Academics

Academic Advising

Each April, the law school hosts an academic advising program called "The Professors Are In.” Large round tables in Karcher Auditorium are labeled for specific practice areas. One or more faculty members sit at each table to provide advising to interested students. Faculty members provide information about suggested courses, clinics, externships, and other experiences that students may want to pursue if they are interested in that particular practice area. Faculty members stationed at the tables also answered students’ questions about their specific practice areas and about graduation requirements and courses in general. Students rotate between multiple tables to receive information on multiple practice areas.

The Law School also communicates academic standards and graduation requirements through extensive programming and handouts.  For example, the Law School holds a mandatory Halftime program each October for second-year law students in which graduation requirements, course selection, and bar planning are covered.  In February, another 2L program – Get in the Game: Gaining Practical Experience Your Final Year of Law School - addresses the numerous ways for students to gain practical legal experience and satisfy their Experiential Learning Requirement.   

In March and April, individual sessions are held on each of our extensive clinical and externship programs, including Cool off with the Clinics in which current clinic students and faculty share experiences with prospective participants over ice cream in the quad.  Finally, our Registrar’s Office maintains handout kiosks that contain several helpful handouts about bar courses, the registration process, and course selection.  Handouts include over 15 "Planning Your Academic Program" flyers authored by faculty members in their areas of expertise, from Antitrust Law to Tax Law.

Academic Assistance 

Carr Collins, Suite 320

Laura Burstein, Director of Academic Success: 214-768-2567 or lburstein@smu.edu

  • Academic Advising and Assistance with Academic Performance Concerns
  • Academic Success Program Tutoring

Academic Integrity

The law demands standards of honesty and integrity that are far higher than those imposed on society as a whole. SMU Dedman School of Law expects its students to adhere at all times to the highest standards of honesty and ethical conduct.

Our Student Code of Professional Responsibility (the “Code”) spells out SMU Dedman Law’s expectations for our students. In particular, it addresses the rules governing dishonest conduct, such as cheating, plagiarism, and unauthorized collaboration. A breach of the Code can result in very serious administrative, academic, and other consequences. For example, students who violate the Code may be:

  • Expelled, suspended, and/or publicly admonished. 
  • Prohibited from being admitted to the practice of law in the State of Texas or elsewhere. 
  • Excluded from law school honors or positions of leadership, such as law journal membership or officer positions in student organizations.

The Code will be enforced regardless of a student’s actual knowledge or awareness of the provisions. Students are responsible for understanding and following the Code. 

Students are expected to report conduct they reasonably suspect constitutes a violation of the Code. This is the relevant language from the Code about reporting violations: “Although the failure to report one’s own act or another student’s act that may constitute a violation of this code is not itself a violation of this code, it is the sense of the Dedman School of Law community that a student should report conduct that he or she reasonably suspects does constitute a violation.”

Academic Services/Registrar 

Storey, Suite 125
Laura Amberson, Registrar: 214-768-2551 or lamberso@smu.edu
Kim Grace, Assistant Registrar: 214-768-2552 or kgrace@smu.edu
Moira Cary, Administrative Assistant: 214-768-2098 or mcary@smu.edu
See Forms and Guides on Kiosk in Registrar’s Office

  • Add/Drop
  • Bar Exam Certifications
  • Clinic Deputy Hours
  • Courses Outside the Law School (Other SMU Graduate or Professional Schools)
  • Directed Research
  • Graduation Audits 
  • Jackson Walker Moot Court Board Hours
  • Law Review Credit Hours
  • Law School Application Amendments
  • Letters of Good Standing
  • Logistical Issues with Course Registration
  • Studying Away (as visiting student or another law school’s study abroad program)
  • Withdrawal from Course

Bar Exam 

Carr Collins, Suite 320
Laura Burstein, Director of Academic Success: 214-768-2567 or lburstein@smu.edu

  • Bar Exam Information
  • Bar Preparation Course Options
  • Bar Study Assistance and Support

Disability Accommodations and Success Strategies

Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center, 5800 Ownby, Suite 202
214-768-1470

The mission of the office of Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies (DASS) is to support the educational, career, social, and recreational choices of SMU students with documented disabilities through coordination of services and reasonable accommodations.  In keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities may not be subjected to discrimination. The purpose of reasonable accommodations is to assure that these students have access to SMU programs and services and to the opportunity to succeed academically equal to that of students without disabilities.  Academic accommodations do not guarantee that students will be academically successful, and they are not provided simply because a person has a disability.  Rather, they are provided only if not having the accommodations would result in discrimination.

It is the responsibility of the students themselves to establish eligibility for services or accommodations through the DASS office.  Students who would like to be considered for services through this office (1) must submit appropriate, current documentation, and (2) must request services themselves, ideally by completing the online request form.  Documentation will not be reviewed without the students’ making such a request.

Documentation of a disability needs time to be reviewed to determine eligibility, so it is important to submit documentation early.  

Note: Since submitting documentation to admissions is not considered a request for services and does not ensure that the documentation is forwarded to this office, be sure to submit documentation directly to this office.  Please allow two weeks for review of documentation before inquiring about eligibility for services.

Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration Program

The Dedman School of Law and the SMU Cox School of Business offer two joint-degree programs: the combined J.D./M.B.A. program (4-year) and the combined J.D./M.B.A. fast track program (3-year). The programs are designed for law practice with a strong business background and for business careers with a strong legal background. Through the J.D./M.B.A. programs, the combined degrees may be obtained in three or four academic years instead of the five academic years required, if pursued separately.

These programs have been established so that an individual may integrate his or her educational experience in law and business. Since management, personnel and corporate attorneys have their individual considerations and goals, by taking law and business courses simultaneously, the student may achieve an understanding of commercial affairs from two different points of view.

Students interested in participating in the joint program should contact:

  • Eric Hinton, Director, Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership: 214-768-2606 or ehinton@smu.edu
    Storey, Suite 212; OR
  • Brett Powell, Associate Director, Full-Time MBA Admissions, Cox School of Business: 214-768-3009 or brettp@smu.edu
Students already in the joint program should contact: 
  • Eric Hinton, Director, Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership: 214-768-2606 or ehinton@smu.edu
    Storey, Suite 212
  • Megan Murphy, Associate Director, Full-Time MBA Programs, Cox School of Business: 214-768-3149 or murphymc@smu.edu
    Fincher, Suite 146

University Registrar

101 Blanton Building

  • Name Changes: A student who has a change in name must provide to the University Registrar’s Office his or her Social Security card or the form issued by the Social Security Administration. A valid passport may also be used to complete a name change. Enrollment or records services for the student under a name different from the last enrollment cannot be accomplished without one of the above documents. All grade reports, transcripts and diplomas are issued only under a person’s legal name as recorded by the University Registrar's Office.
  • Leave of Absence: A leave of absence is a temporary leave from the University – a kind of “time out” – that may be necessary during an academic career. Students may elect to take leaves of absence for a variety of reasons, including 1) medical reasons due to accident or illness, 2) family crisis or other personal situation that requires an extended absence from school, 3) financial issues that may take time to resolve, and 4) academic difficulties that may best be handled by taking time to refocus on college work.Typically, a leave of absence is for one term or one academic year. A student may extend a leave of absence by contacting his or her academic department representative. The process to return to SMU after a leave-of-absence period can be an easy one, especially if the student has gone through the steps to file for a leave of absence and planned ahead for the return.
  • Transcript Service: A transcript is an official document of the permanent academic record maintained by the University Registrar’s Office. The permanent academic record includes all SMU courses attempted, all grades assigned, degrees received and a summary of transfer hours accepted. Official transcripts and certifications of student academic records are issued by the University Registrar’s Office for all students. Instructions for requesting a transcript to be mailed or picked up on campus are available at www.smu.edu/registrar (“Transcript Requests” link). A student may request his or her official transcript through the online my.SMU Student Center.