Fordham Law Academic Regulations
With your entry into law school you have begun the process of becoming a lawyer and consequently are bound by the appropriate standards of professional conduct. These standards are high, and serious sanctions can be imposed for failure to meet them. These Academic Regulations specify many of the expectations the Law School has concerning student behavior. You are responsible to know these regulations, but you should also bear in mind that such a catalogue of rules cannot be exhaustive. Thus, you should judge your conduct not only by these specifics but also the high standards of ethical behavior required by the profession.
The Juris Doctor (J.D.) requires successful completion of at least eighty three (83) credit hours. Generally, the full-time program in the day division extends over three (3) academic years. The part-time program in the evening division extends over four (4) academic years. Full-time is defined as 12 to 16 credit hours during a day regular semester; part-time is defined as 8 to 12 credit hours during an evening regular semester.
No upper-level student in the day division may take fewer than 12 credits or more than 16 credits per semester without special permission. No upper-level student in the evening division may take fewer than 8 credits per semester, or more than 12 credits per semester, without special permission. In each case, permission must be sought and may be granted by the Dean or the Dean's delegate [in this instance, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs] or the Registrar. To graduate, students must receive residence credit for 6 full-time semesters or 8 part-time semesters, or the equivalent. Additional credits earned in one academic year or summer session will not permit a student to take fewer than the minimum credit hours per semester thereafter.
Students are required to complete a total of 83 credits over 6 full-time or 8 part-time semesters. At least 64 of the 83 credits must be completed in classroom courses. Courses that count toward the 64 classroom credit hour requirement include all first-year required courses, upper level required courses, most upper level electives, in-house clinic seminars and casework, and externship seminars. Credits earned for work on journals, independent studies, and externship fieldwork do not count toward the minimum 64 classroom credit hours. Such credit hours do, however, count toward the 83 required to graduate.
Classes for first year day students may meet over five days a week. A student may not engage in employment for more than 20 hours per week in any semester in which the student is enrolled for more than 12 class credit hours.
The New York Court of Appeals requires that the course of study for the JD degree be completed no later than 60 months after a student has commenced law study at the law school or a law school from which the school has accepted transfer credit. Our requirements are designed to meet or exceed the requirements of the New York Court of Appeals, the American Bar Association, and Fordham University School of Law. Thus, any student seeking a waiver of the Law School's requirements should realize that such a waiver may violate one or more of the accreditors' rules. This could mean that the student would not be eligible for admission to practice law. Students are responsible for a thorough knowledge of the requirements for eligibility for practice in each jurisdiction in which they plan to apply for admission.
Determination of hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction:
Total classroom or direct faculty instruction time, exclusive of written examinations or final papers, is scheduled for 55 minutes per unit of credit over a thirteen-week semester.
After each term of instruction, examination periods are scheduled as follows:
- Fall and spring semesters: two weeks
- Summer term: one week
- Summer abroad programs: two weeks
- Every course shall require an examination or alternative assessment methods of at least equivalent magnitude. Examinations ordinarily run three hours.
Determination of student hours of work outside of class:
Courses involving classroom, or direct faculty supervision, including clinical courses, shall require out-of-class student work that approximates a minimum of 120 minutes per course credit each week.
Determination of hours of credit for academic activities undertaken in clinic, externship courses and independent studies other than classroom or direct faculty supervision:
Faculty will determine the number of hours required for each unit of credit; at a minimum, students must complete 42.5 hours of work for one unit of credit; 85 hours for two units of credit, and 127.5 hours for three units of credit.
Students enrolled in clinical courses and externships must complete required hours and submit time-keeping records in accordance with established clinic and externship policies.
Master of Laws (LL.M.)
The Master of Laws requires successful completion of at least twenty four (24) credit hours in no fewer than two (2) semesters and no more than three (3) years, based on enrollment status. Full-time is defined as 10 or more credit hours during a regular semester; part-time is defined as 2 or more credit hours during a regular semester.
No full-time student may take fewer than 10 credits or more than 15 credits per semester, without special permission. No part-time student may take fewer than 2 credits per semester or more than 9 credits per semester, without special permission. In each case, permission may be granted by the Dean or the Dean's delegate (in this instance, the Assistant Dean for International and Non-J.D. Programs or the Director of the LL.M. Program).
Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.)
The M.S.L. Degree requires successful completion of thirty (30) credit hours in a one year full-time program (two semesters) or a part-time program. Anyone who has earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in the U.S. or abroad is eligible to apply. Applicants with law degrees or who are admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction are not eligible and should instead consider the LLM degree.
Students may earn a M.S.L. degree in either Corporate Compliance or Fashion Law. Full-time students take between 12-18 credits each semester and part-time students take between 2 – 11 credits per semester. M.S.L. students take most of their classes with J.D. and LL.M. students and may choose from an array of courses designated as open to M.S.L. candidates. M.S.L. students are graded separately from the LL.M. and J.D. students.
The program in both first-year day and evening consists entirely of required courses. Required courses in the first year must be taken with the class section to which the student is assigned by the school. The Dean or the Dean's delegate (in this instance, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) may schedule a student to take a required course at another time under extraordinary circumstances.
Students are not allowed to take required courses at other law schools in summer sessions or otherwise without permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The required courses and the number of credits assigned to each are as follows:
First Year Day
Civil Procedure (4 or 5)*
Constitutional Law (4)
Contracts (4 or 5)*
Criminal Law (3 or 4)*
Legal Writing and Research (3)
Legislation & Regulation (4)
Property (4 or 5)*
Torts (4 or 5)*
First or Second Year Evening
Civil Procedure (4 or 5)*
Constitutional Law (4)
Contracts (4 or 5)*
Criminal Law (3 or 4)*
Legal Writing and Research (3)
Legislation & Regulation (4)
Property (4 or 5)*
Torts (4 or 5)*
*one credit variable indicates intensive writing course.
** Whichever first year day courses not completed during the first year program must be completed prior to the end of a student’s second year.
All Upper Class Students
Professional Responsibility (3)
Six Experiential Credits [EXP] (6)
Writing Requirement (0) completed prior to final semester
Students may not use a single course to satisfy more than one requirement. For example, a course that satisfies the professional responsibility requirement cannot also fulfill the experiential or writing requirement.
Second, third and fourth year students register themselves for all second year and upper level courses.
Visit the class schedule webpage for a list of courses that may satisfy the EXP requirement.
Upper Class Writing Requirement
As a prerequisite to graduation, each student must complete a program of supervised analytic writing subsequent to the first year curriculum. Unless the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs otherwise permits, a student must complete this requirement prior to their last semester.
To satisfy the upper class writing requirement, the student must complete a significant research and writing project under faculty supervision. The student must present a topic proposal for faculty approval, submit an outline and rough draft for faculty comment, and submit a final paper that (1) demonstrates significant research and original analysis; and (2) is well organized, carefully presented, and clearly written. The final paper must be at least 25 double spaced, typewritten pages including footnotes or, at the discretion of the supervising faculty member, another single work of equivalent magnitude in an electronic medium. All papers must be submitted no later than the last day of classes for the respective semester.
A student may complete the research and writing requirement (WR REQ) in connection with:
- Seminar Course: Students can enroll in a seminar that can satisfy the writing requirement. Only the courses that have the “WR REQ” designation on the class schedule qualify. Students must first obtain permission from the professor then submit the registration form and select “Writing Requirement”.
a. Students have the OPTION of receiving an additional 1-credit associated with the writing requirement seminar. The additional 1-credit involves substantially more work than what is required to satisfy the ordinary writing requirement. To register, students must select “1-credit Independent Study & Writing Requirement” on the registration form. Please note, students may only receive the 1-credit Independent Study if they are using the seminar to satisfy the writing requirement. The 1-credit Independent Study will appear as a separate course on students’ transcripts and will be graded as Credit/No Credit.
- Independent Study: Students can complete a 2-credit Independent Study with a full-time faculty member or with an adjunct professor who has been approved to supervise the writing requirement for that academic semester. Only adjuncts who are teaching in the current semester and have the “WR REQ” designation on the class schedule can supervise.
Writing Requirement/Independent Study Registration
A student must complete the Independent Study and Writing Requirement Registration form by the second Friday of the Fall or Spring semester; first Friday of the Summer session. Once a student has approval from a professor for the writing requirement and the form has been completed, the Registrar's Office will register each student for the writing requirement.
For writing credit to be granted, the supervising faculty member must certify to the Registrar that the student (1) presented a topic proposal and received comments from the faculty member on interim work, including an outline and rough draft; and (2) submitted a final paper that, in the faculty member's independent judgment, meets the standards of the writing requirement. Upon certification by the supervising faculty member, the Registrar shall record on the student's transcript that the writing requirement has been satisfied.
Submission of course or seminar paper that fails to satisfy the requirement
Should a student's course or seminar paper fail to satisfy the writing requirement, in the judgment of the supervising faculty member, the student shall be ineligible to receive writing credit but may at the discretion of the instructor receive course credit. In such event, the student may, at the discretion of the instructor, continue to work on the research and writing project in the following semester to satisfy the upper class requirement provided that such additional work not be counted toward course credit or toward the grade for the course.
Preparation of paper for publication in a student edited journal
At the discretion of the faculty member supervising the course, seminar, or Independent Study, a student may satisfy the writing requirement by preparing a paper intended for publication in a student law journal and may receive student editorial input concurrently with faculty supervision, provided that all elements of the upper class writing requirement are satisfied. Please note that students may not receive both independent study credit and journal note credit for written work that is substantially the same. Students must decide if they want the journal credit (1) or independent study credit(s).
Experiential Course Requirements
J.D. students are required to satisfactorily complete experiential courses (in-house clinics, field placements/casework, and simulation courses) totaling at least six credit hours. The Associate Dean for Experiential Education will designate such courses.
- Seminar Course: Students can enroll in a seminar that can satisfy the writing requirement. Only the courses that have the “WR REQ” designation on the class schedule qualify. Students must first obtain permission from the professor then submit the registration form and select “Writing Requirement”.
Required papers in a course or seminar must be submitted no later than the last day of classes for the semester. In individual cases of hardship, the deadline may be extended by the professor. In no event may a paper be submitted after the last day of examinations for that semester without written approval (prior to that date) by the Dean or the Dean's delegate [in this instance, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs]. Failure to meet the deadline for submission of a paper will constitute failure of the course or seminar by the student.
Failed elective paper courses
A student may pass a paper course that he or she failed by later writing a paper that receives a passing grade. Professors shall have discretion whether to allow such later-submitted papers. Such papers must be submitted according to the requirements set forth by the professor, no later than the end of classes in the following semester. Students' transcripts and GPAs will reflect both the original failure and the passing grade.
A student may enroll in only one Advanced Legal Writing (drafting) course each semester.
For all other elective courses, full-time students must schedule classes principally between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Evening students may, if they can so arrange their schedules, take any elective scheduled courses.
J.D. students who have completed their first year of law school may earn up to three credits per semester by independent research under the supervision of a member of the faculty or an adjunct professor who has been approved to supervise writing requirements during the academic semester. LL.M. students may complete up to three credits of independent research under the supervision of a member of the faculty or an adjunct professor who has been approved to supervise writing requirements during the academic semester; these credits may be earned in any semester, however, LL.M. students are encouraged to pursue these projects only after their first semester of study. The topic and scope of the writing requirement shall be arranged in consultation between the student and the faculty member.
All independent studies are graded as credit/no credit. This includes one (1) credit independent study completed in conjunction with a course and the writing requirement. To register for an independent study, the student must first obtain permission from the professor, then complete the Independent Study and Writing Requirement Registration form, by the second Friday of the Fall or Spring semester or by the first Friday of the Summer session. The notice must contain a summary of the proposed study. To receive independent study credit, the supervising faculty member must certify that the student satisfactorily completed the proposed study and grant credit for the research paper.
The norm for an independent study is two (2) credit. The quality of the final paper should be similar to the J.D. or LL.M. writing requirement. Under extraordinary circumstances, students may register for a three (3) credit independent study (for J.D.s) with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, or a Master’s Thesis (for LL.M.), with the approval of the Director of International and Non-J.D. Programs. A three (3) credit independent study or Master’s Thesis must involve a more substantial project than would be undertaken to satisfy the upper-class or LL.M. writing requirement.
A student enrolled in a seminar may, with the faculty member's permission, receive one credit (in addition to the two credits for the seminar) for submitting a paper that the faculty member certifies has (a) satisfied the writing requirement and (b) involved substantially more work than was required to satisfy the course.
The Add/Drop and Late Withdrawal policies do not apply to first-year law students.
Fall and Spring Semesters
A student may add or drop courses during the Add/Drop Period at the beginning of each semester using his or her Fordham.edu account. The regular Add/Drop Period ends at the end of the first week of the semester.
A student may request a “late withdrawal” from certain courses after the close of the Law School’s regular Add/Drop Period. Such requests must be made no later than two (2) weeks after the end of the regular Add/Drop Period. Approval from the instructor and the Associate Dean or the Associate Dean’s designee is required for a late withdrawal and a grade of “W” (indicating “withdrew”) will be entered on the student’s official transcript.
A student will not be allowed a late withdrawal from a course: (1) if such withdrawal will result in the student failing to meet the minimum credit requirement for the division in which the student is enrolled; or (2) if it is designated as a “professional skills” or "experiential" course.
Students may add and drop courses only if their amended class schedule complies with ABA, NYS Court of Appeals, and AALS rules.
For classes not on the normal semester schedule (including Summer Session and condensed courses)
After the normal registration period and "add/drop" period, a student may add or request a "late withdrawal" for a course that is not on the normal semester schedule (including Summer Session and condensed courses) with approval from the instructor and the Associate Dean or the Associate Dean’s designee. Such approval must be requested no later than one (1) week from the first meeting date of the course.
Extraordinary family circumstances, documented medical incapacity, or disability.
In all circumstances, a student seeking to withdraw from or drop a course due to extraordinary family circumstances, medical incapacity, or disability, must contact the Office of Student Affairs and provide the requisite documentation.
Most courses do not have waitlists; if a course is closed, students should check throughout the Add/Drop period to see if seats become available. Drafting, Research, Trial Advocacy, Fundamental Lawyering Skills and Introduction to the Deal are the only courses that have waitlists (please refer to administrative note column in our class schedule [https://law.fordham.edu/ClassSchedule] for the waitlisted course designations).
A registration waitlist is an electronic list of students waiting to register for a closed and limited enrollment class. Once the maximum enrollment for a class has been reached, the waitlist process begins and students may add themselves to the waitlist. The waitlist is an automated process with random selection based on seniority—e.g. third year day and fourth year evening students are given priority. If a seat becomes available, the first student on the waitlist for the class will be notified via their preferred email.
Please note, the waitlist course will appear as open, but it is NOT. This is due to the waitlist automated process offering a seat to the next student on the waitlist. Once notified, students have 48 hours from notification to sign-in to the portal and register for the course. If students are on a waitlist for any class, it is important that they check their preferred email frequently. Once the 48 hour deadline to register for the seat has passed, the seat will be offered to the next student on the waitlist and the student will not be able to register without repeating the waitlist process. If the student is selected from the waitlist, s/he first must drop any potential conflict and make sure that their schedule does not exceed the maximum number of allowable credits.
No faculty member can override the waitlist process.
The waitlists are automated and no other list (such as one kept by the professor) will be used. The waitlist period ends two weeks prior to the start of each semester. Once the waitlist period ends the student can register for any open course.
To place your name on a waitlisted course:
- Go to the registration portal.
- You will be prompted for your User ID (which is your Fordham email username) and your password (created when claiming your Fordham University account).
- Attempt to register into the class that you want to be waitlisted for.
- A notice will appear and ask you if you want to be placed on its waitlist.
- Check the "YES" box if you want to be added to the waitlist.
Once the waitlist period ends, students will be responsible for checking the status of courses and registering themselves for any available seats. If a student is interested in registering for a closed course, it is recommended that they check the course status regularly, especially during the first week of classes. Seats often become available near the end of the Add/Drop period.
For detailed instructions, visit our Registration Information webpage.
Under the Rules of the American Bar Association, the New York State Court of Appeals, and other state high courts governing admission to the bar, a student must be in "regular attendance." Furthermore, it is clear that work in the Law School cannot be satisfactorily carried on by students who are irregular in attendance.
Students are advised that a professor may take into account classroom attendance in determining the course grade. In addition, if a professor determines that a student's absences are excessive, the professor may, after consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, deny the student permission to sit for the final examination or give a failing grade.
Special conditions, including withdrawal from all courses for excessive absences from two or more courses, may be imposed in other cases that the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs regard as serious.
When the University closes the Law School building for weather-related or other reasons, no classes will be held on campus. Online classes will proceed as planned, and classes scheduled to meet in person will generally be shifted to online formats at their originally scheduled times. In some instances, an instructor may choose to reschedule a class rather than to hold it online. Upon receiving word that the building is closed, instructors should immediately alert students about plans to hold class remotely or any alternative arrangements.
A student may not be employed for more than 20 hours per week in any semester in which the student is enrolled in more than 12 class hours. Full-time students must sign a statement to this effect every time they register. Students who violate this regulation are subject to disciplinary action.
U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and certain eligible non-citizens may apply for federal student aid, so long as they carry at least a part-time or half-time academic workload, equivalent to half the workload of a full-time student.
Juris Doctor (J.D.) Degree
There are separate rules, supra, for enrollment status (credit load minima and maxima) and for residency status under New York State Court of Appeals Rules. For purposes of federal student aid, time status is defined as follows for full-time students: twelve (12) or more credit hours during a regular semester and five (5) or more credit hours during a summer session; therefore, students are eligible for aid when taking six (6) or more credits during a regular semester and three (3) or more credit hours during a summer. For SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) regulations for Federal Student Aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) Degree
There are separate rules, supra, for enrollment status (credit load minima and maxima) and for residency status under the Academic Rules in the Handbook. For purposes of federal student aid, time status is defined as follows for full-time students LL.M.-students: ten (10) or more credit hours during a regular semester and five (5) or more credit hours during a summer session. Part-time LL.M. students are eligible if enrolled in six (6) or more credit hours during a regular semester and three (3) or more credit hours during the summer. In order to be eligible for certain financial aid programs, full-time MSL students need to take at least twelve (12) credit hours during a regular semester and three (3) or more credit hours during the summer. Part-time M.S.L. students are eligible if enrolled in six (6) or more credit hours during a regular semester and three (3) or more credit hours during the summer. Students eligible for financial aid should seek guidance from the financial aid office.
In extraordinary circumstances, a leave of absence of up to 18 months may be granted by the Dean or the Dean's delegate. (Currently, the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs is the individual designated to review requests for a leave of absence.) If such a leave is granted, the Dean or the Dean's delegate shall specify and ascertain satisfaction of the condition under which the student will be readmitted.
A student who has been granted a leave of absence must, as a condition of re-enrollment, notify the Registrar of his or her intention to re-enroll at least sixteen (16) weeks before the start of the semester for which he or she intends to enroll. Additionally, if the returning student intends to enroll in first year courses upon his or her return, he or she must also notify the Assistant Dean of Admissions at least sixteen (16) weeks before the start of the semester for which he or she intends to enroll.
The NY Court of Appeals requires that the course of study for the JD degree be completed no later than 60 months after a student has commenced law study at the law school or a law school from which the school has accepted transfer credit.
Under no circumstance will a student who has not successfully completed at least one full semester of study at Fordham Law School be granted a leave of absence. Students who withdraw from the Law School prior to completing their first semester and who wish to re-enroll must file a new application for admission with the Office of Admissions, and follow normal application procedures.
Refunds for a student who is granted a leave of absence are as follows:
Prior to second week of term 100% Prior to third week of term 70% Prior to fourth week of term 55% Prior to fifth week of term 40% Prior to sixth week of term 25% Thereafter 0%
A. Prior to completing one full semester of study at Fordham Law School
Students who withdraw from the Law School prior to completing their first semester may do so only by delivering a written notice [to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs] on or before the last day of classes of the fall semester. If, after withdrawing from the Law School the student wishes to re-enroll, he or she must file a new application for admissions with the Office of Admissions and follow normal application procedures.
B. After completing one full semester of study at Fordham Law School
Students who withdraw from the Law School after completing at least one semester of study may withdraw from school only by delivering a written notice [to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs] on or before the last day of class in any semester. If a student who has withdrawn wishes to re-enroll, he or she must file a request for readmission with the Assistant Dean for Admissions and the Registrar at least sixteen (16) weeks before the start of the semester for which he or she seeks re-admittance, at which time the Admissions Committee will then consider the request.
A student who withdraws from the Law School after completing his or her first semester of the first year of law school will receive credit for all completed courses.
If an upper-class student withdraws after completing the first semester of a year and is later re admitted, he or she may enroll for courses in the next subsequent semester. The student will receive all credits earned prior to withdrawing.
Refunds for a student who withdraws are as follows*:
Prior to second week of term 100% Prior to third week of term 70% Prior to fourth week of term 55% Prior to fifth week of term 40% Prior to sixth week of term 25% Thereafter 0%
* Non-JD part-time students who withdrawal from a course follow the refund policy. A course withdrawal means that the Non-JD part-time student will receive a "W" grade for the course and will be responsible for all fees and all or a portion of the tuition (see section IX. Add/Drop Periods and Late Withdrawals for more information).
All students considering taking courses at another law school must obtain permission from the Registrar. Students seeking to enroll in ABA-approved international programs during the fall and/or spring semesters must obtain permission from the Assistant Dean for International and Non-JD Programs.
No credit will be given for any required Fordham course taken at another law school, unless the student receives permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. To receive credit for other courses the student must receive at least a grade of "C" or its equivalent under the grading system of the school at which the course was taken. Successful completion of the course will be shown on the student's transcript by reflecting the school's name and the credit hours received, but will not be included in the computation of the student's average.
Any course for which the student receives a grade lower than "C " under the grading system of the school at which the course is taken will be recorded on the student's transcript by reflecting the school's name and no credit hours will be recorded and the lack of credit hours will not be included in the computation of the student's average.
Upon completing the first year of studies, Fordham University School of Law students may transfer from one division to another by submitting a formal application to the Registrar. Students are not allowed to transfer divisions during their first year. Students interested in transferring divisions should consult with the Registrar prior to submitting the transfer application. Transferring divisions will alter the anticipated graduation date and will have an impact on accessing certain student services. Students are permitted to apply for a division transfer only once during their program of study. For any exception, permission must be sought and may be granted by the Dean or the Dean's delegate [in this instance, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs] or the Registrar.
Transferring to the day division after a student completes their first year and earns credits during the summer:
An evening division (part-time) student who intends to transfer to the day division (full-time) immediately following their first year must submit an Application to Transfer Divisions form, no later than April 3rd. In order for the transfer to take effect, the student must then enroll and successfully complete at least 5 summer credits as outlined on the form. Prior to the end of their second year, the student must enroll and successfully complete any First-Year Day courses (as listed in Section IV of these Regulations) that have not been taken during that student’s first year or summer session after their first year. Students are not permitted to advance to their third year with any of these first-year courses outstanding.
Transferring divisions in other situations:
An upper-class student who intends to transfer divisions must submit an Application to Transfer Divisions form by December 1st for a transfer effective for the spring semester, or April 3 for a transfer effective the fall semester.
Students transferring from the part-time evening division to the full time day division shall pay residency tuition equal to the difference between the full-time and the part-time tuition for the year(s) in which they were part time students.
Early Graduation is permitted from either a full time or part time program if the requisite number of full time or part time semesters is met. This can be accomplished by attendance at two full time or part time summer semesters.
All students who wish to take summer courses at another law school are bound by the rules set forth in Section XVI of these regulations.
The School of Law and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offer a combined program of studies in law and graduate level International Political Economy and Development. The program is open to both full and part time students.
Full time students complete the requirements for the J.D. degree in five semesters at the Law School and the requirements for the MA degree in two semesters at the graduate school, thereby saving two semesters' worth of work if each degree were pursued separately.
Part-time students complete the requirements for the J.D. degree in seven semesters and the requirements for the MA degree in three semesters and one or two sessions during a summer. Hence, the program enables a part-time student to complete the requirements for both degrees in as few as ten semesters, with one or two sessions during a summer between a Spring and Fall semester, instead of the normal 11 semesters and sessions during two summers.
Students must apply to and be admitted to each school on an independent basis, although such admission need not occur simultaneously. Law students may apply to the Graduate School at any time while in residence at the Law School and it is recommended that they complete their course of studies at the Law School before beginning study at the Graduate School. However, a student in residence at the Law School may take one or more courses at the Graduate School, as long as the total number of classroom hours per week does not exceed the number permitted by Law School regulations.
Admission to and continuation in the program is conditional upon the student's completion of both the law and graduate school requirements with an acceptable quality point average. Students who fall below the minimum scholastic requirements for either school at any time during their studies may be academically dismissed from that school and dropped from the dual program.
The Law School will charge tuition at the Law School rate for all semesters in which a student is in residence at the Law School. Students may earn up to 12 of the 83 credits needed for the J.D. by taking courses related to legal training at the Graduate School that do not duplicate Law School courses. They may earn up to 12 credits of the 36 credits required for the MA by taking courses at the Law School that are related to international relations. For further information and advisement regarding the IPED program, students may contact the faculty advisor for the program. Students must complete the Joint Degree Intent Form.
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
The School of Law and the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University have established a combined program of studies in law and graduate level business administration. The program is designed to provide both full and part-time students with an opportunity to study law and business administration in a course of study comprising the two fields.
The J.D./M.B.A. Program enables a full-time student to complete the requirements for the JD degree in five semesters at the Law School, while enabling a part time student to complete his or her legal study in seven semesters. Hence, the program enables a full-time student to complete the requirements for both degrees in as little as three and a half calendar years rather than the five it might take were each degree pursued separately. It enables a part-time student to complete the requirements of both degrees in as little as six and a half years rather than the seven and a half it might take were each degree pursued separately.
Students must apply to and be admitted to each school on an independent basis. However, such admission need not occur simultaneously. Once a student has been admitted to either of the two schools, the candidate may apply to the other school, but, in order to get the full advantage of the program, a student must be admitted to the Law School first as the Law School cannot credit toward the JD degree courses taken at the Gabelli School of Business (GSB) before the student matriculated at the Law School.
A law student may apply to GSB at any time while in residence at the Law School. The student will attend GSB after finishing the Law School year in which he or she applies to GSB, complete the course of study there, and return to the Law School, if necessary, to complete his or her legal study.
The program contemplates sequential rather than simultaneous study at the two schools. However, a student in residence at the Law School may take one or more courses at GSB, as long as the total number of classroom hours per week does not exceed the number permitted by Law School regulations.
The Law School will allow up to 12 credits for Graduate Business courses in taxation, finance, and accounting that do not duplicate Law School courses toward its 83 credit degree. The Law School will occasionally allow credit for a business economics course depending upon its content.
However, the Law School will allow only two credits for a course that meets two hours a week per trimester at GSB, whereas GSB gives three credits. The Business School will allow a maximum of 12 credits for courses taken at the Law School toward the normal 60 credit MBA. The joint degree will be awarded upon successful completion of the course requirements at both schools.
A student may withdraw from the program and pursue either the M.B.A. or J.D. degree with full credit toward that degree for all work completed in that school. Admission to and continuation in the joint program is conditional upon the student's completion of both the law and business requirements with an acceptable quality point average. Students who fall below the minimum scholastic requirements for either school at any time during their studies may be academically dismissed from that school and dropped from the joint program.
The Law School will charge tuition at the Law School rate for all semesters in which a student is in residence at the Law School. Applicants should contact Professor Richard Squire ([email protected]) at the School of Law and Ilze Frierson ([email protected]) at the Gabelli School of Business. Students must complete the Joint Degree Intent Form.
Read more information about the J.D./M.B.A. Program.
The School of Law and the Graduate School of Social Service have established a combined program of study in law and graduate level social work, allowing students to complete requirements for the J.D. and M.S.W. in a shorter period of time than if each degree were pursued separately. Eligibility for the program, which is approved by the New York State Department of Education, requires admission to both the School of Law and the Graduate School of Social Service.
A student must first enroll in the School of Law, as it cannot credit towards the JD degree courses taken at the Graduate School of Social Service before the student matriculated. Applicants should contact Professor Clare Huntington ([email protected]) at the School of Law and Professor Tina Maschi ([email protected]) at the Graduate School of Social Service. Students must complete the Joint Degree Intent Form.
Read more information about the J.D./M.S.W. Program.
Continuing in good standing, the awarding of academic credits, and the granting of any certification or degree are strictly subject to the disciplinary powers of the University. The University reserves the right in its discretion, at any time, to cancel a student's registration, refuse to award academic credits, deny or withdraw a certification or degree.
The disciplinary authority of the University is vested in the President of the University in such cases as he deems proper, and, subject to the reserved powers of the President, in the deans or other officers upon whom jurisdiction may be from time to time conferred.
All Law students are governed by the applicable provisions of both the University Code of Conduct and the Law School's Code of Academic Responsibility adopted by the Faculty.
Students are not permitted to tape or record lectures. Exceptions may be made with permission of the professor. Professors may choose to record their classes and provide the recordings to students.
As required by the Rules of the New York Court of Appeals, "All study shall be evaluated by authentic written examination, except where such examination is inappropriate, such as in seminar and practice court courses or those courses which are principally concerned with legal writing, and research."
Written examinations are essential parts of examination courses and are held after the end of classes at the end of every semester in all subjects completed therein, except courses where grades are determined entirely by papers or clinical work. Mid semester examinations may be scheduled at the discretion of the professor. Classroom work, in so far as practical and at the discretion of the professor, may also be considered in determining final grades. Examinations for both divisions are usually held on weekdays during the regular examination period. Please note: examinations given on weekdays in evening division courses generally begin at 5:30 p.m.
Examinations for all classes will begin promptly at the hour announced in the examination schedule posted prior to the examination period of each semester. No student will be permitted to enter the examination room after the first hour has passed nor will any student be permitted to conclude the exam and leave the room during the first hour of the examination, unless the student is accompanied by a proctor.
Students must present themselves for examination at the scheduled time except in courses where the student's grades will be determined entirely by papers or clinical work, unless permission to be excused is granted as provided in these rules. Omission to do so will constitute failure of such examination by the student.
The Dean or the Dean's delegate may grant permission to be excused from a regularly scheduled examination. The Registrar is the individual delegated to grant permission to students to be excused from a regularly scheduled exam due to exam conflicts or religious observance.
For all other reasons allowed by this Rule, the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs is the individual delegated to grant permission to students to be excused from a regularly scheduled exam. Requests to defer exams will be denied if for:
- social plans
- employment reasons for full-time JD students.
Requests for permission to be excused from a regularly scheduled exam may be granted for extraordinary causes. The following are reasons that will be considered in granting relief:
- an absolute examination conflict
- two examinations scheduled to start within 16 hours of each other
- documented medical incapacity
- religious observance
- death or documented serious medical emergency of a close family member
- automobile accident, mugging, robbery, or similar traumatic experience at the time of the exam or period immediately preceding the exam
- subpoena requiring court appearance at the time of exam or period immediately preceding the exam
- childbirth that interferes with exam or period immediately preceding the exam (applies to either parent)
- military commitment written military orders are required
- extraordinary family circumstances.
Requests for an exam deferral must be in writing and requires satisfactory documentation of the reasons. Students should be prepared to provide complete documentation, which is subject to verification and approval. If your file shows that you have previously deferred one or more examinations for reasons other than exam conflicts, another examination deferral will be granted in only the most extraordinary circumstances.
No exam may be rescheduled prior to the exam official date. The Registrar's Office will notify all students of rescheduled exams.
An exam conflict exists when two scheduled final examinations start within 16 hours of each other (take-home exams do NOT constitute a conflict). Students with a conflict must complete the Examination Conflict Form 3 weeks after the start of the semester. Please do NOT schedule any travel arrangements until the END of the exam period. Students should consult the Rules Governing Exminations, Grades, and Honors section before submitting the Examination Conflict Form. Exam conflicts will not be negotiated by the Registrar's Office after 3 weeks after the start of the semester.
Any student with an absolute examination conflict may elect to take the two conflicting exams on the same day if, before the end of the seventh week of class, he or she properly notifies the Registrar of his or her election to do so. These examinations will be scheduled so that there is a short interval between the end of the first examination and the beginning of the second examination.
Those who have properly notified the Registrar that they, for religious reasons, cannot take examinations when scheduled will be required to take these examinations earlier on the day scheduled or later, in so far as practical.
Any student who did not take an examination during the examination period and who is eligible to take it during the make-up period is required to make up the examination on a scheduled date during the examination make-up period. The make-up examination period will be determined after the end of the regularly scheduled examination period.
Any student who misses an examination and did not comply with Rule 5 above must apply in writing to the Faculty Re-Examination Committee for permission to make up the examination. The petition must be in writing and supported by documentation showing the reason for the missed examination which is subject to verification. The Committee may request and consider any information it deems relevant. The petition to make up the examination must be filed with the Registrar within 5 days of the date of the missed examination. The times and conditions of the make up examination, if allowed, will be within the absolute discretion of the Committee.
A student who, although eligible to take a make-up examination, fails to do so will be deemed to have failed the examination. A student may apply in writing to the Faculty Re examination Committee for removal of the failure and for permission to make up the examination during the next regularly scheduled examination period during which an examination in that subject is given. The application must be filed with the Registrar and must be made within 10 days of the missed make-up examination. The Committee will grant the application only upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances. If the Committee grants the application, the student will be allowed to continue conditionally in the school, subject to achieving a true weighted average of at least a 2.0 for the academic year in which the omitted examination was regularly scheduled.
All courses receive a standard letter grade, with the exception of Clinical Externship Fieldwork, Journals and Independent Studies.
Except for pass/fail courses, the course grading will follow as indicated below. For the purposes of calculating weighted averages, numerical equivalents will be used for the letter grades as follows:
Letter Grades Numerical Equivalents A+ 4.333 A 4.000 A- 3.667 B+ 3.333 B 3.000 B- 2.667 C+ 2.333 C 2.000 C- 1.667 D 1.000 F 0.000
The minimum grade that will be recorded in a course is "F".To continue in good scholastic standing, however, a student must maintain a true weighted average of at least 2.0 in every academic year. In computing a true weighted average, hours in a pass/fail course that was passed will be disregarded. If such a course was failed, an "F" will be entered on the student's transcript and a 0.0 will be used in computing the student's true weighted average. For the purposes of this rule, an academic year shall begin with the summer term. If a student’s final term is a summer session, it will be considered part of the prior academic year. Honors and awards are determined by the student's true weighted average.
J.D. Grading Curve
The percentage distribution of grades listed below are mandatory for all first year courses and upper-division courses with a minimum J.D. enrollment of 21 students. The percentage distribution of grades for these and first year courses will be strictly enforced.
Grade Category Grade Curve Requirement A+ 0 – 3% A and above 0 – 12% A- and above 15 – 30% B+ and above 45 – 60% B 30 – 45% B- and below 10 – 20% C+ and below 0 – 10%
Upper‐Level Courses (Enrollment: 4 to 20 J.D. students):
The mean GPA range of 3.150 to 3.500 will apply to all upper‐level courses enrolling between 4 and 20 J.D. students, including summer school courses, summer study abroad programs, drafting, simulation/advocacy courses and seminars (including the seminar components of clinics and externships).
Legal Writing and Research
For the first-year Legal Writing and Research class, the curve is a mean of 3.316-3.333 with no required distribution.
Clinical Casework Courses
The mean GPA range of 3.15 to 3.67 will apply to the casework component of clinical courses.
For any class in which the mean GPA or aggregate A-level grades of the enrolled students prior to the term is higher than the authorized upper limit, the upper limit of the mean GPA range or the mandatory distribution for the class will be adjusted to the higher mean GPA or distribution.
J.D. Grading Curve Frequently Asked Questions
J.D. Academic Honors
Summa Cum Laude
Top 1 percent of the graduating class with the highest weighted cumulative GPA.
Magna Cum Laude
Top 12 percent of the graduating class with the highest weighted cumulative GPA.
Order of the Coif
A graduating student is eligible to be inducted into the Order of the Coif (1) who has completed at least 75 percent of his or her law courses in graded courses and (2) whose grade record ranks in the top 10 percent of all graduating students of the school.
Top 33 1/3 percent of the graduating class with the highest weighted cumulative GPA.
Top 25 percent of the entire J.D. class based on annual weighted GPA. Annual GPA is calculated by coursework taken in an academic year.
Mandatory Academic Support Services Policy
Fordham Law School is committed to the academic success of every student. This policy requires mandatory academic support services to assist students whose academic performance suggests they could benefit from academic counseling, tutoring and/or other support, but who might be hesitant to seek assistance.
The following students must meet with the Associate Director or Assistant Director of Student Affairs:
Any First Year Student who:
a. is referred to the Office of Student Affairs for consultation based on a fall semester take-home exam, in class assessment, or a legal writing assignment; or
b. receives two or more B-s, one or more Cs, or a grade point average of 2.99 or below at the end of their first semester of law school; or
c. at the beginning of their second semester of law school, has one or more incompletes; or
d. receives an "F" in any of their first semester courses.
Any Upper Division Student who receives:
a. an incomplete in any course or a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or below at the end of the any semester (except the first); or
b. an "F" in any upper division course.
The Associate Director or Assistant Director of Student Affairs will notify students, via email, to schedule an appointment. The email will include a copy of this Mandatory Academic Support Policy.
Students who fail to meet with the Associate Director or Assistant Director of Student Affairs will have a hold placed on their registration for the following semester.
No information about a student's participation in this Mandatory Academic Support Program will be included in the student's official records.
LL.M. and M.S.L. Grading Policy
LL.M. and foreign exchange students are graded together on a separate curve from J.D. students. M.S.L. students are graded on a separate curve also and follow a separate but similar LL.M. curve policy.
This curve (3.1-3.4) is mandatory for all courses in which 4 or more LL.M./foreign exchange or 4 or more M.S.L. students are enrolled where final grades are awarded primarily on the basis of examinations. For all other courses (including paper option courses) enrolling 4 more or LL.M./ foreign exchange or M.S.L. students, the curve is recommended but not required.
Each LL.M. or M.S.L. student enrolled in a class shall receive a grade ranging from H+ to F (for failure), that generates a mean grade for all enrolled LL.M. or M.S.L students, respectively, of between 3.1 and 3.4 (exclusive of failing grades), where grades have the following equivalencies:
H+ 4.2 H 4.0 H- 3.8 VG+ 3.6 VG 3.4 VG- 3.2 G+ 3.0 G 2.8 G- 2.6 P+ 2.4 P 2.2 P- 2.0 F 0
For courses enrolling 1 to 3 LL.M. /foreign exchange or 1 to 3 M.S.L. students where grades are awarded primarily on the basis of examinations, instructors may give no more than one H grade.
Magna Cum Laude
Students who complete a paper that satisfies the LLM Writing Requirement and who rank in the top 10% of the graduating class will be eligible to receive magna cum laude honors.
Students need not complete the LL.M. Writing Requirement in order to be considered for cum laude honors. Additionally, all students in the top 25% of the graduating class who did not receive magna cum laude honors will receive cum laude honors, including students in the top 10% who did not complete the LL.M. Writing Requirement.
No student who fails to attain the required year average of 2.0 will be permitted to advance into the next year. An average of 2.0 in the final academic year and overall is required to graduate. Such a student may, however, seek permission to repeat the failed year by filing a Petition for Permission to Repeat with the Dean of Admissions and by appearing personally before the Readmission Committee at its stated sittings, usually in late July. The Readmission Committee may consider any information it considers relevant, including without limitation not only the applicant's law school record but also information revealed in his or her law school application file. Permission to repeat is granted only under extraordinary circumstances, such as where the applicant has shown a reason for his or her failure, which reason is not likely to recur. The transcript of any student who is readmitted will contain all grades received in the failed year.
Failed courses aggregating in credit value more than one quarter of the credits taken by a student in any academic year will constitute a failed year irrespective of the weighted average obtained by the student. In such case, the student will not be permitted to continue in the school or to graduate. For purposes of this rule any failed course that is retaken will be treated as if it had not been retaken. The student may seek readmission pursuant to Rule 10.
A student who fails a required course must retake that course. The student must retake the course, if feasible, during the next semester in which it is offered in the class division in which the student is registered, and must pass the examination in it. A student who fails an elective course, other than a paper course (see Article V of the Academic Regulations) may, if the course is offered again, retake that course. Transcripts will reflect both the original failure and, where applicable, the new grade. The numerical equivalent of the new grade will be averaged with the failure 0.00 for cumulative grade point average purposes.
A student who, although not required to repeat the year, repeats and passes a course in which an examination was failed, or, in the case of a failed elective paper course, who submits a paper that earns a "pass," will receive credit for that course in the semester in which it was first taken. No credit for such a course will be counted toward residence credit in the semester in which the course was re taken.
No day division student will be permitted to enter the third year class with any failed first year course outstanding against him or her; no evening division student will be permitted to enter the fourth year class with any failed first year course or failed second year required course outstanding against him or her.
A faculty member may only change a grade if an error in mathematics or computation has been made with permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Special Note: Incompletes (INC) or No Grades (NGR) remaining on a student's record at the completion of the semester following the course in question will be converted to "Fs".
Students are responsible for knowing and complying with the following rules governing the administration of examinations:
Students must carry their physical Law School identification card, government-issued ID, or temporary ID card at all times during the examination period and must present them upon demand of any proctor, faculty/staff member or security guard. A student who has lost his or her identification card should request a temporary one in their exam room.
Allowed Prohibited One laptop
**Phones can be used to sign in/out, but must be turned off and put away during the entirety of the exam. Using your phone for purposes other than signing in and out will constitute academic dishonesty.
Students may not bring any unauthorized material into the examination room. Except for materials expressly authorized by the professor, desks or tables should be clear of any materials. No food is allowed in the exam room. Students who wish to keep handbag/backpacks near their person during an examination may do so as long as they are kept underneath the desk. No materials may be removed from the handbag/backpack once the exam begins.
If a proctor determines that a violation of this rule has occurred, the incident will be reported to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.
Students shall sit in alternate seats and have their physical Fordham ID card, government-issued ID, or a temporary ID card displayed on the corner of the desk, at all times during the exam.
Students have the option to handwrite their essay and short answer exam using bluebooks provided by the Law School, instead of using the Exam4 software. However, if the professor(s) has a multiple-choice section that will need to be graded automatically, students must use the Exam4 Software Multiple-Choice Interface to submit their multiple-choice answers; there is NO handwriting option for automatically graded multiple-choice sections. If the professor(s) is grading the multiple-choice manually, they may use a bluebook to complete their answers. All bluebooks to be submitted for grading should be numbered in the following manner: 1 of 2, 2 of 2, etc.
Students should not begin an examination until a proctor so instructs.
Students may not converse or exchange material during an examination.
Only one student is allowed to use the restroom at a time. Students must sign in/out with the podium proctor.
Students may not leave the floor where their examination is taking place unless they are using the restroom or have completed the examination. A student seen leaving or returning to the floor where he or she is currently taking an examination will not be readmitted to that floor (unless the reason for leaving the floor is to visit the restroom) without first presenting an identification card to the hall proctor. The proctor will submit a report of this incident to the Registrar.
Any student who observes cheating shall report the incident, as soon as practicable, to a proctor or the Registrar. A student reporting the cheating shall identify the student or students involved, by name if known. Where the name of the student or students engaged in cheating is unknown, the student who has observed cheating should provide a physical description of the student or students involved and indicate the row and seat where these individuals sat during the examination.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Memo on Academic Integrity
When a student completes an examination prior to the end of the allotted time, he or she should return all materials to the proctor assigned to the front desk and then sign out.
At the end of the time allotted for an examination, proctors will instruct all students to stop writing. EVERY STUDENT MUST PUT HIS OR HER PEN OR PENCIL DOWN IMMEDIATELY OR STOP TYPING, CLOSE ALL BLUE BOOKS AND REMAIN SEATED UNTIL THE PROCTOR CALLS STUDENTS TO COME FORWARD, BY ROW, TO SUBMIT THEIR EXAMINATION AND SIGN OUT.
When signing out at the end of an examination, students must (1) submit all materials to proctors and (2) sign out with the IT proctor. Using cellular phones for purposes other than signing in and out of the examination room will constitute academic dishonesty.
It's imperative that students familiarize themselves with Fordham Law School’s exam policies and procedures. They should visit the exam schedules, instructional guides, videos, policies, and procedures page.
Windowed Examinations (take-home)
- Windowed examinations are administered online and managed by Fordham Law and Exam4 (www.Exam4.com).
- The Exam4 website is accessible to students 24 hours/7 days a week during the examination period.
- The Exam4 website time-stamps the download and upload of exams.
- NO arrangements are permitted for pick-up or return of examinations with the Registrar Office, Library or Faculty Secretaries Office.
- (1) students download the exam questions from the Exam4 website; (2) they use their preferred word processor to prepare their responses; and (3) they upload their responses back to the Exam4 website. Note, students can only upload ONE document.
- Students do NOT use the Exam4 software for their windowed exam.
- Students should NOT discuss the examination with any other student until the end of the final exam period.
- Students are not permitted to contact their Professor until their grades have been entered.
Students must be familiar with the different types of scheduled (in-class) exams:
- Professor(s) decides how much access students will have to hard copy/electronic materials and what Exam4 Software Mode they will be using during the exam. Students must ask their professors what items are allowed and the type of Exam4 Software Mode they are allowing.
Exam Type Description Exam4 Software Mode CLOSED BOOK: Students may not bring any materials into the exam room. CLOSED LAPTOP: NO printed materials/electronic access permitted. OPEN BOOK: Students can bring any notes/outlines/books as specified by the professor. CLOSED LAPTOP: students CANNOT access their files, drive; hard copies of notes, textbooks are needed.
OPEN LAPTOP: students CAN access all files on their computer hard drives, but the Internet is disabled/cannot be accessed.
OPEN LAPTOP & NETWORK: students CAN access all files on their computer hard drives, and the internet.
- Students must choose the appropriate Exam4 Software mode on the day of their exam. Selecting any other mode or tampering with the Exam4 security functions will constitute academic dishonesty.
Please note: Unless a professor has provided permission, NO electronic devices (phones, iPads, smartwatches/glasses, electronic dictionaries, calculators or tablets) are permitted during the exam. Visit the Examination Information webpage for more information.
Compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and University Policy requires that all requests for release of transcripts be made in writing by the student. Students or alumni may request copies of their transcripts by writing to the Office of the Registrar.
There will be no charge for providing a Fordham University School of Law transcript. While normal processing will be free of charge, there will be a special services fee of $25.00 for processing that requires expedited delivery to the requestor or overnight dispatch to the recipient. Requests for transcripts (official and unofficial) will be processed in the order in which they are received. Transcripts will be processed within seven (7) working days. Official transcripts will not be released directly to students or their surrogates.
The Registrar's Office will also honor students' requests for expedited transcript service. Official transcripts will be forwarded for students within 24 hours of the request. Unofficial transcripts may be picked up at the Registrar's Office within 24 hours. Friday requests will be ready to be picked up the following Monday. During peak periods in the Registrar's Office (such as registration, ADD/DROP, and graduation), 24 hour expedited service is not guaranteed. In accordance with the University Registrar's policy, requests for expedited transcripts will require an additional $25.00 processing fee. Specific deadlines should be mentioned, and checks accompanying requests should be payable to Fordham Law School.
In accordance with Title 37 US Code 3679 subsection (e), Fordham University School of Law adopts the following additional provisions for any students using the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from the VA. Fordham University School of Law will not:
- Prevent nor delay the student’s enrollment;
- Assess a late penalty fee to the student;
- Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding;
- Deny the student access to any resources available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution, including but not limited to access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities.
However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:
- Produce the Certificate of Eligibility by the first day of class;
- Provide written request to be certified;
- Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies.
For more information, contact Ursula Duran at [email protected].