Transferring, Visiting, Going Part-time, and Leaves of Absences

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10.1  Transferring from the UW Law School

Students do not need approval from University of Wisconsin Law School to transfer to another law school. They must meet the criteria for transfer of the other school. Official UW transcripts are available through the UW Registrar (http://ordertranscript.wisc.edu/). Usually, our student will be required to provide a letter from the UW Law School Dean that states the applying student is a student in good standing. Students needing such letters must provide the names, addresses and deadlines to our Registrar (in Room 5107, registrar@law.wisc.edu) who will initiate the process to have the letters sent.

10.2  Visiting at another Law School in the United States

Students wanting to attend another American law school as a visitor should do their own research about the admissions criteria of the school and its deadlines. They should also ascertain whether the school is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. In planning, students should contact the Registrar (Room 5107, registrar@law.wisc.edu) to be certain that they understand which graduation and Diploma Privilege course requirements remain unfulfilled and which courses taken at another law school are likely to meet our requirements. The Law School will grant credit and make final determinations about subject requirements when the student's official transcript and course information are available, not prospectively. Students will receive credit for law courses taken elsewhere only if the student received the equivalent of a C or better for the work. No credit will be transferred for pass/fail courses unless passing is the equivalent of receiving a grade of C.

During the application process for visiting student status, other law schools will require our students to provide a letter from the UW Law School that states that the applying student is a student in good standing and that the UW Law School will accept credits from the other law school. Students needing such letters must provide the names, addresses and deadlines to the Law School Registrar (Room 5107, registrar@law.wisc.edu), who will initiate the process to have the letters sent.

When a student visits at another American law school for a fall or spring semester, the student becomes “inactive” in the UW campus registration records. Therefore, the student must file “re-entry” forms before returning. These forms are available through the Law School Registrar. A student who has not complied with the re-entry requirement will not be able to register for a subsequent semester at UWLS until he/she has completed the re-entry process. For example, a student taking courses at a California law school during fall of the second year will need to register for spring courses at UWLS for the following semester. Registration will take place while the student is in California. If the student has not completed the re-entry process, the registration system will not accept the course choices for the spring semester. Re-entry is not necessary if a student visits at another law school for a summer session only.

Similarly, a student who registers for fall courses at UWLS and then enrolls at another law school for the same semester must drop all UW courses for the fall. If the student fails to drop the courses, the campus will hold the student responsible for all of the tuition and fees.

The same procedures and grade requirements apply to students taking law courses outside of the United States. They should also read the section in this handbook on Study Abroad and check the website of the American Bar Association (http://www.abanet.org/) regarding the accreditation status of foreign law schools and whether the student must submit an application for approval of an independent study program.

Finally, students who visit at another US law school in their final term should be aware of the following: (1) It is your responsibility to ensure that the resulting transcript from your visit is forwarded to the Law School Registrar. The Law School will NOT certify that you have met the JD degree requirements without this transcript. (2) If the transcript is greatly delayed, your ability to take an upcoming bar exam may be adversely affected (most jurisdictions require that you have your JD degree before taking their bar exam). (3) The UW Law School will typically “back-date” the conferral of degree to the end of the term in question. However, if you have not yet submitted a Diploma Privilege application, the application deadline (thirty days following degree conferral) may have already passed. Early application with the Board of Bar Examiners avoids this problem.

10.3  Special Issues for Part-time Students

Part-time student status is entirely the choice of the individual student, and students may change from part-time to full-time status or vice versa when they choose, subject to the usual rules about dropping and adding classes. See Chapters 3 and 7 of the Law School Rules for more information about part-time status at matriculation or during law school.

In general, part-time students must abide by the same requirements as full-time students. They must complete the full sequence of First Year courses within two years of matriculation and must complete the 90 credits for the J.D. within six years of matriculation. Completing the required first-year courses in two years must be accomplished during the academic years. Except for the three-credit courses that qualify as the first year "electives," first-year courses are not offered during inter-session or summer sessions. In most cases, part-time students must be enrolled at least half-time for two academic years in order to satisfy the two-year rule.

Part-time students are eligible for clinical programs, internships and externships, law reviews and journals and other special activities on the same basis as full-time students. Most of these programs are open to students after they have completed a certain number of credits, rather than a certain number of semesters.

A part-time student may use the pass/fail option if the student has earned 25 or more law school credits prior to the semester in which the option is being exercised. Over the remaining course of the student's law school career, a student may opt to pass/fail no more than two courses. See Rule 10.3.

Students who switch from full-time status (12 credits or more) to part-time should make sure any financial aid arrangement they might have is not tied to a minimum number of credits or full-time status, and should keep in mind that eligibility for certain honors, such as Dean's List and Order of the Coif, require minimum numbers of graded credits.  

10.4  Leaves of Absence

Students interested in a leave of absence for financial, health or other personal reasons should contact the Director of Student Life for information about requesting a leave. Like part-time students, students granted a leave of absence must complete the full sequence of First Year courses within two years of matriculation, must complete the 90 credits for the J.D. within six years of matriculation and must meet the same requirements as other students for earning Diploma Privilege. Students who take a leave of absence become “inactive” in the UW campus registration records. Therefore, the student must file “re-entry” forms before returning. These forms are available through our registrar. A student who has not complied with the re-entry requirement will not be able to register for a subsequent semester at UWLS until he/she has completed the re-entry process.

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”   Peter Drucker

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