Upper Level Writing Requirement
To reinforce and expand the skills learned in the required 1-L Legal Research and Writing Course and to develop the techniques necessary for in-depth analysis and organization of a large body of material, a student is required to produce and submit, prior to graduation, an original work of acceptable professional quality involving a significant exploration of a single major topic in compliance with the provisions set forth below. This requirement must be satisfied for full-time day division students during the final four (4) semesters prior to graduation including summer sessions and for evening and part-time day division students during the final six (6) semesters prior to graduation including the summer sessions.
- Each student at the Law School must successfully complete at least one rigorous faculty-supervised upper-level writing project [hereinafter, project] for award of the Juris Doctor degree.
- This project must be supervised, reviewed, and approved by a full-time Law School faculty member or by another faculty member who has been approved in advance for this purpose by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs [hereinafter, supervising faculty member].
- To be eligible for review and approval, a project must total at least 7500 words (including citations and any endnotes or footnotes) and must be in a format prescribed by the faculty member supervising the project.
a. The project, if done as part of a course, may be one single paper, or a series of papers, which are described in the Syllabus or Course Materials prepared by the faculty member and approved by the Upper-Level Writing Requirement Committee for these purposes.
i. A project may be a scholarly research paper, a series of practice-related documents, or other papers which are of the types prepared by practicing attorneys, judeges, or academicians.
ii. The faculty member and student must meet at least twice to discuss the progress of the project if the project consists of one paper, and there must be at least two drafts of significant portions of the paper which are reviewed by the professor. Significant portions of a single-paper project must be reviewed at least twice by the faculty member and then revised by the student prior to the end of the project.
iii. If the project consists of a series of papers, then each of those papers must be reviewed by the faculty member and revised by the student in accordance with the review provided by the faculty member.
iv. A project must include substantial original content by the student; it may not be comprised solely of descriptive content.
v. A project may not be the result of collaborative work with another student or law-trained person other than the professor.
vi. A project must be completed within a semester.
b. If done in conjunction with a Law School publication for which the faculty has approved a student receiving academic credit [hereinafter, journal], then a project must comply independently with any applicable requirements of the journal's bylaws and editors.
i. Each journal project must be reviewed at least twice, in whole or in part, by the faculty member before the project is finished, and then revised by the student prior to the end of the project. The review shall be conducted of at least a detailed outline of the project and a final draft of the project, but the nature and extent of the reviews are within the discretion of the supervising faculty member.
ii. A student who is working on a journal project with a supervising faculty member must mee twith the supervising faculty member at least twice to discuss the progress of drafts of the project before it is finished; the student and supervising faculty member should schedule such drafts and meetings to coordinate with the journal's requirements for submission of intermediate and final drafts of the journal paper.
iii. A journal project must include substantial original work by the student; it may not be comprised solely of descriptive content.
iv. A written description of the faculty member's requirements and the student's agreement with those requirements must be filed with the journal before the project is begun.
v. A journal project may be completed after one- or two-semesters, in compliance with the journal's requirements for the timing of student work.
- To approve a project as successfully completed, a supervising faculty member must certify to the Registrar that the project has met the following requirements:
a. The project is of sufficient length and was completed in a timely manner, and
b. The paper demonstrates the type of high quality writing that would be expected of a new associate in a law firm or similar position in which the faculty member was a supervising attorney; the analogous level of quality corresponds to a grade of at least "C" on the law school grading scale.
- A project done for a course or other credit-granting co-curricular activity may not also be used to satisfy the "Skills Requirement" for the Juris Doctor degree.
- There shall be no appeal from any decisions about a project made by a supervising faculty member, unless there has been a ministerial error made by the supervising faculty member; any such appeal shall go to the Academic Status Committee and be treated in the same manner as an error in submission of a final grade.
- An electronic and/or paper copy of each Project must be filed with the Registrar by the student and supervising faculty member by the end of the exam period for the semester, in a form and manner prescribed by the Registrar, attesting to the compliance of the paper with these requirements.