3.4 Procedures For Special Admissions - Capital University Law School

3.4 Procedures For Special Admissions

  •  3.4.01 The Procedure

    The Law School faculty has delegated the authority to make final decisions on requests for special admissions to the Committee on Admissions and Readmissions. Decisions are made by the committee to admit, deny, or wait list applicants. In the case of wait-listed applicants, the Assistant Dean of Admission and Financial Aid has the authority to admit off the waiting list only if the candidate's index number was the highest on the list. Only members of the committee have authority to appeal an action to the entire faculty.


  •  3.4.02 Examples Of Candidates For Whom Special Admission Would Be Considered

    A. Candidates who attended an American college or university but who do not have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. These candidates fall into three categories:

    1. Candidates who graduate from unaccredited colleges or universities which later gained accreditation and became qualified institutions within the meaning of ABA, AALS, and League definitions.

    2. Candidates who graduated from institutions currently unaccredited who subsequently obtained an advance degree from a professionally accredited institution or, in the case of graduate disciplines where no special accreditation is required, a qualified institution within the meaning of ABA, AALS, and League guidelines.

    3. Candidates who received a professional degree in a program which accelerated baccalaureate studies by one year and where no bachelor degree was granted.

    Considerations regarding compliance with League, ABA, and AALS Guidelines

    AALS Guidelines permit this kind of special admission in "rare cases" and specify that special admissions of this kind be granted only to candidates whose experience and training make them qualified to study and who are at least 23 years of age. ABA guidelines permit special admissions of this kind in "exceptional cases" upon a clear showing of ability and aptitude for the study of law and require a signed statement by the admissions officer justifying the admission in the student's file. To avoid potential problems which candidates with "inferior" degrees may encounter with licensing agencies, the Director of Admissions will insert language in the letter of admissions stating the student has responsibility to investigate requirements for admission to the bar. ABA, AALS, and League rules (which are the same as those for AALS) anticipate that law schools will consider qualified candidates who do not possess the literal requirements for admission. The leeway given law schools to admit special candidates who show clear aptitude for the study of law recognizes that their potential contribution to law schools and the profession should not be prevented by adherence to form over substance.

    B. Students who receive a bachelor degree from a foreign institution not considered to be qualified by the ABA, AALS, and League.

    Considerations Regarding Compliance with League, ABA, and AALS Guidelines

    The AALS and League guidelines on admissions state that applicants whose pre-legal studies have occurred outside the United States should be evaluated comparably with those who received degrees at accredited American institutions.

    A law school that fails to consider applications by resident aliens who wish to practice law in the United States is, as a practical matter, denying access to the profession.

    The ABA defines a qualified undergraduate institution from which students may pursue law as one accredited by a United States accrediting agency. Very few foreign institutions are so accredited. The ABA, however, permits admission of foreign degree candidates in exceptional cases.

    To satisfy AALS guidelines regarding foreign students, the admissions officer works with Capital University's undergraduate registrar in evaluating the candidate's undergraduate work to ensure that it compared favorably with those of qualified American institutions in duration, scope, and quality. The Law School, in this regard, uses the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs, an organization used by undergraduate school for transfer applicants, to evaluate foreign transcripts. If an admission is granted, the admissions officer places a signed statement in the student's file describing the considerations which led to an admission to satisfy ABA requirements.

    Most candidates who wish to pursue a Juris Doctor degree have resident visas or are naturalized citizens of the United States. Virtually all of these people plan to remain in the United States. To avoid potential problems which foreign candidates may encounter with licensing agencies in the United States or abroad, the Director of Admissions will insert language in the letter of admissions stating that the student has responsibility to investigate requirements for admission to the bar.

    C. Candidates dismissed from ABA-accredited law schools or voluntarily withdrawn from other ABA-accredited law schools with less than a 2.0 grade average.

    Considerations Regarding Compliance with League, ABA, and AALS Guidelines

    Both ABA and AALS guidelines permit admission of a student disqualified from studying at another law school. To satisfy ABA guidelines on admission following disqualification, the Committee requires disqualified candidates to wait at least two years following the determination that the applicant was disqualified for academic reasons. Candidates are required to submit written statements concerning prior attendance in law school. This statement must address reasons for the candidate's poor performance during his or her prior attendance at law school and explain why interim activities or changes in circumstances make the candidate currently suitable for the study of law. The committee considers such factors as the following when determining whether to permit application:

    1. Reasons given in the candidate's petition for poor performance during his or her prior legal studies and whether the stated problems could reasonably have had a significant impact on the candidate's performance;

    2. Interim activities, changes in circumstances, and their probable impact on the candidate's current suitability for legal studies;

    3. The candidate's credentials, both current and prior to enrolling for the first time;

    4. Non-academic factors that are germane to the candidate’s competence, character, and fitness to practice law.
  •  3.4.03 In The Case Of An Admission

    In the case of an admission, the admissions officer is required to place a signed statement in the file of the student detailing considerations that led to the decision to admit. AALS and League guidelines require a showing that the candidate has the requisite ability to study law and mandate that formerly disqualified students not constitute a substantial part of the school's enrollment.

  • 3.4.04 Personal Reasons For Failure

    There are qualified candidates who for personal, not academic, reasons failed to progress satisfactorily at another law school. If a formerly disqualified candidate shows a clear aptitude for law, the candidate can show his or her disqualification resulted from reasons other than lack of ability, and if Capital's function is to produce competitive and skilled attorneys, then the Law School should admit this person if he or she compares favorably to other applicants.