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A student in good standing on a voluntary leave of absence ordinarily may return by notifying the Registrar twelve weeks in advance of the start of any term. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they have adequate time to complete the degree within the time limits established by the School (see Section VIII).

Students who were not in good standing at the time a voluntary leave of absence was granted and students who were placed on an involuntary leave of absence must petition the Law School’s Administrative Board for permission to return to the School and must demonstrate that the circumstances that led to their leave have been satisfactorily addressed and that they are ready to resume their studies.  The decision whether to allow a student to return is made by the Dean of Students, in consultation with the chairperson of the Administrative Board or such other person as the Dean designates.

In extraordinary circumstances a student may be involuntarily withdrawn from the Law School.

Any disciplinary matter must be resolved before a student on leave of absence will be allowed to return and, if the student has been required to withdraw while on leave of absence, then any conditions for return after a required withdrawal also must be satisfied. Students returning from a leave who wish to apply for financial aid must notify the Financial Aid Office and file the necessary application forms by mid-April for the following fall term, and by October 1 for the following spring term. Late applicants cannot be assured that their aid will be available in time for registration payment deadlines.

Students who have been granted a leave and who have borrowed money through Harvard must submit an annual loan deferment form to the Student Loan Office upon their return to Harvard. Deferment forms may be obtained through either the Student Loan Office or the Financial Aid Office and must be completed and certified by the Registrar immediately following Registration.  Failure to file a deferment form upon return will cause payments to be due on loans and could affect future borrowing eligibility.

A student will not be allowed to register in the University again until all previous term-bill charges have been paid and no loan is in default.