Inspiring Excellence in Law
Explore Cal Northern School of Law’s
Located at 1395 Ridgewood Drive, Ste. 100, (530) 891-6900 in Chico, CA our faculty is comprised of judges, commissioners, and practicing attorneys who bring real-world experience to the classroom. We offer in-person and online synchronous instruction that is livestreamed via interactive Zoom sessions. Our in-person classes are held at our Chico location. Continue reading to learn more about our academic calendar, programs, and more.
Fall Semester 2023/2024
|Registration||July 24, 2023- August 1, 2023|
|Orientation for Beginning Students||August 1, 2023|
|1st Year Instruction Begins||August 2, 2023|
|2nd, 3rd, & 4th Year Instruction Begins||August 15, 2023|
|Labor Day (Holiday)||September 4, 2023|
|Midterm Examinations||October 3, 2023-October 5, 2023|
|Law School Information Day – Join us and meet students, faculty and alumni. Inquire about admission requirements, course offerings, internships and career opportunities. Our informational forum will help prospective students learn about law school from current and former students. You will learn what law school is like and the amount of work involved. The first half hour is a presentation by our Dean and faculty followed by an informal question and answer period.||October 16, 2023 6:30 PM- 8:00 PM|
|Veterans Day (Holiday)||November 10, 2023|
|Thanksgiving (Holiday)||November 21, 2023- November 26, 2023|
|Instruction Ends||November 30, 2023|
|Final Examinations||December 9, 2023|
|Winter Recess||December 11, 2023- January 1, 2024|
Spring Semester 2023/2024
|Registration||December 18, 2023-January 1, 2024|
|Instruction Begins||January 2, 2024|
|Martin Luther King Day (Holiday)||January 15, 2024|
|Presidents Day (Holiday)||February 19, 2024|
|Midterm Examinations||February 20, 2024- February 22, 2024|
|Spring Break||March 18, 2024- March 22, 2024|
|Law School Information Day – Join us and meet students, faculty and alumni. Inquire about admission requirements, course offerings, internships and career opportunities. Our informational forum will help prospective students learn about law school from current and former students. You will learn what law school is like and the amount of work involved. The first half hour is a presentation by our Dean and faculty followed by an informal question and answer period.||March 25, 2024 from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM|
|Instruction Ends||April 18, 2024|
|Final Examinations||April 27, 2024|
|Commencement||May 4, 2024|
*4th Year-Please note Remedies Final Exam date is February 5th at 6:30p.m.
Summer Semester 2023/2024
|Registration||April 22, 2024- May 6, 2024|
|Instruction Begins||May 7, 2024|
|Memorial Day (Holiday)||May 27, 2024|
|Application deadline for Fall 2022 Admission||June 1, 2024|
|Midterm Examinations||June 4, 2024- June 5, 2024|
|4th of July (Holiday)||July 4, 2024|
|Instruction Ends||July 10, 2024|
|Final Examinations||July 20, 2024|
|Summer Recess||July 22, 2024- August 19, 2024|
Courses taken for credit without a grade (“Pass/Fail”) will be reflected on the transcript as either Pass or Fail and will not factor into the cumulative numerical percentage.
A total numerical percentage will be given for courses taken each semester and a cumulative numerical percentage will be given for all courses taken at Cal Northern.
Examinations: Final examinations are given at the end of each semester. Mid-terms are given in all bar courses. Instructors of non-bar courses may, at their discretion, give mid-term examinations. Each instructor will announce his/her grading policy at the beginning of the semester.
Probation: A numerical percentage of 2.00 is required for good standing and graduation. A student who earns a semester grade point average below 2.00 will be placed on academic warning. A student who has a cumulative numerical percentage below 2.00 at the end of an academic year may be advanced to the next year of study on probation under the following circumstances:
The student must petition the Dean for advancement on probation.
Advancement on probation will be granted for only one year, and once granted the student must thereafter maintain at least a 2.00 average.
The minimum numerical percentage for advancement on probation is:
From first year to second year… 1.80
From second year to third year… 1.90
A student who fails to maintain the average requirement will be academically disqualified. Upon approval of a timely petition to the Faculty Senate a student may be permitted to repeat coursework and continue their studies at Cal Northern.
Student Services – Tutoring Program: At the end of the Fall semester any 1st Year student in the J.D. program with a course grade of less than 70, and any 1st Year student in the M.L.S. program with a course grade of less than 65, will be required to participate in a minimum of three (3) tutoring sessions as part of Cal Northern’s Student Services-Tutoring Program.
Any student in the J.D. program with a cumulative semester grade point average of less than 2.00 and any student in the M.L.S. program with a cumulative semester grade point average of less than 1.50 will be placed on Academic Warning and will be required to participate in a minimum of three (3) tutoring sessions as part of Cal Northern’s Student Services-Tutoring Program.
The Tutoring Program is designed to best serve students’ academic needs by carefully developing individualized curriculum designed to meet students’ expectations for successful completion of law school. While required for the above referenced students the Tutoring Program is available to all students.
Eligibility to advance to the next year of study may be contingent upon a student’s participation in the tutoring program (absent extenuating circumstances which will be reviewed by the Dean on a case by case basis). These workshops are designed to help develop essay exam skills such as issue spotting, outlining, organization and factual analysis and are open to all students.
First Year Law Students Examinations – “Baby Bar”
Cal Northern School of Law policy requires that all first year “Regular Students” who do not have cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better after the Fall semester of study at Cal Northern, must register to take the FYLSX.
If the cumulative grade point average is less than 2.00 at the end of the Spring semester, the student is required to take the FYLSX. If the cumulative grade point average increases to 2.00 or better by the end of the Spring semester, the student is not required to take the FYLSX.
A “Regular Student” who is required by school policy to take the FYLSX and who does not pass on the first attempt, may be permitted to advance to the second year of study at Cal Northern on academic probation. The student is required to register and take the next scheduled FYLSX.
Any student who fails to pass on the third attempt will be academically disqualified from further attendance at Cal Northern School of Law.
The fees paid to the Committee of Bar Examiners to register for the FYLSX may not be refundable. Any student who is required by Cal Northern policy to register for the FYLSX but is not required by Cal Northern policy to take the examination, may lose the registration fee. This fee is not reimbursable by Cal Northern School of Law.
First year students must check with Admissions no later than February 1 of their first year of study to determine whether they are required under this policy to register for the FYLSX.
All examinations given at Cal Northern School of Law shall be conducted under the Honor System. The Honor System is hereby defined as follows:
- Each student participating in any mid-term, final, or other examination given by any of the instructors at the law school shall be on his or her honor not to bring outlines, notes, or other materials into the examination room during the time in which the student takes the examination.
- No student shall protect other students seeking assistance, either oral or written, during the examination.
Ethical Standards & Disciplinary Procedures
Standards have been developed which define expectations Cal Northern School of Law has of its students; other policies have been implemented which address student rights and the procedures students may use to exercise those rights.
Program Learning Outcomes
Cal Northern School of Law (CNSL) has adopted a set of specific program learning outcomes which are mission-based, providing both academic and practical instruction, to best prepare students for careers in the legal profession.
To assess achievement of course and program objectives, CNSL has developed various strategies to measure student success. Through direct review of students’ work, CNSL is able to measure individual proficiency and mastery of the course objectives and to gather information on the effectiveness of its program. Through indirect evidence, CNSL is able to measure the student’s self-perceptions of their learning and experience of the program and curriculum.
Juris Doctor Program Learning Outcomes Assessment
Cal Northern School of Law has created six Program Learning Outcomes for the Juris Doctor program. In the Spring semester 2017, faculty assessed students in the JD program as they completed the first year curriculum in Torts, Contracts and Criminal Law on three of the six outcomes. Students were assessed on their understanding of substantive law, their ability to think critically, and their ability to communicate effectively through exam writing. Students were given a rating of Beginning, Developing, Proficient, or Highly Proficient.
The table below focuses on three outcomes aligned with completing the first year of the JD program.
|Learning Outcome||Beginning||Developing||Proficient||Developing to Proficient|
|Knowledge of Law||22%||56%||22%||78%|
|Knowledge of Law||22%||56%||22%||78%|
|Year of Study||Beginning||Developing||Proficient||Highly Proficient|
Master of Legal Studies Program Learning Outcomes Assessment
CNSL has three Program Learning Outcomes for the Master of Legal Studies program. The Assessment Coordinator assess students in the MLS Program on the first of the three outcomes: Demonstrate understanding of fundamental legal principles in the American legal system. Students were assess on their understanding of legal principles in the 1L subjects of Contracts, Criminal Law, and Torts by the administration 15 multiple-choice (MBE) questions (direct assessment). The data show a wide range of correct answers with 2 being the lowest and 9 being the highest. The student scoring only 2 correct answers was late to class and did not finish the assessment.
Disaggregating the 1L and 2L students show that the 2L students are further along in their understanding of fundamental legal principles.
CNSL’s curriculum aligns with program mission and program learning outcomes (PLOs). Curriculum Maps for the JD and the MLS Programs have been developed by the faculty and can be found here:
Faculty determined which PLO was addressed in which courses and at what level (Introduced = I; Developed = D; Mastered = M). From that data, faculty evaluated whether students had a systematic opportunity to achieve success in each PLO.
Student Course Evaluations
2015-2016 Student Courses Evaluations show students expressed 91% satisfaction with their instructor’s overall performance; 63% of the faculty received 100% satisfaction ratings. The data for students surveyed in the 2018/2019 academic year show that 100% of students are generally to very satisfied with their law school education.
According to the law school’s Graduate Survey sent to the 2016 and 2017 graduates, all of the 50% who responded reported overall satisfaction with their law school experience; 56% were extremely satisfied and 44% were moderately satisfied.