What are Local Rules?
Similar to a course syllabus, the Local Rules are policies and procedures governing all courses in the skills curriculum. The rules are formatted similar to local rules of court in order for students to begin developing the skill of rule practice. Attorneys and judges use procedural rules to efficiently and effectively govern conduct in proceedings before a court. Students are responsible for reading the rules and conductng themselves accordingly.
- Rule 1.0: Intent
Similar to course policies published in a syllabus, the Local Rules are intended to govern the interaction between the Skills instructors, students and the administration to ensure skills courses are administered in an efficient and effective manner. Students should begin building the skill of rule practice. The Rules are formatted similar to local rules of court found in practice.
- Rule 1.1: Application
The Local Rules apply to all Loyola law students enrolled in skills classes. All other Loyola policies equally apply to skills courses.
- Rule 1.2: Revision
Any revision to the Local Rules occur at the end of the year by the Office of Skills and Experiential Learning. Anyone may suggest revision to the Local Rules by sending suggested language in writing.
- Rule 2.0: Requirement for graduation
Students must earn at minimum eight Skills credits in order to graduate. Students who do not earn the necessary skills credit before graduation are not certified to graduate.
Note: Students entering in 2014 have specific skill requirements.
- Rule 2.1: Limitation
There is not a limit to how many Skills courses a student may complete. Students are encouraged to enroll beyond the eight required courses. The student with the most skills credits at graduation earns the Skills Award. Occasionally, a student is unable to fulfill the skills requirement in person. OSEL will make every effort to accommodate the student and may offer online courses. OSEL will not accept anymore than three online skill courses for credit towards the skills graduation requirement.
- Rule 3.0: Open and Rolling Enrollment
The enrollment process allows felxibility for students to provide more opportunities to earn Skills credits.
Throughout the semester, students may access Blackboard to enroll in Skills courses. Enrollment closes 24 hours before the course, unless otherwise provided. Once closed, students may attend but may not earn skills credit unless the student files a Motion to Obtain Skills Credit to explain why he or she did not follow the rules. Some courses are offered on a first come, first served basis; therefore, enrollment may close early due to capacity.
Students are responsible to ensure they are properly enrolled.
- Rule 3.1: Registration
Students must sign the Official Attendance Registration sheet to verify attendance in order to earn Skills Credit. For courses offered over two days, students must attend both sessions.
A student who enrolls and does not attend without letting the Skills office know exhibits unprofessional behavior and such repetitive behavior may result in reporting to administration.
- Rule 3.2: Blackboard
All students must use Blackboard to enroll and are ultimately responsible for enrolling in the course and later signing the Official Attendance Registration for the course.
Some courses may require students to view material on Blackboard before the course. Other courses may require students to upload assignments via Blackboard. Students are responsible for understanding Blackboard. Contact Eric Wiltz, firstname.lastname@example.org, if any problems occur with the system.
- Rule 4.0: Attendance
Regular and punctual attendance is required. Tardiness is considered disrespectful and unprofessional and may result in not earning a Skills credit.
In compliance with ABA attendance standards, excessive absences are recorded and a student who is excessively absent may be subject to administrative review. Failure to complete an assignment precludes Skills credit.
Note: To unenroll from a skills class, please email email@example.com at a reasonable time before the course.
- Rule 4.1: Preparation
Some skills courses require students to come to prepare to practice a certain skill or complete an assignment. If an instructor deems a student is not prepared for a class or did not complete an assignment, the instructor may not award skills credit.
Assignments received after the deadline may not receive skills credit.
- Rule 5.0: Grading
In some courses, students earn Skills grades which are separate from academic grades. Students in skills courses are given the following grades: "HS"-Highly Skilled "S"-Satisfactorily Skilled and "DS"- Deficiently Skilled. Many courses are not graded.
- Rule 5.1: Assessment
Students are evaluated and graded through practical drafting assignments, or performance. Some courses allow practice time and students are given credit for attendance.
- Rule 6.0: Communication
Students should tailor all communication both oral and written with Skills instructors and the administration in a manner expected from a professional in practice. All communication including email should be thoughtful, well researched and only sent after the student is familiar with the Local Rules.
- Rule 6.1: Motions
Over the course of the semester, students may encounter an issue not covered by the Local Rules. Students are encouraged and should begin the practice of asserting such needs in a motion form. All written motions will be considered by the Coordinator of Skills and then addressed by written order. Students should research "motions" via WestLaw/LexisNexis or through practice guides.
- Rule 6.2: Professionalism
Students are expected to maintain professional decorum throughout a skills course. An instructor who deems a student’s behavior as unprofessional may assess a “DS” thereby receiving no skills credit. Professional behavior includes appearing to class on time, being attentive and respectful to the Skills instructor and completing all assignments. Students are encouraged to be thankful and courteous to Skills instructors who volunteer their time to enrich our profession.
- Rule 7.0: Official Transcript
Skills courses are recorded on a student’s official transcript. Students are encouraged to take skills courses in an area of interest to showcase skill development.
- Rule 7.1 Skills Certified
After a student applies for graduation, the skills department will audit the transcript of all applicants to ensure graduates are Skills Certified. Students will receive an email stating whether they are Skills Certified or deficient in Skills credit.
- Rule 7.2 Skills Award
The student who at the time of graduation has taken the most Skills courses shall receive the honor of the Skills Award reflecting dedication to practical training and experiential learning. The student shall receive a certificate reflecting the honor and may include the honor on their résumé.