Under College of Law policy and consistent with ABA Standards, the College of Law requires regular and punctual class attendance. Attendance will be taken in all classes.
Amended by Faculty vote on August 4, 2016.
Minimum Attendance Threshold
Under College of Law policy, in all courses, students must attend at least 80% of class sessions. However, in counting absences for purposes of this minimum attendance rule, absences based upon observance of a religious holy day or on call for active military service will not be counted.
“Attendance” refers to attending the entire class session. A faculty member may treat a tardy, or an early departure, or leaving and returning to class, as equivalent to an absence or a fractional part of an absence, provided that notice of the practice is provided to students during the first week of class.
If a student accumulates greater than the allowed number of absences, the student will be withdrawn from the course.
Students may seek an exception to or waiver of the minimum attendance threshold by submitting a request in writing to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean may allow a waiver only after consultation with the course instructor and only for compelling and unusual circumstances.
If an absence qualifies as an "excused absence" and the reason for the absence prevents completion of assignments or work, the instructor will provide a reasonable time after the absence for the student to complete the work or assignment. Note: An excused absence will still count towards the minimum attendance rule, unless the absence fits in Category 1 or 2 and is addressed in accordance with UNT Dallas College of Law Policy on Student Attendance.
The categories of excused absences are the following:
- To observe a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose;
- To respond to a call for active military service;
- To participate in an official COL function (including competitions such as mock trial or negotiation competitions, and court appearances required for clinic); or
- Illness or other extenuating circumstances, such as death in the family requiring travel or absence.
- A student's absence for pregnancy or childbirth as long as the student's doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary. (for more detail on pregnancy or childbirth, see section below.)
Please note that work-related travel is not the basis for an excused absence.
To obtain an excused absence, a student must complete the Excused Absence Request Form and email it to the professor. Students also will need to provide appropriate documentation of the basis for the absence. Because students ordinarily will know in advance about the need for absences in the first three categories, they should submit an excused absence form in advance of such absences. In cases of illness or extenuating circumstances, when it is not possible to submit an excused absence form in advance, students still need to complete an excused absence form and email it to the professor as soon as practical.
If a student has a disability that he or she anticipates will affect class attendance, the student should feel free to consult the College of Law's disability accommodation policies and/or speak to the Assistant Dean of Students about Disability Accommodation.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
An absence is excused when it is due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student's doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary. When the student returns to school, she will be reinstated to the status she held when the leave began, which includes giving her opportunity to make up any work missed. The College of Law may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester, or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date, especially after longer periods of leave. The student should be allowed to choose how to make up the work.
The policies and practices of individual professors may not discriminate against pregnant students. For example, a professor may not refuse to allow a student to submit work after a deadline that she missed because of absences due to pregnancy or childbirth. Additionally, if the professor's grading is based in part on class attendance or participation, the student should be allowed to earn credits she missed so that she can be reinstated to the status she had before the leave.