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Office of International Law and Policy

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Headlines for the Week of April 11, 2011

Final Exam information for LL.M.’s and Exchange Students.

Chicago-Kent College of Law provides limited exam accommodations for non-US LL.M. and Exchange students who are studying in English for the first time. The accommodation consists of the following measures:

(a) One extra hour on each of your exams, but only if you did not take your first law degree in English. LL.M. and Exchange students will have their exams rescheduled for 8:30 am each morning unless you hold a law degree that was taught in English, in which case you will take your exams with the J.D. students. If you qualify for the extra hour, we will do the rescheduling for you - you do not need to submit an Exam Reschedule form. If you have more than one exam scheduled on a particular day, we will move one of the exams. You will be notified later in the semester of your revised exam schedule.

(b) LL.M. students are permitted the use of a paper English/other language dictionary in all exams, including closed book exams. Laptop or other electronic dictionaries as well as legal dictionaries (e.g. Black’s law dictionary) are forbidden under all circumstances.  

(c) Students who wish to take their exams on a laptop can do so and still qualify for extra time.  However, students who wish to use a Chicago-Kent computer in a computer lab for their exam will not qualify for extra time. We assume all students will take their exams on their own laptop, if the professor has authorized exams on computer. (Some professors require all students to hand-write the exam, although that is unusual.) If you wish to take your exams on your own laptop, you do not need to submit an Exam Method form. However, if you wish to hand-write your exam, you will need to submit an Exam Method form in Web for Students (which you can access through your Webmail account). Please see Dean Sowle's Record page for details on how to do this. The form will be available beginning Wednesday, March 30; the deadline is Friday, April 8, at 5:00 pm.

If you prefer to take one or more exams on a lab computer, you will need to notify Hilary Waldron ( no later than Friday, April 8, at 5:00 pm. Please be specific in your email to Hilary and tell her exactly what you prefer and give her the exam title and scheduled time. Please remember that if you choose to take an exam on a lab computer, you will NOT receive any extra time.

Other Exam Information: 

Notice about SofTest: Students taking exams on laptop must download and install the SofTest exam-taking program. You will receive information from the Computer Center 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. In addition, you must download the new version of SofTest even if you have an older version from a prior semester. You cannot use older versions of the program - you must have the new version of SofTest. 

Beginning last semester, we are now able to support Mac laptop users "natively" for exams with SofTest. If you have chosen lab computers in the past because you own a Mac, you no longer need to do so.

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.

Notice About Borrowing Laptops from the Computer Center: The Computer Center has a limited supply of laptop computers reserved for use in emergency situations that arise during exam period. Please contact Dean Sowle if you opt to take an exam on laptop, and your laptop suffers unexpected problems that cannot be remedied before your exam. The Computer Center's laptops also 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 Computer Center's laptops are not available for general loaning purposes during exam period, including to students who do not own a laptop or are Mac users. 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 1992 are available online by going to and clicking on the Exam Database link in the left hand menu. Exams dating from 1992 and before are bound in volumes available in the 10th floor reading room in the Library. 

If you have any questions about exams, please feel free to contact OILP staff.

For more information on Exams, please visit Dean Sowle's Record Page.

Tax information for LL.M. students.

TAX Filing Requirements

Whether you worked(unpaid/paid/income) in 2010 or not, filing the United States income taxes with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) is required by federal law and mandated by your immigration status. This also applies to your dependents on F-2/J-2 visas. Failure to file taxes may result in revoking your immigration status. In addition, you may be entitled for a tax refund, which you may want to receive.

The Deadline for filing taxes

  • If you worked(paid/income) and/or received room & board scholarship in 2010, file form1040NR-EZ, 8843, and IL1040 by April 18, 2011.
  • If you did not have any income during 2010, file form 8843 by June 15, 2011.

For mor information on how to file taxes, including access to a web-based software to help you file your taxes, please visit the International Center website. Any questions related to taxes can be directed to

Commencement Information

Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 Graduates: The Alumni Association is your home for Commencement 2011! Your official commencement ceremony will take place Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm at the UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL 60608. Please watch your email for announcements and updates throughout the year. For more information, including FAQs, please visit the Commencement Portal online.

Commencement Tickets

Please see the following details about Commencement tickets:

  • Each graduate receives seven (7) complimentary tickets.
  • Tickets will distributed at GRAD FEST on Thursday, May 5 from 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. in the lobby of the law school.
  • A Photo ID is required to obtain your tickets.
  • Both the Cap and Gown form and the Graduate Survey must be submitted before you can receive your tickets.
  • Graduates do not need a ticket.
  • Any child under the age of two, or who will be sitting on an adult's lap, does not need a ticket.
  • Tickets are transferable. If you do not need all of your complimentary tickets, you are welcome to give them to a fellow graduate.
  • Additional tickets will be available for purchase at GRAD FEST on a first-come, first-serve basis for $10/ticket. Disclaimer: Due to the unusually large size of the class of 2011, the amount of extra tickets that will be available for purchase will not be determined until May 3. Please try to not over-invite above your allotted 7 tickets.
  • Non-graduating students, faculty, staff or alumni who wish to attend should contact by Monday, May 2.

Please note: Selling, buying and/or reproducing commencement tickets are strictly forbidden. These acts are punishable by law and can affect your graduation status.

Your Commencement Timeline

Monday, April 4

Cap and Gown Order Form Due
This form is required to participate in Commencement exercises. Caps and Gowns ordered by midnight on Monday, April 4 are complimentary on behalf of the Alumni Association; however, forms submitted after the deadline will be charged a $20 late fee.

Cap and Gown Form


Monday, May 2

2011 Graduate Survey Due
This form is required for ALL graduates. It must be submitted no later than Monday, May 2.

Graduation Survey


Thursday, May 5

Your tickets and cap and gown will be distributed in the lobby of the law school building from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. You MUST pick up your commencement materials this day.


Sunday, May 15

The 2011 Commencement Ceremony takes place at 2:30 p.m. at the UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL 60608. Graduates should arrive by 1:00. A champagne reception immediately follows.


IIT Commencement Ceremony

All IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law graduates are also invited to participate in a campus-wide Illinois Institute of Technology Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2011 on the main campus in addition to the Chicago-Kent ONLY ceremony on Sunday, May 15. If you are interested in walking, please indicate so on the graduate survey.


2011 Class Gift Update

The 2011 Class Gift is Underway!

J.D. and LL.M. Class Gift Project

The 2011 Class Gift Committee announces the class gift project: 

The Class of 2011 gift to Chicago-Kent will be used to purchase furnishings for the Law School’s proposed “Rec Room.” The Class envisions a vibrant space in the law school building to accommodate students’ needs for relaxation, camaraderie, and entertainment. The gift will fund the purchase of comfortable seating, game equipment (such as ping pong, foos ball), and televisions. 

Get involved. Give back. Support a project that will benefit students in the years to come. Please watch the Record and Commentator for further details and ways to get involved.

Suggested giving levels:
Sowle Circle
Support your Class Gift


Optional Practical Training Tutorial

There is an extremely helpful tutorial located here: .  As noted in the directions, you must complete the tutorial before you can access the necessary application materials.

Once you have completed the tutorial and the application, there is a form that needs to be signed by your academic advisor.  Dean Harris is the academic advisor for all LL.M. students.  As such, you can leave the form with Hilary or Lauren for Dean Harris to sign (you do not need to make an appointment, unless you feel that you need one) and we will notify you when it is ready to be picked up.

Please note that to be eligible for OPT, you have to be an F-1 student who has studied at least one academic year in the U.S. (Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 in most cases).

ICenter Hours and Travel Signatures

Reminder: The International Center has advising hours at the Downtown Campus on Thursdays from 9:00am to 4pm in room 656.  Please call 312-567-3680 by Wednesday at 4:30 pm to make an appointment.

If you are planning to travel outside of the U.S., you are required by SEVIS to have a travel signature.   To obtain a travel signature on your I-20, please bring it to the International Center.  The International Center recommends that you bring your I-20 to them at least one week in advance.  We advise that you get your travel signature well in advance.  A travel signature is valid for 12 months; however, we strongly advise that you obtain a new signature if the previous travel signature is more than 6 months old.   For more information on travel, please see:



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