Academic Policies Guide

Class Attendance and Residence Requirements

Rules of the American Bar Association, the New York State Court of Appeals, other state high courts, and the Law School itself all require regular classroom attendance. Students are advised that excessive absenteeism can result without warning in: 1) grade lowering or 2) denial of permission to complete course work and/or sit for the exam or receipt of a grade of WD (withdrawn) or FAB (failed for absence). Missing more than one-fifth of classes is presumptively excessive. Any student who finds himself or herself at risk of missing more than one-fifth of classes for any course should immediately speak with the instructor and/or Dean of Students. Please note that these rules supersede the policy that a student may drop a course up until the last day of the class without receiving a WD on his or her transcript.

Faculty members may establish a higher standard of regular attendance than that described above, and may also take this higher standard of attendance, class participation, and the quality of class performance into account in determining the student’s grade as long as the faculty member has, during the first week of classes, announced an intention to do so or has included that intention in the syllabus or other class materials distributed in the first week of class. (See also Classroom Performance on page 7).

The student’s obligation to be in regular attendance derives both from faculty rule and the rule of state bar examiners. As a prerequisite to a student’s admission to the bar, the Dean must certify to state boards of law examiners that the student has been in regular attendance. The Law School must be the student’s principal commitment during each semester. Extensive employment is disfavored because of its tendency to interfere with the student’s academic life at the Law School. In no event may a student devote more than 20 hours in any week to such employment during the semester.

JD students must complete six full-time semesters within five years of their initial registration at and through the Law School unless extended or modified by the Vice Dean or vote of the Executive Committee, consistent with ABA and Court rules. This requirement is a prerequisite to receipt of the Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Certification of attendance and graduation is a prerequisite for admission to the bar examination.

LLM students must complete their degree requirements within five years of their initial registration at and through the Law School unless extended or modified through the Vice Dean or vote of the Executive Committee. This requirement is a prerequisite to receipt of the Master of Laws (LLM) degree. If the LLM is needed for bar eligibility, certification of attendance and graduation is a prerequisite for admission to the bar examination. Further, note that if the LLM is needed for New York bar eligibility, the rules of the New York Court of Appeals require the degree to be completed within two years.

Students will not be registered for courses with overlapping times. This is against the attendance policies of the ABA and the Court of Appeals.

Calendar

NYU School of Law publishes an official calendar for each academic year. Individual faculty members may elect to reschedule classes where circumstances require, but general suspension of classes in the Law School is reserved for those holidays appearing on the official calendar.

Computation of Credit Hours

According to ABA Rules, a “credit hour” is an amount of work that reasonably approximates: (1) not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work per week for fifteen weeks, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (2) at least an equivalent amount of work as required in subparagraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including simulation, field placement, clinical, co-curricular, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. For purposes of this Standard, fifty minutes suffices for one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction. An “hour” for out-of-class student work is sixty minutes. The fifteen-week period may include one week for a final examination.

For courses taken elsewhere in the University toward a Law degree, Law students will earn credits calculated as above (rounded down to the nearest quarter credit).

Classes During Religious Holidays

Students who have to miss a class because of a religious observance can arrange, with the permission of the instructor, to have the class recorded. Faculty can request a class be recorded via NYU Classes.