Exams and Papers

Contact Information

Students requesting to reschedule a final examination because of illness or some other unusual event must receive permission from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or the Law School Registrar.  Students must not contact or otherwise discuss postponing an examination with the instructor (See “Blind Grading Policy” information below).  Students with questions regarding examinations may consult first with the SLS Office of the Registrar.

  • Jory Steele | Associate Dean for Student Affairs | 650 723.6203 | jsteele@law.stanford.edu
  • Alberto Martin | SLS Registrar | 650 725.0147 | amartin@law.stanford.edu     

Examination Information

See Academic Calendar for end-quarter examination periods. Students can choose the day during the examination period on which to take each of their in-class and one-day take-home examinations (see exceptions below). The Office of the Registrar will determine the start times for examinations and designate rooms for examinations on each day of the examination period.

Faculty teaching classes with more than 75 students enrolled have an option to offer their examination at a fixed day and time and other faculty may seek permission to do so from the Vice Dean if there is some reason that self-scheduling is inappropriate or will not work for a particular class. The Office of the Registrar will announce the dates and times each quarter.  Examinations for required first-year courses will be given on a fixed day and at a fixed time.

Failure to sit for an examination: A student who is absent from an examination session without prior permission from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will receive a failing grade for the course.

See the Law School Student Handbook for a complete description of examination procedures.

Examination Schedules and Procedures

Law School examinations are conducted in accordance with the University’s Honor Code, described in the Student Handbook. During examinations, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Office of the Registrar are available to answer questions regarding the Honor Code or the parameters of the examination. Students cannot contact the instructor directly during the examination, even if questions arise regarding interpretation of the examination. Instead, they should state their assumption and answer the question.


Blind Grading Policy

All examinations are graded on a “blind” basis. Each quarter, students are assigned a number by the Law School Office of the Registrar for each of their final examinations and must use that number for identification on the appropriate final examination that quarter. Instructors are not allowed to learn the identity of any examination-taker prior to turning in their final grades to the Office of the Registrar, and students should not attempt to identify themselves in the examination or at any point between the examination and the time the instructor submits his or her final grades to the Registrar. Any attempt to contact an instructor about an exam between the regularly scheduled exam date and the date the exam grades are posted may be interpreted as a violation of the Honor Code and/or the Fundamental Standard.

If class participation is part of a grade, it is factored into the grade only after the instructor has submitted the blind graded examination grade to the Registrar.

NOTE: Papers are not graded on a blind basis.

In-Class Examinations

The Law School Registrar administers in-class examinations and designates the rooms in which they are taken. Students are allowed to take in-class examinations on laptop computers, provided the professor has not opted out of the laptop alternative. Students are not permitted to use earphones during an in-class exam although earplugs are allowed. All cell phones must be turned off and put away.  Most students will take their examinations on laptops.

The instructor determines the length of the examination (which can be either 3 or 4 hours) and whether or not it is closed book, open book, or partially open book. Students are responsible for adhering to the instructor’s standards for the in-class examination, which are included in the examination materials. If there are no instructions regarding whether the exam is open book or closed book, students must assume that the examination is closed book and that no outside materials may be used during the examination. Where outside sources are permitted, those sources must be in printed or handwritten form. Digital sources are not allowed. Thus, students may not log on to the internet or access other documents on their computer during an examination.

Take-Home Examinations

A take-home examination is defined as an examination that is completed outside the classroom. Take-home examinations are remotely administered.  Students will retrieve and upload their exam answers via the canvas site. There are two kinds of take-home examinations: one-day take-home examinations and extended take-home examinations.

One-Day Take-Home Examinations

A one-day take-home examination is available at 8:30 a.m. the first day of the exam period.  It can be taken anytime, anywhere during the examination period.  Take-home exams are set for 8 hours to complete. The Office of the Registrar monitors all take-home exams. One-day take-home examinations are open-book, but students may not discuss a one-day examination among themselves unless the instructor specifically grants permission to do so.

Extended Take-Home Examinations

An extended take-home examination is taken over a much longer period of time. The examination is usually available on the last regularly scheduled day of classes. It will be available remotely on canvas site and the exam is due on the last scheduled day of the examination period. Extended take-home examinations are open-book and instructors must permit full discussion among students about the examination if it is an extended take-home examination.

Reviewing Examination Answers and Model Answers

Instructors will be contacted by the Office of the Registrar to return graded essay exams within two weeks of the date exam grades are due. After that date, students may review their examination answers. Requests to see examination answers must be either submitted in writing to the Office of the Registrar, or submitted through the link below, and the examination answers will be ready for pickup the following business day (if available).  Instructors are advised to write comments on individual examination answers or provide model answers to the examination questions. In addition, model answers for certain courses are available in the Office of the Registrar and may be placed on Digital Reserves in the Law Library.

Request to Review Examination Answers