The School of Law residence rules satisfy the requirements of the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. The purpose of the residency requirements is to assure that the study of law will be spread evenly over a minimum period of six semesters or the equivalent.
The rules regarding the size of a student's course load -- the number of hours a student enrolls for in a given semester -- and residency rules -- are not the same.
The residency requirement means that students may not graduate in less than six semesters or the equivalent. Students who plan to attend summer school for two years and graduate a semester earlier, should visit with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs concerning their summer course loads.
For residency purposes a minimum load of twelve hours is required for a semester. For purposes of accelerated graduation, minimum residency hours for a summer session are five if combined with another summer session of no less than seven hours. Two summer sessions of six hours each serve the same purpose. If fewer hours are taken in a summer session, they may not be used toward residency for the purpose of accelerated graduation but may be combined with an appropriate number of hours in a regular semester in order to fulfill a twelve hour semester residency requirement.
Students completing more than twelve hours in a semester may not use surplus hours over twelve toward residency in any other session; hence the three surplus hours from a fifteen hour semester cannot be added to a subsequent nine hour semester to give residency for two semesters. On the other hand, a nine hour semester can be combined with a three hour summer session to give residence for one semester.
In cases of extreme hardship the Faculty may make a slight variance in the residency requirements, but cannot go below the standards set by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools.