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Full-Time Attendance

Classroom Attendance Requirement

Full-time attendance is required at Penn Law. Residence beyond commuting distance or full-time extracurricular employment is inconsistent with the full-time residence requirement.

Students have a responsibility for full-time attendance.  Professors may also establish their own attendance requirements.   In the event that a student is not meeting the attendance standards, the Dean of Students may consult with students who are failing to attend class. The Dean of Students can take informal action to assess why or how attendance is limited and offer assistance to the student so that the student might return to class.

When it appears from prolonged and pervasive absence from classes that a student is not in substantial compliance with the requirement of full-time attendance at Penn Law, the Dean of Students will, on notice to such student, charge him or her with failure to meet that requirement. The charge shall be heard by the Committee on Academic Standing, which shall determine whether, by reason of unjustifiable prolonged and pervasive absence, the student has failed to maintain full-time attendance at the Law School. If the Committee upholds the accuracy of the charge, the student shall not receive credit for the semester or semesters involved.

If a student fails to meet a stated and announced attendance policy in a second or third year elective, the faculty member shall, prior to initiating any proceeding under this section, attempt to adjust the problem through informal discussion with the student. Should such attempts be unsuccessful, the faculty member may seek to deny the student credit for the course and award the grade of “Fail - No Credit” or require the student to drop the course (1L classes may not be dropped). The student in question may, by appealing to the Committee on Academic Standing, seek review of the accuracy of the faculty member’s belief that he or she has failed to comply with the requirements in question, and of the reasonableness of the attendance requirement and of the student’s actions, but review shall not extend to the appropriateness of the sanction. The decision of the faculty member may be postponed until after the student’s examination is anonymously graded, but if it is so postponed, the faculty member shall take the grade into account in deciding whether credit should be denied. The reasonableness of a decision to deny credit shall be reviewable by the Committee on Academic Standing on appeal by the student

If a student registered in any course without a formally stated attendance policy appears not to be in regular attendance, the faculty member involved may, by notice to the student, establish specific future conditions of attendance. The student may seek review of the reasonableness of the future conditions by the Committee on Academic Standing. If the student thereafter unreasonably fails to meet these conditions, the faculty member may deny the student credit for the course and award the grade of “Fail (No Credit)” or require the student to drop the course (1L classes may not be dropped). This decision may be postponed until after the student’s examination is anonymously graded, but if it is so postponed the faculty member shall take the grade into account in deciding whether credit should be denied and the reasonableness of a decision to deny credit shall be reviewable by the Committee on Academic Standing on appeal by the student.  (Faculty Minutes, November 21, 1988).

Outside Work Limitations Requirement

The American Bar Association Standard 304(e) states: “A student may not work in excess of 20 hours per week while attending a law school on a full-time basis.”  Penn Law students must adhere to this policy as a condition of graduation and for certification for bar admission.

Compliance

Because accrediting agencies require the Law School to show that it has adopted and enforces policies assuring that full-time students devote substantially all working hours to the study of law, including policies relating to class scheduling, attendance requirements, and performance standards, each student may be required to sign an affirmation of compliance before graduation in order to be certified to bar admission authorities.

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