Academic Information

Dean Approval

When any action is required by the dean, the dean may authorize another member of the faculty or staff to act on the dean's behalf.

Law School Matriculation

Applicants selected for admission normally matriculate in August (fall semester) and attend a mandatory orientation. Some applicants are accepted on the requirement that they matriculate for a summer program. All other accepted applicants have the option of matriculating in the summer to take a designated course from the first-year curriculum. Students who matriculate in this optional program will take a designated course in the spring semester. Students who matriculate in the summer are required to attend the August orientation. A student is considered as having matriculated if enrolled on the first day of classes for the term.  The American Bar Association establishes the matriculation date of students for the purpose of its reports.

LL.M. students in the American Legal Studies Program generally matriculate in the summer term. Exceptions may be granted by the Director of the LL.M. Program. Students in LL.M. programs with international partner schools matriculate as provided in agreements with those schools. LL.M. students with a J.D. from a law school in the United States may matriculate in any term.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is required. Emergency absences are handled on an individual basis. Any student whose absences, excused or unexcused, exceed 25 percent of the time allotted for the course will not be allowed to take the final exam and will receive a grade of "F" for that course.

Absences due to illness will be excused by the instructor when a written statement of such fact is presented by the student within a week of the student's return to class. Each unexcused absence in excess of a total of one week of classes for a regular semester, or the equivalent, may reduce the student's final grade. Students should consult the course syllabus regarding rules for unexcused absences in each particular course.

In all cases a student will be held responsible for assignments and other work in the class during the student's absence. The responsibility for work missed rests entirely with the student.

Degrees Offered

Doctor of Jurisprudence

The courses currently required of all candidates for the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree are listed below. Elective courses constitute the remainder of the 90 semester hours.

A required orientation program is held for entering students each fall prior to the beginning of classes. In addition to matters traditionally covered by orientation, these program address topics such as case briefing, introduction to legal method, and professionalism. All entering first-year students, whether matriculating in the summer or fall terms, are required to attend.

Required First Year Courses

First Year - Fall

  • LAW 625 - Civil Procedure I
  • LAW 506 - Contracts I
  • LAW 502 - Torts I
  • LAW 561 - Criminal Law
  • LAW 582 - Legal Analysis and Communication I
  • LAW 580 - Legal Research I

Total 15 Hours

First Year - Spring

  • LAW 626 - Civil Procedure II
  • LAW 507 - Contracts II
  • LAW 573 - Property *
  • LAW 503 - Torts II
  • LAW 583 - Legal Analysis and Communication II
  • LAW 581 - Legal Research II

Total 15 Hours

Notes:

* First-year students who enter in the summer and take Property in the summer will choose from among the following courses for the spring semester of the first year in place of Property:  LAW 638 - Federal Taxation Law, LAW 619 - Business Associations I, LAW 623 - Evidence, LAW 644 Employment Discrimination, or LAW 522 - Constitutional Law.  The grade for such replacement course will not be included for purposes of spring ranks nor determining good academic standing after the first year, but will be included thereafter.  See Grades Required for Good Academic Standing section of this catalog.

In addition to required first year courses, first year students are required to participate in Trial Practice courses as jurors, parties, and/or court officials when called upon.

Required Courses after First Year

After completion of the first year of legal studies, students (other than those on the guided curriculum) are required to take LAW 747 - Professional Responsibility and Ethics,  LAW 587 - Legal Analysis and Communication III , LAW 522 - Constitutional Law, and to satisfy the school's writing requirement.  All students entering in the fall of 2016 and thereafter will also be required to take at least six credits of experiential learning course(s). Qualifying courses are listed here and will be identified as such in the course descriptions.

With so few required courses, students bear a great responsibility to plan their coursework so that they will be well-grounded in fundamental subjects that are likely to be tested on the bar exam. To assist students in the important task of selecting courses that will adequately prepare them for the bar exam, faculty members advise students and the law school administration provides a list of bar exam topics for the various states.

Writing Requirement

After finishing the first year of the law school program but prior to graduation, each student must complete a substantial and intensive research project under the supervision of a tenured or tenure-track faculty member, the Dean, the Assistant Dean for Information and Technology, a full-time visiting professor, or a director.  The paper must be original and analytical and it must warrant a grade not lower than a C. Superficial or predominantly descriptive writing will not suffice. The writing requirement may be satisfied in one of four ways:

  1. In connection with a seminar or other course in which a paper of high quality which is at least 20 pages in length excluding footnotes is required in lieu of an examination;
  2. In connection with an in-depth individual study and research of a selected topic under the supervision of a full-time faculty member pursuant to LAW 795;
  3. By completion of a significant and highly meritorious law review piece, with approval of and supervision by a faculty member; or
  4. By other substantial writing projects approved by the faculty, including the completion of two papers, each of which are at least 10 pages in length.  Courses fulfilling the writing requirement will be so designated in the registration materials each semester; there is no fixed list of such courses.

Guided Curriculum

Full-time students whose grade point average is below 2.5 at the end of the first semester of their 1L year (excluding summer courses) are required to participate in the course Law 500 – Principles of Legal Analysis in the spring semester of their 1L year.  This course, designed to help first year students further develop legal analysis and writing skills, is graded on a credit/no credit basis.

Full-time students whose grade point average is below 2.5 at the end of the first year of law school are required to participate in the Guided Curriculum. The Guided Curriculum consists of six courses to be taken during the second and third years of law school as a requirement for graduation. Students must take

  • Law 623 Evidence
  • Law 619 Business Associations I
  • Law 562 Criminal Procedure
  • Law 798 Advanced Legal Analysis
and two courses from the following group: 
  • Law 651 Domestic Relations
  • Law 618 Wills and Estates
  • Law 638 Federal Income Tax
  • Either Law 621 Secured Transactions or Law 508 Sales and Leasing.

Students who are participating in the Civil Law Certificate Program may choose:
Law 713 Louisiana Security Devices in place of Law 621 Secured Transactions
Law 735 Civil Law of Sales and Leases in place of Law 508 Sales and Leasing
Law 708 Civil Law of Persons and Family in place of Law 651 Domestic Relations
Law 709 Civil Law Successions and Donations in place of Law 618 Wills and Estates.

Students who plan to take only the Louisiana Bar may, at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, may take Law 711 Civil Law of Property in place of Law 798 Advanced Legal Analysis.

Three of these six courses must be taken in the second year. Students who are required to participate in the Guided Curriculum and who attain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average during the second or third year are no longer required to remain in the Guided Curriculum. The Guided Curriculum requirements reflect the commitment of the MC Law faculty to preparing all students for the bar examination and for practice across a variety of areas of law.

The Guided Curriculum requirements reflect the commitment of the MC Law faculty to preparing students for the bar examination and for practice across a variety of areas of law.

Certificate Programs

MC Law offers certificates for J.D. students in several practice areas, specifically in Business and Commercial Law, Civil Litigation, Criminal Practice, Family and Juvenile Law, Health Care Law, International Law and Solo and Small Law Practice. These certificate programs assist students who have an interest in these practice areas by guiding them in design of their educational program while in law school to prepare them for practice in these particular practice areas. The certificates also provide recognition of academic excellence for students who fulfill the certificate requirements. 

Students must maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 in courses in the certificate program in which they participate to complete the certificate requirements. Additionally, students must earn at least a grade of C+ in any individual course that is counted toward the certificate. Each program consists of specified required courses, designated elective courses and skills courses, a writing requirement, and, in some programs, a minimum number of hours of courtroom observation. The writing requirement in satisfaction of the certificate requirements may also satisfy the writing requirement for the J.D. degree.  Students may earn only one of these certificates in the J.D. program. A student may, however, earn both the Civil Law Certificate (described below) and one of the practice area certificates. Students seeking to earn a certificate in one of the designated practice areas must apply for admission to the certificate program with the designated faculty advisor for that program. The designated faculty advisor is identified in the registration materials provided to students each fall and spring semester, or this information may be obtained from the Director of Student Records.

Click the following links for more information about the various certificate programs.

Certificate in Civil Litigation

Certificate in Business and Commercial Law 

Certificate in Criminal Practice 

Certificate in Family and Juvenile Law 

Certificate in International and Comparative Law 

Certificate in Health Law 

Certificate in Civil Law Studies 

Certificate in Solo and Small Law Practice 

Executive Program (Part-Time)

No student who is a part-time student and has eight (8) or more hours remaining before being eligible to graduate shall be permitted to enroll for and take less than eight (8) hours in either the fall or spring semester.  Part-time students must complete the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence within seventy-two (72) months after commencing the program of legal studies unless the Academic Standards Committee grants an exception.  Any exception must comply with ABA Standard 304 as effective at the time of the request.  Subject to the grade point average requirements applicable to students generally, students in the part-time program must enroll and complete classes every fall and spring semester and are encouraged to enroll for the summer semester.  

Part-time students shall be classified as 1L until they have earned at least thirty (30) hours of law school credit, as 2L until they have earned at least sixty (60) hours of law school credit, and as 3L when they have earned at least sixty (60) hours of law school credit.  Part-time students will pay tuition at the rates prescribed for their classifications as determined in accordance with the immediately preceding sentence.  The Academic Standards Committee shall appoint a faculty member who shall serve as faculty advisory for all part-time students and shall approve the schedules of each part-time student.

Except as provided above, part-time students shall be subject to all rules, regulations, requirements, standards, limitations, procedures, discipline, guidelines, and, to the extent not including the foregoing, catalogue provisions applicable to all students who are not part-time students, including GPA standards and limitations resulting from failures to attain or maintain required GPA levels.

Students in the Executive Program are not ranked with full-time students.  However, such students may request an unofficial rank from the Director of Student Records at the end of any regular semester after they have earned at least 30 hours. 

During the first two years of law school, Executive Program students must take at least the following classes: 

First Year - Fall

  • LAW 506 - Contracts I
  • LAW 502 - Torts I
  • LAW 582 - Legal Analysis and Communication I
  • LAW 580 - Legal Research I

First Year - Spring

  • LAW 507 - Contracts II
  • LAW 503 - Torts II
  • LAW 583 - Legal Analysis and Communication II
  • LAW 581 - Legal Research II

Second Year - Fall

  • LAW 625 - Civil Procedure I
  • LAW 561 - Criminal Law
  • LAW 601 - Legal Analysis and Communications III

Second Year - Spring

  • LAW 626 - Civil Procedure II
  • LAW 573 - Property*
  • Elective

*If Property is taken during the summer term, another course will be selected with approval of the student's faculty advisor, preferably from Federal Taxation Law (Law 638), Business Associations I (Law 619), Evidence (Law 623), or Constitutional Law (Law 522). 

Accelerated Two-Year J.D. Program

MC Law offers an accelerated two-year JD program at a set price for the entire program. Students must begin the program in the summer and then take courses in the two fall semesters, two spring semesters, the intersession, and two additional summers. The entrance requirements for this program are greater than for the regular JD program due to the demanding nature of the program. Each year MC Law announces the details for the program in its recruiting materials. The Associate Dean for Academics serves as the coordinator for the program. For further information contact the Admissions Office.

Sample Course Schedule (just an example)

Cum Hours

Semester Hours

Period

Course(s)

4

4

Summer

Property

19

15

Fall

Regular Courses

34

15

Spring

Regular Courses + Constitutional Law

44

10

Summer

2 hours May Intersession plus 8 hours over summer

62

18

Fall

Electives plus Legal Analysis and Communication III and Evidence

66

4

Intersession

Trial Practice

84

18

Spring

Regular Courses

90

6

Summer

6 hour externship following bar exam (or 6 hours of summer courses if not taking July bar)

Master of Laws

Advocacy Master of Laws (LL.M.)

A hands on, practice based course of study, the Advocacy LL.M. integrates trial and appellate advocacy externships at top State and Federal agencies.  Students can focus on developing their knowledge and skills in civil or criminal advocacy at the trial and/or appellate level.  Perfect for the practicing attorney, students have five years to complete the degree, a variety of scheduling options and all classes also count towards CLE credit.  This is a 24 credit program.  For information about the specific classes under this program, contact meyer@mc.edu.

American Legal Studies Master of Laws (LL.M.)

This LL.M. Program, designed to help foreign students to qualify and prepare for a US bar examination.  It requires a minimum of (30) credits consisting of a summer term and two semesters in residence at MC Law.

Required Courses:

LAW 901 - Academic Legal Writing for Foreign Lawyers  (2 credits) (Summer Semester)
LAW 902 - Introduction to American Law  (2 credits) (Summer Semester)
LAW 903 - American Legal System I  (1 credit)
LAW 904 - American Legal System II  (1 credit)
LAW 747 - Professional Responsibility and Ethics 

Choose a minimum of nine (9) credits from the following:

LAW 502 - Torts I 
LAW 503 - Torts II 
LAW 625 - Civil Procedure I 
LAW 626 - Civil Procedure II 
LAW 506 - Contracts I 
LAW 507 - Contracts II 
LAW 561 - Criminal Law 
LAW 573 - Property 
LAW 562 - Criminal Procedure 
LAW 623 - Evidence 
LAW 522 - Constitutional Law 

Students are expected to take 13 credits both the fall and the spring semesters.  Students in the program are eligible to transfer to the JD program if they meet certain criterion (2.6 grade point average in a restricted core course curriculum).  Contact the Director to the LL.M. Program at meyer@mc.edu for more information.

International & European Legal Studies Master of Laws (LL.M.)

This degree involves one semester of study at MC Law and one semester of student at Lille Catholic University in France.

It is a 30 credit program with the credits split evenly between the two schools/semesters.  The program offers both a business and a human rights track.  MC Law JD students may earn an LL.M. from Lille Catholic University in addition to their JD following a single semester at that school.  For more information, see http://law.mc.edu/prospective-students/llm or contact meyer@mc.edu.

Traditional (General) Master of Laws (LL.M.)

The Traditional LL.M. is a program designed to allow the student to craft their own academic plan, (in conjunction with the Director of the LL.M. Program).

  1. The Master of Laws (General) degree requires a minimum of 24 credits. 
    1. Up to six credits can be recognized for coursework completed at another A.B.A. accredited law school.                                                    
    2. A portion of these credits can be recognized for coursework at MC Law.  Specifically:

      Up to six credits can be recognized for coursework at MC Law earned while the student was successfully completing their Juris Doctor degree at MC Law.

      If an MC Law student in the Master of Laws in American Legal Studies Program elects to transfer to the Master of Laws (General) Program, any credits earned and coursework completed prior to the transfer will be recognized.  
  2. Up to 9 of the 24 credits can be earned for out of classroom education, including:
    1. LAW 790 or LAW 791 Special Research Projects (3 credits maximum)
    2. LAW 795 Writing Requirements (2 credits maximum)
    3. LAW 905 LL.M. Thesis (This course is being developed but it not yet available.)
    4. LAW 770, LAW 771, LAW 772, LAW 776 Legal Extern Programs (6 credits maximum)
  3. If the student does not hold a Juris Doctor (or LL.B.) from an ABA accredited school, then the following are required courses for the Master of Laws (General) degree:
    1. LAW 901 Introduction to American Law (2 credits)
    2. LAW 902 Legal Research & Writing for Foreign Lawyers (2 credits)
    3. Writing Requirement (2 credits)
  4. Contact the Director to the LL.M. Program at meyer@mc.edu for more information.

Joint J.D./M.B.A.

Mississippi College offers a joint degree program for the Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees. Students must be separately admitted to both the J.D. and M.B.A. programs, and candidates in the joint degree program, in order to receive the J.D. degree, must substantially complete the requirements for the M.B.A degree and complete all of the requirements for the J.D. degree, of which six hours of work required for the J.D. degree may be satisfied by the following Business School classes: Accounting Issues in Business Decisions (ACC 6501) and Policy Formulation and Administration (MGT 6572). Further, nine of the 30 semester hours of course work required for the M.B.A. degree may be satisfied by law school course work. The Law, Business and Society class (three credit-hours) will be satisfied by completion of the following law school classes: Contracts I and Contracts II, Property, and Professional Responsibility and Ethics. The two electives (three credit-hours each) in the M.B.A. curriculum will be satisfied by completing six credit hours of any of the following law classes: Agency, Antitrust, Banking, Business Associations I, Business Associations II, Business Planning, Commercial Paper, Corporate and Partnership Taxation, Bankruptcy, Employment Law, Estate and Gift Taxation, Federal Taxation, Insurance, International Business Transactions, Labor Law, Pension and Employee Benefit Law, Real Estate Finance and Development, Real Estate Transactions, Sales and Leasing, Secured Transactions and Creditors’ Rights, and Securities Regulation.

Students must earn a C or better in all classes for which dual credit may be given. Law school credit for business school classes will not be finally awarded until the student has substantially completed the M.B.A. portion of the joint degree program and has completed all the requirements for the J.D. degree including the six hours of Business School courses. In sum, a law student who has completed all prerequisites to the M.B.A. program could complete the requirements for the two degrees in three and one-half years of full-time study. Students pursuing the joint degree may sequence the law and business classes in almost any way, except that students may not take business school classes during the first year of law school.

The law school and business school each have assigned one faculty member to serve as advisor to the students in the joint degree program regarding course sequencing. Except during the first year of law school, a student may take both law and business classes in the same semester, or take all course work during a given semester in one program or the other. The flexibility in sequencing permits M.B.A. students to enter the joint degree program at any time and law students to enter at any time after the first year of law school.

As currently required for the J.D. degree, students must complete the course work necessary for the law degree within five years. The J.D. degree requires a minimum of five semesters in residence (four for transfer students) at the law school. Residency credit for purposes of the J.D. degree will be awarded proportionately for semesters in which a student takes both J.D. and M.B.A. courses. See the Mississippi College Graduate Catalog for further details and joint degree requirements.

Joint JD/M.P.A.

MC Law, in partnership with the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM), beginning January 2018 (pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges), offers a joint degree program for the Juris Doctor and Master of Public Administration degrees.

Students enrolled in the joint degree program may earn 6 semester hours toward the J.D. degree from designated M.P.A. courses offered by ULM and 12 semester hours toward the M.P.A. degree from designated J.D. courses offered by MC Law.

EARNING THE JOINT DEGREE

  1. Prospective students will follow the admissions process outlined below:
    1. Students must apply to each program separately and must be admitted to each program separately.
    2. Students may use their LSAT scores in consideration for admission to the M.P.A.program.
    3. Students may begin coursework toward the M.P.A.upon completion of their first year of law school. Students in the program may not receive credit for any M.P.A. courses toward the J.D. that may have been earned toward the M.P.A. degree prior to law school matriculation.
  2. Students must meet the following criteria to remain in the programs:
    1. Must be considered a student in good standing at both programs;
    2. Must earn a C or better in all courses for which shared credit may be given.
    3. Must take the required first-year Law School curriculum in their initial year;
    4. After the first year, students are able to integrate their coursework between the two degrees;
    5. Must complete the coursework necessary for the law degree within five years (law school credit forM.P.A. classes will not be finally awarded until the student has substantially completed the M.P.A. portion of the joint degree program and has completed all of the requirements for the J.D. degree);
    6. Must maintain a minimum of five semesters in residence at the law school;
    7. Must complete their M.P.A.coursework within six years;
    8. Must follow the provided degree plans to assist with course scheduling. Substitutions to the degree plan must be approved by both MC and ULM advisors.
    9. To accommodate scheduling conflicts, some students may have to take summer school courses to complete both degrees; and
    10. Must complete 90 semester hours for the J.D. degree and 36 semester hours (in-service) or 39 semester hours (pre-service) for the M.P.A. In-service students have two or more years work experience in the public or nonprofit sectors. Pre-service students have little to no experience.

 

Transfer Credit Guide

Six (6) semester hours from the M.P.A. can be counted toward theJ.D. after consultation with the program advisor. Students may choose from the following ULM courses:

POLS 5001 Foundations of Public Administration   3 sem. hrs.

POLS 5002 Intergovernmental Relations                   3 sem. hrs.

POLS 5020 Ethics and Public Administration           3 sem. hrs.

In addition, twelve (12) semester hours required for the J.D. may be counted toward theM.P.A. at ULM after consultation with the program advisor. Students may choose from the following MC Law courses

510      Hazardous Waste Law                                    2 sem. hrs.

522      Constitutional Law                                         4 sem. hrs.

524      First Amendment                                            3 sem. hrs.

526      Themes in Comp. Constitutional Law            1-3 sem. hrs.

530      Clean Water Act and Wetlands                      2 sem. hrs.

531      Food Law and Policy                                     2 sem. hrs.

533      Military and Operational Law                        2 sem. hrs.

575      Land Use Controls                                          3 sem. hrs.

634      Environmental Law                                        2-3 sem. hrs.

701      International Human Rights                           3 sem. hrs.

703      Judicial Administration                                   3 sem. hrs.

734      Government Contracting                                1-2 sem. hrs.

736      Louisiana Mineral Law                                   2-3 sem. hrs.

758      Local Government Law                                  3 sem. hrs.

Students admitted to theM.P.A. program at ULM as pre-service students may count three (3) semester hours in one of the following legal clinics toward their internship requirement. This is included in the total twelve (12) hours that can be counted toward the overall M.P.A.

509      Mission First Legal Aid Clinic                          3 sem. hrs.

537      HIV and the Law Clinic                                    3 sem. hrs.

609      Adoption Legal Clinic                                       3 sem. hrs.

610      Youth Court Clinic                                            3 sem. hrs.

611      Child Welfare & Family Justice Clinic             3 sem. hrs.

612      Guardian Ad Litem Clinic                                3 sem. hrs.

For additional information regarding requirements for the M.P.A degree from ULM, see the ULM Graduate Catalog, http://catalog.ulm.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=26&poid=3162&returnto=3172.

Policy on Awarding Credit

Policy on Awarding Credit (ABA Standard 310)

The American Bar Association standards for accrediting law schools contain a formula for calculating the amount of work necessary to earn one credit hour. ABA Standard 310 defines a “credit hour” as 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.”

Interpretation 310-1 states that 50 minutes suffices for an hour of classroom instruction, but an “hour” for out-of-class student work is 60 minutes. The Interpretation also includes a final examination week in the 15-week calculation.  All told, you should expect to spend a minimum of 42.5 hours per semester per credit earned.

Courses:

At MC Law a typical class will meet 50 minutes per week, per credit hour for 14 weeks, followed by an exam period.  For instance, a three-credit course will meet 150 minutes per week (three, 50-minute blocks; or two, 75-minute blocks) for 14 weeks followed by a three hour final exam.  The minimum length of the exam will be tied to the 50 minute “in-class” hour and the credits in the course: 3 credits = 150 minutes; 4 credits = 200 minutes; etc., though exams are most often administered as one 60-minute hour per credit.  

You should expect a minimum of two hours of work per week for every fifty minutes in class.  For a three credit course, this would be six hours of out-of-class work attributed to reading, reviewing, outlining, studying, homework assignments, etc.

Each course syllabus will include a statement regarding student work expectations to earn credit for the course.  To the extent there is any variation from the standard course meeting times discussed above, the syllabus will describe the additional out-of-class work that makes up for the difference.  For example, in writing intensive courses, you will expect to work a significant amount of time out of class on independent research and writing. 

 

Clinics, Externships, Law Review, Moot Court, Special Projects, Writing Requirements:

For academic credits earned outside the typical course setting, students are required to log the number of hours they are working.  Students must log a minimum of 42.5 hours per semester per credit earned in the online portal established for this purpose.  Individual programs and professors may require more hours than the minimum.  At the conclusion of the semester, students are required to submit a log of their hours to the supervising faculty member.

Credit will be withheld from any student failing to comply with this institutional policy.

Compliance:

The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, in conjunction with the Academic Programming Committee (APC), is tasked with ensuring compliance with this policy. 

For existing courses, each professor is required to submit a Standard 310 Form that identifies how each course complies with the requirements of Standard 310.  Each syllabus must also include a statement of the course workload expectations, which are consistent with the standard.  For new courses, the course proposal form requires those proposing courses to justify the number of credits sought to be offered.  The APC evaluates such justifications in connection with approving or modifying proposed courses.

Student course evaluations include new questions geared toward informing the Associate Dean and APC as to the amount of work experienced in each course.  All of the above are reviewed by the Associate Dean and APC to ensure compliance and institute changes as necessary.

Grades and Academic Standing

Grading System

The law school uses the following grading system:

A

Reserved for work which is definitely superior in quality.

B+

Intermediate grade.

B

Given for work which is consistently good and which manifests sufficient interest, effort, or originality to distinguish it as above average work.

C+

Intermediate grade.

C

Given for average work.

D+

Intermediate grade.

D

Earns credit, but students with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 are not in good academic standing.

F

Indicates failure and carries no credit.

W Withdrawal (does not count in the student's academic standing).
P Indicates the student has done at least average work in a pass/fail course.

IP

(In Progress) may be given to a student who has been hindered from completing work required in a course by circumstances beyond the student's control, if prior arrangements are made with the faculty member to complete work at a later date. A student receiving an IP grade must arrange with the faculty member to take whatever action is needed to remove the in progress grade at the earliest possible date. Absent extraordinary circumstances, a grade of IP not removed at the end of the next semester or summer term becomes an F; it cannot be removed by repeating the course.  The IP grade does not count in the GPA calculations.

CR Credit

AU

Indicates a student has attended a course for noncredit for at least 75% of the regular class meetings.

NA

Indicates no audit because the requirements were not met.

Quality Points

A

4.00 grade points per hour

B+

3.50 grade points per hour

B

3.00 grade points per hour

C+

2.50 grade points per hour

C

2.00 grade points per hour

D+

1.50 grade points per hour

D

1.00 grade points per hour

F

0.00 grade points per hour

P

Carries no quality points. Courses graded with a P will not be counted in GPA calculations.

Please note that there is no appeal process for grades unless the instructor made a mathematical error.  The complaints procedure does not apply to complaints regarding grades.  Also be aware that there is no "conditional" failure. A student who receives a grade of F in a course may not receive another grade without repeating the course.

No more than 12 pass/fail graded hours may count toward the 90 hours needed to earn the JD degree exclusive of Law Review and Moot Court Board.

Grade Point Average

Grade point average is based on graded work attempted at Mississippi College. If one repeats a course, both grades enter into calculation of the grade point average. Formula for calculation of the GPA: GPA = number of grade points divided by grade point hours. Credits in non-graded (pass-fail) courses do not carry grade points.

The GPA included on a student transcript will include all courses taken.  However, for purposes of determining class rank and whether first year students are in good academic standing, all first year students will be assessed based on the same courses.  Thus, grades from summer Property (typically a spring course) and Agency (not a typical first year course) will not be included after the fall semester of the first year.  While Property will be included with spring grades in the first year, no other non-first year course will be included until subsequent to the spring semester.

Mandatory Class Average for First Year Required Doctrinal Courses, Legal Analysis and Communication and Legal Research

Absent exceptional circumstances, the grade point average for each section of first year courses, except for Legal Analysis and Communication I, Legal Analysis and Communication II, Legal Research I and Legal Research II shall be between 2.50 and 2.7999. In the event of exceptional circumstances, a professor may depart from this standard after consultation with the Associate Dean. Academic transcripts shall document that overall class average for first year doctrinal courses is expected to be between 2.50 and 2.7999.

Absent exceptional circumstances, the overall grade point average each semester for the sections for Legal Analysis and Communication I, Legal Analysis and Communication II, Legal Research I and Legal Research II shall not exceed 2.90. In the event of exceptional circumstances, the Director of Legal Analysis and Communication or the Assistant Dean for Information, Technology and Research, may depart from this standard after consultation with the Associate Dean. Academic transcripts shall document that the overall class averages for the first year Legal Analysis and Communication and Legal Research courses are expected not to exceed 2.90.

Dean's List

Students who achieve a semester grade point average of 3.25 or higher on at least 12 graded credit hours (excluding non-graded or pass-fail courses) will be recognized on the Dean's List for that semester. Students who meet this requirement will have a notation on their transcripts that they have earned "Dean's List" recognition. Students earning Dean's List recognition will receive an official certificate recognizing their achievement. Students in their final semester, who are enrolled for fewer than 12 graded credit hours and whose semester grade point average is 3.25 or higher may request that a Dean's List certificate be issued to them, but the notation will not be on their transcripts.

Grade Requirement for Good Academic Standing and Limitation on Enrollment in Intersession and Summer Courses

A cumulative average of at least 2.00 on hours for which a student registered and received a letter grade is required for good academic standing and for graduation from Mississippi College School of Law.

For purposes of determining whether first year students are in good academic standing, GPAs for all first year students will be calculated using the same first year courses.  Thus, good academic standing after the fall semester will not include grades from summer Property or Agency.  Similarly, good academic standing after the spring semester will include Property (typically a spring course), but not Agency or any other non-first year course taken by a first year during the spring semester.  Subsequent to the spring semester, the grades for all courses taken will be included in student GPA.

A first year student who enters law school in the summer term and whose GPA for the summer term is below a 2.0 will be given an academic warning (Law Warning). Such student is eligible to continue in the fall semester.

Any first year student whose cumulative GPA (excluding summer courses) is below 1.60 at the end of the first (fall) semester shall be dismissed from law school with no right of appeal. Beginning with the GPA at the end of the first (fall) semester of the first year, any other student whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.00 will be placed on academic probation. Students on probation and those who have been on probation during law school must have their class schedules approved each semester by the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee or the Chair’s designee.

Students on academic probation are restricted in their ability to register for courses.  Consult the Course Registration Policies/Procedures section of this catalog.

If a student on probation fails to have a cumulative 2.00 by the end of the next succeeding fall or spring semester, whichever is earlier, that student shall be dismissed from law school. Any student who raises his/her cumulative GPA to an acceptable level of 2.00 after having been placed on probation and who’s cumulative GPA subsequently falls below a 2.00 shall be dismissed from law school.

A student other than a student whose cumulative GPA is below 1.60 at the end of the first (fall) semester has the right to appeal upon first dismissal for failure to maintain good academic standing. Such appeal must be received no later than seven (7) calendar days after the effective date of dismissal. Upon the showing of exceptional circumstances, the Academic Standards Committee may, in the exercise of its discretion, set aside a dismissal and allow the student an additional Fall or Spring Semester of probation. Thereafter, any student failing to have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 shall be dismissed from law school with no right of appeal.

Dismissal from Joint Degree Programs

If a student who is enrolled in a joint degree program such as the J.D./M.B.A. is dismissed from one of the degree programs, then the student is automatically dismissed from the other degree program as well. The student may appeal for readmission to either or both of the programs. A student wishing to register an appeal should contact the Graduate Office immediately for a specific form to be used for that purpose.

Examinations and Grade Reporting 

Regular examinations are held at the end of each semester for most courses. Instructors may schedule other examinations during the semester. Final examinations must be given at the time designated by the administration. Final grades for the fall semester are due to be reported from faculty to the Director of Law School Records not later than three weeks from the day of the last regularly scheduled final exam for first year students and four weeks from the day of the last regularly scheduled exam for upper level students. All grades are due for the spring semester not later than four weeks from the last regularly scheduled exam.  Summer term grades are due not later than three weeks after the last regularly scheduled exam.

A student who is deliberately absent from a final examination without legitimate reason will be given a grade of F in the course.

Incomplete Grades and Special Examinations

All examinations must be taken at the regularly scheduled time. A student may request an alternate exam date only in the event of an emergency. A student requesting an alternate exam date must complete an Alternate Exam Date Request Form.  Both the professor and the Associate Dean must approve a request for an alternate exam date by signing the Alternate Exam Date Request Form. After the required signatures are obtained, the student must submit the original form to the professor and give copies of the form to the Associate Dean and the faculty assistant responsible for scheduling alternate exam dates.

When a student with such permission does not take the examination at the regularly scheduled time, the course grade will be recorded as "in progress" (IP) by the faculty member. An "in progress" grade automatically becomes an F at the end of the next semester if the requirements for the course have not been met by that time. This rule applies whether a student remains in school or withdraws.

A student with permission to take a special examination must arrange a time for the examination which is acceptable to the faculty member who teaches the course in question and the Associate Dean. Responsibility for initiating these arrangements rests upon the student. Upon completing the examination, the student should complete the proper form available in the office of the dean in order to remove the incomplete grade. There is a $30 IP grade removal fee.

Any student requesting reasonable accommodations for a disability should disclose the disability upon admission to the law school or as soon a possible after the disability is known. Disclosures and requests for accommodation must be made in writing to the Assistant Dean of Students.

Graduation

Application for Degree

Application for the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree should be filed when the student registers for the last semester (or summer session) before graduation. Application for the LL.M. degree should be filed when a student registers for the spring semester. The candidate for degree is charged a graduation fee. This fee, together with all accounts of any nature, must be paid in full at least fifteen days before the date of graduation in order for the student to be eligible to receive a diploma.

Graduation in Absentia

A student must make a written request to the dean at least two weeks before graduation in order to be graduated in absentia.

Graduation with Honors

Students who earn a grade point average of 3.25 on academic work attempted graduate cum laude; those who have an average of 3.50 graduate magna cum laude; and those who have an average of 3.75 or better graduate summa cum laude. These requirements apply to both J.D. and LL.M. students. Transfer students must earn 60 credit hours at Mississippi College School of Law to qualify for these designations.

Limit on Time for Graduation

To be graduated from MC Law, a J.D. student must successfully complete 90 credit hours of law school coursework no later than five years after the date on which the student first enrolled in a law school.

Students admitted to the Executive Program must complete 90 credit hours of coursework no later than 72 months from the date on which the student first enrolled in the Executive Program.

The requirements for the American Legal Studies LLM and International & European Legal Studies LLM must be completed within 24 months. The General LLM and Advocacy LLM must be completed within 60 months.

Withdrawal from Law School

A student desiring to withdraw from MC Law should initiate the process using the Complete Withdrawal link in the MY MC student portal. Failure to follow proper procedure may result in a grade of F for the courses in which the student was enrolled.

Failure to enroll during the regular academic year without receiving a leave of absence approved in writing from the dean results in automatic withdrawal and necessitates an application for readmission to resume the course of study.

Any claim for refund of tuition will be based on the date of the complete withdrawal request. A student suspended or dismissed from law school for personal or academic misconduct is not entitled to any refund. For complete refund information, see the Refund Policy.

Transcripts

All requests for transcripts of grades and credits earned must be made through Credentials Solutions. Transcripts will not be issued for those whose accounts have unpaid balances. 

Transcripts for current law students are issued at no cost to the student by the Director of Law School Records.

Transfer to another Law School

After completing the first year of law school, a student may apply for transfer to another law school pursuant to the rules of that law school. MC Law will provide a letter of good standing to that law school upon request of the student. Transcript requests for the purpose of transfer should be made here.