Leaves of Absence and Readmission

A leave of absence may be taken only with the permission of the dean or the dean’s delegate. A leave may be arranged under terms the dean deems appropriate, provided that a definite time is fixed for the student’s return to the Law School and that the following limitations shall apply. A student who has completed at least one term and who has been on leave of absence, other than a medical leave of absence as set forth below, for no more than two academic years shall be readmitted unless the dean recommends otherwise to the Faculty in Executive Session, as the dean may in extraordinary cases. A student who has not completed the first term will ordinarily not be granted a leave of absence except on serious medical or personal grounds. When a leave has been granted on such grounds, the dean may authorize readmission within a period of two academic years and, in the case of medical leave, as set forth in the medical leave of absence policies below. Readmission following leaves of more than two academic years may be granted in accordance with and upon completion of the terms of a plan approved by the dean prior to the student taking the leave. Such extended leaves may be arranged for personal or academic reasons.

Readmission after a leave of more than two academic years may be conditional upon less than full credit being allowed for prior work completed. In such cases, with the consent of the dean, the student will not be excluded from taking courses for which prior credit had been earned. The original credit for such courses will be canceled. Tuition will be charged in accordance with the rates prevailing at the time of readmission.

Readmission in any circumstances other than those described may be sought by petition to the Student Petitions Committee.

Students on leave of absence will be charged a special roster fee of $175 per term to be maintained on the school records during periods of nonattendance.

Medical Leave of Absence

A student who must interrupt study because of illness or injury may be granted a medical leave of absence with the approval of the dean or the dean’s delegate, on the written recommendation of a physician on the staff of Yale Health. The Law School reserves the right to place a student on a medical leave of absence when, on recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department, the dean determines that the student is a danger to self or others because of a serious medical condition, or that the student has refused to cooperate with efforts deemed necessary by Yale Health and the dean to determine if the student is such a danger. An appeal of such a leave must be made in writing to the dean of the Law School no later than seven days from the date of withdrawal.

Before a student on medical leave may register for a subsequent term at the Law School, the student must secure written permission to return from a physician at Yale Health and must comply with the requirements for readmission set forth by the dean. The general policies governing all leaves of absence, described above, shall apply to medical leaves.

Mandatory Medical Leave of Absence

The Law School reserves the right to place a student on a mandatory medical leave of absence when, on recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department, the dean determines that, because of a medical condition, the student is a danger to self or others, the student has seriously disrupted others in the student’s residential or academic communities, or the student has refused to cooperate with efforts deemed necessary by Yale Health and the dean to make such determinations.  Each case will be assessed individually based on all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the level of risk presented and the availability of reasonable modifications.  Reasonable modifications do not include fundamental alterations to the student’s academic, residential, or other relevant communities or programs; in addition, reasonable modifications do not include those that unduly burden university resources.

An appeal of such a leave of absence must be made in writing to the dean of the Law School no later than seven days from the date of the leave of absence.

An incident that gives rise to a voluntary or mandatory leave of absence may also result in subsequent disciplinary action.

Leave of Absence for Parental Responsibilities

A student who is making satisfactory progress toward degree requirements and wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily for reasons of pregnancy or childrearing may be granted a leave of absence for parental responsibilities. Any student planning to have or care for a child is encouraged to meet with the dean or the dean’s delegate to discuss leaves and other short-term arrangements. The general policies governing all leaves are described above. The general policies governing health coverage for leaves of absence are described in the chapter Yale University Resources and Services, under Health Services.

U.S. Military Leave Readmissions Policy

Students who wish or need to interrupt their studies to perform U.S. military service are subject to a separate U.S. military leave readmissions policy. In the event a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from Yale Law School to serve in the U.S. military, the student will be entitled to guaranteed readmission under the following conditions:

  1. The student must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for a period of more than thirty consecutive days;
  2. The student must give advance written or oral notice of such service to the dean or the dean’s delegate. In providing the advance notice the student does not need to indicate an intent to return. This advance notice need not come directly from the student, but rather, can be made by an appropriate officer of the U.S. Armed Forces or official of the U.S. Department of Defense. Notice is not required if precluded by military necessity. In all cases, this notice requirement can be fulfilled at the time the student seeks readmission, by submitting an attestation that the student performed the service.
  3. The student must not be away from the School to perform U.S. military service for a period exceeding five years (this includes all previous absences to perform U.S. military service but does not include any initial period of obligated service). If a student’s time away from the School to perform U.S. military service exceeds five years because the student is unable to obtain release orders through no fault of the student or the student was ordered to or retained on active duty, the student should contact the dean or the dean’s delegate to determine if the student remains eligible for guaranteed readmission.
  4. The student must notify the School within three years of the end of U.S. military service of the intention to return. However, a student who is hospitalized or recovering from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the U.S. military service has up until two years after recovering from the illness or injury to notify the School of the intent to return.
  5. The student cannot have received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or have been sentenced in a court-martial.

A student who meets all of these conditions will be readmitted for the next term, unless the student requests a later date of readmission. A student who fails to meet one of these requirements may still be readmitted under the general readmission policy but is not guaranteed readmission.

Upon returning to the School, the student will resume education without repeating completed course work for courses interrupted by U.S. military service. The student will have the same enrolled status last held and with the same academic standing. For the first academic year in which the student returns, the student will be charged the tuition and fees that would have been assessed for the academic year in which the student left the institution. Yale may charge up to the amount of tuition and fees other students are assessed, however, if veteran’s education benefits will cover the difference between the amounts currently charged other students and the amount charged for the academic year in which the student left.

In the case of a student who is not prepared to resume studies with the same academic status at the same point at which the student left or who will not be able to complete the program of study, the School will undertake reasonable efforts to help the student become prepared. If after reasonable efforts, the School determines that the student remains unprepared or will be unable to complete the program, or after the School determines that there are no reasonable efforts it can take, the School may deny the student readmission.