University of Dayton

All students must satisfy the upper level writing requirement (the “ULWR”) by successfully completing either Appellate Advocacy or Transactional Drafting. Both the first year legal writing requirement and the ULWR are intended to comply with ABA Accreditation Standard 301(a) and with Interpretation 302-1 of those standards that require a “rigorous” writing experience in the first year and in the upper level curriculum.

In determining the “rigor” of a writing experience, the difficulty, sophistication and length of the student work product are important factors. A “rigorous” writing project might consist of one major project of substantial length and sophistication, or a number of smaller, less sophisticated projects in combination. The “rigor” of a student writing experience also depends in part, on the quality and level of faculty supervision, feedback and critique. Normally, appropriate faculty supervision requires that a faculty member participate in the selection of the writing assignment or topic and in the formulation of an appropriate research or action plan.

In addition, faculty feedback and critique of individual student writing, drafting and research should be substantial, and would normally involve the approval of a student’s preliminary outline, as well as faculty feedback and critique of multiple student drafts including the student’s final draft. It is expected that a student have the opportunity to meet individually with a faculty member to receive and discuss the faculty member’s assessment and critique of a student’s written project(s).