Fall 2021 Exams

Here you will find schedules, instructions, and procedures for final exams at Columbia Law School. Please read the information thoroughly, and if you have any questions or concerns, please email Registration Services at [email protected]. Good luck on your exams!


We care about our students, and we understand that emergencies happen. To ensure that you perform to the best of your ability in any of your exams, it is critical that you do not attempt an exam if you are unwell.

In the event of sudden illness, accident, or last minute emergencies, please take these items into account:

  1. Please seek necessary medical or emergency attention.

  2. Be sure to inform Registration Services or your Proctor that you are unwell PRIOR to the start of any exam.

    1. You can email us at [email protected] or call us at 212-854-2668 as soon as you can in the event of an emergency. In order to balance your wellbeing with academic integrity, the sooner we learn of your emergency, the easier it will  be for us to respond.

    2. Registration Services will create a new exam schedule for you if you are ill and can provide medical documentation.

  3. Please note that if you start an exam but cannot finish it, Registration Services will not be able to arrange for you to retake it.

  4. Do not reach out to your instructor. In order to maintain anonymous grading, refrain from contacting your instructor regarding exam scheduling or rescheduling.

Any edits to the schedule will be made and the last revised date will be edited accordingly. All fixed date exams will begin at the time scheduled unless rescheduled due to exam conflicts, accommodations, or religious observance, such as fasting.

Fall 2021 Exams Schedule

Students taking a Law School examination are expected to take an examination at the scheduled date and start time. Failure to do so will result in a grade of Failure (F) (see Rules for the J.D. Degree). Examination rules apply to all students taking a Law course, regardless of degree program. If you are unable to take an examination at the proper time, please email Registration Services at: [email protected]. NOTE: If you start an exam late, you will not receive compensatory time.

Any excuse granted on grounds of illness or other physical disability is conditioned upon receiving a satisfactory medical note from the attending physician.

If you self-identify with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) and are granted special examination conditions, ODS will send confirmation of your exam accommodations to Registration Services. Shortly before the exam period Registration Services will email you with information about your exam accommodations. 

ANONYMOUS GRADING OF EXAMS: Final exams administered by Registration Services are graded anonymously. Therefore, students are not permitted to write their name on any page an exam, and must not contact the instructor directly about an exam before final grades for the course are posted. If you experience any difficulty before or during an exam, you should notify Registration Services [email protected]Do not contact the instructor about an exam at any time before the final course grades are posted.

Once the instructor submits the final exam grade to Registration Services, they can adjust the final course grade to factor in class performance or other work. The final course grade then is submitted to Registration Services and subsequently released to the student via LawNet. If you would like to discuss your exam with the instructor, you may do so only after your final course grade has been posted in LawNet.

Columbia Law School’s examination policies require all students to take exams at the scheduled times. As stated in the Law School Rules, “All students should be prepared to sit for examinations at any point throughout the examination period". However, exams can be rescheduled in certain situations as defined below. Please make careful note of the circumstances listed below that would warrant an adjustment to your exam schedule. 

  1. Two (2) Law School exams scheduled on the same day. One of the exams will be rescheduled to the first exam day on which the student does not have a scheduled exam and that will not create an exam conflict requiring further rescheduling.
  2. Exams can be rescheduled to allow a 36-hour period between the start of two exams. For example, a student having a fixed-date Law School exams scheduled for both Monday and Tuesday can reschedule the Tuesday exam to Wednesday.
  3. Illness on the day of the exam: Any excuse granted on grounds of illness or other physical disability is conditioned upon receiving a satisfactory medical note from the attending physician. 
  4. Birth of a child: An exam will be rescheduled if the student is attending the birth of their child. 
  5. Religious Observance: An exam will be rescheduled if it conflicts with a religious observance, including fasting, on the day of the exam.
  6. Bereavement: An exam will be rescheduled in the event of a death in the student’s family and the student is attending the funeral or grieving.
  7. In other exceptional and documented circumstances.

Examinations will only be rescheduled AFTER the originally scheduled date, never before. All rescheduled exams must be taken before the end of the final exam period, unless Registration Services needs to reschedule the exam for another time (usually only in cases where a later exam date is warranted by documented special circumstances such as illness). Check the exam schedule for the designated dates that Fall 2021 exams can be rescheduled. 

Only rescheduling arrangements made through Registration Services will be honored. Exams are graded anonymously, and you are not to take any action that will compromise your anonymity. Therefore, instructors cannot reschedule exams or make any kind of special exam arrangement directly with a student. Please do not approach your instructor about rescheduling your exam or making any kind of special exam arrangement as it will not be honored.

Exams in courses taken at another Columbia division: Law School students who have an exam conflict in courses taken outside Columbia Law School must reschedule the non-CLS exam.

No adjustment will be made for employment schedules, travel or personal arrangements which conflict with the exam schedule. Exams cannot be rescheduled because a student has an early flight home for the winter or summer break, or for other personal reasons not outlined above. 

If you meet any of the above criteria, you can request an exam reschedule by submitting your responses to this form by October 28 at 3 p.m. EDT.

USING LAPTOP COMPUTERS for EXAMS: The Law School offers students taking final exams on their own laptop computers through the use of Exam4.

Exam4 is an exam software used to administer all law school exams. You will need to download the software each semester in order to access your final exams.  

You will type your answers into Exam4 as you would type into any standard word processor. It is the computing equivalent of an exam bluebook.

No later than a week prior to the day of your exam you will need to download the software to your laptop computer. In other words, download the software no later than December 3. This will allow you troubleshoot any potential issues that you might have using the software on your computer.

Before the Exam

Download the software (per term) by visiting the Exam4 website. Scroll to New York and click on the name of our school (Columbia Law School). 

  1. INSTALL THE EXAM4 SOFTWARE ON YOUR LAPTOP: Detailed general instructions on taking exams on laptop are emailed to students well before the start of the exam period and you will be notified which version of Exam4 is needed for fall 2021 exams. Understandably, there will be more variations of notebook computers running the exam software than Extegrity can test. Therefore, it is impossible for Extegrity to predict with certainty if the exam software will work as expected for your specific hardware/software configuration. Extegrity offers technical support through their inquiries pageYou are advised to address any technical issues well in advance of your first exam
    1. After installing Exam4, you are urged to take as many practice tests as you can in order to become familiar with the software before you take an actual exam. Also, practice different features such as word or character counts. We have found that many of the problems students experience while taking an exam could have been avoided by practicing on the software and addressing any technological issues well in advance of the exam period. However, do not use the practice tests to prepare notes that you will need for your exam(s) as you will not be able to print the text document or copy it into a different file.

Detailed general instructions on taking exams are emailed to students well before the start of the exam period. It is important that you read the information carefully and follow the directions. Also, review the general information below and email Registration Services at [email protected] if you have any questions.

PREPARING YOUR LAPTOP BEFORE TAKING AN EXAM: To use your laptop to take an exam, you must complete the following steps:

  1. VERIFY YOU HAVE INTERNET ACCESS: Although in certain Exam4 modes (Closed & Open Laptop) you will not be connected to the internet, you will need internet access to upload your answer file at the end of the exam. Please visit the  Troubleshooting your wireless connection of the [email protected] Law School page at  http://web.law.columbia.edu/information-technology/wireless.
  2. BRING A POWER CORD FOR YOUR LAPTOP: You will not be able to use your laptop for your examination if you do not have a power cord. You will have to hand write your exam if you do not bring a power cord into the exam room. You cannot share a power cord with anyone in the exam room.
    1. NO COMPENSATORY TIME will be given to those who experience difficulty and/or delay because they waited until the day of the exam to install the exam software.

EXAMS WILL START ON TIME, so make sure that you have downloaded Exam4 and have taken several practice exams. If you attempt to install the software right before the exam and have difficulty connecting to the Internet, you will not receive technical support. Also, if you begin any exam late, you will not receive compensatory time.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT: The Law School’s IT Helpdesk supports connectivity to the Columbia Law School network only and its staff can help you with some technical problems. However, Extegrity is responsible for all technical support for Exam4 and you are advised to contact Extegrity directly for technical issues with installing and testing Extegrity's Exam4 software on your laptop. Extegrity offers technical support through their inquiries pageYou are advised to address any technical issues well in advance of your first exam.