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    Apr 18, 2024  
2014-2015 School of Law Bulletin 
    
2014-2015 School of Law Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

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General JD


J.D. Degree Credits Required: To be awarded the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, a student must successfully complete 88 semester credits in not less than 24 months and not more than 84 months after they matriculate at Hamline or at a law school from which credits are transferred.

Minimum GPA: To graduate, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.

Credits Required at Hamline: A minimum of 45 of the 88 credits required to graduate must be completed in the Hamline Law curriculum.

Graduation and Bar Admissions: Students who plan to sit for the bar are responsible for determining the requirements for bar admission in the state(s) in which they choose to practice, including requirements for character and fitness to practice law, and for selecting courses that will prepare them to take the bar examination or to be admitted in that state. Minnesota’s standards for admission to the bar are contained in 52 Minnesota Statutes Annotated, Rules for Admission to the Bar.

Foundational Courses


All J.D. students must complete their required foundational courses except LRWIII within the first four semesters of their legal education. Exceptions will be permitted only with the advance approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Skills Requirement


A minimum of six credits in skills courses is required.

ABA standards do not permit a student to use a course to satisfy more than one of the curricular requirements in Standard 303, which includes professional responsibility, skills, and advanced writing. For example, a course that includes a writing experience used to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement [see 303(a)(2)] cannot be counted as one of the experiential courses required in Standard 303(a)(3).

Advanced Research and Writing Experience


Students must take a paper course that qualifies as an Advanced Research & Writing Experience of at least two credits. In order to satisfy this requirement, students must successfully complete a seminar or other paper course as designated by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The seminar or other course must result in the production of a substantial (approximately 8,000 words) research paper. Each student will complete at least one well-developed draft, which the professor will critique extensively. Each student will rewrite the draft(s) based on the faculty member’s assessments. This requirement may be satisfied by multiple papers that, in the aggregate, meets this requirement.

ABA standards do not permit a law school to allow a student to use a course to satisfy more than one of the curricular requirements in Standard 303, which includes professional responsibility, skills, or advanced writing. For example, a course that includes a writing experience used to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement [see 303(a)(2)] cannot be counted as one of the experiential courses required in Standard 303(a)(3).

Below is a list of courses that satisfy the requirement every time they are offered. Before registration, the Associate Dean will work with faculty to determine which courses will qualify as paper courses for the upcoming semester.

Restrictions


Individual Course Limits


Of the 88 credits required to graduate, a student cannot exceed:

  • Two independent study courses, regardless of the number of credits earned;
  • Two externships (formerly known as practicums) including Extended Externships;
  • Two clinics, excluding student directorships;
  • Twelve credits in a single externship or fifteen externship credits total;
  • Four credits of Legal Drafting courses; and
  • Two competition courses.

Non-Classroom Courses


Under ABA and Hamline Law rules, a student cannot earn more than twenty-three credits toward graduation in any combination of the following courses:

  • Externships, Semester in Practice or other approved Field Placements
  • Competitions
  • Publications including Law Review and Journal of Public Law and Policy
  • Independent studies
  • Structured Study Group Leader or Legal Research & Writing Teaching Assistant Courses
  • Courses not offered by Hamline Law, such as those taught by Hamline graduate schools or other university programs with which Hamline has course exchange or dual degree programs.
  • Any course that “is substantially based upon time expended outside a regularly scheduled class time at the School of Law or another ABA accredited law school.”

Courses to which the twenty-three-credit limitation does not apply include:

  • Hamline courses designated as seminars
  • Hamline courses designated as clinics
  • International/foreign study programs approved by Hamline Law or another ABA accredited law school
  • Online courses conducted by the law school or another ABA accredited law school in accordance with ABA standards for distance education.

Online Courses


The ABA mandates that no student shall enroll in distance education courses until that student has completed 28 credit hours toward the J.D. degree. Students who have registered for an online course but will have not completed 28 credits by the date the online course is scheduled to start will be dropped from the online course.

Hamline JD students may not earn more than a total of fifteen credit hours toward the J.D. degree for distance education courses.

Non-Course Graduation Requirements


Pro Bono Requirement


Each J.D. candidate at Hamline Law is required to perform 24 hours of pro bono service. The completion of this requirement will be noted on the student’s transcript as follows: “Completed Hamline pro bono service requirement.” The current Minnesota Justice Foundation fifty hour certification will also be noted on the transcript. The twenty-four hours of service required by Hamline Law may be included in the hours for the MJF certification. To qualify as pro bono service, the student’s service must be provided to qualifying clients or recipients and must be a qualifying service.

Qualifying Clients or Recipients: For purposes of the definition below, qualifying groups or individuals to receive such service are the same as those listed in Rule 6.1 of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct. Rule 6.1 defines pro bono services as services to:

  • persons of limited means, or
  • charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters which are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means, or
  • individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect the civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or
  • charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization’s economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate.

Qualifying Services: Pro bono service is defined as service to groups or individuals using lawyering skills and undertaken without compensation or academic credit, such as:

  • The provision of legal services under the supervision of a licensed attorney;
  • Counseling clients or participants in nonprofit or governmental entities and giving them advice on law-related matters under the supervision of an attorney;
  • Participation as a coach, judge or teacher in a non-law school moot court, mock trial, or legal education program;
  • Participation in dispute resolution activities, such as mediation, negotiation, arbitration, litigation, restorative justice practices, and others under the supervision of an attorney; and
  • Any of the following services or contributions with prior approval of the dean or the dean’s designee:
  1. Critical thinking (legal or professional problem analysis and generation of solutions and strategies);
  2. Legal research, legal writing, critique or synthesis of legal argumentation;
  3. Planning or implementing factual investigation of a conflict or legal problem; or
  4. Strategic analysis and project design for community issues facing nonprofit or governmental entities.

When undertaking pro bono service, students should keep in mind Minnesota Statute §481.02 prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law.

Procedure for Earning Hours through MJF: Students may select from projects offered or supervised by the Minnesota Justice Foundation, Hamline chapter. MJF has an office in the lower level of the law school and eligible projects can be accessed online at www.mnjustice.org. After selecting and completing projects, students should record their hours at this website. MJF will notify the Office of the Registrar during the student’s last semester of JD studies whether or not the hours have been completed.

Alternative Procedure for Earning Hours: Students may identify a project or projects that comply with the definitions and limitations of the pro bono policy but is not listed on the MJF website, and request approval, preferably in advance, using the Request for Approval of Pro Bono Activity form. The Assistant Dean for Students and Diversity approves those projects that comply with the definitions and limitations. Thereafter, students must have a supervisor at the project site complete a certification that the student has provided the hours of pro bono service.

Other Non-Course JD Requirements


In addition to meeting course requirements listed in these policies, graduates must also meet the following requirements prior to graduation:

Disciplinary Matters: Students must resolve any pending disciplinary matters, including the completion of their responsibilities under any Code of Conduct decision or settlement agreement.

Financial Balances: Students must meet all financial obligations towards HU, including the full payment of any outstanding tuition and fees.

Perkins Interview: If they have received a Perkins Loan, students must complete a Perkins Loan exit interview. The Perkins Loan coordinator can be contacted at 651-523-3000.

Graduate Employment Survey: To facilitate necessary statistical reporting, graduates must have submitted a Graduate Employment Survey to the Office of Career Services.

Application for Graduation/Audit: Graduating students must file an Application for Graduation with the OTR and undergo a degree audit to ensure that they have met or will be able to meet the requirements for graduation by the expected graduation date.

Effect of Failure to Meet Non-Course Graduation Requirement: If a graduating student does not meet non-course graduation requirements by the final date on which grades are due for graduates in any particular term, he or she will not graduate in that term, and will instead graduate in the term in which requirements are met. The student will be ranked with the graduates of the term in which he or she has met all course and non-course graduation requirements.

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