News - Capital University Law School

Message from Dean: Law Council Adopts Policies for Grading and Exams for Spring 2020 Semester

4/3/2020  - 

Law School Community:

I want to thank the entire community, and particularly all students, for their continued patience and flexibility during this challenging time. I also want to thank all of you for your thoughtful and constructive participation in the discussions about grading and exams. This afternoon, the Law Council adopted several academic policy changes pertaining to grading and exams for this semester. I outline these below. Early next week, the Law School will provide more detailed guidance on how these policies will be applied.

  1. The Law School will use a mandatory credit/no credit grading system for Spring Semester 2020. This grading system will apply to all law courses, including courses in which students had completed a portion of the assignments before the transition to remote learning. This includes courses such as seminars, depositions, and appellate advocacy. The Law School will not use its traditional letter grade system in any courses for Spring Semester 2020. The policy will apply to all law students enrolled in these courses, including JD, MLS, LLM an MT students.
  2. All exams that were previously scheduled to be administered in-person now will be administered as open-book, take home exams.
  3. The academic good standing and dismissal rules are suspended for Spring Semester 2020.
  4. Scholarship renewal criteria for all Capital University Law School scholarships are suspended. A requirement in any Capital University Law School Scholarship that mandates that a student obtain a specific GPA is suspended for Spring Semester 2020.
  5. If you require evidence of a certain level of academic performance for purposes of employer reimbursement, please consult Associate Dean Molina, who will work with you and your faculty to help you with that process.
  6. In implementing this adjustment to the Law School’s grading policy for Spring Semester 2020, the faculty appreciate the exceptional hardships and disruption students have felt as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. During the upcoming academic year, the faculty will develop and provide additional substance and skills training for 2L and 3L students to help facilitate their continued successful academic progress.
  7. If a student is unable to sit for a final examination or complete required coursework by the end of the semester due to a COVID-19 related issue, a grade of Incomplete may be assigned, requiring the student, together with the faculty member and Associate Dean, to develop a plan for completion of the requirements of the course. The Associate Dean must approve an incomplete.
  8. All students—those currently on academic probation and those in good academic standing—must complete all requirements for all courses in which they are currently enrolled to be eligible for the changes in grading and other policies adopted by the faculty. Any student who, without the Associate Dean’s prior approval, does not submit a final course assignment, paper, or take-home exam or who does not sit for a final exam will be subject to the normal grading and academic dismissal policies.

Please remember that early next week, the Law School will provide additional guidance, explaining in detail how of each of these policies will apply. I will also discuss these policy changes at the upcoming Dean’s Town Hall meeting which will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, April 8 at 12 pm and 5 pm.

I appreciate that these policy changes will be welcome for some, while some would have preferred different options. However, I am confident that the Law Council arrived at these policies through a process that allowed all who were interested to have a meaningful opportunity to participate. I am also confident that, throughout the process, all involved have acted in good faith to ensure as best as possible the continued success of all students in this challenging environment.

I continue to be inspired by the resiliency and courage this community has demonstrated in the face of unprecedented challenge. Please know that I will keep the health and well-being of each of you in my prayers. 

Rachel M. Janutis
Dean and Professor of Law
Capital University Law School