Examinations

Generally

A written essay-type examination at the end of every course is the accepted testing method in the Law School. At least fifty percent of the final grade in a course must be based on an examination or part thereof of the written essay type. Under some circumstances, a paper(s) or problem(s) may be substituted for all or part of the final examination. Authority for a “departure” may be granted in accordance with these standards and procedures.

In second and third year courses, up to fifty percent of the final grade may be based on a paper(s) or problem(s) without being considered a “departure.”

In a first year course, the final grade normally is based solely on a written examination of which at least fifty percent must be of the essay type. A paper(s) or problem(s) may count not more than twenty percent towards the final grade without being considered a “departure.”

Professors are required to give to students and to other persons affected, due notice of the rules and regulations in effect in their course, when such rules or regulations depart from faculty standards and procedures. Due notice may be given by (1) written announcement timely posted on an official bulletin board; or (2) oral or written announcement timely made in class for the course to which the departure is to apply.

Final examinations normally are not required in seminars and workshops.

We will make accommodations to move an exam to later when a student has

  • 3 exams in 3 days,
  • 2 exams beginning less than 24 hours apart, or
  • 4 exams which must be completed within 5 exam days.

If a student is permitted to take an examination at a time other than the regularly scheduled time, he or she normally will receive a grade of “P” (pass), “D” (unsatisfactory), or “F” (fail). At the discretion of the dean, a regular grade for the course may be assigned. The Registrar’s Office sets the time for all makeup examinations, which may occur after the scheduled date.

Missing an Exam

Final examinations must be taken at the regularly scheduled time, unless the Dean’s Office permits a student to take a specially scheduled examination at a time other than the regularly scheduled time upon a showing of any of the following bona fide emergencies or situations arising either before or during the examination:

(a) sickness which clearly disables the student from commencing or continuing with the examination or poses a significant threat to the health of others;
(b) sickness of, or accident involving, a spouse or dependent which requires the student to be with the spouse or dependent;
(c) an accident which necessarily prevents the student’s attendance or continued attendance for the examination;
(d) death of a close family member;
(e) scheduling conflicts beyond the student’s control when

(i) the time regularly scheduled for the student’s examination conflicts with the time regularly scheduled for another examination that the student must take, or
(ii) the time regularly scheduled for the student’s examination conflicts with an important meeting or event at which the student must appear as a representative of the Law School; or

(f) other extraordinary circumstances or hardship as determined by the Dean’s Office.

If a student misses a final examination without the Dean’s prior permission, he or she will normally receive a grade of “F” for that course.

Again, if a student is permitted to take an examination at a time other than the regularly scheduled time, he or she normally will receive a grade of “P” (pass), “D” (unsatisfactory), or “F” (fail).  

Places to Take Exams

Please avoid using the following areas in choosing a place to take an exam

  • In the open areas from outside Rooms 187/188 to the student entrance
  • In the area outside the Dean’s Office
  • In the area outside the Records Office
  • Third floor, except Red Room

The chance for a significant interruption is too great in these areas to use them—to much coming and going and too much public noise.

If a student is permitted to take an examination at a time other than the regularly scheduled time, he or she normally will receive a grade of “P” (pass), “D” (unsatisfactory), or “F” (fail). At the discretion of the dean, a regular grade for the course may be assigned. The Registrar’s Office sets the time for all makeup examinations, which may occur after the scheduled date.

All Examinations are Taken Under the Honor System

Every aspect of the examination process is subject to the provisions of the Honor Code of the Law School. Examinations normally have stated time limits, and students must strictly adhere to the stated limits. The burden is on the student to hand in the examination within the time limit in the classroom where the examination was distributed initially. At the announcement that time is up, all papers are to be handed in in the designated classroom in the box provided. Any paper that does not meet the announced deadline will not be accepted and should be delivered by the student to the Records Office, room 262. Such papers will be marked “Late” with the clock time at which the paper is received by the Records Office. The professor has full discretion to assess a grade penalty for late papers.

Except as directed by the professor, a student may answer the examination in any part of the Law Building that is freely open to students generally.

Student Post-Examination Review

The American Bar Association recommends that a law school have a policy which encourages faculty members to engage in reasonable post-examination review with students, preferably individual review upon request. Absent good cause, students should also have a right to reasonably review their examination papers. This does not mean that faculty members are obligated to review examinations individually with all students in every course. A reasonable policy may take into account the workload of individual teachers, the number of examinations in the course, the academic needs of the particular students requesting review, and the availability of review in courses throughout the school. Faculty members may choose to carry out such a policy using alternative means, including engaging in individual review of examinations upon student’s request, by holding a general review concerning the examination open to all students, or by providing an outline or exemplary good examination answers.

Examination Policy for LL.M. International Graduate Program

Students in the International Graduate Program whose first language is not English shall be given an additional hour on all timed examinations given in the Law School.

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