Institutional Policies

2013-2014 Student Guidebook and Frequently Asked Questions

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

Massachusetts School of Law provides equality of opportunity in legal education for all persons including applicants for admission, enrolled students, and graduates, without discrimination or segregation on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap, disability, or sexual orientation.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE

Leaves of absence will be granted with the permission of the Admissions Committee and only in extraordinary circumstances. Each request for a leave of absence must be submitted in writing to the Registrar, no later than two weeks prior to the beginning of classes for the semester in which the leave is sought.

ADD/DROP POLICY AND PROCEDURE

Courses may be dropped without academic penalty during the first five weeks of a regular semester and during the first week of a summer semester. After that, a student who fails to complete a course will receive a failing grade or, with the prior permission of the Dean, an incomplete. Courses may be added during the first week of classes. After the first week, a student must receive the permission of the Dean to add any course. A course in which an incomplete is obtained during a regular or summer semester must be completed by the end of the next regular semester in which it is given or the student will receive a failing grade.

STUDENT GRIEVANCES

The overwhelming majority of student grievances received by MSLAW’s administration fall into three general categories: requests for tuition refunds after the time for a refund has elapsed, requests for changes in grades, and disciplinary complaints. With respect to tuition refunds and changes in grades, MSLAW’s policies and procedures are stated in the catalog. With respect to disciplinary matters arising under the rules and regulations printed at the end of this catalog, MSLAW follows procedures that are available to all students in published form. MSLAW occasionally receives grievances from students concerning other school related matters, such as parking, school cancellations due to inclement weather, or noise in the portion of the library where students are allowed to talk quietly. MSLAW prefers to address and resolve these issues informally. It therefore encourages its students to speak informally to MSLAW s Dean, Associate Dean, or Assistant Dean about such matters, and the official spoken to will informally take steps he deems necessary, if any. If a student wishes to state a grievance formally, then the student shall submit a signed statement to the Dean, detailing the student’s concerns. The Dean may then take whatever action, if any, he deems necessary to address the grievance.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY

The Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program applies to all students and all employees. The unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol are strictly prohibited at Massachusetts School of Law. Students and employees not complying with this standard will be subject to institutional sanctions. For a complete list of institutional sanctions and health risks associated with the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, please ask the Office of Financial Aid.

Drug and Alcohol Counseling:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – 800.234.0420
  • Center for Addictive Behaviors – 800.334.5512

CAMPUS LAW ENFORCEMENT MSLAW

Massachusetts School of Law campus is open to the public. Our hours are M-F 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Because the building is open to the public, it is very important to keep all valuables within sight. MSLAW is not responsible for any items lost or stolen. We consider the grounds to be safe.

However, you must always be aware of your surroundings. Campus law enforcement is provided by preventive security personnel. They patrol the grounds evening hours on days when MSLAW is open. They do not possess the authority to arrest; however, they do work closely with the Andover Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police. We encourage all students to work with school officials, campus law enforcement and appropriate police agencies to ensure accurate and prompt reporting of any improper action.

If you witness a crime or another emergency arises, call 911 immediately. All criminal and immoral actions should be reported to the Associate Dean, Michael L. Coyne, or the security officer on the premises. For more information regarding campus crime rates, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

POLICY AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The Massachusetts School of Law takes the firmest possible stand against sexual harassment of its students and staff. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination and violates both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Massachusetts General Laws ch. 151B. The school’s written policy is available for inspection. For more details, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

The term “sexual assault” refers to rape or sexual intercourse against one’s will, or any unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature. An assault can happen anywhere:

  • You may know your assailant well, or your assailant may be someone you have never met or seen before.
  • If you are sexually assaulted, get to safe place immediately. If an assault occurs at MSLAW, notify any staff member or full professor and immediately telephone the Andover Police at 978.470.3766; they are trained to preserve evidence for the proof of a criminal offense. Do this even if you do not know if you will press charges.
  • A sexual assault is a criminal offense. The investigation of all assaults will be conducted by the Andover Police Department. If the assault occurred outside of Andover, notify the police department of the jurisdiction in which the assault took place. The assault need not take place at MSLAW or in Andover to receive counseling referrals or other support from MSLAW.
  • A few of the nearby counseling centers are the following: Family Services Inc. 978.683.9505 Victim/Witness Assistance 978.683.4300 Merrimack Valley Legal Service 978.687.1177 If you need help notifying the local police departments, hospitals or other family members, MSLAW’s staff is available.
  • If the assailant is an MSLAW student, staff or faculty member who sexually assaults another MSLAW student, staff or faculty member and is found guilty of charges associated with this sexual assault, he or she will be expelled or terminated. Because of the nature of this crime, if the victim requests, in writing, a leave of absence or change in his or her academic schedule while the investigation or trial or both are on-going, MSLAW will accommodate these requests as long as these requests do not violate the accused assailant’s rights.
  • The victim must formally request, in writing, that MSLAW should proceed under rule number nine of its code of conduct. This rule states the following: Students must not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate among them those who do. Nor shall any student engage in conduct inconsistent with being a student of law.

REGULATIONS GOVERNING STUDENTS

The Massachusetts School of Law requires each student to comply with the following regulations:

  1. Special programs of study, not prescribed by the faculty, must be approved in advance of registration by the Dean or a faculty committee designated for this purpose.
  2. Students are expected to perform all work assigned.
  3. Unless he or she has received prior permission from the Dean, no student may omit an examination scheduled for his or her program of study.
  4. Unless the instructor grants an extension of time for good cause, any paper or other project required for a final grade in a course must be submitted no later than the end of the examination period for the semester in which such course is taken.
  5. A student whose overall grade-point average falls below a two-point average will be placed on academic probation for the next semester. If the student does not attain a two-point or better overall average at the end of that probationary semester, the student will not be able to return to school thereafter. In addition, any student who receives a total of two or more “F” grades during his or her career at MSLAW is automatically expelled from school.
  6. A student who attends school upon special conditions must fulfill those conditions in order to remain in school.
  7. A student expelled from school for academic reasons or for failing to meet special conditions of admission can petition for reconsideration. Reconsideration will not be granted, however, in the absence of extraordinary mitigating circumstances.
  8. A student may be dismissed for defacing, concealing, or absconding with any library book.
  9. Students must not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate among them those who do. Nor shall any student engage in conduct inconsistent with being a student of law. Conduct inconsistent with being a student of law includes violation of rules and regulations of the Law School, illegal activity involving moral turpitude, activity involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, or any other conduct which reflects adversely on the student’s fitness to practice law.
  • Any student aware of conduct violating any provision of these regulations is obligated to report such conduct to the Dean.
  • A student accused of a violation of these regulations has a right to notice and a hearing before a disciplinary committee, where he or she can present evidence and argument, can confront his or her accusers, and can be questioned.
  • Penalties for a violation of these regulations can range from censure to expulsion from school.

Massachusetts School of Law reserves the right to change the schedule of classes, the program of instruction, the courses required for graduation, and any rule or regulation established for the governance of the school or its student body. Any such change may be made applicable to students who are already enrolled.


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