J.D. Writing Requirement
In 1998, the Faculty made some changes to the rules regarding the Writing Requirement.
- To graduate, students will need two Writing Credits to satisfy the J.D. writing requirement, at least one of which is meets the criteria of the Major Writing Credit. Both Writing Credits must be registered separately with Registration Services using L6675 (Major Writing Credit) or L6672 (Minor Writing Credit).
- A paper may qualify for a Major Writing Credit only if it has been supervised by a faculty member. This may be any member of the regular or clinical or adjunct or visiting faculty. It may be used as a seminar paper or in completion of a research project.
- In order to earn Writing Credit, students must propose and secure the agreement of a faculty member to act as Supervisor. Once agreement has been reached, notify Registration Services, indicating who is supervising your work and whether it will be a Major or Minor Writing Credit.
- For Major Writing Credit, students must submit a complete draft of the paper for comments and suggestions.
- Major Writing Credit will be awarded by the Faculty Supervisor for a final draft written in response to the comments and suggestions.
- The other credit - the Minor Writing Credit - may be earned by an ordinary course paper, or brief, or other written research activity done under the supervision of a faculty member. It may be earned at any time during the second or third year.
- It is not sufficient to register for a seminar, research offering, clinic, journal or moot court if Writing Credit is being earned. Students must register for the separate Writing Credit category, including the Faculty Supervisor.
- Journal editors may not act as Faculty Supervisors. A paper or note submitted to and/or accepted by a journal or law review may qualify for Writing Credit, but only if it satisfies the rules about faculty supervision set out above.
- Editorial work, cite-checking etc. for law reviews or other journals will no longer be sufficient to earn any Writing Credit.
These changes are substantial. Previously, the rule was that students had to earn two writing credits during the second year, and at least one during the third year; and writing credits could be earned by journal work, moot court activities, research, or many other activities; what's more there was no distinction between Major and Minor Credits.
We have made these changes so that the Writing Requirement ensures that students will have done one substantial piece of supervised research and writing during their J.D. studies. The purpose of laying down some rather strict rules for the Major Writing Credit is to ensure that this research and writing exercise is properly supervised and evaluated, and to clarify the relation between the Writing Credit requirement and the ordinary paper requirements for seminars, courses etc. At the same time, by dropping the number of writing credits required to two, and by providing a relaxed regime for the second or Minor Writing Credit, we hope to be able to accommodate a variety of legitimate writing projects that may not be pursued with the same degree of supervision as the Major Credit.
Academic Credit for Journal Work Remains Unchanged
- A student may earn an academic credit if she/he publishes a note.
- A student may earn one academic credit as an editor or a member of the editorial board of a journal for each term of service.
- A maximum of three academic credits may be applied towards the J.D. degree for journal work, with a maximum of two for editorial or administrative work.