Home  ⁄  Students  ⁄  Readmission

Policies and Procedures for Petitioning to Continue in Academic Program

The following policies and procedures apply to the submission and determination of petitions for readmission to St. Thomas University School of Law.

  1. A student wishing to continue his or her legal studies at St. Thomas University School of Law ("the School of Law") who is subject to dismissal due to his or her grade point average, as discussed in section above entitled "Academic Probation and Exclusion" must petition the Academic Standing Committee (the "Committee") or he or she will be dismissed.
  2. A student wishing to petition the Committee may obtain a petition and copy of these Policies and Procedures from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs or online at the St. Thomas Law school website under "Students".
  3. The petition and all required supporting documentation must be filed, with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs by the deadline set by the Committee for the year in question. The student must provide the Office of the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs with five copies of all supporting documentation.
  4. The student has the burden of proof with regard to all matters relating to the petition.
  5. All requirements set forth in the petition and in these policies and procedures are mandatory. Noncompliance with any of these requirements can result in the denial of the petition.
  6. No petition shall be granted unless the Committee finds that the record (consisting of the petition, documents submitted in connection with it, the petitioner's law school file and the preponderance of credible testimony, if any, given at a hearing) affirmatively demonstrates that the student possesses the requisite ability, and that the prior poor academic performance does not indicate a lack of capacity, to successfully complete the course of study at the Law School.
  7. Students subject to dismissal for failing to have at least a 1.65 g.p.a. in his or her first law school semester must file a petition within the deadline set forth in the notification of being subject to dismissal by the Office of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. If the student fails to timely file a petition, then he or she is dismissed and shall have no right to petition or appeal. If the student timely files a petition then he or she shall be afforded the opportunity for a hearing. The student has the option of appearing at the hearing in person. Following the hearing and a deliberation of the Academic Standing Committee the student will be timely informed of the Committee's determination. If the Committee denies the student's petition then he or she shall be immediately dismissed and will not have any further right to petition or appeal the dismissal. If the Committee grants the petition then the student shall have the right to continue in law school in his or her second semester.
  8. Any other student subject to dismissal as provided in section entitled "Academic Probation and Exclusion" must either file a petition within the time set out in the notice that the student is subject to dismissal or request an extension to file a petition. The extension can in no case exceed more than 1 year.
    1. If the student does not timely file a petition or request an extension to file a petition, then he or she shall be dismissed. If the student is dismissed under this provision then he or she will have to wait two years from the date of the dismissal to re-petition for readmission.
    2. If the student files a petition then he or she shall be afforded the opportunity for a hearing. The student has the option of appearing at the hearing in person. Following the hearing and a deliberation of the Academic Standing Committee the student will be timely informed of the Committee's determination. If the Committee grants the petition then the student is allowed to continue in school for one additional semester (or some other time if determined by the Committee) and must meet any of the academic standards required by the Committee. If the Committee denies the student's petition then he or she shall be immediately dismissed and he or she will have to wait two years from the date of the dismissal to re-petition for readmission. A petition for readmission will be considered only if the petitioner can still graduate no later than five years from the time of his or her initial matriculation.
  9. The decision of the Committee with regard to a petition filed pursuant to paragraph 7 and 8, above, is final and not subject to review or appeal.
  10. A student who bases his or her petition on medical reasons must also:
    1. Sign a waiver of doctor‑patient confidentiality, deliver a copy to the treating physician and attach a copy to the petition; and
    2. Submit a letter from the treating physician explaining: (i) the nature of the medical problem; (ii) the opinion, if any, of the doctor as to the causal relationship between the problem and the student's academic performance or separation from the Law School; and (iii) the likely effect, if any, of that problem on the student's future academic performance.
  11. All student petitioners before the Committee shall, upon request, be given a personal hearing. The personal appearance shall not substitute for, or excuse; the complete written petition. The hearing will be informal, and will normally be closed to any person not on the Committee. The petitioner should briefly outline points not made in the application, present any written or oral evidence supporting his or her petition and be willing to answer any questions or supply any information requested by the Committee.
  12. The Committee will debate the petition outside the presence of the petitioner and vote by secret ballot. Readmission will be granted only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present.
  13. The Assistant Dean for Student Affairs will inform the petitioner of the Committee's decision in writing and by use of the student's email.
  14. The Committee may, inter alia:
    1. Grant a petition, subject to any condition(s) it deems proper to impose; Note that the Committee may impose more rigorous academic requirements than are otherwise required of a student not previously dismissed.
    2. Require that the petitioner submit additional information or documentation on any question posed in the petition or otherwise relevant to readmission;
    3. Convene a hearing and require that the petitioner and others appear;
    4. Dismiss an incomplete petition; or
    5. Deny a petition.
  15. The Committee will consider several factors, including, but not limited to:
    1. The best interests of the Law School as an educational institution, including the maintenance of high standards of academic excellence and professional responsibility among members of the student body;
    2. As the paramount criteria for the decision on readmission, the student's reasonable prospect for success in the course of study at the Law School;
    3. Any evidence of correctable problems or disabilities that may have contributed to the student's academic performance;
    4. The extent to which it appears that a petitioner's previous academic, personal, medical, financial or other concerns, if any, have been addressed and satisfactorily resolved; and
    5. The activities of the student, undertaken after leaving the Law School, to improve his or her prospect for successfully completing the study of law.

Petitioning to Continue in Academic Program