“Independent study” work may be awarded credit under the supervision of a member of the faculty. Such work typically involves an expository research paper, creation of a brief, or, on occasion, faculty research assistance. It may also be based upon work a student has done in an employment setting during the summer or during the school year. Independent studies done in an employment context, however, may not consist solely of work done directly as a part of that employment, but must include additional academic work based upon reflection on issues raised in the course of employment.
Students wishing to undertake work as an independent study should pick up an independent study form at the Registrar’s Office. This form, when completed by the student and signed by the faculty member, should be returned to the Registrar’s Office. Independent studies are usually done for two or three credits.
The purpose of these seminars, typically student initiated, is to permit an interested group of highly motivated second-and third-year students to pursue a subject in greater depth than might otherwise be possible in the regular course curriculum, without too great a diversion of faculty time from competing curricular demands. Thus, the students bear the primary responsibility for defining the subject, preparing the syllabus and reading list, conducting research and discussion meetings and completing and criticizing any written work. Each such seminar must be conducted subject to the ultimate supervision of a member of the law faculty, whose consent will have to be secured by the student participants. The responsibilities of the faculty supervisor are to assist in preparing the seminar syllabus and reading list, to assure that the goals and conduct of the seminar are of substantial educational value, and to evaluate student performance for the record. No such independent seminar may be taken for credit unless a faculty supervisor is found and his/her approval secured for the seminar syllabus.