Records, Registration, & Financial Aid

Examination Policies and Procedures

Students should adhere to the following general exam policies. More specific information about each exam will be provided on exam day.

General Policies

1) Professors should never be contacted regarding any type of exam reschedule or exam administration questions (e.g. using a bluebook instead of ExamSoft), as it could potentially violate the anonymity of your exam. Professors should also never be contacted for any reason after the last class session (or review session), including questions regarding take-out exams, as this also violates the anonymity policy. If you must reschedule an exam, such inquiries should be directed to Records and Registration in 304 O'Brian no later than three weeks prior to the start of the exam period by filling out the Exam Rescheduling Request (PDF). Such requests will not be granted automatically. Students should also refrain from contacting instructors about performance on an exam until grades are posted. Violation of these rules not only prevents anonymity but also violates the Academic Integrity Policy.

2) Collaboration with other persons on an exam (including take-home exams) is strictly prohibited (and is a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy) unless clearly authorized in the written examination instructions.

3) Students are expected to follow the directives and requests of examination proctors, Records and Registration staff, the Vice Dean for Student Affairs and the Registrar, and any other Law School employee involved in the administration of examinations, projects or papers before, during and after an exam. Failure to do so may be considered a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.

4) Unauthorized devices are not allowed in the exam rooms unless specifically allowed by the instructor. If a family emergency is pending, direct callers to the Records & Registration Office phone number (645-2060). Failure to do so will be considered a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.

5) Students must not write their name or otherwise indicate their identity or make personal comments about their performance anywhere on the examination (such as "I ran out of time"), and to do so violates the Academic Integrity Policy.

 

Rescheduling Exams Before the Exam Period

1) In addition to requests based upon documented medical conditions, a student may request to change an examination date to the very next available date subsequent to the scheduled date only if he or she has:

a) two examinations scheduled on the same day;

b) three or more examinations on consecutive calendar days;

c) four or more examinations to be completed in one calendar week (Mon. – Fri., or, in some cases Saturday if it is Trial Technique). If you have a rescheduled exam you may have to take it later than the last date of the exam period. Students are expected to be in attendance for the entire exam period.

2) Any exams to be rescheduled are at the discretion of the Registrar and Vice Dean for Student Affairs. Exams will be rescheduled for the very next subsequent available date. The deadline for submitting requests is three weeks prior to the start of the exam period, and must be submitted to Records and Registration in 304 O’Brian.

3) It is not unusual for the last week of the term or the last week of exams to be the deadline for papers or projects. In no event will the overlap of papers and projects and examinations provide a justification for rescheduling examinations.

4) Flexible exams are not included in the criteria for rescheduling exams since they are scheduled at the convenience of the student.

5) Absent the written documented permission of the Vice Dean for Student Affairs, all examinations, papers, and projects that have been rescheduled for personal or medical reasons must be taken no later than two weeks after the end of the examination period.

Rescheduling Exams During the Exam Period

1) Students are required to take examinations either on the regularly scheduled day during the examination period or on the day set for an examination that has been rescheduled under the provisions detailed above.

2) Failure to take an examination on the regularly scheduled day, or on the day set for a rescheduled examination, constitutes failure to complete the work in the course in question, and the student will receive the grade of "F" for the course unless the student:

a) was ill on the examination day, or on the day immediately preceding the examination, and presents a physician's certificate confirming the illness; (See #3 below)

b) experienced a bona-fide family emergency (such as death or severe illness of a close relative) on the examination day or immediately prior to the day, and presents satisfactory written confirmation of this emergency. (See #3 below)

3) In all such cases, the student must notify the Vice Dean for Student Affairs (645-6223) or the Registrar's office (645-2060) of the student's absence or intended absence and the reasons therefore, prior to the time scheduled for completion of the examination in question. DO NOT LEAVE MESSAGES WITH PEOPLE OTHER THAN THE VICE DEAN FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS AND/OR THE REGISTRAR. A special examination schedule will be arranged for students excused from examinations for the reasons set out in (a) or (b) above. Such rescheduled examinations must be completed no later than two weeks after the end of the examination period. Any additional extension requires exceptional circumstances and the written permission of the Vice Dean for Student Affairs and/or the Registrar.

Failure to Complete Exams

A student who picks up an examination is expected to complete it during the scheduled examination period. A student who does not complete an examination will be graded on what he or she submits during the examination period unless an exception is granted on petition to the Vice Dean for Student Affairs.

Students With Disabilities

Students with disabilities should submit a written request for examination modifications to the Vice Dean for Social Justice Initiatives, Melinda Saran, Room 614 O'Brian Hall, no later than three weeks prior to the start of the exam period. Students who have not identified themselves as a student with a disability should see Dean Saran as soon as possible as they will need to provide appropriate documentation of their disability to qualify for modifications.

Academic Integrity Policy

A. UB Statement of Principle on Academic Integrity

The University has a responsibility to promote academic honesty and integrity and to develop procedures to deal effectively with instances of academic dishonesty. Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect for others' academic endeavors. By placing their name on academic work, students certify the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgment.

B. General Policy

1) Academic dishonesty is a serious breach of the atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence that is necessary for productive academic work. It also may cast serious doubt on the ability, character, and fitness to practice law of the individual who commits such acts. Students who have reason to believe that academic dishonesty has occurred are encouraged to report the facts promptly to the Law School Administration and/or to the course instructor. Instructors shall report to the Law School Administration any incident in which there is probable cause to believe academic dishonesty has occurred.

2) The instructor has the obligation to make clear to students, preferably in writing, the rules and conditions under which course work will be evaluated. The student has the obligation to inform himself or herself about the rules applicable to grading or performance evaluation, and to seek clarification from the instructor or the Law School Administration in case of doubt. Basic, widely-shared premises and understandings about what constitutes dishonest conduct need not be provided in writing or orally.

3) Absent written permission for cooperative or collaborative preparation of responses to any examination, take-home or in class, common understanding leaves no doubt that collaboration on all examinations is strictly prohibited. It will be treated as a serious breach of academic honesty and integrity.

C. Definition

1) It is difficult and unnecessary to provide a definition for every act of academic dishonesty. The generic term covers a multitude of wrongful acts and derives content through usage, custom, and a commonly shared understanding of integrity and responsibility. All of these sources of standards are particularly important in the profession and practice of law.

2) "Academic dishonesty" includes, but is not limited to:

* a) PLAGIARISM: the use of source materials in a writing assignment without sufficient citation or attribution;
* b) Submitting the same, or substantially the same, written work for academic credit in more than one course without the prior unequivocal written permission of BOTH instructors;
* c) Violation of rules established by the instructor, the Law School, or the University regarding the completion of student assignments or exercises which are to be used in evaluating academic performance;
* d) Unauthorized interference in or tampering with the process of assigning and recording grades, including intentional breaches of anonymity.

D. Examples

1) Examples of plagiarism would include (a) submission of a seminar paper or brief containing extracts from law review articles or other published sources which are not identified as such by quotation marks, footnotes, or other standard indicators, and (b) appropriation and use of lines of argumentation or analysis which are taken from another source but are presented as the student's own (i.e., not attributed to the source, even if presented in the student's own words).

2) Violations of rules relating to the completion of student assignments used in evaluating academic performance would include (a) use during an examination of notes or reference sources not permitted in advance by the instructor, (b) unauthorized collaboration with another student in preparing an examination answer or written course work, and (c) misrepresenting work done for academic credit, such as passing off work done by another person as one's own, or assisting another student in such passing off.

3) Unauthorized interference in the grading process would include (a) theft of or tampering with copies of examination, bluebooks, answer sheets, grade report forms, permanent record cards, computer files, or other records used in the grading process, and (b) revealing one's identity on an anonymously graded examination.

E. Penalties

Except for highly unusual extenuating circumstances, the minimum penalty for an act of academic dishonesty is the recording of a grade of "F" for the course in question and the placement of a letter in the violator's file setting forth the facts of the incident. If a different grade for the course has already been recorded, the grade may be changed to an administrative "F" without review by the full faculty. Subject to applicable laws, the letter in the violator's file or its content normally would be disclosed to a state bar committee inquiring into the character, fitness, or academic standing of the student seeking admission to the bar. The maximum penalty for an act of academic dishonesty is expulsion from the Law School.