The School of Law’s academic year comprises 133 days on which classes are regularly scheduled, extending over nine calendar months. The academic year is divided into two semesters, fall and spring. The fall semester runs from late August into late November or early December, followed by a week-long final exam period. The spring semester runs from January through April, followed by a week-long final exam period. The School of Law offers a summer semester from late May through mid-July.
Students must successfully complete 85 credit hours to be eligible for graduation (among other requirements described here). During fall and spring semesters, 2-credit courses meet for 110 minutes per week for 13 weeks, plus a final exam, and 3-credit courses meet for 165 minutes per week for 13 weeks, plus a final exam. Courses that meet over a shorter number of weeks meet for a proportionately larger number of minutes each week. In order to adequately prepare for class, students are assigned advance reading and other work that would typically take 110 minutes of out-of-class preparation time for each 55 minutes of class time.
The American Bar Association and the University of Maryland School of Law require regular and punctual attendance by students. Regular attendance is presumed to mean at least 80% of the total classes or class hours for a course. A student who fails to comply with the attendance requirement may be subject to withdrawal from the course, denied permission to sit for the final examination, or other reasonable penalty for non-compliance, which includes the lowering of the course grade.
A faculty member may adopt a more specific or stricter attendance policy provided that the policy and the penalty for a violation are announced in writing (Blackboard posting is acceptable) at the beginning of the course (and no later than the first week of classes). In any event, the Director of Registration and Enrollment shall initiate enforcement action against a student once the faculty member provides the Director with documentation of the student’s absences, a copy of the faculty member’s written notice informing the student of his or her attendance policy violation as well as the imposed penalty, and if applicable, a copy of the faculty member’s announcement of a more specific or stricter attendance policy.
A student may appeal the enforcement action to the Administrative Committee only on the grounds of actual compliance, inadequacy of notice, and unreasonableness of the penalty. The student may be allowed to continue attending classes pending the Committee’s decision unless the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Communications concludes that doing so would be disruptive to the class. No further penalties may be imposed based solely on additional student absences arising from the appeal process.
After completion of the first year of law school, a JD student may take one course each semester on an audit basis.
Courses taken for audit do not count for credit for graduation requirements; tuition for audited courses is the same as for credit courses. Faculty approval is required to audit any seminar, simulation or experience-based course offering. As with students registered for credit, Audit requires students’ regular and punctual attendance according to the expectations of the course instructor. Students receiving permission to audit should clarify with the instructor expectations about preparation and participation.
Requests to audit a course are lowest in enrollment priority and requests may NOT be made using the on-line Advance Registration Request Form. Students should make requests to audit a course on an Add/Drop Form (paper). Requests will be considered only after all timely registration requests. The deadline to add or drop an audited course is the same as the Online Add/Drop deadline for any semester.
A student taking a course on an audit basis may switch to a graded basis up until the announced deadline for the Credit/No Credit election. A student taking a course on a graded basis may not switch to an audit basis after the Online Add/Drop deadline.
Audited courses count toward the maximum number of credits students may take. That is, if the audited course would bring an Evening Division student’s registration above the Evening Division limit, the student would be required to transfer to the Day Division and pay the Day Division tuition rate. If the audited course would bring a Day Division student’s registration above 17 credits, the student would not be permitted to audit the course, as no student may enroll in more than 17 credits per semester.
Students may not audit a course previously taken for credit; students may not take for credit a course previously audited.
Students changing from Evening Division (part-time) to Day Division (full-time), or vice-versa, should investigate whether the change may affect their eligibility to participate in journal petitioning. Students must have completed a minimum of 28 credits to participate in any Legal Theory & Practice or Clinic course (except if offered as a first year elective for day division students)
Students beginning their studies in the Day Division must fulfill the Cardin Requirement, even if they change to the Evening Division.
Students beginning their studies in the Evening Division must take all required courses during the evening hours. This rule was instituted to ensure there is a critical mass of students in all Evening Division required courses. The only exception to this rule is for courses satisfying the Advanced Legal Research requirement.
With respect to classes held on days when a substantial number of students may not be able to be present, such as widely observed religious holidays, the Faculty Council of the Law School has adopted the following policy:
Instructors who hold classes when a substantial number of students cannot attend for a good cause are encouraged to take appropriate measures (such as make-up classes, permitting taping, tutoring, individual or group discussions, etc.) to enable students who cannot attend those classes to make up material that they missed.
(See also UMB Policy Concerning the Scheduling of Academic Assignments on Dates of Religious Observance » )
Subject to transfer credit limits, a student at UM Carey Law may receive credit for any course taken during the academic year at an ABA-accredited law school, provided:
- The student receives advance approval from the Office of Registration & Enrollment to take the course; and
- The student receives a grade of C- or better in the course (credits transfer, the grade does not); and
- The course is not a required course at the University of Maryland School of Law; and
- The course (or a substantially similar course) is not offered at the University of Maryland School of Law at any time during the academic year, or
- The student is unable to register for the course (or a substantially similar course) at the University of Maryland School of Law at any time during the academic year because the course is fully enrolled.
In exceptional cases, in which a student does not meet the requirements above, authority given a student to receive credit for a course is within the discretion of the Office of Registration & Enrollment. For purposes of this policy, an academic year consists of a fall semester and the immediately following spring semester.
Subject to transfer credit limits, a student at UM Carey Law may receive credit for any course taken during a summer session at an ABA–accredited law school if the student receives, from the Office of Registration & Enrollment of the University of Maryland School of Law, approval in advance to take the course and receives a grade of C- or better in the course (credits transfer, the grade does not).
Day Division students normally take between 12 and 17 credits each semester. Evening division students normally take between 9 and 11 credits per semester. In no case may any law student enroll in more than 17 credits per semester. Courses taken at other law schools and other non-law graduate schools count towards the 17-credit maximum. Abbreviated courses taken prior to the start date of classes of any fall or spring semester count toward the 17-credit maximum for that semester.
No student, Day or Evening Division, may enroll in more than 9 credits during the summer session. The 9-credit maximum applies to Carey Law courses, courses at other law schools, and non-law graduate courses. Abbreviated courses taken prior to the start date of classes of a summer session count toward the 9-credit maximum.
Subject to the right of the person teaching the course to require that all students take the course on a graded basis, a student may elect to take a course, other than a required course, on a credit/no credit basis, but only for one course on one occasion during the student’s law career. An instructor who wishes to require that all students take the course on a graded basis must notify the Office of Registration & Enrollment of this requirement in time for it to be inserted into the registration materials for the semester in which the course is to be offered.
A student who wishes to elect to take a course on a credit/no credit basis must file his or her election with the Office of Registration & Enrollment prior to submitting work for a grade or sitting for an exam (this does not apply to class participation in course where it comprises a portion of the student’s grade) or by the date announced by the Office of Registration and Enrollment, whichever is earliest. As part of this election, the student may specify that if the student receives a grade at or above a particular level, the student will receive that grade, rather than receiving “credit” for the course. In the absence of such a specification, a student who properly elects to take a course on a credit/no credit basis will receive “credit” for the course if the earned grade in the course is at least C- (1.67); otherwise, the student will receive “no credit” for the course. However, a student who properly elects to take a course on a credit/no credit basis and who receives a grade below C- in the course will be so notified and then can elect, in the time and manner prescribed by the Office of Registration & Enrollment, to take the grade in the course instead of the “no credit.”
The grade CR (credit) or NC (no credit) as the case may be, will be recorded on the student’s academic record. Neither grade will have an impact on the cumulative grade point average, but only the CR grade will cause credits to be earned toward degree requirements.
A student may not elect the CR/NC option more than once. That is, a CR/NC election with or without a specified minimum grade would count as the student’s one CR/NC election, and a student who receives the grade, rather than a designation of CR, may not use the CR/NC option again.
ELECTIVE courses graded on the A+ to F scale which are not eligible for the Credit/No Credit option are noted on the curriculum.
If a student intends to graduate in other than the usual three years (full-time) or four years (evening or part-time day), the following criteria will be applied to determine senior status:
- Full-time day students who have earned 50 credits by the conclusion of the fall semester of their second year may request senior status (submit a Registration Status and Exception Request to the Office of Registration and Enrollment) prior to senior registration deadlines in order to receive senior enrollment priorities for selection of courses in the spring semester of their second year and in the fall semester of their third year. In no event will senior status be granted for more than two semesters, e.g., if they do not in fact graduate in December of their third year.
- Evening and part-time day students who have earned 60 credits by the conclusion of the fall semester of their third year may request senior status (submit a Registration Status and Exception Request to the Office of Registration and Enrollment) prior to senior registration deadlines in order to receive senior enrollment priorities for selection of courses in the spring semester of their third year and in the fall semester of their fourth year. In no event will senior status be granted for more than two semesters, e.g., if they do not in fact graduate in December of their fourth year.
- Students who switch divisions will be given senior status on the basis of criteria explained above for the division in which they plan to complete their studies. They also will retain opportunity for Wild Card & Non-senior Seminar Preferences. (Submit a Registration Status & Exception Form, Wild Card Form and/or Non-Senior Seminar Preference Form to the Office of Registration and Enrollment).
- A student may not exercise a senior priority before Advance Registration which takes place in the fall semester of the second year (day students) or third year (evening and part-time day students).
- Students who begin senior status with the spring semester may benefit for that one semester from both senior and non-senior preferences. These “rising seniors” must notify the Office of Registration & Enrollment in person or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) of their intention to benefit from both senior and non-senior preferences.
Credit for courses taken at other institutions, including courses taken as part of a dual degree program and others which are to be applied toward J.D. requirements, may not be applied toward a student's law school degree requirements without the prior written approval of the Office of Registration & Enrollment. “Request to Take Courses at Another Law School,” “Request to Take Courses at a Graduate School,” and “Dual Degree - Request for Approval” forms are available on the Forms Shelf located outside of the Office of Registration and Enrollment, Suite 280 and on-line.
Approval to take non-law graduate courses will not be granted for on-line courses, distance-learning courses, continuing education courses, or courses designed to meet in-service, certification, or re-certification requirements. Approval will be granted only for graduate-level courses eligible to be applied to Master’s level or higher degrees at the institution through which they are offered.
Students in approved dual degree programs may receive up to 9 credits toward the JD for non-law graduate work completed at the other school.
Before credits will be accepted on a transfer basis, an official transcript must be sent to the Office of Registration & Enrollment (OR&E), Suite 280, 500 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, showing that:
A) Graduate Level courses – the grade achieved must signify satisfactory completion of the course(s); many graduate schools do not consider “C” work satisfactory; credits transfer, the grade does not. Graduate-level, non-law distance education courses are not eligible for transfer.
B) Law School courses – the grade achieved is a C- or better; credits transfer, the grade does not. If a grade below C- is achieved, the student will be notified and he/she can elect, in the time and manner prescribed by the assistant dean, to take the grade earned in the course instead of ‘no credit'.
University regulations permit students participating in interdisciplinary study programs to participate in the Inter-Institutional Registration program. The program provides the opportunity to take courses at another University of Maryland System school without payment of additional tuition; tuition is paid only at the "home" institution in accordance with its own policies. Students may apply up to nine credits of pre-approved interdisciplinary graduate study credits toward their law degree. Students participating in recognized dual degree programs, summer session programs and students paying on a per credit hour basis are not included in this policy. After receiving permission to register for a non-law course or University of Baltimore law course, obtain an application for Inter-Institutional Enrollment form from Office of Registration & Enrollment, complete the form and submit it to her for processing.
Dual degree program students should take into account in planning their academic programs the different rules in each of the participating schools regarding payment of tuition and fees. In addition to considering the academic credits to be scheduled in each school in each semester, dual degree students should consider the impact of that academic scheduling on the costs (flat fee vs. per credit hour fee) associated with attending each school in each semester of the planned program.
Students participating in recognized dual degree programs should be enrolled for 9 or more law school credits to be eligible for consideration for law school financial aid funds. Students who are registered for fewer than 9 credits are presumed to be applying for financial aid from their 'other' school. Students registered for fewer than 9 credits with the law school yet the majority of their total credits are still with the law school, may request of the law school consideration for award of law school need-based financial aid.
Dual degree students must receive both degrees at the same time in order to be listed as dual degree recipients in the graduation program. While the School of Law will count up to 9 credits of non-law graduate work toward the JD, whether or not the student is in a dual degree program, the other school may not be able to count law school credits toward the other degree if the degrees are not awarded at the same time.
For students first enrolling at UM Carey Law in August 2014 or later: Students in approved dual degree programs may receive up to 9 credits toward the JD for non-law graduate work completed at the other school. Students in approved dual degree programs who are receiving 9 credits toward the JD for non-law graduate work completed at the other school may in addition receive up to 6 credits for work completed with grades of C- or higher at another law school, subject to the conditions described on our website and on the Request to Take a Course at Another Law School form. In other words, the total transfer credit for which a dual degree student is eligible is 15 credits (9 non-law credits and 6 law credits).
First year students enrolled in 13 or more credit hours are not permitted to work at all during the school year, except with permission from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis during the second semester only.
Upper level Day Division students taking more than 12 credits may be precluded from enrolling in a clinic if the student has an excessive competing workload in a given semester. Students with competing workloads (an externship or outside employment) must consult, prior to registration, with the faculty member who teaches the clinic in which they have an interest. The clinical faculty member can then determine whether the competing workloads will conflict with the required hours per week all students must devote to clinic work. The faculty member may disallow the student from enrolling in the clinic if the faculty member determines that the student has an excessive competing workload that will interfere with clinic work.
Students wishing to enroll in more than one experience-based course offering in the same semester must obtain the approval of both instructors and the Associate Dean for Academic Programs.
To obtain grades online, students must first complete evaluations of their professors. Both faculty evaluations and grade retrieval are located on the School's website through "My UM Law." Students log on using their myUMBID username and password.
To complete faculty evaluations, click on "Faculty Evaluation System" on the menu. Each student's semester classes will appear. Under the section "Eval Status," students should click on the "Not Yet Entered" for the class/professor. This will allow access to the school's evaluation program. Once the evaluation is complete it may be submitted or saved for later revisions. Students are not be able to retrieve grades unless submit is chosen. The main page will either say "submitted" or “saved.”
If there is more than one instructor for a class, students will have to complete an evaluation for each person. Once evaluations have submitted students will be able to view their personal grades, as well as the grade distribution for the class. If grades have not been turned in yet, under the heading "Grade Availability" the course grade will be listed as "Unavailable." Otherwise, it will say "Available" and students will be able to obtain their grade.
Also, once a student submits the school's evaluation, s/he will be prompted to complete the Student Bar Association's faculty evaluation. This is an optional evaluation, but the results can be viewed by the student body.
Prerequisites will be enforced when students submit requests on their on-line Advance Registration Request Form. Some courses permit exceptions (see on-line Course Catalog) for exceptions; use the Registration Status & Exception Request Form.
The School of Law recognizes that class content is the intellectual property of individual faculty members. The faculty member's permission is required before any portion of a class session may be recorded. There is a strong presumption that faculty members will allow recording for makeup or review classes that are scheduled outside normal class time; for observance of religious holidays; and for court-ordered appearances in clinical matters.
It is expected that faculty members will announce their general policies on recording at the beginning of each semester. If a faculty member indicates that requests for recording may be granted in some circumstances, students are thereby on notice that their comments in any class may be recorded. Upon request of the UMB Office of Educational Support & Disability Services, faculty members may make class recordings available to individual students who have requested ADA accommodations through that Office.
The following policies apply to all classroom recordings:
- Recordings are for your individual and personal use only;
- The contents of any such recording may not be distributed, published, uploaded, or otherwise transmitted or copied to any user, site, server, etc. in which it is reasonably foreseeable that the contents, in whole or in part, will be available to another.
This policy is subject to the School's Honor Code and the Student Disciplinary and Appeals Procedure.
Students must have the faculty member's permission before any portion of any class session may be recorded. The decision to grant or deny permission is entirely at the discretion of the faculty member.
If permission is granted, a student may use a portable audio recorder to record the class. Media Services maintains a supply of audio recorders available for loan.
When an individual student must miss a class for any reason and wishes to have the class recorded, he or she should request a classmate to record the session (subject to faculty member approval). Media Services will not provide recording services for individual students, except as approved by Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Communications in exceptional circumstances; see below.
Recording by the Media Services Department
Under certain circumstances and subject to the faculty member's permission, the Media Services department will record class sessions, or will assist the faculty member with the recording process. Media Services can only provide recording services for classes held in classrooms with built-in video- and or audio- recording equipment.
Upon faculty request, Media Services will record all classes in a particular course and make them available to all students in the course for the remainder of the semester.
If a substantial number of students have indicated in advance that they will be absent in order to observe a religious holiday, classes except clinics will be recorded by Media Services and made available to all students for the remainder of the semester. Faculty who do not want classes recorded for this reason must contact Media Services and notify students.
Rescheduled classes will be recorded by Media Services and made available to all students for the remainder of the semester. Faculty who do not want classes recorded for this reason must contact Media Service and notify students.
Inclement weather (during periods determined by the deans)
All classes except clinics will be recorded by Media Services and made available to all students for the remainder of the semester. Faculty who do not want classes recorded for this reason must contact Media Services and notify students.
ADA related recording
Students must request accommodations through the UMB Office of Educational Support and Disability Services (ESDS). If ESDS suggests recording as an accommodation, they will notify the Office of Student Affairs who will seek permission from the faculty member.
All other circumstances
Media Services will not record classes for individual absences for reasons other than the ones listed above. Students should refer to the recording policy of the faculty member involved. For rare, emergency situations when recording is desired and the faculty member gives permission, the preferred solution is that recording will be done by another student. Subject to availability, and in extreme cases only, Media Services will try to handle last minute requests for recording that are requested through the Office of Student Affairs.
A student who fails a required course must repeat the course. A student who fails an elective course is not required to repeat the course, but may do so, subject to the permission of the faculty member teaching the repeated course. Except as hereinafter provided, a student may repeat a course the student has not failed, but only for one course on one occasion during the student's law school career, and only with the permission of the faculty member teaching the repeated course. A student who has not failed the course may not repeat any Cardin, Clinic, Introduction to Legal Research (formerly Legal Analysis Writing and Research II: Research), Legal Analysis and Writing (formerly Legal Analysis, Writing and Research I), Legal Theory and Practice, or Written and Oral Advocacy (formerly Legal Analysis, Writing and Research II) course without the express permission of the Office of Registration & Enrollment. The same is true also for Advance Legal Research (ALR) either as a true repeat or where the student wishes to take multiple forms of ALR such as ALR and ALR: Business Law for example.
A student who is required to repeat a course pursuant to the previous paragraph must do so no later than the next time the course is offered in the division in which the student is registered. However, if the course is next offered during the summer session, it need not be repeated at that time.
A student may receive credit for a course only once, the last time the course was taken. The student must pay tuition and fees for the repeated course as if not repeated. When a course is repeated, the new grade, whether higher or lower, replaces the old grade in the student's grade point average. However, both grades remain on the student's transcript, with a notation that the course was repeated.
A student may not take for credit or audit two courses in which a class session of one course is regularly scheduled to meet at the same time, or during an overlapping time, as a class session of the other course.
A request to attend any fall and/or spring semester at another ABA-approved law school (to "visit away") will be granted to a student only under compelling personal circumstances, such as the illness of the student or a close family member.
Students seeking approval to visit away must be in good academic standing and must submit to the Associate Dean a written request for permission to visit away on or before May 1 for the following fall semester, or October 1 for the following spring semester. The request must identify the school(s) the student seeks permission to visit and must set forth the student's reasons for requesting permission and include any relevant documentation to support those reasons. Permission be granted to complete required courses at another law school only in extraordinary circumstances. Under no circumstances will permission be granted to complete the Advanced Writing Requirement at or through another law school.
If the request to visit away is approved, the student must submit the Request to Take Courses at Another Law School in order to obtain advance permission for each course he or she wishes to take. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange for the host school to forward an official transcript of grades to the Office of Registration & Enrollment at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Official final grades from other schools typically cannot be processed and delivered in time to certify students for spring graduation. A graduating student taking one or more courses at another school during the spring semester will be permitted to participate in spring graduation ceremonies, but in most cases will not be certified for graduation until the end of the summer session. Summer graduates do not receive graduating class rank until they are ranked with graduates the following spring.
A student may write a paper in satisfaction of the requirements of two seminars taken simultaneously, if it is approved by the seminar instructors and the Curriculum Committee in advance and on condition that the seminar instructors consult with each other on supervising the paper and on the grade. (The grade need not be the same for each seminar). A project of this nature will not be approved by the Curriculum Committee unless it is at least the equivalent of four-credit independent written work.
A student may not obtain credit for both independent written work and a seminar, course, or other offering (including Moot Court, The Journal of Business and Technology Law, The Journal of Health Care Law & Policy, The Maryland Journal of International Law, The Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class, or The Maryland Law Review) for a single piece of written work, unless this is approved by the Curriculum Committee pursuant to the procedures and conditions for doing independent written work for more than two credits.
- Complete and submit registration requests on-line according to the established schedule.
- Wild Card selections approved either in April or November will be recorded for you by the Office of Registration and Enrollment on your on-line Advance Registration Request Form. Students no longer interested in taking this course simply drop it during the open on-line registration window. Once the request form is submitted, you will not get a second chance to use Wild Card even if you later drop the course.
- Students who in April are approved for enrollment in a summer, fall or spring clinic or LTP course will have that course entered on their on-line course registration form by the Office of Registration and Enrollment. Students no longer interested in taking this course simply drop it during the open on-line registration window. Once the request form is submitted, you will not get a second chance in the same academic year to use the Clinic/LTP/Cardin Preference even if you later drop the course. Students who are admitted to a clinic/LTP in their second year but who do not take that course may not submit another preference form in the same academic year, but may submit the form again in the following year.
- List on the on-line Advance Registration Request Form [Instructions for Online Registration and Add/Drop] your course enrollment requests. Selections in excess of the credit limit may be dropped by the Office of Registration and Enrollment, except for evening students who have received prior permission to exceed the limit by submitting a Registration Status and Exception Request Form and switching to the Day program for billing purposes. Although students may submit on-line requests for more than the maximum credit limit, the Office of Registration and Enrollment will determine which credits will be dropped.
- Processing of on-line Advance Registration Request Forms assumes that students follow the rules, including course prerequisites (see on-line catalog course descriptions), conflicting class meeting times, repeat limits and class restrictions (for example, non-first year students registering for first year classes and vice versa). Although on-line registration does not enforce co-requisites and day/evening credit limitations,students not in compliance will be required to adjust their schedules.
- Sometime after Advance Registration OR&E will inform students by email when approved schedules have been posted on SURFS. Approved schedules also will be printed on the bill for tuition and fees (which will be sent to you prior to the start of the semester/summer session)
- To get on the wait list during advance registration for an overenrolled course (including those courses which have a scheduling conflict with the alternate course for which you will register), submit a paper add-drop form to the Office of Registration and Enrollment.
The ABA has limitations on distance education credits which a student may take and apply to degree requirements. Distance education courses must be approved as part of the school's regular curriculum approval process. Therefore, distance education courses not a part of this or another approved law school's regularly approved academic program (thus excluding all graduate level distance education courses) may not be accepted toward satisfaction of degree requirements. Students may not earn more than four credit hours in distance education courses in any given term nor more than 12 credit hours total toward degree requirements. Students may not enroll in distance education courses until the student has completed at least 28 credit hours.