Registration Information

Lottery Registration

Registration bidding for Spring 2016 classes will take place using the web-based Lottery Registration System from November 13 at 12:01 a.m. through November 16 at 11:59 p.m. This memorandum contains important information about registration rules and processes, and should answer many questions you may have about the lottery process. Please read it carefully, and inquire with Student Services staff if you have questions.

Preparing for the Lottery

  • Review available courses and times by reviewing the Class Schedule grid on the Law School’s Current Students web site, and by reviewing the on-line course catalog on MyU at: (Select the Academics tab, then Class Search, and enter “Twin Cities/Rochester” for Institution and Spring 2016 for Term, and “Law” for Subject). Go to the Law School Course Guide for course descriptions.
  • Clear any holds on your record. A hold will prevent access to the lottery. Access will automatically be granted once the hold has been removed. Check your holds now on MyU > Holds (tab is located at bottom of the web page) if you have not already done so.
  • If you are a rising 3L, be sure to register for Professional Responsibility and a course that satisfies the Upper Division Constitutional Law Requirement (formerly the Constitutional Law II requirement) if you have not already taken the course(s) as well as a qualifying 3L writing requirement exercise. It is your responsibility to prioritize your lottery bids to ensure that required coursework is listed first, as these courses do fill.

How the Lottery Works

The Lottery is a fair, automated registration process that assigns students to open classes according to students’ ranked course bids. The Lottery first randomly cycles through students’ top bids, awarding one class to each student per cycle. The course assigned on each cycle is the highest-ranked open course on a student’s bid list that does not conflict with courses previously assigned to that student. The cycle stops when each student’s total semester enrollment is between 12 and 15 credits. This total semester enrollment includes any pre-enrolled courses such as clinics, journals, remedial coursework, etc.

3L students (56 or more earned and in-progress credits), and LL.M. students for spring semester registration, receive priority in the Lottery registration process. This means that the Lottery program cycles through all 3L (and LL.M.) bids before moving on to 2L bids (2L = 30 to 55.999 earned and in-progress credits). In rare cases, limited seats are set aside for 2L students (such as in clinics with student director positions).

Generally, students should list course choices in order of preference. The most desired course should be listed first, and so on. Students should also prioritize the following:

  • Courses or exercises likely to fill quickly due to high demand and/or small class size (including many clinics and seminars);
  • Courses that are JD program requirements (such as Professional Responsibility, Upper Division Constitutional Law Requirement courses, or 3L writing requirement seminars for 3Ls);
  • Courses or exercises necessary to complete requirements for a concentration or joint/dual degree program;
  • Courses that are foundational prerequisites for upper division classes.

Student course bids are NOT accepted by the Lottery when:

  • The course is full.
  • The course meets at the same time as a previously-awarded course. Courses that abut or meet within one minute of each other are considered to be in conflict.
  • The student’s enrollment has already reached 12 credits - including lottery-awarded and pre-enrolled credits - and the additional course would push the student over 15 credits.

When a course is offered in more than one section, both sections can be included in the Lottery bid list, with the preferred section placed higher in the ranking. The Lottery will not place students in two sections of the same course, nor will it automatically place a student in a second course section if that section has not also been included on the bid list.

Students may rank classes that meet at common times, but as soon as the system selects one course, all subsequent conflicting courses will be rejected. This is another reason to think carefully about prioritization of courses.

All lottery bids must be entered by 11:59 p.m. on November 13, 2015. While there is no advantage to those students who enter their bids earlier in the Lottery period, it is best to attempt to access the lottery early to provide sufficient time for reflection and changes before the bidding period closes.

Students will be able to make changes to their schedules beginning Tuesday, November 24 at 8:00 a.m. using MyU. This includes adding open courses, dropping courses, and changing the number of credits for courses which allow it, i.e., Judicial Externship. Students may also use the MyU online registration system to add their names to the waitlist of closed classes. If a course closes during the cancel/add period, check back online frequently for availability since someone may drop and re-open the course.

Lottery Registration Instructions

  • Enter the Lottery through the Current Students > Registration Services page of the Law School’s web site (not through MyU).
  • Click on the maroon Lottery Registration button on the lower left side of the page.
  • Log in by entering your University of Minnesota Internet ID (x.500 username) and password. For log in problems, call (612) 301-4357.
  • If prompted, make selections regarding your hospitalization insurance coverage.
  • On the “Select Law Lottery Choices” page, you will see a list of available classes on the left and your “Law Lottery Choices” list on the right. To move an available course to your “Law Lottery Choices” list, click on the course to select it and then use the (>) arrow to move the course to the list. To remove a course from your list, simply click on the course to highlight it and use the (<) arrow.
  • To change the priority order of the courses on your “Law Lottery Choices” list, click on a course and use the “Up” or “Down” buttons to re-order your list.

3L’s only: If you are selected for a journal editor, moot court director, or clinic director position for Fall semester, you will be enrolled prior to the beginning of the semester. For spring semester, you will be enrolled prior to the lottery bidding process.

2L’s only: You will be pre-enrolled for Maynard Pirsig moot court for the Fall semester lottery which occurs in spring. The Maynard Pirsig moot court registration is a place-holder until journal and specialty moot court selections have been made. You do not need to bid on the course. Once journal and moot court participants have been identified, students will be pre-enrolled for the journal or moot court writing course in the Fall and Spring term.

  • When you are satisfied with the rank order of your course choices, click Submit (note: you may later enter the Lottery page and change your choices until the Lottery period closes).
  • The next page in the Lottery system displays the selections you have made. This page also gives you the option to:
    • Edit your choices as many times as you wish until the lottery closes at 11:59 p.m. on November 16, 2015
    • Print your choices for future reference by using your browser’s “Print” button
    • Email your choices to yourself
  • You may re-enter the Lottery system and re-order, remove, or otherwise change your Law Lottery Choices list at any time during the bidding period. But all bids must be placed by the time the lottery closes. Students who do not enter course bids will register for available classes starting on Tuesday, November 24 at 8:00 a.m.

Law Clinics - Special Registration Process

The Clinic Lottery for Spring 2016 is separate from the main registration lottery. It opens on November 5, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. and closes on November 6, 2015 at 8:00 p.m., before the main lottery bidding opens on November 13th. Students must use the Clinic Lottery process to enter the pool for selection into a clinic for Spring 2016. (Clinic courses will not be listed in the main lottery).

The Clinic Office manages the initial lottery selection and waitlist offers for clinic enrollments. Students bidding for clinics must comply with the rules and limitations prescribed by the clinic administration, which are described in detail in the clinic registration policies. Questions about clinic registration should be directed to the Clinic Coordinator, Nicole Smiley,

Degree Requirements

Each student is responsible for planning enrollment to ensure degree requirements are completed prior to the anticipated date of graduation.

Required courses include:

1. Professional Responsibility (3 credits)

2. Upper Division Constitutional Law Requirement (3 credits) - If you have not satisfied the upper division requirement with Law 6014 Con Law II or an equivalent (Law 6218 Crim Pro, or Law 6241 First Amendment) by the end of Spring 2015, you must take one of the following courses before graduation:

  • LAW 6081 - Constitutional Law II: Fourteenth Amendment
  • LAW 6082 - Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights and Liberties Survey
  • LAW 6083, section 001 - First Amendment: Speech
  • LAW 6083, section 002 - First Amendment: Speech and Religion
  • LAW 6085: Criminal Procedure

NOTE: Students may not enroll for both LAW 6082 and LAW 6083 (any section). Credit will not be granted for both. However, students may earn credit for both LAW 6083 (any section) and LAW 6081. Criminal Procedure (LAW 6085) may be taken in addition to any of the other listed courses (6081, 6082 or 6083).

3. Courses required for Transfer students who did not complete their 1L year here at the Law School. Transfer students should plan accordingly for required 1L courses that they may need and enroll for upper division courses around the 1L course(s). For questions about registration, please email

You are still strongly encouraged to enroll for both PR and an Upper Division Constitutional Law Requirement in your second year. PR is a helpful course to complete before taking the MPRE, and the Constitutional Law courses are foundational courses for several other upper division offerings.

To optimize your enrollment in a required course, we recommend that a) you rank the course high on your lottery bid list; and b) that you bid on both sections of a required course if more than one section is offered. If the lottery assigns you to your first choice section, it will disregard the second section.

Additional degree requirements—including the residency requirement and the in-class instruction requirement—are listed in the PDF iconAcademic Rules (Rules 3-5).

Second Year and Upper Division Writing Requirement

The second year writing requirement is satisfied either by completing a moot court or by serving as a member of the staff of a journal. If you are a 2L, you will be enrolled in Maynard Pirsig Moot Court prior to the lottery. After journal and specialty moot court selections are made later in the spring and summer, your enrollment in Maynard Pirsig will be swapped for an enrollment in a journal or specialty moot court if applicable.

The upper division requirement is satisfied by taking a seminar or other course that satisfies the requirement, completing an independent research paper that is certified by the instructor as meeting the requirement, or by serving as a journal editor. See PDF iconAcademic Rules (Rules 5.3 and 5.4). Consult the Upper Division Writing Requirement list for courses that may meet the requirement next term.

Editor or Director Positions: Students selected as a journal editor, moot court director, or clinic director for fall term will enroll themselves later in spring term, after the lottery.

Clinic Registration Policies

NOTE: The Clinic Lottery for Spring 2016 is separate from the main registration lottery. It opens on November 5 at 8:00 a.m. and closes on November 6 at 8:00 p.m., before the main lottery bidding opens, on November 13. Students must use the Clinic Lottery process to have a chance to be enrolled in a clinic for Spring 2016.

PDF iconClinic Course Guide - Spring 2016

Clinic Course Registration and Add/Drop Policy

This memorandum contains important information about registration rules and processes, and should answer many questions you have regarding clinic registration.

The following rules and policies apply to enroll in a Clinic course:

  1. Only students in good academic standing are eligible to participate in a clinic course.
  2. Students must have passed Law in Practice and the Legal Writing course. (Transfer students contact the Clinic Administrator, Nicole Smiley, if you don’t meet this requirement)
  3. Additionally, certain categories of students are not eligible to register or audit any clinic courses: LL.M., Humphrey Fellows, exchange and visiting students.
  4. Students may only be enrolled in one clinical course per semester. Students may take more than one clinical course during their law school career, just not concurrently.
  5. Clinic courses with student directors will reserve slots for 2L students to ensure a mix of both 3L and 2L students.
  6. The Law Clinic will arrange the clinic enrollment and waitlists using the following criteria:
    • The law clinic slots will be awarded based on the lottery order and the following criteria, keeping in mind the mix of 3L and 2L students in each clinic:
      • 3L student with no prior clinic enrollment;
      • 2L student with no prior clinic enrollment;
      • 3L student who has completed a one-semester clinic;
      • 2L student who has completed a one-semester clinic;
      • 3L student who has completed a two-semester clinic; and
      • 2L student who has completed a two-semester clinic.
  7. Students who participated or did not participate in the clinic lottery will be able to add themselves to a clinic course waitlist once open enrollment begins.

Attendance for the first class session of any clinical course is mandatory. If any student misses the first class session without pre-approval, the clinics will consider that student no longer enrolled in the course and offer the open slot to the next student on the waiting list. To get pre-approval, a student must contact the professor teaching the clinic or Nicole Smiley, Law Clinic Administrator, at, to let one of them know why s/he will be absent and to request to remain on the class list.

Limited Drop - Dropping of clinic courses is allowed ONLY during the first week of the first semester. Students enrolled in a clinic course for Spring 2016 will only have until Monday, January 25, 2016 (by midnight) to drop the clinic course. You will find the law school cancel/add & refund deadlines for Spring 2016 along this path:

Registration for the 2nd semester of 2-semester clinic courses occurs AUTOMATICALLY. Students currently registered in the 1st semester of their 2-semester clinic do not need to use a lottery slot for the continuation of the course. The registrar will automatically add the course to the student’s schedule before the lottery opens.

  • Failure to complete both semesters of a 2-semester clinic. Students who choose to drop or are unable to complete both semesters of any 2-semester clinic, for any reason, will receive from their Clinical Professor/Supervising Attorney either an “F” or a “W” for the first semester.
  • Any student who voluntarily removes themselves from the 2nd semester of a 2-semester clinic will not be re-enrolled. At the discretion of the Clinical Professor/ Supervising Attorney, s/he will receive either an “F” or a “W” for the first semester of the clinic.

The Law Clinic Lottery (11/5 - 11/6)

Registration bidding for Spring 2016 Clinic courses starts at 8:00 a.m. November 5 and will go through 8:00 p.m. November 6. This is before and separate from general Law School Lottery.

The Law Clinic lottery is a fair, randomized process that assigns students to open Clinic courses and places them on waitlists, according to students’ ranked course bids. Students will be emailed a link to the Clinic Lottery Survey (google form) where you will be able to rank up to four clinical courses. After the Survey closes, the lottery randomization will run and students will be enrolled into a course based on their ranked course bids. Students who receive a clinic course will be notified by November 10th and will see their enrollment in a clinic course before making their standard law school lottery bids.

To prepare for the lottery go to the Law School Clinic website to see a description of each clinic course. Clinic policies and procedures can also be found on the Law School website under Clinics at

Please think carefully about how you choose and rank your Clinic choices:

  • Students who receive a clinic course in the clinic lottery will not be able to remove themselves until open registration. This means if you receive a clinic course in the clinic lottery you will not be removed from it before the general lottery.
  • A student may only take one clinic course at a time and will be enrolled/waitlisted into a clinic course based on that ranking. (Ex. If you get into your second choice clinic, you will not be automatically placed on the waiting list for your third choice.)

Courses available for Spring 2016 enrollment as of 10/16/2015

One Semester Clinics (Spring 2016)

  • Human Rights Litigation & Int’l Legal Advocacy
  • Housing
  • Federal Defense

Contact Nicole Smiley, the Law Clinic Administrator, at with any additional questions.

Non-Law Course Registration

Registration for non-law courses begins on the announced Open Enrollment date and occurs on MyU. All JD students are eligible to transfer in a maximum of six (6) non-law credits (unless completing an approved joint or dual degree).

Grading: You must earn the equivalent of a “C-” or better in a non-law course to receive credit at the Law School. All non-law coursework must appear on the student’s law transcript. Students may enroll in non-law courses on either an A-F basis or on a pass/fail grade basis, if available. Regardless of the grade-basis for the non-law course the grade will NOT factor into the Law GPA. The preferred grade basis must be selected at the time of registration for the non-law course. The Law School Registrar’s Office will not adjust the grade-basis for a non-law course after the student’s initial registration.

Instructor Consent: Some non-law courses require a “permission number” to register. Obtain this number directly from the instructor or the department offering the course.

For students who matriculated in or after Fall 2013:

The Law School will accept up to six (6) non-law credits at the graduate level (5000 and above) in coursework that is substantially law-related. “Substantially law-related” may be determined in one of two ways:

  1. The Dean may approve such courses for a particular student based on a student’s petition explaining how the course fits into an overall plan of study. Students must submit the Non-Law Course Approval Form (UMN.EDU login required) documenting that the coursework is “substantially law-related.”
  2. Courses currently approved for credit toward a Law School concentration satisfy the substantially law-related requirement. Students seeking to count credits towards graduation under this Section are responsible for researching the coursework currently approved under the various concentrations. See concentrations here for more information.

N.B. Students should seek to verify such approval before taking a course, as denial of a retroactive petition may delay a student’s eligibility to graduate.

For students who matriculated prior to Fall 2013:

Language Courses: If you are interested in language courses, you may register for any level (1000-9000) course, provided you have not taken it as an undergraduate within the last 5 years. These courses fill fast.

Other Courses: You may take any non-language course at level 5000-9000 only.

Independent Research & Field Placement

Under Academic Rule 10.5, JD students who have completed their first year of law school may earn a limited number of credits for unpaid independent study. Generally, “independent study” includes exercises that permit or require student participation in law-related writing, research, or other activities away from or outside the Law School, or in a format that does not involve attendance at regularly scheduled class sessions. The total number of independent study credits a student may earn is limited by Academic Rule 3.1. Independent study may include legal research and writing projects, or field placement projects in a legal setting. While similar to externships, field placements are set up on an ad hoc basis, usually with a faculty member who has some experience or expertise in the field placement practice area. Detailed instructions on completing the form and the requirements for earning credit can be found PDF iconhere.

In order to register for an Independent Research or Independent Field Placement project, the student and advising faculty member must complete the appropriate form here. If a student seeks to satisfy the Third Year Writing Requirement through Independent Research (pursuant to Academic Rule 5.4), this intent should be clearly noted on the Independent Research registration form.

Students are charged tuition for Independent Research and Independent Field Placement credit in the same manner as other course credits. Students are limited to two (2) credits of Independent Research per semester and three (3) credits per semester for Independent Field Placement if stipulations in Rule 10.5(a) and (b) are met.

Class & Exam Schedules

All class and exam schedules can be found here.

Refund and Drop/Add Deadlines

The tuition refund and drop/add deadlines can be found here.

Lottery Tutorial

Click PDF iconhere for a pdf of the lottery registration tutorial.


Use MyU to make the following registration changes:

  • add a non-law course
  • drop/add a course after the lottery
  • make a grade base change
  • waitlist, or set up a future swap, for a closed course

Wait List Information

Beginning on the first day of the Cancel/Add, Waitlist, Non-law Course Registration period, students may add their names to a closed course waitlist using the MyU online registration system. Students may add their names to the waitlist by following these steps:

  • Click the MyU Academics tab, then the Registration sub-tab;
  • Click on the “Register (Shopping Cart)” link;
  • Select the appropriate term and click “Continue”;
  • Add the class(es) you would like in your Shopping Cart; a closed course with a wait list will be indicated by an orange triangle;
  • Check the “Waitlist if class is full” box to add yourself to the waitlist; NOTE: by adding yourself to the waitlist, you may be automatically enrolled if a space becomes available for you;
  • Click “OK” and “Proceed to Step 2 of 3”;
  • To complete the wait list process, click “Finish Enrolling”;

IMPORTANT: If you would like to enroll in a closed course that has a time conflict with a course you are currently enrolled in, you must use the “future swap” function AT THE TIME you add yourself to the wait list.

See the section on Clinics for special rules regarding clinic waitlists.

MJF Volunteer Project Information

Gain practical legal experience

Through the Law School Public Service Program, your school encourages every student to volunteer 50 hours of law-related service during law school. This program is administered by the Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF). Volunteer work will make you more marketable because you will gain practical legal experience by interviewing clients; conducting research; drafting memoranda, pleadings, and other legal documents; performing fact investigation; assisting clients in completing legal forms or representing clients in court. Students who complete the program will receive special recognition.

Stop by the MJF office to find the volunteer project right for you

MJF offers volunteer opportunities with more than 150 public interest law agencies, including legal services providers, nonprofit organizations, government offices, and private firms pro bono projects, and offers opportunities in a wide variety of substantive areas. MJF works with you to ensure that your volunteer placement matches your interests and time constraints. 

Have you been volunteering in a law-related public service project?

If so, make sure that you notify MJF of your volunteer service hours. Even if you did not arrange your service project through MJF, any law-related volunteering will count toward the 50 hours needed to complete the program. This includes hours you gave that exceeded clinic or work study requirements.

If you are volunteering, please log your hours! To log your hours, visit the MJF website at and follow the link on the left hand side. If your volunteer position is not listed, contact Thomas Hart, your MJF staff attorney, at

MJF U of M Office, Room 90

Contact Information

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