Attendance Goals and Policy
The classroom experience is: 1) an exploration of knowledge; 2) a development of skills; and 3) an examination of professional attitudes. These are critical components of a quality legal education. Hamline Law pursues quality legal education as a duty to its students, as a duty to the profession, as a duty to future clients of its graduates, and as a duty to society. (AR 108)
The program of instruction at Hamline Law is based on an active and informed exchange between instructor and student and between student and student. Regular, prepared class attendance helps develop skills essential to the competent practice of law. Regular and punctual class attendance and adequate preparation are required by Hamline and by the ABA. (AR 108)
Procedures for Taking Attendance: A continuing record will be kept of each student’s absences and late arrivals, but no daily reporting of attendance need be made. (AR 108)
Instructor Absence: If a faculty member has not arrived in the classroom within the first 20 minutes of the class period, and other instructions have not been provided, students may presume the class is canceled. Students should report such unexpected cancellations to the Office of the Registrar. (AR 108)
Minimum Attendance Requirements: Individual faculty members shall determine what constitutes excessive absences. Individual instructors may make these requirements more specific when they deem it necessary for a particular course. Examples of courses where more specific requirements would be appropriate include skills courses and clinical courses. Instructors who impose more specific requirements must communicate that information in writing to their students at the beginning of the course. (AR 108)
Procedure for Reporting Failure to Attend: Instructors will report excessive absences to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Attendance Sanctions: Process for Course Withdrawal: Any instructor may request from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs that a student be removed from the course if the student fails to meet attendance requirements. The student will be notified of the instructor’s request and will be afforded an opportunity to present reasons why the student should not be removed from the course. The decision whether to withdraw the student from the course will be made by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in consultation with the instructor for the course. Withdrawal from the course for failure to meet the attendance requirement shall result in a “W” on the student’s transcript for the course. (AR 108)
Other Sanctions for Failure to Attend: If a student has not been attending classes regularly, he or she may not be permitted to take the examination for the class. Also, a student may be dismissed or suspended for excessive absences. (AR 108)
Excused Absences–Clinic Hearings: If there is a conflict between attendance at a hearing required by a course and another class, the conflict shall be resolved in favor of the hearing. This rule shall not be interpreted to extend beyond hearings in court or before an administrative body. The student who misses a class because of the hearing has the right and duty to make suitable arrangements to cover the materials covered in the missed class if the absence is to be excused. (AR 108)
Excused Absences–Religious Holidays: Hamline University acknowledges that students follow many different religious faiths and practices, which occasionally require that students need to miss classes for holidays on dates when the university remains open. Observance of a major religious holiday (e.g. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur) shall not be deemed absence for purposes of the attendance policy. (AR 108)
Student Duties for Religious Holiday Absences: Hamline University makes every reasonable effort to allow students to observe religious holidays without academic penalty while recognizing that accommodations should not create an undue interference with the student’s participation in a course. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who expect to miss classes, examinations, or other assignments as a consequence of their religious observance shall be provided with an opportunity to pursue a reasonable alternative to complete such academic responsibilities and requirements.
Students who plan to miss class must:
- Inform the instructor in writing of anticipated absences at the beginning of the course;
- Meet with the instructors to arrange a plan to complete the student’s academic responsibilities for the course, including the rescheduling of any missed coursework, assignments or examinations;
- Obtain class notes from other students.
Students who have properly notified their instructors will be offered an opportunity to make up the work, without penalty, in a manner that is consistent with the attendance policy of the academic unit and is convenient to both students and faculty.
Lateness: Instructors will notify their classes at the beginning of the term of their policies regarding lateness. Persistent or frequent lateness may be the basis for reduction of the grade awarded in a course. Instructors should avoid holding students past the scheduled class period and students should not be penalized for lateness reasonably necessitated by such holding over. (AR 108)
Unpreparedness: Unpreparedness means an obvious lack of minimal preparation of assigned materials necessary for class recitation or discussion. Persistent or repeated unpreparedness may be the basis for reduction of the grade awarded in a course, under AR 105. Wherever possible, students should be given an opportunity to redeem prior unsatisfactory performance.
False Statements in Connection With Attendance, Lateness or Unpreparedness: It is a Code of Conduct violation to sign in for a class that a student did not attend in substantial part or to ask another student to falsely sign in for the requester. It is also a Code of Conduct violation to falsely sign or initial an attendance sheet for a student not present in class. (AR 108) Making a false statement to an instructor or other school official with respect to attendance, lateness, or unpreparedness constitutes a violation of the Code of Conduct of the most serious order. (AR 108)