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Office of Academic Administration and Student Affairs

Asst. Dean Stephen Sowle

Week of August 15, 2016
Student Portal Page
Student Health Insurance FAQ

Law School Survival Guide
U-Pass FAQ

Click here for Dean Sowle's Record Archives


To Entering Students:

Welcome to Chicago-Kent! For those of you starting your first year, you chose a terrific law school and we are pleased that you are joining our community. You have an exciting several years ahead of you.

What My Office Does.
 In my capacity as Assistant Dean for Academic Administration and Student Affairs, I have responsibility for a number of areas that affect your life as a student. I supervise the Registrar's office on scheduling your courses, administering your exams, and maintaining your academic records. I'm also in charge of Orientation, academic and personal counseling of students, and applying the school's academic regulations. More generally, my job is to make sure that your life at the Law School remains as free from administrative hassles as possible. If you think I can be of help, please call me at (312) 906-5282, come by my office (320C), or e-mail me (ssowle@kentlaw.iit.edu). If I'm not the right person to help you, I should be able to point you in the right direction. My door is open without appointment, so long as I am not otherwise occupied when you drop by.

Orientation Week.
 
The final schedule for Orientation week will be distributed in the registration packets when you arrive.

Academic Support Program.
 You will receive information during Orientation about the Academic Support Program (ASP), which is designed to assist first-year J.D. students in developing the skills needed to succeed in law school. One component of the program is weekly small group sessions focusing on skills development in the context of each of your Fall doctrinal courses. We will be sending invitations to selected students early in the semester to join these sessions. Information about the program and study resources is available on the ASP web site.

Student Health Insurance. You can find information about student health insurance at http://web.iit.edu/shwc/insurance. All students registered for at least one credit hour in the Fall semester (including intersession classes listed on the Fall schedule; but not including Incomplete make-ups) will automatically be billed for student health insurance. This applies to both Day and Evening Division students. The cost for the 2016-2017 academic year will be $1,441 for individual coverage (please contact the Student Health and Wellness Center at 312/567-7550 for information about family coverage). You may waive insurance coverage if you have comparable coverage by filing a waiver form at http://web.iit.edu/shwc/insurance; the deadline for waiving coverage is September 1. IIT requires students who waive the student health insurance to do so every year. The waiver process goes directly through Aetna Student Health Insurance. (Please note: If you are on an F1 or J1 visa, you will not be permitted to waive the IIT health insurance.) If you do not waive coverage by September 1, you will be billed for the insurance. For more information about the plan, including waivers, go to http://web.iit.edu/shwc/insurance or call the Student Health and Wellness Center at 312/567-7550.

The health insurance coverage runs from August 12, 2016 to August 11, 2017. You may print your insurance card here. Aetna Student Health has an app that will allow you to have your insurance card and benefit details on your smart device. To access the app, follow the instructions below. Insurance cards will not be mailed out unless a request is made by calling 800-841-3140. (If you have any questions about the app, contact the Student Health and Wellness Center at 312-567-7550 or student.health@iit.edu.)

  • Download the Aetna App (click here for more information)
  • Register as an Aetna member
  • At the Welcome screen, select ID card information
  • Select member (student or dependent names will appear in drop down)
  • View Card
  • Image of front and back of card appears

CTA U-Pass Program. Chicago-Kent is a participant in the Chicago Transit Authority's U-Pass program. The U-Pass is a discount fare card allowing unlimited rides on all CTA buses and trains. All full-time day students will receive a U-Pass card valid from Monday, August 22 (the first day of classes) through Friday, December 16 (the end of Fall exams). The CTA uses the Ventra card, which you will keep until you graduate. The cards require activation; instructions will be provided when you pick up your card. You will also be able to use the card during breaks from school by adding money to the card.

The charge for the card will appear on the semester bill for each full-time student. Due to restrictions imposed by the CTA, the program is not currently available to evening students or part-time day students. We will notify first-year full-time students once we have received your U-Passes. For more details, visit the CTA's U-Pass web site.

Note to International LL.M. students and visiting students: You qualify for a U-Pass if you are registered for at least 12 credit hours for the Fall semester. If you are registered for fewer than 12 credit hours, you do not qualify for a U-Pass.

To Returning Students:

Welcome Back! I hope you had an enjoyable summer and that you have a successful and productive year. If you would like to see me with a question, problem, or suggestion, please call me at (312) 906-5282, come by my office (Suite 320C), or e-mail me (ssowle@kentlaw.iit.edu).

Fall 2016 Semester Information. The Fall 2016 Quick Guide page has most of the information you will need in advance of the start of the Fall semester - click here, or go to the Current Students Portal page and click on the Fall 2016 Quick Guide link under "Academics & Grades." Print copies of many of the documents described below are available on the table in the third-floor elevator bay. Alternatively, click on the individual links below to go directly to the indicated documents.

Initial Reading Assignments and Course Materials.
Not all professors submit initial assignments, so do not be concerned if there is no listing for one or more of your Fall courses. Even if a course is not listed here, materials for the course should be available in the Bookstore. Initial reading assignments for first-year courses are not included in this list.

Please note that the following assignments have been added since the list was first posted: Lawers as Social Innovators, and Seventh Circuit Review Honors Seminar. The list may be updated again if we receive additional assignments.

Revised Fall Schedule of Classes.
This version of the Fall schedule includes exam information and classroom assignments.

Course Information Updates.
This document lists all changes to the final Fall class schedule to date. The current version of the class schedule posted online reflects these changes. 

Trial Advocacy 1 Section Assignments.
If your section meets at the Daley Center, please be sure to bring your Kent ID card with you, as you may be required to show it before being allowed to enter.

Trial Advocacy 2 Section Assignments.
If your section meets at the Daley Center, please be sure to bring your Kent ID card with you, as you may be required to show it before being allowed to enter.

Legal Writing 4 Equivalency Classes.
Students this semester who are on Law Review, or who are taking Appellate Advocacy (Moot Court Honor Society), Pretrial Litigation, Criminal Litigation 2, or who are doing Judicial Externships, may satisfy the Legal Writing 4 requirement either by taking a regular Legal Writing 4 class in the Spring, or by taking a Legal Writing 4 Equivalency Class this semester. If you take a Legal Writing 4 Equivalency Class this semester, you may take Legal Writing 3 in either the Fall or the Spring. Important note: You must register for one of the two sections of Legal Writing 4 Equivalency Class this semester, in addition to participating in the qualifying activity (e.g., Law Review), in order to place out of taking a regular Legal Writing 4 class in the Spring - it is not sufficient just to participate in the qualifying activity. The Equivalency Class must be taken in the same semester as the activity that qualifies you to take the Equivalency Class - you may not defer the Equivalency Class to a later semester.

Exam Schedule.
Please note that you are permitted to register for courses with exams scheduled at the same time; one exam will be rescheduled for you.

The Student Handbook requires that you take your finals at the times scheduled unless you have an exam conflict (as defined below), or you have a "serious illness or other extraordinary or compelling reason" beyond your control. A Final Exam Reschedule Form will be posted later this semester through Web for Students.

A student is deemed to have an "exam conflict" if he or she has two exams at the same time, or has two or more exams within 24 hours (e.g., exams at 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., or at 6:00 p.m. and 1:15 the following afternoon). A conflict does not exist if two exams are scheduled exactly 24 hours apart (e.g., exams at 8:30 a.m. one morning and 8:30 a.m. the next morning).

Applications for Graduation.  
J.D. students who plan on graduating at the end of theFall semester must submit an online Application for Graduation form no later than Friday, September 2, 2016. To complete the form, go to Web for Students at https://wfs.kentlaw.iit.edu 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. 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.

Opportunity to Take Classes at Loyola and DePaul. 
Chicago-Kent has an arrangement with Loyola (Chicago) School of Law and DePaul University College of Law that permits students from each school to register for selected courses at the other schools. Students will pay tuition to their home school, and grades will transfer (not just the credits) and be counted in your GPA. Click here for a list of Loyola classes open to upper-level Chicago-Kent students for the Fall 2015 term; click here for a list of DePaul classes. If you are interested in taking one of these classes, please contact me. Please note: These courses may count toward a Chicago-Kent certificate program only with permission of Dean Sowle and the director of the relevant certificate program.

2016-2017 Academic Calendar

Adding and Dropping Courses. 
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 Friday, September 2, 2016, at 11:50pm (the end of the add/drop period).

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 § 3.10(c) of the Student Handbook). There is no tuition penalty if you drop a course by Monday, September 8 (the end of the add/drop period). You will not receive a tuition refund, however, if you drop a course after Friday, September 2, at 11:50pm.

Pass/Fail Elections. 

Pass/fail elections for the Fall semester must be made online no later than Friday, September 2, 2016. Please review § 2.4 of 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.

Full-Time Students Taking Fewer Than 12 Credits. 
Students graduating at the end of the Fall 2016 semester who need fewer than the minimum number of hours to graduate may take fewer credits without special permission. If you take fewer than 12 credits hours, please contact the Registrar, Jerry Seaton, so he can make sure you are still coded as full-time in the registration system.

Tuition Discount for Graduating Students Taking More than 87 Credits.  If you will be graduating at the end of the Fall 2016 semester, and you 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 Friday, September 2, 2016, 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.

Changes to Student Handbook. The following changes have been made to the Chicago-Kent Student Handbook.

Code of Conduct Provisions on Sexual Misconduct. In response to a new Illinois law, the university now has a uniform policy for all academic colleges and departments concerning sexual misconduct allegations made against students. More specifically, Chicago-Kent students are now subject to the university-wide policies, provisions, and procedures available at http://web.iit.edu/student-affairs/handbook/fine-print/sexual-harassment (sexual harassment), at https://web.iit.edu/student-affairs/vawa-save-acts (sexual misconduct), and at https://web.iit.edu/student-affairs/handbook/fine-print/conduct-discipline (disciplinary procedures). All allegations concerning sexual harassment or sexual misconduct will be adjudicated in accordance with these university-wide policies, provisions, and procedures rather than those of the Chicago-Kent Code of Conduct.

Grade Appeals. [Grade appeals are now initiated by submitting a petition to the Dean (rather than to the full faculty), and must be filed no more than 90 days after the student receives the grade (formerly there was no time limit). The substantive grounds for filing a grade appeal remain unchanged. The revised language is available here (scroll down to section 7.9).

Student Health Insurance. You can find information about student health insurance at http://web.iit.edu/shwc/insurance. All students registered for at least one credit hour in the Fall semester (including intersession classes listed on the Fall schedule; but not including Incomplete make-ups) will automatically be billed for student health insurance. This applies to both Day and Evening Division students. The cost for the 2016-2017 academic year will be $1,441 for individual coverage (please contact the Student Health and Wellness Center at 312/567-7550 for information about family coverage). You may waive insurance coverage if you have comparable coverage by filing a waiver form at http://web.iit.edu/shwc/insurance; the deadline for waiving coverage is September 1. IIT requires students who waive the student health insurance to do so every year. The waiver process goes directly through Aetna Student Health Insurance. (Please note: If you are on an F1 or J1 visa, you will not be permitted to waive the IIT health insurance.) If you do not waive coverage by September 1, you will be billed for the insurance. For more information about the plan, including waivers, go to http://web.iit.edu/shwc/insurance or call the Student Health and Wellness Center at 312/567-7550.

The health insurance coverage runs from August 12, 2016 to August 11, 2017. You may print your insurance card here. Aetna Student Health has an app that will allow you to have your insurance card and benefit details on your smart device. To access the app, follow the instructions below. Insurance cards will not be mailed out unless a request is made by calling 800-841-3140. (If you have any questions about the app, contact the Student Health and Wellness Center at 312-567-7550 or student.health@iit.edu.)

  • Download the Aetna App (click here for more information)
  • Register as an Aetna member
  • At the Welcome screen, select ID card information
  • Select member (student or dependent names will appear in drop down)
  • View Card
  • Image of front and back of card appears

Spring 2016 CALI Winners. 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 course. The CALI award winners for Spring 2016 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 yet heard from the professor. Congratulations to all of you who received an award - you should be proud of your achievement. There will be a luncheon in the Fall for all 2015-2016 CALI Award winners; certificates will be distributed at that time.

Spring 2016 Class Ranks/GPA Cut-offs. Cumulative GPAs through the Spring 2016 semester, and Spring 2016 class ranks for J.D. students, are available through Web for Students (click on the Spring 2016 link under Grades and Rank in the left-hand menu). Students who graduated in the Fall or last Summer will find their final class rank under the Fall 2015 or Summer 2015 links. Class ranks are based on cumulative (not just Spring semester) GPA. For those students who transferred into Kent in January, please keep in mind that you will not receive a class rank until you have been here for two semesters. The GPA cut-offs as of the end of the Spring 2016 semester are available by clicking here

Note to Spring graduates: For J.D. students who graduated in May, this information constitutes their final GPA and class rank.

Note to first-year full-time students: If you were a first-year full-time student in the Spring, the cumulative GPA for you in Web for Students includes all of your coursework through the end of the Spring semester. However, as previously announced, class ranks were determined by excluding Legislation or any elective course taken, in order to ensure that all first-year full-time students were assessed on a common set of courses. Likewise, probation and dismissal decisions, eligibility for Law Review, and eligibility for merit scholarships are based on first-year performance excluding Legislation or any elective course taken.

Fall U-Passes. All full-time J.D. students (determined by your official division status, not by the number of credit hours you take in a particular semester) are enrolled in the U-Pass program. Your current Ventra U-Pass card will be activated to work from Monday, August 22 (the first day of the semester) through Friday, December 16 (the last day of exams). If you have any questions or problems with respect to your U-Pass or your eligibility, please contact Jenna Abhijeet at jabhijeet@kentlaw.iit.edu.

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 (ssowle@kentlaw.iit.edu), by phone at (312) 906-5282, or by stopping by my office (320C).

February 2017 and July 2017 Illinois Bar Applications. Applications for the February 2017 bar exam are due by September 15, 2016 (see below for the late filing deadlines). Applications for the July 2017 bar exam are due by February 15, 2017. 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.orgPlease note: Even if you registered with the bar examiners as a first-year student, you must still file a final application. If you have any questions about the application materials, you may call the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar at 217/522-5917.

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 “Certificate of Dean of Law School Proof of Legal Education” 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 will be given on Saturday, November 5, 2016. You may register online by clicking here. The deadline for applying for the November exam is September 15 (the late deadline is September 22). Students planning on taking the Illinois bar exam may take the MPRE at any time during or after law school.

Joke of the Week. Why is the person who invests all your money called a broker?

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