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RULES GOVERNING EXAMS

XXIII. RULES GOVERNING EXAMINATIONS, GRADES, & HONORS

Rule 1.

As required by the Rules of the New York Court of Appeals, "All study shall be evaluated by authentic written examination, except where such examination is inappropriate, such as in seminar and practice court courses or those courses which are principally concerned with legal writing, and research."

Rule 2.

Written examinations are essential parts of examination courses and are held after the end of classes at the end of every semester in all subjects completed therein, except courses where grades are determined entirely by papers or clinical work. Mid semester examinations or mid year examinations in full year courses may be scheduled at the discretion of the professor. Classroom work, in so far as practical and at the discretion of the professor, may also be considered in determining final grades. Examinations for both divisions are usually held on weekdays during the regular examination period. Please note: examinations given on weekdays in evening division courses generally begin at 5:30p.m.

Rule 3.

Examinations for all classes will begin promptly at the hour announced in the examination schedule posted prior to the examination period of each semester. No student will be permitted to enter the examination room after the first hour has passed nor will any student be permitted to conclude the exam and leave the room during the first hour of the examination, unless the student is accompanied by a proctor.

Rule 4.

Students must present themselves for examination at the scheduled time except in courses where the student's grades will be determined entirely by papers or clinical work, unless permission to be excused is granted as provided in these rules. Omission to do so will constitute failure of such examination by the student.

Rule 5.

The Dean or the Dean's delegate may grant permission to be excused from a regularly scheduled examination. The Registrar is the individual delegated to grant permission to students to be excused from a regularly scheduled exam due to exam conflicts or religious observance. Examination Conflict Form.

For all other reasons allowed by this Rule, the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs is the individual delegated to grant permission to students to be excused from a regularly scheduled exam. Requests to defer exams will be denied if for:

   1. travel
   2. vacation
   3. personal
   4. social plans; or
   5. employment reasons for full time J.D. students.

Requests for permission to be excused from a regularly scheduled exam may be granted for extraordinary causes. The following are reasons that will be considered in granting relief:

   1. an absolute examination conflict,
   2. two examinations scheduled to start within 16 hours of each other,
   3. documented medical incapacity,
   4. religious observance,
   5. death or documented serious medical emergency of a close family member,
   6. automobile accident, mugging, robbery, or similar traumatic experience at the time of the exam or period immediately preceding the exam,
   7. subpoena requiring court appearance at the time of exam or period immediately preceding the exam,
   8. childbirth that interferes with exam or period immediately preceding the exam (applies to either parent),
   9. military commitment written military orders are required,
  10. extraordinary family circumstances.

Requests for an exam deferral must be in writing and requires satisfactory documentation of the reasons. Students should be prepared to provide complete documentation, which is subject to verification and approval. If your file shows that you have previously deferred one or more examinations for reasons other than exam conflicts, another deferral examination will be granted in only the most extraordinary circumstances.

All rescheduled exam are rescheduled after the scheduled exam date.  An exam conflict exists when you have two scheduled final examinations to start within 16 hours of each other (take-home exams do NOT constitute a conflict). All requests to reschedule an exam due to a conflict must be e-mailed to ExamInformation@law.fordham.edu 3 weeks after the start of the semester. Please do NOT schedule any travel arrangements until the END of the exam period. Students should consult “RULES GOVERNING EXAMINATIONS, GRADES, AND HONORS” in the Academic Regulations before submitting the Examination Conflict Form. Exam conflicts will not be negotiated by the Registrar's Office after 3 weeks after the start of the semester.

Rule 6.

Any student with an absolute examination conflict may elect to take the two conflicting exams on the same day if, before the end of the seventh week of class, he or she properly notifies the Registrar of his or her election to do so. These examinations will be scheduled so that there is a short interval between the end of the first examination and the beginning of the second examination.

Those who have properly notified the Registrar that they, for religious reasons, cannot take examinations when scheduled will be required to take these examinations earlier on the day scheduled or later, in so far as practical.

Any student who did not take an examination during the examination period and who is eligible to take it during the make-up period is required to make up the examination on a scheduled date during the examination make up period. The make up examination period will be determined after the end of the regularly scheduled examination period.

Rule 7.

Any student who misses an examination and did not comply with Rule 5 above must apply in writing to the Faculty Re examination Committee for permission to make up the examination. The petition must be in writing and must be filed with the Registrar. The times and conditions of the make up examination, if allowed, will be within the absolute discretion of the committee. If the omitted examination was given in the spring semester or in summer school, the application to make up the examination must be made within 10 days of the conclusion of that examination period; if the omitted examination was given in the fall semester, the application must be made prior to the third day of class of the spring semester.

Rule 8.

 A student who, although eligible to take a make up examination, fails to do so will be deemed to have failed the examination. A student may apply in writing to the Faculty Re examination Committee for removal of the failure and for permission to make up the examination during the next regularly scheduled examination period during which an examination in that subject is given. The application must be filed with the Registrar and must be made within 10 days of the missed make up examination. The Committee will grant the application only upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances. If the Committee grants the application the student will be allowed to continue conditionally in the school, subject to achieving a true weighted average of at least a 2.0 for the academic year in which the omitted examination was regularly scheduled.

Rule 9.

Except for pass/fail courses, the standing of students will be indicated by the following letter grades. For the purposes of calculating weighted averages, numerical equivalents will be used for the letter grades as follows:

Prior to Fall 2014

Effective Fall 2014

 A+

 4.300

A+

4.333

 A

 4.000

A

4.000

 A-

 3.700

A-

3.667

 B+

 3.300

B+

3.333

 B

 3.000

B

3.000

 B-

 2.700

B-

2.667

 C+

 2.300

C+

2.333

 C

 2.000

C

2.000

 C-

 1.700

C-

1.667

 D

 1.000

D

1.000

 F

 0.000

F

0.000

The minimum grade that will be recorded in a course is "F". The grade of "D" constitutes a passing mark in a subject. To continue in good scholastic standing, however, a student must maintain a true weighted average of at least 2.0 in every academic year. In computing a true weighted average, hours in a pass/fail course that was passed will be disregarded. If such a course was failed, an "F" will be entered on the student's transcript and a 0.0 will be used in computing the student's true weighted average. For the purposes of this rule, an academic year shall begin with the summer term, provided that where a summer term is the student's final term in law school, it will be considered part of the academic year that commenced the preceding summer.

For the purposes of determining whether a student is entitled to Honors, the student's true weighted average will be used.

LL.M. Grading Policy

Curve for Examination-Only and Drafting Courses

LL.M. students shall be graded on a separate curve from JD students. This curve is mandatory for examination-only and drafting courses in which 10 or more LL.M./exchange students are enrolled.

 

In situations in which the curve is not mandatory, professors should differentiate performance among LL.M./Exchange students rather than giving them all grades of P (Pass) or H (Honors). Accordingly, the curve is recommended for: (1) all examination-only or drafting courses in which fewer than 10 LLM students are enrolled; (2) all courses in which students may choose an examination or a paper option; and (3) LL.M. independent study or thesis projects.

The curve to be applied is as follows:

% of Students Grades

 top 10 to 20%  H (Honors)
 top 40 to 50 %  H or VG (Very Good)
 top 80 to 90%  H, VG, or G (Good)
 bottom 10 to 20%  P (Pass)
 no standard  F (Fail)

LL.M. Student Grading in Legal Writing and Introduction to U.S. Legal System
LL.M. students enrolled in LL.M. Legal Writing and Research and in Introduction to the U.S. Legal System shall be evaluated using the following curve:

Students Admitted Fall 2011 and Afterwards

 0% to top 20%  HP (High Pass) (outstanding)
 60% to 100%  PA (Pass) (good or acceptable)
 0% to bottom 20%  LP (Low Pass) (passing, but deficient performance)
 no standard  FA (Fail) (performance unworthy of credit)

Students Admitted Prior to Fall 2011

 up to top 25%  H (Honors) (outstanding)
 remainder  CR (Credit) (good or acceptable)
 no standard  F (Fail) (performance unworthy of credit)

Grades received in LL.M. Legal Writing and Research and Introduction to the U.S. Legal System will not be factored into Honors determinations.

 

Honors

 

Magna Cum Laude

Students who complete a paper that satisfies the LL.M. Writing Requirement and who rank in the top 10% of the graduating class will be eligible to receive magna cum laude honors.

 

Cum Laude

Students need not complete the LL.M. Writing Requirement in order to be considered for cum laude honors.  Additionally, all students in the top 25% of the graduating class who did not receive magna cum laude honors will receive cum laude honors, including students in the top 10% who did not complete the LL.M. Writing Requirement. 

J.D. Grading Curve - By a resolution adopted in May, 2013, the faculty made the percentage distribution of grades listed below mandatory for all first year courses (with the exception of Legal Writing)  and Constitutional Law class sections   The percentage distribution of grades for these and  first year courses will be strictly enforced.

A+ 0-2%
A & above 0-10%
A- & above 15-25%
B+ & above 45-55%
B 30-45%
B- & below            10-20%
C+ & below 0-10%

J.D. Grading Curve - Effective Fall 2014 by a resolution adopted in Spring 2014, the faculty have required all courses to have a mandatory curve; for more information, please visit: http://law.fordham.edu/newgradingpolicy.

J.D.  Academic Honors

 Summa Cum Laude  Top 1 percent of the graduating class with the highest weighted cumulative gpa.
 Magna Cum Laude  Top 12 percent of the graduating class with the highest weighted cumulative gpa
 Order of the   Coif  Students also qualify for induction to the Order of the Coif as long as 75% of the credits are earned at Fordham Law.
 Cum Laude  Next top 21.3 percent of the graduating class with the highest weighted cumulative gpa.
 Dean’s List  Top 25 percent of the entire J.D. class based on annual weighted gpa.  Annual gpa is calculated by coursework taken in previous summer session, fall and spring semester.



Rule 10.

 No student who fails to attain the required year average of 2.0 will be permitted to advance into the next year. An average of 2.0 in the final academic year and overall is required to graduate. Such a student may, however, seek permission to repeat the failed year by filling a Petition for Permission to Repeat with the Dean of Admissions and by appearing personally before the Readmission Committee at its stated sittings, usually in late July. The Readmission Committee may consider any information it considers relevant, including without limitation not only the applicant's law school record but also information revealed in his or her law school application file. Permission to repeat is granted only under extraordinary circumstances, such as where the applicant has shown a reason for his or her failure, which reason is not likely to recur. The transcript of any student who is readmitted will contain all grades received in the failed year.

Rule 11.

Failed courses aggregating in credit value more than one quarter of the credits taken by a student in any academic year will constitute a failed year irrespective of the weighted average obtained by the student. In such case, the student will not be permitted to continue in the school or to graduate. For purposes of this rule any failed course that is retaken will be treated as if it had not been retaken. The student may seek readmission pursuant to Rule 10.

Rule 12.

A student who fails a required course must retake that course. The student must retake the course, if feasible, during the next semester in which it is offered in the class division in which the student is registered, and must pass the examination in it. A student who fails an elective course, other than a paper course (see Article V of the Academic Regulations) may, if the course is offered again, retake that course. Transcripts will reflect both the original failure and, where applicable, the new grade. The numerical equivalent of the new grade will be averaged with the failure 0.00 for cumulative grade point average purposes.

A student who, although not required to repeat the year, repeats and passes a course in which an examination was failed, or, in the case of a failed elective paper course, who submits a paper that earns a "pass," will receive credit for that course in the semester in which it was first taken. No credit for such a course will be counted toward residence credit in the semester in which the course was re taken.

Rule 13.

No day division student will be permitted to enter the third year class with any failed first year course outstanding against him or her; no evening division student will be permitted to enter the fourth year class with any failed first year course or failed second year required course outstanding against him or her.

Rule 14.

A faculty member may change a grade if an error in mathematics or computation has been made.

Special Note: Incompletes (INC) or No Grades (NGR) remaining on a student's record at the completion of the semester following the course in question will be converted to "Fs".

XXIV. RULES GOVERNING THE ADMINISTRATION OF EXAMINATIONS

Students are responsible for knowing and complying with the following rules governing the administration of examinations:

Rule 1.

Students must carry their Law School identification cards at all times during the examination period and must present them upon demand by any proctor, faculty member, or security guard. A student who has lost his or her identification card should request a temporary one from the Registrar.

Rule 2.

Students may not bring any unauthorized material into the examination room. Except for materials expressly authorized by the Professor, desks or tables should be clear of any materials. Candy and beverages in secure containers will be allowed on your desk. Students who wish to keep handbags near their person during an examination may do so as long as they are kept in plain view. However, no materials may be removed from the handbag.

If a proctor or professor determines that a violation of this rule has occurred, the unauthorized materials will be taken from the student. The professor or proctor shall report this violation to the Registrar.

Rule 3.

Students shall sit in alternate seats.

Rule 4.

All blue books to be submitted for grading should be numbered in the following manner: 1 of 2, 2 of 2, etc. Blue books used as scrap should not be numbered.

Rule 5.

Students should not begin an examination until a proctor so instructs.

Rule 6.

Students may not converse or exchange material during an examination.

Rule 7.

Whenever a student leaves an examination room, he or she must sign out. If a student subsequently returns to the examination room, he or she must sign in and note the return time on the form provided by the proctor.

Rule 8.

Students may not leave the floor where their examination is taking place unless they have completed the examination. A student seen leaving or returning to the floor where he or she is currently taking an examination will not be readmitted to that floor without first presenting an identification card to the hall proctor. The proctor will submit a report of this incident to the Registrar.

Rule 9.

Any student who observes cheating shall report the incident, as soon as practicable, to a proctor or the Registrar. A student reporting the cheating shall identify the student or students involved, by name if known. Where the name of the student or students engaged in cheating is unknown, the student who has observed cheating should provide a physical description of the student or students involved and indicate the row and seat where these individuals sat during the examination.
Vice-Dean Sheila Foster Memo on Academic Integrity

Rule 10.

When a student completes an examination prior to the end of the allotted time, he or she should return all materials to the proctor assigned to the front desk and then sign out.

Rule 11.

At the end of the time allotted for an examination, proctors will instruct all students to stop writing. EVERY STUDENT MUST PUT HIS OR HER PEN OR PENCIL DOWN IMMEDIATELY OR STOP TYPING, CLOSE ALL BLUE BOOKS AND REMAIN SEATED UNTIL THE PROCTOR CALLS STUDENTS TO COME FORWARD, BY ROW, TO SUBMIT THEIR EXAMINATION AND SIGN OUT.

Rule 12.

When signing out at the end of an examination, students must:
  1. present law school identification;
  2. submit the examination, all blue books, and scrap papers;
  3. sign their name on an attendance sheet provided by the proctor.

Rule 13.

Take-home Examinations:
  • The Take-home examinations are administered online and  managed by Fordham Law and Exam4 (www.Exam4.com). 
  • The website is  accessible to students 24 hours/7 days a week during the examination period. 
  • The website time-stamps the download and upload of exams. 
  • NO arrangements are permitted for pick-up or return of examinations with the Registrar Office, Library or Faculty Secretaries Office. 
  • Students must download the exam and upload their answers through the Exam4 website, please note students can only upload ONE document. 
  • Students do NOT use the Exam4 software for their take-home exam. 
  • Students should NOT discuss the take-home examination with any other student until the end of the final exam period.  
  • Students are not permitted to contact their Professor until their grades have been entered. 

 

XXV. REQUESTS FOR TRANSCRIPTS

Compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and University Policy requires that all requests for release of transcripts be made in writing by the student. Students or alumni may request copies of their transcripts by writing to the

      Office of the Registrar
      Fordham University School of Law
      140 West 62nd Street
      New York, New York 10023

Transcripts can also be ordered by fax at 212-636-6982 or online: http://law.fordham.edu/registrar.htm. Transcript requests should be submitted at https://www.degreechk.com/tplus/?ALUMTROL02722

There will be no charge for providing a Fordham University School of Law transcript. While normal processing will be free of charge, there will be a special services fee of $25.00 for processing that requires expedited delivery to the requestor or overnight dispatch to the recipient. Requests for transcripts (official and unofficial) will be processed in the order in which they are received. Transcripts will be processed within seven (7) working days. Official transcripts will not be released directly to students or their surrogates.

The Registrar's Office will also honor students' requests for expedited transcript service. Official transcripts will be forwarded for students within 24 hours of the request. Unofficial transcripts may be picked up at the Registrar's Office within 24 hours. Friday requests will be ready to be picked up the following Monday. During peak periods in the Registrar's Office (such as registration, ADD/DROP, and graduation), 24 hour expedited service is not guaranteed. In accordance with the University Registrar's policy, requests for expedited transcripts will require an additional $25.00 processing fee. Specific deadlines should be mentioned, and checks accompanying requests should be payable to Fordham Law School.