Students are required to attend classes regularly and to prepare all assigned work thoroughly. Inadequate class attendance or preparation may result in the student being dropped from the course or may adversely affect the final grade the student receives in the course. A first year student who is dropped from a course will receive a failing grade for the course.
Grades in most courses at the College of Law are based on the student’s performance on the final examination, although some courses also have a midterm examination. Grades in seminars are usually based on the quality of the student’s paper and class participation. Grades in skills development courses such as Trial Advocacy are based on the quality of the student’s work over the course of the semester.
The College uses a numerical grading scale, ranging from 9 to 0. The equivalent letter grades are as follows:
Grades of “0” carry no course credit, and no courses taught at the College of Law can be taken pass/fail.
Rather than receiving a grade, a student may receive an Incomplete (“I”). Incompletes are discretionary with the instructor and must be removed within one year. Otherwise, they automatically revert to a failing grade (“0”).
Grade point averages are computed four times during the student’s law school career in order to determine the student’s eligibility to continue and to graduate.
The first grade computation is done when the student completes the required first year curriculum. If the student’s first year grade point average is less than 4.0, the student will be ineligible to continue.
The second grade computation is done at the end of the semester or the summer session in which the student has received a grade in at least 27 semester credit hours beyond the required first year curriculum. Any student who fails to achieve a minimum grade point average of 4.0 for courses taken after the first computation will be ineligible to continue.
The third computation is done at the end of the semester or summer session in which the student has taken and received a grade in at least 60 semester credit hours beyond the first year curriculum. Any student who fails to achieve a minimum grade point average of 4.0 for courses taken after the second computation will be ineligible to continue.
The fourth computation, if necessary, is done when the student has completed all of the requirements for graduation. To receive the J.D. degree, the student must achieve a minimum grade point average of 4.0 for all courses taken.
A student who fails a required course, but who is nevertheless eligible to continue, must retake the course during the next semester or summer session in which the course is offered. The student’s transcript and grade point average will reflect both the original failing grade and the subsequent passing grade. A student who fails a course which is not required need not repeat the course.
Courseload and Hours in Residence*
After the first year, no student may take fewer than 12 hours or more than 16 hours during the fall or spring semester without the express permission of the Assistant Dean. In order to take more than 16 hours in any semester beyond the first year, a student must not be on academic probation and must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 5.0. Students cannot graduate in less than five semesters (excluding summer terms). Absent the prior approval of the faculty, a student must complete his or her last 30 hours in residence at the College of Law.
Courses Taken Outside the College
With the prior approval of the Curriculum Committee of the College of Law, a student may take three credit hours of graduate-level study outside the College of Law for credit toward the J.D. degree. Any additional hours must be approved by both the Curriculum Committee and the Dean. In all cases, the course must further the student’s legal education and not duplicate courses available at the College of Law.
A student may also take courses at other ABA-approved law schools, but only with the prior permission of the Dean.
To receive College of Law credit, a student must earn a grade of B or better in graduate courses and a grade of C or better in courses taken at other ABA-approved law schools. Grades received in these courses will not be computed as part of the student’s grade point average for purposes of determining probation, class standing, graduation with distinction, eligibility for Order of the Coif or participation in the Honors Convocation. Grades in courses taken at other law schools will be included in the student’s grade point average for purposes of determining eligibility to continue.
A student will be placed on probation if the student’s grade point average is at least 4.0 but no higher than 4.5 at the time of the student’s first or second grade computation. A student will also be placed on probation if the student fails two courses at any point during the student’s law school career.
Students on probation are subject to such limitations and requirements as the faculty or the Dean may prescribe. Those may include limitations on outside employment as well as on the courses and number of hours the student may take.
A student who is academically ineligible to continue at the College of Law may apply to the College of Law faculty for readmission. Any student who seeks readmission must pay in full all delinquent amounts owed to the College of Law and/or the University of Nebraska before a petition for readmission will be considered.
The University of Nebraska College of Law is an ABA-accredited law school and is subject to the Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools. The ABA Standards are available at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/standards.html.
A College of Law student who has a complaint about the Law College should submit the complaint in writing to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The complaint should contain facts which led to the complaint. The complaint must provide the student’s name, current email address and current street address. The Law College will investigate the complaint and take appropriate action. The complainant will be notified of the resolution of the complaint in writing. A complainant may appeal the resolution of the complaint to the Dean within 10 business days of receiving the written response. Any decision by the Dean will be final.
Copies of complaints and resolutions which directly implicate the Law College’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA Standards will be kept in the office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
The Honor Code
The students and faculty of the College of Law have adopted an Honor Code to regulate student conduct at the College. Generally speaking, the Honor Code prohibits any dishonest conduct in connection with examinations, papers and competitions at the College. The Code is built on the belief that students, as potential lawyers, should be treated like professionals (which explains why examinations are not proctored) and should be held to the same unyielding standards of honorable conduct to which professionals are held. Alleged violations of the Honor Code are adjudicated by the Joint Student-Faculty Honor Committee pursuant to the Honor Code. View the Honor Code: https://law.unl.edu/honor-code/.
University Student Code of Conduct
College of Law students are subject to the provisions of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Code of Conduct (except provisions in 4.2 relating to academic dishonesty). Law students are subject to the particular academic dishonesty provisions in the Law College Honor Code. http://stuafs.unl.edu/ja/code/three.shtml
All students are subject to the College of Law Rules and Regulations promulgated by the faculty of the College of Law. The Rules and Regulations are available in the Dean’s Office.