The College of Law has a “rolling admissions” policy.
Factors in an applicant’s background that may add diversity to the makeup of the class, and thereby enrich the educational experience of the group, may become factors in the admissions process. Such diversity factors include extracurricular activities, work experience, career objectives, geographic origin, and advanced study or degrees in other disciplines.
Accuracy of Information on Students’ Applications
The College of Law’s application for all degree programs includes questions about one’s personal, academic and criminal record. An applicant’s submission of an application to the College of Law is a certification that the information contained therein is true and complete, to the best of the applicant’s knowledge.
If anything occurs that makes any applicant’s responses on his or her application incomplete or inaccurate, the applicant must amend the application as soon as is reasonably possible. In addition, students are obligated by the University Code of Conduct to update their application until the admitted student graduates from the College of Law. Any omission or misrepresentation may result in the invalidation of one’s application, revocation of a favorable admissions decision, a letter of reprimand (which, if applicable, must be reported to the bar), report to the LSAC Misconduct and Irregularities Subcommittee, report to bar authorities or any other action appropriate under the circumstances.
Students applying for the J.D. program are only eligible to start the program in the Fall semester. Admission will be based on an evaluation of several factors including the following:
- a recent LSAT/LSDAS report with documentation of Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score and undergraduate transcript;
- specified letters of recommendation; and
- a personal statement by the applicant showing reasons why the applicant should be admitted to the study of law at Georgia State.
A student who wishes to transfer from an ABA-approved law school will be considered only after completion of the first year of law study. A transfer applicant’s academic performance and class rank at his or her current school are important factors in the evaluation process. Transfer students must possess credentials comparable to those of the class to which they seek admission.
A student who has been excluded from another law school and is ineligible for readmission at such school will not be admitted to the College of Law. Each prospective transfer student must provide a letter from the dean, or designee thereof, of the current or previously attended law school stating that they are in good standing and eligible to return to that law school. The letter shall also include his or her class ranking, if available.
Upon admission, the applicant’s transcript will be reviewed by the associate dean for academic affairs. At that time, the confirmation of transfer credits will be provided. No credit for advanced standing will be allowed for courses completed at law schools that are not accredited by the American Bar Association. No credit for advanced standing will be allowed for any law school course from another accredited law school for which a grade lower than a C or its equivalent has been given. Only under exceptional circumstances can more than 30 credits be approved for transfer to GSU for a J.D. degree.
A transfer student who is admitted to the College of Law must understand that to receive the J.D. from Georgia State University, the student must:
- satisfy all GSU degree requirements and
- earn at least 60 semester hours of the total 90 semester hours required for graduation.
J.D. students in good standing at ABA-accredited law schools may be admitted as guest students to earn credit for transfer back to their degree-granting institution. Guest students must meet the admission standards of the class they seek to enter. Guest students may attend the College of Law for no more than 32 semester hours, not to exceed three semesters (including the summer semester). Second-year students who meet the above criteria may be admitted as guest students, but only under exceptional circumstances.
Special Student Status
Graduate students who wish to take an advanced course in the College of Law in support of their academic program in another Georgia State college, graduate students at other accredited institutions or those equivalent to the same at foreign institutions, and professionals outside of the legal field may be admitted as special students on a case by case basis.
Any such students admitted to the College of Law may not count toward that degree any credits earned while in special student status.
Attorneys who are admitted to the practice of law in Georgia or any other state or country, and remain in good standing therein, may be admitted as special students, but in that capacity, may only audit courses at the college with the permission of the associate dean for academic affairs and of the instructor of that course. Attorneys subsequently admitted as students in a law degree program may not count toward that degree any course credit equivalents attributed to them while in special student status.
English Proficiency of International Applicants for College of Law Programs
All College of Law classes are taught in English, so proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English is essential. Applicants are presumed proficient in English if they: (1) are from a country where English is an official language; or (2) earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from a college or university in which instruction is in English.
All College of Law applicants whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate English proficiency by scoring a minimum of 100 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or a minimum of 7.5 on the academic version of the International Language Testing System (IELTS). No other test or certificate-based methods of demonstrating English proficiency will be considered. A video teleconference or in-person interview of the applicant may be required to assess English proficiency.
International applicants for the J.D. program should understand that the College of Law does not employ special grading standards for such students.
All accepted students are required to attend Orientation preceding the beginning of regular fall semester classes. All first-year students are also required to attend a second orientation (Orientation II) in their second semester of study.
To satisfy the requirements for the J.D., a student must complete a minimum of ninety (90) credit hours at the College of Law. Per ABA requirements, a student has 84 months from starting the J.D. curriculum to complete the degree requirements. For those students entering in the Fall of 2021, there are forty-four (44) credits required credit hours, with the remaining forty-sixcredits as electives. For those that entered prior to Fall of 2021, there are forty-three (43) required credit hours, with the remaining forty-seven (47) credits as electives. The specific courses and hours are listed at “J.D. Curricular Course of Study.”
For JD students entering the College of Law after Fall 2020, the maximum number of credit hours in courses graded on an S/U basis that may be applied toward graduation is eighteen (18) credits. Research Methods in Law, Lawyering: Advocacy, and co-curricular activities (Law Review, Moot Court, and Mock Trial (STLA)) shall not count toward the 18-hour limit. Externships and all other elective courses count toward this limit, unless otherwise specified. For students that entered the College of Law prior to the Fall of 2020, the maximum number of S/U credits is twelve (12).
The maximum number of summer abroad course hours that may be applied toward graduation is twelve (12). The maximum number of credits for independent research that may be counted toward graduation is two (2). A student must earn at least 60 semester hours at the College of Law to graduate.
Per the ABA, students cannot take more than thirty (30) credits in distance/online hybrid courses. However, under exceptional circumstances, such as the COVID 19 Pandemic, the ABA has granted an exception since the Spring of 2020.
Non College of Law Courses
With prior approval of the associate dean for academic affairs, a law student in good standing and not pursuing a dual degree may, after successfully completing all courses in the first-year, full-time equivalent curriculum, apply up to six (6) credit hours of GSU graduate level, non-law course credit to his or her record at the College of Law. So long as the student earns at least a B (or Satisfactory, if graded on an S/U basis) in the course(s), the credit shall be counted toward the hours required for the J.D. degree.
Such credit will be reported on the student’s transcript, but will not be considered in computing his or her College of Law grade point average. Courses taken pursuant to this policy will be counted as S/U courses for the purpose of College of Law limits on such courses. In no event may a student receive credit under this rule for any non-law school course taken prior to the student’s enrollment in the College of Law, nor may any student use such a course to satisfy the College of Law’s upper-level writing requirement.
For a course to be approved under this rule, the associate dean must find that such course: (i) meets the academic standards of the College of Law; (ii) is a graduate-level course; (iii) does not substantially duplicate material covered in any course(s) previously taken by the student, in law school or elsewhere; and (iv) would likely advance the student’s legal or other relevant professional training or career goals. The associate dean of academic affairs may require that the student first obtain the permission of the course instructor, and provide the associate dean with a copy of the course syllabus in support of the request for approval.
Full- and Part-Time Student Status of J.D. Students
The College of Law offers students the option of either full-time (typically six-semester) or part-time (typically eight-semester) divisions of the J.D. degree program. During the original application process, students are admitted to either division.
Full-time Status: A full-time student is one enrolled in 12-17 credit hours per semester. To graduate after the successful completion of six semesters, a full-time student is required to carry on average 15, and no fewer than 12, hours of course work during each of the third through the sixth semesters. The ABA does not allow for a student to be enrolled at any time in coursework that exceeds 20 percent of the total credit hours required by that school for graduation. In keeping with this ABA standard, no GSU Law student can be enrolled in more than 18 credit hours during a given semester. If a student wishes to take up to 18 credits, a request for overload must be submitted for review and approval of the associate dean for academic affairs.
Part-time Status: A part-time student is enrolled in 8-11 credits per semester and is expected to graduate after the completion of eight semesters. Students may request permission from the associate dean for academic affairs to register once for more than the 11 credits allowed prior to registration without officially changing to full-time student status. If permission is not confirmed prior to registration, a hold or other corrective measure may be placed by the administration on the student’s account.
General Rules for Both Full-Time and Part-Time J.D. Programs
Employment while in the JD Program
In the J.D Program, a full-time student is one enrolled in 12 or more course hours. A part-time student is one enrolled in fewer than 12-course hours.
During the first year of law school, full-time students are expected to devote substantially all of their working hours to the study of law and are therefore strongly advised not to undertake employment during the first two academic semesters, especially any employment that exceeds 10 hours per week. Students who need to work more hours are encouraged to change to the part-time program.
During the second and third years of law school, full-time students may maintain part-time employment but are strongly advised not to exceed 20 hours per week. Full-time students who are enrolled in a clinic or externship course may not work more than 20 hours per week in that semester without prior approval from the clinic or externship director. Students who need to work more hours are encouraged to change to the part-time program.
The College of Law offers a summer term. To qualify for financial aid during the summer semester, students must register for at least four credit hours. No student may enroll in more than seven hours of summer course work without the permission of the associate dean for academic affairs. No student may take more than 9 law credit hours during the summer semester.
Transfers Between J.D. Programs
Following the completion of two semesters at the College of Law, J.D. students who wish to transfer from the part-time program to the full-time program, or vice versa, must submit a written request and obtain the permission of the associate dean for academic affairs. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required at the end of two semesters at the College of Law to be considered for a change in divisions.
The curriculum of the College of Law is the same for all students enrolled as candidates for the J.D. degree. In general, the same course offerings will be available whether a student is enrolled in the full- or part-time divisions, but not necessarily during the same semester. The curriculum is made up of 43 hours of required courses and a minimum of 47 hours of elective courses.
For those that entered the College of Law prior to Fall 2021, the following courses are required for graduation: Contracts I. (3 hours) and Contracts II. (3 hours), Civil Procedure I. (3 hours) and Civil Procedure II. (3 hours); Torts I. (4 hours); Property. (4 hours); Criminal Law. (3 hours); Lawyering: Foundations I. (3 hours) and Lawyering: Foundations II. (3 hours); Research Methods in Law (1 hour); Professional Development/Academic Success Program (0 hours); Constitutional Law I (3 hours); Evidence (4 hours); Professional Responsibility (3 hours); and experiential courses (6) hours comprised of Lawyering: Advocacy (3 hours) and three additional hours of experiential course electives. In addition to the required courses, all students in the J.D. program must complete an upper-level writing requirement.
For those that entered the College of Law after Fall 2021, the following courses are required for graduation: Contracts (4 hours), Civil Procedure I (3 hours) and II (3 hours); Torts (4 hours); Property (4 hours); Criminal Law (3 hours); Lawyering: Foundations I (3 hours) and II (3 hours); Research Methods in Law (1 hour); Legislation and Regulation (3 hours); Professional Development/Academic Success Program (0 hours); Constitutional Law I (3 hours); Evidence (4 hours); Professional Responsibility (3 hours); and experiential courses (6) hours comprised of Lawyering: Advocacy (3 hours) and three additional hours of experiential course electives. In addition to the required courses, all students in the J.D. program must complete an upper-level writing requirement.
Courses designated as meeting the Experiential Course Requirement are identified with an “E” following the course number. In addition to the required Lawyering: Advocacy experiential course, experiential courses for the 2021-2022 academic year include HeLP Legal Services Clinic, Philip C. Cook Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Capital Defender Clinic, Olmstead Disability Rights Clinic, Mediation Clinic, Immigration Clinic, Externships, and any other course designated as meeting the experiential course requirement. Additional information on the experiential course offerings is available at https://law.gsu.edu/student-experience/experiential-learning/.
The Professional Responsibility requirement may be met by taking Professional Responsibility, The Client Relationship, Transition to Practice, or any other course designated as meeting the Professional Responsibility requirement. A student may take only one of the designated Professional Responsibility courses.
Juror Requirement for Lawyering: Advocacy
All students enrolled in Lawyering: Foundations II, a required course in the first-year curriculum, are required to serve as jurors in the upper-level Lawyering: Advocacy (Law 6030E) trials held in spring. This requirement applies to both part-time and full-time students enrolled in Lawyering Foundations: II.
Students complete jury duty sign-ups online by following the instructions set forth in the Jury Duty Announcement that will be sent to you by the Director of Advocacy. Additional details are provided at Orientation II for 1Ls (January), and sign-ups will be conducted in March. Note that many trials occur on weekends in mid-April.
Failure to complete this requirement will result in an incomplete grade (I) in Lawyering: Foundations II. An incomplete grade in Lawyering: Foundations II leaves a student unranked at the end of the first year and ineligible to try out for law review. The student will only receive the earned grade for Lawyering: Foundations II after rankings are issued.
If a student who failed to serve as a juror does not fulfill the obligation by the spring semester in which they take Lawyering: Advocacy, the student will earn an F in Lawyering: Advocacy, and will be required to retake the course.
Upper-Level Legal Writing Requirement
Each candidate, as a requirement for the J.D., must complete one substantial legal writing project during their upper-class period of study. To satisfy this requirement, the student must earn a grade of at least C+ on the written portion of any two- or three-credit course (including an Independent Research Project approved by the associate dean for academic affairs) that qualifies as a legal writing course. Courses that qualify as legal writing courses are indicated on the semesterly course offerings announcement provided prior to registration.
To qualify for writing requirement credit, the written work should comport with faculty adopted guidelines for such papers, including the following:
- the minimum length shall be 25 pages unless the professor specifies otherwise;
- the student shall submit at least one draft before final submission;
- the paper should reflect through primary and secondary research, as well as original analysis; and
- the paper shall be well organized and written in conformity with accepted rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
Law Review notes prepared and submitted in accordance with Law Review rules and procedures, including faculty supervision, satisfy this requirement. Moot Court briefs and materials prepared for Moot Court, Mock Trial, student competitions, and other such purposes do not satisfy this requirement.
Other than Law Review, students are required to designate which course satisfies the writing requirement by completing the Writing Requirement Form, found here.
A student has the opportunity to elect a minimum of 47 hours of electives to complete their course of study. Electives should be carefully chosen with the consultation of a faculty adviser. Each student will be assigned a faculty adviser in the student’s first year. Elective courses are fully described in the Course Descriptions section.
Many courses in the curriculum are open only to students who have satisfactorily completed specific, prerequisite courses. It is important that students consider prerequisites in planning the sequence of their course work. Prerequisites can be waived only with the permission of the instructor.
Students may determine how recently a course has been offered by checking PAWS. For a list of courses currently, recently offered, or likely to be offered soon, please see First-Year Required Courses ; Second-Year Required Courses ; and Elective Courses . In light of student demand, faculty expertise and interest, and the need to prepare graduates for practice, the college may cancel or adjust course times as needed. If that happens, students will be notified as soon as reasonably possible.
The faculty reserves the right to change the nature of any course offering in any fashion that it judges proper at any time, including the right to: (i) establish new required courses and to change current required courses to electives.
Per the ABA standards, an individual course cannot fulfill both the experiential course requirement and the upper-level legal writing requirement.
Within the J.D. degree, students can pursue a certificate, reflecting a concentration of study, in seven different areas:
Each of the certificate programs:
- Provides integrated legal learning by reinforcing basic legal concepts through the specific area of study and while also developing core legal competencies that enable students to transfer knowledge and skills to other areas of law.
- Affords focused faculty advisement and curriculum guidance by assignment to an advisor with knowledge of the content area
- Offers opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration
- Confers a positive marker of competence for such work on the job market.
The College of Law offers several options for students to earn degrees that complement their legal education. To pursue a dual degree, students must be accepted by both colleges and satisfy the curriculum requirements for both programs. Credit hours earned in one degree program may be used to satisfy some of the elective course requirements of the other degree program, enabling students to earn both degrees in a shorter time than would be possible pursuing both degrees separately. Interested applicants should contact the appropriate colleges for application procedures and materials.
The period of time during which examinations are scheduled is set forth in the academic calendar, which is available prior to the start of each semester.
Examinations are rescheduled in only two circumstances:
- When a student has two or more examinations scheduled to begin during a 24-hour period (a 6 p.m. exam followed by a 1 p.m. exam the next day presents a conflict; a 6 p.m. exam followed by a 6 p.m. exam the next day does not); and
- When verifiable extraordinary, unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances (e.g., serious health problems of a student or a close family member) intervene.
Overlapping deadlines for papers or projects do not present a justification for rescheduling examinations. Take-home examinations are not considered in determining the existence of conflicts. Failure to take an exam (or approved makeup exam) at the scheduled time, without the prior approval of the associate dean for academic affairs, constitutes failure to complete the work in the course. The student will receive an F, unless the student experienced an unpredictable and unavoidable emergency, which, in the judgment of the associate dean for academic affairs, justifies the failure to appear in a timely manner. In such an event, the associate dean for academic affairs may require the student to produce documentation verifying the existence of such an emergency.
Students who wish to request a rescheduling of an exam must submit a written request to the College of Law Registrar’s Office using this form. Whenever circumstances permit an exam to be rescheduled (for example, 24-hour conflicts) requests must be submitted no later than two weeks after the exam schedule is released. If the request is predicated on an emergency, students should contact the associate dean for students or the associate dean for academic affairs. Students should never seek permission from a faculty member to reschedule an exam. If an exam is rescheduled, communication with a faculty member can compromise anonymity. Whenever possible, rescheduled examinations will be moved to a date earlier than the scheduled date.
To preserve anonymity, in-class examinations are administered by proctors, rather than the instructors of the courses being examined. Proctors start each in-class exam and ensure that all examinations are properly administered and end on time. Proctors are instructed to contact the registrar or other appropriate personnel to resolve any problems with an examination. They are also provided with instructors’ contact information and may contact them in the event of a substantive problem with the examination. Students must take examinations in the room assigned and may not bring any materials into the room other than those specifically permitted by the instructor or as approved through the academic accommodations process.
Examinations are graded anonymously by the use of individually assigned exam numbers. Students may access their examination numbers on a password-protected website, or they may obtain their numbers in person after presenting a valid photo ID to the registrar. To preserve anonymity, students may not disclose their numbers until after all grades are received. Anonymous grading of seminar papers or projects which require consultation between a student and a faculty member may not be possible. All matters involving the taking of examinations are governed by the College of Law Honor Code.
Failure to Complete an Examination
A student who receives an examination is expected to finish it during the period for which it is scheduled. Students who do not complete examinations will be graded on what they submit during the examination period unless an exception based on exigent circumstances is granted by the associate dean for academic affairs. Such exceptions will be extremely rare and will be granted only if the student has notified the proctor of the examination of the inability to complete the exam and can establish the reason for such inability to the satisfaction of the associate dean.
Laptop Option for Final Examinations
The College of Law offers the option for students to take final examinations on their laptops if the use of computers has been authorized by their professor. To participate in this program, each student must ensure that his or her computer is in good working order. In addition, the use of a designated software program that inhibits the accessing of another part of the hard-drive during the examination may be required. Each semester the Registrar’s Office will notify students about laptop examination procedures and technology requirements. The required software will be provided to students during these sessions by the College of Law. If a student does not install the designated software properly and timely, or if the student’s computer will not function properly with said software installed, the student will be required to handwrite his or her examination.
The COL staff or faculty may assist in the installation of software; however, it is the primary responsibility of the student to ensure that their computer and the requisite software are both functioning at the time of the exam.
Final grades in each course of the College of Law will be in letter form, on an A+ to F scale with grade point values (used to calculate grade point averages and class ranks) as delineated below:
Note: There are no pluses or minuses in the D range.
Other marks may be used in appropriate circumstances, such as:
||Withdrawn without prejudice
A grade of D or better is required to receive any credit in the course. A grade of F is a failing grade. A failing grade cannot be converted to a higher grade by repeating the course. Students may only repeat required courses in which they have received an F or a U.
Required courses must all be passed with at least a D (1.00), except the upper-level legal writing requirement, which must be met with at least a C+ (2.30); and Research Methods in Law and Lawyering: Advocacy, both of which must be met with a Satisfactory (S) grade.
A student who receives an F or Unsatisfactory in a required course must repeat the course in the next semester in which it is offered. If the next offering of the course is in the summer semester, the student may delay repeating the course until the next succeeding offering, with the permission of the associate dean for academic affairs. The college will attempt to assign the student to an instructor other than the one from whom the student initially took the course, but the student must repeat the course in accordance with the above policy, even if assigning a different professor is not feasible.
A student may only repeat the course for credit at the College of Law. In no event may a student repeat a required course more than once. If a student receives an F or Unsatisfactory grade the second time they take a required course, the student shall be automatically dismissed from the College of Law, regardless of the student’s cumulative grade average. A student who fails and repeats a required course will receive a separate grade for that course that shall be included in the computation of the student’s overall grade average. The prior grade in the course will not be expunged from the student’s record and also will be included in the computation of that student’s overall grade average.
All required courses, except Lawyering: Advocacy (LAW 6030) and Research Methods in Law (LAW 5030), must have a class mean (i.e., average) between 2.90 and 3.10. For non-seminar elective courses with 20 or more students, the faculty strongly recommends that the class mean fall between 3.00 and 3.20. For non-seminar elective courses with fewer than 20 students, the faculty strongly recommends a maximum class mean of 3.50. Courses that are specifically listed as seminars are exempt from the grading standards. In the course of grading, instructors shall disregard grades of students in the course who are not pursuing their J.D.
The grade of “I” (Incomplete) may be given to a student who for nonacademic reasons beyond their control is unable to meet the full requirements of a course. In order to quality for an “I,” a student must:
- have completed most of the major assignments of the course (generally all but one) and
- be passing the course (aside from the assignments not completed) in the judgment of the instructor.
A student may request an “I” when a student has a nonacademic reason for not completing one or more of the assignments for a course (including examinations). It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor in person or in writing of the reason. The grade of “I” is awarded at the discretion of the instructor and is not the prerogative of the student. Conditions to be met for removing an “I” are established by the instructor.
Deadlines for Removal of “I”
The period of time for removing an “I” is established by the instructor, subject only to the maximum time limits set by the university. The university requires that the grade of “I” be removed by the end of the second academic term after the “I” is assigned (whether or not the student was enrolled during these two terms.) The Office of the Registrar will assign a grade of “F” at the end of the second academic term unless the Office of the Registrar receives a final grade (for S/U grading, a U will be assigned). No student may graduate with an incomplete grade.
No final grade submitted to the College of Law Registrar may be changed, except for a grade change to correct a clerical or computational error (mathematical), or pursuant to a grade appeal decided in the student’s favor in accordance with the standards for “Appeal of Course Grade” below.
Course Grade Appeal Process:
A grade appeal is available only for review of claims that the grade was based on arbitrary or capricious grounds. There shall be no appeal to challenge the merits of a faculty member’s evaluation of the student’s performance.
The process of appealing a course grade is as follows:
- A student must first review the situation with the instructor who assigned the grade. This review must take place within 30 calendar days of the date the grades are posted.
- If the question is not resolved with the instructor, the student may appeal in writing to the associate dean for academic affairs, who shall appoint an ad hoc three-person faculty committee to hear the appeal. The student’s written appeal must be received by the associate dean for academic affairs no later than 14 calendar days after the date of review with the instructor. The appeal must describe how the instructor’s grading is alleged to have violated the standards set forth in the policy above. A copy of the appeal will be provided to the faculty member whose grade is appealed.
- The faculty appeal committee may decide the matter solely upon consideration of the facts alleged in the student’s written appeal or may consider other relevant information. The decision of the faculty appeal committee will be conveyed to the student and the faculty member whose grade is the subject of appeal in writing no later than 14 calendar days after the conclusion of its deliberations.
- If the student wishes to challenge the decision of the faculty appeal committee, the student may appeal in writing directly to the dean. The written appeal must be received within 14 calendar days of the date of the writing conveying to the student the decision of the faculty appeal committee. As with the appeal to the faculty committee, the dean’s review shall be limited to the grounds for appeal stated above. The dean will render a decision in writing within 14 days of receipt of the student’s written appeal. The decision of the dean shall be final except as further appellate process may be available at the university level.
Academic Good Standing
To be in good standing, for all purposes including transfer status, a full- or part-time student must, on the basis of all course work completed, have a cumulative average of at least 2.20, which is the minimum cumulative average required for graduation.
When a student’s cumulative average falls below 2.20, the student shall be placed on probation and permitted a maximum of 2 semesters (excluding summers) in which to raise the cumulative average to the required 2.20. A student who does not raise the cumulative average to the required 2.20 by the end of two probationary semesters shall be automatically excluded from the college, without right of appeal. Summer semesters will not be counted when calculating the number of probationary semesters permitted or used.
If any semester’s grades are not available to determine the good standing of a student at the time of registration for the following semester, the student may register for the new semester. But when the completed semester’s grades come in and the student is not in good standing or must be excluded pursuant to the above policies, the student may complete the semester but any grades that may have been earned in the current semester may not alter the student’s standing resulting from the prior semester’s grades, and appropriate action will be taken thereon.
If the student raises the cumulative average to a 2.20 but in a later semester the cumulative average again falls below 2.20 and the student has previously been on probation for two semesters, the student will be excluded from the college. If, however, the student has previously been on probation for only one semester, the student will be permitted one additional semester to raise the cumulative average to the required 2.20.
A student will not be placed on probation before the completion of the first year (first two semesters, full- or part-time) of law school. A student who does not have a cumulative average of at least 2.00 at the conclusion of his or her first year (first two semesters, full- or part-time) of law school or any year thereafter will automatically be excluded from the college.
There is no College of Law appeals process for academic exclusions. Additionally, information about any appeal must follow the university guidelines regarding academic appeals.
Course work completed for the purposes of this requirement means courses taken at the College of Law in which the student has received a final grade of between A+ and F inclusive, including grades of S, U and WF.
During their law school career, J.D. students may receive up to three rankings, according to the following schedule. Each spring, the College of Law will announce three rankings: a Final Ranking (of graduates); a Second Interim Ranking (roughly, of students who have completed their second year required courses and are between 31-89 credits); and a First Interim Ranking (of students who have completed the first-year required courses and have a minimum of 30 credits).
For the Final Ranking, all students who, in the last year, have completed all requirements for graduation will be ranked on the basis of their overall grade average. Transfer students will be included only in this ranking.
For the Second Interim Ranking, all students who, in the last year, have received a final grade in at least one required course, and who have received a final grade in all required courses, will be ranked on the basis of their overall grade average.
For the First Interim Ranking, all students who, in the last year, have received a final grade in at least one first-year full-time required course, and who have received a final grade in all first-year full-time required courses, will be ranked on the basis of their grade average in first-year full-time required courses.
Any student with an outstanding grade of Incomplete (I) in any required course will not be ranked.
In addition, during the Spring 2020 semester, the faculty approved special ranking policies for those students enrolled during that specific semester. In May 2020, the COL Faculty decided Spring 2020 grades will be taken into account for purposes of overall cumulative GPA, but will not be taken into account for any class ranking purposes in this or any subsequent semester. This decision was due to the mandatory grade mean change also implemented for Spring 2020 to deal with the initial COVID pandemic outbreak.
Transfers/Withdrawals/Reentry and Grading in Sequential Courses
A student enrolled under an instructor in a sequential course is required to continue enrollment under such instructor until the sequence is completed. Transfer will be allowed to another section involving another instructor only by permission of the associate dean for academic affairs and the instructors involved.
A student who withdraws during the sequence of a course will be permitted to reenter that course only in sequence with the same instructor unless the associate dean for academic affairs and the instructor, determine that material changes will be made in the course which will make it inappropriate for a previously enrolled student to reenter the course except at its beginning. A student will be permitted to withdraw only once from a sequential course.
Interruption & Resumption of Studies
After completing the first 30 hours of the full-time program (excluding summer courses) or the first 33 hours of the part-time program (excluding summer courses), a J.D. student may interrupt his or her law studies and, if in good standing, reenter in any subsequent semester.
A student subject to probation who withdraws during the course of the academic year may only be readmitted on probation by permission of the associate dean for academic affairs.
A student who is absent from the College of Law for two or more consecutive semesters (not including summer semesters) must apply to the Admissions Committee, and meet all admissions, curricular, and graduation requirements in effect at the time accepted for reentry.
A full-time student enrolled in first-year required courses, and a part-time student enrolled in first- or second-year required courses, who withdraws during the sequence of such courses will not be permitted to resume his or her course of study except in sequence. This may result in a year’s delay. No student may take more than seven years to complete the J.D. program.
Withdrawal from Classes
A student who wishes to withdraw from a class prior to the midpoint in the semester may do so without permission unless it is a required course through PAWS. Withdrawal from a required course requires permission of the associate dean for academic affairs. For any withdrawals prior to the midpoint in the semester, the student will receive a W for that course provided the withdrawal occurs before the midpoint.
A student who wishes to withdraw from all classes prior to the midpoint of any semester must receive permission from the associate dean for academic affairs. When withdrawal is approved, a W will be recorded in all courses for which the student is registered. Failure to obtain prior approval may result in a WF in all courses.
A student who wishes to withdraw after the midpoint of any semester will receive a WF. A student wishing to withdraw from any or all classes after the midpoint must request permission from the associate dean for academic affairs.
Where the cause of withdrawal is a nonacademic emergency necessitating withdrawal from all classes, the student must petition the university dean of students, and follow the procedures outlined by that office. If the university dean of students determines that the circumstances warrant a finding of nonacademic hardship the student will receive a W in all courses for which the student is registered.
Resumption of Studies
Resumption of studies for those students who have previously withdrawn is governed by this policy and the decisions of the Admissions Committee.
A student who withdraws prior to the midpoint of the semester or is granted a nonacademic hardship withdrawal during the first year of full-time law study or the first two years of part-time law study may reenter the college in good standing the next succeeding fall semester as a matter of right, or a later semester or year by permission of the Admissions Committee.
A student who withdraws during the first year of full-time study or the first two years of part-time study but who is not granted a nonacademic hardship withdrawal through the university must follow the application process for new students to be re-admitted to the College of Law.
A student who withdraws from the College of Law leaving one or more IP (In Progress) outstanding in sequential courses is, on their reentry to the college, subject to whatever grading and scheduling arrangements the relevant instructors and associate dean for academic affairs deem appropriate for completion of the sequential course or courses.
All above provisions applicable to J.D. students are subject to the seven-year J.D. program completion rule. A student admitted to Georgia State Law but who, before initial enrollment in courses at the college, decides to postpone legal studies must reapply for admission to any succeeding class.
Student Practice Rule
Students in the J.D. program can apply to be admitted under the Georgia Student Practice Rule. The College of Law will only register those students who meet the minimum standards provided in the rules, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.30, and meet one of the two criteria below:
- student has completed all first-year required courses (Law 500-level courses) and is working for credit in our clinics, Externship Program, or classes in which students represent clients with faculty supervision; or
- student is taking, or has already passed, Evidence, Professional Responsibility (or its equivalent) and Layering: Advocacy and is working on behalf of units of government and persons unable to afford legal services in a pro bono capacity in compliance with Rules 91-95 of the Georgia Supreme Court.
In order to work with a prosecution office, a student must have completed 2/3 of their law school education (58 credits) with a 2.20 GPA.
Any registration issued in accordance with the rules and these policies may be terminated in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 94.
The College of Law will not register a student to work in private practice under the supervision of an attorney. Registration is handled through the Dean’s Suite or the course in which the student is enrolled.