Class Attendance and Proceedings
Regular and punctual class attendance is a prerequisite for receiving credit in a course. Pursuant to the pertinent accreditation requirements imposed by the American Bar Association, the faculty has established guidelines for course absences. The faculty has voted that a student who has more than the number of absences prescribed below shall not be allowed to take the exam or receive credit, regardless of the reasons for the absences. The Executive Committee, in exceptional circumstances, can grant an exception to the attendance rule.
Students in face-to-face courses must attend class meetings in person. Students in fully synchronous online courses must attend class meetings online and in real time.
Students who test positive for COVID-19, who are required to quarantine due to exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual, or who are the primary caregiver for a child who has tested positive for COVID-19 or a child who is required to quarantine due to exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual should fill out the COVID reporting form on the LSU Law Center website, complete the LSU symptom tracker, and notify the Associate Dean of Student and Academic Affairs immediately. Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should refrain from coming to class, test for COVID-19 instead of coming to campus, notify the Associate Dean of Student & Academic Affairs immediately, and provide the Associate Dean a copy of proof of testing when available. Students who have complied with all of the above requirements will be provided a copy of class recordings for these absences, and must certify to the Associate Dean that they viewed those recordings in their entirety within 21 days of the recorded session. (Alternatives to certifying attendance by viewing recordings should be arranged with the professor and approved by the Associate Dean for clinical courses in light of client confidentiality.) Students who exceed absences in a course and have COVID-related absences should notify the Associate Dean of Student and Academic Affairs and provide documentation of compliance with all COVID-19-related absence protocols. The Associate Dean will present the student’s request to remain enrolled in the course to the Executive Committee for consideration. The Executive Committee shall employ a rebuttable presumption that COVID-19-related absences meeting Law Center protocols be excused. (This presumption applies even when a student refrains from coming to campus because of COVID-19 symptoms, tests on that day, and receives a negative test result.)
Hurricane Ida-Related Makeup Classes and Absences
Classes canceled from August 30-September 3 for Hurricane Ida must be made up as necessary to comply with PS-45LC. These makeup sessions must be completed by faculty by October 15. Faculty members retain discretion to determine the format of makeup sessions. However, if live makeup sessions are to be held, students must be permitted to attend those live classes either in person or to watch recordings and receive attendance credit by certifying their attendance to the professor after viewing makeup class recordings in their entirety within 21 days of the recorded session.
Students who have experienced substantial personal impacts resulting from Hurricane Ida that affect the student’s ability to attend live classes between September 7 and September 28 may request the ability either 1) to received attendance credit by attending classes remotely and in real time via Zoom; or 2) to receive attendance credit by certifying their attendance to the professor after viewing makeup class recordings in their entirety within 21 days of the recorded session. (Alternatives to certifying attendance by attending remotely and by viewing recordings should be arranged with the professor and approved by the Associate Dean for clinical courses in light of client confidentiality.) These detailed requests shall be provided to the Associate Dean of Student and Academic Affairs for consideration.
Students shall not exceed the number of absences prescribed below.
Fall and Spring Semesters
- 3-hour courses that meet 3 times/week - 9 class absences
- 3-hour courses that meet 2 times/week - 7 class absences
- 3-hour courses that meet 1 time/week - 3 class absences
- 2-hour courses that meet 2 times/week - 7 class absences
- 2-hour courses that meet 1 time/week - 3 class absences
- 4-hour courses that meet 4 times/week - 14 class absences
- 4-hour courses that meet 3 times/week - 10 class absences
- Legal Research and Writing (LAW 5021 and LAW 5022) - 5 class absences
- Appellate Practice and Procedure (LAW 5609) - 5 class absences
Courses Taught by Visiting Scholars
- 1-hour course that meets 3 weeks (6 classes) - 1 class absence.
- 2-hour courses that meet 6 weeks (12 classes) - 2 class absences.
- 3-hour courses that meet 5 times/week—8 class absences.
- 2-hour courses that meet 5 times/week—6 class absences.
Summer in France Program
- 1-hour course - 1 absence
- 3-hour course - 3 absences
Fully Asynchronous and Partially Asynchronous Online Courses
In a fully asynchronous online course, the attendance requirement is based upon completing coursework. Students in fully asynchronous online courses must complete, at a minimum, 75% of the coursework for the course. The course instructor shall determine the coursework that students must complete to satisfy this requirement and shall be responsible for determining whether a student has satisfied it.
In a partially asynchronous online course, students must (a) attend 75% of face-to-face or synchronous online class meetings and (b) complete, at a minimum, 75% of the coursework for the course. The course instructor shall determine the coursework that students must complete to satisfy this requirement and shall be responsible for determining whether a student has satisfied it. For purposes of this policy, a partially asynchronous online course is one that combines regularly scheduled face-to-face or online synchronous class meetings with asynchronous online components that replace more than 25% of the regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction.
Seminars, Clinics, and Experiential Courses
In seminars, experiential courses, Moot Court (Law 5855), and other similar courses, the attendance requirement may be higher, as established by the instructor for the course.
A first-year student who fails to comply with attendance requirements in any course shall receive a grade of 1.3 in the course and shall be required to repeat the course.
A second- or third-year student who fails to comply with attendance requirements in any course will be administratively dropped from the course and a notation to that effect will be printed on the student’s official transcript. If the course is a seminar, an experiential course, Moot Court (Law 5885), or a similar course, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the instructor for the course, may determine that the student should remain enrolled in the course and the instructor for the course may impose additional penalties for failure to comply with attendance requirements.
Absences Due to Religious Activities
Any student who wishes to be absent from a face-to-face or fully synchronous online class meeting or desires an extension for the completion of activities and/or assessments in a fully asynchronous or partially asynchronous online course in order to engage in activities that are either fundamental to the student’s religion or that express adherence to the student’s religious faith should notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs via email outlining briefly the necessity for the absence or extension and requesting approval.
Attendance in face-to-face courses is tracked using physical roll sheets, or the Moodle Attendance Activity, or both. In fully synchronous online courses, attendance is tracked using the Moodle Attendance Activity. A faculty member may elect to use electronic attendance-tracking software other than the Moodle Attendance Activity; however institutional support may not be available for that software. In circumstances such as the COVID-19 Pandemic, attendance is tracked electronically.
It is each student’s responsibility to make sure to record their attendance in each class meeting in which the student is present. It is a violation of the Code of Student Professional Responsibility to falsify attendance information in any manner. Such falsification includes, but is not limited to, the following: “backsigning” for the dates on which the student was not present; recording attendance for another student who is not present; procuring another student to record attendance for a student who was not present; recording attendance when the student was not actually present or has missed a substantial portion of the class; or sharing credentials for recording attendance through Moodle or other attendance-tracking software with a student who was not actually present in class or has missed a substantial portion of the class.
In fully asynchronous and partially asynchronous courses, faculty members will set and track attendance benchmarks as contemplated above.
Recording of Classes
Students are not permitted to use tape recorders or any other means of recording classroom proceedings except in unusual circumstances and with the prior approval of each instructor and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Class rank information is posted to the academic record of each student about two weeks after all final grades are received for the semester/term. Courses with 25 or more students will show a course rank. First-year students will receive course ranks, class ranks, and section ranks. This information is also available through myLSU.
Barring exceptional circumstances, all upperclass courses taught by full-time faculty will be limited to 75 or fewer students. All classes taught by adjunct faculty will be limited to 40 or fewer students. In both instances, registration will be on a first-come basis according to scheduling preferences.
Students may not schedule courses for which meeting times overlap.
The Juris Doctor/Optional Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law degree program at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center is offered only on a full-time basis. Full-time status is 12 or more hours in the fall and spring semesters, and five or more hours in the summer term. Incoming first-year students, however, must take 16 hours during the fall semester and 16 hours during the spring semester.
Incoming first-year students are separated into three sections for their first-year courses. Students are assigned to the sections at random, and they may not change sections. Students remain with their sections through their second semester. When possible, each first-year student has at least one course in a “small section” consisting of half of one full section.
The Law Center requires that the following courses be scheduled and completed during the first year:
first semester—Contracts, Torts, Legal Traditions and Systems of the Western World: Louisiana’s Experience, Basic Civil Procedure I, Criminal Law, and Legal Research and Writing I;
second semester—Obligations, Civil Law Property, Constitutional Law I, Basic Civil Procedure II, Administration of Criminal Justice I, and Legal Research and Writing II.
Students who have successfully completed their first two semesters of work in the Law Center may register for summer school and may take up to a maximum of nine hours credit. The total number of summer school credits that can be applied to the J.D. degree is 16.
The normal course load for upperclass students is 15 credit hours during either a fall or spring semester. The maximum course load for upperclass students is 16 credit hours during either a fall or spring semester; enrolling in 17 credit hours requires approval as set forth below.
With prior approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, a student may enroll in 17 credit hours if that load includes a single credit earned before regular classes begin (e.g., during the January “Apprenticeship Week” or for Trial Advocacy in early August) or if the load includes a single credit earned through an advocacy competition or law journal and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs determines that the credit sought for competition or journal work does not present an unreasonable additional burden to the student. The request should be emailed to the Associate Dean before course scheduling and should set forth the specific courses to be taken.
Upperclass students may otherwise enroll in 17 credit hours only after receiving approval of the faculty Executive Committee.
Students seeking Executive Committee approval to exceed the maximum course load must demonstrate good cause and likely academic success through a written petition (submitted via email to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) detailing the reasons for exceeding the maximum course load, the specific courses to be taken, and evidence of the student’s capacity to successfully complete the additional credits. Executive Committee approval of a 17-credit course load will be unusual and atypical. No student may enroll in more than 17 credit hours in a semester.
Upperclass students are allowed to take a part-time course load, but they must complete their degree requirements within four calendar years.
Book lists are posted on the Law Center website. Most books may be purchased at the following locations: LSU Union Bookstore; Claitor’s Law Books and Publishing Division (3653 Perkins Road); and the Law Center Publications Institute (302). All books published by the Law Center Publications Institute are sold only at the latter location.
Because of the demanding nature of legal education, students should not work in excess of 20 hours a week while attending law school ona full-time basis without the permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. First-year students are strongly discouraged from engaging in any outside employment. Students who choose to engage in substantial outside work should seriously consider reducing their course loads and extending their legal education over additional periods in residence.
Course & Instructor Evaluations
Students have the opportunity and are encouraged to complete course and instructor evaluations through an anonymous online system during the last two weeks of classes. Responses are collected by the Office of Student Records and later distributed to the instructor and administration after the close of each semester.
Upperclass law students use LSU’s registration system to schedule upcoming classes, make any later schedule changes, and to choose additional services fees. These selections are the students’ responsibility, with the exception of incoming first-year students, who will not schedule their own classes or make schedule changes their first year. All students should review the Course Registration Instructions and Calendar publications which are published for each semester and available on the web for details regarding the scheduling process.
The registration system can be accessed by using your myLSU logon ID. As you use your myLSU account, remember to exit the Internet browser when you are finished. If you leave it open, someone else might access your myLSU account.
Students who encounter any difficulty with the system may call the Office of Admissions and Student Records (578-8646) or the LSU ITS Service Desk (334-3375) for assistance.
A degree audit report is available via your myLSU account. Upperclass students should generate and review this report prior to course scheduling. To view the meaning of the symbols used on the report, click on “A Guide to Using the Degree Audit Report is Available” (at the top).
Registration for the summer and fall semesters takes place in the preceding spring semester, and registration for the spring semester takes place in the preceding fall semester. In both cases, scheduling of classes is divided into distinct phases in order both to maximize each student’s opportunities to take the desired courses. Please note that participation inexperiential courses require an application process that is completed prior to registration.
Dates and times of registration, as well as written instructions on how to use myLSU for registration, are available to students on the web, together with copies of the schedule(s) and other instructions.
Your schedule will be subject to review for academic validity and available space in each class. During the registration process each course is reviewed by the Associate Dean and the Law Registrar.
Note: Classes with less than 10 registered students are subject to cancellation. There are some limited enrollment classes and seminars that students may not drop without written permission from the professor and the Associate Dean. These classes are designated as such on the course schedule sheet. You may check myLSU to obtain your schedule of classes. If you have completed all course work and need to enroll as a “Degree Only” student please contact the Office of Admissions and Student Records to receive assistance with registration. Students may not register as “Degree Only” through myLSU.
Cancellation of Registration
If you complete registration (pay fees) by the payment due date, and decide, before the first class day, to not attend LSU, you are not allowed to drop all of your classes using myLSU. You must notify the Office of Admissions and Student Records that you are canceling your registration. If you cancel your registration before the first class day, you will receive a 100 percent refund (minus the $10 registration fee), and no entry regarding the term will appear on your record or transcript. Such students must apply to re-enter the Law Center before they can register for a subsequent semester or summer term.
Completion of Registration
The University does not mail semester fee bills. The Office of Bursar Operations will notify you, via email, when the online fee bills are available. Detailed payment information is in the Registration Regulations and Advance Billing System booklet which is available prior to course scheduling. If you are a continuing student at LSU and miss the payment due date you will be assessed, and pay, the $75 late registration service charge. After payment is made and/or your remittance stub is returned, you should verify your registration status via myLSU.
All official records of registration and grades are kept by the Office of Admissions and Student Records, 202 Law Center. It is the responsibility of all students to ensure they are properly registered. No credit will be given for any course in which a student is not officially registered even though the student may have attended class and taken the exam. Furthermore, a grade of 1.3 will be given to any student who has not officially dropped a course even though the student did not attend class and did not take the exam. All inquiries about registration and enrollment are handled through the Office of Admissions and Student Records.
Adding and Dropping Courses — You may add and drop courses from the beginning of the course scheduling period through the final day for adding classes in any given semester or term, with one exception. Between the time fee bills are posted to myLSU and you have processed your payment and are considered registered, you can drop, but not add courses. After you are considered registered, you can both drop and add courses once again.
Check myLSU for your registration status.
Charges and credits created by dropping and/or adding courses (changing from part-time to full-time and vice versa) after you pay fees will be posted to your account daily. Classes which are dropped after the last day to add are noted on the transcript with a “W” (withdrew) grade. Students have until four weeks prior to the last day of classes to drop a class. All such transactions (except resignations) should be handled through myLSU. Please note that if you have been identified as a degree candidate for a particular semester you cannot drop a course via myLSU. Please report to personnel in the Office of Admissions and Student Records as soon as you desire to drop a course so your request can be processed.
Required Academic Performance
Your registration depends on your successful academic performance during the current semester; your schedule is subject to cancellation if you do not meet the required standards, and you will be issued a refund of 100 percent.
Resigning from the Law Center
If you complete registration, and decide on the first class day or thereafter not to attend the Law Center, you must report to the Office of Admissions and Student Records in the Law Center to initiate the procedure to resign from the Law Center. Resignations are part of your permanent record and appear on your transcript. The last day to resign from the Law Center is the last day to drop classes. In exceptional circumstances, the Associate Dean may allow a first-year student to resign at a later time, but not after a first-year begins the final examination. Students who withdraw after the foregoing dates will receive a grade of 1.3.
Course Preferences and Sequencing
Student must earn at least 59 credit hours to be classified as a third-year student.
Third-year students have preference in scheduling all courses. Second-year students may not register for third-year only courses.
LAW 5605 - Evidence must be taken during the second year if students intend to take LAW 5608 - Trial Advocacy the fall of their third year.
Students interested in taking a 3L only clinic should complete LAW 5721 - The Legal Profession by the end of their second year.
The following courses are available only to students with 3L status:
The following courses overlap, and students will only be allowed to take one or the other:
Some courses may have prerequisites. Prerequisite courses are listed as suggested background courses for particular courses. If you do not have the course(s) listed as a prerequisite you should seek approval of the faculty member teaching the course. If you register for a course and do not meet all prerequisites, your enrollment in that course may be canceled. Check the course description (herein) before registering for the course.
Special Enrollment and/or Course Designations
Currently enrolled students who wish to audit a course must submit a written petition for consideration of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs by the last day to add a class. Upon approval, the audit designation/course will be added to your schedule by personnel in the Office of Admissions and Student Records. Students who audit a course are subject to the same class attendance requirements as other students and are expected to be prepared for and to participate in class discussion. They will not take the exam and do not receive credit, but the audited course is indicated on the student’s transcript.
For full-time students, no extra fee is charged; however, mandatory fees may be adjusted based on hours enrolled. Part-time students who audit a course are charged the same fees as those charged for courses taken for credit. Practicing attorneys who wish to audit a class must obtain permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the instructor to enroll as “Audit Only.” If the class is not full, permission is normally granted. Application forms and the fee schedule for “audit only” are available in the Office of Admissions and Student Records. Processing of admission forms and registration is handled by personnel in the Office of Admissions and Student Records. The payment of fees is required and cannot be waived.
Individual Supervised Research
The following guidelines have been adopted, by the faculty, for students who wish to do independent research:
Forms to request enrollment in Independent Research are available in the Office of Admissions and Student Records and on the web.
Individual Supervised Field Placement
Most field placements are covered by the Judicial, Governmental, or Not- for-Profit/Public Interest Field Placement Programs. However, Individual Supervised Field Placements are available for any specialized placement that does not fit within the organized field placement program.
The students’ field placement must be done in connection with a substantive course covering the subject matter to which the field placement will relate. The experience can occur during the semester in which the course was taught or, with permission, over the course of one or two consecutive semesters beginning no later than the semester following the one in which the student took the substantive course.
A student may register for only one individual field placement per semester and may earn a maximum of two credits for the field placement. If a student applies for a two-credit individual field placement, the student may enroll and complete both credits in one semester or, with permission, enroll and complete one credit per semester over the course of two consecutive semesters. Credit earned in an Individual Supervised Field Placement will count toward the total six experiential learning credits required for graduation.
The field placement will be grades on pass/fail basis (e.g. E, HP, P, F). The evaluation will be based on the student’s satisfactory performance of the tasks assigned by the supervising attorney, the maintenance of a journal (which is a mandatory component), and the student’s meeting at least twice during the semester with the faculty member, or the Director of Field Placements, either in a one-on-one conference or in a joint meeting with other externs. At these conferences the students will discuss their field placement experiences.
The total work hours of the student in the field placement will be a minimum of 50 hours per credit earned (i.e. 50 hours for one credit and 100 hours for two credits). This includes any additional work the faculty may assign such as the time spent preparing journal entries and time spent in the student/faculty meetings.
Determination of successful completion of the program will be the responsibility of the supervising faculty member, who will consult with the supervising attorney.
Note: Contact the Director of Field Placements with questions about the Individual Supervised Field Placement or other field placement programs.
LSU-Southern University Co-Op Program
Full-time LSU law students may apply to participate in the LSU-Southern Co-Op Program during the fall and spring semesters. Credit is given for approved courses in which a grade of “C” or better is earned. All credit is transferred on a pass/fail basis.
Applications must be approved by the Associate Dean and forms are available in the Office of Admissions and Student Records. To complete registration at Southern University, students must present their approved application and a copy of the current semester’s paid fee bill to the Southern University Law School Registrar’s Office for processing.
LSU Law Students Taking Graduate Level Courses
Students wishing to pursue course work in other departments of the University must obtain special permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Students may take graduate level courses in other departments of the University for credit toward the J.D. degree. Such credit is limited to six hours. A student may not take these hours in addition to those taken in joint degree programs. Any paper(s) written in such a course will not satisfy the upperclass legal writing requirement of the Law Center. The Law Center will assign a grade of “P” (pass) and award course credit for any such course in which the student receives a grade for which the student would receive graduate credit. For such courses in which the student receives a grade for which graduate credit would not be given, the student will not receive credit for the hours toward the J.D. degree, and the grade indicated on the transcript will be “F” (fail). Courses in other departments undertaken for Law Center credit require approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
LSU Law Students (Study at Another Law School)
Law Center students wishing to attend another law school on a non-matriculating basis must meet the following requirements:
- The other law school must be accredited by the American Bar Association.
- Students must obtain the approval of the Associate Dean, by submitting an email to the Associate Dean, outlining the reason(s) for the request and attaching a copy of the academic program of the other school. Students on probation (overall average below 2.0) or watch group (semester average below 2.0) are not eligible.
- Students may take no more than 16 credit hours per semester, nine credit hours per summer session, or 32 credit hours total at another law school. The course selection must be previously approved by the Associate Dean.
- Students can earn the award of transfer credit in a non-matriculating status only for courses in which they earned a grade equal to or better than a “C”, a 2.0, or the equivalent of a “C”.
- Students may appeal to the Executive Committee if the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs determines that the grade earned in such, non-matriculating status was not sufficient to satisfy the “C”, 2.0, or equivalent requirements.
- No credit can be awarded based on a “pass/fail” grade earned in a non-matriculating status if the course could have been taken on a graded basis. Otherwise, credit for a “pass” can be earned in a non-matriculating status at another ABA approved law school.
- An official transcript must be forwarded to the Law Center at the end of the program to receive credit.
- Graduating third-year students must register with the Law Center for their last semester as “Degree Only” (paying the diploma fee and any accounts receivable with the University) and must coordinate with the visited school to have all grades reported to the Office of Admissions and Student Records within the grade deadlines set forth by the Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Grades received after the deadline will delay graduation until the following semester. To graduate, a student must complete degree requirements within four calendar years.
- For students enrolled at the LSU Law Center in their first year, transfer credits may be awarded only for upper-level courses.
Students are not eligible for financial aid through the visiting school. LSU will only award aid if approved by the Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships unit within the LSU Office of Enrollment Management.
Online and Distance Education Policy
An online course is one in which the direct faculty instruction, as this term is used in the Law Center’s policy on the calculation of credit hours, regularly involves the use of synchronous online class meetings or asynchronous online components. A distance education course is an online course in which students are separated from the faculty member or each other for more than one-third of the instruction.
The Law Center may grant a student up to one-third of the credit hours required for the J.D. degree for distance education courses. The Law Center may grant up to 10 of those credits during the first one-third of a student’s program of legal education.