Students must contact individual instructors and agree on a research project. A written proposal must be submitted to and approved by the instructor, then submitted to the Office of Academic Services before a student may register. The written proposal ordinarily is at least two pages double-spaced (or at least 1,000 words) and should describe the subject matter of the Directed Research and the issues the student intends to explore in the paper. The student may register by using an add/drop form that Academic Services will supply upon receipt of the signed proposal within the stated deadlines. Directed research credits may be added through September 30 for Fall 2013 and February 11 for Spring 2014. The usual allocation is two credits. A student may write a one-credit Directed Research but it will not suffice for the Substantial Writing requirement satisfaction. A three-credit Directed Research project is highly unusual and requires the approval of the Vice Dean. Students considering this should contact Academic Services. Also note that requests to late add Directed Research will only be considered if your credit load (not including the Directed Research credits) does not drop below the minimum 12 credits at any point in the semester after the add/drop period. Students who are granted permission to late add Directed Research will not be permitted to drop classes if the result is inconsistent with the above, so please plan your schedule accordingly.
You may ask any full-time faculty member or visiting faculty member to supervise Directed Research. Adjunct professors may supervise Directed Research only with permission of the Vice Dean. A two-credit Directed Research may satisfy the Substantial Writing requirement. Failure to make academic progress on a Directed Research may result in a student’s withdrawal with a grade of “WD.”
After March 15 of the student’s final semester, no faculty member may accept a request from a student to perform directed research or other work for law school credit unless the student has first received the approval of the Vice Dean. The Vice Dean may allow such work if the student needs the credit for May graduation and July bar certification subject to the following:
- No more than two (2) credits can be earned in this manner.
- In making his or her decision, the Vice Dean shall consider (a) the date of the student’s request; (b) the nature of the proposal; and (c) whether the missing credits or the timing of the student’s request are the result of circumstances that were within the student’s ability to avoid. Failure of the student to properly calculate his or her credits at an earlier time, failure in a course, and removal from a course for excessive absences are examples of circumstances within the student’s control to avoid.
- If the missing credits result from circumstances outside the student’s control, the Vice Dean will permit the credit if at all academically reasonable.
- If the Vice Dean approves the student’s application, it will be the student’s responsibility to find a faculty member willing to supervise the student’s proposed work and award the credit in a timely manner.
J.D. students can use a two-credit Directed Research to satisfy the Substatial Writing requirement.