2015-2016 Student Guidebook and Frequently Asked Questions
2016 MSLAW Student Survey (required for all students – this survey is mandatory and must be filled out by ALL MSLAW students. It may be returned to the Financial Aid office either in person or via email.)
Massachusetts School of Law (MSLAW) provides equality of opportunity in legal education for all persons, including those involved in the recruitment and admissions processes; those enrolled as students; those who have graduated; those employed by the school; those undergoing any type of evaluation as an employee, prospective student, student, or graduate; those involved in any disciplinary process or matter, whether as a prospective student, student, graduate or employee; and those seeking any type of advancement, whether as a prospective student, student, graduate or employee. In these regards, MSLAW will not discriminate or segregate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
LEAVES OF ABSENCE/WITHDRAWALS
Requests for a one semester leave of absence are only granted for substantial medical reasons or other extraordinary personal circumstances. The student is to submit the written request and appropriate documentation to the Registrar’s office.
Students who do not return after a one semester leave of absence are withdrawn unless the student petitions and receives an additional semester leave of absence.
If a student cannot complete a semester for any other reason, the student should withdraw from classes by filing a notice of withdrawal with the Registrar’s office. After the first 5 weeks of classes during the Fall or Spring semester, or after the first week of classes during a Summer session, the student must petition to withdraw in order to avoid academic penalties. The student may then submit a petition to the Admissions Committee requesting to be allowed to return when he or she is ready to return.
If the student requesting a leave of absence is a first-semester student, and therefore has not received any grades, he or she may petition to return the following semester. However, the student will need to reapply if the student is out of school more than one semester.
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.
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:
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:
“Perhaps most important, we need to keep saying to anyone out there who has ever been assaulted: you are not alone. We have your back. I’ve got your back.” President Barack Obama, January 22, 2014
NOTALONE.gov – Together Against Sexual Assault
REGULATIONS GOVERNING STUDENTS
The Massachusetts School of Law requires each student to comply with the following regulations:
VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION
Any person of 18 years of age or older can register on-line at www.registertovote.org
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.
Massachusetts School of Law's mission is to provide an academically rigorous affordable legal education emphasizing ethics, advocacy, leadership, and professional skills. MSLAW provides an accessible and affordable legal education to tomorrow’s leaders in law, business, and technology who seek to contribute to their communities as advocates, lawyers, and leaders. Lawyers have substantial influence in our society and MSLAW prepares its graduates to use that power to help their clients and obtain the societal advancement that a law degree has traditionally provided.
To accomplish its mission, Massachusetts School of Law brings together a diverse group of scholars, judges, expert practitioners and other professionals to provide individuals from all backgrounds a rigorous, professionally advantageous, affordable legal education so that they can improve their lives and better serve their communities.