Fall 2020 Exams


Monday, December 14 through Wednesday, December 23.

All exams will be administered remotely.


Remote Exams Schedule - Last revised December 3, 2020

This is a tentative exam schedule for the Fall 2020 exam period. All exams will be administered remotely. Your LawNet exam schedule will have the most accurate information available once exam schedules are released. Any changes will be communicated as we receive the final copy of the exam. 

Fall 2020 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 Christy Pastore, Director of Registration Services & Student Records. Shortly before the exam period Ms. Pastore will email you with information about your exam accommodations. You can reach Ms. Pastore at [email protected].

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. The Reschedule Request form opened on November 17 at 12 pm ET.  All reschedule exam requests must be submitted by November 24 at 12 pm ET if you have any one of these conflicts. No requests will be honored after this date.

Registration Services will determine which exam will be rescheduled, and will notify you of the date of your rescheduled exam by December 4th.  
  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 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 2020 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. 


USING LAPTOP COMPUTERS for EXAMS: The Law School offers students taking final exams on their own laptop computers through the use of Examplify software from ExamSoft, provided free of charge to all. 

Examplify is basically a word processor that blocks access to all other applications while it is running. You will type into it as you would type into any standard word processor. It is the computing equivalent of a bluebook. Visit the Law School Information Technology website for information on exam support for Law students: https://web.law.columbia.edu/information-technology/students/softest-final-exams.

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: You will be downloading the exam file(s) and submitting your exam(s) via the Internet. Although you will not be connected to the Internet while you are writing your exam, you will need Internet connection to download the exam file prior to the start of the exam, and 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. INSTALL THE EXAMSOFT SOFTWARE (Examplify) 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 Examplify is needed for fall 2020 exams. Understandably, there will be more variations of notebook computers running the exam software than ExamSoft can test. Therefore, it is impossible for ExamSoft to predict with certainty if the exam software will work as expected for your specific hardware/software configuration. ExamSoft offers full technical support, and its staff can be contacted by telephone (866-429-8889) or by email ([email protected]). Answers to frequently asked questions can be found at its FAQ page at www.examsoft.com/main/index.php.
  3. PRACTICE USING THE SOFTWARE: After installing Examplify, 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.
  4. DOWNLOAD THE EXAM FILE FOR EACH OF YOUR EXAMS: To take an exam on your laptop, you must download an exam file for each of your exams in addition to installing Examplify on your laptop. Students will be notified when the exam files are ready for downloading. The exam file is a virtual exam book that laptop examinees will use to record their answers. The document in the exam file is blank and does not contain the exam questions.  You must download your exam file(s) BEFORE the day of the exam since 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 and/or to download their exam files. 

EXAMS WILL START ON TIME, so make sure that you have downloaded Examplify, taken several practice exams, and also downloaded your exam file(s) before your exam day. If you attempt to install the software and/or download your exam file 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, ExamSoft is responsible for all technical support for Examplify and you are advised to contact ExamSoft directly for technical issues with installing and testing ExamSoft’s Examplify on your laptop. ExamSoft offers full technical support and its staff can be contacted by telephone (866-429-8889) or by email ([email protected]). Answers to frequently asked questions can be found at its FAQ page at www.examsoft.com/main/index.php. You are advised to address any technical issues well in advance of your first exam.

Electronic Blue Book (EBB): Columbia Law School also uses Electronic Blue Book, or EBB to administer exams. Instructors expect you to type your answers for your exams, and you may use the word-processing software of your choice. Make sure to include a header/footer listing the course number, title, instructor, and your exam number. DO NOT WRITE YOUR NAME ON ANY PAGE OF YOUR EXAM ANSWER.  Registration Services will provide detail guidance on accessing and navigating EBB before the start of the exam period.