- Academic Misconduct Policy
- Academic Regulations and Exams
- Blind Grading
- Exam Archive
- Exam Deviations
- Exam Schedule (Times, Dates, and Locations)
- Laptop Exams
- Illness During the Exam Period
- Preparing for Exams
- Proctored Exam Information
- Take Home Exam Information
Academic Misconduct Policy
The Academic Misconduct Policy of the law school, in part, governs student conduct as it pertains to law school examinations. The policy defines the cheating and prohibited collaboration as they relate to examinations. All members of the community must familiarize themselves with the full policy as all members are encouraged to report acts of academic misconduct and to adhere to its guidelines.
View the Academic Misconduct Policy.
Academic Regulations and Exams
The Student Handbook is also a key resource in understanding exam policy. Policies have been developed regarding exam administration, exam accommodations and deviations, as well as lost and alternative examinations.
The use of anonymous grading is used for all proctored and take home examinations. Students will receive blind grading ID numbers in the examination room (for proctored exams) and from the Registrar’s Office in advance of their exams (for take home exams). Because of the anonymity of the exam process, students should not attempt to discuss any exam concerns with an instructor after the exam has begun and before the posting of course grades. Exam concerns should be directed to the Registrar’s Office. Instructors may request identification of student names and numbers only after submission of their exam grades to accommodate grading factors such as class participation in the final evaluation.
The archive of exams is maintained by the Law Library. Exam questions are retained on file and accessible for student review at the discretion of the instructor. Past exams, when available, may be in hard copy or electronic format.
Exam deviations are granted only in limited circumstances. Course exam dates are posted along with course schedule information at the time of course registration, thus the fact that a student's course selections result in multiple exams in a single day or other short period will not provide grounds for a deviation. Students may apply to the director of student services to take an examination at a time other than that for which it is regularly scheduled only when facing an unforeseeable hardship such as a medical problem, a death in the family, unavoidable employment conflict, etc. and this request must be done in accordance with dates posted on the academic calendar. Failure to sit for an exam when scheduled and without an approved exam deviation will (in the great majority of cases) result in a failing grade for that exam. Exam Deviation Request Form »
Exam Schedule (Times, Dates and Locations)
The day/time for an in-class, proctored exam is posted with other course details at the time of registration, though students are required to be available for the entire exam period (including deviations) to accommodate any emergency postponement of an exam. Approximately two weeks before the start of the exam period exam locations are posted. Students are asked to report to the exam room no less than 15 minutes prior to the start of the exam. Spring 2014 Exam Dates »
Students may produce their proctored exam responses using their own laptops provided that (1) all appropriate software has been downloaded and validated according to the dates on the academic calendar and (2) such an option is permitted by the instructor. Subject to availability, students without personal laptops may request use of the library laptops. Only in very rare and limited circumstances will students be able to use their laptops without use of exam software. In even fewer circumstances will students be able to use their laptops to access their course notes during an exam. Therefore, all students who have the option to consult course notes during an exam, will do so in printed version.
The use of laptop is highly encouraged for take home exams, though written take home exams are permitted. The use of exam software is not required for take home exams; students may produce their exams using the software of their choosing.
Illness During the Exam Period
Students who determine they are unable to take a scheduled exam due to illness are to contact the Director of Student Services prior to the examination. Students may be granted an exam deviation provided medical documentation can be submitted indicating the nature of the illness. Students who may be well enough to take an exam, but have symptoms that may concern other students, should also contact the Director of Student Services in order to take the exam in an alternate location. We encourage all students to make these arrangements if they are ill so that they do not increase exposure to other students.
Writing Law Examinations by Professor John H. Langbein, Yale Law School
How to Approach and Take a Law School Examination by Elizabeth Garrett, University of Chicago School of Law
The Seven C’s of Exam Success by Joyce Savio Herleth, St. Louis University School of Law
Tips for Multiple Choice Exams in Law School by Prof. Scott Burnham, University of Montana School of Law
Top 10 Tips for Successfully Writing a Law School Essay by Prof. Jennifer Martin, Western New England College School of Law
Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams by Profs. Michael Fischl and Jeremy Paul
Mastering the Law School Exam: A Practical Blueprint for Preparing and Taking Law School Exams by Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus
Write the "A" Law Exam Answer by Betty Brody
Proctored Exam Information
Examinations are scheduled and administered by the Registrar’s Office. Supervision of the exam room is under the direction of trained proctors. Faculty members, while perhaps intermittently present in the exam room are not permitted to proctor their own exams. Per faculty resolution, no proctored examination may be greater than three hours in length. Some proctored examinations have, as permitted by the instructor, an option for students to complete their exams using their own laptop. Any sign up/installation of exam software on a student’s laptop, must be completed prior to the examination. Laptop examinations and written examinations are scheduled in the same room. Bluebooks and earplugs are provided by the proctors.
Students should report to the exam room approximately 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the exam. This will allow proctors to go over pre-exam instructions, and allow students to ready their laptops and work area for the examination. Proctors will provide attendance sheets and examination numbers to students in the exam room. The proctor will also ensure a uniform start time to the exam and assist to maintain an environment optimal for exam taking. Students are expected to assist in this as well, thus are prohibited from engaging in unavoidable distracting behaviors. Students who feel they have a medical or personal condition that may make group exam taking difficult should consult with student services staff prior to the exam. Students should also set all electronic devices to a silent mode.
Students must follow all directions as outlined by the exam information sheet which covers each examination. This sheet will outline those materials permitted as resources during the examination, as well as what examination materials may be taken from the room. Except in very limited circumstances and only with the express, advance permission of the instructor and the registrar’s office, students may not use their laptops to access electronic notes. Student notes, to the extent they are permitted as an exam resource, must be in hard copy, print format during examinations. The use of earbuds or earphones and the like attached to electronic devices are not permitted.
Students are notified by the exam proctor when the time for the exam has expired. Students must immediately cease working upon proctor notification. It is also the responsibility of the student to make sure all examination materials required by the proctor at the close of the exam session are received by the proctor.
Take Home Exam Information
The take home exam period is posted on the academic calendar. Exams are self-scheduled by the student and may be completed at any time between 12:01am on the opening day, and 11:59pm on the closing day of the exam period (unless otherwise specified in the distributed exam directions). The duration of the exam is determined by the instructor, though no take home exam may exceed 24 hours.
Take home exams, like other exams, are taken using a blind grading system. Exam numbers for take home exams are distributed to students in advance of the take home exam period. Exam questions and answers are downloaded and uploaded to a secure web site, thus permitting students to complete take home exams at their convenience, from any location accessible to the internet. The installation of special software is not required for the completion of take homes. Anyone experiencing any problems with a take home exam should email the registrar's office.Take Home Exam Generic Directions »