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“John Marshall’s externship program offers quality field placements that develop professional and practical skills while ensuring  successful and meaningful on-the-job performance.” Paul Nam, Graduate (’12)

FAQ for Academic Affairs

The Office of Academic Affairs is available to assist students in all of their academic needs. The ultimate goal of the academic program at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is to develop students into attorneys who will persistently display character and values that represent the best of our legal profession. Students who have any questions pertaining to the Office of Academic Affairs are welcome to speak with Sylvia Fernandez directly at sfernandez@johnmarshall.edu or print a downloadable copy of the Office of Academic Affairs Frequently Asked Questions.

How many credits do I need to complete my degree?
To graduate, you must satisfactorily complete 88 academic credit hours within the allotted time. At least 60 credits must be earned at AJMLS.

Is there a deadline by which I must complete my credits to receive my degree?
Full-time students must complete all degree requirements within four years of starting the program. Part-time students must complete all degree requirements within five years of starting the program. All students, full-time and part-time, MUST complete 88 credit hours satisfactorily to be eligible to receive a Juris Doctor degree.

Who can I go to for academic advising?
For information regarding course selection, suggested prerequisites, and requests for graduation please see the Associate Dean of Academics, the Associate Dean of Students, or one of our Peer Academic Advisors.

What services do you have available for academic support?
AJMLS has an Academic Support Program that is offered to students at no cost. The program is designed to identify and address student study deficiencies and to assist students in adjusting to legal study and classroom requirements. Participation is optional, but strongly encouraged. For further information on the Academic Support Program and other academic support services offered to students, please contact the Director of Academic Achievement or the Assistant Director of Academic Achievement.

What are the differences between full-time and part-time status?
The primary difference is the number of credit hours that students falling into each group are required to take per semester. In the first year, full-time students have an academic load of 15 credit hours per semester. After the first year, full-time students are expected to take between 14 and 16 credit hours per semester. The academic load for full-time students cannot fall below 12 credit hours and a full-time student must complete six semesters of resident study. If a student wishes to take more than 16 credit hours in a given semester, the student must get approval in advance from the Associate Dean of Academics.
The academic load for part-time students ranges from 8 to 11 credit hours per semester. A part-time student must be registered for a minimum of 6 credits and must complete 8 semesters of resident study. If a student wishes to take more than 11 credit hours in a given semester, the student must get approval in advance from the Associate Dean of Academics.

What is your policy on classroom attendance?
AJMLS has a mandatory attendance policy. If a student is counted as absent for more than 20% of class time in a course, the Associate Dean of Academics will be notified and the student will receive a “W” for that course.

Can I drop or add a course?
First-year law students cannot withdraw from a required course without permission from the Associate Dean of Academics. Upper division students may drop and add on their own, so long as they maintain a proper semester load.

Can I take courses outside of the law school?
You are not allowed to take courses in another academic program or enroll in another school, college, university, institute, law school or other program without advance written permission from the Associate Dean of Academics. If approved, you may only receive academic credit for graduate level courses taken.

Does AJMLS offer summer school for interested students?
The law school conducts a summer session. Part-time students are required to take courses during the summer session. The normal academic course load for summer session is 3 to 6 credit hours. Students taking summer school courses cannot register for less than 2 credit hours or more than 6 credit hours. The summer intersession which is separate, also provide students with an opportunity to get course credits during the summer. A student may take 2 credit hours in the summer intersession even if the student decides to take a full load during the regular summer session (6 hours).

What should I do if I have a conflict with a scheduled final exam?
Students are bound to the examination schedule, which is published at the time of registration. Final examinations will be deferred ONLY for good cause, which can include serious personal illness or injury to a student and/or serious personal injury, illness or death in a student’s immediate family. If you are considering petitioning to defer your exam DO NOT NOTIFY YOUR PROFESSOR. You MUST submit your written petition requesting deferral to the Associate Dean of Academics at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled time for your exam, if possible.

Can I bring my laptop to class for note-taking purposes?
Policies on laptop use vary by professor, and you will need to check your syllabus for each course to determine your professors’ policies.

What restrictions are there, if any, with regard to working during the academic year?
First year, full-time students are urged NOT to undertake outside employment. Following completion of the first year, a full-time student cannot work more than 20 hours a week during the academic year. Any full-time student whose employment exceeds 20 hours per week will be transferred to the part-time program and will be required to reduce her/his course load accordingly. If you are interested in learning more about employment opportunities that are available on campus, please contact the Assistant Dean of Administration.

Can I get a letter grade for my externship(s)?
No. Externship courses will be graded on a Pass/No Credit/Fail basis.

Does AJMLS have a study abroad program?
Any student who wishes to participate as a visiting student in a study abroad program sponsored by an ABA accredited law school must submit a written petition to visit to the Associate Dean of Academics. For study abroad opportunities offered during the regular academic year, interested students must submit their petitions at least 60 days before the first day of classes. For summer study abroad opportunities, interested students must submit their petitions to visit to the Associate Dean of Academics at least 14 days before the start date of the desired summer study abroad program.

What is AJMLS’ policy on accommodations?
AJMLS strives to provide reasonable accommodations, including reasonable accommodations for class schedules, examinations and other services, to enable students with disabilities to undertake the prescribed course of study.

What is the process for getting an accommodation?
Students desiring academic accommodations on account of a disability must have an evaluation by a physician or other state-licensed medical or psychological professional. The evaluator must complete and sign the school’s Accommodations Request Verification Form and this form must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Academics at least 30 days in advance of the date for which the accommodation is requested. The form can be found on the AJMLS website or picked up from the Associate Dean of Academics or the Associate Dean of Students.