UMKC School of Law

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Research and writing requirements

Each law student shall have a rigorous writing experience evidencing legal analysis resulting in a paper of professional quality. Completed work must meet the guidelines (PDF) of analysis, authority/sources and format. The piece should be approximately 30 pages and include multiple drafts.

Some options for satisfying requirement

Seminar or elective course paper
Whether a seminar paper meets the research and writing (R&W) requirement is the decision of the professor teaching the course. If the requirement is met by a required paper, the student does not also register in Law 8746, Legal Research. If the paper is not required for the seminar itself, then the student must also enroll in Law 8746.

Independent study
The student must register in Law 8746, Legal Research. The paper cannot be on a topic encompassed within the course description of an available course. A professor must agree in writing to supervise no later than the start of the semester before the student’s final semester.

Law Review Comment/Urban Lawyer Annotation/Matrimonial Law Journal project
Can be used to satisfy the requirement if a faculty member supervises the writing. A student may receive additional academic credit for satisfying the requirement with Urban Lawyer work. Neither a Law Review Comment nor a Matrimonial Law Journal Project may be used to obtain additional credit hours. Students should enroll in Law 8746.

Appellate Advocacy III or National Team Brief
Satisfactory completion of Appellate Advocacy III and rewriting brief of professional quality; or satisfactory completion of Appellate Advocacy IV and writing an Appellate Advocacy IV brief of professional quality. The student will not register in Law 8746.

A brief used in other competitions may be used to satisfy the criteria with faculty certification. Students should enroll in Law 8746.

Note: It is impermissible and considered an Honor Code violation to use the same paper for academic credit in more than one course, seminar, or after using it to fulfill a journal requirement without disclosure and permission to do so.

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UMKC School of Law | 500 East 52nd St. | Kansas City, MO 64110-2458
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