Required Grades for Graduation

  • The Law School does not count toward the credits needed for graduation more than 8 hours of uncompensated D grades. In order to be counted, D grades in excess of 8 hours must be compensated for by grades of B or better.
  • One hour of B compensates for one hour of D; one hour of B+ compensates for one-and-a-half hours of D; one hour of A- or A compensates for 2 hours of D.
  • D grades accumulated during the student’s first semester of Law School are not included in D grades for which there must be compensation, but A, A-, B+, and B grades for the first semester can compensate for D grades earned thereafter.

Grades of F-Failure, Re-Registration and Substitution

  • A student cannot graduate without having obtained a grade of D or better in all required courses.
  • Students who fail a required course must re-register for the course.
  • Students who fail an elective course may re-register for the course, or substitute the lost credits by registering for another elective course.
  • A full-time student who registers for a failed or substitute course during a following semester, and who does not exceed the cap on total credits earned while at the Law School (90 credits over six semesters), may pay the flat tuition fee for that semester, provided however, that a student who registers for a failed or substitute course during a seventh or later semester must pay tuition for the course on a per credit basis.
  • Once a grade has been entered, it cannot be changed by the instructor unless the instructor certifies in writing that a mechanical error was made in computing the component parts of the examination into the final grade or in transcribing the grade onto the course report sheet. Under University rule grades may not be changed for any reason after the student has graduated.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

All students must maintain satisfactory academic progress. For JD students, satisfactory academic progress is understood to mean:

  • Completion of the required first-year curriculum during the first year of enrollment with a grade of D or better in all courses, and no more than eight (8) credit hours of “uncompensated” D grades in the Spring semester.
  • Thereafter, completion (with a grade of D or better and no more than eight hours of “uncompensated” D grades) of sufficient credits of course work in each semester to allow for accumulation of a total of at least 83 (or if applicable 82) credits including 30 accumulated in the first year by the end of the third year. A minimum of 12 credits must be completed each semester. (Completion of courses requiring papers is subject to the rules regarding the grade of “INC".
  • Leaves of absence or other exceptions to the rules regarding satisfactory progress may be granted only by a Dean or the Executive Committee. A student who takes an approved leave of absence will be considered to be making satisfactory progress, assuming that student is otherwise doing so. Letters of Concern and Warning Each semester, the Office of the Vice Dean reviews the records of students in academic difficulty. At the discretion of the Vice Dean, letters of concern may be sent to those students informing them that the Law School expects improvement in academic performance in the future semesters. Letters of warning may be sent to students whom the Vice Dean deems to be in academic difficulty of a more serious nature indicating the necessity for immediate remedial action. Receipt of a letter of concern or warning does not constitute academic probation.

Certification for Bar Examination

  • It is the student’s responsibility to complete all work and meet all graduation requirements. Unless an extension is granted by the Vice Dean’s office in consultation with the faculty member, students must complete incomplete work from prior semesters no later than May 1st of their final semester. Students must complete all work from their final semester by the last day of the exam period. All grades must be entered by the University Registrar’s Office before a student can be certified to take the Bar Examination.
  • It is the student’s responsibility until the date of the Bar Examination to update all contact information on Albert (e.g., address, phone number, etc.). We must be able to contact you if questions arise.
  • A student who, at the time of graduation, is financially obligated to the University for tuition, housing (including summer housing after the final semester), library, or other services, or who are not in compliance with University Health Center immunization requirements, will have a “HOLD” placed on their account, will not be cleared for graduation, be certified for state bar examinations, have official transcripts issued, or have a diploma issued until all arrears have been paid. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure all accounts are cleared and all Stops/Holds are removed.

Honors

New York University School of Law does not rank students and does not maintain records of cumulative averages for its students. For the specific purpose of awarding scholastic honors, however, unofficial cumulative averages are calculated by the Office of Records and Registration. The office is specifically precluded by faculty rule from publishing the averages and no record thereof will appear upon any transcript issued. In addition, the Office of Records and Registration may not verify the results of a student’s endeavor to define his or her own cumulative average or class rank, including confirmation to prospective employers. Only grades posted by July 1 will be considered when calculating grade point average for Scholars, the Order of Coif, and Latin honors. This deadline may be extended by the Vice Dean only if grades for an entire class have not yet been submitted. 

Scholars 

At the end of the first year, as soon as spring grades are available, the ten students with the top cumulative grades from the first year will be designated as Pomeroy Scholars.* 

Following the first four semesters registered in the Law School (equivalent to a minimum of 54 law credits), the following designations will be made. These honors are not available to students who transferred to NYU School of Law in their second year. 

  1. The ten students with the top cumulative grades after four semesters will be designated as Butler Scholars.*
  2. The top 10% of students based on their cumulative four semester averages (other than Butler Scholars) will be designated as Florence Allen Scholars.*
  3. The top 25% of students based on their cumulative four semester averages (other than Butler and Allen Scholars) will be designated as Robert McKay Scholars.*

* These designations were introduced beginning with the Class of 1999. 

Order of the Coif 

The Order of the Coif is a national society established to honor those law students who have attained high academic distinction in the study of law. The Order of the Coif takes its name and traditions from the ancient English organization of lawyers permitted to appear in the courts.  Under the national constitution of the modern Order, membership is limited to those members of the graduating class whose GPA places them in the top 10% of the senior class.  In order to be eligible for membership in the Order of the Coif, a graduating student must have completed at least 75% of his or her law studies in graded courses at NYU School of Law. 

Both 6-semester JDs and 4-semester JDs (transfer students or students who spend two semesters as a visitor at another law school) are eligible for Order of the Coif; for transfer students coursework completed for a grade in the first year of law school and transferred towards the NYU School of Law J.D. degree will count as completed graded credits for calculating the required 75% of coursework, however, the grades earned in the first year will not be considered.  The number of students eligible to be in the top 10% of the class is computed based on the entire class, including 4-semester JDs.  Ten percent of the number of 4-semester JDs are calculated, and that number is the maximum number of 4-semester JDs eligible for Coif from among the top 10% of the entire class. The balance of the overall 10% number of slots are filled by 6-semester JDs only. Only grades posted by July 1 will be considered when calculating final Coif designations for 6-semester and 4-semester JDs. 

Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude 

The following honors are awarded each year to members of the graduating class:  Cum laude: to graduates whose grade point average places them in the top 25% of their class.  Magna cum laude: to graduates whose grade point average places them in the top 10% of their class. Summa cum laude: to the very few students (if any in a particular year) who, in the judgment of the Executive Committee, have compiled a truly outstanding academic record. 

Prizes 

The following prizes and honors will be listed on transcripts: 

  • Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Cum Laude Graduation 
  • Order of the Coif 
  • Convocation Awards 
  • Staff and editorial positions of these organizations: 
  • Annual Survey of American Law 
  • Environmental Law Journal 
  • Journal of Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law 
  • Journal of International Law and Politics 
  • Journal of Law & Business 
  • Journal of Law & Liberty 
  • Journal of Legislation and Public Policy 
  • Law Review 
  • Moot Court 
  • Review of Law & Social Change 

Letters of Concern and Warning 

Each semester, the Office of the Vice Dean reviews the records of students in academic difficulty. At the discretion of the Vice Dean, letters of concern may be sent to those students informing them that the Law School expects improvement in academic performance in the future semesters. Letters of warning may be sent to students whom the Vice Dean deems to be in academic difficulty of a more serious nature indicating the necessity for immediate remedial action. Receipt of a letter of concern or warning does not constitute academic probation. 

Dismissal for Academic Reasons 

  • A student may be dismissed for academic reasons only by the faculty members of the Executive Committee.
  • The basic standard used by the Executive Committee in determining the question of academic dismissal is the likelihood of the student’s failing to meet the graduation requirements in the normal number of semesters. A student who has accumulated a sufficient number of F, uncompensated D, or INC grades to indicate that he or she is not reasonably able to meet the graduation requirements in six full-time semesters without exceeding the 15 credit per semester maximum will be dismissed, unless extraordinary reasons are shown for extending the time period.
  • Further in determining academic dismissal the Executive Committee will also consider the limits set forth in the section above entitled “Re-registration and Substitution."