Upper-Level Writing Requirements and Registration Procedures


Seminars may be taken to fulfill the graduation writing requirement and are offered by the faculty each semester in a wide variety of topics. These give the students the opportunity to explore an area of the law in depth, to exchange ideas with a faculty member in a small group setting and to write a substantial paper in the area under a faculty member's close supervision.

A seminar may be taken in any semester after the first year. Descriptions of the seminars to be offered are described in each semester's Preregistration Guide Students wishing to take one of these seminars should read the seminar descriptions carefully and submit the preference form reproduced at the end of the booklet to the registrar's office by the deadline for preselection.

ALL SEMINARS WILL BE PRESELECTED. Please notice that Seminar Preselection Forms are labeled for FIRST and SECOND choices.

Every student taking a seminar is required to research a topic in depth, to submit drafts of the paper to the faculty member for revision and to produce a substantial paper on the topic. A minimum grade of "C" is required in a seminar in order to satisfy the writing requirement. Attendance and participation in the seminar is required.


Occasionally students wish to undertake directed research in an area in which a course or seminar is not regularly offered. Directed research can be taken in lieu of a seminar to satisfy the upper level writing requirement. It is only offered to students taking a designated course who, with permission of the instructor and the Associate Dean, will undertake two hours of Directed Research in a specific area in a semester following completion of the foundation course.

Students who demonstrate sincere scholarly interest in a subject in which no seminar is given may undertake two hours of Directed Research in any semester following completion of a foundation courses in that area. Faculty members supervising Directed Research must be full-time and in residence during the semester in which the student is to be enrolled. Students must obtain the WRITTEN consent of both the supervising instructor and the Associate Dean on forms available from the registrar's office.


Students participating in the Bankruptcy Developments Journal, the International Law Review or the Law Journal, may receive two hours of graded credit in their fourth semester by writing a Note or Comment of publishable quality under faculty supervision. These students will also participate in a series of seminars designed to assist the candidate during the research and initial writing process.

Only Directed Research: Specific Topic or Graded Journals as described above may be taken to satisfy the writing requirement in lieu of a seminar. A student undertaking Directed Research with the permission of the Curriculum Committee, as noted elsewhere, is NOT exempted from the writing requirement.

Limited enrollment courses described as "workshops", "colloquia" or "problem courses" do not satisfy the writing requirement.



1. As noted earlier, ALL SEMINARS ARE PRESELECTED. Students wishing to be preselected for seminars next semester must submit their preference form to the registrar's office by the published deadline. Please note that these forms are labeled for the FIRST and SECOND choice selections.

2. Because space in seminars is limited, students may not register for more than TWO seminars in any given semester. There is no other limit on the number ofseminars that a student may take before graduation.

3. Faculty members will select seminar participants on the basis of the submitted preference forms. Selections are within the discretion of the faculty member. Waiting lists will be compiled for over-subscribed seminars.

4. Students may seek to change their registration in seminars during the Schedule Change period next semester by following normal Schedule Change procedures. The deadline for all seminar papers is as follows:

Graduating students should note that final papers are due no later than the last day of classes.

The faculty ONLY IN EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES grants exceptions to the above. A grade of "C" or above is required to fulfill the writing requirement.


Students taking Directed Research: Specific Topic following completion of a designated course must obtain the written consent of the faculty member and the Associate Dean and present that consent to the registrar's office at preregistration.

Deadlines for the submission of directed research papers are the same as those for seminar papers. A grade of "C" or above is required on the paper to fulfill the writing requirement.


Second year students who are to receive academic/graded credit for Journal participation should advise the registrar's office during Preregistration, Registration, or before the end of the Schedule Change period.

Students receive Journal credit in the Spring Semester only and therefore preregister for them at spring preregistration.


The faculty has adopted the following MINIMUM standards for all seminar and directed research papers. Individual faculty members may impose additional requirements at their discretion.

CONTENT OF THE PAPER - Every paper must demonstrate the following;

Complete and thorough research of the topic with appropriate and accurate citation to sources used. Research must include reference to (a) primary sources such as case and statutory authority, and (b) secondary materials including but not limited to legislative history materials, law review articles and other works of legal scholarship and non-legal materials where appropriate;

Thorough analysis of the researched materials consistent with the logical development of an overall premise or theme;

Demonstration of original analysis including identification of unresolved issues and suggestions for their resolution, conclusions based upon the analysis of the sources and suggestions for likely future developments where appropriate;

Clear, well organized discussion of the topic with due regard to the fundamentals of good expository writing including conformance with grammatical rules, accurate spelling and punctuation and proper sentence and
paragraph structure.


Papers must be a minimum of 30 pages in length, exclusive of footnotes and bibliography. Papers must be typed double-spaced on 8 ½ x 11" paper with one-inch margins, and font no larger than 12 points. 

Footnotes must conform to the rules of citation found in the Uniform System of Citation. Footnotes must be attached to the end of the paper.

A bibliography of sources must be attached to the paper.



Students must submit a topic outline to the faculty supervisor in accordance with a deadline established by the faculty member.

Several drafts may be required. A substantial draft must be submitted no later than the last day of classes in the semester.

The final paper is due no later than TWO weeks after the last day of examinations in that semester except that graduating students must submit seminar or directed research papers on or before the last day of classes in the semester.

Individual faculty members may vary these requirements at their discretion or impose such additional requirements for outlines, drafts or conferences as they see fit.