Assistant Dean Sowle’s Announcements, August 23 - August 27, 2021


GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

COVID-19 Policies and Procedures for Fall 2021. The Law School's current policies and procedures for addressing the pandemic are available by clicking here. If you have any questions, please email me at ssowle@kentlaw.iit.edu.


IIT Emergency Notification Service. IIT Alert is an emergency alert notification system that the university uses to broadcast important information via text, phone, and email in the event of severe weather or an ongoing situation that affects the safety of our campus communities. Click here to register for iitalert. Registration is easy and takes less than a minute.


Legal Writing Ethics Guidelines. This is a reminder that the Chicago-Kent Legal Writing Ethics Guidelines apply to all Chicago-Kent students and all courses, including students enrolled in first-year and upper-level writing courses (Legal Writing 1, Legal Writing 2, Legal Writing 3, Legal Writing 4, and all seminars). The Guidelines, which address a variety of issues, including plagiarism, are available by clicking here. If you have not reviewed the Guidelines recently, please do so.


Persons Who are Not Fully Vaccinated. This is a reminder that, in accordance with university policy, persons who are not fully vaccinated should maintain social distancing whenever practicable.


Counseling Services.  This is a reminder that the university provides counseling services free of charge for students. Click here for details on the available resources, including individual counseling through Skylight Counseling Services. In addition to resources available through the university, the Lawyers Assistance Program also provides assistance to law students. LAP provides free and confidential assistance to members of the Illinois legal community, including students, and can help you with issues of addiction, stress, anxiety, depression, focusing, worries about the character and fitness process, and having a successful first-year transition. Click here for more information about LAP and the services it provides.


Academic Counseling. I am available for counseling about course selection, certificate programs, bar preparation, academic rules and regulations, and other academic matters. If you are interested in a particular area of law, I can also arrange for you to meet with a faculty member who specializes in that area. If you would like to set up a meeting, please email me at ssowle@kentlaw.iit.edu.


Recording of Classes. Recordings of class sessions will not be automatic this semester. If you have specific questions regarding the recording of your classes and the accessibility of any recording, please contact your professor directly. In addition, video and/or sound recording of any classroom activities by others requires the approval of the professor in charge of the class, and reasonable notice to all those in attendance. The faculty member in charge of the class is permitted but not required to impose additional reasonable conditions on any such recording by others, including, but not limited to, consent of the entire class and a prohibition on posting the recording on the internet or through any forms of social media.


Employment Limitation. Subject to the limitation for full-time first-year students mentioned below, students may work more than 20 hours a week if they take 13 or fewer credits in a regular semester (Fall or Spring). Students are prohibited from working more than 20 hours a week if they take 14 or more credits.

Full-time first-year students are prohibited from working more than 20 hours a week even if they take 13 or fewer credits (e.g., full-time summer-start students, who take only 13 credits in the Fall, are still limited to working no more than 20 hours a week).


TO ENTERING STUDENTS:

Student Handbook, Academic Policies, and Code of Conduct. Please take time to review the Student Handbook, which includes information about academic policies and procedures, including the rules governing academic probation and dismissal, grading curves, graduation requirements, and the Chicago-Kent Code of Conduct (located at the end of the Handbook). For future reference, there is a permanent link to the Handbook through the main Current Students Portal page (under the Academics heading).


Amending Your Application for Admission. The Illinois bar examiners reserve the right to check information you disclose to them on your bar application for consistency with the information you provided on your application for admission to law school. The bar examiners also conduct their own investigations to ensure that you disclosed all relevant information on your bar application and your law school application. Some students have had considerable difficulty in the past when the bar examiners found discrepancies between the information disclosed to them and the information on their law school applications, or when they discovered relevant information omitted from both.

I recommend that you review your answers to the questions asked in our application for admission and amend your application if any relevant information was excluded. You can amend your application by sending a memo to my attention describing the omitted information and explaining why you did not include the information on your application. In some cases, disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct may be appropriate. But it is much better to disclose the information now, and suffer whatever consequences may ensue (if any), than to be called before the bar examiners three years from now to explain a discrepancy or omission.

Most problems in the past have arisen with respect to the following two questions in Section 11 of the application:

1. Have you ever been convicted of, plead guilty or nolo contendere to, or received a period of supervision for, any offense other than a minor traffic or parking violation, or is any charge now pending against you concerning such an offense? (A "minor traffic violation" is a violation for which only a citation was issued, e.g., speeding. You must report any other traffic offense, including any offense in which acting under the influence of a drug or alcohol was an element of the offense.) You must disclose each instance regardless of whether a conviction was reversed, set aside or vacated, or the record sealed or expunged.

2. Have you ever been dropped, suspended, placed on academic or social probation or warning, or otherwise disciplined by any college or university, for any reason?


TO CONTINUING STUDENTS:

Fall 2021 Semester Information. The Fall 2021 Quick Guide page has most of the information you will need in advance of the start of the Fall semester - click here, or go to the Current Students Portal page and click on the Fall 2021 Quick Guide link under "Academics." 

•Initial Reading Assignments. Initial assignments are now available on the Fall 2021 Quick Guide page. Not all professors submit initial assignments, so do not be concerned if there is no listing for one or more of your Fall courses. Even if a course is not listed here, materials for the course should be available in the Bookstore (now located on the third floor). Initial reading assignments for first-year courses are not included in this list.

Add/Drop Period. The add/drop period for Fall 2021 ends  on Wednesday, September 8, at 9:00pm.  You may add an open course without special permission until the end of the first week of classes. During the second week, however, you may add an open course only with permission of the instructor. You may not add a course after Tuesday, September 8, at 9:00pm.

You may withdraw from any course except a required course, a clinical course, Law Review, Moot Court, or Intensive Trial Advocacy at any time prior to the date of the final exam or final paper (see Section 3.10(c) of the Student Handbook). There is no tuition penalty if you drop a course by the add/drop deadline of Wednesday, September 8, at 9:00pm. You will not receive a tuition refund, however, if you drop a course after that date.

Revised  Schedule of Classes. The final Fall 2021 class schedule is available on the Fall 2021 Quick Guide page by clicking here, or by going to the Current Students Portal page and clicking on the Fall 2021 Quick Guide link.

Canceled Classes. The following classes have been canceled due to low enrollment:

-Entrepreneurial Law Clinic
-Hedge Funds
-Legal Writing 4 (432-81 section, Prof.  Strzynski)
-Litigation Technology (254-51).

•Online Courses: Please note that the following classes will now be conducted online rather than on-site:

-Employment Discrimination (both the day and evening sections)
-Externship sections taught by Prof. Gross.
-Legal Writing 3 (Prof. Abrams' section, 431-07)
-Legal Writing 3 (Prof. Nawrocki's section, 431-01)
-Plaintiffs Employment Clinic (Monday 4:00 meetings) 
-Pretrial Litigation
-Professional Responsibility
 
These are in addition to the course previously announced as online:

-Criminal Law (Prof. Bailey's section)
-Criminal Procedure (day section)
-Personal Income Tax
 
•Classrooms for Remote Use. We have reserved rooms at the Law School for you to use if you won't have sufficient time to travel from home to school (or vice versa) in between your remote class and an on-site class you have the same day. These rooms will remain the same throughout the semester. Click here for the list (by course). Please note: You will each connect to class individually in Zoom and should have earphones or headphones with you.
 

Wait Lists. Although we normally do not keep wait lists, we are keeping them for: Prof. Heyman's section of Constitutional Law section; Business Entity Formation and Transactions; Mediation; and Pretrial Litigation. If you were not admitted into any of these classes at the end of the initial registration period, you are automatically on the wait list. If you did not try registering for the class during the initial registration period, but would like to be added to the wait list, please email me at ssowle@kentlaw.iit.edu.

Exam Information. Information about exams -- which exams will be fixed, self-scheduled, and take-home, and the dates of fixed exams -- will be provided before the end of the Fall add/drop period. We anticipate that exams in most upper-level courses will be self-scheduled or take-home.

•Graduating Students: Reduced Loads and Tuition Discounts. J.D. students graduating at the end of the Fall 2021 semester who need fewer than the minimum number of hours to graduate may take fewer credits without special permission. In addition, if you will be graduating at the end of the Fall 2021 semester and will be taking more than the 87 credits required to graduate, you may receive a 50% discount on each credit you take over the required 87 credits. If this affects you, please contact me by email no later than Wednesday, September 8. Important note: Financial aid is not available for any courses you take that are not necessary for you to reach the required 87 credits.

​​•​Consortium Arrangement: Chicago-Kent has a consortium arrangement with certain other Chicago law schools under which students can take selected courses at the other schools. Under the consortium arrangement, students pay tuition to their home school, and grades transfer (not just the credits) and are counted in your GPA. ​Courses offered to Chicago-Kent students for Fall 2021 are posted on the Fall 2021 Quick Guide page.

•Pass/Fail Policies. Certain upper-level electives may be taken pass/fail, subject to the limitations described below; required courses, however, may not be taken pass/fail. To sign up for a course pass/fail, go to the local Web for Students page, click on "Take Class Pass/Fail," and submit  your selection. The Registrar's Office will review your request and inform you if there is any problem with your request.

Although there is no overall limit on pass/fail credits, there are two types of limits to the pass/fail credits you can take:

(1) Pass/fail election: Students may elect up to 6 credits pass/fail during their entire time at Chicago-Kent. This pass/fail election applies to upper-level elective courses that normally are letter-graded; classes that are only offered pass/fail do not count toward this 6-credit limit. The following classes may not be elected pass/fail: (1) required courses, including any course taken to satisfy the Professional Responsibility graduation requirement; (2) seminars, whether or not being taken to fulfill the graduation seminar requirement; (3) courses that have been designated by instructors as ineligible for the pass/fail election (these courses are indicated on each semester’s schedule of classes); (4) Financial Services LL.M. courses; (5) Trial Advocacy and Appellate Advocacy courses; and (7) courses taken to fulfill the requirements of any certificate program. Fall pass/fail registration will open shortly before the start of the Fall semester (keep your eye on my section of the Record). A student taking a course on a pass/fail basis must earn at least a C to receive a P (Pass). If you pass the course but fail to earn at least a C, you will receive a grade of LP (Low Pass).

(2) Clinic limitation: You may take no more than 24 credit hours toward graduation for the following courses combined: in-house clinical courses, externships, and Business Entity Formation & Transactions. (Students in the Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (LADR) and the Criminal Litigation Program are exempt from this limitation.)

•Experiential Course Requirement. Students must complete a total of six credits from an approved list of experiential courses (click here for the list). Most students will already satisfy four of these credits through the required sequence of Legal Writing 3 and Legal Writing 4. However, students who opt for the Legal Writing 4 Equivalency Class (see below) should consult the list of approved courses to determine whether the qualifying activity counts toward the experiential requirement. Law Review does not count toward the requirement.

•64-Credit Classroom Course Requirement. At least 64 of the 87 credits required for graduation must be in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction. Clinical coursework counts toward the 64-credit requirement, but externships, extracurricular activities (including credits earned for participation in a law journal, moot court competitions, trial advocacy competitions, or as a Teaching Assistant), and courses taken in another academic unit (e.g., the Stuart School of Business) do not count toward the 64 credits.

Applications for Graduation.  J.D. students who plan on graduating at the end of the Fall semester must submit an online Application for Graduation form no later than Wednesday, September 8, at 9:00pm. To complete the form, go to your Web for Students page and click on "Application for Graduation" under "Online Forms." Please complete every field in the form and click Submit when done. You will receive a confirmation e-mail once a graduation audit has been performed. Please note that any changes you make to your schedule after the audit may affect your graduation requirements. You should check with the Registrar's Office prior to making any changes. Also note that, although the Registrar's Office does conduct graduation audits on all applications, it is your responsibility to make certain all requirements for graduation are met. If you have any questions, please stop by the Registrar's office.

Academic Calendar for 2021-2022. The academic calendar for 2021-2022 is available by clicking here.

Bar Exam Strategies Course (Spring 2022). This is a reminder that students who are in the bottom 25% of their class at the end of their second year are required to take Bar Exam Strategies in their final Spring semester. Other students in their final year may take it if they wish, but are not required to do so. Students in the bottom 25% of their class may petition Erin Crist (ecrist@kentlaw.iit.edu), Director of Bar Success, for an exemption from taking the class. The class will be taught asynchronously by Bar-Bri instructors, with oversight by Chicago-Kent faculty. It will cover Contracts, Evidence, Property, and Torts as tested on the bar exam. It will cover both substantive rules and skills instruction for the written and multiple choice portions of the bar exam. The course will be letter-graded. Please note: Unlike the Intensive Writing Lab course (the predecessor to this course), this course will not satisfy the seminar requirement.

February 2022 and July 2022 Illinois Bar Applications. Applications for the February 2022 bar exam are due by September 15, 2021. Applications for the July 2022 bar exam are due by February 15, 2021. You may file a late application for the February bar up to December 15, and for the July bar up to May 15, but penalty fees apply. The forms and instructions are available on the bar examiners' web site: https://www.ilbaradmissions.org.

All information you disclose on the bar application should be consistent with answers to questions on your Application for Admission to the law school. Please note, however, that the bar application asks for a considerable amount of information that you were not asked to provide on our Application for Admission. You only need to be concerned about the consistency of your answers for questions asked on both forms. You can amend your Application for Admission, if necessary, by addressing a letter to me setting forth the details of the omission or misrepresentation and the reason for it.

Dean's Certificate: The law school sends a “Certification of Juris Doctorate” to the Illinois bar examiners for every student who graduates in December or May. Please be sure to file an Application for Graduation at the beginning of your last semester so we will know you plan to graduate at the end of that semester. Important note: We will not certify any student to the bar examiners if the student has an outstanding balance owed to the school.

Bar Exams in Other States. Students who may practice in another state should familiarize themselves with those states' bar admission requirements, registration procedures, and deadlines. In particular, if you may take the New York bar exam, you should familiarize yourself with the coursework, pro bono, and other requirements described on the New York bar examiners website.

Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). The MPRE is required for admission to the bars of most jurisdictions, including Illinois. The exam is administered in March or April, August, and November each year. The next exam, in November, may be taken on November 4 or 5, 2021. You may register online by clicking here. The deadline for applying for the November exam is September 17. Students planning on taking the Illinois bar exam may take the MPRE at any time during or after law school.
 

Spring 2021 GPAs, Class Ranks, and GPA Cut-Offs.  Cumulative GPAs through the Spring 2021 semester, and Spring 2021 class ranks for J.D. students, are available through Web for Students (click on the "Spring 2021" link under "Grades and Rank" in the leftside menu). Students who graduated last Fall or Summer will find their final class rank under the Fall 2020 or Summer 2020 links. Class ranks are based on cumulative (not just Spring semester) GPA. The GPA cut-offs as of the end of the Spring 2021 semester are available by clicking here. For J.D. students who just graduated, this information constitutes your final GPA and class rank. 

For students who completed their first year in Spring 2021, the cumulative GPA for you in Web for Students includes all of your coursework through the end of the Spring semester. However, as previously announced, class ranks were determined using an alternate GPA calculation excluding Legislation or any elective course taken, in order to ensure that all first-year full-time students were assessed on a common set of courses for purposes of class rank. Likewise, probation and dismissal decisions, eligibility for Law Review, and eligibility for merit scholarships are based on first-year performance excluding Legislation or any elective course taken.

For J.D. students who transferred into Kent in January, please keep in mind that you will not receive a class rank until you have been here for two semesters.

Spring 2021 CALI Awards. The CALI Excellence for the Future Award, sponsored by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, is given to the student or students who receive the highest grade in each section of each course. The CALI award recipients for Spring 2021 courses are available by clicking here. If a section or a course is not listed, that means the professor elected not to give a CALI award, or we have not heard from the professor. Congratulations to all of you who received an award -- you should be proud of your achievement.

Last Updated: 
Oct 27, 2021