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Scholastic Regulations

Mission Statement

(Approved by the Faculty on February 15, 2006)

The mission of the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, is to: 

Provide a student-centered education that prepares its graduates for productive, successful, and ethical careers in the legal profession, and for leadership in building a diverse society committed to global justice; and contribute to the improvement of the law through engaged scholarship and other forms of public service.

Non-discrimination Statement

McGeorge, in compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (45 CFR 86), and Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, does not discriminate in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions, scholarships, loans, or other activities or programs on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or preference, national or ethnic origin, color, disability, marital status, age, or religious belief.

Inquiries regarding compliance with these statutes and regulations may be directed to the Office of the Dean, 3200 5th Ave., Sacramento, CA, 95817, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, in San Francisco or Washington, D.C.

Statement of Diversity & Inclusion

(Adopted by the Minority Affairs Committee, 2008-2009)

McGeorge strives to enhance the personal and professional experiences of our community by promoting:

• Respect and Awareness of individuals and diverse communities and groups;

• Education inclusive of a variety of different perspectives, experiences, intellectual interests, and worldviews;

• A Commitment to increasing diversity in the legal profession; and

• The value of Collective Action to challenge prejudice, stereotyping, and harassment.

The McGeorge commitment  to diversity is an essential part of providing a high quality education that prepares graduates for the administration of justice in a multicultural world and for professional participation in a legal community that represents the interests of a diverse society.

Code of Student Responsibility

The Code of Student Responsibility (“CoSR”) governs student behavior at all times from the time of submitting an application for admission until graduation, expulsion, voluntary withdrawal, or academic disqualification not followed by reinstatement. The CoSR is divided into four parts – Cannons of Ethics, Disciplinary Rules, Organizational Rules, and Procedural Rules. The CoSR may be found online at mcgeorge.edu/Policies_and_Handbooks.htm and printed copies are available from the Office of Student Affairs.

Student Learning Outcomes

(Approved by Faculty on February 18, 2011)

Learning outcomes are the lawyering skills that students are expected to obtain through the completion of a legal education. Consistent with ABA Standards, upon completion of a J.D. degree, graduates of the McGeorge School of Law will demonstrate mastery of the following student learning outcomes at the level needed for admission to the bar and effective and ethical participation in the legal profession as an entry level attorney. The curriculum at McGeorge School of Law has been designed to prepare students with the key skills and competencies needed to demonstrate these learning outcomes in the legal profession.

Each student will:

1. Demonstrate the ability to identify and understand key concepts in substantive law, legal theory, and procedure in domestic and international law contexts;

2. Apply knowledge and critical thinking skills to perform competent legal analysis, reasoning, and problem solving;

3. Demonstrate the ability to conduct domestic and international legal research;

4. Demonstrate communication skills, including effective listening and critical reading, writing in objective and persuasive styles, and oral advocacy and other oral communications;

5. Collaborate effectively with others in a variety of legal settings and contexts;

6. Apply knowledge of professional ethics to representation of clients, performance of duties as an officer of the courts, and to the resolution of ethical issues;

7. Demonstrate professional judgment and professionalism through conduct consistent with the legal profession’s values and standards.

Disabled Students Services

McGeorge makes every reasonable effort to accommodate, on a case-by-case basis, students with physical, medical, or learning disabilities. Appropriate services and modifications are worked out on a case-by-case basis. Our campus facilities are accessible to students with mobility impairments, and, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, we do not discriminate in the administration of our educational programs, admissions, scholarships, loans, or other activities or programs based on disability.

For additional information,  please review the online Policy Handbook for Students with Disabilities (available at mcgeorge. edu/Disabled_Student_Services.htm) and contact the Office of Student Affairs at sacstudentaffairs@pacific.edu or 916.739.7089 with any questions or to submit your request for accommodations.

Student Records Policy

McGeorge maintains records for each student that include name, address, telephone, student identification, social security number, material submitted for the admission application, general information on academic status at McGeorge, previous school data, courses previously taken or being taken, credits, and grades. Applicants for financial aid have a file established in the Financial Aid Office to maintain financial aid records. For more detail regarding Student Records, please refer to the website (mcgeorge.edu/Student_Records_Policy.htm). Inquiries  about the school’s compliance with student records and privacy rights regarding educational records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, may be directed to the Office of the Registrar (sacregistrar@pacific.edu) or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington D.C.

Tuition & Fees

McGeorge publishes tuition payment and policy information in the Academic Catalog and on the web at mcgeorge.edu/ Future_Students/JD_Programs/Costs_and_Aid/Tuition_and_Fees.htm  and mcgeorge.edu/Tuition_Payment_Policy.htm. Please consult those resources for more information, and contact the Business Office at sac_busoffice@pacific.edu or 916.739.7054 with any questions.

Sexual Assault & Response Policy

McGeorge is committed to the personal safety of its students and other members of its campus community and maintaining a safe and respectful environment free from sexual misconduct.  Safety education and prevention information is distributed to students during Orientation and available throughout the year through Public Safety. A detailed explanation of the support and services available to assault victims may be found in the full Sexual Assault and Response Policy Statement which is located online at mcgeorge.edu/Sexual_Assault_and_Response_Policy_Statement. htm. To report student, staff or faculty sexual misconduct, a victim or witness may contact Elisa Levy, Assistant Dean, Administration and Strategic Planning and Title IX Campus Representative at 916.739.7343, in addition to any Campus Security Authority, such as Public Safety or Dean McGuire.

Prohibited Harassment Policies & Procedures

McGeorge is committed to providing an environment free of sexual harassment and harassment because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation,  age, or any other basis made unlawful by federal, state, or local law, ordinance, or regulation. This policy applies to all persons attending or involved in the operations of McGeorge. Prohibited harassment in any form, including verbal, physical, and visual conduct, threats, demands, and retaliation in unlawful and will not be tolerated. A publication, “Prohibited Harassment,” provides further information about policies and procedures. It is available from the Office of the Registrar.

Substance Abuse Policies & Procedures

Students are expected to comply with federal, state, and local laws governing the possession, distribution, use, and consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs on the campus and as part of school activities both on and off the campus. A publication, “Substance Abuse Policies and Procedures,” provides further information about policies, procedures, and available drug and alcohol abuse education programs, as required by Section 1213 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The publication is available online at mcgeorge.edu/Substance_Abuse_Policies_and_Procedures.htm.

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

In compliance with the Jeanne Cleary Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Cleary Act, the Pacific Sacramento Campus Public Safety Department is responsible for providing the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This report contains the three most recent calendar years of crime statistics for the campus. It includes crimes that occurred on campus, in campus housing, and on non-campus property and public property that is adjacent to campus. Also included in this report is fire safety information for on-campus housing. Hard copies of this report are available at the Public Safety Office, Human Resources Office, and Admissions Office, and an electronic version is available online at mcgeorge.edu/Documents/Policies/annualSecurityReport.pdf.

Accreditation & Memberships

McGeorge is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). It is fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State of California. It is also registered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York and approved for participation in veteran’s educational benefits programs. McGeorge has been awarded a Chapter of the Order of the Coif, the highest academic recognition possible for a program in legal education. All documents relating to the accreditation of McGeorge are on file in the Office of the Dean, 3200 5th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95817, and all inquiries regarding accreditation should be directed to that office.

Additional Policies & Procedures

Please visit the website at mcgeorge.edu/Policies_and_Handbooks.htm for a consolidated listing of McGeorge’s policies and procedures, including the University Animal Policy, Unclassified Student Policies, Smoking Policy, Graduate Grading and Advancement Rules, Library Gift Policy, Privacy Policy, and others not discussed in this publication.

Student Compliant Procedure (ABA Standard 510)

Any student at the law school who wishes to bring a formal complaint to the administration regarding a significant problem that directly implicates the school’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA Standards, should do the following:

1. Submit the complaint in writing to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. The complaint may be sent via email, U.S. Mail, facsimile, or in person to the Office of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. There

is also a web-based form located online at mcgeorge.edu/Student_Complaint_Process. htm.

2. The complaint should describe in detail the behavior, program, process, or other matter that is at issue, and should explain how the matter directly implicates the law school’s program of legal education and its compliance with a specific, identified ABA Standard(s).

3. The complaint must contain the complaining student’s name, his/her student ID#, his/her official law school email address, and his/her current mailing address.

When an administrator receives a student complaint that complies with the foregoing requirements, the following procedures shall be followed:

         1. The Assistant Dean for Student Affairs will acknowledge the complaint within three business days of receipt. Acknowledgement may be made by email, U.S. Mail, or by personal delivery, at the option of the Assistant Dean.

         2. Within 10 business days of acknowledgement of the complaint, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, or the Assistant Dean’s designee, shall respond to the substance of the complaint, either in writing or in              person, and shall indicate what steps are being taking by the law school to address the complaint.  If further investigation is needed, the complaining student shall, upon conclusion of the investigation, be provided with substantive response to the complaint within 10 business days after completion of the investigation.

         3. Any appeal regarding a decision on a complaint shall be brought before the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Any appeal from the decision of the Associate Dean shall be brought before the Dean of the              Law School. The decision of the Dean will be final. Any appeal must be brought within 10 business days from the date of the response by the Assistant Dean or the Associate Dean.

         4. A copy of the complaint and a summary of the process and resolution of the complaint shall be kept in the office of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs for a period of eight years from the date of final resolution of the complaint.

Other Sources of Information

Students must familiarize themselves with school policies, procedures, and regulations contained on the website and in other publications which include:

  • Code of Student Responsibility
  • Financial Aid Handbook
  • Grading and Advancement Rules, Regulations, and Procedures
  • Policy Handbook for Applicants and Students with Disabilities
  • Parking Regulations and Campus Security Student Handbook
  • Prohibited Harassment: Policies and Procedures
  • Student Handbook
  • Substance Abuse Policies and Procedures

Copies of these publications are also available from the Student Affairs, Registrar and Financial Aid offices and on the school website.

Compliance with Federal Regulations

Non-discrimination policy: McGeorge School of Law, in compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (45 CFR 86), and Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, does not discriminate in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions, scholarships, loans, or other activities or programs on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or preference, national or ethnic origin, color, disability, marital status, age, or religious belief.

Inquiries regarding compliance with these statutes and regulations may be directed to the Office of the Dean, 3200 Fifth Avenue, Sacramento, California 95817, (916) 739-7151, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, in San Francisco or Washington, D.C. Student records: Inquiries about the School’s compliance with student access and privacy rights regarding educational records, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, may be directed to the Office of the Dean or to the Student and Family Educational Rights and Privacy office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

Compliance with the Clery Act

In compliance with the Clery Act, formerly known as the Campus Security Act of 1990, the School of Law is responsible for disclosing to the students, faculty, and staff all crimes that have been committed on campus, non-campus buildings or property, and public property. That information is available in the Annual Security Report, in addition to the Daily Crime Log, which is available for review in the Director of Public Safety’s Office. The School of Law also gives timely warnings to the students, faculty, and staff to aid in the prevention of crime. Each year the Public Safety Department gathers and compiles crime information received from the Sacramento Police Department and Campus Security Authorities to assist in providing crime statistics to the U.S. Department of Education

Examinations and Grading

Written examinations are given at the end of each semester in most courses. The predominant form of examination calls for an essay response. Essay examination papers are generally returned to students after grades are recorded. A student who fails to take examinations in a course will receive a grade of “F” for the course unless the absence was excused in advance by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Absences are approved in cases of:

  1. Bona fide illness
  2. Emergency
  3. Personal Tragedy
  4. Religious observance
  5. Approved accommodation under ADA

If excused, the student will be permitted to take the examination at a later time. Further information regarding examinations may be found in the Grading and Advancement Committee Rules, Regulations and Procedures.

The grading system of the School of Law is as follows:

Symbol GPA Definition
A+4.33 Grade points per unit
A4.00Grade points per unit
A-3.67Grade points per unit
B+3.33Grade points per unit
B3.00Grade points per unit
B-2.67Grade points per unit
C+2.33Grade points per unit
C2.00Grade points per unit
C-1.67Grade points per unit
D+1.33Grade points per unit
D1.00Grade points per unit
F0.00Grade points per unit and no unit credit

Certain courses have been designated as “honors/pass/low pass/no credit/fail.” These are designated in the course descriptions section of this catalogue as “P/F.” The grade “Honors” is awarded for work performed at a superior level. The grade “Pass” is given to work performed at an acceptable level; "Low Pass" is given for work at the C or C- level; “No Credit” is given for work performed at the D+ or D level; failing work receives a grade of “F.”

Advancement Standards

The faculty has established standards for advancement in good standing or continuance on academic probation to each year of legal training.

The minimum cumulative standard for advancement to the next year of law school not on probation is a 2.33 GPA. A student with a GPA between 2.18 and 2.32 at the end of any academic year other than the final year may continue enrollment on probation but in good standing under the following conditions:

  1. All probationers must meet with a designated administrator for counseling and program approval, which the administrator will finalize in consultation with the chairperson of the Grading and Advancement Committee. The approved program of study must include repetition of any required courses in which the student received a grade below a C+, unless, for clear and convincing reasons, the designated administrator determines that repetition is not necessary for successful completion of probation. Probationers are required to participate in follow-up counseling sessions as deemed appropriate, as a condition of continued enrollment.
  2. Unless grounds for exception are found by the designated administrator and the chairperson of the Grading and Advancement Committee, programs of study for 2D probationers will not exceed 13 units, 10 of which will be in required courses. For 2E and 3E probationers, a minimum of 6 units (for 2Es) and 5.5 units (for 3Es) will be in required courses.
  3. Successful completion of probation requires achievement of a cumulative GPA of 2.33 at the end of the spring semester after placement on probation or the scheduled graduation date, whichever is sooner.
  4. No student may repeat probationary status. A student who has previously been on probation and thereafter has a cumulative GPA below 2.33 at the end of an academic year is not eligible to continue.

Directed Study Program

Any student whose cumulative GPA, at the end of the first academic year, falls within the bottom 50% of their division shall be placed in the Directed Study Program. Once placed in the Directed Study Program, a student will remain subject to its requirements.

The requirements of the Directed Study Program are as follows:

Academic advising each academic year through the Office of Student Affairs
Principles of Legal Analysis II1
Business Associations4
Remedies & Principles of Law3
PASS I (P/F)2
At least one of the following bar courses:
Community Property2
Criminal Procedure3
Wills & Trusts3

Scholastic regulations detailing advancement and probationary standards are set forth in the Grading and Advancement Committee Rules. Copies of the Rules are available at the Office of Student Affairs. The faculty reserves the right to change requirements for grading, advancement, or graduation at any time without prior notice.

Attendance and Class Preparation

Regular class attendance is required. Students are expected to be prepared for all class meetings. Failure to meet minimum standards may result in a lower grade or exclusion from taking the final examination.

Involuntary Withdrawal

McGeorge School of Law may require a leave upon specified terms, terminate a student’s enrollment, or decline to award a degree if the Administration determines it is in the best interests of the law school or that a student is not qualified for admission to the legal profession because of factors other than academic standing. Determinations about academic standing are made in accordance with the Grading and Advancement Committee Rules, Regulations, and Procedures. Determinations about the occurrence of conduct described in the Code of Student Responsibility are made in accordance with the procedures of that Code.

Voluntary Withdrawal and Leave of Absence

To withdraw from enrollment at McGeorge School of Law after registration closes for an academic semester or summer term, students must complete the Withdrawal Request Form provided by the Registrar’s Office prior to the last class of the term. To request a leave of absence from the School of Law, students must (1) meet with the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for counseling and approval and (2) if they have loans - complete exit counseling with Financial Aid. Failure to complete withdrawal procedures may result in a “W/F” notation on a student’s official transcript.

Change of Courses

Students may not add or drop courses after the Add/Drop Deadline or after the first day of a Summer Session without approval by the Office of Student Affairs.

Inter-Division Courses and Change of Divisions

After their first-year, Full-Time Division students may enroll in Part-Time Division required classes, as space permits. Second-year Part-Time Division students who for extraordinary reasons must take a required course during the day must obtain permission from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Third-year and fourth-year Part-Time Division students may enroll in required daytime courses, as space permits. Students may take elective courses offered during either day or evening hours. A preference is given to Evening Division students for limited enrollment classes scheduled during evening hours.

Courses at Other Law Schools

Courses at Another ABA-Accredited Law School

Students planning to attend summer programs at other ABA-accredited law schools and have credit accepted toward their J.D. degrees should complete a Rule 902 application and submit it to Office of Student Affairs for approval.

The School will accept up to a total of six semester hours of credit earned with passing grades in elective courses (not Externships) at other law schools. Grades do not count in computing a student’s McGeorge School of Law cumulative grade point average. Only courses, not grades, are recorded on a student’s McGeorge School of Law transcript.

Visiting at Another Law School

A student whose compelling personal circumstances necessitate leaving the School’s geographic area may be approved to study for one or two semesters at another ABA-accredited law school and apply the credits earned at that school toward his or her J.D. degree. A student must petition the Faculty Committee on Grading and Advancement and demonstrate that compelling personal circumstances warrant approval.

Courses to be taken at another law school must be approved in advance by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and only up to 32 semester hours earned at a passing grade level will be credited toward the J.D. degree. Grades do not count in computing a student’s McGeorge School of Law cumulative grade point average. Only courses, not grades, are recorded on a student’s McGeorge School of Law transcript. Students who take courses at other law schools must furnish the Registrar with an official transcript of that work promptly upon its completion.

Student Records

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the School of Law has established procedures to ensure that students have access to their records, that those records are accurate, and that the privacy rights of the students are protected.

Copies of these procedures are available upon request from the Office of Student Affairs. Directory information may be released by the School of Law unless a student requests in writing that this information be kept confidential. Directory information includes a student’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, date and place of birth, dates of attendance, degrees, honors and scholarships received, participation in officially-recognized activities, and previous schools attended.

Students who wish to have such information kept confidential must file a written request with the Registrar prior to the last day to register for the Fall Semester.

Inquiries regarding compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be directed to the Dean, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, or to the Federal FERPA Office of the United States Department of Education.

Academic Honors and Awards

The Order of the Coif

The Order of the Coif is a national law school honor society founded to encourage legal scholarship and advance the ethical standards of the legal profession. Award of a chapter of The Order of the Coif signifies that a school of law maintains scholarship and academic standards of high quality. Each year, faculty members of the McGeorge School of Law chapter of The Order of the Coif elect students to membership from among those seniors whose academic records place them in the top 10% of the combined Full-Time and Part-Time Division graduating class and who has completed at least 75% of his or her law studies in graded courses.

The Order of Barristers

The Order of Barristers is a national honorary organization whose purpose is the encouragement of excellence in oral and written advocacy. Ten graduating seniors may be elected to the Order each year on the basis of performance in a combination of intramural and interscholastic moot court and trial advocacy competitions.

Traynor Society

Students whose grades during any two academic years have qualified them for the Dean’s Honor List are awarded membership in the Traynor Society. The Society is named in honor of the late Honorable Roger J. Traynor, former Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.

Dean's Honor List

The Dean’s Honor List includes those students who achieved a grade point average for the previous academic year ending with the Spring Semester of 3.10 or higher.

Graduation Honors

Students who complete the requirements for graduation with a cumulative grade point average of 3.10 and higher will be graduated “With Distinction.” Students with a grade point average of 3.50 and higher are graduated “With Great Distinction.”

Valedictorian Awards

Valedictorian medals are presented at Commencement each year to the graduating students with the highest grade point averages in the Full-Time and Part-Time Divisions. The Late Honorable Sherrill Halbert, Senior Judge of the United States District Court, Eastern District of California, provided for these medals.

McGeorge School of Law Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award

Upon election by the Faculty Committee on Honors and Awards, an award is presented yearly to a student in each division of the senior class in recognition of overall scholastic accomplishment.

McGeorge School of Law Outstanding Graduating Senior Awards

Nominations for this award are based on criteria which include scholastic standing, honors, and activities. Awards are made to the graduating senior from the Full-Time and the Part-Time Divisions selected by the Committee on Honors and Awards as exemplifying the highest academic and individual achievements during his or her law school career.

McGeorge School of Law Outstanding Student Achievement Awards

Outstanding Student Achievement awards are made to the senior student from the Part-Time and the Full-Time Division who has provided student leadership through student government offices and projects; McGeorge School of Law Review, or leadership in other student activities, outside activities, or work experience combined with law school study.

Outstanding Student Service Award

An award is made to the graduating senior from the Full-Time or Part-Time Division who has given most significant service to the McGeorge community in his or her senior year.

Outstanding Student Achievement in Trial Advocacy

Four awards for Outstanding Achievement in Trial Advocacy are provided from the Emil Gumpert Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Trial Advocacy presented to the University of the Pacific, McGeorge  School of Law by the American College of Trial Lawyers. Two additional awards are provided by the Consumer Attorneys of Sacramento.

Questions?

Dean McGuire

p:  916.739.7089

e:  mmcguire@pacific.edu

Reservation of Right to Modify

The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only and are subject to change.