Tuesday, June 07, 2005

SWLAW Residency Requirement

So I know a guy who will have enough credits earned to graduate after the completion of the Fall 2006 semester. Which means he would have busted his ass for two and a half years fitting in three years worth of study into that time. It was planned that way so he could graduate a semester early and prepare to take the February bar exam. The thing is, is that he doesn't meet the residency requirement. From the SWLAW student handbook:

American Bar Association
Standards for the Approval of Law Schools
Standard 304

Pursuant to ABA Standard 304(c):
To receive residence study credit for an academic semester, a full-time student must be enrolled in a schedule requiring a minimum of ten (10) class hours a week and must receive credit for at least nine (9) class hours.... If a student is not enrolled in or fails to receive credit for the minimum number of hours specified in this subsection, he or she may receive residence credit only in the ratio that the hours enrolled in or in which credit was received, as the case may be, bear to the minimum specified.

1. Full-Time Students (Day Division)
a. Fall and Spring Semester

Day division students require six residency units in order to graduate. A residency unit is earned by enrolling in at least ten (10) units and passing at least nine (9) units in an academic semester. Typically, a full-time student will enroll in at least ten (10) units for six semesters, thereby earning six (6) residency units.

b. Summer Session
A maximum of one-half of one residency unit may be earned in the summer session. A full-time student who is enrolled in and passes at least five (5) units in the summer will receive one-half of one residency unit. Therefore, two summers may be substituted for one semester in the regular academic year.

c. Pro-Ratio Rule
A student who registers for fewer units than specified above will receive proportional residency credit and accordingly must plan to attend school longer in order to graduate.

Having only taken 4 units during the summer of 2004, the guy comes out to acquiring one-tenth of a residency unit short, which means he would have to at least attend the following Spring semester as a part-time student and take one more unit.

If that doesn't suck enough consider that the ABA has changed its residency requirement which reads as ABA Standard 304(b):

A law school shall require, as a condition for graduation, successful completion of a course of study in residence of not fewer than 58,000 minutes of instruction time, except as otherwise provided. At least 45,000 of these minutes shall be by attendance in regularly scheduled class sessions at the law school.

ABA Standard 304(c) now reads as:
(c) A law school shall require that the course of study for the J.D. degree be completed no sooner than 24 months and not longer than 84 months after a student has commenced law study at the law school or a law school from which the school has accepted transfer credit.

Of course SWLAW was told about this but apparently they're adhering to the student handbook rule which is pursuant to a now obsolete ABA standard.


Anonymous said...

Boo Bison!

- Guess Who?

Wayne said...

Yay Trini?