A. Course Add and Drop/Withdrawal
Adding a course: Upper division J.D. students and LL.M. students may always add a course within the first week of classes. First-year J.D. students may not add courses other than the required first-year courses. Students may not add a course after the term has ended unless the Dean or the Dean’s designee determines that there are extraordinary circumstances that justify such an addition.
Dropping/withdrawing from a course: Students may drop a class before the drop-add deadline published in the academic calendar unless the instructor imposes a more stringent requirement. If a student drops a course during the drop-add period, no “W” will appear on the student’s transcript and no permission is required. Students may withdraw from an upper-level course after the drop-add period and through the end of the last class meeting of the course. If a student withdraws from a class after the drop-add deadline, a “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Students who wish to withdraw from a course after the last class meeting of the course has ended must petition the Dean of Students for an emergency exception.
Students in blended and on-campus programs who wish to withdraw from all courses in a fall or spring semester must first get permission from the Dean of Students for a leave of absence or for withdrawal from the law school. Students in blended programs must also get permission from the Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs, though the final decision rests with the Dean of Students. Students who are granted permission to withdraw from all classes in a fall or spring semester and who are placed on a leave of absence must return at the start of one of the following two academic semesters (fall or spring) or request an extension from the Dean of Students. (I.e., absent an extension grant, a student who withdraws in the fall must return at the start of either the next spring semester or the next fall semester; a student who withdraws in the spring must return at the start of either the next fall semester or the next spring semester.)
First-year students in blended and on-campus programs wishing to withdraw from a required course must first get permission from the Dean of Students. First-year students in blended programs must also get permission from the Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs, though the final decision rests with the Dean of Students.
B. Registration Priority
Registration priority is based on the sum of earned credits plus the attempted credits in the semester during which registration is held. Generally, students with the highest credit totals are given the opportunity to register before those with fewer credits. In cases where there are large numbers of students with equal credit totals, registration priority will be based on a tie-breaker system administered and announced by the Office of the Registrar.
Exceptions to this rule include courses for which students are preregistered, such as required courses for 1L students and preregistration course packages for 2L part time students.
Incoming JD students are assigned to an enrollment option (full-time or part-time on campus, or part-time blended) at the time of matriculation. Students will remain in this enrollment option throughout their matriculation at the law school. Students will not be assigned to another enrollment option unless they plan to take all their remaining courses in that enrollment option. Students must be able to comply with all program and course requirements to be reassigned to a different enrollment option. Enrollment option reassignments must be approved by the Vice Dean, Academics or their designee.
Registration for some courses requires a student to complete one or more prerequisites or to take a course concurrently. A student must abide by these requirements unless the instructor waives the requirement. Before registering for any course, the student must obtain a waiver from the instructor and inform the Registrar, who will then assist in the registration process. Any student who elects to take a course without the required prerequisite and/or co-requisite course(s) does so at their own risk. Lack of prerequisite and/or co-requisite course(s) will not be considered as a factor in administering any Mitchell Hamline School of Law policies.
D. Course Cancellations
Mitchell Hamline School of Law reserves the right to cancel a course on or before the first day of classes due to insufficient enrollment or other compelling circumstances. Students enrolled in the canceled course are notified of the cancellation by e-mail.
E. Auditing a Course
A student who audits a course receives no credit or grade for the course. Students may not audit skills courses or clinics. Course requirements for auditors are set by the instructor. All financial and academic regulations that apply to a credit course also apply to an audited course.
A student who audits pays the same tuition as one taking the course for credit except in the following instances: (1) if the audit credits plus the graded credits put the student in the full-time tuition bracket (12 credits or more), the student is charged $500 per-credit for those audit credits that exceed 11 credits; and (2) if the audit credits plus the graded credits put the student in the part-time bracket (8- 11 credits), the student is charged $500 per credit for those audit credits that exceed 7 credits.
F. Registration Credit Restrictions
Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters and J-Term:
- Maximum: 15 credits for the fall and spring semesters. On a showing of extraordinary circumstances and only with advance permission from the Vice Dean, Academics, a student may register for up to 17 credits in a fall or spring semester. The Vice Dean, Academics will rarely, if ever, determine that additional credit is justified.The financial cost associated with spending an additional semester or semesters in school does NOT constitute an extraordinary circumstance. The desire to graduate “early” – i.e., in less than the number of semesters that the program in which the student is enrolled ordinarily requires – does NOT constitute an extraordinary circumstance.A student who petitions the Vice Dean, Academics for a waiver under this rule must explain how their other professional and personal obligations will allow them satisfactorily to complete the in-class and out-of-class work that each credit requires over the course of the semester.
- Maximum: 8 credits for the summer semester. Students may register for between 9 and 10 credits (between 9 and 12 credits for a full-time residency) in the summer semester with advance permission from the Vice Dean, Academics. No student may register for more than 10 credits in the summer unless the student is doing a full-time summer residency. A student doing a full-time summer residency may register for up to 12 credits for the residency with the advance permission of both the Externship Director and the Vice Dean, Academics, though the final decision rests with the Vice Dean, Academics.
- Maximum: 3 credits for the J-Term.
- A student must complete their J.D. Degree no earlier than 24 months and not later than 84 months after commencing law school studies, except in extraordinary circumstances. (See Academic Rule 1.06 D.) Students who wish to take fewer than 8 credits in the fall or spring semester should consult the Office of Financial Aid for information regarding less than part-time enrollment.
- Students registered for the term credit limit or those who may exceed the term credit limit may not audit a course during that term (See Academic Rule 1.07 E.). Students may not register for or audit a course scheduled at a time that conflicts with another registered course or the registered course’s capstone requirement, however small the conflict.
G. Incomplete Grades
Incomplete grades are issued only with the permission of the instructor. This may include the case of a clinic student who receives a grade of incomplete because they have been working on a clinic matter that has not yet been resolved and on which they will continue working into the next semester. The instructor determines the new due date, but the new due date may not be deferred later than the end of the following academic semester. If the instructor approves an extension and grade of incomplete (“I”), the student must submit a “Request for Extension and Temporary Grade of Incomplete” form, signed by the instructor, to the Office of the Registrar. If a student fails to complete the required course work by the new, extended due date, the student will be administratively withdrawn from the course (withdrawal not in good standing), after notice to the student and the instructor, unless the instructor chooses to enter a grade. If the instructor is unable or unavailable to grant permission to issue an incomplete grade, the Vice Dean, Academics may enter the incomplete grade in the instructor’s stead.
This rule applies to all MHSL courses, including externships, clinics, and independent projects.
H. Registration for First-Year Students
The law school assigns first-year students to sections and registers them for courses. First-year students must be registered for all required first-year courses in their enrollment option (full-time, part-time evening, part-time blended). First year students may not register for courses other than required first year courses. This limitation includes, but is not limited to, independent research and J-term courses.
I. Registration for Upper Class Students
Upper-class students obtain registration materials on the web. Registration for fall and summer semesters is in April. Registration for spring semester and J-term is in November. Upper-class students may register for courses through the first full week of classes via their Student Records Login, unless indicated otherwise on the online schedule.
J. Retaking a Course
A student will not receive credit for any course in which they receive a failing grade (a grade of “F”). A student must retake any required course in which they earn an “F”. A student may choose to retake any other course for which they received a failing grade. Both the “F” and the repeat grade will be computed as part of the student’s grade point average. Both grades will appear on the student’s transcript. A student may not retake for credit a course in which they did not receive a failing grade.
K. Withdrawing from Law School
Students who plan to withdraw from law school are strongly advised to contact the Student Accounts Office (to discuss student account balance) and the Financial Aid Office (to discuss federal loan repayment requirements/options and the effect a withdrawal will have on current and future financial aid eligibility) to ensure a complete understanding of the financial effect of the withdrawal. If, at the time of withdrawal, a student’s payments exceed the amount of tuition liability, the Student Accounts Office will use the overpaid amount to reduce any financial aid awarded before returning any funds to the student.
Official Withdrawal. An official withdrawal from the law school is processed by the Dean of Students. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that their withdrawal request has been approved and processed. The last date for which tuition is charged is the last date of attendance or the date when the student initially contacts the Dean of Students or their designee. The Dean of Students communicates the official withdrawal date to the Finance Office. The official date may result in a tuition refund, no refund/nothing owed, or a remaining tuition liability amount to be paid to the school. Scholarship credits will be recalculated accordingly and if federal student loans were used to pay any portion of the semester’s tuition and fee charge, a Return to Title IV calculation will be performed. Student fees are mandatory and are not refunded to the student.
Unofficial (Administrative) Withdrawal. A student who stops attending all classes due to illness, accident, grievous personal loss or other circumstances beyond the student’s control will be reviewed by the Dean of Students to determine the appropriate withdrawal date. Students who stop attending all classes without notice to the Dean of Students or a mitigating event are considered to have withdrawn unofficially and will have tuition liability calculated based on the date approved by the Dean of Students, which is either the last date of attendance, the last date the student logged in, or the 50% mark of the semester, whichever is known.
A student may be administratively withdrawn from the law school if they fail to complete at least one credit of coursework for two semesters (fall or spring) consecutively.
Students who withdraw or are withdrawn from the law school prior to earning any academic credit must petition the Admissions Committee for readmission if they wish to return. Students who withdraw or are withdrawn from the law school after earning academic credit(s) must petition the Dean of Students for reinstatement if they wish to return.
If, at the time of withdrawal, a student’s payments exceed the amount of tuition liability, the Finance Office will use the overpaid amount to reduce any financial aid awarded before returning any funds to the student.
For additional information, see the Tuition and Title IV Refunds page in this Catalog.
L. Leave of Absence
The Dean of Students may grant a student a leave of absence due to personal circumstances for up to one academic year. Students who are placed on a leave of absence must return at the start of one of the following two academic semesters (fall or spring) or request an extension from the Dean of Students. (I.e., absent an extension grant, a student who withdraws in the fall must return at the start of either the next spring semester or the next fall semester; a student who withdraws in the spring must return at the start of either the next fall semester or the next spring semester.)
A student must petition the Dean of Students in writing for a leave of absence or for an extension of a previously approved leave of absence. After one year or the expiration of an extension, a student on leave will be withdrawn from the law school. The time that a student is on leave will be calculated as part of the 84 months allowed to earn a J.D. Students on leave from the law school are not considered enrolled for financial aid purposes, and their student loans may enter repayment during a leave of absence. Students concerned about the effect of a leave of absence on student loans should contact the Financial Aid Office.
Students who plan to take a leave of absence from law school are strongly advised to contact the Student Accounts Office (to discuss student account balance) and the Financial Aid Office (to discuss federal loan repayment requirements/options) to ensure a complete understanding of the financial effect of the leave of absence. If, at the time of a leave of absence, a student’s payments exceed the amount of tuition liability, the Student Accounts Office will use the overpaid amount to reduce any financial aid awarded before returning any funds to the student.