Upper-Level Writing Requirement

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

The ULWR ensures that prior to graduation, a JD 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 following POLICY APPLIES TO JD STUDENTS ENROLLED PRIOR TO FALL 2016

 

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 product of at least 30 pages and 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 following POLICY APPLIES TO THE JD CLASSES ENTERING IN FALL 2016 AND FORWARD

 

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.