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Washington and Lee University    
 
    
 
  Sep 26, 2017
 
2016-2017 School of Law Catalog archived

Master of Laws


 

 

Degree Requirements

  1. The Degree of Master of Laws (LL.M.) is conferred, on recommendation of the Law Faculty, upon students admitted as candidates for the degree who successfully complete a minimum of 24 semester hours of work in two semesters at the Law School in compliance with these regulations.
  2. The degree of Master of Laws "with distinction" is conferred, on recommendation of the Law Faculty, upon students who complete their course of study with the appropriate academic distinction.
  3. Residence for two semesters is required. To receive residence credit for a semester, a student must complete 12 semester hours of graded class work and must have a grade of D or better in at least 9 semester hours of graded class work. Credit earned for (1) a course taken on a pass/no pass basis, (2) participation in the activities referred to in Paragraph 9 hereof, or (3) an ungraded Independent Research Project or Tutorial cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.
  4. First-year courses and all other required courses may not be dropped. Second- or third-year courses other than practicum, externship, and clinical courses may be added or dropped at the option of the student (subject to limitations on class size and other limitations announced by the instructor) during the first five days that a class meets in a semester; thereafter such courses may be added or dropped only with the consent of the instructor. Under no circumstances may such a course be added after the tenth day that a class meets in a semester or dropped after the first regularly scheduled time for taking the final examination in that course. Independent Research projects or Tutorials must be approved by the Law Faculty's Independent Research Committee no later than the tenth day of class of the semester in which the project is to be completed. Externship and clinical courses may be dropped under extraordinary circumstances only and only with the consent of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

  5. A letter grading system is used. The grades are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, P (Pass), NP (Not Passing, I (Incomplete), CR (Credit), or WIP (Work-in-Progress). Their weights are 4.0, 3.67, 3.33, 3.0 2.67, 2.33, 2.0, 1.67, 1.33, 1.0, 0.67, 0.0.

In ungraded (credit only) courses, the supervising faculty member may enter a grade of I or F in appropriate circumstances.

  1. A student's cumulative average in computed by averaging the grades received in all courses taken, on the basis of the number of semester hours accorded to each course.
  2. A course in which a grade of F is received shall not be counted toward the total of 24 semester hours required for graduation; such course, however, shall be counted in computing the student's cumulative average whether or not the student repeats the course.
  3. A cumulative average of C+ or better is required to complete the LL.M. program.
  4. With the prior permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the relevant faculty advisor, a student may earn no more than one credit for participation in any of the activities listed in Paragraph 10 of the requirements for the J.D. degree, except that students are not eligible to participate in Law Review or the Summer Internship Program.
  5. Any course may be taken on a pass/no pass basis unless the instructor, before the beginning of the semester in which the course is offered, denies students this option. A student who elects to take a course or courses pass/no pass must (l) also meet for the semester the requirements for graded class work in Paragraph 3 hereof and (2) file in the Law Records Office a written election to take the course or courses on a pass/no pass basis no later than three weeks after the beginning of the semester. When a pass/no pass election has been filed, it cannot be withdrawn.

A grade of C or higher shall be recorded as P (Pass). A grade of C- or lower shall be recorded as NP (Not Passing) unless the student promptly files in the Law Records Office an election to accept the letter grade. Neither a grade of P nor a grade of NP shall affect the student's cumulative average. Any semester hours for which a grade of NP is recorded shall not be included in the total semester hours the student has completed toward the minimum required for a degree. If a student who has received a grade of C- or lower elects to accept the letter grade, it shall be treated as a grade in a graded course for all purposes.

  1. A grade of I (Incomplete) must be changed to a letter grade no later than the end of the grading period for the semester following the semester in which the I is awarded. Otherwise, the I becomes a permanent grade. A letter grade received by the change of an I in conformity with this requirement shall be treated for the purposes of any other degree requirement as having been received in the semester in which the I was received.
  2. A student who wishes to petition the Law Faculty to waive any of these regulations because of special circumstances or hardship shall deliver to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs a petition setting forth such special circumstances or hardship.

Attendance

In accordance with the accreditation standards of the American Bar Association, the School of Law requires prompt and regular class attendance.  The School of Law also expects its students to prepare for their classes diligently and to complete course assignments in a timely and professional manner.  A professor has the authority to reduce a student's grade for poor attendance, lack of preparation, or failure to complete course assignments on time.  In extreme or chronic cases of poor attendance, lack of preparation, or failure to complete course assignments on time, a professor has the authority to give the student a failing grade or to deny the student the right to sit for the final exam.  In the case of a student's failure to satisfy attendance and other obligations in multiple courses, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, after consultation with the Dean, may impose other sanctions, including withdrawal from a course or courses or withdrawal from school.

Employment

LL.M. students are strongly encouraged not to be employed outside the law school and to limit their hours to 10 per week.

Classroom Computer Use

Laptop computers or other electronic devices may be used in class only for taking notes, displaying case briefs, or other academic purposes explicitly authorized by the professor.  Some professors prohibit classroom laptop use.

Applications for Degrees

An applicant for the degree of Master of Laws is required to file an application for the degree with the Registrar of the University.