Administrative Announcement August 24 - August 31, 2015

Administrative Announcements August 24 - August 31, 2015


Interesting volunteer opportunity with the SFDA's office for 2L/3L students!

Since the situations in Ferguson, Baltimore and Staten Island, the School of Law has been involved in series of initiatives involving race and the criminal justice system.  Professor Meadows, Dean Trasviña and three USF alumni serve on the Bar Association of San Francisco Task Force on Criminal Justice Reform. Professor Magee has co-led two community meetings with the District Attorney and his staff.  Our new Racial Justice Clinic was inspired by the Public Defender’s request to Professor Meadows about bail decisions.  The San Francisco District Attorney has asked Dean Trasviña for student assistance in reviewing criminal cases which were investigated by police officers accused of using racial epithets in social media.  We encourage students interested in criminal justice or civil rights issues to consider volunteering at the District Attorney’s office on this important aspect. Information regarding the volunteer opportunity is provided below.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office is seeking 2Ls, 3Ls or recent graduates to review case files related to police officers who are alleged to have exchanged racially-biased text messages.  The ideal volunteer would have experience with the SFDA’s or another DA’s office.  Minimum qualifications include completion of Criminal Law and passing the office criminal background check.  Expected time commitment is a minimum of 4 consecutive hours per week during the fall semester.

Interested volunteers should email their resume to:

Cristine Soto DeBerry

Chief of Staff

District Attorney George Gascon

Financial Aid

This is repeated information from the week of August 17

FAFSA for 2015-16

The FAFSA for the Fall 2015/Spring 2016 academic year is available online. Any student who wishes to receive financial aid for the 2015-16 year can still apply for aid and should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible if you have not already done so. You can access the FAFSA online at  Our Title IV code is 001325 and must be listed on your FAFSA.
If you have already paid your fall semester bill with personal funds or signed up for the payment plan, you can utilize any Authorized Financial Aid received later in the semester for tuition expenses or living expenses.  Any Authorized Aid Funds received AFTER your tuition bill is paid with personal funds would be refunded to you.

Once you are offered the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan for the 2015-16 academic year, you must “accept” the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan online via your myUSF student portal as soon as possible. 

If you need additional financial aid besides the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you can apply for Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan, which is a credit based loan offered through the federal government. You must first be awarded and “accept” the maximum Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan before you can apply for a PLUS Loan.  You can apply for a PLUS Loan online at the web site. Instructions for applying online are available at:

New Loan Borrowers Only: If you are a first time Unsubsidized Loan and/or PLUS Loan borrower, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an Online Entrance Counseling Session for each loan at Failure to complete these requirements will prevent your Loan(s) from being noted as Authorized Financial Aid and will NOT be disbursed to USF. 

Financial Aid Update Requests

Adjustments to your financial aid can be made for students who incur non-standard expenses such as bar fees, childcare, or unanticipated medical or dental expenses. Inquiries on financial aid adjustments should be sent to Rosanna Woods, the Assistant Director for Law Financial Aid, at or call 415.422.6210.

Important: In order to prevent any delay in processing your fall semester aid disbursement on August 17 and the subsequent refund processing the following day on August 18, requests for aid adjustments will not be processed until August 24.

Important Notice Regarding Fall 2015 Tuition Bill
Fall 2015 tuition was due on August 1.  Please be sure to check your student account record via your myUSF student portal to insure that you do not have any outstanding tuition charges. 

If your student account remains unpaid and you still have a balance due on your account you will also be assessed a 1.5% fee on any outstanding balance due and you will have a Hold placed on your student record, which could prevent you from adding or dropping classes on August 20 or registering for the Spring 2016 semester.  

You will need to pay any outstanding tuition charges with personal funds or sign up for the 4 month payment plan and make the first installment for Fall 2015.  Payment plan information is available on-line at:

Financial Aid Disbursement Date & Aid Refunds

The earliest scheduled disbursement date for registered students for Fall 2015 financial aid will occur on Monday, August 17.  Once financial aid funds disburse, your fall semester charges will be paid off and any remaining credit after your bill is paid will be refunded to you.  The refund process will begin on Tuesday, August 18.  If you are expecting a refund and you are enrolled in direct deposit refund processing, you can expect to receive your refund in your designated bank account approximately 2-5 business days AFTER the August 17 disbursement date.  Spring 2016 disbursement date is scheduled for January 4, 2016.

If you are relying on your refund to help with the purchase of your books or other cost of living expenses for the fall semester, please plan your finances carefully as you may not receive your refund until the first week of classes. Receipt of refunds vary depending on your banking institution.  Larger, national banks take shorter time to process electronic transfer of funds compared to smaller banks or credit unions. If you are not enrolled in the direct deposit refund process, a paper check refund will be cut 10-15 business days AFTER the August 17 disbursement date and mailed to your current mailing address.

If you are receiving federal loans, please remember that the Department of Education withholds loan origination fees for both the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (1.073%) and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (4.292%). These fees are deducted from the fall portion of your loan aid PRIOR to disbursement.

Aid will continue to be disbursed throughout each semester as individual student financial aid files become complete later in the term and/or additional federal or private loan applications are processed and approved.

Important Information for 2L, 3L and 4L Part Time Students Regarding Add/Drop

Late registration and Add/Drop begins on Thursday, August 20, AFTER you have already been processed for a financial aid refund.  Adjustments to your financial aid may be necessary if any of the following situations occur during Add/Drop:

  • If you have received the maximum financial aid award for 20 annual units but you are registered for less than 10 units for the fall semester as of August 17, your aid refund will be in excess of your anticipated cost of living expenses for the fall semester. If you are not planning on adding any additional units, you will be required to return the excess financial aid awarded to you since you cannot receive aid for units that you are not registered for.

  • If you Add a class after your refund has been processed, you will be immediately billed for the additional units. You will need to submit a payment with personal funds to pay for the additional units (or make and personal payment using the funds you received as a refund).  If you are already receiving the maximum financial aid for the semester prior to the addition of your added class, you can request additional financial aid to cover the cost of the additional units. For more information, please contact Rosanna Woods, the Assistant Director for Law Financial Aid at the above contact information.

  • If you Drop a class after your refund has been processed, with the intention of adding another class with the same unit value, you must Add and Drop on the same day, otherwise you run the risk of a an outstanding tuition balance due on your USF student account.

  • If you Drop a class after your refund has been processed, and you do not intend to add another class, you will create a credit on your USF student account. You must notify the Law Financial Aid Office immediately by contacting Rosanna woods, the Assistant Director for Law Financial Aid at the contact information above.  Otherwise you will be inadvertently issued a refund for this credit, which you will be required to repay the University since you are not eligible to receive financial aid for this dropped class.

  • Important:  The Law Financial Aid Office will conduct an audit of all Part Time students' financial aid records after the September 11 census date (last day to withdraw without penalty).  If your financial aid for the fall semester is not appropriate for the unit load you are registered, we will make the necessary adjustments to your aid and you will be notified via email.  Please remember that any over-award (receiving financial aid in excess of your unit load), will result in the USF One Stop Office returning those funds to the lender and creating a balance due on your USF student account.  It is critically important that you review your student account after the census date to insure that your account is reconciled. Any unpaid balance will result in late fees assessed on your student account and a Hold placed on your student record, which will prevent you from registering for the spring semester.

    Federal Work Study Award Cancellation Notice

    Please be aware that if you were awarded the Federal Work Study award for the upcoming 2015-16 and you did NOT accept this award via your myUSF student portal within 30 days of the award offer, the main campus University Financial Aid Office will be cancelling that award amount from your USF financial aid record.

    You can petition for reinstatement of this aid by submitting a written letter to Norman Caito, USF Director of University Financial Aid Student Services. Letters can be faxed to his attention at 415.422.6084, or can be dropped off at the USF One Stop Office at Lone Mountain, room 251.  Petitions for reinstatement should include your name and USF ID number and the following:

  • The reason why a student did not accept the Federal Work Study aid in a timely manner.

  • The financial hardship a student would experience without the Federal Work Study aid.

  • Please note that you cannot submit a letter of appeal via email.  The last day to submit an appeal is November 1.

    Loan Payment Deferments
    The main campus University Registrar will forward fall class registration confirmation for all USF registered students to a national clearinghouse used by federal and private lenders to verify enrollment for its loan borrowers.  The information is sent in mid-September after the Law School census deadline (last day to withdraw with full tuition refund).  The enrollment confirmation is used by lenders to continue your loan payment deferments while enrolled in school.

    If you have any other questions related to your financial aid, please feel free to contact either Alan Guerrero at  or Rosanna Woods at or call 415.422.6210. . We wish you a very successful fall semester!  Take care.

    Moot Court

    The Advocate of the Year Competition is USF’s annual internal oral argument competition. This competition is not just for Moot Court team members; it’s a great opportunity for all students to network and improve their writing and oral advocacy skills. All upper division students are invited to write a 16-20 page brief (due 9/21) and argue both sides of the problem in front of current judges and lawyers in the first round of competition (10/3-10/4). There are three rounds of competition. Students advance based on their performance in each round. Sign up by the last day to add classes on 9/4 with CRN # 42833.

    Questions? Email

    Office of the Dean

    MUNI Passes

    The MUNI Pass is valid until January 25, 2016 and can be purchased for $145, which represents approximately a 40% discount from the regular monthly price. Please note that lost or stolen passes cannot be replaced, and the pass will be void if removed from your student ID.

    To participate, purchase your MUNI Pass with Dons Dollars before midnight on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 by following these instructions.

    No exceptions can be made if you miss the deadline for purchase.  If you have trouble with the form, please contact ONE CARD. If you don’t get a confirmation, please contact ONE CARD ( or 415-422-7663).

    Passes must be purchased in advance and may be picked up in person in the Student Boulevard during one of the following times:

    Friday, September 4th & Tuesday, September 8th

    12:00pm – 1:30pm

    5:30pm – 6:30pm

    NOTE: If you would like to use your bus pass during the long weekend (8/4-9/7) you will need to pick up your bus pass during one of the distribution times on Friday, September 4.

    For more information, contact Megan Watt at

    OneJustice Justice Bus Trip

    Sign up TODAY for the Overnight Justice Bus trip to El Dorado and Placer Counties!

    On October 10-11, 2015 USF law students will spend two days helping undocumented clients get protection from deportation and obtain a work permit. In June 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the U.S. as children and who meet several key guidelines may request consideration for deferred action for a period of two years. Since the announcement, legal services organizations have been flooded with requests for assistance in filing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications and, as of June 2014, applications for DACA renewal. The need for legal help is especially severe in rural areas like El Dorado and Placer Counties.

    Email Ruby Kimberly at to sign-up.

    Office of the Registrar

    Registration with the Committee of Bar Examiners as a First Year Law Student
    All first year law students attending school in the state of California must register with the State Bar of California within the first 90 days of beginning the study of law (if you’re planning on taking the bar examination in California).   To Register:
    1. Go to 
    2. Choose the “Future Lawyers” tab at the top of the page.
    3. In the top right corner, click the “Register with the State Bar” link.
    4. Read the information on the page and at the bottom of the screen you’ll see the link to begin your application(click that).
    5. Create an account as a first-time user (unless you have already done so).  Note: Creating an account is not actually registering – there are additional steps, below, to complete
    6. Once your account has been created, you will receive a confirmation email from the State Bar at which point you can log-in and complete the application to register.  There is a registration fee of $108.00
    7. You will receive an acknowledgement in the mail once your registration has been processed – be sure to hold on to this confirmation.
    8. Registering allows you to begin tracking your eligibility towards taking the bar examination and outstanding documents that need to be submitted during your time in law school.  

    If you have any questions please contact the California State Bar directly at (415) 538-2300.  Additionally, printed step-by-step CA State Bar registration instructions are also available in the Registrar’s Office (Kendrick 220).

    Registration Continues
    Registration resumed August 20th and remains open 24/7 until  the Add/Drop and Late Registration deadlines.  Students who have missed their registration appointment time may register on USF Connect during this period.  In addition, students who have already enrolled may add, drop courses or add themselves to a closed course’s wait list during this time.

    Wondering what the difference is between Late Registration and the Add/Drop Period?

    The Add/Drop Period applies to students who have already registered (including being wait listed) for at least 1 course for the fall term. As long as they have registered for at least one course, they may add available courses through September 4th. (the last available date to add), and drop through September11th (the last day to drop courses) for the fall semester.  Students may add classes, or make any schedule changes through USF Connect during the open registration periods.  Please be sure to review the Fall 2015 Academic Calendarto pay attention to the add/drop deadlines indicated.  

    Late Registration applies to students who have not yet registered for any Fall 2015 courses. These students may (and must) register for fall courses by 11:59pm, Friday, August 28th, 2015, in order to be eligible to take courses the fall term. Failure to do so will result in an administrative withdrawal from the law school (unless a Leave of Absence was approved).

    Students who do not intend to enroll in Fall 2015 courses must notify the Law Registrar's Office of their intent to withdraw from the University by emailing, and must complete a Petition to Withdraw from the University form.  Withdrawal from classes must be completed by September 11th to avoid tuition and fee charges.

    Wait Lists 
    If you are unable to enroll in a course because all seats have been taken you may place yourself on a wait list. Wait-listed course units do not count towards your total class units (i.e. a full time or part-time student could register for their maximum allowed units (12 for PT and 16 for FT) and also add themselves to the wait-list for 3, 3 unit courses).  Instructions on how to add to the wait list are available online at:

    Offering of Available Seats From the Wait List Began August 20th & Continues Daily
    Wait lists become final and will be posted after the registration period closes. During the open registration period and the add/drop period, students on wait lists will be offered seats via the online posted wait list if and when they become available. Students must check the posted wait list online daily (after 10am) to see if you have been offered an available seat at: If you are offered a seat, you will have until the date and time deadline indicated on the wait list (no weekends or holidays) to claim the space in the class [and drop any unwanted classes] by contacting the Registrar's Office (via email or in-person) to accept the seat. Students must contact the Registrar's Office by the posted date and time listed on the wait list. Wait lists will remain active during the 2 week period in which students may add courses. 

    UC Hasting Course Opportunity
    For the Fall 2015 – Spring 2016 trial period, USF and UC Hastings have agreed to allow our students to take a course at UC Hastings through our personal two-school agreement. Students can elect to take an elective course at UC Hastings. There are a few conditions:

    1)     Only one course is permitted per fall/spring term.

    2)     Only classroom courses, letter-graded courses with availability, may be taken (i.e. internships or clinics, etc., are not permitted),

    3)     It is the student’s responsibility to request and pay for an official transcript, if needed by the home-institution.

    4)     Tuition and fees are paid to the home-institution.

    If interested, students must go to the Law Registrar’s Office and complete the necessary paperwork, which will be submitted to UC Hastings.  Students must enroll by the appropriate add deadline.  Questions? Contact the Law Registrar’s office

    Last Day to Add Individual Classes
    Friday, September 4th is the last day to add individual courses for the fall semester (for students who have enrolled in at least one course for the fall term). Students may add courses through 11:59pm on USF Connect. When evaluating your schedule, please ensure that your enrollment meets the following semester residence unit load requirements:

    Part-time students must be enrolled in a minimum of 8 (maximum of 12) units.
    Full-time students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 (maximum of 16) units. 

    If your enrollment does not meet these guidelines please make the necessary adjustments immediately (failure to do so may result in a delayed graduation date).

    Last Day to Submit Writing Requirement or Directed Research Enrollment Forms
    Friday, September 4th  is the last day to submit Writing Requirement or Directed Research Enrollment Forms for the semester. The Writing Requirement and Directed Research Enrollment Forms are available on the Law Registrar’s form page. The form requires submission by the supervising faculty member and the student must submit it to the Law Registrar’s Office by 5pm, Friday, September 4th, 2015 in order to be eligible to complete a Writing Requirement or Directed Research in the Fall 2014 semester. Forms can also be faxed to: 415-422-4199 or emailed (as a PDF attachment ) to from a USF email address only.

    Students who have not submitted the appropriate form will not be enrolled in a Writing Requirement or Directed Research Project by the Law Registrar’s Office, and are not eligible to receive CR/NC designation, or units (Directed Research). 

    Last Day to Drop Individual Classes
    Friday, September 11th  is the last day to drop individual courses for the semester (for students who have enrolled in at least one course for the fall term). Students may drop courses through 11:59pm on USF Connect. When evaluating your schedule, please ensure that your enrollment meets the following semester residence unit load requirements:

    Part-time students must be enrolled in a minimum of 8 (maximum of 12) units.

    Full-time students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 (maximum of 16) units.

    If your enrollment does not meet these guidelines please make the necessary adjustments immediately (failure to do so may result in a delayed graduation date).

    Review Your Course Schedule For Accuracy
    Please review your course schedule on USF Connect to ensure that it accurately reflects all courses for which you are enrolled, and are attending. Students will be held financial responsible for all courses showing on your course schedule. Students are not eligible to earn credit for courses for which they are not enrolled.

    Last Day to Elect Credit Optional Grading for Fall 2015

    October 5, 2015 is the last day to elect Credit/No Credit Optional grading for courses designated as "Opt" in the Fall 2015 Course Schedule. Credit/No Credit Optional courses are courses in which a student may opt to be graded on a credit/no-credit basis instead of a letter grade. Note, students can only elect to opt for credit/no credit grading in only one credit optional graded course per semester. The remaining credit optional grading courses must be taken for letter grade (that semester). 

    The election of a credit/no credit grade is made by submitting a completed Change of Schedule Form to the Registrar's Office. Forms can also be faxed to 415-422-4199 or emailed (as a PDF attachment) to from a USF email address (only). 

    Once submitted, the election is irrevocable. A student is presumed to be taking the course for a letter grade unless a credit option form is submitted. A student may be precluded from enrolling in a credit optional course or electing to take it for credit by a condition of probation or as the result of other enrollment limitations.  

    Submit Fall 2015 Exam Conflict Petitions
    The fall final exam schedule is available online at:  Students should not contact or otherwise discuss rescheduling an examination with the instructor or other students as doing so may be an exam violation. Questions about a conflict should be addressed with the Law Registrar’s Office (only). Discussing the nature of the conflict with the professor may allow the professor to know/remember the dates and nature of the conflict identifies the student, the dates of their conflict, and thus may reveal the student’s identity to the professor.

    Students who have a final exam conflict should complete the Petition to Reschedule Exam form to the Law Registrar’s Office as soon as possible, but no later than Monday, October 12, 2015. 

    An exam conflict is defined as:

  • two examinations are scheduled for the same time and date
  • there are four or fewer hours between the scheduled end of one examination and the scheduled commencement of the next examination.
  • three examinations scheduled on two consecutive calendar days.
  • The Registrar will review (not guaranteed to be approved) a medical emergency/ or other extenuating circumstances (which require documentation). Note: personal vacation plans will not be considered. Please note: In order to preserve anonymity, students should never contact their professor(s) with any exam conflict questions, but direct these inquiries to the Law Registrar’s Office.

    The Registrar will begin to evaluate submitted Petitions for an Individual Examination in late October, and will confirm the final decision via USF email.

    For more information, please contact the Law Registrar’s Office at, or by calling 415-422-6778.

    Tax & Estate Planning Career Drop-Ins

    Held the first Thursday of each month from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in Zief 28.

    Fall 2015 dates: September 3, October 1, November 5, December 3.

    You can also schedule an appointment with Ellen Strauss, Assistant Director, LL.M. in Taxation ( to discuss your options for tax law or estate planning work.