Independent Study Course Rules

  1. Members of the Law Review staff shall be eligible for this research credit so long as the work done for this credit is not also submitted to fulfill the requirements for Law Review credit.
  2. Students must have credit for Legal Research I & II, and Reasoning, Writing & Advocacy I & II and must have a minimum of 28 hours of law school credit to enroll for Independent Study.
  3. No student may enroll for more than one hour of Independent Study in any single academic year, except that the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may allow two hours in special cases.
  4. No student may earn more than a total of two hours credit in Independent Study.
  5. Each hour of Independent Study shall consist of:
    1. Exhaustive library or other approved investigation under the supervision of a faculty member of a legal problem to be approved by such faculty member.
    2. Preparation of a legal essay based on the investigation in 5(a), above, the length thereof to depend on the scope of the problem and suggestions of the faculty supervisor, but generally to fall within a twenty to thirty page range (typewritten).
  6.  It is expected that a minimum of seventy hours of work will be necessary to fulfill the combined requirements of 5(a) and 5(b) above. The faculty supervisor may require such additional work as is deemed necessary if, in the opinion of the faculty supervisor, the legal essay submitted is unsatisfactory.
  7. Students enrolled in Independent Study shall submit a project outline prior to the end of the fourth week of the semester, a first draft prior to the end of the ninth week of the semester, and a final draft prior to the first day of the final exam period. Students enrolling for Independent Study during a summer session should consult with their faculty supervisor in regard to deadline requirements. However, the final draft of papers undertaken during a summer must be submitted prior to the first day of the final examination period for the session in which the student enrolled in Independent Study.
  8. Each Independent Study student shall develop a detailed bibliography (no particular form) indicating the full extent of his/her research and showing “unproductive” investigation as well as that which produces materials bearing on the problem. The record shall be submitted with the first draft to the faculty supervisor for his/her approval.
  9.  The faculty supervisor shall assign a final grade for each semester’s or term’s work done under his/her supervision in accordance with the normal grading system at the law school. The grade will represent a composite appraisal of (a) thoroughness in investigation and (b) quality of the legal essay.

At Registration

Please add Independent Study I to your registration form if you have never before received credit for Independent Study. If you have received this credit in the past, please register for Independent Study II. Unless you receive permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, you may not register for more than one hour of Independent Study in one academic year, in accordance with Rule III.A.5 of the Academic Rules.

After Registration

If a professor has already approved a legal research topic which you would like to work, please indicate the name of the professor on the Independent Study Form and the title of the topic. If you do not have an approved topic, but have an interest in writing your paper in a general subject area of the law, you should make an appointment with the professor who teaches in that subject area to discuss the election of a specified topic. After securing approval of the topic, complete and return the attached form. All students registered for Independent Study who have not completed and returned this form by the last day of general registration will be assigned a professor who will assist in the selection of the topic and supervise the work on the paper.

The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will review all requests submitted for Independent Study topics.  The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will attempt to honor all requests form students whose topics have been approved in advance by faculty members. However, a limitation will be established on the maximum number of papers which an individual faculty member can supervise.  In any case in which requests for paper supervision by a faculty member exceed the limit established, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will assign students to work under the supervision of another faculty member.