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Academic Standards and Related Procedures - J.D.


A. Exam Procedures and Guidelines for Conduct During Exams

Each semester, the Records Office will post updated exam policies and procedures.  The following general rules apply:

  1. ANONYMITY—The School of Law uses an anonymous grading system.  For identification, students are required to use their assigned exam number in lieu of their name on exams.
  2. HANDWRITTEN OR TYPED EXAMS - Students may handwrite exams using bluebooks or type exams using a laptop computer with special security software approved by the law school.
  3. COMPUTERS—Students who plan to use their laptop computer to take exams are required to attend a training session and install special exam security software that restricts access to computer files during an exam. 
  4. CLOSED-BOOK EXAMS—Only exam-related materials such as the exam questions, writing utensils, bluebooks, and blank scratch paper are permitted at the desk during an exam. All other belongings, including cell phones or data-storing watches, must be placed at the front of the room.
  5. PARTIAL-OPEN BOOK EXAMS—Instructors may limit the materials permitted in the exam room—for example, by banning the use of commercial outlines.  Students with questions about what sources may be used for any particular exam should consult with the instructor of the course.
  6. OPEN BOOK EXAMS—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 may not bring in a second computer to use for reference purposes. 
  7. RETURN 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.
  8. TAKE-HOME EXAMS – Some professors allow students to take examinations at home, or otherwise outside of a secured/proctored exam setting.  During the entire time period allotted for the take-home examination, unless otherwise expressly indicated by the professor’s written exam instructions, students may not discuss the course, the content of the exam or any exam responses with any classmate or other person.  Students may use a classroom provided by the law school for the purposes of taking the exam, but otherwise should not be in a room with anyone else while taking the exam.  Students taking the exam in the library may not share a conference room or table and if working in a carrel, must leave ample room between other students taking the same exam. 
  9. ILLNESS—If a student becomes ill during an exam and cannot continue, he or she must report immediately to the Dean of Students, or to the Records Office.
  10. PLAGIARISM—Students who commit plagiarism, turn in “multiple submissions” in an effort to obtain credit twice for the same, or substantially similar work, or who are otherwise caught cheating on exams or papers, will be subject to the University disciplinary proceedings outlined in the UCLA Student Conduct Code.  Documentation of any resulting proceedings and/or disciplinary action will remain in the student's file.  The occurrence of such disciplinary proceedings will be communicated to the Committee of Bar Examiners when the student undergoes moral character evaluation. 

B. Postponement of Scheduled Exams and Assignment Due-Dates

If, at any time in the semester, a student is experiencing overwhelming circumstances and feels that s/he cannot perform adequately in class work, course papers, independent study papers or projects, and/or exams, s/he is encouraged to bring this to the attention of the Dean of Students when the problem occurs and consult about the possibility of postponing exams, obtaining an extension, withdrawing from the School of Law, or, depending on the circumstances, other alternatives.  Relevant circumstances may include unexpected or special hardship due to significant physical or mental health challenges; major family or other personal relationship stressors; or urgent financial demands.  Students facing such challenges must communicate with the Dean of Students before taking an exam or completing an assignment in order to obtain scheduling, deadline, or other forms of relief.

  1. Exam postponements or extensions for other written assignments may be approved by the Dean of Students and must be arranged by the student before 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.  Barring exceptional circumstances, students should not expect a postponement or extension if a circumstance caused them to merely lose study or drafting time.  If an exam falls on a date or time that does not permit a student to take it because it violates the student's religious beliefs, the student must request an alternative time the same day or an alternative date if necessary.  This should be done as soon as possible after a particular exam date is announced.  Under no circumstances will an exam be given earlier than the originally scheduled exam date unless that exam date has been changed for all students in the course with the instructor’s approval.
  2. The exact nature of any make-up exam to be administered is the sole province of the particular professor, who may also decide to grade the exam on a Pass/Unsatisfactory/No Credit basis.  An unexcused absence from a make-up exam or unexcused failure to meet an extended assignment date will be treated administratively by the recording of the letter grade of “F” for that course.  All circumstances of illness or other disability must be reported to the Dean of Students at (310) 825-4891, or in the alternative, to the Records Office at (310) 825-2025.
  3. If a serious problem or disabling circumstance arises during an exam, the student should report the situation to the Dean of Students during or immediately after the exam.

C. Incomplete Courses

  1. EXAMS / WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS— All examinations must be complete within three weeks of the originally scheduled exam date.  When the remedy granted is the postponement of an exam(s) or extension of a written assignment, a transcript notation of “Incomplete,” pending receipt of the grade(s) once the work is completed and graded, will be given by the Dean of Students.  Students must complete all written assignments or other work for a grade in courses in which they receive a notation of Incomplete no later than the end of the next semester (or by the end of the summer, if the Incomplete is received at the end of Spring Semester) in which they are enrolled in the School of Law; but the Dean of Students, in consultation with the instructor, may require a student to complete the work in a shorter time.    If the Incomplete is not timely removed, it shall be transformed to the letter grade of “F” and will be so recorded on the student transcript. 
  1. INDEPENDENT RESEARCH/SEMINARS/PAPERS—In those courses or  seminars where the grade is totally or partially dependent on the preparation and submission of a paper, the Dean of Students may extend the time for completing and submitting the paper from the end of the Fall Semester until the end of the examination period of the Spring Semester or for any lesser time, if the instructor agrees that the student has made substantial progress on the paper and that failure to complete it at the regular time would be justified in the instructor's judgment by sound educational objectives, or excused by such circumstances as would justify excusing a student from taking an exam.  Where the paper is normally due at the end of the Spring Semester, the Dean for Students may, under those same terms and conditions, grant the student an extension to the end of the summer or any shorter period of time.  Students seeking an extension must contact the Dean of Students for approval.  If the paper is not submitted timely, the Incomplete shall be transformed to the grade of “F” and will be so recorded on the student transcript.

D. Revocation of Rights to Take Examination for Unsatisfactory Attendance or Required Participation

A professor may decline to permit a student to take the final examination, submit a final paper or complete other final requirements in a course where the professor has determined that the student's attendance or required participation has been unsatisfactory.  As a matter of practice, the professor must notify the student in writing of the unsatisfactory attendance or participation record and what is planned if such is not corrected, so that the student will have an opportunity during the semester to improve his/her attendance or participation in the course.