Assistant Dean Sowle’s Announcements, August 30 - September3, 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.


Fall 2021 Exam Information. A revised version of the Fall 2021 schedule that includes exam information is now available on the Fall 2021 Quick Guide page


Summer 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 letter-graded course. The CALI Award recipients for Summer 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.


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.


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.


Wearing Masks and Reporting Violations. In conformity with university policy and City of Chicago requirements, everyone is required to wear masks in the building, including in classrooms. For everyone's safety, please ensure that your mask is covering your mouth and your nose at all times.

You may remove your mask only while consuming food or beverages, which is permitted only in the cafeteria and in the recently-opened seating space on the 6th floor (just off the elevator lobby). We have set the tables in all of these spaces (including, now, the 3d floor cafeteria area) to maintain social distancing. Please do not move the seats or the tables in these areas. 

If you witness any member of the community violating these policies, and you do not feel comfortable requesting that the person put a mask on, please either email me or, if you prefer to remain anonymous, please complete this form and I will address the issue with the person. You should also contact me (or use the form) to report any other safety issues you observe in the building.

Meditation Room. Rm. C86 is available for meditation or contemplation. The room is located in the hallway on the southeast side of the Concourse level. 


Lactation Room. There is a lactation room available in the Library. For more information, please contact Jenna Abhijeet at jabhijeet@kentlaw.iit.edu or 312-906-5005.


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.


FERPA Rights and Notification of Access to Education Records. The Student Handbook outlines student rights and responsibilities regarding access to educational records. Please review sections 14.4 and 14.5, which are available by clicking here. Please pay particular attention to section 14.5, which lists the types of information that Chicago-Kent classifies as "directory information" (which Chicago-Kent may release at its discretion) and the information published in the online Student Directory (available only to members of the Chicago-Kent community). Section 14.5 also explains how you may request that directory information, including the information published in the Student Directory, not be published or released.


IIT Political Activity Policy. (From the IIT General Counsel's Office:) As a tax-exempt entity, IIT is legally prohibited from directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any campaign of behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective office and has an affirmative obligation to refrain from engaging in any partisan political activity. Violation of these prohibitions against such activities could jeopardize the university's tax-exempt status. While individuals are free to express their opinions and to support political candidates on their own, it must be clear that the individual is acting on his or her own behalf and not on behalf of IIT. To this end, an individual should not identify himself or herself as an employee of IIT, and if he or she is identified as such, he or she should, prior to any speech or as part of any writing, indicate that his or her comments are personal and not intended to represent the views of IIT.

Further, no individual or event may use the name, symbols or resources of the university to participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for political office. Specific examples of impermissible activities include, but are not limited to (i) using university letterhead, campus mail, telephones or IIT email accounts to solicit support or contributions for a candidate; (ii) using university funds to purchase tickets for a candidate's fund-raiser; and (iii) putting campaign posters on university property.

Political candidates may use or rent IIT facilities only if all candidates are allowed the opportunity to use or rent such facilities on equal terms and conditions. Subject to certain conditions and restrictions, political candidates may be invited to speak at events without jeopardizing IIT's tax exempt status; however, no such invitation should be extended without the extending party first discussing the invitation with the General Counsel's Office, so as to ensure that the invitation complies with applicable laws. Certain voter education activities, including voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, are permissible but only if they are undertaken in accordance with applicable rules and regulations and are conducted in a non-partisan manner. Again, before any such activities are undertaken, the initiating party should contact the General Counsel's Office.

Any questions about this policy should be directed to Anthony D. D’Amato, General Counsel, at 312.567.8821.


IIT Policy on Firearms and Weapons on Campus. (From the IIT General Counsel's Office:) In general, carrying or bringing any type of firearm or other weapon in, on or to the campus or property of IIT is expressly prohibited by the IIT Policy on Firearms and Weapons on Campus.  This prohibition applies even if you have all of the requisite permits to carry the firearm or weapon, including a concealed carry permit.  The policy expressly defines “firearm,” “weapon,” “campus” and “property of IIT.” The policy does contain a very limited number of narrowly tailored exceptions, such as allowing ROTC to utilize firearms for training and permitting personnel of the Department of Public Safety and on duty police officers to carry firearms. The link to the full policy is available by clicking here. Everyone should familiarize themselves with it, as the policy will be strictly enforced.


Smoking Outside the Building. The City of Chicago prohibits smoking within 15 feet of the building entrance. Smokers should use the designated outdoor smoking area to the east of the building entrance (past the second column).


Furniture in the Classroom. If you have any reason to remove tables, podiums, chairs, or other furniture from classrooms temporarily, please be sure that you return them promptly. Missing furniture can cause serious inconvenience to instructors and students.


TO ENTERING STUDENTS:

Bar Exam and Character & Fitness Requirements. First-year students should familiarize themselves with the bar exam and character & fitness requirements of the state in which they anticipate taking the bar exam. For Illinois, this information is available on the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar website.


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:

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.


Adding and Dropping Classes. 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.


Pass/Fail Elections. 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.)


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 for their division in order to graduate may take fewer credits without special permission.  If you take fewer than 12 credits hours, please contact the Registrar's Office, at regq@kentlaw.iit.edu, so they can make sure you are still coded as full-time in the registration system.

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.


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.


 

Last Updated: 
Oct 27, 2021