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Office of Academic Administration and Student Affairs

Asst. Dean Stephen Sowle

Week of January 25, 2021

Click here for Dean Sowle's Record Archives

Bar Exam Basics Session. Graduating in May? Join Professors Johnson and Aleisa for Bar Exam Basics this Tuesday, January 26, at 12:00 noon (click here for the Zoom link). We will cover the format of the bar exam, what subjects are tested, how the exam is scored, how to start shopping for a prep program, what it takes to study for the bar, why it's good to start early, how to start early, extra bar support provided by CK, and more. There will also be time for questions. Hope to see you there!

Fall 2020 GPAs and Class Ranks. Cumulative GPAs through the Fall 2020 semester, and class ranks for upper-level J.D. students, are available through Web for Students (click on the "Fall 2020" link under "Grades and Rank" in the lefthand menu). Please note:Class ranks are calculated only for students who have been at Chicago-Kent for at least two semesters. First-year students, and students who transferred into Chicago-Kent at the start of the Fall 2020 semester, will receive their first class ranks at the end of the Spring 2021 semester. LL.M. students do not receive class ranks. The GPA cut-offs as of the end of the Fall 2020 semester are avaible by clicking here.

Spring 2021 Semester Information. The Spring 2021 Quick Guide page has most of the information you will need in advance of the start of the Spring semester -- click here, or go to the main Current Students Portal page and click on the Spring 2021 Quick Guide link under "Academics & Grades." Alternatively, click on the individual links below to go directly to the indicated documents.

Revised Spring Schedule
The revised Spring schedule includes classroom assignments for hybrid courses. Please be sure to check the schedule for information about which of your courses are hybrid and which are all-online -- there have been some changes recently.

Canceled classes. The following Spring classes have been canceled:
-Legal Innovation + Technology (342-01)
-Legal Writing 4 (432-07 section)

•COVI-19 Testing and Diagnoses. The university will be continuing the spot testing program for COVID-19 initiated in the fall. The Covid-19 Policies and Procedures page has information about finding test sites should you be chosen for a spot test.

Please read the follow guidance from the univeristy on what to do if you test positive or have symptoms consistent with COVID-19:

If a student, faculty, or staff member believes they are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, university policy requires that they either (i) get tested and self-quarantine until they have received their test results, or (ii) remain in self-quarantine for 10 days from the date of symptom onset. (A student, faculty, or staff member who tests positive must self-isolate for 10 days.) Accordingly, students, faculty, or staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19, have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not attend class or work until they have satisfied either criteria (i) or (ii) above. 

If you test positive for Covid-19, please immediately notify the Office of the Dean of Students on the Mies Campus by emailing and; please also copy Dean Sowle at

Applications to be All-Online. If you applied to take all of your classes online and were approved, we will give your professors that information.  If you are all-online, as in the Fall you will participate live, but remotely, in any hybrid classes you are taking.  If you haven't yet applied to be all-online but would like to do so, pleasecomplete this form.

•Class Technology Guide for Spring 2021. As in the Fall, we will be using Blackboard as our learning management system this semester. Blackboard provides a one-stop location for all course-related material, including class Zoom links, syllabi, course handouts, recorded videos, and other materials. Please review this Spring 2021 Tech Guide carefully for the technology information you'll need to know for both online and hybrid classes.

Applications for Graduation
J.D. students who plan on graduating at the end of the Spring semester must submit an online Application for Graduation form no later than Tuesday, February 2. To complete the form, go to Web for Students at and click on "Application for Graduation" under "Online Forms" in the lefthand menu. 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. Important note: If you need to make any changes after submitting your application, please contact the Registrar's office at -- do not submit a second form.

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 contact the Registrar's Office at

Adding and Dropping Classes
You may add an open course without special permission until the end of the first week of Spring 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, February 2, 9:00pm.

You may withdraw from any course except a required course, a clinical course, Law Review, Moot Court, or an intersession class at any time prior to the date of the final exam or final paper (see §3.10(c) of the Student Handbook). There is no tuition penalty if you drop a course during the first two weeks of classes. You will not receive a tuition refund, however, if you drop a course after Tuesday, February 2, 9:00pm.

Exam Information. Information about Spring exams (which will be fixed, self-scheduled, or take-home) will be available later this week.

Pass/Fail Elections
Pass/fail elections for the Spring semester must be made online no later than Tuesday, February 3, 9:00pm. Please review section 2.4 "Pass/Fail Election" in the Student Handbook if you have any questions regarding your pass/fail elections. In order to make your election, you should:

  1. Log into Web for Students.

  2. Select the "Take Class Pass/Fail" option under the "Online Forms" heading

  3. Select the course you would like to take on a pass/fail basis

  4. Submit your selection

The Registrar's Office will review your request and inform you if there is any problem with your request.

Classrooms for Remote Classes. As previously announced, we are making classrooms available on-site for remote classes in situations where students do not have sufficient time to travel from home to school (or vice versa) in between the remote class and an on-site class they have the same day. A list of classrooms for the week of January 18 is available by clicking herePlease note: These rooms should only be used by students who requested a room (we have notified all such students by email). Given classroom capacity limitations, students not already approved may cause the room to exceed the available capacity.

If you wish to request rooms for the week of January 25, the form is available by clicking here. We will notify you by email of your room assignment prior to your class. Please submit this form no later than this Thursday, January 21. If you wish to request a room for the same class, but on multiple days next week, you can indicate that on a single form. If, however, you are requesting rooms for different classes during the week, please submit separate forms.

Please note: If you previously submitted a form and clicked the box to make your submission a standing request, you do not need to submit a new form. If at any point you wish to cancel a standing request, please email me at

ID Cards. If you will be on-site for hybrid classes, please be sure you have a Chicago-Kent ID. If you don't have a card or need a replacement, please complete this form.

Returning to Chicago From Another State. The City of Chicago recently updated its list of quarantine states, which now includes all other states (except Hawaii), Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.  The City's current requirements for those returning from out of state are as follows:  "10-day quarantine or pre-arrival negative test result (no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival) with strict masking, social distancing and avoidance of in-person gatherings."  If you are required to quarantine and are planning to attend hybrid classes on-site, please let your professors know that you will be participating remotely until your quarantine period has elapsed.

Legal Writing 4 Equivalency Class 
Students this semester who take Criminal Litigation 2 or are doing a Judicial Externship in the Spring semester may satisfy the Legal Writing 4 requirement either by taking a regular Legal Writing 4 class, or by taking the Legal Writing 4 Equivalency Class (0 credits) this semester. Important note: You must register for the Legal Writing 4 Equivalency Class this semester (listed on page 2 of the Schedule of Classes), in addition to participating in the qualifying course or activity, in order to place out of taking a regular Legal Writing 4 class -- it is not sufficient just to participate in the qualifying course or activity. The Equivalency Class must be taken in the same semester as the course or activity that qualifies you to take the Equivalency Class -- you may not defer the Equivalency Class to a later semester.

Academic Calendar for Spring 2021. As previously announced, there will not be a traditional week-long Spring Break this semester. Instead, the revised academic calendar has two four-day breaks built in. The start and end dates of the Spring semester remain the same as in the original calendar, as does the exam period. The revised calendar is available here.

•Graduating Students: Reduced Loads and Tuition Discounts. J.D. students graduating at the end of the Spring semester who need fewer than the minimum number of hours to graduate may take fewer credits without special permission. Taking a reduced load may affect your eligibility for financail aid; please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions about this.

In addition, if you will be graduating at the end of the Spring 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 Tuesay, February 2, and I will arrange for the credit to be applied to your account. Please note: Financial aid is not available for any courses you take that are not necessary for you to reach the required 87 credits.

•Experiential Course Requirement. All J.D. students are required to 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 page 2 of the schedule for information about Legal Writing 4 Equivalency) 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.

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.

Dean's Certificates for February Bar Exam. We will mail a Dean's Certification form to the Illinois bar examiners for every Fall J.D. graduate prior to the deadline later this month. We compile the list of graduating students from the list of those who submitted Applications for Graduation listing Fall 2020 as their final semester. Important note: University policy does not allow the certification of any student to the bar examiners if the student has an outstanding balance owed to the school.[

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

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 (see information above for how to file one) 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. If you plan to take a bar exam outside of Illinois, you should provide the Registrar with appropriate forms for the Law School to complete as soon as possible (by email to 

MPRE: Registration Deadlines for 2021 Test Dates. The Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is required for admission to the bars of most jurisdictions, including Illinois. Students planning on taking the Illinois bar exam may take the MPRE at any time during or after law school. Click here for a list of 2021 test dates and deadlines for applying. The first 2021 test administration is March 29 or 30, with an application deadline of January 28, 2021. Note that the recommended submission date to apply for accommodations for the March exam is January 4, 2021.

Employment Limitation. Subject to the limitation for full-time first-year students mentioned just 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 prohibted 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).

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. You may contact me by email ( or by phone at (312) 906-5282.


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