Divisional Shifts

Transfer Between Divisions

As stated in the WCL catalog no student may transfer from the full-time to the part-time division or vice versa without the permission of the Office of the Registrar.

Students interested in a divisional shift will first meet with the dean of students to discuss the consequential change in residency requirements, the student's plans for adjusting her/his professional workload (if applicable) and other related issues, then complete an Administrative Approval Form (available in the "Forms" section).

First Year Part Time Student Divisional Shift Procedures

1. Petition to Shift Divisions

  • How to Petition: Submit to the Registrar's Office a completed Student Request Form for Administrative Approval which can be obtained online under the "Forms" section, or from the Student Affairs office (Room C107) or the Registrar's Office (Room C101). Check the box labeled "Divisional Shift". State in the request section that you want to shift to the full-time division as of the Fall semester of your second year and indicate whether or not you worked or volunteered during your first year and if so, for how many hours a week.

  • When and How Decisions Made: Decisions are made after all first year grades are received by the Registrar, generally in early to mid-June. There is no set minimum cumulative GPA requirement. However, how much time a student spent working or volunteering or engaging in any sustained activity other than studying is an important factor bearing on the final decision. For example, a student who spent the great majority of her or his time studying and whose cumulative first year GPA is very close to the minimum satisfactory 2.0 level without any, or with very little, improvement in the second semester of the first year would most likely not be allowed to shift to the full-time division.

2. Pre-registration for Fall Semester of Second Year and Registration for Second Year Required Courses

  • Second Year Fall Semester Preregistration:  If the petition to shift is received before the end of the Fall semester preregistration period, a student may pre-register for a full-time course load. However, if the eventual decision on the petition is negative, the student will have to reduce her or his course load 11 or fewer credit hours.

  • Second Year Required Course Registration: Required courses (Criminal Procedure I, Civil Procedure I & II, Property I & II, and Legal Ethics, must be taken in the evening in the second year to keep the day sections of these courses at enrollment levels that do not lower the quality of the learning environment for first year full-time students. Criminal Procedure I and Legal Ethics are usually offered in the summer sessions arid may be taken in the summer between the first and second years; see discussion paragraph C, infra.

3. Residency Requirements and Summer Session Study

  • Full-Time Residence Requirements: A full-time student must accumulate the 86 credit hours required for the (ILL) J.D. degree in 6 semesters, or their equivalent, of at least 12 earned credit hours each. "Students must earn a minimum of 2 credits and 3 credits in each of the two summer sessions (although most students take more to avoid a heaver load of credits during the remaining semesters)". The remaining 4 full-time semesters plus these 2 full time equivalent semesters satisfy the full-time requirement of 6 full-time semesters and allow a student who started in the part-time division to graduate in 3 years from the date he or she started law school.

  • Summer Sessions, Legal Work Experience, and Financial Aid: Current federal financial aid regulations require registration for 6 hours to be eligible for federal student loans. Using these loans in 2 summer sessions alters the loan periods to the extent that more subsidized Stafford loans can be used during one's entire law school career. In addition, the first summer session can be used to take two of the 6 required second year courses, Criminal Procedure I and Legal Ethics and leave more space for upper level electives in the second year. Many students will combine an externship for credit and a course in the first summer session to gain legal work experience that will help them obtain part-time jobs and externships during their second and third years and full-time jobs in the summer between their second and third years. Taking at least 6 hours in the first summer session also allows the second summer to be used to take only 1 course while devoting as much time as possible to a full-time summer legal job.

4. Eligibility for WCL Financial Aid (Need-Based Grants)

All full-time students are eligible for WCL's need-based grant program. First year part- timers who have applied to shift to full-time should apply for such aid as soon as they have given their petitions to the Registrar by completing the Needs Access application online as soon as they submit a petition to shift divisions. See the Office of Financial Aid for details. If the petition to shift is not approved, any grant that was awarded will be rescinded as part-time students are not eligible for these grants.

Check out our exciting Important Dates & Deadlines

October 23 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 23 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - YT17 Networking – How It’s Done and Why It Matters October 23 12:00PM-1:30PM Warren Building - NT01 Conflict and Crisis in Venezuela: Human Rights & International Responses October 24 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N101 Maryland Office of the Attorney General's Thurgood Marshall Clerkship Program Information Session October 24 12:00PM-1:15PM Claudio Grossman Hall 1L Externship Orientation Session: Sections 3 & 4 October 24 12:00PM-1:15PM Yuma Building - Y401 Choosing Business Law Courses––with Jobs in Mind October 24 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - Y115 Human Rights Career Panel: Breaking into International Human Rights Law October 24 3:00PM-4:00PM Warren Building - N102 SBA Academic Affairs Committee Meeting October 25 12:00PM-1:00PM Capital Building - C317 Haynes and Boone Patent Law Lunch Presentation October 25 12:00PM-1:15PM Claudio Grossman Hall 1L Externship Orientation: Sections 1 & 2 October 25 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 25 4:45PM-6:00PM Yuma Building - YT14 Patent Exam Information Session: Exam Tips and Career Strategies October 25 8:00PM-9:00PM Yuma Building - Y116 Networking – How It’s Done and Why It Matters October 26 9:00AM-4:00PM Warren Building - NT01 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law - “Comparative Law, Faith and Religion: The Role of Faith in Law” October 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - YT17 Networking – How It’s Done and Why It Matters October 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - YT14 Brooklyn Defender Service Information Session on Family Defense Work October 26 12:30PM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform 2017 October 26 6:15PM-7:30PM Warren Building - NT01 Sixth Annual Peter A. Jaszi Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Property with Professor Rebecca Tushnet October 26 6:15PM-8:15PM Yuma Building - Y112 Preserving Perspectives: International Arbitrators in Their Own Words October 26 6:15PM-8:30PM Yuma Building - Y112 Oral History of International Arbitrator and former President of the Int'l Court of Justice: Stephen Schwebel October 26 8:00PM-9:00PM Y-401 1L Externship Orientation: Section 5 October 27 8:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform October 27 8:45AM-3:30PM Warren Building - NT08 Unlocking the Promise of Antitrust Enforcement October 30 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 30 12:00PM-2:00PM Capital Building - C117 Claudio Grossman “Los derechos humanos como temática de trabajo de la Comisión de Derecho Internacional de las Naciones Unidas: Una actualización sobre el debate”. October 30 6:00PM-8:00PM NAFTA and the Digital Environment October 31 12:00PM-1:15PM Warren Building - NT03 Human Rights Reading Group October 31 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - YT01 A Conversation with David Rubenstein November 01 12:00PM-1:30PM Capital Building - Commons Gender and Law Course Advising November 01 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 01 6:00PM-8:00PM McDermott Will & Emery - 500 North Capital St NW Washington DC Fall Alumni Reception November 02 3:00PM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Race and Disability in Policing and Criminal Justice Reform November 03 8:00AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law 2017 National SJD Roundtable November 06 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 07 12:00PM-12:50PM Washington College of Law Gender and Law Lunch and Learn: Forced Labor Trafficking Panel November 07 3:00PM-4:00PM Warren Building - N102 SBA Academic Affairs Committee Meeting November 07 4:00PM-4:50PM Yuma Building - Y112 Martial Arts for Stress Relief with Professor Macarena Saez November 07 6:50PM-8:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 A Conversation on Gender, Development and Public Service November 08 8:30AM-11:00AM Yuma Building - YT01 Celebrating the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention at 20, the FCPA at 40 & Addressing the Challenges Ahead November 08 8:30AM-3:00PM Warren Building - NT01 What's Next in the Pipeline? A discussion of the Legal, Economic, and Societal Implications of The Keystone XL Pipeline November 08 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 08 5:30PM-8:00PM Warren Building - NT01 Second Wenger Annual Distinguished Lecture on Trade: Current Standing and Future Prospects of The World Trading System November 10 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Anatomy of Justice: An Honest Conversation on the Criminal Justice System in 2017 November 13 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 14 12:00PM-1:15PM Warren Building - NT03 Human Rights Reading Group November 14 4:00PM-4:50PM Yuma Building - Y112 Martial Arts for Stress Relief with Professor Macarena Saez November 15 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - Y116 Semester Abroad and International Dual Degree Information Session November 21 3:00PM-4:00PM Warren Building - N102 SBA Academic Affairs Committee Meeting November 22 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 27 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 29 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class December 04 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays December 06 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class December 06 5:00PM-7:00PM Washington College of Law French Toast Dinner December 11 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays December 13 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class December 18 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays December 20 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class
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