Registrar's Office

Independent Research Guidelines

Generally, the minimum length of paper should be as follows:

JD students may earn 1-2 credits for independent research work. LLM/MJ students may earn 1-4 credits for independent research work.

These totals are without the footnotes. For measuring purposes, use Courier, 12-point type with 1" margins. If another typeface is used, make appropriate adjustments in calculation.

Subject matter is to be determined by the advisor and the student, within an appropriate academic scope of legal education and, if relevant, the focus ot the applicable graduate degree program.

Ordinarily, there should be an initial draft, which the advisor reviews; a revision, which the advisor also reviews; and a third draft or later draft, which the advisor accepts as the final paper. Additional intermediate drafts are not precluded.

Here is an example of a workable schedule:

Both the faculty member supervising the independent research project and the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs must approve the project. Copies of the form indicating approval of the project will be retained by the Registrar's Office. The final due date must be no later than the first day of the finals period for the semester in which the independent research project is undertaken. The final paper must be turned in to both the faculty member and the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs by the approved due date in order for credit to be given for the project.

Download the Independent Research Application