Petitions 8.1-8.7

8.1       In extraordinary circumstances, the Dean or the Faculty (depending upon the Rule involved) may grant relief from the application of some of the Rules set forth herein.  

8.2       All petitions for relief shall be in writing, addressed to the Dean. The petition shall set forth in detail the particular problem, the relief suggested, and the reasons that relief should be granted. The petition shall contain a complete statement of the grounds on which the petitioner relies for relief. The petitioner may orally present information that is not contained in this original petition to a Faculty committee or a Faculty member concerning the merits of the petition. However, if the petitioner wants that additional information to be considered by the Faculty, the petitioner must submit a supplemental written statement containing that information for purposes of incorporation into the record prior to Faculty consideration of the Petition.  

8.3       Exclusion for academic deficiency under Rules 2.1, 2.2, or 2.4 constitutes prima facie evidence that the excluded student lacks the necessary capacity or motivation to complete the required course of study in an acceptable manner. The petitioner shall have the burden of persuading the Faculty that he or she has the present capacity and motivation to complete the required work successfully and that he or she ought to be readmitted.  

8.4       A student who has been excluded for academic deficiency during the student's enrollment as either a full-time or part-time student may apply for readmission de novo to join a full-time or part-time class entering the law school two or more years after the student is notified of his or her exclusion. The Admissions Committee may readmit the reapplying student if the members of the Committee believe there is a substantial likelihood that the applicant is presently able to successfully complete law school. In making this decision, the Committee shall consider the applicant's post-dismissal course work, work activity, or study and the applicant's GPA and LSAT. The Committee shall have the right to impose conditions on readmission as prescribed by Rule 8.6.  

If the Admissions Committee decides to readmit the student, the Admissions Committee Chairperson shall sign and place in the student's file a statement of the considerations that led to the decision to readmit the student. The Committee may also exercise, on behalf of the Faculty, the right to impose conditions on readmission as prescribed by Rule 8.6.  

If the Admissions Committee denies an application under Rule 8.4, the decision of the Committee shall be final for the academic year in question.  

8.5.1    Any student who has been excluded for academic deficiency may petition for readmission on the ground that the student's failure was caused by a serious, unanticipated disruption which was unrelated to the student's capacity to complete the required course of study successfully. The disruption relied on must be an event of sufficient seriousness that a student with reasonable aptitude for legal studies would neither have foreseen and prepared for it nor have been able simultaneously to cope with the event and pursue legal studies in a satisfactory manner.  

A student relying on a serious, unanticipated disruption must present evidence of the relationship between the disruption and the academic deficiency, that the cause of the disruption no longer exists, and that the disruption is unlikely to recur. The petition for readmission must be submitted to the Dean. In no case will readmission be granted if the Faculty concludes that the petitioner lacks sufficient capacity or motivation to complete the required work successfully, even though the student may have provided evidence of a serious, unanticipated disruption. 

In exceptional cases that do not fall within the requirements set forth above for serious, unanticipated disruptions, the Academic Affairs Committee may consider and in appropriate cases grant relief to a student who has been excluded for academic deficiencies. “Exceptional cases” includes but is not limited to circumstances arising in a student’s life, course of study, or capacity to give the time and attention required for law school study, that contribute to and in part explain the reasons for the student’s academic deficiency. While the Committee is given discretion to determine if such exceptional circumstances exist, the Committee must make specific and explicit findings that (1) the circumstances were such that a student with satisfactory aptitude for legal studies might be adversely affected by such circumstances, and (2) such student possesses the ability and motivation to satisfactorily complete the required course of study in the absence of such exceptional circumstances.

Notwithstanding the review provisions of Rule 8.5.2, 8.6, and 8.7, but otherwise subject to those provisions, if the Committee grants a petition because of exceptional circumstances as set forth above, the decision of the Committee shall automatically be reviewed de novo by the full faculty, either at the next regularly scheduled faculty meeting, or at a special faculty meeting called by the Dean of the law school for this purpose.

8.5.2    Denial of an application filed pursuant to Rule 8.5.1 shall be without prejudice to the right to apply for readmission pursuant to Rule 8.4. The authority to exercise the powers of the Faculty under Rule 8.5.1 is hereby delegated to the Academic Affairs Committee. The Committee's action in granting or denying a petition under this rule shall be final unless three members of the Faculty request in writing that the full Faculty review its action. The Committee may also exercise, on behalf of the Faculty, the right to impose conditions on readmission as prescribed by Rule 8.6. When the Committee shall have acted upon a petition, the Chairperson of the Committee shall within one week thereafter circulate to each member of the Faculty a report stating the substance of the petition, the Committee's action thereon, and the reasons for that action. Requests for full Faculty consideration must be presented in writing to the Dean within seven working days after the report is circulated. 

8.6       When a petition for readmission is granted, the Faculty may, among other things, require the petitioner to retake a particular course or courses, prescribe the level of academic performance (including the number of hours of additional failures) which will again result in exclusion for academic deficiency, limit the student's outside employment, or impose other restrictions it may deem appropriate. In absence of any express conditions imposed by the Faculty, the relevant rules in these Academic Rules shall control.  

8.7       After a petitioner's request for readmission has been considered on its merits by the Faculty, a subsequent petition for readmission may be summarily denied by the Dean. Only if the Dean concludes that new grounds are alleged which justify readmission will the Faculty proceed to consider the subsequent petition.