Minimum Class Attendance Policy
Regular and punctual class attendance is required by American Bar Association and is part of each student’s required work in courses. At a minimum students are required to attend 80 percent of class sessions, excluding absences determined to be excused (e.g., personal and close family illness, attendance at for-credit law school activities, unavoidable job interview conflicts, and absences provided for religious observance under Law School’s policy). Instructors and programs (e.g., RRWA) are authorized to require a higher standard of attendance, and those who have attendance policies more strict than the general law school policy are to include their policies on the class syllabus. If the faculty member determines that a student’s absences exceed the permitted level, the student will not be permitted to complete the work for the course and will be dropped from the course, unless otherwise determined by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as discussed below in the final paragraph under this heading. In addition to the minimum attendance required to receive credit for the course, instructors may take poor attendance into account for grading purposes and shall provide notice of such policies on the class syllabus.
As described in “Methods of Taking Class Attendance,” faculty members are responsible for adopting a method of taking class attendance, informing the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs about that policy, and updating the Associate Dean regarding any changes in it.
Students are responsible for providing records that establish that absences are excused.
If a faculty member determines that a student has violated the attendance policy, he or she is to notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who is charged with ruling on whether any contested absence(s) should be excused. The Associate Dean may provide limited waivers for unexcused absences in appropriate situations.
Methods of Taking Class Attendance
Faculty members must adopt a method of taking class attendance and inform the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs about it annually. If a faculty member fails to provide this information, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will contact the faculty member.
The options are:
- Checking the roll from a printed roll sheet.
- Calling the roll.
- Marking attendance on a seating chart.
- Circulating a roll sheet for students to sign.
- Asking Faculty Administrative Services (FAS) to take attendance.
- Having FAS convert a sign-in sheet and enter it electronically in a class roll.
- Another method described to and approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Students are authorized up to two excused absences each academic year for religious observances required by their faith. Students who wish to request more than two excused absences in an academic year for religious observances required by their faith will need to contact their course instructors and request the additional absence, which will only be granted with the course instructor’s permission. Primary holy days for religious observance are noted on a web-based interfaith calendar site at www.interfaithcalendar.org.
Students are responsible for providing a written notice for an excused absence for a religious observance two weeks in-advance of the date requested or as soon as possible if the date occurs within the first two weeks of the semester. This policy also applies to students who have an excused absence for a religious observance during the summer.
Students must be given the opportunity to make up tests and other work missed due to an excused absence for a religious observance. Make up tests may entail an alternative examination, or other accommodation which allows the student not to be penalized for an excused absence for a religious observance.
If students know in advance that they must miss one or more final examinations because of religious observance, they should notify in writing the Assistant Dean for Student Development no later than the last day to submit exam rescheduling forms. If a conflict arises after this deadline, the students should notify Assistant Dean for Student Development as soon as they become aware of the conflict. The School of Law may require documentation of a student's religious observance.