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Asst. Dean Stephen D. Sowle

Week of November 3, 2014
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ASP Workshop: Preparing for and Taking Exams. The Academic Support Program's third and final Fall workshop will focus on preparing for and taking exams. The program for day students will be held on Wednesday, November 5, 3:00-4:00 pm (Auditorium).The program for evening students will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 6:00-6:50 pm (Rm. 370). Although the programs aremainly aimed at first-year students, all students are welcome to attend. For more information about the Academic Support Program, visit the ASP web page. (Note: If you started this Summer in Dean Sowle's Criminal Law class, you have already had this workshop, but are welcome to attend again if you wish.)

Change of Division Requests: October 23 - November 3.
 Students wishing to request a change of division for the Spring semester (e.g., from evening division to full-time or part-time day division, or vice versa) should submit a Change of Division request. The form will be available beginning Thursday, October 23. To complete the form, log into Web for Students and select "Request to change division" in the left-hand menu. The deadline for submitting the form is Monday, November 3, at 5:00 pmPlease note: Students may not switch divisions until they have completed their first year.

Fall 2014 Final Exams.

Exam Schedule and Exam Number. The final exam schedule for the current semester is available here. You will be notified of the classroom assignments for your exams prior to the start of exam period. To find your personal exam schedule, go to your Web for Students account and navigate to "Fall 2014" link under the "Schedule" heading in the lefthand menu. Your exam number is also provided there.

Exam Conflict/Reschedule Requests: October 23-November 3. The Student Handbook requires that you take your final exams at the times scheduled unless you have an exam conflict (as defined below), or you have a "serious illness or other extraordinary or compelling reason" beyond your control. If you have an exam conflict or believe you have other reasons justifying the rescheduling of an exam, please complete the Final Exam Reschedule form. To complete the form, log into Web for Students and navigate to the Final Exam Reschedule form in the left-hand menu. The form will be available beginning Thursday, October 23; the deadline for submitting an exam reschedule request is Monday, November 3, at 5:00 pm. If your request is approved, you will be notified later this semester of the rescheduled date, time, and location of your exam.

Under current policy, a student is deemed to have an "exam conflict" if the student has two exams at the same time, or has two or more exams within 24 hours (e.g., exams at 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., or at 6:00 p.m. and 1:15 the following afternoon). A conflict does not exist if two exams are scheduled exactly 24 hours apart (e.g., exams at 8:30 a.m. one morning and 8:30 a.m. the next morning).

Exams Method Registration: October 23-November 3. Students generally have three choices for taking most exams: hand writing the exam, taking the exam on their own laptop computer, or taking the exam on a lab computer. Some professors do not permit one or more of these options (e.g., some require all students to hand write the exam).

Assuming your professor has authorized you to take the exam on computer, we will assume you are taking the exam on your own laptop unless you submit an Exam Method form. You need to register your exam-taking method only if you wish to hand-write the exam, or take it on a lab computer (subject to space availability). Please check with your professor if you are uncertain whether computer use will be permitted for your exam. If you choose the lab computer option but there are not enough spaces available, we will conduct a lottery after the close of the exam method registration period to determine who can use the lab computers. (This usually is not necessary, but occasionally we have more requests than we can accommodate for lab computers.) 

To complete the form, log into Web for Students and navigate to the Exam Method Registration form in the left-hand menu. The form will be available beginning Thursday, October 23; the deadline for submitting an exam method request is Monday, November 3, at 5:00 pm.

Notices about SofTest: Students taking exams on laptop must download and install the SofTest exam-taking program. You will receive information from the Information Technology Services department about when and how to do this. Even though you do not need to submit an Exam Method Registration form to use your laptop for exams, you do need to download and install SofTest.

Unless a professor specifies otherwise, SofTest is configured to lock students out of other programs and services on their computers for the duration of the exam. This means that, unless a professor specifically authorizes access, students will not have access to notes, outlines, or other materials stored on their hard drive or the network.

The Information Technology Services department (ITS) will provide detailed information on the use of laptop computers and Lab computers during exams. For now, please make a note of the following items:

  • All students have to download the latest version of SofTest software. Previously installed SofTest versions may not work for the Fall 2014 exams and have to be uninstalled prior to the installation of the new version.
  • The SofTest software for exams will be available for download beginning November 18, 2014.
  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 are the only supported Windows platforms for exams. Windows XP and Windows 8 RT are not supported.
  • Mac Mavericks, Mac Mountain Lion and Mac Lion are the only supported Mac OS X platforms for exams on computer at Chicago-Kent. Mac "Tiger" (Mac OS 10.4), "Leopard" (Mac OS 10.5.6) and "Snow Leopard" (Mac OS 10.6.8) are no longer supported.
  • Mac OS X "Yosemite" (10.10) is not officialy supported at this time. ExamSoft hopes to enable support by Fall 2014 exams.
  • A native Mac version of the SofTest exam-taking software is available for Mac users to download. "Virtualized" Windows operating systems via products such as Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion will not function for exams.
  • Any individual found to be running an unlicensed or "pirated" operating system on their computer may be declined technical assistance.
Notice About Borrowing Laptops: The Information Technology Services department has a limited supply of laptop computers reserved for use in emergency situations that arise during exam period. These laptops may be used (subject to availability) if your computer has problems immediately before or during an exam, as long as the problem is not due to your failing to properly configure or register your laptop to run the SofTest program. Because of limited supply, the ITS department's laptops are not available for general loaning purposes during exam period. However, if you have exceptional circumstances that you believe justify borrowing a laptop for an exam, please contact Dean Sowle to discuss your situation.

Notice to Hand Writers: Students who are hand writing an exam will be placed in the same room used by laptop users for that exam. Hand writers will not be put in a separate room.

Availability of Professors' Old Exams. Many professors make their old exams available for students to review. Exams after 1982 are available online by clicking here. Exams dating from 1982 and before are bound in volumes available in the 10th floor reading room in the Library.

1L Your Way. Full-time first-year students will be able to choose an elective class or Clinical Rotation in the Spring semester if they wish. Part-time day students and evening division students will begin taking electives next Fall (or this Summer if they elect to enroll for the optional Summer term).

Full-time students will have three options in the Spring:

Taking Legislation (a 3-credit required course).

Taking one of several designated elective classes: Business Organizations (4 credits), Patent Law (3 credits), Employment Relationships (3 credits), or International Law (3 credits). With the exception of International Law, which will be offered in the evening, all of these courses will be offered in the day (in the same time slot as Legislation). Some additional classes may be added to the list, and students may petition to take other elective classes that fit their schedules (petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the professors teaching the courses).

Taking the new Clinical Rotation (2 credits) (see the description below).

Students who choose to take an elective or the Clinic Rotation will be required to take Legislation in the Fall of their second year. The final Spring schedule, with further details, will be issued prior to Spring registration later this month. The application form for the Clinical Rotation will be posted shortly. If the number of applications exceeds the number of available places in the Rotation, we will conduct a lottery to select the students. In addition, depending on demand, we may not be able to accommodate all first-year students who wish to take one of the designated electives classes, although we are hopeful there will be sufficient spaces available for all interested students.

To ensure that all full-time first-year students are assessed on a common set of courses, grades for Legislation or for an elective taken its place will not be considered in calculating Spring class ranks for first-year students or for purposes of probation and dismissals, Law Review selections, or merit scholarships for first-year students. (As noted below, the Clinical Rotation will be graded pass/fail and thus won't count into students' GPA's for that reason.)

Clinical Rotation Description: The Clinical Rotation option aims to help students refine their career interests by gaining exposure to diverse areas of law practice. Based on the medical school model, the intensive clinical rotation matches first-year students with a trio of faculty practitioners, allowing students to immerse themselves in several practice areas and to learn the diverse skills demanded. Students enrolled in the rotation will spend four weeks with each of three practitioners, shadowing them as they work and taking part in virtually every phase of the cases they handle. Practice areas include criminal defense, employment/civil litigation, entrepreneurial law, family law, health and disability law, and tax and probate law. Students will participate in legal and factual research, client interviews, document drafting, discovery review, administrative hearings and negotiations, trial strategy sessions, court appearances, and motion calls. The Clinical Rotation will be graded on a pass/fail basis only.

Spring 2015 Preliminary Schedule. The Spring 2015 prelminary schedule is linked to this pagePlease note: The preliminary schedule was issued last April (prior to registration for the current Fall 2014 semester), and there will be changes and additions to the schedule before it is finalized. We anticipate issuing the final schedule during the week of November 17.

Joke of the Week. People are making apocalypse jokes like there's no tomorrow.


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