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UT Austin
Law Catalog 02-04


General Information


Academic Policies
and Procedures



The Faculty



3.  Academic Policies and Procedures


Academic Advising

The University provides information and academic advice to students to assist them in making proper academic decisions. The dean of each college or school is responsible for providing an effective system of information dissemination and advising that is appropriate to the academic programs of that college or school. Each unit seeks to provide the most current and accurate information and advice possible. The student is responsible for seeking advice, for knowing and meeting the requirements of the degree program of interest, for enrolling in courses appropriate to that degree program, and for taking courses in the proper sequence to ensure orderly and timely progress toward the degree.

In the School of Law, one faculty member in each section of the prescribed first-year curriculum is designated the academic adviser. Students in that section are encouraged to consult their professor-adviser for counseling. Prior to registration, the professor-adviser in each section advises students on course selection for the second year.

In the spring semester, before registration for the fall semester, the law school issues a detailed manual of course descriptions and academic advice. Additional counseling is available from the assistant dean for student affairs.

Honor System

All students are bound by the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities given in General Information. Regulations and procedures regarding student discipline and conduct are set forth in chapter 11 of the rules. Students in the School of Law are also bound by the following Honor Code.

Honor Code

The study of law is an integral part of the legal profession. Students engaged in legal studies should learn the proper ethical standards as part of their education. All members of the legal profession recognize the need to maintain a high level of professional competence and integrity. A student at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law is expected to adhere to the highest standard of personal integrity. Each student is expected to compete honestly and fairly with his or her peers. All law students are harmed by unethical behavior by any student. A student who deals dishonestly with fellow law students may be dishonest in the future and harm both future clients and the legal profession. Under the honor system, the students must not tolerate unethical behavior by their fellow students. A student who knows of unethical behavior of another student is under an obligation to take the steps necessary to expose this behavior. Students in the University of Texas at Austin School of Law are governed by the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities. Students may be subject to discipline for cheating, plagiarism, and misrepresentations.

Quantity of Work Rule

A student with fewer than twenty semester hours of credit in law may take no more than fifteen semester hours a semester in the law school; a student with credit for more than twenty semester hours may take no more than sixteen semester hours a semester. In rare situations, the assistant dean for student affairs may, for good cause shown, permit a second- or third-year student to register for more than sixteen hours. Law students may take courses in other schools and colleges only with the express prior permission of the dean. Normally, a student may not take a course in another school or college, except an ROTC course, in addition to the maximum load in the law school.

During a long-session semester, a minimum load of ten semester hours is required of all students with twenty semester hours of credit or more; a minimum load of fourteen semester hours is required of all students with fewer than twenty semester hours of credit. A student may not take less than a minimum load without special permission of the dean.

Law students are strongly advised that they should not work while in their first year and that they should not work more than fifteen hours a week while in their second and third years.

Changes in Registration

A student may drop a first-year course or seminar only with the written approval of the dean; ordinarily, students are not permitted to drop Law 132, 232, or 332. In the long session, a student may drop other courses during the first four weeks of the semester without the approval of the dean, provided that the student remains enrolled for at least ten semester hours of coursework; in the summer session, the student may drop courses except seminars during the first week of the term without the approval of the dean.

After the first four weeks of a semester, or the first week of a summer term, courses may be dropped only with the written approval of the dean.

If a student stops attending class, at any time in the semester or summer session, but fails to drop the course officially, then a grade of F is recorded for the course. The course is counted as a course taken and failed when the minimum performance standards are applied, and 1.30 grade points are used in calculating the student's overall average.

The faculty member in charge of a course may, with the consent of the dean, drop a student from the course for poor daily attendance or classroom work or for improper conduct in the classroom. The student is thereafter barred from attending the course and from taking the examination in it.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is required.

Auditing a Course

Permission to audit a course conveys the privilege of listening and observing but not of handing in papers, taking part in discussion, or receiving evaluations. An auditor does not receive University credit for the course, nor is the course recorded on a transcript.

A University student who wishes to audit a law course should obtain a Class Auditor Permit from the Office of the Registrar and secure the consent of the course instructor and the assistant dean for student affairs. A separate, additional petition to the assistant dean is required to audit a first-year course. A nonstudent must obtain the Class Auditor Permit and the consent of the instructor and assistant dean and must also pay a twenty-dollar auditor's fee for each course; those who are sixty-five or older are exempt from this fee.

Auditors are permitted only when space is available. No more than five auditors are allowed in any section. A person may audit only one first-year law course a semester and may audit a total of no more than four courses. Undergraduates are not permitted to audit law courses. Instructors and the dean may refuse any request to audit a course.

Nothing in these rules prohibits an instructor from permitting guests and visitors.


The general rules governing withdrawal from the University are given in General Information. In addition, the following rules apply to the School of Law.

A person who has earned fewer than nine semester hours of credit in the School of Law, has withdrawn, and then wishes to resume studies, must reapply for admission to the School of Law. The reapplication for admission is handled and evaluated as if it were an initial application. If the dean determines that the student withdrew for good cause, his or her eligibility for admission is judged by the standards in effect at the time of the previous admission.

A student who has withdrawn from the School of Law after receiving nine or more semester hours of credit may return to the school if he or she was in good standing at the time of withdrawal. Such a student is not subject to the admission selection process; however, he or she must submit an application for readmission to the School of Law.


Examinations in the School of Law are conducted in accordance with the University of Texas at Austin School of Law Honor Code.

Written examinations are administered at the end of each semester and summer term. When a course is continuous through two semesters or terms, a midcourse examination is usually given. A schedule giving the time and place of each final and midcourse examination is posted in advance on-line.

To postpone an examination, a student must obtain the approval of the assistant dean for student affairs before the scheduled time of the examination. In an emergency, approval may be given after the date of the examination. If a student takes a postponed examination without permission of the assistant dean, the student will be dropped from the course with a Q. A student who fails to attend a final examination without the dean's consent may not take a postponed or special examination and will receive no credit for the course; the course will be counted as a course taken and failed when the minimum performance standards are applied and a grade of F (1.30 grade points) for the course will be used in calculating the student's grade point average.

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Law School Catalog
Chapter 1 - General Information
Chapter 2 - Admission
Chapter 3 - Academic Policies and Procedures
Chapter 4 - Degrees
Chapter 5 - Courses
Chapter 6 - The Faculty

Related Information
Course Schedules
Academic Calendars
Office of Admissions

Office of the Registrar
University of Texas at Austin

23 January 2004. Registrar's Web Team

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