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Frequently Asked Questions

Grades 

 

What is the grade normalization policy? 

The Law School’s grade normalization policy for upper level courses is that the mean average grade in classes of more than 25 students should fall within .25 points of the class’s mean average incoming GPA. 

The Law School’s grade normalization policy for first-year courses with the exception of Legal Research, Analysis and Writing I and II and Introduction to the Legal Profession, is that the mean average grade in all classes shall fall within the range 2.700- 3.000.

When are grades due? 

Fall Grades: All grades are due the first day of spring classes.  

  • Due to the mandatory furlough program for university faculty and staff, the grading deadline for Fall 2020 grades will be Monday, January 11, 2021.  This change to the grading policy will be in effect for academic year 2020-21. 

Spring Grades: First year grades are due twenty-one (21) days after the last regularly scheduled 1L examination. Upper level grades are due the last Friday in May. Provided, however, the Dean has discretion to set a date for submission of grade information to determine the status of graduating seniors.

Summer Grades:  For each summer school course grades must be reported thirty (30) days after either the regularly scheduled examination date for the course or the last day of class if there is no examination in the course. 

How long does it take to post grades once the Registrar’s office receives them? 

Grades received by the Registrar’s office in their final form will be posted within 24 hours.  

How will I know my grade is posted? 

Once your grade is posted for a course, you will receive an email from the Law Registrar’s office.  You can also find your grade on Self Service Carolina. Log in and then select STUDENT, then Grades, then view grades, and then select term. 

What is the grading scale? 

A= 4.0; B+=3.5; B=3.0; C+=2.5; C=2.0; D+=1.5; D=1.0; F=0 

 

Registration 

 

How do I register for a Supervises Legal Research (SLR)? 

Email lawreg@law.sc.edu and request an SLR form. You will be required to complete the form in consultation with your SLR advisor. The SLR advisor will then forward the completed form to the Law Registrar’s office. You will then be registered for the course. A confirmation email will be sent.

Can I choose any professor to supervise my SLR, including adjuncts? 

You may ask any faculty or established adjunct professor to supervise an SLR.  If you are unclear which adjunct is an “established” professor, please contact the Law Registrar’s office for additional guidance. 

Can an SLR satisfy the writing requirement? 

An SLR may satisfy the graduation requirement provided that you are registered in two credit hours and write a minimum or 30-50 pages. Note: An SLR cannot be used to satisfy the writing requirement in your final semester of law school.  

Are Spring 2021 classes online, in person, or hybrid? 

Classes will be offered in a variety of formatsCheck the course schedule posted on the law registrar’s website for instructional methods. You can also find this information in Self Service Carolina.  

Can I elect to take my in-person class online?  

Yes, you may choose to attend your classes virtually if the instructional methods are designated as in person for the Spring 2021 semester.  

How do I register for editorial board credits? 

Submit a completed Editorial Board Credits Form by email to the law registrar’s office (lawreg@law.sc.edu) by the due date. The form does not require the signature of the Editor in Chief or the faculty advisor. The Law Registrar's office will add you to the course. Although the form may be submitted early, registration for the editorial board credits will start after 3L registration. 

When grades are due, the faculty advisor and EIC will confirm with the Law Registrar's office that you have met all the requirements to receive the credits.

How do I register for Moot court/Mock trial credits? 

Submit a completed Credit for Supervised Extracurricular Competition Form  by email to the law registrar’s office (lawreg@law.sc.edu) by the due date. The form does not require the signature of the  the faculty advisor. Although the form may be submitted early, registration for the extracurricular competition credits will start after 3L registration. 

When grades are due, the faculty advisor will confirm with the Law Registrar's office that you have met all the requirements to receive the credits.

How do I register for an externship? 

Contact Ms. Stephanie Nye (nyes@law.sc.edu) for information about the application process for externships. 

How do I change my credit hours for a variable credit hour course? 
  • log onto SSC, choose STUDENTS  
  • registration 
  • select term 
  • register for classes 
  • schedule and options tab  
  • click onto the number 2 for the option to change to 3 
  • click submit (bottom right). 
Where do I find the graduation requirements/checklist? 
  • The graduation requirements and checklist are available on the Law Registrar's website.   
How does a hardship petition work?

Students who are not able to register for a course because it is closed may petition for admission to the course because of hardship.  Students seeking a hardship admission must submit a written petition to the Law School Registrar office to be reviewed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  The petition must show a reason why the student would like to be admitted to the course.  Forms for the submission of hardship petitions are available in the office of the Law School Registrar and online at the Law School Registrar's website, under forms, http://www.law.sc.edu/registrar/forms.shtml

Hardship petitions will usually be denied in the following situations: (a) a second-year student seeks to register for a section of a Second-Year-Progression Course other than the section for which the student has been preregistered; (b) the student seeks a different time or professor; (c) the student still has the opportunity to take the course in a future semester; or (d) the course has a limited enrollment for pedagogical reasons or because of classroom seating limits.  Notice of the Associate Dean=s decision will be e-mailed to the student. 

 

Graduation Requirements 

 

What courses are required for graduation? 

Beyond the first year curriculum, students must successfully complete the following upper-level courses:  

  • Problems in Professional Responsibility (3 credit-hours) or Professional Responsibility (2 credit-hours) with a grade of a “C” or better 
  • A Perspective Course 
  • A Writing Requirement with a grade of “C” or better, or “S” if taken pass/fail 
  • Six (6) credit hours of Experiential Courses with a grade of “C” or better, or “S” if taken pass/fail  
Can I take more than 90 hours? 

Yes, a student can graduate with more than 90 credit hours.

How many pass/fail hours can I take?  

A student may take a maximum of six credit hours during the upper-level years of their law school career on a pass/fail basis.  However, pass/fail credit is available only in those courses offered exclusively on a pass/fail basis or, with the instructor’s consent, in Supervised Legal Research.

Does Intro to the Legal Profession count toward my 6 hours of pass fail credits? 

No, Introduction to the Legal Profession does not count toward the upper level 6 credit hours of pass/fail courses. 

Do classes in the Spring 2020 count towards the upper level 6 credit pass/fail hours? 

Courses for the Spring 2020 semester only count toward your upper level pass/fail credit hours if the courses are originally graded on a pass/fail basis.  The below credit hours are graded on a pass/fail basis and count against your 6 allowed pass/fail hours

  • Trial Advocacy 
  • Legislative Externship 
  • Law Practice Workshop 
  • Supervised Legal Research (if pass/fail was selected on the form) 
Can I complete my writing requirement in my final semester? 

Yes, but only in a course designated as W or W(3). For W(3) courses, you must change the credit hours to 3. 

 

What degree(s) do you offer?

Currently we offer a Juris Doctor.

Do you have a part-time program?

We currently do not have a part-time program. Students are required to attend full time. Students must carry a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. However, merely complying with the 12 credit hours per semester will not enable students to graduate in three years. A normal course load is 15 hours.

What is the academic residency requirement?

Yes. To receive a Juris Doctor degree, a law student must attend a law school for six semesters, four of which must be completed in residence while taking at least 12 credit hours each semester.

How many credits do I need to graduate?

90 hours are required for a Juris Doctor degree.

What is the minimum and maximum number of hours that a student can register for each semester?

A student must register for a minimum of 12 hours, but no more than16 hours per semester.

What courses are required for graduation?

Required First Year Courses for students entering Fall 2011 include:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Introduction to the Legal Profession
  • Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing I and II
  • Property
  • Torts

Required Upper Level Courses for students entering Fall 2011 include:

  • Professional Responsibility
  • Professional Skills Course (beginning with students graduating in December 2010)
  • A Perspective Course (to be chosen from a list of courses)
  • A Writing Requirement Course or Legal Research Project (30 page paper required)

Required Upper Level Courses for students entering Fall 2016 include:

  • Professional Responsibility
  • Experiential Courses - six credit hours
  • A Perspective Course (to be chosen from a list of courses)
  • A Writing Requirement Course or Legal Research Project (30 page paper required)

Does your law school have a grade normalization policy?

Yes, we have a grade normalization policy in order to maintain relative parity in grading among faculty, particularly among first year sections. Our grade normalization policy states:

  • For first year courses, the average grade in all classes shall fall within the range of 2.700 to 3.000.
  • For upper level courses, the average grade in classes of more than 25 students should fall within .25 points of the class mean of the enrolled students’ GPA.

What is your grading scale?

A= 4.0; B+=3.5; B=3.0; C+=2.5; C=2.0; D+=1.5; D=1.0; F=0

Are students given a class rank? If so, how often?

All degree seeking students are ranked at the end of each major semester. The class ranks are based on the collegiate cumulative GPA at that time. Fall class ranks, which will include summer grades, are made available by March 1. Spring class ranks are made available by August 1.

Do you accept transfer students?

Yes. Students may transfer from another ABA accredited law school to the University of South Carolina School of Law.

What courses transfer?

Most first year courses will transfer if a grade of “C” or better is earned. An official determination is made after the law school transcript is reviewed by the Law Registrar.

How many credit hours will transfer?

No more than 30 credit hours may transfer.

What happens to my GPA when I transfer?

The cumulative GPA is converted, if necessary, to USC’s 4.0 scale. Numerical grades are converted to letter grades. A collegiate cumulative GPA is calculated based on the transfer GPA and GPA of courses taken at USC.

Once accepted, when do transfer students register?

Transfer students meet with the law registrar in late July/first of August to register.

Do transfer students have a class rank?

Transfer students receive a class rank after one year of attendance at USC.

 


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