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JD Student Frequently Asked Questions

USC Gould School of Law

Welcome to the USC Gould School of Law Student FAQs page. Please choose a topic below to view a series of frequently asked questions and their answers about the USC Gould JD program. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Academic Integrity

USC Gould Law School's policies regarding academic standards emphasize maintaining high academic integrity and performance among students. These standards include criteria for admission, grading, and progression through the program. Admissions criteria may involve undergraduate GPA, LSAT scores, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. Once enrolled, students are expected to maintain a satisfactory GPA and comply with academic honesty regulations. Failure to meet these standards can lead to probation, academic warnings, or dismissal from the program. USC Gould provides support resources like tutoring or counseling to help students meet these standards and succeed academically.

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Academic Requirements (JD)

  • What are the requirements to graduate with a JD from USC Gould School of Law?
    • The first-year curriculum;
    • Upper division Constitutional Law: Rights (LAW 532);
    • Upper division Race, Racism and the Law (LAW 789) (beginning with the Class of 2024);
    • 88 credit units;
    • 37 upper-division numerically graded units;
    • Six semesters of full-time attendance;
    • The Upper-Division Writing Requirement (UDWR);
    • The Practical Skills Course Requirement of at least 6 units; and
    • 64 units of “Regularly Scheduled Class Sessions.”
    • Minimum Units per semester: 12
    • Maximum Unites per semester: 17
      • All students are required to enroll in 6 full-time semesters.
    • Must graduate no later than 84 months after commencing law study.

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Accommodations

The USC Gould School of Law is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for members of the student body who have disabilities, to ensure that students are given an equal opportunity for learning and pursuing their academic interests. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, permanent or temporary physical disabilities, learning disabilities, and pregnancy.

All students requesting permanent or temporary accommodations must register with USC’s Office of Student Accessibility Services (OSAS) to be eligible for accommodations. The law school cannot approve a disability accommodation request without prior approval from OSAS.
  • How do I request law school accommodations?
    • To initiate the request, a student must log into the MyOSAS portal to complete the online application. After completing and submitting the online application, the student may also use this website to upload and submit all relevant documents related to his or her disability.
    • Once the student has submitted the application and all relevant supporting documents the file will be placed in review. This review process may take up to 2 weeks. An OSAS Specialist will reach out once the review is complete.
    • Once OSAS approves the request, a student will be able to download and print accommodation letters for each class from MyOSAS.
    • The student should submit the OSAS approval letters to the law school's Associate Dean for Student Affairs by emailing them to [email protected].

  • The OSAS Specialist said my accommodations are approved. Now what will happen? Do I have to do anything else?
    • Once OSAS approves the request, you’ll be able to download and print accommodation letters for each class from MyOSAS.
    • Students should submit the OSAS approval letters to the law school's Associate Dean for Student Affairs by emailing them to [email protected].

  • Is there a deadline to request accommodations?
    • We strongly urge all students to submit the OSAS approval letter as early as possible, and no later than the scheduled petition deadline. For final exam accommodations, students must make requests and submit documentation to OSAS no later than three weeks prior to the commencement of final exams.

  • I want my accommodations to be kept private. Are accommodations kept confidential? Should I tell my professors that I need accommodations?
    • Law students should not discuss their accommodations with faculty or submit OSAS approval letters to faculty.
    • The student should submit the OSAS approval letters to the law school's Associate Dean for Student Affairs by emailing them to [email protected].

  • Do I have to request accommodations every semester or will they carry over?
    • Students must submit an OSAS approval letter at the beginning of each school year in which disability accommodations are requested.

  • My disability or injury has changed and my accommodations are no longer adequate. How can I update or modify my accommodations?
  • I was approved for notetaking. How do I find a peer Note-taker?
    • If students have an accommodation for a peer Note-taker, OSAS will assist with finding one. If OSAS is unable to locate a Note-taker after repeated attempts, contact the law school's Associate Dean for Student Affairs by emailing them to [email protected].

  • My exam date is approaching and I still have not heard anything about my exam accommodations. What should I do?
    • The law school handles administration of examinations for all law students, including those students who receive examination accommodations. Students with disabilities are expected to comply fully with all law school examination policies and deadlines. Questions about exam accommodations should be addressed to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, located in room 104.

  • I have a question about my accommodations. Who should I contact?
    • Students may contact OSAS directly at [email protected] with any questions about the application, review, and approval process. Students may also contact the law school’s Office of Student Life at [email protected].

  • Are there any law school programs or activities I won’t be able to participate in because of my disabilities?
    • In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, all law school programs and activities are available to students without regard to individual disabilities.

  • How do I request accommodations for the Bar Examination?
    • A student who is requesting examination accommodations for the Bar Examination should contact the appropriate State Bar directly.

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Course Enrollment

  • How does registration in upper-division classes work?
    • Please see JD course Selection FAQ.
    • Upper-Division students are randomly placed in one of eight registration groups (lettered A-H), with the exception of the students enrolled in the Legal Writing Fellows program. The Legal Writing Fellows are placed in a ninth group (Group I). A student's registration group membership will not change during law school. Registration groups are not related to the first-year section assignments.
    • Each registration group will register at a different time. Registration times for each group will appear with the online registration materials. Students may enroll in courses throughout their registration window.
    • In the spring semester, the registration priority reverses for both 2Ls and 3Ls. The group that registered last in the fall will register first in the spring. Third-year students will register on the first two days of registration, and second-year students will register on the last two days of registration.
    • During both fall and spring semesters, Legal Writing Fellows (Group I) get priority in registration because of their involvement in first-year students’ Legal Writing classes.
    • Pursuant to ABA Standards, JD students at USC Gould will receive priority enrollment in all courses that may be required for the JD degree, needed for bar examination preparation, or required for bar admission, unless otherwise provided by law.

  • How do waitlists work?
    • If a course reaches its enrollment limit during registration, the registration system will close the course. Unfortunately, WebReg does not have an automated waitlist function. To ensure that popular courses are fully enrolled, students can monitor WebReg and self-enroll in closed courses as seats become available throughout the registration and drop/add periods.
    • Exceptions to this policy may be made by faculty teaching clinical courses.
  • What if I want to make late schedule changes?
    • A student may withdraw from a course without special permission during the drop/add period. A student may not, however, add a class after the second week of classes, with the exception of non-standard courses that are shorter in duration within the semester. A student who wishes to withdraw from a class after the drop/add period may do so only with approval from the Office of Academic Services. The course instructor must agree to the withdrawal. A student’s transcript will indicate a “W” for any course which they disenroll in after the drop/add period. A student may not drop or withdraw from a class after the last day of class. A student who registers for a course, does not take the final exam, and who has not officially withdrawn from the class, will receive a grade of 1.9 (F). For full-time student status, students may not be enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours/semester.
    • A student receiving a “W” for a course does not receive a tuition credit for the course.
    • If a student drops one course and adds another after the drop/add period, the student may be charged additional tuition for the added units. Students should consult with the Office of Academic Services if they have questions about how dropping and adding courses will affect them.
    • The university offers students the opportunity to purchase optional tuition refund insurance. This insurance may refund a portion of tuition and mandatory charges incurred by a student in the event that they must withdraw from all classes for medical reasons after the third week of the semester. The law school strongly recommends that all students purchase tuition insurance. Students with questions about the tuition insurance should visit the USC Tuition Refund Insurance Program web page.
    • A student wishing to add or drop a course after the add/drop deadline should file a written petition via email with the Office of Academic Services. The petition should be written in clear terms and should state the specific relief requested. Initial decisions for most petitions are made by the Office of Academic Services. A student whose request has been initially denied has the right to appeal the decision to the Board of Review. Decisions rendered by the Board are final.

  • Can I take a class outside the law school? I’m a JD student.
    • Students who wish to receive credit toward the JD degree for USC courses taken outside of the law school must submit a petition to the Office of Academic Services prior to enrolling in the course. Students may receive a maximum of twelve units of credit (not calculated into the grade point average) toward the JD degree for graduate work done in other University departments. Students who do not submit the appropriate petition prior to enrollment will not receive JD credit for the non-law course. The petition must explain why the non-law enrollment is appropriate and include permission from the non-law school to enroll in the course.
    • A grade of "B" or better in the USC course must be awarded for the student to receive credit toward the JD degree. A student enrolled in a dual degree program is not eligible to receive JD credit for additional non- law courses beyond the 12 units taken in the dual degree program. Transfer students are not permitted to enroll in any non-law courses for credit toward the JD degree.
    • Generally, tuition for the semester in which a student enrolls in a non-law school course will not exceed the standard law flat-rate tuition, assuming the student’s total units for the semester do not exceed 17 units. (Students will not receive credit towards the JD degree for units that exceed the 17-unit cap.) Students should review their account charges after registering in any non-law school course, as manual intervention is occasionally required to ensure that the appropriate tuition charges have been assessed.
    • Students enrolled in non-law school courses at USC will be responsible for lab fees and other special fees associated with the course.

  • What is the CR/D/F grading option?
    • The Law School offers no courses on a "Pass/Fail" basis. Courses that are not graded numerically are graded on a CR/D/F basis. Some courses are graded exclusively on a CR/D/F basis, and in other courses, students are offered the option to elect CR/D/F rather than numerical grading. (Course descriptions in the registration materials show which courses and seminars have been designated by their instructors as not available for CR/D/F grading.) Required courses may not be taken as CR/D/F. Visiting students may not select the CR/D/F option.
    • Grades under the CR/D/F option will be entered as CR (passing and satisfactory), D or 2.0 (passing but not satisfactory), or F or 1.9 (failing). Faculty may assign the grade of "D" to a student who does unsatisfactory work in the course or who does not complete all the requirements of the course.

  • What is the “retroactive” CR/D/F option?
    • A student wishing to change his or her grading option after the deadline should file a written petition via email with the Office of Academic Services. The petition should be written in clear terms and should state the specific relief requested. Initial decisions for most petitions are made by the Office of Academic Services. A student whose petition was initially denied has the right to appeal the decision to the Board of Review. Decisions rendered by the Board are final.

  • May I earn units for being a research assistant?
    • With the permission of the Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, a third-year or LLM student may enroll in up to four units of Directed Research for a numerical grade. Second-year JD students are not permitted to enroll in numerically graded directed research projects. Interested students must submit a petition directly to the Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs before the end of the Add//Drop deadline published in the Academic Calendar. The following types of requests will be approved:
      • The student has a paper idea of sufficient quality that it could become a published article.
      • The student would like to do a course of directed readings on an important topic not covered by the regular curriculum.
    • Any upper-division student may enroll in one CR/D/F unit of Directed Research under the supervision of a full-time or adjunct faculty member. This work will not satisfy the upper-division writing requirement.
    • Students completing the writing requirement with numerically graded directed research are expected to produce 10 written pages per unit of directed research.

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JD Course Selection FAQ

  • Where can I find the schedule of classes?
  • What do I need to take in order to graduate?
    • You must take and successfully complete 88 total units.
      • Students must complete a minimum of 88 units in courses approved for credit towards the Juris Doctor degree no earlier than 24 months and, except in extraordinary circumstances, no later than 84 months after a student has commenced law study at the law school or a law school from which the school has accepted transfer credit.
      • Beyond the law school’s first-year curriculum, students must complete at least 58 units in upper-division courses approved for credit towards the JD (students who complete any of the optional first-year courses will need fewer units). As part of the required 88 units, complete six (6) full-time semesters; pass LAW 532, Constitutional Law: Rights; fulfill the Upper Division Writing Requirement (UDWR), and complete six experiential units. The Class of 2024 and all subsequent classes must also pass LAW 789: Race, Racism and the Law.
      • In general, only graduate-level law courses (those numbered 500 and above) are approved for JD credit. Students may submit an academic petition to the Office of Academic Services to receive JD credit for the following:
        • Courses taken at another ABA approved law school through a summer study abroad program. The law school will accept a maximum of 5 such units towards the JD. Please see section 5.3 of this Handbook; and
        • Graduate-level courses taken at another USC school. Please see section 5.4 of this Handbook.
      • Students who fail to request permission from the Office of Academic Services prior to enrolling in these types of courses will not receive JD credit for the coursework.
    • You must fulfill the Upper-Division Writing Requirement.
      • ABA Standard 303 requires all students to complete at least one rigorous writing project after the first year. The Law School has adopted the following criteria to comply with the requirement:
        • Before graduation, each student must prepare an original paper or legal brief under the supervision of a member of the law school faculty. The paper must reflect research, analysis, and writing sufficient in scope and quality in the opinion of the supervising faculty member to earn at least two units of numerically graded credit.
        • If the writing requirement is fulfilled by completing one assignment, the writing must be at least 20 pages long.
        • If the writing requirement is fulfilled by completing more than one assignment, two of those assignments must be writings of at least ten pages each.
        • If an assignment has more than one author, the student using the assignment to satisfy the writing requirement must have personally authored at least a total of 20 pages.
        • The subject matter of each assignment must require original in-depth legal or other disciplinary analysis (e.g., in economics or philosophy) on a significant subject and cannot be a “survey” of existing law.
        • The faculty supervisor must review at least one draft (i.e., more than just an outline) of the student’s work (whether it be a draft of the one 20+ page assignment or a draft of each of the two 10+ page assignments) before the final version is submitted for a grade, and must provide specific comments on the substance, structure, and style of the writing. The faculty supervisor’s comments must be either in writing or conveyed in a one-on-one meeting with the student.
        • The faculty supervisor must confirm that the student has taken the comments into account in preparing a revised final version of the assignment.
      • Courses taken outside the law school do not satisfy the writing requirement. Students enrolled in a study abroad program may not use papers written for credit at the foreign institution to satisfy the requirement.

    • You must take and complete the First-year Curriculum
      • All students must complete the first-year curriculum with a final grade of 2.0 (D) or above in all required courses as well as a cumulative GPA in these courses of 2.90 or above. A student who receives a failing grade in a first-year course must re-take the course and complete it with a passing grade. Students who do not meet these requirements are subject to the academic disqualification process, which is detailed in Section 6.13. Click here to view the First-Year course descriptions.
    • You must complete 6 units of experiential coursework.
      • All students must complete one or more experiential course(s) totaling at least six units. An experiential course must be a law clinic or practicum, an externship/field placement, or a simulation course. Simulation courses provide substantial experience not involving an actual client, that: (1) is reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks in a set of facts and circumstances devised or adopted by a faculty member; and (2) includes direct supervision of the student's performance by the faculty member, opportunities for performance, feedback from a faculty member, self-evaluation, and a classroom instructional component (ABA Standard 303).
      • The upper-division curriculum includes a variety of opportunities for experiential legal education: (1) clinical and practicum courses; (2) a simulation course; and (3) externships/field placements. Considered as a whole, USC's experiential offerings provide the foundation of knowledge and skill necessary to begin the practice of law. For details on the clinics and practicums offered at USC Gould, visit our clinics and practicums page.

    • What bar classes should I take?
      • Many students assume that their course selection in law school will have little effect on their ability to pass the bar exam. For many students, this assumption is simply wrong. Particularly for the California and New York bar exams, students will be much better prepared if they have taken most or all of the upper division bar-related courses: Business Organizations, Community Property, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, First Amendment, Gifts, Wills & Trusts (“GWATS”), Partnerships & LLCs, Remedies, Sales, and Secured Transactions. If students are planning to take a bar exam in a different jurisdiction, they should find out which topics will be tested on that exam before planning their upper-division curriculum. Students can find the information on each state bar’s website. See ncbex.org

    • Do you suggest any formula for picking classes?
      • There are no precise rules or proven methods for selecting second- and third-year courses. To a large extent, students’ choices will reflect their self-assessment after the first year--their strengths and weaknesses, developing intellectual interests, tentative career plans, and other considerations based on their personal situation. Thus, the combination of courses most desirable for one student will not necessarily be the same as for another student, and students should be wary of the notion that there is a specific, recommended curriculum that should be followed. Nevertheless, there are several ways of thinking about course choices that, in combination, will help each student choose the best array of courses. Students should feel free to talk to faculty members, the Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, or the Associate Dean for Academic Services if they want further information or informal counseling.

    • What are other factors I should consider when picking classes?
      • Intellectual Interest: Students are encouraged to choose courses that look interesting, without limiting themselves to courses that are directly related to their current plans or idea of a traditional curriculum. If students believe a course will be intellectually interesting, will expose them to a new area of the law, or will provide needed variety, they have reason to enroll. Courses taken because of enthusiasm for the subject matter are often the richest academic experiences of law school. They present opportunities for students to participate in the work of some of the best legal scholars they will encounter. In their growth as a law student, it is important for students not to limit themselves only to things they believe they "ought" to do.
      • The Instructor: Another approach to course selection is to choose courses taught by professors the student admires, without regard to subject matter. For each student there are professors who create intellectual excitement, and whose approach to analysis and teaching strikes a responsive note. Students may benefit as much from exposure to a specific professor's analytic skills and approach to legal issues as from specific course content.
      • Skills and Writing: In addition to learning “the law,” law students need to learn practical lawyering skills. Employers increasingly expect students to have gained these skills in law school and are less inclined to provide on- the-job training. Students with an interest in litigation are encouraged to take Pretrial Advocacy and Trial Advocacy, and Litigation clinics, such as the Post-Conviction Justice Project, Immigration Clinic, International Human Rights Clinic, and Mediation Clinic. Those interested in transactional lawyering should consider courses such as Advanced Contracts, Contract Negotiation and Drafting, the Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic, the Mediation Clinic, and the Small Business Clinic. All lawyers need to be excellent writers. Students are strongly encouraged to avail themselves of the many opportunities for supervised writing, including clinics, journals, moot court, Advanced Legal Writing, Judicial Opinion Writing, and seminars requiring substantial writing.
      • Course Sequences: Some courses are foundational and are prerequisites to more advanced courses. For example, Business Organizations is a prerequisite to Securities Regulation, and other advanced business law courses. Intellectual Property is a prerequisite to Trademark Law in Practice. Entertainment Law is a prerequisite to other courses related to entertainment law, Taxation is a prerequisite to advanced tax courses, and Real Estate Transactions is foundational for other real estate offerings. Students interested in these legal fields are strongly encouraged to take the prerequisites in the fall semester of their second year. Additionally, students are encouraged to take Constitutional Law: Rights during their second year.
      • Specialization: Students might also think about course selection as a way of building expertise in an area of particular interest. Students interested in business law are encouraged to pursue the Business Law certificate, and those interested in careers in the entertainment industry are encouraged to pursue the Media and Entertainment Law certificate. Nevertheless, students should beware of over-specialization. It is often hard to predict the specialty in which one will eventually practice. More importantly, a broad legal education is often useful in analyzing even the most particular legal problems and in understanding the multi-faceted legal needs of sophisticated clients.

    • How does course registration work?
      • Upper-division student registration is conducted via the USC Online Registration System. Detailed enrollment instructions are provided on the law school's Registration Materials website. Contact the Office of Academic Services with questions or difficulty with registration.
      • Registration for 2Ls and 3Ls occurs over a four-day period with third-year students registering on the first two days and second-year students registering on the last two days. The registration schedule is published on the Academic Calendar, which is posted on the MyLaw Portal and on the USC Gould website under “Academics.”
      • Upper-Division students are randomly placed in one of eight registration groups (lettered A-H), with the exception of the students enrolled in the Legal Writing Fellows program. The Legal Writing Fellows are placed in a ninth group (Group I). A student's registration group membership will not change during law school. Registration groups are not related to the first-year section assignments.
      • Each registration group will register at a different time. Registration times for each group will appear with the online registration materials. Students may enroll in courses throughout their registration window.
      • In the spring semester, the registration priority reverses for both 2Ls and 3Ls. The group that registered last in the fall will register first in the spring. Third-year students will register on the first two days of registration, and second-year students will register on the last two days of registration.
      • During both fall and spring semesters, Legal Writing Fellows (Group I) get priority in registration because of their involvement in first-year students’ Legal Writing classes.

    • Can I enroll in courses that have time or exam date conflicts?
      • You cannot enroll in courses that overlap with each other or does not allow for travel time between courses.

    • I changed my mind about taking certain classes. How can I drop a class?
      • Provided the add/drop or withdraw deadline has not passed, you may do so via WebReg.

    • Is there any limit on how many CR/D/F classes I can take?
      • After completing the first-year curriculum, a student may elect to take a total of up to eight (8) units on the optional CR/D/F basis from among courses otherwise graded numerically and for which the CR/D/F option has been authorized by the instructor. No more than four (4) such optional CR/D/F units may be taken in one semester. Courses offered exclusively on a CR/D/F basis do not count against the four- and eight-unit limits on optional CR/D/F grading. Required courses may not be taken as CR/D/F.

    • What’s the difference between the same class that might be offered for 2, 3 or 4 units?
      • Typically, the difference between these variable unit classes is the amount and type of work that is required to successfully complete the course.

    • I am interested in one or more of the specializations. How do specializations work?
      • Students in the as Graduate International Program should refer to the section under Graduate Certificates for more details. Students in the JD Program should refer to the section on Law Concentrations.

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Exams

  • How are exams administered?
    • Students must use a computer and Exam4 software to take their exams. Students must download and test the most current version of the Exam4 software each semester. An email will be sent to students when the exam software is available for download and testing.
    • The law school uses a blind grading system for most final examinations. The Office of Academic Services assigns one random number to students for the entire academic year. Students must use this number as identification on their final examinations that academic year. Classes using exam numbers to preserve anonymity are typically larger classes with in-class or take-home exams.
    • Small seminar classes, clinical classes, and classes with individually supervised work often involve a class size or a style of instruction which makes it difficult or impossible for the instructor not to know the author of the exam or paper. When student anonymity is incompatible with the character of the class, the blind grading rule will not apply.

  • Where can I find my Exam ID number?
    • The law school assigns one exam number to each student for all exams for the academic year. Your exam number is required to submit your exam.
    • The Office of Academic Services will notify students when exam numbers are available on the MyLaw Portal. Students are able to access their individual exam number by logging into the MyLaw Portal. It is imperative to keep this number confidential.

  • Is Exam ID the same as Doc ID or USC ID?
    • No, it is not. The Exam ID is a four-digit number assigned to you and only you. You can retrieve it on the MyLaw Portal. Your personalized four-digit Exam ID number will be the same for all exams for the academic year. Your Exam ID is used to facilitate the law school’s blind grading system and to track your exam responses in the Exam4 software.
    • The DOC ID is a unique code assigned to used to retrieve your exam from the Exam4 software. A good rule of thumb is that the DOC ID will ALWAYS have a letter in it i.e. 532

  • When is the exact time of my exam and where can I find it?
    • The final exam schedule will be posted on MyLaw Portal. Students are responsible for checking the posted exam schedule for the day, time, and location of each exam.

  • I am a G&IP/LLM/MLS student who receives additional time. What room should I go to?
  • What if 2 of my exams are scheduled on the same day?
    • In some instances, it may be necessary to reschedule a final exam. A request to reschedule a final exam will be approved if: A student has two examinations on the same date A student has three examinations on three consecutive days (not including take home exams or final projects/presentations).

Take home exams, midterms, or final projects/presentations are not included.

  • If a request for an exam reschedule is approved, the Registrar will determine which exam to move. If more than one exam is rescheduled, the exams normally are kept in the same order. Students will not be allowed to choose which exams are rescheduled or when the rescheduled exam will take place.

Take home exams, midterms, or final projects/presentations are not included.

  • Exams will only be scheduled beyond the exam period in extenuating circumstances, and with prior approval from the Associate Dean for Academic Services.
  • During the exam administration, I had a problem with my computer or with my exam. What can I do? Can I talk to my professor?
    • If your computer malfunctions during an exam, immediately alert the exam proctor to begin handwriting the remainder of the examination in bluebooks that will be provided to you at that time. Please notify the Computing Department of the malfunction after your exam after you have completed your exam.
    • Do not contact your professor. Students must not attempt to identify themselves on the examination or at any point between the examination and the time the final course grades post to the law school website.
    • Students are responsible for preventing computer malfunctions and for mitigating problems associated with malfunctions. Administrative and IT staff are not available to provide help during the exam. IT staff are available prior to the start of each exam to answer routine questions about the startup of Exam4, but they are not available to troubleshoot specific laptop problems.

  • I have a take-home exam. Do I use Exam4? Will there be a room available for me? How do I access my take-home exam?
    • Unfortunately, we do not have the space to assign rooms for take-home exams. You will not use Exam4 to complete and submit your take-home exam. You will instead retrieve and submit your completed take-home exam via the MyLaw Portal.

  • I’m a student who needs testing accommodations. How do I arrange for accommodations and where can I find my schedule?
    • For final exam accommodations, students must make requests and submit documentation to OSAS no later than three weeks prior to the commencement of final exams.
    • Approved accommodations are relevant from the point of approval forward; they may not be applied retroactively. For example, a student who registers with OSAS and is approved for testing accommodations may not go back and re-take already completed tests now using accommodations.
    • Students with disabilities are expected to comply fully with all law school examination policies and deadlines. Questions about exam accommodations should be addressed to the law school’s Associate Dean for Student Affairs, located in room 104.

  • How can I get my computer to work better with Exam4?
    • Students are required to download and test Exam4 before the start of exams. Exceptions will not be granted except in extraordinary circumstances. Questions about this process should be directed to the computing department at [email protected].

  • How do I apply for an externship for credit during the academic year?
    • The Career Services Office coordinates and administers the Government/Public Service, Judicial, and Corporate Counsel and Entertainment Externship programs. Students may earn academic credit for work in judicial chambers, a government agency or a legal non-profit public interest office. Students may also earn academic credit for work in corporate (in house) counsel's offices, including entertainment entities. JD students are not permitted to earn credit for work at law firms. Detailed information about the externship program is available on the Externship pages of the MyLaw Portal.

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Directed Research/Project

  • What’s a “Directed Research” paper, and when can it satisfy the Upper Division Writing Requirement?
    • With the permission of the Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, a third-year or LL.M student may enroll in up to four units of Directed Research for a numerical grade. Second-year JD students are not permitted to enroll in numerically graded directed research projects. Interested students must submit a petition directly to the Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs before the end of the Add//Drop deadline published in the Academic Calendar.
    • One CR/D/F unit for a research proposal approved and supervised by a full- or part-time faculty supervisor; up to four graded units with the academic dean’s approval of a research proposal by an LLM or third-year JD student who wish to produce a publishable paper. The Directed Research paper can satisfy the Upper Division Writing Requirement (UDWR) if the submitted paper meets the criteria to satisfy the UDWR.
    • Typically, Directed Research papers are due by the end of the semester of enrollment.

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Upper-Division Writing Requirement

  • What is the UDWR, and how does it work?
    • Before graduation, each student must prepare an original paper or legal brief under the supervision of a member of the law school faculty. The paper must reflect research, analysis, and writing sufficient in scope and quality in the opinion of the supervising faculty member to earn at least two units of numerically graded credit. See Section 3.5 for more detailed information regarding the UDWR.

  • What is the required length for a paper to fulfill the UDWR?
    • If the writing requirement is fulfilled by completing one assignment, the writing must be at least 20 pages long.
    • If the writing requirement is fulfilled by completing more than one assignment, two of those assignments must be writings of at least ten pages each.
    • If an assignment has more than one author, the student using the assignment to satisfy the writing requirement must have personally authored at least a total of 20 pages. Refer to Section 3.5 in the Student Handbook for more detailed information.

  • In what ways I can satisfy the UDWR?
    • Students may complete the Upper-Division Writing Requirement (UDWR) in a variety of ways, explained in detail below. Questions about whether a particular project might satisfy the requirement should be directed to the Registrar. For more ways to satisfy the UDWR, see Sections 3.5.1 through 3.5.1.7 in the Student Handbook.

  • Why is it potentially a bad idea to wait until the last semester of law school to enroll in a course or write a directed research paper intended to satisfy the UDWR?
    • While it is unlikely, there is the possibility of not being able to enroll in a course that meets the UDWR or find a professor that can supervise your directed research paper in your last semester. This requirement cannot be waived so, you would have to wait until the next available offering to meet the UDWR.

  • What if additional time is needed to work on the paper?
    • The student should first consult the professor to receive permission to extend there time.  

  • Can the law library help with UDWR paper research?
    • As with all scholarly work at the law school, the library is available to assist students with using the tools and systems there.

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Student Organizations and Journals

  • I am considering joining a student organization while in law school. Where do I begin?

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Law Journal and Law Review

  • I don’t know anything about law journals and reviews. How do I join a journal or law review?
    • Honors Journals conduct the annual Write-On Competition for rising 2Ls. The journals collaborate in designing the prompt, creating a grading rubric, and administering the competition. Write-On submissions are scored anonymously by the Executive Boards and the scores are submitted to the Registrar. Students rank their preferences for the various honors programs, and the Registrar extends offers to students based on their writing scores and rankings. Offers must be accepted within 48 hours.
    • Transfer students who are admitted to Gould before the standard Write-On Competition begins in May have the opportunity to participate in the competition. They cannot, however, submit their Write-On submission until they have paid their seat deposit to Gould.
    • Transfer students who are admitted after the standard Write-On Competition begins will have the opportunity to participate in a "Transfer Write-On Competition" in August, prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. A transfer student cannot participate in both competitions.

  • How do I find out more about journal and law review participation?

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