School of Law Policy
Please check the JD Handbook for the most up-to-date information, as this policy was up for review after publication of the 2016–2017 Bulletin.
Excerpt from Article VII of 2016/2017 Academic Regulations
1. Examination schedule. Students must take examinations according to the School of Law Registrar’s announced schedule unless they have obtained permission otherwise under section 2 or section 3 of this Article.
2. Advance rescheduling of an examination in special circumstances. With advance request, in the first instance to the School of Law Registrar, a student may reschedule an examination under the following circumstances.
a. Religious holiday. A student may reschedule an examination held on a religious holiday that the student observes. The rescheduled date will be as close as possible to the original date, and ordinarily it will be neither more than one day earlier nor more than five days later.
b. Examination schedule. A student may reschedule an examination that is one of (1) three examinations on three consecutive days of the examination period’s first calendar week; (2) three examinations on three consecutive days of the examination period’s second calendar week, if the third examination concludes no later than 48 hours after commencement of the first; (3) two examinations on one day; or (4) four examinations on four consecutive calendar days. In circumstance (1) or (2) above, the middle examination will be rescheduled. In circumstance (3), either examination may be rescheduled. In circumstance (4), either the second or the third examination may be rescheduled. The date of the rescheduled examination will be as close as possible to the originally scheduled date, and ordinarily it will be neither more than one day earlier nor more than five days later.
c. Illness or other compelling circumstance. A student may reschedule an examination if the Academic Standards Committee determines that serious illness, or other compelling circumstance beyond the student’s control, justifies relief. If illness is the asserted basis for relief, the student’s request must be supported by a statement from an examining physician. The physician’s statement must show the date, nature, and severity of the illness, and it should give the physician’s judgment as to the student’s ability to take the examination as scheduled. The statement should be as contemporaneous with the request as possible. If relief is granted, the rescheduled date will be as close to the original date as the reason for giving relief will permit, and ordinarily it will be neither more than one day earlier nor more than five days later. If the proposed date for rescheduling is beyond the end of the examination period, and if the student is in his or her final semester, then the student must obtain Faculty approval under Article III, section 7.
3. Excused failure to take or submit an examination on time. Failure to take an in-class examination at the scheduled or rescheduled time, or failure to submit a take-home examination on time, may be excused only if the Academic Standards Committee determines that serious illness, or other compelling cause beyond the student’s control, caused the student’s failure. If illness is the asserted cause, the student must produce the documentation described in paragraph 2(c) above. If the Committee decides that the student’s failure is excused, it will prescribe an appropriate remedy, which ordinarily will be to reschedule the examination for the earliest date consistent with the reason for recognizing the excuse. If that date is beyond the end of the examination period, and if the student is in his or her final semester, then the student must obtain Faculty approval under Article III, section 7. If the Committee decides that the student’s failure is not excused, it will dispose of the petition according to section 4 below.
4. Unexcused failure to take or submit an examination on time. If the Academic Standards Committee determines that a student, without compelling cause, has failed to take an in-class examination on time, or has failed to submit a take-home examination on time, the Committee may allow the student to take and submit the examination, provided that the student does so immediately. If the Committee so allows, it will impose a penalty that reflects both the student’s fault and any benefit the student might have obtained from delay. Ordinarily this penalty will be a substantial reduction of the student’s examination grade.
5. Examination rules. The following rules apply to the conduct of examinations. Additional rules may be prescribed either by the School or by an instructor.
a. All in-class examinations must be of at least two hours duration, with questions and answers in writing.
b. All final examinations, including take-home examinations, will be evaluated on an anonymous basis, with students’ papers identified to the instructor only by a number that the School of Law Registrar has assigned.
c. Take-home examinations will be issued by, and must be returned to, the School of Law Registrar. During take-home examinations, students may not consult other persons unless expressly authorized by the instructor.
d. During an in-class examination, students may not possess materials or devices forbidden by the instructor. Students may not consult with other persons. They may consult books, notes, or similar material, only as authorized by the instructor. Use of laptop computers is subject to announced School policy and procedure. Possession of cell phones, or other communication and/or recording devices, is forbidden unless authorized specifically by the School in advance.
e. Except in case of emergency, students taking an in-class examination may leave the examination room only as necessary to use the restrooms.
f. Students must stop writing and turn in their in-class examination papers when time is called.
g. No student may retake an examination for any purpose.
h. Students may review essay portions of their examinations after final grades have been released.
6. Failure in courses requiring an examination. No credits for a failed course or seminar may count toward the 84 credits required for the JD degree. Such credits, however, will count toward the minimum credits required to be taken during a semester or year. The failing grade will appear on the student’s transcript and will be included in the student’s average.