Non-Discrimination Policy 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 If a student withdraws from the law school and wishes to return in a future semester they must petition the admissions committee for readmission. Petitions for readmission are not guaranteed approval and all petitions for readmission are considered on an individual basis. Further, if a petition for readmission is granted, there is no guarantee that the school will allow the returning student to retain credits that were earned prior to the withdrawal and the school may require students to retake certain courses. When considering a request for readmission, the committee will seriously consider inter alia, the amount of time that has elapsed since the student was matriculated and the grades the student received while they were here. Students are limited to one (1) petition for readmission per academic semester. Online Courses Students on Academic Probation are not permitted to take any on-line courses and no student may take more than one (1) on-line course in a semester. Due to COVID-19, this policy has been amended for Fall 2020 to accommodate safety and distance recommendations. 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. Student ComplaintsComplaint Form 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 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. Disaster Recovery In the event of institutional closure, MSLAW will, at a minimum, observe the procedures stated in the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) document entitled, “Considerations When Closing an Institution of Higher Education”, as well as the closure guidelines of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education for Independent schools, including the identification of another entity to preserve and safeguard student records so that those records will be available for students to obtain. Information for students and potential students about obtaining records from closed institutions can be found on the websites of the Massachusetts Departmentof Higher Education and NECHE. In the event that MSLAW decides to discontinue its program before all enrolled students have completed their program of study, MSLAW will implement a teach-out plan in accordance with the requirements of its accreditor, NECHE. NEASC’s policy on Teach-Out Plans and Teach-Out Agreement (PDF) The IT Disaster Recovery Plan for the MSLAW sets the direction and priorities on how the MSLAW IT team will proactively protect MSLAW IT assets prior to a disaster; how best to operate during and after a disaster and how best to protect the mission critical services that will provide MSLAW with the best chance of moving forward as quickly and successfully as possible. MSLAW creates and manages large volumes of electronic information and data. Those records are vital to the continued operation of the business during a disaster. The impact of data loss or corruption from hardware failure, human error, hacking or malware could be significant. A plan for data backup and restoration of electronic information is essential. The MSLAW IT Infrastructure Team including its Infrastructure Emergency Response Team (IERT) is the group that supports this plan. For more information, visit mslaw.edu/disaster-recovery.