Requirements
2.1 First-Year Students The first-year program is prescribed and includes between fourteen and sixteen units each semester (or seventeen units with approval by the Dean). During the first year, students may only take classes at the Law School. First-year students cannot take more than one one-unit class in the spring of their 1L year.
2.2 Second- and Third-Year Students Second- and third-year students register each semester for a program of no fewer than ten and no more than sixteen units of credit. In certain cases, the Dean may approve a program of up to seventeen units. Under no circumstances will students be permitted to receive credit toward their JD for more than seventeen units.
2.3 Other Students. The Dean must approve the programs of special students and non-degree candidates. The Associate Dean for International Education must approve the programs of candidates for the LL.M. or J.S.D.
2.4 Changes of Program Subject to the limitations and requirements of Rules 2.1-2.3:
(a) Dropping a course Second- and third-year students may drop a second- or third-year course by no later than the second Friday of the fall semester and second Wednesday of the spring semester. This timeline also applies to second semester first-year students’ elective classes. After that drop deadline, students who wish to drop a class must do so by petition, which must be approved by the Dean. The instructor’s approval is also required if the student seeks to drop a class after the drop deadline. The instructor, with the approval of the Dean, may establish in advance a different time for withdrawal.
(b) Adding a course Second- and third-year students may add a law school course to their programs by no later than the second Tuesday of the fall semester and second Friday of the spring semester. This timeline also applies to second semester first-year students’ elective classes. After that add deadline, students who wish to add a class must do so by petition, which must be approved by the Dean, and signed by the instructor.
2.5 Restrictions on Paid Work 2L and 3L students may not work more than 20 hours per week. 1L students are strongly discouraged from working during the academic year and need approval from the Dean of Students to work as a 1L.
[Concerning enrollment in courses in other departments of the University, see Rule 4.1(a).]
Rule 3 The Law 295-299 Series
3.1 The 295 Series
(a) In General Second- and third-year students may earn credit for student-initiated educational projects including, among others, work under the supervision of judges or practitioners, editing for scholarly publications, and work on the Moot Court Board and the McBaine competition. In all cases, credit limitations of Rule 3.1(b) and Rule 5 apply. The Dean must approve all petitions for Law 295 credit.
(b) Types of Law 295; Limitations on Credit The following are the specific types of Law 295 activity in which a second or third year student may enroll and the respective limitations on credit. (Please note that 295.5 clinics are exempted from the limits; this includes the Death Penalty Clinic, EBCLC, the Environmental Law Clinic, the International Human Rights Clinic, the Policy Advocacy Clinic, and the Samuelson Clinic.) See also Rule 5 for further limitations on credit.
(1) Editorial Work on Law Journals, Law 295.1, 295.2 At the end of each semester, the journal editors will submit to the relevant faculty advisor the names of students who have fulfilled the requirements of their respective journals and the units of credit each should receive. A maximum of one unit per semester is allowed and students may receive credit for a maximum of two semesters, for a total maximum of two units.
(2) Advocacy Work, Law 295.3 The Chair of the Moot Court Board and the Directors of the McBaine Competition will follow the procedure in (a) above for submission of names of students who wish to receive credit for work in the McBaine Competition and in other competitions in lawyering skills approved by the Dean. A maximum of three units is allowed for competitions. In addition, students can earn up to a maximum of two units for work as a Director on the Board of Advocates.
(3) Field Placement and Domestic Violence Practicum, Law 295.6, 295.7 Students may enroll in a field placement of 16 to 40 hours a week in a non-profit or government agency under the supervision of an attorney. Students are required to work a minimum of 16 hours/week over the 14 week semester unless they are continuing a placement. Students may request to work full-time or 40 hours/week over the semester. Students requesting full-time placements must seek approval from the Dean of Students and the Field Placement Director. All field placements must be approved in advance and students must follow the procedures set out by the Field Placement Office. Students doing local field placements are required to take an accompanying class component. Students enrolling in away field placements must do so for at least ten units. Students may enroll in only one experiential learning opportunity/program (clinic, field placement, or practicum) each semester. If a student wants to enroll in more than one of these programs in a semester, the student must have permission of both instructors.
(4) Judicial Externships, Law 295.8 Students may receive credit for working with a judge or in judicial chambers at the local, state, or federal level. Students may work 16 to 40 hours per week over the semester. Students working locally are required to work a minimum of 16 hours/week over the 14 week semester unless they are continuing an externship. Students requesting full-time judicial externship must seek approval from the Dean of Students and the Field Placement Director. All judicial externships must be approved in advance and students must follow the procedures set out by the Field Placement Office. Students doing local judicial externships are required to take an accompanying class component.
(c) Limitations on Credit for 295.6, 295.7 and 295.8 Limitations on Credit for 295.6, 295.7 and 295.8 Work done under subsections 3.1(b)(3) and (4) above can earn a maximum of 15 units aggregate, based on a scale of one unit for every four hours of work per week during the semester. Students may earn a maximum of twelve of these units in a given semester, except for the UCDC Law Program which has a cap of ten units for the field placement. The 15 units may be used during any/all semesters of the second or third year. Students may enroll in no more than five units under Law 295.6, 295.7 and 295.8 in their third semester. See also Rule 5 below regarding additional limitations on credit for non-law, non-classroom units.
(d) Restriction on Credit for Paid Work If a student receives pay for work under the Law 295 series, or as a research assistant for a faculty member, no course credit will be given. Travel stipends or reimbursement for expenses actually incurred will not be regarded as pay. 2L and 3L students may not work more than 20 hours per week. 1L students are strongly discouraged from working during the academic year and need approval from the Dean of Students to work as a 1L.
(e) Grading Work in a Law 295 project will be evaluated on a Credit/No Credit basis. Please note the Law 295.5 is exempted from this grading rule; this includes the Death Penalty Clinic, EBCLC, the Environmental Law Clinic, the International Human Rights Clinic, the Policy Advocacy Clinic, and the Samuelson Clinic. In addition, the Field Placement Seminars are exempt from this grading rule.
3.2 Law 297, 298 and 299 Faculty-Supervised Research, Writing and Study Subject to the limitations of Rule 5 below, the Dean may grant permission to a second- or third-year student to earn unit credit in Law 297, 298, or 299. Both the supervising faculty member and the Dean must approve the project, and the amount of such credit.
(a) Law 297 Individual Research Projects and Research Assistants Law 297 consists of individual research projects about legal topics conducted under the active supervision of a member of the faculty. Such a project will usually consist of study of a subject not offered in the School of Law. It may also consist of an in-depth study of part of the material covered in a regular course or a survey study of a course normally offered for a greater number of units. Law 297s are usually one or two units and not more than four. One unit is equivalent to four hours of research per week for all fourteen weeks of the semester. Students can use 297 units to serve as Research Assistants for Law School faculty members, so long as the student is not receiving financial compensation.
(b) Law 298 Group Research and Writing Projects Law 298 consists of group research and writing projects conducted under the active supervision of a faculty member who must be present at all group meetings. Before the first day of the semester, the supervising faculty member must submit to the Assistant Dean for Academic Planning a detailed description of the group project, including the learning objectives, the proposed meeting times, the required reading, and the work-product required of the student. A student can receive a maximum of two units per 298. The workload for a 298, including group meetings and outside readings, must approximate the workload of a course of comparable credit (either one or two units).
(c) Law 299 Individual Research and Writing Projects Law 299 consists of individual research-and-writing projects conducted under the active supervision of a member of the faculty. A student can receive a maximum of two units per 299. The suggested paper length for 299s are: 10-15 pages for one-unit and 20-30 pages for two-units.
(d) Evaluation of Work – Work in Law 297, 298, and 299 will be evaluated on a Credit/No Credit basis. The student and the instructor may agree in advance and indicate on the appropriate petition that work in a Law 299 project will be on a graded basis. See Rule11.2 (b) below. Students cannot change the grade designation once they have submitted their paperwork indicating their grading choice.
(e) Obligations of Faculty Member A faculty member should not give credit for work in Law 297, 298, or 299 unless his or her contribution to the student’s work has involved a professional commitment of responsibility comparable to that involved in a curricular course for which he or she is responsible.
Rule 4 Work Under Other Faculties of the University
4.1 Work Other Than In Concurrent-Degree Programs
(a) Enrollment Subject to the limitations of Rule 5 below, on petition and for good cause shown, a second- or third-year student may, with the prior permission of the Dean, enroll in and receive credit toward the J.D. degree for graduate-level or language-related upper division courses given by other faculties of the University. These courses must be of significant theoretical or professional content such that they will advance the student’s legal education and/or career goals. Such courses must be taken on a graded (as opposed to a pass/not pass) basis. Students must submit their petitions to the Dean for prior approval.
(b) Language Classes Students can receive J.D. credit for intermediate and advanced language classes offered on the Berkeley campus. Students must enroll in the class for a grade and receive at least a B. Since these are undergraduate classes, students are credited half of the class units toward their J.D. degree. In the case of a five unit class, students receive two units toward their J.D. the first semester they take a class and three units the second semester they take a class. Students must submit their petitions to the Dean for approval.
(c) Credit A student taking such a course will receive such unit credit for it toward the J.D. as the Dean has established in advance. Except with prior permission of the Dean, a grade of at least B will be required as a condition to receiving credit toward the J.D. for such a course.
(d) Maximum Credit Toward J.D. No more than eight units of credit for such courses will be credited toward the J.D.
(e) Reports Prior to the end of each academic year, the Dean will report to the faculty all courses approved for credit toward the J.D. under Rule 4.1 during that year.
[Note: Examples of “law-related” courses are: City and Regional Planning 206 (Planning Institutions and Organizations) and Public Policy 220 (Law and Public Policy).]
4.2 Concurrent-Degree Programs The School of Law has developed concurrent-degree programs with the Asian Studies Program, the Department of City and Regional Planning, the Energy and Resource Group, the Haas School of Business Administration, the Goldman School of Public Policy, the Department of Economics, and the School of Journalism. Under these programs, students may acquire a J.D. and a master’s degree in four years. The faculty in the future may authorize other concurrent-degree programs, and comparable concurrent-degree programs involving other law-related disciplines may be worked out with the Dean on an individual basis where appropriate.
Law students who wish to enter an authorized concurrent-degree program must enroll by the end of their second year in the School of Law (participating schools or departments may have earlier deadlines). Admission is subject to the prior approval of (1) the other department or school, and (2) the Dean of Students. Students participating in such programs are required to complete the first year of law school as a unit.
Students participating in concurrent degree programs may, at the discretion of the Dean, receive up to ten semester units credit toward J.D. degree requirements; see Rule 5 below regarding additional limitations on credit for non-law, non-classroom units. Other schools and departments involved in the program will be expected to grant participating students comparable credit toward their degree requirements. The Law School strongly prefers students to be enrolled at Berkeley Law for their final semester.
Note that, unlike the requirements of Rule 4.1 above, the units may be counted from any course that satisfies the degree requirements of the other school or department. Students will not be awarded the J.D. until they have completed the requirements for the degree in the other school or department.
Rule 5 Limitations on Credit for the Law 295-299 Series and Work Under Other Faculties of the University
To assure that each student has an adequate program of professional training and that no student has an undue share of the faculty resources available for individual work with students, no more than 15 units of credit for work done under Rules 3 and 4 may be counted toward the 85 units required for the J.D. degree. Please note the 295.5 Clinics are exempted from the rules limiting overall units; this includes the Death Penalty Clinic, EBCLC, the Environmental Law Clinic, the International Human Rights Clinic, the Policy Advocacy Clinic, and the Samuelson Clinic.
Rule 6 Work in Other Law Schools
Students who wish to take work in another accredited law school toward satisfaction of the J.D. degree requirements must obtain the prior permission of the Dean, which will be given only to second- and third-year students in good standing, and then only for good cause shown. Students must receive at least a “C” in the course for it to be transferred toward their J.D. The Dean may limit the number of courses and amount of unit credit to be allowed, and may impose other conditions as a prerequisite to receive credit toward the J.D.
Rule 7 Class Preparation and Attendance
In accordance with ABA accreditation standards, Berkeley Law requires regular and punctual class attendance in order to receive course credit. To meet these standards, students may not enroll in courses that have overlapping meeting times. Further, instructors have the discretion to announce more specific and/or restrictive attendance requirements than this at the beginning of the semester.
When, in the opinion of an instructor, a student enrolled in his or her course has failed make a good faith effort at regular and punctual class attendance and, after reasonable warning and opportunity to make up and/or correct the deficiencies, continues to fail to make a good faith effort, the instructor may, in his or her discretion, take one of the following steps:
- request (in agreement with the Dean of Students) that the student be dropped from the class,
- reduce the student’s final grade, or
- assign the student a final grade of NC or NP.
ARTICLE II EXAMINATIONS
Rule 8 Examinations
8.1 When Held Written examinations include both those given during the course and at the end of each course. In every course there is a written examination at the end, except in seminars or where another procedure for evaluation has been announced.
8.2 Attendance Every student must be present for examination at the regularly scheduled time and place in each course for which he or she is registered, unless previously excused by the Dean. A student who is unable to attend an examination should notify the Dean in person as soon as is practical and present all reasons why attendance is impossible. In cases of medical disability the student must furnish professional documentation, and in all other cases the student must furnish whatever appropriate corroborating evidence is available. If the Dean, in consultation with the instructor whenever appropriate, concludes that non-attendance results from circumstances beyond the control of the student, the Dean will provide the student with a timely opportunity to take the examination at a later date.
8.3 Reschedule Exams are not rescheduled to accommodate travel plans, employment, or other personal obligations. An in-class exam will be rescheduled only if a student has: 1) two in-class exams scheduled for the same exam period; 2) two in-class exams scheduled for two consecutive exam periods (e.g., two exams on the same day, or one exam in the afternoon and another the following morning); 3) three in-class exams scheduled on three consecutive days or 4) two exams with start times within 24 hours. Although students may indicate a preference as to which exam is rescheduled, rescheduling decisions will be made at the discretion of the Dean of Students and the Director of Student Services. Rescheduled exams will not be given earlier than the original exam date.
Rule 9 Make-up Examinations
A student who has been excused from taking an examination at the regularly scheduled time must make up the examination by taking an examination in the course later than the scheduled time, but ordinarily not later than the last day of the examination period involved.
Rule 10 The Honor Code
Examinations are conducted under the Academic Honor Code, attached to this document as Appendix A.
ARTICLE III GRADES
Rule 11 Grade Designations
11.1 In General Except as provided in Rule 11.2 and Rule 14 below, students will receive one of the following grades for completed work:
(a) An honors grade, which may be High Honors (HH) or Honors (H).
(b) A Pass grade (P).
(c) A Substandard Pass grade (PC), showing that while credit has been obtained, the work is of low quality.
(d) A failing grade (NC) showing that no credit is earned for the course.
Exam grading is anonymous. A paper or other work that requires substantial interaction between instructors and students need not be submitted anonymously.
11.2 Courses Graded Credit/No Pass The following courses will be graded Credit/No Pass:
(a) Law 297 and 298; 295 as designated by the Dean;
(b) Law 299, unless the student and the instructor otherwise elect; and
(c) Such other courses as the Dean may designate.
(d) Students in these courses will receive either a Credit (CR) or a No Pass (NP).
11.3 In Progress
(a) In general If a student, with the permission of the instructor, and consistent with Rule 8 above, has failed to complete the requirements of a course, including but not limited to a requirement of a final examination, the designation “In Progress” shall be entered on his or her record. When faculty members award an in-progress grade for papers in seminars or other courses in which papers are required, the in-progress must be complete and graded by the end of the grading period the following term. An in-progress that is not resolved by that date will automatically convert to a withdraw. In progress notations entered for spring 2017 and before are exempt from this policy.
(b) Moot Court Satisfactory completion of the required moot court program (see Rule 1.2(d)) shall be determined by the Instructor to whom the student is assigned, and shall be reflected on the student’s record by the designation “Completed.”
[See also Rule 14 “Consequences of a Designation of Incomplete or a Grade of No Credit”]
Rule 12 Determination of Grades
The following rules shall apply to all courses except those graded Credit/No Credit under Rule 11.2 above:
12.1 First-Year Large Sections In first-year large sections the top 40% of the class will be given honors grades; of these, a number equal to 10% of the class will be High Honors grades. (Fractions of 5/10 or more will be rounded to the next whole number above, and lesser fractions will be rounded to the next number below.) The remainder of the class will receive the grades of P, PC or NC.
Beginning in Spring 2018, first year students enrolled in spring electives with second and third year J.D. students will be graded on the same curve as the second and third year J.D. students.
12.2 First-Year Small Sections In first-year small sections, grades will be given on the same basis as in large sections, except that one more or fewer honors grade than would otherwise be permissible may be given if the instructor believes that such an adjustment is required in order to be fair, taking into account the size of the class, the reliability of the criteria he or she has employed for grading, the breaks in the distribution of examination scores, and his or her assessment of the student’s performance.
[Note: The category of honors grades includes High Honors. Assuming a class of 30 students, the “normal” distribution would be 12 honors grades, of which 3 would be High Honors and 9 Honors. Under law school policy, however, the instructor could give 11-13 Honors grades, of which 2-4 could be High Honors and the balance Honors.]
Beginning in Spring 2018, first year students enrolled in spring electives with second and third year J.D. students will be graded on the same curve as the second and third year JDs.
12.3 First-Year, First Semester Substandard Pass Grades When a grade of Substandard Pass (PC) is awarded to a student in the first semester of Law School, that grade shall appear on a student’s transcript as a regular Pass (P) grade. The student shall be informed of the Substandard Pass and the grade shall be counted as a Substandard Pass grade for the purposes of Rule 12.1 above.
12.4 Second- and Third-Year Classes Except as otherwise permitted by the Dean, in second- and third-year classes, either (i) the top 40-45% of the class will be given honors grades, of which a number equal to 10-15% of the class will be High Honors grades; or (ii) if the instructor so elects, the top 40% of the class, plus or minus two students, will be given Honors grades, of which a number equal to 10% of the class, plus or minus two students, will be given High Honors grades. The remainder of the class will receive the grades P, PC, or NC. Please note that there is a separate curve for 1Ls who take elective classes with 2Ls/3Ls. 2Ls who have to complete a 1L class will be evaluated on the same curve as the 1Ls.
12.5 Seminars In seminars of 24 or fewer students where there is one 30 page (or more) required paper, an instructor may, if student performance warrants, award a greater number of HH or H grades than would be permitted under the above rules. Grades of H or HH, which are grades of distinction, should be given only to students whose class attendance, preparation, and participation, in addition to their written work, merit Honors or High Honors recognition. The additional levels of H and HH grades allowed by this rule therefore should operate as a ceiling, not as a norm. The maximum number of such allowable additional grades will vary with the seminar size as follows:
Seminar Size Number of H or HH Grades Available
14 or Fewer 4
This provision substitutes for, and does not add to, the plus-or-minus-two additional grades permitted under law school policy. For the purpose of this rule, a “seminar” is defined as a class in which papers are required as distinguished from exams and a class in which each student is required to produce one significant written work product, thirty pages or more in length (double-spaced) and reflecting substantial analysis and original thought. This rule also applies to a discrete grading group within a class consisting of students who write papers satisfying the writing requirement.
12.6 LLM and JSD Students A mandatory curve applies to all classes and seminars with 11 or more LLM and JSD students such that 20% of the students receive HHs, 30% receive Hs, and 50% receive Ps. The same curve is recommended for classes and seminars with 10 or fewer LLM and JSD students.
12.7 Exceptions The Dean, upon request of an instructor, may permit variations in the manner for determining grades in second- and third-year classes and in LLM classes where, by virtue of special factors, fairness requires that the instructor have greater discretion than would otherwise be permitted.
12.8 “Class” Defined For purposes of computing percentages, the term “class” shall not include non-law school students.
12.9 Factors Used to Determine Grades Unless the professor makes an announcement to the contrary by the end of the second week of class, a student’s letter grade shall be determined on the basis of performance on the final examination in the course (or, in courses requiring, or permitting, a paper in lieu of final examination, performance on such paper). Class participation will be taken into account if a professor so indicates in the course syllabus.
Rule 13 Tie-breaking
In first-year large sections the instructor should make his or her best effort to break any ties which would increase or decrease the number of grades in an honors category, and must break such ties if they involve three or more students. However, if a tie involves only two students, and the instructor finds that it is impossible to break the tie on a reasonable basis, he or she may either (a) limit the total of Honors and High Honors to 40% of his or her class, but give one more or one fewer High Honors grade than would otherwise be permissible; or (b) limit the total of High Honors to 10% of his or her class, but give one more or one fewer Honors grade than would otherwise be permissible. All such actions shall be reported to the Dean, so that the faculty can be informed and subsequently determine to what extent this rule may need modification.
[Note: Because of the flexibility built into grading of all classes except first-year large sections, no provision on ties is deemed necessary to such classes.]
(a) Comments Comments to students on their work are encouraged, and are required in the case of all Substandard Pass and No Credit grades. Instructors should send copies of all comments to the students and copies of Substandard Pass and No Credit grade comments to the Registrar’s Office for inclusion in the student’s confidential file. If the instructor wishes, other grade comments may also be included in the student’s file. Comments will not be entered on the student’s transcript. See also Academic Rule 16 below, relating to the confidentiality of student files.
(b) Time for Reporting of Grades by the Instructor Instructors must report all grades for the Fall semester by the deadline set by the Registrar’s Office. Instructors must report all grades for the Spring semester by the deadline set by the Registrar’s Office. Any instructor who cannot meet these deadlines must have the prior approval of the Dean of the Law School, which shall be granted only for good cause shown.
Rule 14 Consequences of a Designation of Incomplete or a Grade of No Credit.
(a) Make-up of In Progress in First-Year Courses If a student receives an In Progress (“IP”) in a first-year course required for graduation he or she must make it up before he or she can enter the second semester (if the IP was received in the fall) or second year (if the IP was received in the spring).
(b) Make-up of In Progress in Second- and Third-Year Courses A student who receives an In Progress in a second- or third-year course may make it up. For courses requiring an exam, the student must meet an approved timeline as determined by the Dean of Students. For courses requiring a paper, the student must meet the timeline determined by the instructor. If the instructor does not set an earlier timeline, the in-progress must be complete and graded by the end of the grading period the following term. An in-progress that is not resolved by that date will automatically convert to a withdraw.
(c) Change or Finalization of Designation of In Progress If a student who has received a designation of In Progress completes the course requirements within the prescribed period, the grade achieved in the course will be entered. If the student does not complete the course requirements within the prescribed period, either the grade No Credit will be entered or, in the instructor’s discretion, the designation of Incomplete will be made a final and non-replaceable grade.
14.2 No Credit
(a) First-Year Courses A student who receives a grade of No Credit in a first-year course required for graduation must repeat the course during his or her second year. The original grade will remain on the student’s transcript.
(b) Second- and Third-Year Courses A student who receives a grade of No Credit in a second- or third-year course may repeat the course if he or she so elects. The original grade will remain on the student’s transcript
14.3 Achievement of Passing Grade Upon Repeating Course If a student who repeats a course pursuant to Rules 14.1 or 14.2 above achieves a passing grade, then: (i) for purposes of that portion of Rule15.1(a) providing for disqualification if a student has ten units of No Credit grades currently on his or her record, the new grade will be counted instead of the No Credit; but (ii) both the original and the new grade (and associated unit credit) will be counted for purposes of that portion of Rule 12.2(a) providing for disqualification if a student has received cumulative Substandard designations and No Credit grades either for 40% of his or her total grades or 40% of his or her total units. The No Credit grade will remain on the student’s transcript.
ARTICLE IV DISQUALIFICATION
Rule 15 Disqualification
15.1 Bases of Disqualification
(a) In General If at the end of any one semester a 1L student fails two or more graded classes, or if at the end of an academic year a 1L student has received cumulative Substandard designations and No Credit grades either for 40% of his or her total grades or for 40% of his or her total units, then the student shall be disqualified. This includes any substandard designations that show up as passing on a student’s first semester transcript.
If at any time after completion of two semesters a 2L/3L student has ten units of No Credit grades currently on his or her record, or if at the end of an academic year a 2L/3L student has received Substandard designations and No Credit grades either for 40% of his or her total grades or for 40% of his or her total units, then the student shall be disqualified.
A student who is disqualified can appeal that disqualification to the Disqualification Appeals Committee. If the student convincingly demonstrates that his or her record resulted from circumstances beyond his or her control and that he or she can and probably will do proficient law school work in the future, the Committee may, in its discretion, recommend to the Dean of the Law School that the student be readmitted and allowed to continue in law school subject to such conditions of probation as the Dean of the Law School may impose.
(Note: A demonstration to the Disqualification Appeals Committee will normally have to include a showing by the student that he or she had made a conscientious, diligent effort to take full advantage of his or her educational opportunities. Among the factors that may be considered adverse to this showing are: absence from class; unpreparedness in class; failure to consult with professors as to the student’s examination papers; lack of participation in practice exams and in remedial programs recommended by the Dean; and involvement in time-consuming extra-curricular activities. Lack of participation in tutorial programs shall not be taken as adverse to this showing.)
(b) Probation A first-year student who fails one graded class or receives Substandard designations for 40% of his or her total grades or units after the first semester of law school shall be subject to conditions of probation as the Dean may impose. This includes any substandard designations that show up as passing on a student’s first semester transcript. A 2L and 3L student who receives either (a) more than one conditional pass or (b) one failing grade in a semester shall be subject to conditions of academic probation as the Dean may impose for the one semester immediately following the semester in which the grades were earned.
(c) Calculations In determining the numerator of the percentages referred to in Rule 15.1(a), grades of HH or H will offset Substandard designations; and in determining the denominator, “Credit” grades under Rule 11.2 and grades given in non-law school courses will be excluded. Similarly, grades of HH or H will offset substandard designations under Rule 15.1(a).
[See also Rule 14.3 concerning the effect of a passing grade upon repeating a course in which the student originally received a No Credit grade.]
15.2 Appeal from Disqualification A student may appeal his or her disqualification to the Disqualification Appeals Committee, seeking readmission, or may appeal the terms of probation imposed by the Dean under Rule 15.1 above. The Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean of the Law School regarding each disqualification appeal and the decision of the Dean of the Law School will be final on all appeals. Students disqualified after first semester of 1L year may appeal to return the following fall, but not earlier.
(a) The Dean will appoint a Disqualification Appeals Committee consisting of three faculty members to serve as a standing committee for processing appeals. To the extent feasible, at least one faculty member of the Committee should have served on the Committee in the preceding year. The Committee will also include a student, who must be at the time of his or her appointment a second-year student in good academic standing. The student will be appointed by the Student Association of Berkeley Law (SABL) will serve only with the consent of the appealing student, and will participate in hearing appeals in a nonvoting, advisory capacity. Notice of disqualification will include notice of the right of appeals provided herein and of the Committee’s composition.
(b) The student whose appeal is being heard may challenge any faculty member of the Committee for cause, any such challenge to be determined by the Dean, and the student will also have one peremptory challenge. The student must file any challenge with the Dean no later than three calendar days after he or she has filed his or her appeal. In the event of a successful challenge for cause or a peremptory challenge, the Dean shall appoint a faculty member or members as necessary to constitute the Committee, for the purpose of hearing that appeal. In addition, if a member of the Committee has given an appealing student a substandard designation or a grade of No Credit, he or she need not participate in the hearing and decision on the appeal, and the student may object to his or her participation in the manner provided above. In either event the Dean will appoint a new member of the Committee for the purpose of hearing that appeal.
15.3 Evidence The Committee may review evidence that includes the student’s own presentation, the student’s file, and any other relevant submissions, including witnesses when necessary.
15.4 Representation A student has the right to be represented during the disqualification appeal process and during an appeal on the terms of probation.
15.5 Written Explanation Following the hearing the Committee will submit to the Dean a written explanation of its recommendation.
15.6 Notification Following an adverse decision on appeal from disqualification, the student will be notified in writing of the Dean of the Law School’s decision.
ARTICLE V Confidentiality and Disclosure of Academic Information
Rule 16 Confidentiality
Students’ grades and files will remain strictly confidential, in that disclosure may not be made to persons outside the University except at the student’s direction. The Dean shall regulate disclosure within the law school.
Rule 17 Reporting of Grades to the Office of Admissions and Records
In order to comply with Academic Senate Regulation 780, grades other than “Credit” and “No Credit” will continue to be reported to the University Registrar on an ABCDF basis. For this purpose: (i) honors (H and HH) will be reported as A; (ii) pass grades (P) will be reported as B, except that pass grades designated as Substandard will be reported as C and (iii) No Credit grades will be reported as F. In cases falling under Rule 11.2 above, “Credit” grades will be reported to the University Registrar as “Satisfactory,” and “No Pass” grades will be reported as “Unsatisfactory”.
Rule 18 Disclosure of Class Rank Information for Limited Purposes
[Rule 18 (formerly Rule 3.06) limiting disclosure of class rank information shall apply to all graduating classes prior to and including the Class of 2010 – please consult the Registrar’s Office for a copy of this rule].
Rule 19 Disclosure of Academic Honors Information for Limited Purposes
Information about students’ academic honors shall be made available solely for the purpose of aiding students and alums who are applying for judicial clerkships and academic positions.
[Rule 19 (formerly Rule 3.07) shall apply to all graduating classes starting with the Class of 2011].
19.1 Information to be Made Available Information about students’ academic honors shall be made available solely for the purpose of aiding students who are applying for judicial clerkships and academic positions. [Note: The definition of academic honors expanded in 2018-19].
(a) In June each year, the Registrar, in consultation with the Dean of Students, shall determine those 2L students who should receive academic honors.
(b) In July of each year, the Registrar, in consultation with the Dean of Students, shall determine (1) those 3L students who should receive academic honors after two semesters of study in their 2L year, and (2) those students in the last graduating class who should receive academic honors after two semesters of study in their 3L year
(c) Academic honors will be awarded to students attaining the top 5%, 10%, 15%, 25%, and 33% of class standing based on grade point average (GPA)
(d) In addition, the Registrar, in consultation with the Dean of Students, will determine the three students with the highest GPA
(1) in the 2L class based upon two semesters of study in their 1L year;
(2) in the 3L class based upon two semesters of study in their 2L year; and
(3) in the last graduating class based on two semesters of study in their 3L year
These determinations shall be made at the times set forth in 19.1(a) and (b) above.
19.2 Eligibility for Academic Honors To be eligible for receiving the academic honors set forth in 19.1 (a), (b) and (c) above, students must complete fourteen graded units of instruction during the two semesters of the relevant academic year (1L year, 2L year, or 3L year). This requirement will not apply to the class of 2011 for their 2L academic year only. The Registrar shall calculate GPAs using the grade point values for determining membership in Order of the Coif.
19.3 Disclosure to Students Students who are applying for or considering applying for judicial clerkships or academic positions can obtain information about the above academic honors from the Dean of Students. All students can choose to share this information with faculty who are recommending them for a judicial clerkship or academic position. It has been the long-standing practice that students do not disclose this information to other students. This has played an important role in contributing to the collaborative culture of this academic community. Your respect for this practice will help to maintain this collaborative culture.
19.4 Disclosure by Students in Resume and Correspondence Students may list their honors only on their resumes and correspondence used for applications for clerkships and academic positions. When applicable, students may list the following information:
(a) First-Year (Second-Year, Third-Year) Top 5%
(b) First-Year (Second-Year, Third-Year) Top 10%
(c) First-Year (Second-Year, Third-Year) Top 15%
(d) First-Year (Second-Year, Third-Year) Top 25%
(e) First-Year (Second-Year, Third-Year) Top 33%
(f) First-Year (Second-Year, Third-Year) Berkeley Law Scholar (one of top three students)
Official and unofficial transcripts will not list these academic honors.
19.5 Faculty Access to Information Faculty who are recommending a student for judicial clerkships or academic positions can seek confirmation of that student’s academic honors from the Dean of Students if and only if the student has consented to the disclosure.
19.6 Other Uses Impermissible The Dean, Dean of Students, faculty, students, and alums shall not disclose information about academic honors, class standing or GPAs provided by the Registrar under Rule 19 for any professional purpose other than aiding in obtaining a judicial clerkship or academic position. Revealing this information for any other professional purpose is in violation of the Honor Code.
ARTICLE VI VOLUNTARY WITHDRAWAL AND READMISSION
Rule 20 Withdrawal
20.1 Between Semesters or Prior to Examination Period A student enrolled in the School of Law may voluntarily withdraw from the School between semesters, or at any time during a semester up to the beginning of the examination period, by filing with the Dean’s Office a Notice of Withdrawal, which should be accompanied by a statement of reasons or circumstances causing the withdrawal.
20.2 During Examination Period After the examination period has begun, a student will be allowed to withdraw only in exceptional circumstances and with the prior approval of the Dean.
20.3 A student may elect to withdraw for any reason. Such leaves may be taken not more than twice at the election of the student. A student may apply to the Dean to withdraw for a third time, but such withdrawal will only be granted based upon a demonstration of exceptional circumstances by the student. Students who leave the Law School after a second voluntary leave (or, if approved, a third voluntary leave) must re-apply to the Law School as new applicants to the Law School. The granting of a third leave, or re-admission to the Law School, may be conditioned upon a student’s demonstration that issues which caused the student academic difficulty, or documented instances of inappropriate behavior prior to leaving the Law School, have been effectively addressed by the student.
Rule 21 Readmission
21.1 Procedures Former students who wish to re-enter the School of Law should apply for readmission to the Dean’s Office, stating the date of withdrawal, and providing a brief statement of activities in the interim, a record of all further studies undertaken, and such other information as may be requested for proper consideration of the application.
(a) A student who withdrew under Rule 20.1 while in good standing and having completed at least one full semester of study will normally be readmitted if his or her application for readmission is made within a reasonable time after withdrawal. Additional criteria for readmission are available in the Dean’s Office.
(b) In other cases, withdrawal will normally prejudice the possibility of readmission, unless the student was in good standing and was forced to withdraw by circumstances beyond his or her control, such as illness.
21.3 Restrictions A student who withdraws during their 1L year has to repeat the semester(s) they miss prior to progressing in their degree. Therefore, students who withdraw after the first semester of their 1L year may not be eligible to return until Spring of the following year.
ARTICLE VII APPROVAL OF THE DEAN; SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS
Rule 22 Requests for Approval or Determination by the Dean
Where a rule requires approval or determination by the Dean for a certain action, a student who seeks such approval or determination should apply by filing the appropriate form or petition with the Dean. Copies of such forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.
Rule 23 Definitions
As used in these Academic Rules –
(a) “Course.” The term “course” includes seminars, unless otherwise indicated.
(b) “Dean.” The term “Dean” includes any associate dean or assistant dean designated by the Dean or the faculty to administer some or all of these Rules. Unless otherwise noted, the term “Dean” herein refers to the Dean of Students.
APPENDIX A – LAW SCHOOL ACADEMIC HONOR CODE
HC 1 In General
The Honor Code is a tradition at Berkeley Law. Men and women who are preparing to enter the legal profession are expected to exhibit the same qualities of honesty, responsibility, and respect for the rights of others that are demanded of members of the Bar. The Honor Code governs the conduct of students during examinations and in all other academic and pre-professional activities at Berkeley Law. In addition, students are bound by the Campus Rules of Student Conduct, which govern matters such as dishonesty, forgery and sexual harassment.
Primary responsibility for respecting the appropriate rules rests with each individual student and with the student body as a whole. Students, faculty and staff are urged to bring apparent violations to the attention of the Instructor and/or the Dean. The Honor Code can be successful only to the extent that it is seen to have the overwhelming support of student and faculty opinion and to be taken seriously by everyone.
HC 2 Enforcement Procedure
A student, faculty, or staff member witnessing any violation or apparent violation of this Code should bring the matter to the attention of the Dean. After discussion with the alleged violator, the instructor, and other affected or knowledgeable persons, the Dean (or the Dean’s designated representative) shall determine if informal resolution of the matter is appropriate. If informal resolution is inappropriate, or if the person accused of a violation does not agree to the resolution, the Dean shall refer the matter to the Campus Dean of Students for appropriate action under the disciplinary rules and procedures of the Berkeley Campus. Informal resolutions may be reported to the Campus Student Conduct Office as needed for their purposes. The Dean also has the responsibility to decide whether information pertaining to violations is relevant to Bar admissions standards and must be reported to the appropriate State Bar authorities. If this is done, the Dean shall send a copy, or notice of such report, to the student so reported.
HC 3 Examinations and Other Academic Activities
The basic guide for a student taking an examination or participating in any other academic activity is a sense of honesty and integrity. Students are expected to rely on their own knowledge and ability, and not use unauthorized materials or represent the work of others as their own. These standards apply also to papers, oral presentations; work in clinical programs, or other activities for which academic credit is assigned, except where the instructor provides otherwise. Examinations at Berkeley Law usually are not monitored, and “take-home” examinations are often employed. Students should be scrupulously careful not to consult materials except as permitted by the rules of the particular examination, not to obtain or receive unauthorized help, and not to continue writing after time has been called. Students who are allowed to take an examination either before or after the normal date should not give or obtain any information about the content of the examination. Because examinations at Berkeley Law are generally graded on the curve system, violations of the letter or the spirit of the rules are violations of the rights of other students, as well as of the standards of integrity required by this school and the legal profession.
Instructors also have an obligation to minimize the likelihood that cheating will occur or that some students will obtain an unfair advantage over others. In particular, instructors should be careful to avoid using old examination questions or questions in use at a neighboring institution if under the circumstances this is likely to provide an opportunity for some students to obtain an unfair advantage. Instructors are also encouraged to cooperate with staff to see that examinations are fairly and efficiently administered.
HC 4 Library
Due to the Library’s central importance in furthering research and study, and the heavy use of library materials by law students and others, it is important that the posted rules of the library be strictly observed; violation of library rules is a violation of the Academic Honor Code. In particular, mutilation or theft of library material is absolutely forbidden. (It also is a criminal offense.) Any violation should be reported promptly to the Dean for appropriate action in consultation with the Librarian. All Law Library users, including students, should cooperate to see that materials are returned promptly as required under the rules and that they are reshelved or made available for reshelving promptly after use.
HC 5 Career Development Office and Placement Activities
The policies of the Law School Career Development Office should be scrupulously observed. Students are expected to observe the basic standards of honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect for the rights of others when using the Law School Career Development Office and in other placement activities. For example, any falsification or misrepresentation of Law School grades or other records, recommendations or other qualifications is a violation of the Academic Honor Code. Similarly, no student may take any improper action to gain an unfair advantage or place any other student at an unfair disadvantage in the career planning or placement activities of the School, whether strictly within the Career Development Office or more generally.
APPENDIX B -WRITING REQUIREMENT
[The pre-2015 Writing Requirement policy is also available to the classes of 2016 and 2017. Please consult the Registrar’s Office for a copy of this rule or you can find the rule below]
The writing requirement is intended to foster students’ intellectual growth and professional development. It should build critical research and writing skills, including the ability to formulate a thesis; to frame a discussion or argument; to find, evaluate, and synthesize relevant materials; and to critically self-evaluate, edit, and revise writing. Rigorous writing experiences can be provided in a variety of educational settings, ranging from the theoretical to the practical, and in any subject matter area. Students should be able to choose one or more writing experiences consistent with their interests and career goals, but in all cases the experience should be intellectually challenging, with close supervision and meaningful feedback.
Students fulfill the Writing Requirement through one of the following two options after their first year:
Option 1. Completion of two courses that are at least two units each and that include a rigorous research and writing experience under the supervision of a member of the faculty. Each of the two courses must provide a rigorous research and writing experience. A 2-unit 299 may count as one of the two courses.
Option 2. Completion of a single course or sequence of courses that include a rigorous writing and research experience under the supervision of a member of the faculty, which results in a single written work, or, in clinics a series of written work, that equals at least 30 pages in length. Students may satisfy the Option 2 requirements through a 299 that results in a single work of at least 30 pages. Students may not satisfy the Option 2 requirements through a 299 that expands a shorter work that was initially written for another course.
Any member of the instructional law staff holding the title of professor (including full, assistant, adjunct, clinical, emeriti, and visiting professors) or lecturer may provide supervision. Qualifying courses for Option 1 courses may include seminars, clinics, and skills classes, so long as the instructor certifies either that the course includes a rigorous writing experience for all participants or for all participants who elect to write a paper, if the instructor provides students with an exam or paper option. Qualifying courses for Option 2 may include seminars, clinics, and skills classes, so long as the instructor certifies that an individual student has received a rigorous writing experience.
For students who elect Option 1, a rigorous writing experience may consist of a single written work or a series of substantial written projects. Students who elect Option 2 must produce a single written work (with the exception of clinics, where the work may be a series of papers). If the writing is a single work, the faculty member must provide feedback on at least one draft and the student must revise in response to such feedback as part of the class, clinic, or independent study. If the writing takes the form of a series of written projects, the instructor must provide feedback on each project and the student must revise the work in response to such feedback unless the form of the projects is similar enough that the instructor’s comments on one project will contribute to preparation of subsequent projects, in which case the feedback and revision requirement can be satisfied by providing comments on each project sequentially. If the writing is through a 299, the expectation is that the faculty member will provide multiple forms of feedback, which may include meetings and comments on a research plan or annotated outline, in addition to comments on at least one draft.
For students who elect Option 1, one of the two courses used to satisfy the Writing Requirement may also be counted towards the Experiential Learning or Professional Responsibility Requirements. For students who elect Option 2, the course(s) used to satisfy the Writing Requirement may not be counted towards the Experiential Learning or Professional Responsibility Requirements.
Pre-2015 Writing Requirement Policy [only available to the classes of 2016 and 2017]
WR 1 Writing Requirement Scope and Standards
The writing requirement is a graduation requirement and must be started after 1L year and completed by the end of the first semester of 3L year. The central goal of the writing requirement is that students achieve substantial intellectual growth through the project. This usually will occur if students have learned to find, evaluate, and synthesize a wide range of materials applicable to a broad topic of their formulation, and if students learn to present the analysis of the problem in a thoughtful and effective manner. The paper must be at least 30 pages in length and it must be one paper rather than a series of papers. The writing requirement process requires the early submission of at least one draft, review by the faculty advisor, feedback from the advisor to the student, and then revision of the paper, in whole or in part, by the student. In the end, it is up to each individual advisor to decide what meets the writing requirement threshold and to try to guide the student in a personal way toward the successful completion of the paper.
WR 2 Satisfying the Writing Requirement
There are three ways to fulfill the writing requirement for credit: (1) write at least 30 pages for a seminar, clinic, upper-level appellate advocacy class, or the equivalent, as certified by the supervisor of the relevant program. The range of these permitted writing projects are determined by the Associate Dean, acting in consultation with the Dean of Students and the Curriculum Committee; (2) write a less-than-30 page paper for a seminar, clinic, or the equivalent (see above) and add a one-unit 299 to expand the paper to at least 30 pages; or (3) write a non-class-related 30 page (or more) paper under a two-unit 299. All three of these options require the active supervision of a member of the faculty.
When students decide to do the second option – write a shorter paper for a seminar and then expand it to 30 pages under a supervised one-unit 299 – advisors may have different approaches to grading. Some professors require the shorter paper first and use that paper as the basis of a grade for the class, providing a separate grade for the one-unit 299 based on the completed writing requirement paper. Other advisors will give students an IP in the class until the 30 pages are finished and then, once the paper is complete, give grades for both the class and the 299. The decision about which approach to take to grading is at the advisor’s discretion.
Finally, it should be noted that, so long as an advisor is satisfied that the supervision and achievement standards have been met, it is possible to obtain Writing Requirement credit for a paper not done for any units. While in such a case the student likely could have obtained credit for the work, for one reason or another, he or she does not sign up for the credit. Law journal pieces sometimes fall into this category.
WR 3 Certification of Credit
Any member of the instructional staff holding the title professor, acting professor, visiting professor, emeritus professor, or with the prior concurrence of the Dean’s Office, lecturer or visiting lecturer, is permitted to award Writing Requirement credit. Past practice has shown that full-time Berkeley Law professors, emeritus professors, and full-time, visiting professors are the main providers of Law 299 supervision and therefore certify virtually all of the Writing Requirement projects. They also certify projects of the work done through seminars and courses. However, visiting lecturers, lecturers and visiting professors who are at Berkeley Law teaching a single course are permitted to and regularly do certify completion of the Writing Requirement for a number of students in the context of papers undertaken under their supervision in the seminar (or course) they are teaching at Berkeley Law.
WR 4 Supervision Requirements
The principal reason for having a writing requirement is to provide a student with faculty feedback on the draft of a writing project and to require revision. As such, the process for the writing requirement includes the student’s submission of at least one draft, review by the advisor, advisor feedback to the student, and revision of the paper, in whole or in part, by the student.
WR 5 Administrative Procedures
When a student decides to undertake a project intended to satisfy the Writing Requirement through a Law 299 project, he or she must have the supervising faculty member sign a petition to that effect. Once an advisor signs the form, the student needs a signature on the form from the Dean of Students. After the Dean of Students approves the form, it goes to the Registrar’s Office for processing. Students should file this paperwork at the beginning of the term. The final deadlines to file the form are November 1st (fall semester) and April 1st (spring semester), depending on the semester. When a student finishes the writing requirement through any of the above defined options, he or she needs to have the supervising faculty member sign off on a Writing Requirement Verification form and file the form with the Registrar’s Office. This form leads to a notation on the student’s transcript that he or she has completed the requirement, which is then used when Berkeley Law certifies the student to sit for the Bar.
Program of Legal Education
Berkeley Law School wants to hear any student concerns about significant problems that directly implicate the school’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA’s Accreditation Standards. Any student having such a concern should submit it in writing to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students shall work with the appropriate administrator to address the complaint. The Dean of Students, or another Dean, as appropriate, shall keep a record of all such complaints and their resolutions.