Each student is required to maintain satisfactory academic standing, defined in terms of both the minimum GPA required and the maximum number of D, D+, or F grades permitted. Both of these requirements are reflected in the Table of Academic Standards Based on Credits Completed (listed below). In applying our Academic Standards, the calculation of “total credits completed” excludes credits earned in summer and/or winter session classes. A full-time day program student who has a GPA (cumulative below 2.00) in doctrinal classes (i.e., those classes other than Introduction to Lawyering I and II) at the end of the first year of law school will be automatically dismissed. A part-time weekend program student who has a GPA (cumulative below 2.00) in doctrinal classes (i.e., those classes other than Introduction to Lawyering I and II, Appellate Advocacy, and electives) at the end of the third semester of law school will be automatically dismissed. Further, while a 2.0 is sufficient for graduation, it is not sufficient to avoid being placed on "academic probation", since that term refers to those students who may be in need of greater than normal academic supervision. The Table reflects that, at the completion of the first year of studies and every semester thereafter, a student whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.33 (or whose GPA for the most recent semester is below 2.0) is placed on academic probation. Finally, students who, at any time after their first semester, attain a GPA of between 2.33 and 2.6 may be declared " at risk" academically. Students at academic risk may be warned of their status by the Associate Dean, and may be required to take specific courses in addition to the requirements for graduation.
Grading system used at the school of law
(Excellent) 4.33 A 4.00 A- 3.67 B+ (Above Average) 3.33 B 3.00 B- 2.67 C+ (Average) 2.33 C 2.00 C- 1.67 D+ (Unsatisfactory) 1.33 D 1.00 F (Failure) 0.00 HP (High Pass) 0.00 P (Pass) 0.00 LP (Low Pass) 0.00 CR (Credit Received) 0.00 I (Incomplete) 0.00 WD (Withdrawal) 0.00 AU (Audit) 0.00 NR (No Record) 0.00 IP (In Progress) 0.00
A limited number of courses, primarily in writing, externship and moot court areas are graded on the Pass/D or Fail system.
A grade of "I" (Incomplete) in any course means that the student has not completed the course requirements. Such grades appear as "F" on the final transcript if the student does not complete the work within the prescribed time limits. Generally, the time limit is the end of the succeeding semester, but it may be the end of the succeeding academic year in cases where the student must wait for the next regularly scheduled examination.
An unexcused student who fails to sit for a scheduled examination will receive a grade of "WD".
In courses with anonymous grading, faculty may increase (positive discretion) or lower (negative discretion) an exam grade by 1/3 grade provided that the announcement that positive and/or negative discretion will be used is made to the class at the first two or three meetings, and provided further that the names of those awarded discretion are submitted to the Director of Academic Services by the last business day before exams. (The faculty have limited the use of discretion to only 10% of the class receiving positive discretion. Where the class is less than 10 students, one student may receive discretion).
JD Mandatory Curve for Required Courses
Category Grades Mandatory Curve
1 A+ and A 15-25% (see below) 2 A- and B+ minimum 15% (see below) 3 B minimum 15% (see below) 4 B- and C+ 10-25% 5 C and C- 10-25% 6 D+, D and F 5-15%
JD Mandatory Curve for Elective Courses
Category Grades Mandatory Curve
1 A+ and A 15-25% (see below) 2 A- and B+ minimum 15% (see below) 3 B minimum 15% (see below) 4 B- and C+ 10-25% 5 C, C-, D+, D and F 10-25%
In either of the above curves, grades in the first two categories should not exceed 50%, and grades in the first three categories should not exceed 70%.
The Mandatory Curve for required courses shall apply to the following classes: Civil Procedure I and Civil Procedure II; Contracts, Contracts I and Contacts II; Criminal Law; Property, Property I and Property II; and Torts I.
The Mandatory Curve for elective courses shall apply to Constitutional Law, Constitutional Law I and Constitutional Law II; Business Associations; Evidence; and Professional Responsibility, and to any elective class of more than 40 students.
Whether or not any of the foregoing grade distributions apply, no more than 3% of the students (rounded up to the next whole student) in any class may receive a grade of A+.
Legal Practice, Clinical, Appellate Advocacy, and Introduction to Lawyering courses are not subject to these curves. In any other class not subject to the foregoing grade distributions, the mean and median grade shall not exceed 3.67 (A-).
Class ranks are computed at the end of each semester (Fall and Spring) for JD students. Ranks are cumulative, and are calculated within each class and division. After graduation in May, final class ranks for the JD graduating class (August, January & May) are placed on each graduate's transcript. Ranks are not computed for either LL.M. or M.S.J. students.
Mandatory Curve for Introduction to Lawyering I and II
Class Requirements and Assessment
The assessment of skills covered in Introduction to Lawyering I and II is split in two: you will receive four credits for legal research and writing, and two credits for interactive skills. The four credits of legal research and writing are awarded in two parts – two credits at the end of the fall semester and two credits at the end of the spring semester. The two credits of interactive skills are awarded for the full year at the end of the spring semester. The four credits of legal research and writing are assessed with letter/numbered grades like other doctrinal first year classes, while the two credits of interactive skills are assessed along a spectrum that includes the following options: High Pass, Pass, Low Pass, and Fail. Thus, at the end of your first year you will have three grades on your transcript for Lawyering: (1) Introduction Lawyering I – Legal Research and Writing (listed under fall semester grades); (2) Introduction Lawyering II – Legal Research and writing (listed under spring semester grades); and (3) Introduction to Lawyering - Interactive Skills (listed under spring semester grades).
To successfully meet the requirements of Introduction to Lawyering I – Legal Research and Writing you are required to complete the following assignments:
Major Assignments (85% of final grade)
- Final Legal Discussion – 8 pages (30%)
- First Version Office Memo – 10 pages (10%)
- Final Office Memo – 10 pages (45%)
You will receive a numerical score for each of the graded assignments that is based on the total percentage number for that assignment (i.e., you can receive a total of 30 points for the Final Legal Discussion, 10 points for the First Version of the Office Memo, and 45 points for the Final Office Memo). Fifteen points can also be awarded for the other required assignments and for professionalism (see below). At the end of the semester I will calculate each student’s total numerical score out of 100, which will then be translated into a letter grade using the mandatory grade caps explained below.
Other Required Assignments and Professionalism (15% of final grade) Throughout the semester we will ask you to complete assignments that are required but not graded. As the semester unfolds, there may be additions or deletions to the following list of required assignments, but the total weight of these assignments toward your final grade will not change. Each of these assignments is designed to help you prepare for the major assignments, to reinforce skills you are acquiring, and/or to help you reflect on your own work so that you may play an active role in your education and in developing lawyering skills.
You will not receive individual numerical scores for listed assignments. If your work is unsatisfactory, I will deduct points from this part of your grade and, in addition, I may ask you to continue to work on the project until it reaches a satisfactory quality. I may also deduct points if you do not complete the assignment by the stated deadline.
This course is not only an introduction to the skills used by lawyers but also to the standards and habits of professional practice used by lawyers across diverse areas of the law. As you will see in the definition of professionalism below, I expect that you will commit to professional values including active participation in all activities, attention to the rules for this class and all the assignments, effective planning and thoughtful reflection on your work and the work of your peers, and attendance and punctuality. At the end of each semester I will assess your demonstration of these values and factor this assessment into this section of your final grade.
Introduction to Lawyering (Legal Research and Writing) Grading Caps
Introduction to Lawyering utilizes a mandatory grade cap structure that ensures some uniformity of grading across sections:
Category Grades Mandatory Lawyering Caps 1 A 15-25% 2 A- and B+ minimum 15% 3 B minimum 15%
Grades in the first two categories should not exceed 50%, and grades in the first three categories should not exceed 80%. An A+ will be awarded only for extraordinary performance.
Assessment of Interactive Skills
To successfully meet the requirements of Introduction to Lawyering – Interactive Skills, by the end of the spring semester you will have to complete the interview project, which takes place in the fall semester, along with the counseling, oral argument, and negotiation projects in the spring. A Pass will be awarded to students who demonstrate engagement in the simulation and familiarity with the skills taught. Students who excel in the interactive skills exercises may receive a High Pass for the course. No more than 30% of students may receive a High Pass in each section. Students who dedicate an insufficient level of effort to the interactive skills exercises may receive a Low Pass. A Fail will be awarded to students who do not fulfill the basic requirements of the assignments.
Table of Academic Standing
In applying our Academic Standards, the calculation of “total credits completed” excludes credits earned in summer and/or winter session classes.
The credits from a repeated course count only once towards the “credits completed” referenced in the Table of Academic Standing. In addition, as the Graduation Requirements state, both grades in repeated courses are factored into the GPA for purposes of applying the Table of Academic Standing.
Example: A student who is permitted to not continue after the first semester of the first year of law school and later returns and repeats course(s) from the first semester curriculum remains subject to the GPA dismissal rule at the end of the first year of law school even if the total number of completed credits on the transcript is more than 37 credits due to the repeating of courses.
The dismissal rules do not provide for any appeal by a dismissed student. Only a voting faculty member may, pursuant to and consistent with the Law School Faculty Bylaws, move the voting faculty to waive the dismissal rule in extraordinary circumstances. A motion for waiver of application of any mandatory dismissal rule shall not pass absent the support of a majority of the voting faculty, not a majority of a quorum.
Credits Completed Dismissal 0-15 credits completed 3 grades of D, D+ or F, or cumulative GPA below 1.00 16-37 credits (including Lawyering but excluding winter/summer credits) A full-time day program student who has a cumulative GPA below 2.10 at the end of the first year of law school will be automatically dismissed. A part-time weekend program student who has a cumulative GPA below 2.10 at the end of the third semester of law school (excluding Appellate Advocacy and electives) will be automatically dismissed.
All students beginning law school in Fall 2024 or later are subject to the 2.10 rule. Any day program student who began law school in Fall 2023, or any weekend program student who began law school in Fall 2022 or Fall 2023, shall not be dismissed if the student’s GPA does not warrant dismissal under this rule or the previous GPA rule. (The previous GPA rule provided: "A full-time day program student who has a GPA (cumulative below 2.00) in doctrinal classes (i.e., those classes other than Introduction to Lawyering I and II) at the end of the first year of law school will be automatically dismissed. A part-time weekend program student who has a GPA (cumulative below 2.00) in doctrinal classes (i.e., those classes other than Introduction to Lawyering I and II, Appellate Advocacy, and electives) at the end of the third semester of law school will be automatically dismissed.")
At any time (A) 8 credits or more of D+, D or F among the following courses, provided that the credits be earned in at least three of these classes:
- Civil Procedure
- Civil Procedure I;
- Civil Procedure II;
- Contracts I;
- Contacts II;
- **Constitutional Law;
- **Constitutional Law I;
- **Constitutional Law II;
- Criminal Law;
- Property I;
- Property II;
- Professional Responsibility;
- Introduction to Lawyering I; and
- Introduction to Lawyering II
(B) Impossibility of meeting graduation standard of obtaining a 2.00 GPA within the maximum number of credits attempted.
**A D+, D, or F in Constitutional Law, Constitutional Law I or Constitutional Law II will only serve to dismiss a student if (a) the Constitutional Law class encompasses the student’s 8th D+, D or F credit from among the above-listed classes; (b) the prior D+, D, or F credits were earned in at least two classes; AND (c) the student had a GPA below 2.33 at the end of the student’s first year (excluding the Introduction to Lawyering I and II GPA).
Credits Completed PROBATION 0-15 credits completed 4 or more credits of D, D+ and F, or cumulative GPA below 2.33 More than 15 credits Cumulative GPA below 2.33 or GPA below 2.00 in most recent semester
Academic Probation Credentials
A student who is placed on academic probation will be given notice thereof by the Associate Dean. In addition, the Associate Dean may require each such person:
- to consult with a person designated by the Associate Dean to evaluate his or her writing ability, and, if this evaluation indicates a need for remedial work in writing, to complete a required program of such remedial work; and
- to obtain course counseling by the Associate Dean on his or her delegate prior to registering for the following semester.
In addition, the Dean of Students may impose on any student on probation any of the following as he or she shall determine:
- reduction in academic load;
- reducing or eliminating outside employment in the case of a full-time student;
- repetition of specified courses;
- limitation of courses or programs which may be taken;
- reducing or eliminating extracurricular activities;
- suspension for a specified period of time;
Academic probation and academic risk are assessed after the fall and the spring semesters.
A required course in which a grade of "F" is received must be repeated at the first opportunity with a different professor.
No student allowed to repeat the first semester or first year because of failed academic standing may be permitted a further repetition of the same period.
In case of dismissal or suspension, registration in all courses is revoked and tuition for any subsequent semester is refunded in full.
A student repeating a required course because of a grade of "F", who receives a grade of "F" in the repeated course, will be automatically dismissed from the law school. Such dismissal may be appealed to the Academic Credentials Committee. If good cause is shown and the student's academic performance is otherwise satisfactory, the committee may recommend to the full faculty that the student not be dismissed but be allowed to repeat the course one more time.
Any credits earned at another school and approved by Seton Hall as counting toward graduation will not be computed in the student's Grade Point Average.
A grade of "D", wherever referred to in these standards, includes a grade of "D" or "D+".
Students are responsible for reading and understanding all provisions of these standards.
Dismissal and Readmission
Dismissal notice. A student in failed standing will be given notice of automatic dismissal from the law school, without right to appeal.
A. Readmission for Dismissed Students. No student dismissed for academic reasons may be readmitted unless all conditions
below are satisfied:
- 1. At least one year has elapsed since the student’s dismissal;
- 2. The student files a written petition stating the ground for readmission;
- 3. The Academic Credentials Committee (hereinafter “Committee”), after a hearing, determines the student is likely to succeed in the Law School; and
- 4. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Committee majority concur that
the student be readmitted as a beginning student.
B. Readmission Procedures and Standards.
1. Petition and Hearing. A dismissed student seeking readmission must submit a written petition to the Committee.
- a. The petition for readmission may contain any material the dismissed student deems relevant, including, but not limited to, a statement of the grounds for readmission, letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and other materials.
- b. A dismissed student seeking readmission shall, at all times, direct any questions to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (or designee) or chair of the Committee and should not contact or consult with any Committee member about the merits of the petition.
- c. The Committee shall conduct a hearing to review the petition submitted by the dismissed student.
- d. The dismissed student may, but is not required to, strike one voting member of the Committee reviewing the petition. The dismissed student must notify the chair of the Committee at least three days prior to the scheduled hearing when exercising this choice.
2. Standard. The Committee, in deciding whether to readmit a student under A.3., may consider:
- a. A student’s prior academic record, including admissions data from the student’s application;
- b. The causes for the student’s dismissal;
- c. Whether the causes for the student’s dismissal have been overcome, and are unlikely to reoccur;
- d. The character and quality of the student’s activities since dismissal;
- e. Written submissions and oral testimony by the student and others;
- f. The student’s demonstrating an increased capacity for law studies; and
- g. Any other considerations that the committee deems relevant to whether the student is likely to succeed in the Law School.
- 3. Potential Conditions for Readmission. Upon readmission, the Associate Dean and Committee may impose reasonable requirements or restrictions upon a student to promote the student’s academic success.
4. Successive Petitions for Readmission. A dismissed student may only petition for readmission twice.
- 1. Petition and Hearing. A dismissed student seeking readmission must submit a written petition to the Committee.
C. Procedures on Readmission. A statement of the considerations that led to readmission will be placed in the readmitted
student’s file. The prior academic record will not be removed but will not be considered
for purposes of academic standing or graduation. Transcripts will reflect all academic
grades taken before and after readmission; however, grade point average and class
rank will be computed anew from the date of readmission.
- D. Academic Standards for Readmitted Students. All academic standards and requirements applicable to currently enrolled students are fully applicable to readmitted students. Readmitted students may be dismissed again if they fail to meet these academic standards at any time during their law school enrollment.
- A. Readmission for Dismissed Students. No student dismissed for academic reasons may be readmitted unless all conditions below are satisfied:
Faculty Grievance and Grading Complaints Committee Rules
For more information, please contact Enrollment Services at 973-642-8502.