Course - Law

Completion of first year of law school and agreement in writing of a law faculty member to supervise paper.  Forms are available from or 

Recommended Courses:

Any writing courses.  Courses in area of topic are helpful as well.


Students 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 initiated 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.


Students are encouraged to purchase and read a copy of Academic Legal Writing, Law Review Articles, Student Notes, and Seminar Papers, by Eugene Volokh, Foundation Press, ISBN 1-58778-477-7. 

Course Format  
Written Assignments

An outline and three drafts (including a final version) of the substantial paper, together with an oral presentation of the paper.

Type of Exam  
Basis for grading  
Additional Comments  
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