Compliance with ABA Standard 310
A. Classroom Courses
1. Notification in Syllabus
Every faculty member shall include in the syllabus, or other document distributed at the beginning of the course, for each classroom course taught the following language:
Standard 310 of the American Bar Association’s Accreditation Standards requires that for each credit hour earned, a student must do an amount of work that reasonably approximates at least 50 minutes of classroom instruction per week and at least an average of 120 minutes of out-of-class work per week for 15 weeks. Out-of-class work includes class preparation, post-class review, outlining, time spent on written and other class assignments, meeting with study groups, meeting or otherwise communicating with the professor to discuss course-related topics, and exam preparation. The 15-week period includes one week for examinations.
In my judgment, based on the average length and difficulty of the reading assignments and the number and average difficulty of other course exercises and assignments, at least [credit hours x 2] or more hours of out-of-class work will be required on average per week to prepare adequately for class, complete all assignments, master the course material, and perform satisfactorily on all course assessments.
At the end of the course, students will be asked to indicate approximately how much out-of-class time they have spent per week per credit hour in this course, so please be mindful of this requirement as the course progresses.
2. Course Evaluation Form
The course evaluation form for every class will include the following question:
On average, how much out-of-class time did you spend per credit hour working on this course each week? Out of-class work includes class preparation, post-class review, outlining, time spent on written and other class assignments, meeting with study groups, meeting or otherwise communicating with the professor to discuss course-related topics, and exam preparation.
The question asks how much time you spent outside of class on this course each week, on average, per credit hour. So, for a 3-credit course (e.g.), you should answer “1” if you spent less than 3 hours per week, on average, working on the course outside of class; “2” if you spent 3-6 hours per week; “3” if you spent about 6 hours per week; “4” if you spent 6-9 hours per week; or “5” if you spent more than 9 hours per week.
- Less than 60 minutes (<1 hour) per credit
- 60-120 minutes (1-2 hours) per credit
- About 120 minutes (2 hours) per credit
- 120-180 minutes (2-3 hours) per credit
- More than 180 minutes (>3 hours) per credit
B. Clinical and Externship Courses
Credit for clinics and externships includes classroom and out-of-class work, with the exception of some advanced clinical courses. Hours will be computed for all classroom and out-of-class credits together, and will require an aggregate of not fewer than 45 hours per credit per semester. Classroom time for clinical courses will be determined as follows: For clinical courses with a one-credit seminar, not fewer than 12.5 hours will be scheduled as classroom seminar time for the semester, held on a periodic schedule; for clinical courses with a two-credit seminar, not less than 25 hours will be scheduled as classroom seminar time per semester, held on a weekly schedule. For any advanced clinical course without a seminar credit, students may be required to meet together with the faculty member periodically in a classroom setting, but there is no minimum classroom time.
The balance of the required hours will include the aggregate of all other obligations: case work, field work, supervision, preparation for class including reading assignments, written assignments, skill-building exercises, and administrative obligations. For all clinical courses, students will be required to perform case work and field work pursuant to a weekly schedule and to keep contemporaneous records of time spent on all tasks.
C. Journal Credits
Members of each law journal typically earn four credits for the substantive work they perform as members on the journal. The credits are earned over two years but are ordinarily awarded in the member’s second year on the journal. The editors of the law journals and the law faculty have determined that the amount of time devoted to substantive journal work that is required to earn the journal credits is not less than 45 hours per credit, for a total of not less than 180 hours. Students can elect whether or not they wish to take some or all of the credits they have earned, but shall complete journal work of not less than 180 hours in order to satisfy their membership requirements.
The tasks performed by journal members include some or all of the following:
- Writing a student note, intended to produce a final paper of publishable quality. In the process of writing a note, each student must identify an original topic, conduct research, write multiple drafts, and coordinate with the Journals Committee and student note editors;
- Issue editing: confirming student cite-check work, performing more substantial above-the-line edits, and working with authors to finalize papers; and
- Student note editing. These duties in the aggregate require not less than 180 hours of substantive work over the course of four semesters.
With the permission of the associate dean, who shall consult with the relevant editor-in-chief, students who have completed at least 45 hours of work in their first year of membership may elect to earn one of their journal credits in the spring semester of their first year of journal membership. Students are eligible to earn the balance of the journal credits in the second year of membership. Certification of hours of work:
Each academic year, the Editorial Board of each journal shall prepare a detailed estimate of the number of hours they reasonably believe that members and editors will have to perform in order to complete assignments, for the purpose of assuring that all students will be required to perform at least 45 hours of substantive work per credit. The Editorial Board of each journal may require members to track their time spent in whatever way deemed appropriate, such as by time sheets or other means.
For any semester in which a journal member wishes to elect to earn journal credits, the editor-in-chief shall certify to the registrar and to the Journals Committee that the student has performed journal work equal to at least 45 hours per credit. For the editor-in-chief of each journal, the Journals Committee shall certify to the registrar that the editor-in-chief has performed journal work equal to at least 45 hours per credit.
D. Moot Court Credits
Students typically earn three credits for their work with the Moot Court Society. The credits may be earned over two years but are ordinarily awarded in the second year in the Society. The officers of the Moot Court Society and the law faculty have determined that the amount of time devoted to substantive work that is required to earn the Moot Court credits in not less than 45 hours per credit.
Credit 1: Intramural Credit
Students earn one credit by participating in the Quinnipiac School of Law Terrence H. Benbow Moot Court intramural competition. This requires the student to submit a 12-18 page brief and to prepare and argue both sides of the case in front of a panel of judges. At least 45 hours of work are required to earn the first Moot Court credit.
Credit 2: External Competition Credit
Students earn one credit by participating in external competitions. Each participant must submit a 25- to 40 page brief and prepare and argue both sides of the case in front of a panel of judges. At least 45 hours of work are required to earn the second Moot Court credit.
Credit 3: Coaching Credit
Students earn one credit by coaching an extramural team. This work includes the following:
- learning the fact pattern and legal issues and precedents;
- preparing participants for oral argument;
- supervising competition preparation with outside judges; and
- attending at least two oral arguments at the competition. At least 45 hours of work are required to earn the third Moot Court credit.
Certification of hours of work:
Each academic year, the Moot Court Board shall prepare a detailed estimate of the number of hours they reasonably believe that society members will have to perform in order to complete assignments, for the purpose of assuring that all students will be required to perform at least 45 hours of substantive work per credit earned. The board may require members to track their time spent in whatever way deemed appropriate, such as by time sheets or other means.
For any semester in which a society member wishes to elect to earn Moot Court credits, the president shall certify to the registrar and to the faculty adviser of the society that the student has performed substantive moot court work equal to at least 45 hours per credit. For the Moot Court Society president, the faculty adviser shall certify to the registrar that the president has performed substantive society work equal to at least 45 hours per credit.
E. Independent Research
To earn credit for Independent Research, a student must write a paper that is 20 or more pages in length, exclusive of footnotes, per credit earned. In order to produce a final work product that satisfies this requirement, a student must consult with a faculty member on the choice of topic, research the appropriateness of the topic, prepare an initial outline, complete research for the paper, write drafts of the paper, and edit the writing in consultation with the faculty supervisor. It is the judgment of the faculty that this process will require at least 45 hours per credit earned.