Rules and Procedures for Seminars, Independent Research Papers, and Rule-of-Law Externships (ROLXs)
Supervised by Professor Perritt
Seminars and Independent Research Papers
Scope. These rules and procedures apply to all seminar and independent research papers prepared for academic credit under the supervision of Professor Perritt, in the LLM and JD programs.
Modification. These rules and procedures may be modified from time to time through modifications published on the Web, or communicated orally to the affected student. Modifications take effect as they are published or communicated.
Philosophy. Professor Perritt enjoys interacting with students and helping them produce work products of which they can be proud. Despite the mandatory character of the following provisions of this document, Professor Perritt rarely has encountered a situation in which he and a student have had any difficulty agreeing on a topic, or in the required interaction over outlines and drafts. Professor Perritt views his role as helping students to explore subjects in which the students are interested and to produce work products of which the students can be proud, knowing that they satisfy the standards of excellence defined by the legal profession.
Evaluation criteria. Students' final grades will depend on the quality of the final paper; the absence of typos, grammatical and style errors, adherence to citation forms prescribed by the "Blue Book;" the seriousness and quality of student interaction with Professor Perritt and, in the case of seminars, with other seminar students; timeliness of meeting all requirements; compliance with the procedures for topic statements, outlines, partial drafts, complete drafts and final papers set forth in this document; and compliance with all other requirements set forth in this document or agreed to orally with Professor Perritt.
Length and format. Papers are not evaluated based on length. Accordingly there is no prescribed number of pages. Final papers should resemble student law review notes in their scope and depth, except for papers in narrative form. It is rare that a good paper will have fewer than 20 pages or more than 100 pages. A cover paper must include the title of the paper and the author's name. Authorities must be cited in accord with "Blue Book" rules in footnotes (not endnotes). Single- or double-spaced submissions are acceptable.
Citation of authority. Every material proposition of law or fact must be supported by authority. Primary authority for statutes and judicial opinions is necessary.
Plagarism: Read and understand these memoranda, for LLM students and for JD students. Your conduct will be judged by them. International students should understand that violation of these rules may result in disciplinary measures leading to failure to earn your degree, may result in your not complying with the conditions of your visa and may result in your deportation from the United States without having earned your degree.
Copyright and Web publication. By enrolling in a seminar or independent research supervised by Professor Perritt, a student grants a license to Professor Perritt and to Illinois Institute of Technology, severally, to publish the completed paper on the Web or through other technologies, crediting the student as the author of the work, and to quote from the work, without limitation on length, so long as the quoted language is credited to the student author.
Sequencing and procedure. Students are required to:
1. Define a topic in a dialogue with Professor Perritt no later than the first week of the semester and to express the topic in a one-paragraph statement by the end of that week.
2. Submit a substantive outline as soon as practicable thereafter, according to a schedule negotiated with Professor Perritt. The outline must be expressed in sufficient detail to reveal the major propositions and theses of the paper, to reveal the paper's organization, and to facilitate a discussion with Professor Perritt about research challenges and strategies. Outline revisions must be prepared and submitted as directed by Professor Perritt.
3. (In the case of seminars) Students must distribute their topic statements and outlines to other students enrolled in the seminar and to lead discussions of the substance of their papers and their research strategies.
4. Submit interim drafts as directed by Professor Perritt. Such interim drafts typically will involve portions of the paper indicated by outline headings. In seminars, students must submit drafts to other students in the seminar and be prepared to lead discussions regarding the drafts.
5. Submit a complete final draft to Professor Perritt no later than one month before the end of the semester.
6. Submit a final paper no later than the last day of exams for the semester. The final paper must reflect and/or accommodate comments made by Professor Perritt on the complete final draft.
Participation. Students must participate actively and seriously in discussions of their own papers and, in the case of seminars, of other students' papers.
Timeliness. Students must do what they say they are going to do, substantively and temporally. Failure to comply with deadlines during the course of the semester may result in entry of a WP ('withdraw passing") or WE ("withdraw failing"), in the sole discretion of Professor Perritt.
Assigned readings. Students must read assigned material and demonstrate an ability to use the content of such material in discussions and in their written analyses.
Incompletes. Students who do not complete all the requirements by the end of the first semester for which they register should not expect to receive a grade of "Incomplete." Instead they should expect to receive an "E," signifying failure, or a "WP" or "WE," in the sole discretion of Professor Perritt. In order to receive credit for a seminar or independent-research paper not completed by the end of the first semester for which a student registers, the student must re-register for another semester and pay tuition again.For international students, this may not be possible and may result in failure to earn their degree.
Rule of Law Externships
Structure. Rule of Law Externships (ROLXs) require the completion of a field work component (2 credits, graded pass/fail) and an Independent Reserach paper (1 credit, graded). Credit may not be received for one component without successful completion of the other.
Field work. Students are assigned to work for a host institution which agrees to assign the student professional work. Host institutions may be courts, legislatures, executive branch agencies, law firms, NGOs or private law- or consulting firms. Students must work essentially full time for the host institution. Professor Perritt must approve, in advance, the host institution and the nature of the work.
Time reports. For ROLXs undertaken during the summer or during a regular academic term, students must submit weekly time sheets to Professor Perritt showing the number of hours spent on specific.activities. For ROLXs undertaken during the Spring or Winter Break, students must submit daily time sheets to Professor Perritt.
Activity reports. Student;s must submit brief period reports to Professor Perritt describing the activities of the period and identifying any difficulties or notable successes encountered. These reports must be submitted along with the time reports.
Reflections paper. No later than 10 days after the completion of the field work, students must submit a 10-20 page informal paper reflecting on the experience. No citations of authority or legal analysis is expected in this paper.
Independent Research paper. Independent Research papers are subject to the rules set forth above for all Independent Research papers.
Research, writing, and style tips
Write as you do research. Do NOT try to do all your research first and only when you are finished begin writing the paper. Instead, you should work through your outline, a section at a time. Do the research pertinent to that section, and write a draft of that section while the research sources are in front of you. When you are finished with that section, move on to another.
Do NOT begin with the introduction or the background. Instead, begin with one of your value-added sections.
Use automatic outlining, paragraphing, and footnote features of Microsoft Word or competition word processing software. Do not space paragraphs with extra line breaks or indent the first line with tabs.
Do not split infinitives.
Do not start sentences or clauses with "however."
The complete citation for a source must appear in a footnote immediately following the identification of the source in the text, not at the end of a sentence that has other information. A pinpoint cite appears at the end of the sentence.
Every, or almost every, citation should have a parenthetical, explaining procedural history, particular point for which cited and similar pertinent information.