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Standards and Procedures

Cornell Law School Standards and Procedures for Semesters Abroad

Application Deadlines
Application
Applying for More than One Location
Restrictions
Placement Lotteries
Tuition Payments
Credits and Grades
Access to Facilities for Persons with Disabilities
A Student's Responsibilities
Semester Abroad--Program Cancellations

Modern legal education must train students to succeed in a rapidly-evolving transnational environment. Mastery of a single nation's system of laws is no longer adequate, even if that nation is the United States.

Cornell Law School has a long history of, and strong institutional emphasis on, international and comparative legal studies. Allowing our students to study abroad for a semester is consistent with this institutional emphasis.

A semester of study abroad permits students to approach other legal systems and legal subjects from a non-U.S. perspective. It also provides access to courses and faculty that are not available at Cornell Law School on a regular basis and it affords students the invaluable experience of living and studying in another culture.

Cornell students who wish to spend a semester studying abroad as a part of their law school experience must comply with the following requirements:

Application Deadlines

The semester exchange and international "term away" application deadline for the Academic Year 2014-2015 (Fall 2014 semester or Spring 2015 semester) is January 31, 2014

Applicants not meeting this deadline will not be eligible for any lottery conducted, if one is necessary; see below.

Application for Semester Exchanges and International Terms Away

All Cornell Law School students who wish to apply for a semester exchange program, or who seek approval for an international term away must complete and submit the online application.

Applying for More than One Location

Should you wish to apply for more than one exchange program and/or term away site, you may do so. You must complete the appropriate sections of the application, however, indicating your order of preference and providing all requested information for each site.

Restrictions

A Cornell law student, except in cases of severe personal hardship as approved by the Administrative Committee, or an admitted participant in one of the existing formal international dual-degree programs that extend for more than a semester, may not spend more than a total of one upper-class semester away from Cornell Law School in off campus programs, such as terms away, study abroad, and full-term externship. 

Semester abroad programs operated by U.S. law schools will not be approved.

Placement Lotteries

In most years, more people apply for several of the study abroad locations than the number of spaces available. A lottery system is used in such cases. Lotteries take place as soon as practicable after the January 31 deadline, allocating the available slots and placing the remaining people on a wait-list in accordance with the lottery results; students who apply after January 31 would be added to wait lists in the order of application. Under the lottery system, sixth semester students (3L’s) receive priority over fourth semester students (2L’s) for Spring semester positions.  In addition, 3L students who are in good standing in, and making normal progress toward completion of, the J.D./LL.M. program are given preference in all the lotteries for their first-choice.

Tuition Payments

Cornell students pay their regular Cornell Law School tuition during an exchange or term away semester. The partner or host school will not charge the Cornell students tuition, although there might be other fees (for example, for health insurance or photocopying). In the case of international terms away, every effort will be made to have the host school bill Cornell directly for any applicable tuition payments. In the event this is not possible, Cornell will reimburse the student for the cost of tuition.

Credits and Grades

Cornell students cannot expect to earn more than 12 Cornell credit hours for academic work done as a part of a semester abroad. In individually-approved cases involving students enrolled in Cornell’s J.D./LL.M. program, however, it is possible to earn up to 16 credit hours.

A student’s Cornell transcript will record the number of Cornell credits awarded for work successfully completed during a semester abroad, and identify the host institution, but the Cornell transcript will not list either the specific courses or the grades earned.

Acceptance of credit or grades from any course undertaken during a semester abroad is subject to the determination of Cornell Law School.  Under controlling American Bar Association standards, a semester hour of credit must equal 700 minutes of class time.  Because most partner schools do not adhere to the U.S. standard, it is necessary for the Cornell official charged with administering the semester abroad program to make individual determinations for each partner school regarding credit equivalency between that school’s system and Cornell’s.

Access to Facilities for Persons with Disabilities

Most cities outside the U.S. are not as accessible as U.S. cities for persons with mobility disabilities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided for students with documented disabilities. Some accommodations may take significant time to facilitate. Accommodation requests can be submitted to:

Cornell Student Disability Services
sds_cu@cornell.edu
Telephone: 607-254-4545

OR

Laura Spitz
Associate Dean for International Affairs and
Executive Director, Clarke Center for International and Comparative Legal Studies
Cornell Law School
107 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
(607)255-3014; fax (607)255-7193
lms76@cornell.edu

A Student’s Responsibility

Cornell law students participating in the semester abroad program are representatives of Cornell Law School.  They are expected to demonstrate the same intellectual curiosity and academic rigor in their studies that are expected in the Cornell classroom.  A memorable semester abroad begins with an outstanding performance in the classroom.  Also, and it is important to be very clear about this--it is possible to fail courses during a semester abroad and therefore not earn those credits.

Semester Abroad--Program Cancellations

Cornell Law School has every expectation that, barring emergencies, semester abroad placements will not be canceled after a student has been approved for, and committed to, participation. In the unlikely event that such a cancellation would occur, however, every effort would be made to locate a substitute placement, or the student could opt to enroll that semester on the main campus. In such cases, enrollment on the main campus can be facilitated through the date classes begin and perhaps a short time thereafter.