2.1 PREAMBLE

2.1.1 The establishment and maintenance of the proper relationship between instructor and student are fundamental to the College’s function and require both instructor and student to recognize the rights and responsibilities that derive from that relationship. The relationship between instructor and student should be founded on mutual respect and understanding together with shared dedication to the educational process.

2.2. ROLE OF THE FACULTY IN THE INSTRUCTIONAL PROCESS

2.2.1 No provision for the rights of law students can be valid that suspends the rights of the faculty. The law student’s right to competent instruction must be reconciled with the rights of the faculty, consistent with the principle that the competency of a professional can be rightly judged only by professionals. It is, therefore, acknowledged and mandated that competence of instruction shall be judged by the faculty.

2.2.1.1 Grades assigned by law faculty may be challenged or changed only in accordance with the Grade Change Policy in the Michigan State University College of Law Student Handbook (http://www.law.msu.edu/engagement/handbook/grade-change-policy.html).

2.2.2 The College of Law shall provide clearly defined channels for the receipt and consideration of law student complaints concerning instruction. In no instance shall a dispute concerning the competence of instruction form the basis for a grievance under this document.

2.2.3 Faculty shall have authority and responsibility for academic policy and practices in areas such as degree eligibility and requirements, course content and grading, classroom procedure, and standards of professional behavior in accordance with the Bylaws for Academic Governance (http://www.law.msu.edu/faculty_staff/GovBylawsAmend.pdf), the College of Law Faculty Handbook, and other documents on faculty rights and responsibilities.

2.2.3.1 It shall be the responsibility of the faculty of the College of Law to establish and disseminate academic and professional requirements and the methods for evaluating student performance in their classes.

2.2.4 No hearing board established under this document shall direct a change in the evaluation of a law student that represents a course instructor’s or instructional committee’s good faith judgment about the law student’s academic performance. In the event that the College of Law, in conformance with the Michigan State University College of Law Faculty Handbook, determines based on clear and convincing evidence that an evaluation was based on factors other than good faith judgment about the law student’s academic performance, the Dean of the College of Law shall direct that the student’s performance be reassessed and that a good faith evaluation be conducted pursuant to the Michigan State University College of Law Faculty Handbook. Recognizing that such a re-evaluation cannot replicate original assessment conditions and context, any remedy available under this section shall be limited to evaluating the student’s performance under a pass/fail or credit/no-credit standard. In no circumstance shall any grade entered by a College of Law faculty member be changed to a different grade.

2.3 LAW STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

2.3.1 In all areas of legal education, the College of Law shall comply with the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy and all other University policies.

2.3.2 The law student has a right to accurate, timely, and clearly written information concerning general academic requirements for establishing and maintaining an acceptable academic standing, the law student’s academic relationship with the University and College of Law, and any special academic conditions that may apply to the law student. Requirements for the student’s academic program and written academic regulations, including codes of professional behavior, shall be made known to the law student by the College of Law at the time of the law student’s enrollment, although such codes and regulations may, from time to time, be updated and amended and applicable in such a manner and at such a time as the faculty assembled in good faith shall determine to be necessary. Law students are responsible for informing themselves of University and College of Law requirements stated in College of Law publications and in the University catalog. In planning to meet such requirements, students are responsible for consulting with the Assistant or Associate Dean for Student Engagement (or designee of such Dean).

2.3.3 The law student has a right to seek advice from the student’s instructors, or the Assistant or Associate Dean of Student Engagement (or a designee of such dean), concerning program planning, research, professional expectations, selection of courses and professors, and general degree requirements. See Michigan State University College of Law Student Handbook (http://www.law.msu.edu/engagement/handbook/course-selection.html).

2.3.4 The College of Law shall maintain records for law students, specifying and/or containing degree requirements, course waivers and substitutions, program changes, and other stipulations directly affecting their degree programs. Law students shall be provided access to and a copy of these records upon request.

2.3.5 Subject to Section 2.2, the law student shall be free to take respectful and reasoned exception to information and views offered in instructional contexts and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, without penalty or reprisal.

2.3.6 Law students and faculty share responsibility for maintaining classroom decorum and a collegial atmosphere that promotes teaching and learning.

2.3.7 Each law student shares with the faculty responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, client representation, and professional standards.

2.3.8 The law student is responsible for learning the content of a course of study according to standards of performance established by the faculty. The law student is also responsible for adhering to standards of professional behavior established by the College of Law.

2.3.9 The law student has a right to academic evaluations that represent good faith judgments of academic performance by course instructors. Course grades shall represent the instructor’s or instructors’ professional evaluation of the law student’s academic performance, including compliance with professional standards. Instructors shall comply with the University Code of Teaching Responsibility. (See also The Code of Teaching Responsibility.)

2.3.10 Faculty, academic staff, and support staff must respect the privacy of information concerning the law student’s academic performance and the law student’s values, beliefs, organizational affiliations, and health. (See also Article 3, infra.)

2.3.11 Law students and faculty members share responsibility for maintaining professional relationships based on mutual trust and civility.

2.3.12 Faculty, academic staff, and support staff may not exploit law students. “Exploit” means to make a selfish, corrupt, or unethical use of the labor, time, or talents of a student. There is no prohibition of the ordinary and ethical use of student talents for the benefit of students’ professional development and for the advancement of knowledge. Professors should always give students appropriate and fair credit for their individual work and assure that their work as a research assistant is compensated fully. Law students shall receive recognition for scholarly assistance to faculty.

2.3.13 The law student has the right to refuse to participate in any research being conducted by faculty without penalty or reprisal.

2.3.14 The law student has a right to have his/her grievance/complaint arising under the LSRR adjudicated in accordance with the procedures established in this document and in the Academic Hearing Procedures for Michigan State University College of Law.

2.3.15 Subject to Section 1.6, the law student subject to disciplinary action for alleged unprofessional behavior has a right to an explanation from the appropriate College of Law faculty member, instructor, supervisor, or administrator regarding the allegation, including how the judgment of unprofessional behavior was made, and the right to appeal.

2.4 ACADEMIC PROGRAMMING

2.4.1 College Level

2.4.1.1 Code of Professional Standards. Law students shall abide by the professional and educational standards and all regulations provided in the Michigan State University College of Law Student Handbook (http://www.law.msu.edu/students/student-handbook.html). This statement of Law Student Rights and Responsibilities shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with and for the purpose of inculcating the standards of conduct, ethics, and professionalism applicable to attorneys and the legal community, in particular with College of Law satisfaction of all requirements relating to American Bar Association and Association of American Law Schools accreditation.

2.4.1.2 Evaluation. The College of Law shall evaluate law students’ academic progress, performance, and professional potential.

2.4.1.2.1 When a law student’s progress or performance is unsatisfactory, the College of Law shall so notify the student in writing in a timely manner, and a copy of that notice shall be placed in the student’s file.

2.4.1.3 The College of Law shall make reasonable efforts to identify those students who have problems with academic performance, including compliance with professional standards, and when appropriate, to provide opportunities for remediation and/or improvement.

2.4.1.4 Removal. The College of Law shall protect clients and the general public from unprofessional conduct and from performance that falls below minimally acceptable professional standards of care and rules of professional ethics on the part of its students. In urgent cases, the College of Law must remove from client contact any student who has been found by the student’s instructor or supervising attorney to have engaged in unprofessional conduct that presents a significant possibility of immediate harm to clients or to the general public. In cases not presenting an immediate threat of harm to clients or to the general public, the instructor or supervising attorney shall have discretion to exercise professional judgment regarding whether removal is necessary or whether to provide the student with opportunities for remediation and/or improvement.

2.4.1.5 Dismissals and Withdrawals. The College of Law shall establish criteria for the dismissal or withdrawal of law students enrolled in its law programs. Such criteria shall be published and made available to law students at the time they begin their law programs. See Michigan State University College of Law Student Handbook (http://www.law.msu.edu/students/student-handbook.html). Should a decision to dismiss a law student be made by the Dean of the College of Law, the affected law student shall be so notified in writing in a timely manner, and the law student may request a review for reinstatement in accordance with the College of Law Probation-Dismissal procedures (http://www.law.msu.edu/engagement/handbook/probation.html). All information regarding the decision to dismiss is confidential and shall only be shared in accordance with College and University policies governing the release of student records.

2.4.1.5.1 The College of Law shall deal expeditiously with all academic dismissals, disciplinary dismissals, suspensions, appeals, and grievances.

2.4.2 Joint Law/Graduate Program Students and Visiting Students

2.4.2.1 Joint law/graduate program students and visiting students are responsible at the time they are enrolled in each program to review applicable University and College of Law requirements.

2.4.2.2 This document governs rights and responsibilities related to the law program of a joint law/graduate program student. The Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities document (“GSRR”) or the Medical Student Rights and Responsibilities document (“MSRR”), in cases involving joint programs for medical students, governs rights and responsibilities related to the graduate program of a joint law/graduate program student. The GSRR is available at http://splife.studentlife.msu.edu/graduate-student-rights-and-responsibilities; the MSRR is available at http://splife.studentlife.msu.edu/medical-student-rights-and-responsibilites-mssr.

2.4.2.3 Complaints/grievances arising from the application of this document or of the GSRR (or, in appropriate cases, the MSRR) to a student enrolled in College of Law courses shall be referred to the appropriate hearing board. The Dean of the Graduate School will determine the hearing board to which the case will be referred. Notwithstanding this provision, the Code of Student Discipline continues to apply to all law student conduct.

2.5 PARTICIPATION IN ACADEMIC GOVERNANCE

2.5.1 The College of Law shall make provision for law student participation on appropriate governance committees within the college and University as specified by the relevant bylaws.

2.5.2 This document shall be consistent with guidelines put forward by the national professional organizations of the College of Law.

2.5.3 Law student representatives shall participate as voting members on those College of Law committees identified in the Michigan State University College of Law Bylaws as committees that must include a law student as a voting member or members.

2.5.4 The College of Law shall inform its students in a timely manner of the committee positions that law students may hold, their duties and lengths of appointment, and the process by which law students are selected for appointment.

2.5.5 At the University level, law students (also referred to as graduate-professional students) shall be selected and shall have voting membership on the University Graduate Council, Academic Council, and other committees as may be specified by the Bylaws for Academic Governance.