Academic and Conduct Policies

You should familiarize yourself with the important policies linked below governing your academic and personal responsibilities while at the law school. Failing to read or familiarize yourself with these policies will not excuse the failure to abide by their requirements.

 

Academic and Conduct Policies

Students are subject to the Academic Integrity Code with respect to all work done while enrolled at the law school. Additionally, students are expected to familiarize themselves with Citing Responsibly, the law school's guide to avoiding plagiarism.

For non-academic conduct, students are bound by the GWU Student Code of Conduct. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with these policies. 

All students are bound by the University Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Policy. Students may report an incident to the Title IX Coordinator by phone at (202) 994-7434 or via their website. Students can receive confidential support for any trauma-related incident through the Office of Safety and Support.

When the law school receives reports of non-academic misconduct, those reports are referred to the appropriate university office—such as the Title IX Office or Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. No office at the law school, including the Dean of Students Office, processes, investigates or adjudicates non-academic conduct issues. The law school does not issue no-contact orders. All conduct issues falling under the Sexual Harassment Policy or the Code of Student Conduct are investigated and adjudicated by the Title IX Office or Student Rights and Responsibilities respectively.

The law school does, however, answer questions on state bar certification requests. Every state has its own set of questions, and these questions vary in number, breadth, and specificity. State bars do not traditionally ask whether students have reported misconduct or accessed services, but sometimes ask about disciplinary matters. We will not report mutual no-contact orders as disciplinary action in response to a bar certification. The language in mutual no-contact orders--which are issued by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Title IX Office--was revised in 2020 to state explicitly that the orders are not disciplinary actions. To review a template of the current mutual no contact language, please see here.   

We are not aware of any students whose bar admission was delayed or prevented due to no contact order reporting. However, separate from no-contact orders, students seeking bar admission should familiarize themselves with the questions on bar applications. If students have any questions about what the law school will be reporting, they should be in touch with our office at the time of their application to the bar. Our goal is to ensure that our reporting and a student's self-reporting are in accord with each other while maintaining our mutual duty of extraordinary candor to each state bar.

The Dean of Students Office strives to support an inclusive environment where students feel comfortable raising any issues of bias, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Students should not feel added anxiety or distrust about accessing critical resources in this already difficult time. We encourage students with any concerns to reach out to the Dean of Students Office.

In the event a student failed to disclose material information in their application to GW Law, they must complete this supplemental disclosure form. For questions about this process, please contact Jason Belk, Assistant Dean of Students, at [email protected]

In response to the University’s decision with respect to undergraduate students, the pending decisions of other professional schools in the University, and the significant volume of requests from our students, the faculty has approved the following temporary changes to our rules for electing a CR/NC grading option. The changes adjust the CR/NC policy for JD students (page 18 of the 2020-21 Bulletin) and graduate students (page 41 of the Bulletin) in only these ways:

  • For Fall 2020 only, the deadline is extended for JD students to convert a nonrequired course to CR/NC. Students seeking this conversion must do so by the last day of classes, November 23, 2020.
  • Students who have already converted a course to CR/NC during the Fall 2020 semester may not convert an additional course to CR/NC during the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Courses converted to CR/NC during the Fall 2020 semester – whether at the beginning of the term or at the end – will not count against the 6-credit hour conversion limit or the total 17-hour limitation on CR/NC courses. Students should carefully consider how an additional CR/NC mark will impact their overall academic record, and they are encouraged to discuss their circumstances with the Dean of Students Office.
  • Transfer students may also convert up to one non-required course to CR/NC under this temporary policy and such credits will not count against the 8-credit-hour maximum. Graduate students may similarly convert one non-required course to CR/NC notwithstanding the Bulletin's policy on page 41 of the Bulletin. Transfer and graduate students should seek guidance from the Dean of Students Office or the Office of Graduate Programs regarding any impacts such a conversion may have on their overall academic record.
  • Students who are taking courses graded only on a CR/NC basis are allowed to elect CR/NC grading for another non-required course, but credits earned in courses graded only on a CR/NC basis will continue to count against the maximum number of CR/NC credit hours for their degrees.
  • All other parameters set forth in the Bulletin continue to apply, including the limitation that students may not convert required courses to CR/NC, which includes courses taken to satisfy the writing requirement.

This proposed change, developed in consultation with Dean Matthew, Dean Hammond, Dean Ewert, and the Curriculum Committee, is intended to provide some relief for those who underestimated the challenges of this remote semester or who are encountering unforeseen hardships during the pandemic.

-Sr. Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs Emily Hammond

Law School Policies

Many professors allow all of their classes to be recorded and released to all students in the class. However, professors may also restrict access to their recordings globally, or restrict access to a particular class session. For more information on whether or not your classes are automatically recorded, and how to request and access recordings if they are not, please see this document.

You may request that the Dean of Students Office arrange for recordings in one of ten situations "pre-approved" by the faculty, as listed below:

  1. Death in the family or family emergency. The term “family” is to be interpreted to include close family members and others with a close, family-like relationship to the student.
  2. Observance of religious holidays. Religious holidays are determined annually and published by the George Washington University. Recordings will be made available during those holidays, including reasonable travel as may be necessary.
  3. Makeup classes. Class conflicts caused by makeup classes necessitated by the instructor’s absence, or cancellation of classes due to inclement weather or other emergency.
  4. Jury duty or other required court appearance.
  5. Military obligations.
  6. Ongoing medical condition or disability.  When recording is determined by the Office of the Dean of Students to be an advisable means of accommodating a student’s ongoing medical condition, including a mental health condition, or disability.
  7. Medical issue. Any medical emergency, illness, or medical issue that would prevent the student from attending class, as long as the student can provide medical documentation specifying the nature of the issue and the necessity of their absence.  “Medical issue” shall include a medical appointment for the student, the student’s family member, or the student’s partner that cannot be scheduled at another time. Prenatal appointments for the student or the student’s partner are included. Mental health issues shall be treated in the same manner as physical health issues. "Medical documentation" may include the student's declaration that the student is experiencing tangible symptoms of a contagious disease, virus, or other illness such that class attendance could put other class participants at true risk. In such instances, the student is advised to remain at home, request a class recording, and seek immediate medical advice.
  8. Birth or adoption of a child (for both parents), and pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery-related medical emergencies.
  9. Extraordinary travel delays well beyond the control of the student due to travel restrictions imposed in the US or abroad, extreme weather conditions, or other verifiable travel impediments.
  10. Participation in, but not preparation for, academic exercises and competitions where the student officially represents the Law School, including any reasonable travel time as might be required.

Individual instructors retain the discretion to grant recording access for situations not falling within the pre-approved reasons (for example: work conflicts, non-emergency family obligations, temporary illnesses for which you do not have documentation).  If you wish to arrange recordings in these situations, you must contact the instructor and, if permission is granted, arrange for recording through the law school’s Office of Instructional Technology.  If you ask your professor to record your class for a situation not falling within the pre-approved reasons, we recommend copying the Office of Instructional Technology on the email to your professor to simplify the request process.

Finally, please note that an instructor may not allow any of his or her classes to be recorded. For more information, please see the Class Recording Policy.

After completion of the first year of study, a student may petition the Dean of Students for a leave of absence from the law school. A leave of absence will be granted only when the request is sufficiently compelling, and no leave of absence will be granted in excess of one academic year. A leave of absence during the first year of study may be granted in the case of a student's medically certified disability requiring absence from classes due to a student's hospitalization and medically certified subsequent period of recovery. A student who has been granted a leave of absence must comply with the University's registration procedures of maintaining continuous enrollment. Any student who does not maintain continuous enrollment while on a leave of absence will be required to petition the Academic Scholarship Committee for readmission. To request a leave, please complete this form and return it to the Dean of Students Office at [email protected].

The George Washington University Law School's posting policy applies to all who utilize the bulletin boards located within the law school. Bulletin boards are for the use of law student organizations sanctioned by the Student Bar Association, law faculty members, law school offices, and other individuals or entities by permission from the Dean's Office. Flyers should clearly state the individuals or entity responsible for the flyer and their contact information. Flyers must be deemed appropriate under university policy and regulations. 

All flyers shall be posted on bulletin boards throughout the law school. No posting on the following:

  • official bulletin boards (e.g. Career Center, SBA-only, and Administration bulletin boards
  • doors
  • wooden surfaces
  • painted surfaces
  • windows
  • around/above student mailboxes
  • elevators
  • classrooms

Please post only one poster/flyer per bulletin board.  Do not cover other flyers. Flyers must be taken down once the event is over. 

Flyers not in compliance with this policy are subject to removal.

Applications for withdrawal from the University must be made in person or in writing to the Dean of Students Office. After the first two weeks of class, applications for changes in class schedule must have the written approval of the instructor, the Dean of Students Office, and the director of the Records Office. Under no circumstances may a student withdraw from a course after the last day of classes in a semester.

In authorized withdrawals and changes in schedule, cancellations of semester tuition charges and fees will be made in accordance with the following schedule for the fall and spring semesters:

1. Complete withdrawal from the University

  • Withdrawal dated on or before the end of the first week of the semester = 90%
  • Withdrawal dated on or before the end of the second week of the semester = 60%
  • Withdrawal dated on or before the end of the third week of the semester = 40%
  • Withdrawal dated on or before the end of the fourth week of the semester = 25%
  • Withdrawal dated after the fourth week of the semester = 0%

2. Partial withdrawal

If the change in program results in a lower charge, the refund schedule above applies to the difference.

3. Regulations governing student withdrawals as they relate to residence hall and food service charges are contained in the specific lease arrangements.

4. Summer Sessions

In cases of authorized withdrawals from courses, refunds of 85% of tuition and fees will be made for courses dropped within the first seven calendar days of the start of a session. No refund will be made if dropped thereafter.

5. For First Year Law Program (not including nonrefundable deposits)

  • Withdrawal prior to the last Friday in July = 100%
  • Withdrawal prior to the first day of the student’s scheduled orientation = 90%
  • Withdrawal from the first day of the student’s scheduled orientation through the first week of the first year law student classes of the semester = 75%
  • Withdrawal from the start of the second week of the semester through October 5 = 50%
  • Withdrawal after October 5 = 0%

Courses that do not follow the traditional semester may have different refund policies.

Refund policies of the University are in conformity with guidelines for refunds as adopted by the American Council on Education. Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients use such refunds to repay financial aid received for that semester’s attendance. This policy applies to institutional aid as well.

In no case will tuition be reduced or refunded because of absence from classes. Authorization to withdraw and certification for work done will not be given to a student who does not have a clear financial record.

Important Forms