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Independent Research

The following guidelines have been adopted by the faculty for students who wish to do independent research:

Enrollment in Individual Supervised Research

  • No student on academic probation may register for individual supervised research.
  • A research project may receive only one (1) hour of credit in any one semester. A student may enroll in individual supervised research in more than one semester but may earn no  more than three (3) hours of credit in individual supervised research.
  • Enrollment in Individual Supervised Research must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean may deny approval based upon the workload of the student, the workload of the professor, or any other relevant factor.
  • Customarily, the project will be a scholarly research paper, but the faculty supervisor and the student retain flexibility in the end product, and this policy acknowledges that other research and writing experiences may fit within the description of the individual supervised research.
  • A research project shall be sponsored by a member of the full-time faculty who will supervise the project. For purposes of this policy, the full-time faculty includes tenured and tenure-track, J.D.-degreed law library faculty, and all professors of professional practice. A faculty member may decline to serve as an advisor for any reason.

Requirements for Individual Supervised Research

  • The student shall submit an outline of the project to the faculty advisor prior to the submission of the first draft of the paper. Prior to submission of the outline, the student shall meet at least once with a law librarian for assistance with research. Students on student-edited journals will attend a group session with a law librarian as part of their standard orientation/training (either one session for each journal, or one combined session for all journals); the session(s) with the law librarian will be at least 45 minutes in duration. The student shall submit at least one draft of the paper prior to the submission of the final paper.
  • It is expected that the outline should be submitted no later than one month after the first day of classes and a first draft should be submitted no later than six weeks after the deadline for submission of the outline. However, the faculty advisor may establish different deadlines for the submission of the outline and any drafts, provided those deadlines are clearly communicated to the student at the outset of the semester.
  • The faculty advisor shall provide the student with feedback on the outline and at least one draft. The student shall meet with the faculty advisor at least twice prior to the submission of the final paper.
  • Final papers shall be submitted in Word format and shall be at least 5,000 words in length, excluding footnotes. The student shall include with the submission of their final paper a certification that the paper complies with this requirement.
  • Final papers shall be due no later than one week following the last day on which final exams are scheduled. The faculty advisor may establish an earlier deadline for the submission of the final paper, provided that deadline is clearly communicated to the student at the outset of the semester.

Below is the form to request enrollment in Independent Research. The form should be completed and returned to the Office of Admissions and Student Records.