Upper-Level Writing Requirement


As a requirement for graduation from the Washington College of Law, all students must satisfy the Upper Level Writing Requirement (ULWR) after completing the first year of study.

The ULWR ensures that prior to graduation, a student shall have demonstrated competency in legal writing and research by writing, under faculty supervision, a product that is single-authored, original, well-written, analytical, and properly supported by citation.

View and download ULWR Certification of Compliance Form.

View and download the full Upper-Level Writing Requirement Policy.



The upper-level written work requirement may be satisfied by writing a paper in connection with a law school seminar when the seminar instructor certifies that the main evaluative instrument will satisfy the requirement.

It may also be satisfied in other ways as long as it is prepared under the supervision of a WCL faculty member starting with topic selection and meets the requirements of the policy statement. What is essential, however, is that the written product, in whatever form or length, should be informed and reflective.

Given the purpose of the project and the method(s) used, it should reflect appropriate legal craftsmanship; a substantial commitment of time, effort, and thought; and demonstrated competency in legal research and writing. 

A grade of C or better received for two credit hours of work is required to satisfy the requirement, and students should consider completing this requirement prior to their last semester of law study.



The ULWR is fulfilled by writing a document or series of documents of at least 7000 words, excluding footnotes. 

The document must be written in connection with a law school activity of at least two credit hours, and supervised by a faculty member who has approved the writing project in advance and approves the final product. 

This written work also must demonstrate proficiency in writing and analysis; incorporate adequate original research; and the student must earn a grade of B or better or, if satisfied through an option that does not provide grades (such as a law journal), be eligible for a grade of B or better for the course or academic activity with which the work is associated.

Additional information is available from the WCL Office of the Registrar or the Dean of Students.

Important Dates & Deadlines

December 15 Exams
December 16 Exams
December 23 Winter Break (University closed)
December 24 Winter Break (University closed)
December 25 Winter Break (University closed)
December 26 Winter Break (University closed)
December 27 Winter Break (University closed)
December 28 Winter Break (University closed)
December 29 Winter Break (University closed)
December 30 Winter Break (University closed)
December 31 Winter Break (University closed)
January 01 Winter Break (University closed)
January 08 First Day of Classes
January 08 Add/Drop Period Begins
January 13 Add/Drop Period Ends
January 15 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (University closed; no classes)
March 11 Spring Break
March 12 Spring Break
March 13 Spring Break
March 14 Spring Break
March 15 Spring Break
March 16 Spring Break
March 17 Spring Break
March 18 Spring Break
March 30 Deadline for NNES Exam Accommodations Request
April 23 Deadline for Submitting Exam Deferral Requests
April 23 Last Day of Classes
April 24 Reading Period
April 25 Reading Period
April 26 Reading Period
April 27 Reading Period
April 28 Reading Period
April 29 Reading Period
April 30 Exams
May 01 Exams
May 02 Exams
May 03 Exams
May 04 Exams
May 05 Exams
May 06 Exams
May 07 Exams
May 08 Exams
May 09 Exams
May 10 Exams
May 11 Exams
May 12 Exams
May 20 Commencement