J.D. Supervised Research
The completed J.D. Supervised Research Application must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than 5:00 p.m. on the first day of classes for the semester in which the SR Project will be taken, as published in the Academic Calendar.
Submit this completed J.D. Supervised Research Application to:
Office of the Registrar,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Hotung 4101
The faculty augments the Law Center’s seminar offerings by providing a Supervised Research option, through which students work independently on a writing project under the supervision of a faculty member for 2 graded credits. Supervised Research projects allow faculty guidance for students in areas where there is no curricular offering or where a student wishes to explore a subject in greater depth than would be possible in an existing course. Papers receiving a passing grade will satisfy the upperclass legal writing requirement (see the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement on p. 3-4 of the Georgetown Law Student Handbook).
To apply for a Supervised Research project, a student must complete an application form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar by the deadline for the relevant semester (see Application Deadlines above). Requests to undertake a Supervised Research project are reviewed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who will be receptive to proposals meeting the goals of Supervised Research projects and expects to approve most proposals for supervision by full-time faculty. To be eligible to apply to undertake a Supervised Research project while enrolled at the Center for Transnational Legal Studies, the project must first be approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs. Students should consider the following rules applicable to Supervised Research projects when submitting a proposal:
- The student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least a C (2.00/4.33) in Law Center courses.
- Supervised Research projects must meet the requirements of the upperclass legal writing requirement, including the requirement that the proposal not repeat work for which credit is currently being or has previously been granted in another course or which was undertaken in the course of employment (see the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement on p. 3-4 of the Georgetown Law Student Handbook). In addition, the professor and student must establish a calendar of at least four meetings that allows for the kind of interaction and feedback contemplated for writing seminars.
- Students must demonstrate that they have a well-developed topic suitable for a substantive scholarly paper satisfying the upperclass legal writing requirement: (a) The topic should be in an area where there is no curricular offering or where the student wishes to explore a subject in greater depth than would be possible in an existing course. (b) In the application, students must indicate (1) the four scheduled meeting dates with the professor; (2) the deadlines for submission of the outline, first draft, and final draft; and (3) the semester(s) in which the project is to be completed.
- Because the time demanded of the professor is substantial, it is expected that students ordinarily will seek sponsorship from full-time faculty. Where a student makes a good-faith effort to obtain sponsorship by a full-time faculty member and is unable to do so, sponsorship by an adjunct faculty member may be approved where the adjunct faculty member has both subject matter expertise and sufficient familiarity with Georgetown Law’s upperclass legal writing requirement.
- A student ordinarily may not undertake a Supervised Research project more than once. Students proposing to take Supervised Research for a second time must disclose this on their application.
- Proposals may call for research to be completed in one semester or across two consecutive terms (i.e., Fall and Spring, or Spring and Summer) and students may assign the associated credits to one or both semesters (i.e., they may receive 1 credit in each semester or 2 credits in either semester). No more than 2 credits will be awarded for one project, and credit allocations must be finalized before the last day of add/drop activity for the project’s first semester.
UPPERCLASS LEGAL WRITING REQUIREMENT
The upperclass legal writing requirement builds upon the first-year Legal Practice course by developing students’ ability to independently engage in a sustained, in-depth research and writing project for a legal audience. Students choose topics, submit outlines, prepare and submit a first draft, and complete the final paper in consultation with faculty members.
Working on the paper challenges students to hone their research skills, engage in complex legal analysis, develop and test a thesis or argument, gain mastery over a specific topic, and enhance the clarity and precision of their writing–all components of the art of legal writing that are valued in practice regardless of the particular field that the student might pursue. The upperclass legal writing requirement also gives students the opportunity to think critically about a problem, engage in deep and sustained research into a wide range of materials, explore possible problem-solving options, advocate for a solution, and advance the body of knowledge relevant to their paper topic.
Students have two options for completing the upperclass legal writing requirement: (1) successfully completing a seminar designated in the Curriculum Guide as meeting the upperclass legal writing requirement; or (2) successfully completing a Supervised Research project that has been approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, as described above. Note: Experiential courses (including clinics, externships, practicum courses, and simulation courses) do not meet the upperclass writing requirement. The upperclass legal writing requirement must be completed at the Law Center.*
The following are the technical requirements for the upperclass legal writing requirement, which must be completed in accordance with the professor’s instructions and schedule:
(1) Submission of an outline;
(2) Submission of a first draft of at least 6,000 words (excluding footnotes);
(3) Submission of a revised final paper of at least 6,000 words (excluding footnotes) based on the professor’s comments; and
(4) Use of legal forms of citation (when appropriate).
Papers of 6,000 words (excluding footnotes) in length are approximately 25 typewritten pages using customary margins and spacing.
A paper that meets the upperclass legal writing requirement must comply with the Student Disciplinary Code’s policies on plagiarism and be a product of the student’s own work in consultation with the supervising professor. Except as set forth in the One Paper for Two Seminars section of the Student Handbook, the upperclass legal writing requirement paper may not repeat work for which credit is currently being or has previously been granted in another course or which was undertaken in the course of employment. Students should not receive written comments, edits, or other feedback on the paper from any individual other than the grading professor prior to the time it is submitted for grading (except where such feedback is in connection with classroom discussion as overseen by the grading professor, a peer review required by the professor, or where the professor grants express permission, such as in a referral to the Center for Legal English). For policies relating to services offered by the Writing Center or the Center for Legal English, please see the General Administrative Policies chapter of the Georgetown Law Student Handbook. Students who are interested in using their final paper for other purposes (such as a law journal note) may do so only after the paper has been submitted for grading.
*The upperclass legal writing requirement may also be completed while enrolled at the Center for Transnational Legal Studies, provided the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs has approved any such seminar prior to the semester in which it is offered.
ONE PAPER FOR TWO SEMINARS
Learn more about writing one paper for two seminars.