Beginning students are accepted only in the fall semester. Students must apply before March 1 for the next fall semester, and the application must be accompanied by a non-refundable $70 fee. Since the law school uses a modified rolling admission system, applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Files must be complete by the March 1 deadline in order to receive full consideration. The following items are required to complete the application for admission:
- Application form and fee
- Personal statement
- LSDAS report (includes LSAT scores and copies of college transcripts)
- Two letters of recommendation. These should be from persons, excluding relatives, who know you personally, have recent knowledge of your academic performance and activities, and can speak of you in personal terms. Academic letters are most valuable and carry the greatest weight in the admission process. Therefore, we suggest that you submit letters from professors under whom you have studied, or from your employer, if you have been out of school for a number of years. Composite letters from your undergraduate college are acceptable.
An e-mail notification message is sent to applicants when their files are complete. The applicant is responsible for completing the application by the deadline.
Although personal interviews are usually not granted, the Admission Committee may require some applicants to come to the law school for such an interview. Applicants who are not required to appear for an interview should submit any special statements they wish to make in writing to the Assistant Dean of Admission.
Applicants are invited and encouraged to visit the law school, sit in on classes, and talk with law school personnel and students.
Any law student who has completed a minimum of one year in good standing at a fully accredited (ABA-AALS) law school and is interested in attending Emory University School of Law as a guest student should write to the Office of Admission. Approval of courses and certification of good standing from the student's own law school are required. Deadlines for guest applications are July 15 for the fall semester and December 15 for the spring semester. Guest students are admitted on a space available basis. Guest students intending to enroll at Emory should be aware of the law school's policy of anonymous grading of exams. This policy does not allow for any individual student's examination to be graded separate from that of the class. As a result, Emory is often not able to supply a guest student with grade information at the time required by that student's degree-granting school.
Before choosing to visit at Emory, particularly during one's final semester of the year of law school, a guest student is urged to consult with the home law school regarding our grading policy. This policy could result in a delay in your home school's issuance of your final degree.
Emory University School of Law requires that your foreign transcripts be submitted through the LSAC JD Credential Assembly Service. If you completed any postsecondary work outside the US (including its territories) or Canada, you must use this service for the evaluation of your foreign transcripts. The one exception to this requirement is if you completed the foreign work through a study abroad, consortium, or exchange program sponsored by a US or Canadian institution and the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript. This service is included in the LSDAS subscription fee. A Foreign Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into your LSDAS report. If we determine that you need to submit a TOEFL score, you must contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and request that your TOEFL score be sent to LSAC. LSAC's TOEFL code for the JD Credential Assembly Service is 0058. Your score will be included in the Foreign Credential Evaluation document that will be included in your LSDAS law school report.
To use the JD CAS, log in to your online account and follow the instructions for registering for the service. Be sure to print out a Transcript Request Form for each institution and send it promptly to them. More time is usually required to receive foreign transcripts.
Questions about the JD Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at 215.968.1001, or LSACINFO@LSAC.org »
A student who wishes to transfer to Emory from another law school that is fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) will be considered after he or she has completed the first year of law study and if he or she has performed exceptionally well in the first year of law study. A student who is ineligible for readmission to another law school is not eligible for transfer to Emory. No credit for advanced standing is given for any law school work completed with a grade lower than C or its equivalent. A transfer student will be credited with acceptable earned credits elsewhere and will be permitted to graduate after completion, at the required level, of not less than four full semesters of residence and of not fewer than 90 semester hours, not fewer than 58 of which have been accomplished at Emory University School of Law. More specific information and application forms can be obtained from the Office of Admission, Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, Georgia, 30322-2770.
Juris Doctor Students
Students who withdraw from or fail to return to school during the regular academic year must notify the Office of the Dean in advance to be eligible to return. To withdraw from school for a term, a student must receive permission from the Office of the Dean. When withdrawal is approved, a grade of W is recorded in all courses for which the student is registered. Failure to obtain such permission results in a grade of WF in all courses for which the student registered.
No first-year student may drop a course without approval from the Office of the Dean.
After the period designated in the Academic Calendar for approved course changes, a second-year or third-year student may withdraw from a course only with the permission of the instructor and approval from the Dean or the Dean's designate. Such permission is granted only for cause, and the rules governing requirements for residency credit are applied. When withdrawal from a course is approved, a grade of W is recorded for the course or courses in which the student is registered. Failure to obtain such perm shall result in a grade of WF in the course.
Readmission of students following withdrawal for medical reasons requires medical clearance by designated university health officials.
Juris Master, Master of Laws, Master of Comparative Law, and Doctor of Juridical Science Students
Withdrawal from a Course: After the period designated in the Academic Calendar for approved course changes, a graduate student may withdraw from a course only with the permission of the instructor and approval of the Graduate Programs Office or the Dean's designate. Such permission will be granted only for cause, and the rules governing requirements for full-time residency credit will be applied. When withdrawal from a course is approved, a grade of W is recorded for the course or courses in which the student is registered. Failure to obtain permission shall result in a grade of WF in the course.
Withdrawal from School: Students who withdraw from or fail to return to school during the regular academic year must notify the Graduate Programs Office in advance, to be eligible to return. To withdraw from school, a student must receive permission from the Graduate Programs Office. When withdrawal is approved, a grade of W is recorded in all courses for which the student is registered. Failure to obtain such permission will result in a grade of WF in all courses for which the student registered.
LLM and JM Programs
JM and LLM students are expected to maintain at least a B (3.0) average. If a student’s cumulative GPA should fall to a 2.50 or less at any time, he/she will automatically be placed on academic probation, effective immediately.* Students on academic probation must petition the Academic Standing committee for permission to enroll in new classes, and may not do so until their petition is granted. Further, while on academic probation, JM and LLM students must regularly meet with the Assistant Dean for Academic Engagement or the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs, respectively, to discuss the status of their classes, their proposed course selections, and their progress toward a return to good standing.
If a JM or LLM student fails either of the required foundational courses (i.e., Introduction to the American Legal System, and their required legal writing course), they will be required to immediately re-take it. If they fail the course a second time, they will be dismissed from the program. (For part-time students who fail either of the required foundational courses, enrollment in other coursework should ordinarily await successful completion of the relevant course.)
Any grades earned by SJD students will be evaluated by the student’s faculty supervisor/dissertation committee on an ongoing basis. The SJD student’s faculty supervisor/dissertation committee will determine whether the student’s performance meets the necessary standard for continuation in the SJD program.
In order to remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA. (For students who matriculated prior to Fall 2014, the minimum GPA for continuation is 2.25.)
*Students who began the JM program prior to Fall 2014 will be placed on academic probation if their cumulative GPA falls to a 2.25 or less.
Juris Doctor Students
Law students are permitted to take courses at any of the university's graduate or professional schools for a maximum of six (6) credit hours. For these credits to apply, the grade earned must be a C (not C-) or equivalent. Non-law course credits will count toward the six hours of pass/fail hours law students are permitted to take. Contact the Emory Law registrar for questions about registration procedures for these courses.
For a list of non-law courses, go to the university schedule page.
Juris Master and Master of Laws Students
LLM and JM Law students may credit one course taken elsewhere in the University toward their graduation requirements. The proposed course must have a direct connection to the student’s course of study. Students should obtain permission from the non-law course professor, and submit (a) confirmation of the professor’s permission, (b) a letter of petition, (c) non-law course syllabus, and (d) current transcript to the Graduate Programs Office no later than July 15 for the fall semester, and November 15 for the spring semester. Non-law courses will be graded on a pass / fail basis. Contact the Graduate Programs Office for questions about registration procedures for these courses.
The study of law requires a sound undergraduate education.
This education should give students perception and skill in the use of the English language, in both expression and comprehension, and insight into (rather than merely information about) society’s institutions and values. A sound undergraduate education should also convey the power to think clearly, carefully, and independently, as well as convey an understanding of people and human relations. The prelaw student should be concerned with intellectual and personal development in order to bring a disciplined, inquiring mind and a stable, well-integrated personality to the study of law.
There is no one best prelaw curriculum. The prospective law student can develop his or her intellect satisfactorily in nearly any undergraduate major. The student should concentrate on acquiring finely honed writing skills, a command of the English language, and analytical thinking skills.
The Emory Law faculty has identified several major goals of the first-year program:
- Development of analytical skills and ability to read and understand cases and statutory materials
- Practice in oral skills and argument
- Introduction to legal research and drafting
- Development of perspective and appreciation for historical context
- Basic substantive law coverage as the foundation for upper-level courses
Small sections and individual attention are features of first-year instruction at Emory. Each first-year student takes the research, writing, and appellate advocacy course from a full-time instructor in a section of 35 students. In the fall term, first-year students take one substantive course (usually Legislation and Regulation) in a section of approximately 35 students. This makes Emory distinctive among many other law schools, which frequently have class sizes of one hundred or more. Instruction is based primarily on the case method, with an emphasis on developing analytical thinking. The first-year courses, when mastered together, acquaint students with how the law develops through judicial decision and the interpretation of statutes. These courses furnish the foundation on which students build a sound legal education. The research, writing, and appellate advocacy course helps students develop skills in the research needed for solutions of legal problems and in the effective written and oral presentation of their solutions.
Prescribed First-Year Courses
Civil Procedure—4 hrs
Legislation and Regulation—2 hrs
Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy—2 hrs
Total: 16 hrs
Criminal Law—3 hrs
Constitutional Law—4 hrs
Research Writing and Appellate Advocacy—2 hrs
Elective—3 or 4 hrs
Total: 16 or 17 hrs
Second and Third Year Program
With few exceptions, all courses are elective after the first year. All students must successfully complete Evidence (632), Legal Profession (747), and Trial Techniques (671). Each student is required to take Trial Techniques at the end of the second year.
In addition, every student must fulfill the writing requirement prior to graduation. This requirement may be satisfied by successfully completing a seminar or a directed research project approved by a faculty member and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Every student must research a topic in depth, submit drafts of a paper to instructor for revision, and complete a substantial paper on the topic. A minimum grade of C is required to satisfy the writing requirement. Students may also fulfill the writing requirement through production under faculty supervision of a publishable Note or Comment in any of the law school's three journals. All courses described as seminars, workshops, or clinical placements are limited-enrollment courses. In addition, some second-year and third-year courses offered during the academic year are subject to enrollment limitations. Summer work can add an additional dimension to classroom studies. Course credit is not available unless the student is working within a program or internship sponsored by another fully approved (ABA-AALS) law school. In such situation, the student should submit a proposal for credit to the Law School Clinical Committee as soon as he or she is accepted as a participant.
Non-joint degree students with a semester average of 3.45 or higher on at least ten graded law hours shall be placed on the Dean’s List.
Joint degree students with a semester average of 3.45 or higher on at least five graded law hours shall be placed on the Dean’s List.
- 90 law school hours within 84 months of initial matriculation.
- 79 law school hours for JD/MBA, JD/MTS, JD/MDiv, JD/REES, JD/MPH, JD/PhD, JD/MA. All students who transfer to Emory Law from another US JD program who wish to earn a joint degree must earn 79 of 90 hours from the law curriculum. Exceptions will be made at the discretion of the Vice Dean.
- For all degree programs, the majority of required credits for graduation must be earned at the law school.
Required Upper-Level courses
- Evidence (must be taken in 2nd year)
- Legal Profession
- Trial Techniques (must be taken in 2nd year)
- Writing Requirement:
- Directed Research
Good Standing Requirements
To be in good academic standing, a student in the JD program must, based on all course work completed at the conclusion of the second term (the term in which the student completes at least twenty-five semester hours) and thereafter, have a cumulative average of at least 2.25. A student not in good standing is automatically ineligible to continue. Such a student may petition the law faculty through the Academic Standings Committee for readmission on probation. It is the obligation of the student to obtain probationary status.
A student on probationary status must complete course work that constitutes “full residence” during the probationary term. Students on probation may not attend summer school, take clinical courses or field placements, or participate in Moot Court or any of the three journals.
Students readmitted on probation must take a minimum of ten semester hours of course work and must achieve a cumulative average of at least 2.25 by the end of the probationary period. A student with a cumulative average less than 2.25 shall not be granted a JD degree.
The current grading system at Emory University School of Law is based on F to A+. A grade of F is failing. A cumulative average of 2.25 is required for good standing and for graduation. Letter grade values are set out below.
Letter Grade Values:
All students are reminded it is the faculty policy that examinations are to be taken on the day and at the time scheduled unless an individual is excused by emergency, illness, or involuntarily assumed obligations on the day of the examination. Students in the joint programs who find that they have another school's conflict AT THE TIME OF the examination in the law school should advise the office of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in advance of the examination period so that the conflict can be resolved. Every effort must be made to eliminate the conflict in the other school as law school exams are rescheduled only as a last resort.
Take-home exams are not considered to pose a conflict. If the exam conflict occurs in the first week, the make-up will be on the first make-up day. Likewise, exams which conflict during the second week are to be made up on the second make-up day. Any student with three 9 a.m. exams on three consecutive days is permitted to move the third 9 a.m. exam to the first make-up day AFTER the exam. When a student has two examinations within a 24-hour period, such as at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the same day, or at 2 p.m. and 9 a.m. the next day, he/she may postpone one exam to the next make-up day. While it is often the 2 p.m. exam that is rescheduled, these conflicts are all evaluated by the Office of Student Affairs and rescheduling is done to create the most efficient make-up exam schedule. All exam conflicts must be resolved with the consent of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Exams scheduled for the same time slots pose a conflict that will be resolved by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Make-up exams are never scheduled before the exam is administered on the scheduled date.
In the event of illness or emergency on the day of an examination, the student must contact the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to request deferral. Emergency exam deferrals are dealt with by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and the faculty concerned on a case-by-case basis. A student requesting deferral on the basis of illness will be required to provide a certificate from a physician to substantiate the request for deferral, normally justified only if the student is actually seeking and receiving medical care at the time of the exam. Make-up examinations for students ill on the day of the examination will be administered on the make-up day(s) as above.
Individual examination schedules will not be changed for any reason other than the foregoing. If the time of the examination is of importance to you in choosing your courses, please take that into consideration both at preregistration and at final registration.
Graduate Program Students
Any graduate programs student who was required to submit a TOEFL score for purposes of admission consideration will receive additional time on their examinations. If the TOEFL requirement was not required or was waived for a student—even if English is not their first language—that student will not receive additional time.
EMERGENCIES: If you are unable to take an exam due to severe illness or emergency, please contact Dean Brokaw at firstname.lastname@example.org BEFORE your scheduled exam time, or (if you are incapacitated) as soon thereafter as possible. Email is best. You can also call her office at 404-727-6809. If she is not available, leave a message; she will respond as soon as possible. You will have to document any medical situation. If you become incapacitated during an exam, that situation is resolved on a case by case basis with Dean Brokaw and the faculty member, so let Dean Brokaw know ASAP; do NOT just leave.
ELECTRONIC BLUEBOOK (“EBB”): If you are using your own laptop, be sure to get to the exam room at least 30 minutes before your exam begins, and start up your computer and exam software before the exam is distributed. For more detailed instructions AND TO UPDATE OR INSTALL EXAM SOFTWARE, see the Emory Law Information Technology webpage, accessible through http://law.emory.edu/about/administration/departments/information-technology.html. You must update the software to the newest version each semester.
COMPUTER PROBLEMS: If your computer fails, you may try one time to restart your computer. If it does restart and goes back into EBB, you will need the recovery password, which is “emory”. If you are unable to restart it, do not go look for your professor or a staff member. IMMEDIATELY START HANDWRITING from the point you left off in your typing, as you will not get extra time for computer problems. At the end of the exam, turn in your bluebooks to your professor or exam proctor, with a note saying that part of your answer needs to be retrieved from your computer, and take your laptop immediately to the IT staff at the helpdesk on the second floor of the library. If necessary, your partial answer will be retrieved from your hard drive and attached to your blue books.
USING SCHOOL COMPUTERS: If you need to use a school laptop because of problems with your own, please sign up for one in advance outside the Registrar Office. The computer lab will be in Room 5G. You should first go to the room listed on the schedule for your exam, get the exam, and tell your professor that you will be taking the exam in the computer lab in Room 5G. When you are finished, return to your original exam room and return ALL materials to the professor/proctor.
BLUEBOOKS: Handwriters will stay in the regular exam room. Please only take a bluebook from the exam supplies at the front of the room if/when you actually need one to write an answer. Do not use a bluebook for scratch paper, as white scratch paper will be provided in each classroom. Return unmarked, unused bluebooks to the front of the exam room for collection. All students may use earplugs, provided by the law school, if they wish.
TAKE-HOME EXAMS: Although you must use Electronic Blue Book for all timed, in-school exams, please be aware that if you use it for any offsite or overnight take-home exams you may have, you may not be able to exit and reenter an exam. This will effectively tie up your computer for the entire duration of the take-home exam, and IT cannot provide round-the-clock support for such use of exam software. Please consult with IT before using EBB for a take-home to make sure you understand how to manage that and if you do not use it, please, please, please, protect your work by backing it up frequently.
MAKE-UP EXAMS: If you have accepted a revised schedule that reschedules one or more of your exams to a make up day, we have removed your name from the exam roster for the regularly scheduled exam. As noted in make up exam e-mails, if the registrar staff has not heard otherwise from you, we assume you will take the exam(s) on the make up day and you no longer have the option to take it as originally scheduled. Please do not try to do so, as your name will have been removed from the exam roster and the professor may not have enough copies of the exam.
Professional Conduct Code Issues
BRINGING AUTHORIZED MATERIALS TO THE EXAM: On the day of the exam, it is YOUR responsibility to obtain and bring any authorized materials (outline, statute book, supplement, handouts, etc.) to the exam room. If you arrive for an exam and are not fully prepared with these materials, this is not grounds for delay or rescheduling of the exam. Students will not be permitted to share such materials unless the professor explicitly authorizes this in person. Print out permitted outlines or e-book materials.
ELECTRONIC DEVICES: The use of all electronic devices able to convey or receive information, including but not limited to cellphones, iPods, PDAs, pocket PCs or anything other than a laptop running approved exam software is prohibited during all in-class exams, unless your professor specifically instructs you otherwise. Laptops running approved exam software are allowed as provided in your professor's exam format and instructions. The prohibition does not apply to medical devices. During in-class exams, you should put away your electronics in a safe place like bookbag, backpack, etc. If you normally use your cellphone as a timekeeper, you will not be allowed to do that and should bring a watch or rely on the classroom clock. Failure to abide by these instructions may constitute a violation of the Professional Conduct Code.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF EXAM CONTENTS: Please remember that many students may be taking an exam on a make-up day. Discussing the content of any exam with someone who has not yet taken that exam (even seemingly informal comments such as “that was harder than I ever imagined” or “no surprises there”) may constitute the provision of unauthorized assistance and violate the Emory Law School Professional Conduct Code.
Make sure you return your exam questions to the exam proctor at the end of the exam WITH YOUR EXAM ID NUMBER ON THE EXAM. Failure to return the exam can result, at the professor’s discretion, in automatic failure of the exam and the entire course.
Juris Doctor Students
Emory University School of Law uses a letter grading system, with grades ranging from A+ to F. In the JD program, a student must make a grade of at least D- to receive credit for course. A student must repeat a required course in which that student has received a grade below D-. Once a student has received an exam, he or she must complete the exam. If a student does not submit any answers, that student will receive an automatic grade of F. Partial credit may be given if a student begins the exam but does not complete it.
When a student, without permission or a valid excuse, fails to appear for an examination or appears for an examination and fails to turn in the examination, that student will receive a course grade of F. Before the time indicated in the Academic Calendar for final examinations, a schedule of examinations will be published. Special scheduling or deferral of a final examination is permitted only when the cause is beyond the control of the student and only with approval of the Dean or Dean's designate. A grade of I (incomplete) is given to indicate an authorized deferral of examination or required course work. Required course work or deferred examination must be completed by the close of the term in which the course is next offered or grade of I (incomplete) will automatically be converted to a final grade of F. Examination papers are identified solely by randomly selected student examination numbers and not by student names. New numbers are issued each semester.
A mean of 3.30 is mandatory in every non-seminar class in which more than ten Emory JD students are taking the class for a grade, and no portion of a student’s grade is group-based. A mean of 3.30 is recommended in all excluded classes.
When a student, without permission or a valid excuse, fails to appear for an examination, or appears for an examination and fails to turn in the examination, they will receive a course grade of F. Before the time indicated on the Academic Calendar for final examinations, a schedule of examinations will be published. Special scheduling or deferral of a final examination is permitted only when the cause is beyond the control of the student and only with approval of the Dean or Dean's designate. A grade of I (incomplete) is given to indicate an authorized deferral of examination or required course work. Required course work or a deferred examination must be completed by the close of the term in which the course is next offered or the grade of I (incomplete) will automatically be converted to a final grade of F.
Examination papers are identified solely by randomly selected student examination numbers and not by student names. New numbers are issued each semester.
All students are reminded that it is faculty policy that examinations are to be taken on the day and at the time scheduled, unless an individual is excused by emergency, illness, or involuntarily assumed obligations on the day of the examination. Students in joint programs who find that they have a conflict with another school AT THE TIME OF THE EXAMINATION in the Law School should advise the office of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in advance of the examination period, so that the conflict can be resolved. Every effort must be made to eliminate the conflict in the other school, as law school exams are rescheduled only as a last resort.
If the exam conflict occurs during the first week of exams, the make-up will be on the first make-up day. Likewise, exams which conflict during the second week are to be made up on the second make-up day. Any student with three 9 a.m. exams on three consecutive days is permitted to move the third 9 a.m. exam to the first make-up day AFTER the exam. When a student has two examinations within a 24-hour period, such as at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the same day, or at 2 p.m. and 9 a.m. the next day, he/she may postpone one exam to the next make-up day. While it is often the 2 p.m. exam that is rescheduled, these conflicts are all evaluated by the Office of Student Affairs and rescheduling is done to create the most efficient make-up exam schedule. All exam conflicts should be raised with, and must be resolved with the consent of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Exams scheduled for the same time slot pose a conflict that will be resolved by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Make-up exams are never scheduled before the exam is administered on the scheduled date. Take-home exams are not considered to pose a conflict.
In the event of illness or emergency on the day of an examination, the student must contact the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to request deferral. Emergency exam deferrals are dealt with by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and the faculty concerned on a case-by-case basis. A STUDENT REQUESTING DEFERRAL ON THE BASIS OF ILLNESS WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A CERTIFICATE FROM A PHYSICIAN TO SUBSTANTIATE THE REQUEST FOR DEFERRAL, WHICH IS NORMALLY JUSTIFIED ONLY IF THE STUDENT IS ACTUALLY SEEKING AND GETTING MEDICAL CARE AT THE TIME OF THE EXAM. Make-up examinations for students ill on the day of the examination will be administered on the make-up day(s) as outlined above.
INDIVIDUAL EXAMINATION SCHEDULES WILL NOT BE CHANGED FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN THE FOREGOING. IF THE TIME OF THE EXAMINATION IS OF IMPORTANCE TO YOU IN CHOOSING YOUR COURSES, PLEASE TAKE THAT INTO CONSIDERATION BOTH AT PRE-REGISTRATION AND AT FINAL REGISTRATION.
Any Graduate Programs student who was required to submit a TOEFL score for purposes of admission consideration will receive additional time on their examinations. If the TOEFL requirement was not required or was waived for a student – even if English is not their first language – that student will not receive additional time.
If you have any questions or concerns, please see Jessica Dworkin.
Juris Doctor Students
JD students with a final cumulative average of 3.45 graduate with Honors.
JD students with a final cumulative average of 3.80 graduate with High Honors.
Transfer students are graduated with High Honors or Honors if their averages on work at Emory meet the above requirements.
Emory students transient elsewhere are eligible for graduation with High Honors or Honors if (1) their average for work done at Emory was 3.80/3.45 or above and (2) their average grade for work done while on transient status was at least a B or equivalent numerical grade.
The First Honor Graduate is the student in the graduating class with the highest overall academic average computed on all three years of work done at Emory (summer school attendance excluded).
Juris Master and Master of Laws Students
One LLM Leadership Award and one JM Leadership Award will be presented each year. These leadership awards will be given to an LLM and JM student who engages with the Law School community, exhibits leadership and concern for the well-being of students, and has done well academically.
Juris Doctor Students
Students in good standing may elect to withdraw between semesters after notifying the Emory Law registrar. Upon deciding to return to the law school, students must notify the law school registrar. Students must complete all degree requirements within seven years of the date of first matriculation into the JD program.
Juris Master, Master of Laws, and Doctor of Juridical Science Students
Students in good standing may elect to withdraw between semesters after notifying the Graduate Programs Office and the Emory Law Registrar. Upon deciding to return to the law school, students must notify the Graduate Programs Office and the Emory Law School Registrar.
Students in the JM program must complete all degree requirements within four years of the date of first matriculation into the program.
Students in the LLM program must complete all degree requirements within four years of the date of first matriculation into the program. (Students in the LLM program interested in sitting for a U.S. bar examination should consult the program completion and bar examination requirements for the state(s) in which they desire to sit for the bar examination. For example, as of 2013, LLM students desiring to sit for the New York Bar examination must complete all LLM degree requirements within two years of the first date of matriculation into the program.)
Students in the SJD program must complete all degree requirements within five years of the date of first matriculation in the program, unless an extension has been granted by the student’s dissertation committee and the Graduate Legal Studies Committee.
Readmission of students following withdrawal for medical reasons requires medical clearance designated by university health officials.
If, in the opinion of the Dean ("Dean" as used in this statement always refers to the Dean or Dean's designate) of the student's school or college, a student demonstrates evidence of an emotional disorder and has engaged in, or threatened to engage in, conduct that poses a threat to the mental, emotional, or physical well-being of self or others, or to property, and/or impedes the lawful activity of others, the student may be referred to the University Student Health Service for psychiatric evaluation. Refusal to obtain a psychiatric evaluation when properly requested to do so, or determination by the University Health Service that withdrawal would be in the best interest of the student and the university, shall be cause for involuntary withdrawal of the student from the university by the Dean. Withdrawal in such cases shall normally incur no academic penalty for the term in which the student is enrolled, and tuition refund, if any, shall be based on the schedule established for voluntary withdrawal. The Dean shall inform the student in writing of the effective date of the involuntary withdrawal, and shall explain, in writing, the procedure for application for readmission to Emory University. Application for readmission after withdrawal for psychiatric reasons will require evaluation by the university psychiatrist. Persons seeking readmission may choose to submit a written report from their own psychiatrists at their own expense. In no case shall readmission be granted after psychiatric withdrawal without the approval of the University Student Health Service.
Juris Master (JM) students are allowed to take a maximum of three online courses during their JM program, but must take Introduction to the American Legal System, Legal Analysis and Writing for Non-Lawyers, and at least one first-year foundational course prior to taking any online course. If a JM student is able to do so, he/she is strongly encouraged to take the on-campus offering of any course that is offered in both formats. A JM student seeking to take an online course must submit a request to the director of the JM program, explaining their reasons, for review and approval by the Vice Dean or his/her designee.
Master of Laws (LLM) students may enroll in online courses only in exceptional circumstances, and only during the summer. LLM students who wish to do so must submit a request to the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs, for review by the Assistant Dean, as well as the Vice Dean or his/her designee.
Juris Doctor Students
Students engaged in outside employment exceeding 12 hours per week (Monday–Friday) must file a statement of such employment on forms available outside the Emory Law Registrar's Office.
Juris Master, Master of Laws, and Doctor of Juridical Science Students
Full-time LLM and full-time JM students engaged in outside employment exceeding 12 hours per week (Monday - Friday) must file a statement of such employment using the form available outside the Emory Law Registrar’s office.
Juris Doctor Students
A student may elect to take a total of nine credit hours pass/fail out of the total credit hours required for graduation.
- Up to six credit hours (maximum) may be taken for law school courses.
- All courses taken from other Emory University schools and colleges are automatically designated pass/fail.
- Law courses designated by the professor as pass/fail do not count towards your total allowed pass/fail credit hours.
- The option to take a course pass/fail applies only to elective, upper-level courses and not to seminar classes.
- The option to take a course pass/fail is available only to students taking a full load of law school courses.
- Joint degree students are not allowed to take courses on a pass/fail basis.
- The minimum grade in the course necessary to receive a "pass" is a C.
A student electing to take a course pass/fail must notify the registrar by the end of the sixth week of classes. The deadline will be published in the law school Academic Calendar. The student may only elect to make this change in a course once. A student who has elected to take a course pass/fail may not subsequently change the grading status to a letter grade. No changes in grading status can be made after the deadline. If a student does not affirmatively elect to take a course on a pass/fail basis, it will be assumed that he or she has elected to take the course for a letter grade.
The pass/fail designation will remain confidential. That is, only the registrar will know the grading status of a student, so that grading can remain fully anonymous. The registrar will advise the course instructor by exam number which exams are pass/fail. The grading curve for the course will be based solely on the exams of those students taking the course for a grade.
Pass/fail submissions are handled in OPUS. If you do not see this option, contact the law school registrar.
A faculty member does not have the option to change the course designation of pass/fail.
JM, LLM, MCL, and SJD Students
Graduate students (JM, LLM, MCL, SJD) are not permitted to select the Pass/Fail option for any of their coursework, unless they are taking a non-law class (see below) or that is the predetermined grading scheme for all students in a particular course.
Students register at the beginning of each term according to the schedule in the Academic Calendar. Beginning students must have submitted final official transcripts before the end of the fall semester in order to be permitted to register for spring semester. In cases where late registration is permitted, students pay a late registration fee of $50. Except in unusual circumstances, students are not permitted to register after seven calendar days from the beginning of classes.
Students may carry no fewer than ten nor more than eighteen semester hours during the fall or spring terms.
Eight calendar days after the beginning of a term, students are not permitted to add courses to their schedules. Beyond eight calendar days after the beginning of a term, a student may withdraw from a course only with the permission of the instructor and approval from the Dean or the Dean's designate.
JD degree requirements must be completed within seven years of entrance.
A student may audit a course with approval from the instructor. The class hours involved in auditing a course are counted towards the maximum allowable load. The tuition charge for an audit is the same as for credit courses. Courses audited may not be used for credit by examination, nor may audit courses be converted into credit courses after the time for approved course changes. Applicants are not enrolled in classes nor considered students of the university until all tuition, fees, and charges have been paid or satisfactory arrangements for installment payments have been made with the university bursar.
JD students must enroll for six semesters with a minimum of 10 hours each semester. However, to be considered full-time, students must enroll for at least 12 hours each semester.
Students are expected to be aware of and abide by specific policies formulated by Emory University concerning confidentiality, discrimination and harassment, and sexual assault. What follows is a brief summary; the full statements of these policies, as well as those of other university policies, are published annually in the Campus Life Handbook.
Emory University recognizes the student's right of privacy and is committed to protecting students from improper disclosure of private information. Regarding the confidentiality of the information which becomes a part of the student's permanent records and the conditions of its disclosure, the university has adopted a policy that reflects a reasonable balance between its obligations for the protection of the rights and privacy of the students and its responsibility to society.
It is the policy of Emory University that all employees and students should be able to enjoy and work in an educational environment free from discriminatory harassment. Harassment of any person or group of persons on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran's status is a form of discrimination specifically prohibited in the Emory University community. Any employee, student, student organization, or person privileged to work or study in the Emory University community who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including permanent exclusion from the university. The scholarly, educational, or artistic content of any written, oral, or other presentation or inquiry shall not be limited by this policy. The preceding provision is liberally construed with the intent that academic freedom shall be allowed to all members of the academic community; however, this provision shall not be used as a pretextual basis for violation of the policy.
The Emory University community expects all of its members to treat other persons with respect and dignity and will not tolerate any form of sexual assault. Sexual activity should be explicitly agreed upon by both parties. The university shall proceed with disciplinary and/or remedial actions as needed when it appears that the university’s prohibition against any form of sexual abuse has been violated. A student charged with sexual assault may be disciplined under the university's code of student conduct as prosecuted under Georgia's criminal statutes. The university also has in place procedures to provide emotional and medical support to a victim of sexual assault within the Emory community.
Requirements for admission to practice law vary from state to state. Some states require registration of beginning law students. Before entering any law school, a student should obtain information from the office of the examining authority concerning specific admissions requirements for the state in which the student intends to practice law.
The juris master degree does not quality students to sit for any state bar examination.
A. Reporting a Complaint
Emory Law School wishes to hear any student concerns about significant problems that directly implicate the school’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA’s Accreditation Standards. Any student having such a concern should submit it in writing to the Assistant Dean of Academic Engagement.
B. Resolving the Complaint
When a formal written complaint has been made in accordance with section A, the Assistant Dean for Academic Engagement shall investigate as soon as possible, but in no event later than 20 business days after the filing of the written complaint with the Assistant Dean for Academic Engagement. The Assistant Dean for Academic Engagement shall attempt to resolve the complaint, if possible, within the 20 business day period. If resolution is not possible, the Assistant Dean for Academic Engagement may refer the matter to the appropriate administrator, administrative body, or an administrative official designated by the Dean (the “Dean’s designate”).If the complaint is about the Assistant Dean for Academic Engagement, it should be made directly to the Associate Dean for Student Services.
If referral of the complaint is made as referenced above, the administrator, administrative body or Dean’s designate shall attempt to resolve the complaint as soon as possible, but in no event later than 20 business days after referral by the Assistant Dean for Academic Engagement.
Upon completing the investigation of the complaint, the Law School shall communicate its findings and, if appropriate, its intended actions to the complainant. If the complaint is about the Assistant Dean for Academic Engagement, it should be made directly to the Vice Dean.
C. Appeal Process
If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome or resolution, that individual has the right to appeal the decision. The complainant should submit his/her written comments in a timely manner to the Dean of the Law School, but in no case more than two weeks after communication to the complainant of the findings of the investigation. The Dean’s decision shall be communicated to the complainant and the investigator(s) within 20 business days and shall be final.
D. Maintaining a Written Record of the Complaint
The Law School shall maintain a complete written record of each complaint and how it was investigated and resolved. Written records shall be maintained in a confidential manner in the Office of the Assistant Dean for Academic Engagement.
E. Protection Against Retaliation
The Law School will not in any way retaliate against an individual who makes a complaint under this section, nor permit any faculty member, administrator, employee or student to do so.
F. Not Exclusive Complaint Policy or Procedure
Please note that Emory University’s policies, which apply to Emory Law, contain separate sections pertaining specifically to harassment complaints. Other student complaints may fall within the parameters of Emory Law’s Professional Conduct Code. Jurisdiction over any student complaint is not exclusive to any single, or combination of, Emory Law or Emory University policies. Any student at Emory Law may consult with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to determine which process or processes may apply to a given situation.
As a condition of admission and continuation, each student at Emory Law agrees to abide by the rules, regulations, practices, and policies of the university as they exist at the time of admission and as they may be changed during the student's continuation. Each student also agrees to pay all fines, penalties, assessments, and charges made by university authority for violations of rules or regulations, including campus parking, traffic, and safety regulations. Such charges, if not paid, will be added to the student's financial accounts with the university and dealt with on the same basis as unpaid tuition or rent charges.
Student conduct and misconduct proceedings are dealt with under the law school professional conduct code. A copy of this code is furnished to all students. The code promotes an intellectual and educational environment throughout the university community in which all members have maximum opportunities to attain their educational objectives. As a professional school, the law school is also interested in the character and fitness of its students for participation in the legal profession. The code also provides a measure of protection for the activity, safety, welfare, and property of all members of the university community and of the university itself. Fair treatment is assured to those charged with code violations. All law students are members of the university community and are presumed to know that
- the requirements of student conduct expressed and implied in the code are in effect and applicable to all law students;
- each student is individually responsible for violations of these requirements;
- continuation as law students is conditioned on compliance with these requirements;
- violations of these requirements will meet with appropriate sanctions; and
- as student members of the university community, law students are subject to the jurisdiction of its officers, agencies, and authorities with respect to any violation of professional conduct code requirements.
- The summer program must be run by an ABA accredited law school. A list of the American Bar Association's "Foreign Summer Programs" can be found by clicking here »
- Students can take up to eight credits during the summer or up to 16 during the semester at one of our exchange programs. Courses must be approved in advance by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
- You cannot earn credit for courses taken on a pass/fail basis.
- You do earn credit for any courses for which you receive grades of C or higher (not C-).
- Credits you earn count toward the 90 credits required for Emory graduation.
- Grades appear as "pass" on your Emory Law transcript and do NOT count toward your GPA.
- Emory scholarships do not transfer to a study abroad program except for our exchange programs. Contact your Financial Aid officer to determine whether you can obtain loan funding and how much you can obtain.
- In general, all law students must complete six semesters of residence at the law school (you are in residence if you are enrolled at Emory for at least 10 credits). However, students may "tack" together two summers of at least five credits to take the place of one semester of residency at the law school, reducing the residency requirement to five semesters.
Summer School Attendance
Students considering summer school should confer with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs prior to attending to ensure that the credits earned at another ABA-AALS accredited law school will be transferable to their Emory record.
- First-year students with a cumulative average below 2.25 at the close of the fall semester are not permitted to attend summer school at another law school without the prior permission of the Academic Standings Committee.
- Upper-level students with a cumulative average below 2.25 at the close of the spring semester are not permitted to attend summer school at another law school without the prior permission of the Academic Standings Committee.
- The law school attended must be accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member of the Association of American Law Schools.
- The law school attended must give its own degree students academic credit for the courses or programs undertaken (see IV for clinical courses).
- The courses taken must not be duplicative or substantially duplicative of courses taken at Emory.
- Grades of C or better (not C-) must be received in the courses undertaken. Courses graded pass/fail will not be accepted for transfer credit. Official transcripts of grades must be submitted to the law school registrar as soon as they are available. Providing that the requirements set forth above are met, hours taken at another ABA-AALS accredited law school will be entered on the Emory record as grades of "satisfactory." Quarter hours are converted to semester hours at a ratio of 3:2. Grades earned at other law schools CANNOT be factored into a student's Emory average.
Only the faculty may make exceptions to this foregoing rule.
The Board of Trustees of Emory University has adopted a statement of policy dealing with university-student relationships, a digest of which follows.
- Emory University was founded on Christian principles by the Methodist and proudly continues its church relationship as an agency dedicated to seeking and imparting truth.
- Emory University admits qualified students of any sex, race, religion, color, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, or veteran status to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Emory University. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, handicap, or veteran status in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic programs, and Emory University–administered programs.
- Attendance at Emory University is a privilege and not a right. However, no student will be dismissed except in accordance with prescribed procedures. Students applying for admission do so voluntarily and are free to withdraw at their pleasure, subject to compliance with the regulations of their school or college governing withdrawal and to the fulfillment of their financial obligation to the university.
- Upon matriculation at Emory, each student agrees to be bound by the rules, policies, procedures, and administrative regulations as the regulations exist the time of admission and as the regulations may be changed by proper authority.
- By admission as a student at Emory University, a person acquires the right to pursue the course of study to which he or she is admitted and to be treated with the dignity appropriate to an adult person in all matters relating to the university. In the same spirit, the student shall comply with the rules and regulations of Emory University.
- Students will be provided the opportunity to participate in the development of rules and procedures pertaining to university affairs to the extent that such participation and the results thereof, as determined by the board of trustees or its designated agent, are consistent with orderly processes and with the policies and administrative responsibilities of the board of trustees and the administration.
- The university expects students to conduct themselves with dignity, courtesy, responsibility, integrity, and with due respect for the rights of others, realizing that sobriety and morality are not only characteristics of a mature responsible person, but are also essential to the maintenance of a free and orderly society.
- Membership in and rules governing admission to student organizations shall be determined by the organizations themselves, and such rules are not required to be uniform so long as these rules do not contravene any policy established by the board of trustees.
Emory University is an educational institution, not a vehicle for political or social action. It endorses the right of dissent and protects and encourages reasonable exercise of this right by individuals within the university. Because the right of dissent is subject to abuse, the board of trustees and the president have published a statement to clarify policy concerning such abuse, a digest of which follows.
- Individuals associated with Emory represent a variety of viewpoints. The university fosters the free expression and interchange of differing views through oral and written discourse and logical persuasion.
- Dissent, to be acceptable, must be orderly and peaceful and represent constructive alternatives reasonably presented.
- Coercion, threats, demands, obscenity, vulgarity, obstructionism, and violence are not acceptable.
- Demonstrations, marches, sit-ins, or noisy protests that are designed to or do disrupt normal institutional pursuits will not be permitted.
- Classes and routine operations will not be suspended except for reasonable causes as determined by the president.
- Administrators, faculty and other employees, and students are expected to abide by these standards of conduct in promoting their views, particularly dissent.
- Persons who are not so inclined should not become associated with Emory nor continue to be associated with Emory.
- Academic and administrative procedures will protect individuals in the right of free expression and provide for prompt and appropriate action against those individuals who abuse such rights.
All students operating motor vehicles on Emory's campus must register with the Parking Office prior to operating the vehicle on campus. Motorcycles and other two-wheeled motor vehicles require no registration but must be operated and parked in accordance with the university's parking rules and regulations.