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Law schools are dusting off their leave policies as America prepares to battle the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The policies, many of which were written during the Vietnam War and updated for the Persian Gulf conflict, provide tuition refunds and a guaranteed spot in school for students who are military reservists and who are called up for active duty. Dean Frank T. Read of South Texas College of Law in Houston says that if students are gone for a long tour of duty, the rule that classes must be completed in six years will be waived. First-year students will be hardest hit if they have to leave school, he says, because it’s easier for the more advanced students to pick up where they left off. “We’ll help every way we can,” Read says. At Texas Wesleyan School of Law in Fort Worth, reservists have the option of withdrawing completely from classes and receiving a full refund or taking incompletes and finishing the courses when they return. Officials at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin also are being flexible and say that if a call-up occurs at the end of a semester, the students could postpone their exams and would not be required to retake their classes. For students left on campus, the terrorist attacks already are affecting their education. Professors who teach international law are using the recent events in their classes. Professor Jordan Paust of the University of Houston Law Center spent one session of his international law class on the responsive use of force under the United Nations Charter and NATO and on presidential powers. His seminar on foreign affairs and the Constitution is about to begin covering congressional and presidential war powers. St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio convened a faculty panel the week of the attack where students could ask questions about the legal ramifications of the situation. Matthew Mirow, a South Texas assistant professor, is delving into the use of force and armed conflict in greater depth than he originally planned for his international law class. The change came in response to questions from students. “This is very much on people’s minds,” Mirow says.

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