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Alert COVID-19 Update

Harvard University and Harvard Law School shifted to remote teaching and learning, as of Monday, March 23. For more information and the latest updates, please visit the HLS coronavirus information page.

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EIP - January 2021

EIP - January 2021

If I am participating in EIP in January 2021, do I need to also register for a Winter Term academic offering?

HLS students are required to enroll in an academic offering for the Winter Term 2021.  Because standard HLS attendance policies apply and preclude missing class or clinical work in order to participate in EIP and engage in job-related travel, it is recommended that students who are planning to participate in EIP enroll in independent writing credits for the term to allow the flexibility to interview on campus and to travel as necessary for interviews.

Eligibility for the New York Bar Exam

Eligibility for the New York Bar Exam

Will the move to completing HLS classes remotely for the remainder of the term impact eligibility to sit for the New York Bar?

HLS petitioned the New York Court of Appeals in mid-March for programmatic waivers of strict compliance with the Court’s distance learning limitations for J.D. and LL.M. students for the Spring Term 2020. We have received the requested waivers. Upon satisfying the rules of the Court in other respects, and upon presenting to the NY State Board of Law Examiners proof of a receipt of a J.D. or an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School, J.D. and LL.M. graduates will be permitted to sit for the New York bar examination.

Latin Honors and Grade-Based Prizes for J.D. Students with Spring Term 2020 Credit/Fail Grades

Latin Honors and Grade-Based Prizes for J.D. Students with Spring Term 2020 Credit/Fail Grades

How will Latin honors be calculated for J.D. students, given HLS’s adoption of credit/fail grades for the Spring Term 2020?

The Law School’s Handbook of Academic Policies includes the ordinary basis for the award of Latin honors. The calculation will be adjusted as follows in light of the adoption of credit/fail grades for the Spring Term 2020.

For 1L students enrolled in spring 2020, the calculation for the award of Latin honors at the time of graduation will be a weighted average of the GPA for each of the three years of study, with a weighting factor of 50% given to the GPA for the 1L year.

For 2L and 3L students, the calculation for the award of Latin honors at the time of graduation will be a weighted average of the GPA for each of the years in which HLS grades were received.

  • Full weight will be given to the years in which grades were received in all terms.
  • For 2L and 3L students enrolled in the Spring Term 2020, the Law School will calculate the overall GPA for Latin honors three different ways for each student using three different weighting calculations for 2019-20 in relation to the other years in which HLS grades were received.
  • The three weighted factors will be:
    • (i) 50%;
    • (ii) 60%; and
    • (iii) an individualized percentage for each student, calculated by dividing the number of graded credits the student completed in 2019-20 that are included in the calculation of Latin honors in the ordinary course by the student’s total number of credits in enrolled courses that are or would have been included in the Latin honors calculation in the ordinary course.
  • In assessing Latin honors for 2L and 3L students who are enrolled for the Spring Term 2020, students who qualify for honors under any one of the calculations, regardless of which one, will receive the respective honors designation associated with their best outcome.  In other words, under this approach, we will calculate GPAs three independent ways, creating three different GPA pools. Students falling into the top 10% in any of the three pools will receive magna cum laude honors, and students falling into the next 30% in any of the three pools will receive cum laude honors.

Please see the Harvard Law School Handbook of Academic Policies Part I(S) for credits not included in the Latin honors calculation for any student.

How will the Sears Prizes and Chu Prize be determined for students in the Classes of 2022 and 2021?

For academic year 2019-2020, Sears Prizes and the Chu Prize for eligible J.D. students in the Class of 2021 and Class of 2022 will be determined based on the GPA for the grades received in the 2019-20 year.  Credits for academic work completed on a credit/fail basis will not be included in the denominator of the GPA calculation.

Spring Term 2020 Credit/Fail Grading

Spring Term 2020 Credit/Fail Grading

Will courses taken through cross-registration during the Spring Term 2020 be graded credit/fail?

The grading policies for the school hosting the course will be applicable to courses taken through cross-registration. HLS’s credit/fail policy does not apply to courses taken outside the Law School.

Will courses that are cross-listed be graded credit/fail?

For cross-listed courses, students will be graded according to the policies of the school through which they enrolled in the course.

Can students opt out of credit/fail grading for any kind of credits enrolled in for the Spring Term 2020, e.g., written or clinical work or non-exam courses?

Students cannot opt out of credit/fail grades for any kind of HLS credit enrolled in during the Spring Term 2020. See FAQs 8 and 10 for information regarding moving independent written work credits registered in the Spring Term 2020.

Does the credit/fail grading policy apply to Spring Term 2020 courses completed before the move to remote classes?

The credit/fail grading policy applies to all Spring Term 2020 academic work.

Can credits for independent written work registered in the Spring Term 2020 be moved to a different term?

For continuing students, independent written work credits associated with the Spring Term 2020 can be moved, with the faculty supervisor’s approval, to a later term, provided that minimum academic requirements for Spring Term 2020 will be met after the credits are moved. Independent written work that is moved to a later term will be graded in accordance with the School’s grading policies in place for that term. Please note that visiting professors and lecturers can grade written work only in the term(s) for which they are appointed and therefore may not be able to supervise independent written work moved to a later term.  Please contact Sam Fitzgerald (sfitzgerald@law.harvard.edu) and Kristina Barrett (kbarrett@law.harvard.edu) in the Registrar’s Office if any questions or to discuss moving credits.

Can independent written work credits associated with a prior term be moved to the Spring Term 2020 to allow for credit/fail grading of those credits?

Students can move, with the faculty supervisor’s approval, independent written work credits to the Spring Term 2020, provided that minimum academic requirements for the semester in which the credits were originally associated will be met after the credits are moved. Please contact Sam Fitzgerald (sfitzgerald@law.harvard.edu) and Kristina Barrett (kbarrett@law.harvard.edu) in the Registrar’s Office if any questions or to discuss moving credits.

Can independent written work credits currently associated with two semesters be consolidated in one semester to allow for either regular grading or credit/fail grading?

Students can consolidate, with the faculty supervisor’s approval, independent written work credits currently associated with two terms to one term to allow for either regular grading, or if credits are consolidated into the Spring Term 2020, credit/fail grading, provided that minimum academic requirements for the semester in which the credits were originally associated will be met after the credits are consolidated. Please contact Sam Fitzgerald (sfitzgerald@law.harvard.edu) and Kristina Barrett (kbarrett@law.harvard.edu) in the Registrar’s Office if any questions or to discuss moving credits.

For courses with classroom credits associated with multiple terms, will credit/fail grading apply to all terms?

For courses with classroom credits registered in multiple terms, students will earn regular grades for the credits registered in the fall and/or winter term and credit/fail grades for the credits registered in the Spring Term 2020. The Registrar’s Office will update student enrollments accordingly and coordinate with faculty teaching these courses to record grades in the manner described above where applicable.

Can students who elected credit/fail grading in the Winter Term upper-level Negotiation Workshop convert now to regular grading?

Students who opted for credit/fail grading in the Winter Term upper-level Negotiation Workshop will continue to be graded credit/fail and cannot now opt for regular grading.

Can Spring Term 2020 “writing in conjunction” credits associated with courses that took place in the fall or winter terms, or over the fall and spring terms, be moved to an earlier semester to allow those credits to be graded?

“Writing in conjunction” credits associated with courses that completed all class sessions in the fall or winter term may be moved to the term in which the class credits are registered provided that minimum academic requirements for the term in which the credits were originally registered will be met after the credits are moved.  If a course with “writing in conjunction” credits registered in the Spring Term 2020 also has classroom credits registered in the Spring Term 2020, none of the credits can be moved to a different semester.

Can students opt into credit/fail grading for credits registered in an earlier semester (noted as EXTs on transcripts) for which the work will be completed during the Spring Term 2020?

For discussion of the possibility of moving or consolidating written work with EXTs registered in prior terms, see FAQs 9 and 10.  Any course work with an EXT  registered in a prior semester that is completed in the Spring Term 2020 will be graded.

Will Dean’s Scholar Prize grades be awarded for Spring Term 2020 courses?

Dean’s Scholar Prizes will not be awarded under the Spring Term 2020 credit/fail grading policy.

Can Spring Term 2020 credits that receive an “EXT” at the end of the term receive regular grades when completed?

All work registered in the Spring Term 2020 will receive credit/fail grades regardless of when it is completed.  See FAQs 8 and 10 for information regarding moving independent written work credits registered in Spring Term 2020

Completing Spring Term 2020 Academic Work

Completing Spring Term 2020 Academic Work

Can I change my schedule now to drop courses?

The period for drop/add has ended and changes cannot now be made to course schedules.

Can I change my schedule now to drop a clinic?

Since most clinical work has been adapted to allow students to work remotely, students should be able to complete their clinical work.  Any student facing difficulty meeting their clinic requirements should consult with the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.

What deadlines apply for written work for the Spring Term 2020?

The deadlines announced in the HLS Handbook of Academic Policies for the Spring Term 2020 apply. Graduating J.D. and LL.M. students may speak with their instructors regarding an extension until as late as May 15, 2020, the final deadline for Spring Term 2020 written work. It is within the instructor’s discretion whether to grant the extension.  See HAP Part VIII.

Transcripts

Transcripts

Will HLS transcripts for the Spring Term 2020 include a notation regarding the Law School’s change in grading policy?

Law School transcripts that include Spring Term 2020 credit/fail grading will include a notation about the Law School’s grading policy for the semester. The language for the notation is to be determined.