Rule 7.1: Required Upper Level Writing Credit
A student must earn three upper level writing credits (W), as calculated under this Topic, as a condition of graduation. At least one of these credits must be intensive (WI) as defined in Rule 7.5.
Rule 7.2: Calculation of Upper Level Writing Credit
- No more than two upper level writing credits in any academic year, as defined in Rule 1.3, may be counted towards the requirement for three upper level writing credits. In accord with that rule, a summer session does not count as part of an academic year.
- No more than one upper level writing credit in any single summer session may be counted toward the upper level writing credit requirement.
- Nothing in this Rule bars a student from taking as many upper level writing credits and intensive upper level writing credits in a semester, year or summer session as the student chooses.
Rule 7.3: Courses Qualifying for Writing Credit
- The Dean shall designate each semester a list of the courses approved by the Dean for upper level writing credit. The list of courses shall specify whether either upper level writing credit or intensive writing credit (as defined in Rule 7.5) is offered and whether credits of either type are optional or required.
- Courses offering an upper level writing credit:
- Are directly supervised by a professor or, in an externship program, by a field supervisor.
- Require the student to complete individual or collaborative written work or works that, if taken in a graded course, constitute a substantial portion of the basis for the final grade pursuant to Rules 9.1, 9.3 and 9.4: and either
- Total at least 5000 words (excluding footnotes) in final draft, or
- In the case of the drafting of pleadings, briefs, motions, legislation or other legal documents totaling less than 5000 worlds in final draft, involve feedback from the professor or field supervisor who is supervising the course.
- Comply with other requirements prescribed by the Dean consistent with these Rules to assure a sound educational experience.
- A student who has not satisfactorily completed the writing assignments required for upper level writing credit in a course shall not receive upper level writing credit for the course.
- First-year courses (Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Analysis, Writing & Research I and II, Property and Torts) and directed research taken on a credit-no credit basis may not qualify for writing credit.
Rule 7.4: Upper Level Writing Credit for Directed Research, Pro Bono Research, Law Journal Writing, and for Writing Completed as Part of a Dual Degree Program
- Students receiving course credit for a two credit graded directed research project referred to in Rule 3.10 may receive one upper level writing credit, which may be certified as intensive if the criteria of Rule 7.5 are satisfied.
- Notwithstanding other provisions of Rule 7.3, a student who completes a Pro Bono Research Project that satisfies the requirements of rule 7.3 (b)(2) may receive one upper level writing credit. Such credits may be certified as intensive, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 7.5, provided that the professor supervises no more than a total of five students in that semester for directed research and intensive pro bono research combined, except with the permission of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. No more than one upper level writing credit awarded under this subsection may be counted toward the upper level writing credit requirements for graduation.
- Notwithstanding Rule 7.3, a student who completes a substantial piece of writing for, and is certified and receives credit for two semesters of participation in the Rutgers Law Journal, The Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion or the Rutgers Journal of Law and Public Policy may receive one upper level writing credit upon certification by the faculty advisor pursuant to the policies of each law journal as well as those prescribed by the Dean. No more than one upper level writing credit awarded under this provision may be counted toward the upper level writing credit requirements for graduation.
- Notwithstanding Rule 7.3, a student who earns a dual degree under Rule 14.2 shall receive one upper level writing credit for the totality of the writing done in that degree program subject to the terms of the law school’s approval of the dual degree program and policies prescribed by the Dean.
Rule 7.5: Certification of Upper Level Writing Credit as Intensive
- A professor may certify upper level writing credit earned pursuant to Rules 7.3 and 7.4 (a) and (b) as intensive if:
- The student has already successfully completed Legal Analysis Writing and Research I and II;
- The opportunity to earn intensive upper level writing credit for the course is limited to no more than fourteen students or the course has a ratio of no more than twenty students per instructor;
- Writing assignments have as one goal the development of writing proficiency, the instructor provides oral or written individualized feedback, and students complete additional drafts of one or more assignments or develop writing proficiency through a sequence of writing assignments; and
- The final product demonstrates facility in legal writing appropriate to upper level law study and the professor concludes that the writing experience satisfies ABA Law School Accreditation Standard 302 (a) (3) and Interpretation 302-1 (requiring one rigorous upper level writing experience and specifying factors for consideration in determining which experiences qualify).
- For Pro Bono Research Projects or externships, both the field supervisor and the supervising faculty member (for externships, the externship director) must certify satisfaction of this rule.
Rule 7.6: Upper Level Writing Credit for Law School Courses Taken Elsewhere
Courses taken while enrolled at another ABA-approved law school may be counted for writing credit with the permission of the Committee on Academic Petitions. Permission of the Committee must be obtained in advance in the case of a student visiting elsewhere under Topic 14.