The Skills Curriculum Local Rules are policies and procedures governing the operation of the skills curriculum, the awarding of skills credit to students, and certification of the skills graduation requirement.
Rule 1.0: Purpose
The Local Rules are intended to govern the interaction among skills instructors, students and the Office of Skills & Experiential Learning (OSEL) to ensure the Skills Curriculum are administered fairly and consistently.
Rule 1.1: Application
The Local Rules apply to all Loyola law students enrolled in skills courses. All other Loyola policies equally apply to skills courses.
Rule 1.2: Revision
Any revision to the Local Rules by OSEL will take effect the semester following the posting of the new rule online unless a different effective date is noted. Anyone may suggest revision to the Local Rules by written motion.
Rule 1.3 Motions
Students may request a waiver of a rule or a particular any form of relief available under the Local Rules via written motion submitted by email to the Coordinator of OSEL. Motions may be formatted in any manner commonly accepted by courts. A motions template is available on the Skills Curriculum website and upon request.
Rule 2.0: Skills Graduation Requirement and Award
Students must earn a minimum of eight skills credits and satisfy all skills competency requirements to be marked as skills certified and satisfy the skills graduation requirement. The required skills competencies that must be satisfied within the eight total skills credits required are as follows: SKR1) Client Interviewing; SKR2) Negotiation; SKR3) Cultural Competence; and SKR4) Law Office Management/Professionalism.
The student who at the time of graduation has earned the most skills credits from all sources 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 resume. Students can determine the type and number of skills credits earned and needed at any time by conducting a self-audit.
Rule 2.1: Recording of Credits
All skills courses will be graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Each skills course confers one skills credit unless otherwise noted. Earned skills credits will be listed on a student's official transcript under Institutional Coursework. Courses conferring general skills credits will begin with the designation "SKL" in the course number while courses satisfying a required skills competency will begin with the designation "SKR" followed by the number of the competency satisfied. The first semester of clinic, denoted by the course number designation SKC1, confers three skills credits satisfying the SKR1, SKR3, and SKR4 competency requirements. The second semester of clinic, denoted by the course number designation SKC2, confers two general skills credit and satisfies the remaining SKR2 required competency.
Rule 2.2: Online Skills Courses and Skills Credit for CLE Attendance
OSEL recognizes that attending scheduled skills courses in person can be difficult for some students and will make every effort to accommodate such students by offering weekend, evening, and online skills courses. No more than three online skill courses may count for credit towards the skills graduation requirement. OSEL will also establish a process by which students may apply to have attendance at qualifying external CLEs earn skills credit. Attendance at no more than two external CLEs may count for credit towards the skills graduation requirement.
Rule 2.3: LAW Courses Conferring Skills Credit
An inventory of LAW courses conferring skills credit will be maintained on the Skills Curriculum webpage. Unless otherwise noted, successful completion of designated LAW courses earns a student one general skills credit. With the exception of skills credits earned from completion of the L897 Clinical Seminar, students are limited to a maximum of four skills credits earned from LAW courses. Completion of LAW courses on the inventory in excess of this limit will not result in additional skills credits to be counted towards the skills graduation requirement or the tabulation of the Skills Award.
As of Spring 2018, all elective experiential courses confer skills credit. Other LAW courses conferring skills credit are limited to the sections taught during the semesters and by the professors designated on the inventory maintained on the Skills Curriculum webpage. Skills credit for non-experiential LAW courses is dependent upon the professor's confirmation that a skills component was included in the course and that the student successfully completed the skills component.
Rule 2.4: Student Group-Sponsored Skills Courses
Student groups interested in co-sponsoring an event with OSEL for skills credit or proposing a skills course should meet with the Coordinator of Skills & Experiential Learning by the last day of classes the semester prior to the desired skills course. After this preliminary meeting, a representative of the student group may apply to obtain skills credit for an event by submitting in writing a proposal with as much information as possible, including the proposed topic, title, course description, instructor, and desired times and dates for the course.
Approval of an event or presentation sponsored by a student group for skills credit will be made on a case-by-case basis and depends on several factors, including the nature and length of the presentation as well as availability of the skills calendar. Generally, approval will only be granted for courses that fit within the existing structure of days and time slots normally used for skills courses. In order to qualify for skills credit, a presentation should focus primarily on training students in the development of one or more fundamental lawyering skills or on how to perform discrete lawyering tasks typically required of an attorney in a particular area of legal practice. Presentations focusing on examining substantive legal or policy issues from an intellectual or academic perspective will normally not meet the criteria for skills credit. In order to be approved for skills credit, presentations sponsored by student groups should generally be of the same length (2.5 - 3 hours) as traditional OSEL skills courses.
Rule 3.0: Registration
Students must register for skills courses through Blackboard unless otherwise noted. Enrollment closes 24 hours before the first session of a course is scheduled to begin. Once the enrollment period is closed, students may still attend the course if it is not full but may not earn skills credit unless the student files a Motion for Skills Credit to explain why he or she did not follow the rules. Students are responsible for ensuring they are properly enrolled by verifying the skills course appears on their list of Blackboard courses. Students who wish to withdraw from a skills course for which they have registered should contact the Coordinator of Skills & Experiential Learning as soon as possible to request withdrawal.
Rule 3.1: Limited Enrollment Skills Courses
The enrollment for some courses may be limited. Registration for limited enrollment courses is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Rule 4.0: Attendance Verification
Students must sign the official attendance sheet in order to earn Skills Credit for a course. Students must attend and sign the attendance sheet for all sessions if a course is scheduled for multiple days or sessions.
Rule 4.1 Absences
Students are expected to attend all skills courses for which they register. If a student registers for a skills course and is unable to attend, the student should contact the Coordinator of OSEL as soon as possible to explain the absence and request to withdraw from the course. A student who fails to attend a course for which they have registered without reasonable notice exhibits unprofessional behavior. Multiple absences without reasonable prior notice may result in suspension from future skills courses pending remedial consequences.
Rule 4.2 Tardiness
Students should arrive and be settled prior to the scheduled start time of a skills course as tardiness can be disruptive and is unprofessional. Students who are excessively tardy may be prohibited from attending the skills course or fail to earn skills credit at the discretion of the skills instructor or OSEL.
Rule 4.3: Participation and Assignments
Some skills courses require pre-course preparation, participation in simulations or in-class exercises, or submission of post-course assignments. Students must submit required assignments by the announced deadline in order to skills credit. Skills credit may not be awarded at the discretion of the skills instructor or OSEL if a student does not adequately participate.
Rule 4.4: Professionalism Generally
Students are expected to maintain professional decorum throughout a skills course and in all interactions with skills instructors and OSEL. Lack of professionalism may result in remedial measures or awarding of no credit for a particular skills course at the discretion of the skills instructor or OSEL.