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Frequently Asked Questions

office of academic services

I missed the drop/add deadline and need to change my schedule. What can I do?
Provided that you still have enough credits to be considered a full time student, you may drop a class after the drop/add deadline. However, this might be reflected as a "W" on your transcript. In limited circumstances you may only add a class after the deadline with permission of the Professor and Elizabeth Rosselot, Registrar and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs.

How many credits can/must I take per semester?
Students may enroll in any of the courses listed and described in the course description material, subject to prerequisite requirements for certain upper level courses and some limited enrollment courses.

In the first year, all candidates for the J.D. degree must follow the prescribed course schedule. Students must take 52 credit hours during their second and third years. Each student must take no fewer than 12 and not more than 17 hours each semester. In unusual circumstances, exceptions may be allowed with permission in writing from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or his/her designee.

To graduate, students must be in residence, full-time, for 6 semesters and must successfully complete a minimum of 85 credit hours. To be considered a full-time student in residence, a student must register for a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. After the first year, students are strongly advised to take 26 credit hours per year. This will allow completion of the remaining 52 credits while maintaining a manageble course load in the last two years.

With the following exceptions, all upper-level courses are electives. All students are required to complete a course in Constitutional law II and a Professional Responsibility course or a related subject prior to graduation. In addition, students must take at least one course that satisfies the upper level writing requirement.

How many limited enrollment courses may I register for?
What should I do if I am interested in a limited enrollment course that has closed?
Students may only register for two limited enrollment courses in the initial registration process. A limited enrollment course is defined as any course with 25 or fewer students. If you are eager to take a particular limited enrollment course, you should register at or near your authorized time. Reminder: You must attend the first class or speak to the faculty member prior to that class to hold your seat in a limited enrollment course. If you are interested in a "closed" limited enrollment class, you should attend the first class, or contact the professor, to indicate your interest.

I am interested in doing an independent study. How do I arrange for this?
Second and third year students may register for up to three credits of independent study per semester, with a maximum of six credits in total. Maris Abbene, Associate Dean for Academic, Career and Students Services, can explain the requirements and the procedures for registering. Please click here for more information.

I have taken a course with an variable credit option. What do I need to do to obtain the credit override?
Several courses offer the option of earning an additional credit, which is usually satisfied by writing a substantial analytical paper. The system will list the courses with the lower credit option. If you are interested in taking a course for the higher credit option, you must register for the course as listed on the computer, then pick up a Course Exception Form from the Academic Services Office, Stuart room 308. You must complete the form, have it signed by the professor, and return the form to Theresa Kachmar, Student Records, to obtain the credit override.

I would like to audit a class here at the Law School. Is this possible?
Yes, you may audit a class with the permission of the faculty member teaching the course and the approval of  Elizabeth Rosselot, Registrar and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. Your transcript will reflect your auditing the class.

Is there a limit to the number of Clinical Courses I can take?
Although there is no general rule governing how many clinical courses a student should take, and there is no single formula for when and in what sequence clinical courses should be taken, there are some factors which should be considered in guiding choices about what courses to select and when to select them.

Two clinical courses, Criminal Justice and Attorney General Program, are open only to third-year students. All other clinical courses are open to second and third-year students; however, many programs give preference to third-year students.

Some courses are offered only one semester per year, and will admit only a small number of students (e.g., Housing Law Clinic and Judicial Process are offered only in the spring and admit six students each). The Attorney General Program, Criminal Justice Clinic (Defense) is a full year course and Juvenile Rights Advocacy is a one semester course, offered in the fall and in the spring semesters.

For those clinics in which students will be certified to practice in Massachusetts (Civil Litigation, Criminal Justice, Housing Law Clinic and Attorney General Program), students must be taking, or have successfully completed, a course in Evidence or Trial Practice. (The faculty has defined successful completion as a grade of C or better.) This means that students taking these courses in the fall semester of the second year must take either Evidence or Trial Practice during that semester.

The faculty has determined that a student may not take more than one of the following five major externships: the Attorney General Program, the London Program, Semester in Practice, or Semester in Practice: International Human Rights.

Certain state bars limit the total number of clinical credits a student may earn in law school. You should check with the bar for the state(s) in which you intend to seek admission to make sure there is no limit, or that the limit is not exceeded.

I would like to take my examinations on computer using software provided by ExamSoft. What do I need to do?
Students who plan to take their exams on computer MUST download and install the ExamSoft software (called SofTest). Go to ExamSoft Web Site - www.examsoft.com/bclaw Click on "Exam Takers" and follow the instructions for installation and registration of software

What is the policy regarding exam conflicts?
A student will be allowed to reschedule one (1) exam to the designated make-up day at the end of the official exam period if a student has:

2 exams in 1 day
3 exams in 3 consecutive days
4 exams in 5 consecutive days

Students rescheduling an exam must do so in the Student Records Office in the Academic Services suite. Please stop by Stuart M308 to change the date of your exam and sign the necessary confidentiality oath.

Students with special accommodations should discuss their examinations with the Dean for Academic, Career and Student Services, Maris Abbene, at least two weeks prior to the examination period.

In case of an emergency (i.e., serious personal or family illness or crisis) a student should contact Dean Abbene as soon as possible to discuss rescheduling exams.

What are the "Pick-up and Drop-off" times for take-home exams?
*Pick-up and drop-off times are between 9:30-10:00 a.m. and 3:00-5:00 p.m., room 308.
*Twenty-four hour exams may not be picked-up on a Friday.
*All take-home exams must be returned to Academic Services.

How do I get an official transcript?
Your authorization is required in order to release your transcript records. You can do this electronically via the Web, on paper via mail or fax, or in person in Student Records at Lyons Hall on Main Campus. Requests received via the Web are faster, easier, and more secure. There is no charge for a transcript. For more information, please click here.

Where can I get a bar application?
Students may obtain information about State Bar applications from the following web sites: http://www.ncbex.org/ or http://www.barbri.com or http://www.palidan.com. All bar certificates should be submited to Theresa Kachmar in the Office of Student Records, Stuart, M308.

Where can I get information about the MPRE?
The MPRE is administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners nationally three times per year (March, August and November). Information about the MPRE is accessible at www.ncbex.org or by telephone at (319) 341-2500.

What is my class rank?
Boston College Law School does not "rank" students. A Grade Distribution Chart by percentiles is posted in the office of Career Services and made available for prospective employers.

I am thinking of visiting at another law school.   Who do I need to see about a change in status? 
Any student contemplating a change in status such as a leave of absence, transfer or visiting away must contact Maris Abbene, Dean for Academic, Career and Student Services, to discuss such a change. Please click here for more information about a change in status.  This also applies to Transfers and Leaves of Absence.