4.8 Rules and Procedures Concerning Academic Probation, Dismissal and Reinstatement.

  • 4.8.01 Probation and Dismissal

    A. All students are required to maintain an average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale to be in good academic standing.

    1. Full-time students - a first year day student must obtain a cumulative quality point average of 2.00 or greater by the end of the spring semester of the first year. A student who fails to obtain a 2.00 is automatically dismissed.

    2. Part-time evening students - a first year evening student must obtain a cumulative quality point average of 2.00 or greater by the end of the summer term of the first year. A student who fails to obtain a 2.00 is automatically dismissed.

    3. Part-time day students - a part-time day student must obtain a cumulative quality point average of 2.00 or greater by the end of the fall semester of the second year. A student who fails to obtain a 2.00 is automatically dismissed.

    4. Transfer students - a transfer student must obtain a cumulative quality point average of 2.00 or greater by the end of the first semester of work undertaken at Capital University Law School. A transfer student who fails to obtain a 2.00 for work undertaken at Capital University Law School is automatically dismissed. Only grades obtained at Capital University Law School are calculated in the transfer student's cumulative quality point average. (see 3.2.01(C)).

    5. A student with a cumulative quality point average of less than 2.0, but who has not reached the dismissal point described above, is automatically placed on academic probation.

    6. Dismissals are based upon the appropriate dismissal point described above and not the number of required courses completed. Dropping or failing to complete a course does not exempt full-or part-time students as described above from dismissal.

    7. Upper division students - a student with a cumulative quality point average of less than 2.0 after the dismissal point described above is automatically dismissed.

    B. All dismissals are effective as of the conclusion of the semester or summer term in which a student failed to attain the required 2.0 cumulative quality point average even if the student does not receive official notice of the dismissal until after the beginning of the next academic term. When a student is dismissed, he or she is automatically withdrawn from the Law School and from all courses in which the student is currently enrolled. For example, if a student is dismissed after fall semester grades are reported, the student will be automatically withdrawn from all spring semester courses.

    1. As a courtesy to dismissed students who may and do file petitions for reinstatement, and who are enrolled in fall or spring semester classes, such petitioners are permitted to attend classes pending final resolution of their petitions. Therefore, if the petition ultimately is granted, the reinstatement is made retroactive to the beginning of such fall or spring semester and the dismissed but reinstated student has not been compelled to miss any classes.

    2. If a dismissed student is not permitted to file a petition, does not file a petition for reinstatement, or if a dismissed student files a petition that ultimately is denied, the dismissed student will not be permitted to continue to attend classes, no matter how much of the current semester has expired.

    3. Dismissed students are ineligible to attend summer school and will not be permitted to transfer academic credit to Capital for off-campus study. If a student receives a letter of dismissal while enrolled in summer school or while pursuing an approved course of study elsewhere, the letter results in immediate withdrawal from the Law School or revocation of permission to take course work elsewhere. The filing of a petition for reinstatement does not toll or waive this rule. Even if a petition for reinstatement is granted, summer course work or course work elsewhere will not be recognized.

    4. Any student who is dismissed and withdrawn from the Law School after the next semester or summer term has commenced, and is not reinstated, will be entitled to a full tuition refund as of the end of the previous semester or summer term. The date of withdrawal will be treated as the first day of the semester.



    C. Students who are dismissed, have a cumulative quality point average between 1.9 and 2.0, inclusive, and who desire to be reinstated on academic probation must file a petition with the Committee on Admission and Readmission within the period of time stated in their letter of dismissal. The student remains dismissed pending action on the petition for reinstatement. Only if the petition is finally granted is the student removed from the status as a dismissed student. 
     

  • 4.8.02 Petitions for Reinstatement

    A. When a student is dismissed for failing to attain or to maintain a cumulative quality point average between 1.9 and 2.0, inclusive as described in 4.8.01(c) above, he or she may file a petition for reinstatement.

    1. A petition for reinstatement is a request by a dismissed student that an exception to the academic rules of the Law School be granted and that the dismissed student be permitted to re-enter the Law School, on academic probation, on the condition that the student attain the required cumulative quality point average at the conclusion of the next semester.

    2. Petitions for reinstatement are distinguished from petitions for reapplication. A petition for reinstatement is a request that an exception to the academic rules of the Law School be granted and that the dismissed student be permitted to re-enter the Law School in an advanced student status, with no extinguishment of the student's past law school academic record. A petition for reapplication is a request by a former law student for permission to file a new application for admission to the Law School as a beginning law student. If such petition is granted and a student is admitted after competing with other candidates in the applicant pool, the student begins Law School anew. He or she repeats all required courses previously taken, and former grades are not computed in determining the student's cumulative quality point average. Petitions for reapplication are very rarely granted, and then only when the former student has been out of law school for several years.

    B. When a student is dismissed for academic deficiency, it is presumed that the reason for such deficiency is an inability to study law and there is a heavy presumption against reinstatement. The petitioner (dismissed student who files a petition for reinstatement) must convince the members of the Law School Council and its appropriate committee that the grades received by the dismissed student are not an adequate measure of the student's learning or performance. In particular, the petitioner must prove:

    1. that the academic deficiency was the result of causes other than an inability to study law;

    2. that such causes were extraordinary and sufficiently substantial to cause poor academic performance;

    3. that such causes were beyond the petitioner's control, or were justifiable (e.g., "I didn't study" or "I worked 20 hours per week as a fulltime student" may show that the causes for academic deficiency were not caused by an inability to study law, but such causes are hardly considered justifiable);

    4. that the causes for the academic deficiency have been fully or substantially resolved, and no longer exist; and

    5. that, given one more semester of legal study, the student will be able to attain the required cumulative quality point average.

    C. It should be understood that information not given by the student in the petition for reinstatement is considered inconsequential. Thus, petitioners should, even in the instance of the most private, relevant matter, provide to the committee, in writing, all information pertinent to the petition. All matters thus presented to the committee are strictly confidential.

    D. No student having been reinstated pursuant to a petition for reinstatement may be reinstated a second time should the student fail to attain the required 2.0 cumulative quality point average, or is subsequently dismissed a second time. 
  • 4.8.03  Procedure for Hearing Petitions for Reinstatement

    A. When a student is dismissed, the student is sent a letter that officially notifies the student of his or her dismissal. The letter of dismissal will advise the dismissed student of the privilege to file a petition for reinstatement within a certain number of calendar days.

    B. All petitions for reinstatement are forwarded by the Dean or Dean's delegate to the Committee on Admissions and Readmissions, which consists of both faculty members and students.

    1. The committee compiles a list of all dismissed students who have petitioned for reinstatement, along with pertinent information such as the petitioners' admissions indices (LSAT score and undergraduate cumulative quality point average) and Law School grades. This information is made available, in a manner designed to safeguard the confidentiality of the students, to all committee members and members of the Law School Council (full-time faculty members and two students). Council members and committee members are also encouraged to inspect the student file of each petitioner.

    2. For purposes of this policy on reinstatement, if there is no minority member of the Law School faculty, the Dean or Dean's delegate designates a minority counselor who shall have all of the rights and privileges of a council member except that he or she shall not attend or vote at councilor faculty meetings. Thus, with the exception of attending and voting at councilor Faculty meetings, the term "council member" as used in this policy shall include the designated minority counselor.

    3. Petitions for reinstatement will be considered by student representatives of the Admission Committee and on the Law School Council only if the petitioner so requests. Petitioners desiring student representatives to participate in the consideration of their petitions must affirmatively request this at the time that the petition is filed, and may do so by completing the appropriate waiver form that is supplied to the student by the Law School.

    4. Council members are asked to make written comments, suggestions, or recommendations to the committee relative to any or all petitioners, if council members so choose, council members need not submit such comments, suggestions, or recommendations should they choose not to do so. Such comments usually are evaluations by faculty members of the individual petitioner's ability to succeed in Law School.

    C. The committee then meets to discuss each petition for reinstatement. Petitioners do not appear nor do they have representatives appear on their behalf.

    1. The committee, in its deliberation, considers whether the student has a realistic chance of achieving academic success upon reinstatement. Factors considered by the committee include, but are not limited to, the following:

    a. the grade point average at the time the student petitions, including the level of performance a student must maintain to raise the grade average to 2.0;

    b. the student's entering credentials and apparent aptitude for the study of law;

    c. reasons given by the student in the petition for poor performance and other matters presented by the student in the petition, with particular reference to the factors listed in Section 4.8.02.(B);

    d. comments and recommendations by members of the Law School Council;

    e. the student's level of motivation, including class attendance, hours of study, study techniques, attempts to improve study habits, positive attitude toward legal study, personal responsibility, and any other information called to the attention of the committee;

    f. the number of hours a student has attempted at the time of the petition;

    g. other factors that are germane to the student's character, competence, and fitness to practice law.

    2. After full discussion of the merits of a petition, the committee by majority vote makes a preliminary decision:

    a. to deny the petition and allow dismissal to stand.

    b. to grant the petition and reinstate the petitioner on probation to attain the required cumulative quality point average at the end of the next semester or term. The committee may also impose other conditions on reinstatement.

    c. to table the petition until further information is received.

    d. to deny the petition but invite the petitioner to apply for reinstatement in the future. This is rarely done.

    D. After the preliminary decisions are made by the committee, all committee members and council members are informed of the preliminary decisions.

    1. Any committee member or Council member who disagrees with the preliminary decision of the committee regarding a particular petitioner may request that the committee reconsider this preliminary decision if the person making the request has "standing" to do so. All committee members have "standing". Council members not on the committee have "standing" to request reconsideration only if such person had previously given written comments to the committee regarding the petitioner relative to whom the request for reconsideration is made. See Section 4.8.01(B)(4).

    2. Where no requests for reconsideration are made, the preliminary decision of the committee becomes final.

    3. Where a request for reconsideration is made, the committee will again meet and conduct a new hearing on such petition. Again there is no appearance by the petitioner or his representative. The committee by majority vote may either reaffirm its prior decision or make a new decision. See Section 4.8.03(C)(2) for possible decisions, which the committee may make.

    E. After decisions on reconsideration are made, all committee members and council members are informed of the decisions on reconsideration.

    1. Any committee member or council member who disagrees with the committee's decision on reconsideration regarding a particular petitioner may request review by the full Law School Council if the person making the requests for council review has "standing" to do so. A person has "standing" to request council review only if such person had "standing" to request consideration by the committee, and did so request reconsideration, pursuant to Section 4.8.03 (D)(l).

    2. Where no requests for council review of the committee's decision on reconsideration are made, such decisions become final.

    3. Where a request for council review is made, the council will meet to conduct such review. Neither the petitioner nor a representative is present. The council may by majority vote either affirm the decision of the committee or make a new decision. See Section 4.8.03(C)(2) for possible decisions that the council may make.

    F. It should be noted that requests for committee reconsideration or for council review can be made only by committee members or council members who provided written comments to the committee. Individual petitioners are notified only of final decisions. They are not notified of any intermediate decisions, and cannot themselves initiate requests either for committee reconsideration or for council review. The purpose of the three-step procedure outlined above is not to provide an appellate process, but rather to allow the Law School Council to delegate its function of taking academic actions to a committee while at the same time not losing complete control over this process. 
  • 4.8.04 Miscellaneous Matters

    A. Committee members and council members, in cases involving petitions for reinstatement, have the obligation to make objective evaluations of all such petitions, considering the best interests of all concerned parties: the individual petitioners, the Law School, the legal profession, and the community. Committee members and council members therefore do not act as advocates for individual petitioners, but as individual faculty members, administrators, or fellow students they may be called upon for advice by dismissed students.

    B. The procedures outlined above are those currently in force. They are subject to change at any time by the Law School Councilor by the Committee on Admission and Readmission.

    C. Students on academic probation do not receive financial aid from Capital University, and are not permitted to engage in extracurricular activities during the period of probation.