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Examinations

Rules and Procedures

The rules governing examinations are found in the annual Registration Materials. A copy of the rules is also posted on-line at the start of each exam period.

Exam Postponements

The rules governing the rescheduling of exams are found in the annual Registration Materials.

Non-native English speakers are permitted to bring a paper dictionary to exams. Additionally, the Law School permits an instructor, if he or she chooses, to grant at the discretion faculty member extra time for an examination, scheduled for less than 8 hours, to graduate students whose native language is other than English. The decision as to whom shall be eligible to receive this extra time is made by the Dean for Graduate Programs in consultation with the Faculty Graduate and International Programs Committee.

The general standards for granting extra time are that LL.M. candidates will not be eligible if:

a) the student has lived in a country for at least three years in which the primary means of communication is English or in a multilingual country in which English was the primary means of communication of the student; or

b) the primary language of instruction was English for at least three years of the student's college or professional education; or

c) the student in any event has represented him/herself as being fluent in English.

Faculty Consideration of LL.M. Status in Grading

The Registrar includes, with the examination answers to each exam, a sealed envelope containing the names and examination numbers of all graduate students whose basic legal training was outside the U.S. The faculty member has full discretion as to whether and when this information should be considered in grading the examination. (Faculty Minutes, May 14, 1973)

Extension of Due Dates for Course Work

Final Day of Exam Period

Law School regulations require that all course work for a given semester must be completed by the final day of the examination period for that semester.

Faculty Discretion to Extend

In the case of work done on a non-anonymous basis (i.e. papers), a faculty member has the discretion to grant an extension beyond this due date. The amount of flexibility depends on when the student expects to be eligible to be voted a degree.

Students in Final Semester

In the case of a student who is in the final semester of his/her law school education, the extension can be no longer than will enable the faculty member to get a final grade to the Registrar by 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning of the week in which the Faculty votes degrees. In those situations in which the student's work cannot be completed by the extended deadline, faculty members have the discretion to grant further extensions; however, in these instances, the student will not be awarded the degree until the next degree granting date (i.e. August).

Students Not in Final Semester

In the case of a student who is not in the final semester, the faculty member may be more flexible in granting extensions. Any time extension should be limited and relatively short. The Registrar's Office must be notified in writing of any such extension. Any renewal of the extension should be granted by the faculty member only upon receipt of a written student request for more time. If renewal is granted, the faculty member must notify the Registrar of this renewal in writing. While it remains the faculty member's discretion to grant a third extension, should it be requested, the faculty member is given the added discretion of asking the Registrar to refer the problem to the Committee on Academic Standing so that the Committee may take whatever action it deems appropriate to speed completion of the work. (Faculty Minutes, October 18, 1982)

Re-Use of Essay Exams

An instructor of a course or seminar at the University of Pennsylvania Law School is expected not to give an essay examination question or problem in a course or seminar where a substantially identical examination question or problem has been given by that instructor as part of the examination in an earlier course or seminar at the University of Pennsylvania or another school. If a student thinks such a situation has occurred, he or she should immediately bring it to the attention of the Dean of Students and/or the Registrar.

Student Exam Answers

Following grading, exams are returned to the Registrar's Office by the faculty members. Shortly after grades are released, the Registrar will return their essay exams to students who request them. Students may keep them. Unclaimed student exam answers are kept in storage until the start of the examination period one year after the semester in which the exam was taken. They are then destroyed.

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