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This is an archived copy of the 2015-16 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.pacific.edu.

J.D. Program: Scholastic Regulations

Nondiscrimination Statement

The McGeorge School of Law maintains a long-standing policy of not discriminating in any of its activities on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, color, disability, marital status, age or religious belief.

Reservation of Right to Modify

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

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.

Degree Requirements

To be recommended by the faculty for receipt of the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, a student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion with passing grades of all required courses and 88 credit hours. Of these 88 credits, 72 must be earned in graded classes as distinguished from honors/pass/no credit/fail offerings.
     
  2. Demonstrated competence in legal research and writing by:
    1. Receipt of a passing grade in Global Lawyering Skills II (LAW 182), or
    2. Receipt of a passing grade as a staff writer on the Pacific Law Review.
  3. Attainment of a cumulative grade point average of 2.33 or better in all graded courses taken at the law school.

  4. Completion of the Experiential Curriculum, which consists of:

    1. Externship or Legal Clinic (3 units minimum), and
    2. A total of 8 units of Simulation and Practicum courses, including at least 1 Simulation course and 1 Practicum course.

  5. All J.D. students must take and pass all of the following required courses:
    Constitutional Law4
    Civil Procedure4
    Contracts4
    Criminal Law4
    Evidence4
    Global Lawyering Skills I4
    Legal Profession1
    Professional Responsibility2
    Property4
    Torts4
    Skills Lab- Torts1
    Statutes & Regulations3
    Principles of Legal Analysis I - if applicable1
    Although not required, students are strongly encouraged to take all bar-tested courses.
  6. Period of Study - Complete the J.D. Degree within 84 months of matriculation.
     
  7. Application for Graduation - File an Application for Graduation Form with the Office of the Registrar no later than the Add/Drop Deadline of your final term.
     
  8. Bar Exam - A student who sits for a bar examination prior to completion of all degree requirements is ineligible to receive a J.D. degree under regulations of the McGeorge School of Law. An exception may be made for a student who wishes to sit for the Delaware or North Dakota bar exam, which are offered only one time per year.
     
  9. Directed Study - If applicable. See Curriculum for full details regarding Directed Study requirements.
     

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.

Law Student State Bar Registration

The rules of the Committee of Bar Examiners of The State Bar of California require each law student who plans to take the California Bar Examination to register with the Committee and pay the prescribed fee after beginning the study of law and before any other application is transmitted to the Committee.

Forms for registration are available from the State Bar of California’s website at www.calbar.ca.gov .

California and other states have standards of character and fitness to practice which must be satisfied by candidates applying for admission to the Bar. The Rules Regulating Admission to Practice Law in California of the Committee of Bar Examiners of The State Bar of California provides:

Every applicant shall be of good moral character. The term “good moral character” includes qualities of honesty, fairness, candor, trustworthiness, observance of fiduciary responsibility, respect for and obedience to the laws of the state and the nation, and respect for the rights of others and for the judicial process. The applicant has the burden of establishing that he or she is of good moral character. For students who expect to practice in California, an Application for Determination of Moral Character is available from the State Bar of California’s website at www.calbar.ca.gov . Most students file the application with the Committee of Bar Examiners during their senior years, preferably more than six months before sitting for the California Bar Examination. Students with a record of involvement in disciplinary or criminal matters may want to file the application at an earlier date.

Students who plan to practice law in jurisdictions other than California should check that state’s requirements for student registration and admission to the bar. Further information regarding admission requirements and bar examiner addresses is available in the Office of Student Affairs.

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.