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Policies and Procedures

In the Classroom

In the Classroom

Policies topic: In the Classroom

Use of Personal Electronic Resources

The use of personal computers, tablets, cell phones and similar personal electronic resources in classrooms should be limited to activity directly related to course content and note-taking as directed or permitted by the instructor. Use of electronic resources for other purposes (e.g., browsing the Internet, playing games, using e-mail streaming video, watching or listening to DVDs, etc.) is inappropriate to the classroom, and may provide a significant and unwanted distraction to those near the student using these devices.

University Policy on Holidays

Observed Holidays

The University recognizes/observes the following secular holidays: Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, July 4, Thanksgiving and the day after, Labor Day, and New Year’s Day.

Work Missed for Other Holidays

The University recognizes that there are several religious holidays that affect large numbers of University community members, including Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the first two days of Passover, and Good Friday. In consideration of their significance for many students, no examinations may be given, and no assigned work may be required on these days. Students who observe these holidays will be given an opportunity to make up missed work. If an examination is given on the first class day after one of these holidays, it must not cover material introduced in class on that holiday.

The University also recognizes other holidays, both religious and secular, which are of importance. Such holidays include, but are not limited to, Sukkot, the last two days of Passover, Shavuot, Shemini Atzerat, and Simchat Torah, as well as Chinese New Year, the Muslim New Year, and the Islamic holidays Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Students who wish to observe such holidays must inform their instructors within the first two weeks of each semester of their intent to observe the holiday even when the exact date of the holiday will not be known until later so that alternative arrangements convenient to both students and faculty can be made at the earliest opportunity. Students who make such arrangements will not be required to attend classes or take examinations on the designated days, and faculty must provide reasonable opportunities for such students to make up missed work and examinations. For this reason, it is desirable that faculty inform students of all examination dates at the start of each semester. See the UPenn holidays list.

School Closings

University Closings

On occasion, severe inclement weather has forced the closing of the University. For information as to whether the University is officially closed due to poor weather conditions, please call the University’s “MELT” LINE (215-898-6358), or you can also access the University’s home page. If the University is officially closed, then Law School classes will not meet.

Cancellations of Individual Law School Classes

If the University is officially closed, then Law School classes will not meet.

If the University is open the Law School is open. Faculty do have the option of cancelling class. If faculty are not able to hold class, we ask that faculty either send a notice of cancellation announcement directly to the class, copying Registrar’s Office; or e-mail reg@law.upenn.edu.  The Registrar’s Office will then notify the students of the cancellation.

The Law Registrar will send an announcement to the Law School community, sharing the University’s message, and confirming Law class cancellations.

Seating Charts

Faculty may request students to take assigned seats within the classroom, or may request that students select one seat and take that seat for the remainder of the semester. Faculty may request that students enter this seat choice in the Course Portal seating charts for that class. The faculty member will receive a print out of the seating arrangement, which will assist that instructor in forming relationships with students and in running a Socratic classroom.

Student Complaints Implicating Compliance With ABA Standards

Students who wish to submit formal complaints about significant problems that directly implicate the Law School’s compliance with the American Bar Association’s Standards should complete the form linked here. Within two weeks of submission, you will receive either a written response or a request for a meeting to discuss the complaint. As part of the written response or at the meeting, you will receive a substantive response to your complaint, information about what steps the Law School will be taking to address your complaint, or an explanation that further investigation of your complaint will be necessary. In instances when further investigation is needed, you will receive within two weeks of the investigation’s conclusion a substantive response and/or information about what steps the Law School will be taking to address your complaint. If you are not satisfied with the resolution, please contact the Vice Dean of Student Services. Any decisions made on appeal shall be final. A copy of the complaint and a summary of the process and resolution of the complaint shall be kept on file for a period of ten years from the date of final resolution of the complaint.