IV. Examination Policies

Each faculty member shall decide the method for evaluating student work in his or her course. Students shall be informed at the beginning of the semester as to the method of evaluation to be used, including the type of exam to be given. The faculty member will either give an exam on a date after the last date on which the class is held, or use an alternative means of evaluation. It is strongly recommended that a professor have a sample exam available for students for classes where the grade will be based in substantial part on an exam.

  1. Anonymity – The law school uses an anonymous grading system. For identification, students are required to use their assigned examination number (a separate number is issued to each student each semester and additional, different numbers are issued for midterms) in place of their name on exams.

  2. Students may handwrite exams using bluebooks or keyboard exams using a laptop computer with special security software (see “Computers” section below). Bluebooks, Scantrons for multiple choice exams, and scratch paper are provided.

  3. Computers – Students who plan to use a laptop computer to take exams are required to install special examination security software that restricts access to computer files during an exam.

  4. Final examinations in the first year will be either take-home or in-house exams, depending on professor preference. All the in-house exams will be administered on a fixed schedule.

  5. Final examinations in the second and third years will be either take-home or in-house, depending on professor preference. In-house exams may be administered on a fixed schedule or may be self-scheduled by the student, depending on professor preference.

  6. Closed-Book Exams (either fixed schedule or self-scheduled) – Only exam related materials such as the exam questions, writing utensils, bluebooks, a laptop, and blank scratch paper are permitted at the desk during an examination. All other belongings must be placed at the front of the classroom.

  7. Partial Open-Book exams (either fixed schedule or self-scheduled) – Instructors may limit the materials permitted in the exam room. For example, they may ban the use of commercial outlines. Students with questions about what sources may be used for any particular examination should consult with the instructor of the course before the day of the exam.

  8. Open-Book exams (either fixed schedule or self-scheduled) – During in-class open-book exams, students may bring printed copies of notes and outlines, but may not access those materials from their computers, and they may not bring in a second computer to use for reference purposes.

  9. Returning exam questions – Students are required to return their exam questions with their answers at the end of an exam. A faculty member may refuse to grade an exam that does not have the exam questions included.

  10. Illness – If a student becomes ill during an exam and cannot continue, she or he must report immediately to the Assistant Dean for Student Services or the Law School Registrar.

  11. Plagiarism – Students caught cheating on examinations or papers, or committing plagiarism, are subject to University disciplinary proceedings (see Appendix 3). They will also be subject to such Honor Code violation proceedings as are in place under the Honor Code of the School of Law. If a student is found to be in violation of University rules or the Law School Honor Code or both, said violation will be recorded in the student’s permanent record and, if appropriate, may be reported to the governing Bar Association or Committee of Bar Examiners of any state in which the student seeks admission to the Bar.

  1. If, at any time, a student believes she or he is the victim of disabling circumstances and feels unable to perform adequately in class work, course papers, and/or exams, the student must bring this to the attention of the Assistant Dean for Student Services when the problem occurs and consult about the possibility of postponing exams, obtaining an extension, withdrawing from the law school, or, depending on the circumstances, other alternatives. Students with such disabling circumstances should not gamble on taking examinations or completing assignments and then expect to gain relief after the fact.

  2. Make-up or postponed exams or extensions for other written assignments must be approved in writing by the Assistant Dean for Student Services and must be arranged by the student before the day of the scheduled exam or normal date for assignment submission. As a general and basic rule, students will be allowed to take a make-up exam (or submit an assignment late) only when they are subject to disabling circumstances that will persist up to and including the day of the scheduled exam or assignment submission date.

  3. If an examination falls on a date or time when the student cannot take it because it violates the student’s religious beliefs, the student may request an alternative time the same day or an alternative date if necessary. This must be done as soon as possible after a particular exam date is announced.

  4. A student may reschedule an exam if:

    1. a) Two exams are scheduled at the same time or in consecutive periods. (A consecutive period is defined as either: one morning exam and one afternoon exam on the same day, or one afternoon exam and one morning exam on the following day.)

    2. b) Three exams are scheduled on three consecutive days.

  5. The student may choose which exam to reschedule. The date and time of the rescheduled exam shall be determined by the Assistant Dean for Student Services. The rescheduled exam must be completed no later than the close of business on the last day of the examination period.

When an examination, or any portion thereof, is lost due to the operation of test-taking software or otherwise demonstrated to the professor to have been lost by the Law School, instructors will have the following options in their discretion

  1. To have the affected portion(s) of the same examination re-administered; or

  2. To replace the affected portion(s) of the examination with new questions, which will be administered; or 

  3. If a student for whom at least a portion of their examination is lost agrees to the option, to award him or her a grade using the "S/U" grade designation, which shall be based on the instructor grading any portion of the examination that is available and, if the instructor deems it necessary, using other oral or written means to fully assess the affected student's performance. The units will not count toward the student's maximum of 8 self-selected units of Law School courses taken on a Credit/No-Credit basis.

A professor may decline to permit a student to take the final examination, submit a final paper, or participate in or receive credit for other graded class activities, if the professor has determined that the student’s class attendance has been unsatisfactory. Before revoking the student’s permission to take the final examination, submit a final paper, or participate in or receive credit for other graded class activities, the professor must notify the student in writing of the student’s unsatisfactory attendance record and the consequences if attendance is not corrected, so that the student will have an opportunity after the warning to improve his/her attendance in the course. Professors are encouraged to include their attendance policies in their written syllabi or other course materials. Publication in the syllabus or other course materials is sufficient notice of the instructor’s class attendance policy, but does not replace the required written warning. (See also Rule II.L, ABA Requirement for Class Attendance.)