The purpose of the upper level writing requirement is to have each student undertake at least one rigorous writing experience (in addition to RWA) prior to graduation.Â Though the focus of the requirement is writing skills, effective legal writing requires application of the broad spectrum of skills essential to effective lawyering generally. Thus, research, analytical and organizational skills are important components in the preparation of any quality product of legal writing.Â For this reason, the goal of the upper level writing requirement is to require each student to demonstrate his or her ability to apply each of these skills in producing one substantial, cohesive piece of legal writing prior to graduating from law school.
No required course shall be eligible to meet the upper level legal writing requirement.
The Curriculum Committee shall be responsible for determining whether a course (other than a required course) meets the upper level legal writing requirement.
The Curriculum Committee shall apply the following standards in determining whether a course or an individual writing project meets the upper level legal writing requirement.
a. The upper level legal writing requirement is satisfied by the completion of a paper, brief, casenote, or other piece of legal writing that combines writing, research, analytical and organizational skills into one written product of substance.
b. Though no hard and fast rule applies, a general guideline for measuring what constitutes a paper of substance is that it be approximately 20 typewritten pages long (double spaced), including footnotes.
c. There must be meaningful one-on-one consultation and critique between the student and the instructor.Â â€śInstructorâ€ť is construed broadly to include any person properly designated to supervise a studentâ€™s completion of a writing project in accordance with these standards (e.g., professor, legal writing instructor, law journal staff.)
d. It is recommended (but not required) that the instructor require the student to submit an outline of the writing project prior to commencing the first draft, which theÂ instructor should discuss with the student.
e. The student should be required to conduct at least one rewrite of the paper after critique by the instructor.
f. The upper level writing requirement may be satisfied by successfully completing, in accordance with these guidelines: (I) a casenote of the UALR Law Journal; (ii) a brief for the course of Advanced Appellate Advocacy; (iii) Supervised Research; (iv) a paper for any class that has been approved by the Curriculum Committee as satisfying these standards; or (v) any other legal writing project undertaken in accordance with these standards in a course that does not otherwise meet the standards for satisfying the upper level writing requirement.Â (This standard is intended to permit flexibility in the manner in which the upper level writing requirement may be satisfied.Â Even if the Curriculum Committee should find that the Legal Clinic course, for example, does not meet the upper level writing requirement standard, it would permit a student who has written a qualified writing in connection with a case being handled by the Legal Clinic to apply to the Curriculum Committee for a determination that the qualified writing was prepared pursuant to these standards and, therefore, satisfied the upper level writing requirement.)
g. Any instructor wishing to designate his or her class as one satisfying the upper level writing requirement must first obtain authorization from the Curriculum Committee.Â Authorization shall be given only if the Curriculum Committee determines that the writing requirements of the class meet these standards.