Methods of Instruction and Examinations

Methods of Instruction

The case method of instruction is employed in the majority of courses, particularly in the first three quarters. This traditional method of law study involves a thorough analysis of assigned cases and the rules and principles of law deduced from the cases. Through this approach, the student develops an ability to recognize, analyze critically, and evaluate legal issues and positions while learning basic rules and principles of law. Classroom discussion is encouraged, and related statutory and non-legal material is correlated with the cases studied. Other methods of instruction are used where appropriate to the subject matter and objectives of the course. In certain courses, for example, students are given assignments which resemble the type of problems a practicing attorney encounters in daily practice.


A written final examination is generally given at the end of each course with the student’s grade for the course determined largely by that examination grade. The final examination is given only in the examination time slot as scheduled by the Associate Dean and announced in advance of the course. The scheduled final examination time slot can be changed only upon unanimous consent of all students in the course and approval of the professor and the Associate Dean. Moreover, the rescheduled time slot must fall during officially scheduled examination weeks.

An individual student shall be excused from taking the examination only under extraordinary circumstances, such as hospitalization, and only if, prior to the scheduled examination time, he or she has been excused by both the instructor and Associate Dean. If excused, the student will be given an "incomplete" and the student will take the exam the next time a regularly scheduled exam is offered for that course; however, an instructor may make other arrangements provided that appropriate steps are taken to insure examination integrity. Absence from a scheduled final examination other than under these circumstances will require a grade of "F" to be given for the course.