Academic Policies


Class Attendance

Law students take their first steps toward becoming members of an ancient and honorable profession when they enter law school, and are expected to conduct themselves accordingly. The practice as well as the study of law demands motivational discipline and hard work. Students are expected to attend classes regularly and prepare for classes conscientiously. Each professor may impose sanctions for poor attendance.

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Full-Time Enrollment

According to University policy full time students are those enrolled for at least 12 semester hours.

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Grading and Examinations

Emory University School of Law uses a letter grading system, with grades ranging from A+ to F.  In the JD program, a student must make a grade of at least D- to receive credit for course. A student must repeat a required course in which that student has received a grade below D-. Once a student has received an exam, he or she must complete the exam. If a student does not submit any answers, that student will receive an automatic grade of F.  Partial credit may be given if a student begins the exam but does not complete it.

When a student, without permission or a valid excuse, fails to appear for an examination, or appears for an examination and fails to turn in the examination, student will receive a course grade of F. Before the time indicated in the Academic Calendar for final examinations, a schedule of examinations will be published. Special scheduling or deferral of a final examination is permitted only when the cause is beyond the control of the student and only with approval of the Dean or Dean's designate. A grade of I (incomplete) is given to indicate an authorized deferral of examination or required course work. Required course work or deferred examination must be completed by the close of the term in which the course is next offered or grade of I (incomplete) will automatically be converted to a final grade of F. Examination papers are identified solely by randomly selected student examination numbers and not by student names. New numbers are issued each semester.

All students are reminded it is the faculty policy that examinations are to be taken on the day and at the time scheduled unless an individual is excused by emergency, illness or involuntarily assumed obligations on the day of the examination. Students in the joint programs who find that they have another school's conflict AT THE TIME OF the examination in the Law School should advise the office of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in advance of the examination period so that the conflict can be resolved. Every effort must be made to eliminate the conflict in the other school as law school exams are rescheduled only as a last resort.

Take-home exams are not considered to pose a conflict. If the exam conflict occurs in the first week, the make-up will be on the first make-up day. Likewise, exams which conflict during the second week are to be made up on the second make-up day. Any student with three 9 a.m. exams on three consecutive days is permitted to move the third 9 a.m. exam to the first make-up day AFTER the exam. When a student has two examinations within a 24-hour period, such as at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the same day, or at 2 p.m. and 9 a.m. the next day, he/she may postpone one exam to the next make-up day. While it is often the 2 p.m. exam that is rescheduled, these conflicts are all evaluated by the Office of Student Affairs and rescheduling is done to create the most efficient make-up exam schedule. All exam conflicts must be resolved with the consent of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Exams scheduled for the same time slots pose a conflict that will be resolved by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Make-up exams are never scheduled before the exam is administered on the scheduled date. 

In the event of illness or emergency on the day of an examination, the student must contact the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to request deferral.   Emergency exam deferrals are dealt with by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and the faculty concerned on a case-by-case basis. A STUDENT REQUESTING DEFERRAL ON THE BASIS OF ILLNESS WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A CERTIFICATE FROM A PHYSICIAN TO SUBSTANTIATE THE REQUEST FOR DEFERRAL, NORMALLY JUSTIFIED ONLY IF THE STUDENT IS ACTUALLY SEEKING AND GETTING MEDICAL CARE AT THE TIME OF THE EXAM. Make-up examinations for students ill on the day of the examination will be administered on the make-up day(s) as above. 


Graduate Program Students 

Any Graduate Programs student who was required to submit a TOEFL score for purposes of admission consideration will receive additional time on their examinations.  If the TOEFL requirement was not required or was waived for a student – even if English is not their first language – that student will not receive additional time.

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Cancellation or Withdrawal

Students who withdraw from or fail to return to school during the regular academic year must notify the Office of the Dean in advance to be eligible to return. To withdraw from school a term, a student must receive permission from the Office of the Dean. When withdrawal school is approved, a grade of W is recorded in all courses for which the student is registered. Failure to obtain such permission results in a grade of WF in all courses for which the student registered.

No first-year student may drop a course without approval from the Office of the Dean.

After the period designated in the Academic Calendar for approved course changes, a second-year or third-year student may withdraw from a course only with the permission of the instructor and approval from the Dean or the Dean's designate.  Such permission granted only for cause, and the rules governing requirements for residency credit are applied. When withdrawal from a course is approved, a grade of W is recorded for the course or courses in which the student is registered. Failure to obtain such perm shall result in a grade of WF in the course.

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Medical Withdrawal

Readmission of students following withdrawal for medical reasons requires medical clearance designated university health officials.

If, in the opinion of the Dean ('Dean' as used in this statement always refers to the Dean or Dean's designate) of the student's school or college, a student demonstrates evidence of an emotional disorder and has engaged in, or threatened to engage in, conduct that poses a threat to the mental, emotional, or physical well-being of self or others, or to property, and/or impedes the lawful activity of others, the student may be referred to the University Student Health Service for psychiatric evaluation. Refusal to obtain a psychiatric evaluation when properly requested to do so, or determination by the University Health Service that withdrawal would be in the best interest of the student and the university, shall be cause for involuntary withdrawal of the student from university by the Dean. Withdrawal in such cases shall normally incur no academic penalty for the term in which the student is enrolled, and tuition refund, if any, shall be based on the schedule established for voluntary withdrawal. The Dean shall inform the student in writing of the effective date of the involuntary withdrawal, and shall explain, in writing, the procedure for application for readmission to Emory University. Application for readmission after withdrawal for psychiatric reasons will require evaluation by the university psychiatrist. Persons seeking readmission may choose to submit a written report from their own psychiatrists at their own expense. In no case shall readmission be granted after psychiatric withdrawal without the approval of the University Student Health Service.

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Leave of Absence/Program Completion

Students in good standing may elect to withdraw between semesters after notifying the Emory Law Registrar. Upon deciding to return to the law school students must notify the Law School Registrar. Students must complete all degree requirements within seven years of the date of first matriculation into the JD program.

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Policy Statement on Refunds

Law students who withdraw from school may qualify for a prorated tuition refund. All refunds must be authorized by the Office of the University Registrar. Refunds for first-time matriculants who are federal (Title IV) aid recipients will be prorated in accordance with the Higher Education Amendments of 1992 and any related regulations. The initial $750 deposit is not refundable. Law students may cancel registration through the last day of the law school schedule change period for a full refund. After the last day for cancellation of registration, the schedule of refunds is as follows: during the second week of the term, eighty percent; during the third week sixty percent; during the fourth week, forty percent; and during the fifth week, twenty percent. There will be no refunds after the fifth week. No refund is given if a part of the load is dropped after the last day for approved schedule changes as specified in the School of Law calendar.

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Official Transcripts

On written request to the University Registrar, students may receive unofficial copies of their academic transcripts or have official transcripts mailed to agencies or institutions, for a fee, provided a student's record shows no financial indebtedness to the university. Official transcripts, bearing the university seal and validating signatures, are not issued to individuals but are mailed as directed to agencies or institutions as confidential information. All transcripts include each student's entire academic record. No partial or incomplete statements are issued as transcripts. For prompt receipt, students should request transcripts at a reasonable time prior to need. Delays in issuing transcripts may occur immediately before or after a term break.

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Audited Courses

Students wishing to audit courses must obtain the permission of the instructor. For purposes of the requirement that "overloads" be approved, hours audited are included in the student's course load. If audited courses create an overload (over 16 hours), the student must obtain permission from the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. Audited courses DO NOT COUNT toward hours required for graduation. The expectation for regular class attendance will apply. See Attendance Policy.

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Law Credit For Non-Law Courses

Law students are permitted to take courses at any of the university's graduate or professional schools for a maximum of six (6) credit hours. For these credits to apply, the grade earned must be a "C" (not C-) or equivalent. Non-law course credits will count toward the six hours of pass/fail hours law students are permitted to take.  Contact the Emory Law Registrar for questions about registration procedures for these courses.

For a list of non-law courses, click here

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Pass/Fail Option

A student may elect to designate up to nine credit hours as pass-fail credits, of which up to six hours may be in Law School courses.  (This does not include courses that are only offered on a pass-fail basis.)

Pass-fail credits may be used either for graduate-level coursework in other Emory University units (see Credit for Non-Law School Courses) or for Law School courses.  Note, however, that the pass-fail option is only available for elective, upper-level courses, and not for seminars or for required courses.

Joint degree students are not permitted to take courses on a pass-fail basis.  Otherwise, the option is available to student taking a full load of Law School courses.

The minimum grade necessary to receive a “pass” is a C.

A student electing to take a course pass-fail is responsible for changing the grading basis for the class on OPUS by November 1 (for Fall semester courses) and March 15 (for Spring semester courses).  A student who elects to take a course pass-fail may not subsequently change the grading status to a letter grade.  Further, no changes in grading status can be made after the deadline for each semester.  If a student does not affirmatively elect to take a course on a pass-fail basis, it will be assumed that he or she has elected to take the course for a letter grade.  A student’s pass-fail designation will remain confidential until the exam period has ended.

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Vehicles on Campus - Registration

All students operating motor vehicles on the Emory Campus must register with the Parking Office prior to operating the vehicle on campus. Motorcycles and other two-wheeled motor vehicles require no registration, but must be operated and parked in accordance with the university's parking rules and regulations. For the academic year 2009-2010, the fee for parking registration is $654, payable in full at fall registration or by mail through the parking office.

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Parking and Traffic Regulations

University regulations, strictly enforced in housing areas and on campus, are specified in a regulation booklet furnished at the time of parking registration. Persons operating vehicles on campus are expected to know and abide by these regulations. Failure to do so may result in fines and/or removal of vehicle from campus. Deck access is furnished to commuting students. The Lowergate South Deck is available on a first-come basis. Other parking decks are available as space permits. Contact the Office of Parking and Community Services for further details 404.727.PARK.

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University-Student Relationships

The Board of Trustees of Emory University has adopted a statement of policy dealing with university-student relationships, a digest of which follows.

  1. Emory University was founded on Christian principles by the Methodist and proudly continues its church relationship as an agency dedicated to seeking and imparting truth.
  2. Emory University admits qualified students of any sex, race, religion, color, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, or veteran status to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Emory University. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, handicap, or veteran status in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic programs and Emory University-administered programs.
  3. Attendance at Emory University is a privilege and not a right. However, no student will be dismissed except in accordance with prescribed procedures.  Students applying for admission do so voluntarily and are free to withdraw at their pleasure, subject to compliance with the regulations of their school or college governing withdrawal and to the fulfillment of their financial obligation to the university.
  4. Upon matriculation at Emory, each student agrees to be bound by the rules, policies, procedures, and administrative regulations as the regulations exist the time of admission and as the regulations may be changed by duly con authority.
  5. By admission as a student at Emory University, a person acquires the right to pursue the course of study to which he or she is admitted, and to be treated with the dignity appropriate to an adult person in all matters relating to the university. In the same spirit, the student shall comply with the rules and regulations of Emory University.
  6. Students will be provided the opportunity to participate in the development of rules and procedures pertaining to university affairs to the extent that such participation and the results thereof, as determined by the board of trustees or its designated agent, are consistent with orderly processes and with the policies and administrative responsibilities of the board of trustees and the administration.
  7. The university expects students to conduct themselves with dignity, courtesy responsibility, and integrity, and with due respect for the rights of others, realizing that sobriety and morality are not only characteristics of a mature responsible person, but are also essential to the maintenance of a free and orderly society.
  8. Membership in and rules governing admission to student organizations shall be determined by the organizations themselves, and such rules are not required to be uniform so long as these rules do not contravene any policy established by the board of trustees.

Emory University is an educational institution, not a vehicle for political or social action. It endorses the right of dissent and protects and encourages reasonable exercise of this right by individuals within the university. Because the right of dissent is subject to abuse, the board of trustees and the president have published a statement to clarify policy concerning such abuse, a digest of which follows.

  1. Individuals associated with Emory represent a variety of viewpoints. The university fosters the free expression and interchange of differing views through oral and written discourse and logical persuasion.
  2. Dissent, to be acceptable, must be orderly and peaceful and represent constructive alternatives reasonably presented.
  3. Coercion, threats, demands, obscenity, vulgarity, obstructionism, and violence are not acceptable.
  4. Demonstrations, marches, sit-ins, or noisy protests that are designed or in to or do disrupt normal institutional pursuits will not be permitted.
  5. Classes and routine operations will not be suspended except for reasonable causes as determined by the president.
  6. Administrators, faculty, other employees, and students are expected to abide by these standards of conduct in promoting their views, particularly dissent.
  7. Persons who are not so inclined should not become associated with Emory nor continue to be associated with Emory.
  8. Academic and administrative procedures will protect individuals in the right of free expression and provide for prompt and appropriate action against those individuals who abuse such right.

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Student Conduct

As a condition of admission and continuation, each student in the School of Law agrees to abide by the rules, regulations, practices, and policies of the university as they exist at the time admission, and as they may be changed during the student's continuation. Each student also agrees to pay all fines, penalties, assessments, and charges made by university authority the student for violations of rules or regulations of the university or of the law school, including campus parking, traffic, and safety regulations. Such charges, if not paid, will be added to the student's financial accounts with the university and dealt with on the same basis as unpaid tuition or rent charges.

Student conduct and misconduct proceedings are dealt with under the law school professional conduct code. A copy of this code is furnished to all students. The code promotes an intellectual and educational environment throughout the university community in which all members have maximum opportunities to attain their educational objectives. As a professional school, the law school is also interested in the character and fitness of its students for participation in the legal profession. The code also provides a measure of protection for the activity, safety, welfare, and property of all members of the university community and of the university itself. Fair treatment is assured to those charged with code violations. All law students are members of the university community and are presumed to know that:

  1. the requirements of student conduct expressed and implied in the code are in effect and applicable to all law students;
  2. each student is individually responsible for violations of these requirements;
  3. continuation as law students is conditioned on compliance with these requirements;
  4. violations of these requirements will meet with appropriate sanctions; and
  5. as student members of the university community, law students are subject to the jurisdiction of its officers, agencies, and authorities with respect to any violation of professional conduct code requirements.

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Specific Policies

Students are expected to be aware of and abide by specific policies formulated by Emory University concerning confidentiality, discrimination and harassment, and sexual assault.  What follows is a brief summary; the full statements of these policies, as well as those of other university policies, are published annually in the Campus Life Handbook.

Emory University recognizes the student's right of privacy and is committed to protecting students from improper disclosure of private information. Regarding the confidentiality of the information which becomes a part of the student's permanent records and the conditions of its disclosure, the university has adopted a policy that reflects a reasonable balance between its obligations for the protection of the rights and privacy of the students and its responsibility to society.

It is the policy of Emory University that all employees and students should be able to enjoy and work in an educational environment free from discriminatory harassment. Harassment of any person or group of persons on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran's status is a form of discrimination specifically prohibited in the Emory University community. Any employee, student, student organization, or person privileged to work or study in the Emory University community who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including permanent exclusion from the university. The scholarly, educational, or artistic content of any written, oral, or other presentation or inquiry shall not be limited by this policy. The preceding provision is liberally construed with intent that academic freedom shall be allowed to all members of the academic community; however, this provision shall not be used as a pretextual basis for violation of the policy.

The Emory University community expects all of its members to treat other persons with respect and dignity and will not tolerate any form of sexual assault. Sexual activity should be explicitly agreed upon by both parties. The university shall proceed with disciplinary and/or remedial actions as needed when it appears that the university’s prohibition against any form of sexual abuse has been violated. A student charged with sexual assault may be disciplined under the university's code of student conduct as prosecuted under Georgia's criminal statutes. The university also has in place procedures to provide emotional and medical support to a victim of sexual assault within the Emory community.

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Financial Requirements for Graduation

All financial obligations to the university must be satisfied before a student can graduate. Certifications to bar examining committees or potential employers will not be completed until all financial obligations to the university have been fulfilled. In case of outstanding loans not yet due and payable, satisfactory loan documents must have been executed and delivered to university and all payments must be current.

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Outside Employment

Students engaged in outside employment exceeding 12 hours per week (Monday - Friday) must file a statement of such employment on forms available outside the Emory Law Registrar’s office.

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Upper-Level Moot Court Program

Eligibility To Participate
All students who have not participated in Moot Court, who have a 2.25 cumulative average and who have completed the first year appellate advocacy program, are eligible to be selected to participate in the Moot Court Program. Third year students may earn two credits for participation in the Moot Court Society and must submit an accounting of hours detailing duties to be undertaken for the academic year. Third year students are ineligible to compete on competition teams.

Fall Program Requirements for 2Ls
To fulfill the candidacy requirements in the fall, 2L students must (a) submit an appellate brief of satisfactory quality, (b) present oral arguments of satisfactory quality, and (c) attend a number of required classes. The classes are scheduled for evenings or the weekend and attendance is required.

Certification Credit
The Moot Court Board, in conjunction with the Office of the Associate Dean, will certify those candidates whose work meets the standard as set forth by the Society as eligible to register for two hours of non-residence, pass/fail Moot Court credit in the Spring semester.

Students receive Moot Court credit in the Spring Semester only and therefore preregister for them at spring preregistration.

Spring Program Requirements for 2Ls
To earn the Moot Court credit in the spring semester, students must satisfactorily participate and compete in one of the national competitions that are sponsored and coached by members of Emory's Moot Court Society.

All students satisfactorily completing the fall and spring requirements will receive two credits at the conclusion of the spring semester.

Third Year Moot Court Society Requirements:
To remain members of the Society in good standing, all members must assist in the administration of the Fall 2L candidacy program, assist in preparation for Emory's Civil Rights and Liberties Competition, assist in the coaching of competition teams for national moot court competitions in the Spring, and assist in the first year appellate advocacy intra-school competition in the Spring.

NOTE: The candidacy program is sequential, FALL-SPRING. Satisfactory completion of the Fall program is the PREREQUISITE to participation in the Spring program. A student who elects not to participate in the Fall program or whose work in the Fall program fails to meet the required standard will not be able to participate in the Spring Moot Court programs for credit.

Candidates for the Emory Law Journal, The Bankruptcy Developments Journal, and the Emory International Law Review should note that they are prohibited from participating in both the Emory Moot Court Society and any one of these other organizations.

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Study Abroad

Students can only complete study abroad during the academic year at one of Emory Law's approved exchange program institutions.

General Study Abroad Guidelines

  1. The summer program must be run by an ABA accredited law school. A list of the "Foreign Summer Programs" can be found by clicking here.
  2. Students can take up to 8 credits during the summer or up to 16 during the semester at one of our exchange programs.
  3. Courses must be approved in advance by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
  4. You cannot earn credit for courses taken on a pass/fail basis.
  5. You do earn credit for any courses for which you receive grades of "C" or higher (not "C-").
  6. Credits you earn count toward the 90 credits required for Emory graduation.
  7. Grades appear as "pass" on your Emory Law School transcript and do NOT count toward your GPA.
  8. Emory scholarships do not transfer to a study abroad program except for our exchange programs. Contact your Financial Aid officer to determine whether you can obtain loan funding and how much you can obtain.
  9. In general, all law students must complete 6 semesters of residence at the law school (you are in residence if you are enrolled at Emory for at least 10 credits). However, students may "tack" together two summers of at least 5 credits to take the place of one semester of residency at the law school, reducing the residency requirement to 5 semesters.   

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