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Writing Requirements

To graduate, each student must complete:
  • 3 units of Supervised Analytic Writing: involves work that is closely supervised by a Law School faculty member and is designed to increase the student’s proficiency in legal research, analytic reasoning, and writing in a single field of concentration; the paper may not be purely descriptive in character. Supervised Analytic Writing papers may not be submitted on a Credit/Fail basis.
  • a Substantial Paper of at least 2 units: must be a significant written project. Professors may accept Substantial Papers on either a graded or credit/ fail basis.

Prior to beginning work on a Supervised Analytic Writing paper or Substantial Paper, a student should secure the approval of the supervising faculty member. 
At least one of these writing requirements must be satisfied before students can register for their penultimate term at the Law School, usually the fifth term. The Law School requires that the professor supervising one of those writing projects must certify the student’s completion of the project before the student can register for her or his penultimate term; the faculty certification must include a grade for the paper.

Supervised Analytic Writing papers or Substantial Papers may be prepared in connection with:

  • seminars or courses
  • independent research and writing under faculty supervision
  • the Intensive Semester Research Program 
  • a program of research and writing, conducted under the joint supervision of two faculty members and spread over two terms, which is related to a course or seminar offered by one or both of the faculty members 

Work done in courses outside the Law School will not be accepted in satisfaction of the writing requirements.