University of Wisconsin–Madison

Law School Rules

Chapter 6. Withdraws and Examinations

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6.01 Adding or Dropping Courses.

  1. A first year student may change his or her program only with the permission of the Dean. Permission to drop a course will be given only for reasons of illness or other serious change in circumstances. Under no circumstances will permission to drop be given after the start of the examination.
  2. Second and third year students may add any course prior to the commencement of the third week of class. They may drop any course prior to the commencement of the tenth week of class or prior to the time that any work that is the basis for a grade in that course is due, whichever occurs first; subsequently, a student may drop a course only for illness or other serious change in circumstances, with permission of the Dean. Failure to take the final examination or otherwise complete the requirements for a course in which a student is enrolled, unless such failure is excused by the Dean, shall result in a grade of "F" (on the 4.3 scale) for that course.
  3. Withdrawal from a course is not complete until a drop card is filed; thus, any student who drops a course prior to the commencement of the tenth week of class, or with approval thereafter, must file a drop card with the Dean's office.
  4. The time for submission of the final paper shall ordinarily be fixed by the instructor no later than the end of classes for the semester.
    1. An extension of one full semester may be granted if the instructor believes such an extension is appropriate, given the nature of the course or paper. A further extension of one full semester may be granted by the instructor only if a student individually justifies the need for such an extension based on illness or other serious change of circumstances.
    2. The instructor shall notify the Dean's Office of any extensions of time for the class or for the individuals beyond the date on which grades should be submitted for the semester in which the course is offered.
    3. No extensions beyond those authorized in 6.01(4)(a) shall be given except with the express authorization of the Dean's office.
    4. In no event shall a student under the jurisdiction of the Retentions Committee be allowed to submit a paper at a time beyond the end of classes for the semester in which a course is given.

6.02 Penalty for Failure to Complete Course.

In any cases where withdrawal is not authorized under 6.01(1) or (2), the student who fails to complete a course or to hand in an examination paper shall receive a grade of "F" (on the 4.3 scale) for such course.

6.03 Rescheduling Examinations

The policy of the law school is that all students must take examinations at the scheduled time unless there exist extraordinary and compelling circumstances, as defined below:

  1. A student who is scheduled to take two examinations on the same day may postpone the second examination to the first day on which the student does not have a scheduled examination. A student who has four consecutive examinations may postpone one of the exams for one week.
  2. Except in extraordinary circumstances, an examination will not be rescheduled later than the end of the examination period in which the examination is scheduled.
  3. An examination may be rescheduled subject to approval of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, in the following circumstances.
    1. Where illness or pregnancy of the student actually prevents the student from taking an exam, upon a physician's written certification to the Assistant Dean's office. A student who becomes ill during an examination and is unable to complete it must take a new examination.
    2. Where a member of a student's family or his or her "significant other" has died, and the student is attending the funeral or grieving.
    3. Where a Sabbath or other religious observance precludes a student from taking an examination.
    4. Where a student is attending the birth of his child.
    5. Other circumstances sufficiently similar in gravity to those above that equity requires comparable treatment.
  4. The following are examples of circumstances where examinations will not be rescheduled:
    1. Where a student is taking a bar review course in or within commuting distance of Madison. (Bar Review courses outside of Madison will be individually reviewed)
    2. Where a student has a professional opportunity that conflicts with a scheduled examination.
    3. Where a student is late, oversleeps, is caught in traffic, etc.
    4. Where a student wishes to leave early for the winter or summer break.
    5. Where a student has exams on 3 consecutive days.
  5. If a student takes a rescheduled examination, the instructor, with the advice of the Assistant Dean, has discretion to grade the student on a numerical scale, to give the student a letter grade, or to grade the student on a satisfactory-unsatisfactory basis.
  6. Whenever possible requests for postponements should be made to the office of the Assistant Dean not later than four weeks before examinations begin. Students should not request special arrangements for examinations from the instructor in a course. Questions about the meaning or application of these rules should be addressed to the Assistant Dean.

6.04 Notice of Intention to Rewrite.

A student eligible to rewrite an examination shall file a notice of intention to rewrite such examination with the Dean of the Law School before noon of the business day preceding such examination, and must register again for that course.

6.05 Forfeiture of Rewrite Privilege.

A student who has filed a notice of intention to rewrite an examination and who fails to hand in an examination paper shall thereby forfeit the privilege of rewriting the examination in such course.

6.06 Rules for Conducting Examinations.

  1. No books, paper, outlines or bluebooks shall be brought into the examination room except as authorized in advance by the individual instructor.
  2. Students will be permitted to sign out and leave the room for necessary purposes, and should return promptly.
  3. Space for outlining or the making of notes will be provided on the examination paper itself. No separate scratch paper will be furnished.

6.07 Examinations in Absentia.

A student may, for reasons of illness, death in the family, absence in the military service or other compelling reasons, on sufficient notice to the Dean, be permitted to write examinations in absentia. The examination must be written at the same time it is given at the Law School. This procedure applies to rewrite examinations.

6.08 Examinations to be Kept on File.

Examination bluebooks shall be kept on file for one year.

6.09 Rewriting Examinations.

  1. A student then eligible to continue may rewrite one course subject to the following limitations:
    1. A first year course may be rewritten only during the second year.
    2. The maximum grade upon rewriting shall be a "C" (on the 4.3 scale). Both the original grade in the course and the grade earned on the rewrite shall be entered into the student's record. The rewrite grade shall control for all purposes except honorary awards and election to Coif, as to which the original grade shall control.
    3. It is recommended that the student attend classes when rewriting a course.
    4. Special examinations will not be prepared for the purpose of rewriting.
    5. A student may not rewrite under this Section if he or she has been required or permitted to retake or rewrite a course by the Retentions Committee under Section 7.01.
    6. A student may retake Legal Research and Writing under 3.11 without exhausting his or her rewrite privilege under this section.
  2. Any student may apply to the Petitions Committee for permission to rewrite any examination. The Committee may grant permission to rewrite in cases where there is reason to believe that the grade received in the original examination does not reflect the student's ability and preparation in the course but was caused by circumstances such as serious illness or great emotional distress. The rewrite grade shall control for all purposes, although both the original grade in the course and the grade earned on the rewrite shall be entered into the student's record.
    Example: A student takes an examination. During the course of the examination, he or she is notified of a death in his or her family. The student attempts to complete the examination and turns in a bluebook. The student fails to ask to be excused from the examination. The student receives a grade of "F" (on the 4.3 scale). His or her average before the examination was 2.7 (on the 4.3 scale). The instructor in the course states that the student made some contribution to class discussion and seemed prepared. The student is able to show that he or she exerted adequate effort in studying for the examination. The Committee will grant permission to rewrite and the grade obtained on the second examination will control for all purposes such as honorary awards. The original grade in the course will still appear in the student's record.
  3. A non-law student taking a law course is eligible to use the school's rewrite privilege. The maximum grade on a rewrite will be limited to "C" (on the 4.3 scale), which constitutes a "B" under the conversion tables in Rule 2.05 or Rule 4.08 (as applicable).

6.10 Identification by Number.

Students shall identify themselves on examination papers by number rather than by name.

6.11 No Collaboration Policy.

No collaboration with, or assistance from, other persons is permitted on exams, papers, or written exercises, except to the extent that the instructor has granted permission therefore in writing.

Cross-reference. See Appendix A, Appendix B, and the University of Wisconsin Disciplinary Code.

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