Course DescriptionStudents may elect to fulfill their substantial writing requirement by the use of a student-initiated substantial paper. Any student fulfilling his or her substantial writing requirement by a student-initiated substantial paper must meet all requirements of the substantial writing requirement, including an oral presentation.
Faculty agreeing to supervise a student-initiated substantial paper may limit students to those previously or currently enrolled in one of their courses covering the substantive area of the student-imitated topic.
Each student selects a topic early in the semester, which the student submits to the faculty member either in writing or in an individual meeting. Ideally, if the form of the paper is a scholarly paper (in contrast to an appellate brief, for example), the selection of the topic will include the statement of a thesis so that the student's research and writing will have an appropriate focus. The student continues to conduct research to allow for development and structuring of the paper and a comprehensive legal analysis.
The student must submit an outline and three drafts (including a final version) of the paper to the faculty member based on a timetable established by the beginning of the semester by the faculty member and student; both of the first two drafts are followed by extensive written and oral feedback on analysis, organization, and writing style by the faculty member. This feedback of necessity entails individual in-person meetings between the student and faculty member. The length of the typical paper is around 30 pages.