Special Research Projects (SRP's)
A special research project involves in-depth research, investigation and discussion of specific problems in the law. A project may be undertaken with any member of the full-time faculty after the student's second semester of study. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may approve supervision by an adjunct faculty member. Prior approval of the faculty member and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs are to be obtained on a form supplied by the Registrar's Office.
SRP's may be added no later than the end of the second week of the semester and, for summer projects, no later than the second class day of the June Term (subject to the rules about adding courses after the add/drop deadline). A student should submit the Special Research Project Application, complete with all of the necessary signatures, to the Registrar's Office. If the SRP extends over more than one semester or summer, the completed Special Research Project Application should be submitted to the Registrar's Office no later than the deadline for the first semester in which the student expects to receive credit for the project.
An SRP may be dropped at any time during the semester and may be taken on a pass/fail basis except when it is being taken in lieu of a required course or is being utilized to fulfill the upperclass writing requirement.
A student may enroll for up to three credits of special research each term and up to four credits over the summer, up to a maximum of eight credits. Individual externships are treated as special research topics for purposes of determining limits on the number of credit hours a student may take. Thus, students may enroll in an externship with a maximum of 3 credits in a semester and 4 credits over the summer or students may enroll in a special research project with a maximum of 3 credits in a semester or four credits over the summer. Students may opt to enroll in both a special research project and an externship in the same semester or summer only if the combined credits for both don't exceed the cap of 3 per semester and four per summer. During each student's law school career, 8 credits is the maximum that any student may receive from special research projects and externships combined.
Possible exception to the 8 credit rule: With the approval of the Director of International Exchange Programs and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, this 8 credit maximum may be increase to no more than 12 for a student who has received approval to study abroad and who is authorized to complete a special research project to compensate for credits missed as a result of foreign study.
No more than two credits may be awarded for a Special Research Project based on research and writing that is substantially similar to research and writing done in satisfaction of a membership requirement of the Connecticut Law Review, the Connecticut Journal of International Law, the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal, or the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal.
Students are not permitted to undertake an SRP if they have any work overdue and outstanding in any course, seminar or prior SRPs.
The Educational Policy Committee offers the following interpretation concerning SRP's:
- An SRP of whatever number of credits need not begin and end in the same academic semester or academic year.
- The length of an SRP may extend, at the faculty member's discretion, over a period of more than twelve months.
- In cases where an SRP extends beyond one semester, residence and/or academic credit are to be assigned to one or more semesters or the June term at the faculty member's discretion, after completion, based upon his/her judgment as to a suitable proration of student time spent thereon. In no event may academic and/or residence credit for an SRP be assigned to a semester or June term prior to time of initial registration for the SRP nor may credit be assigned for anything less than completion of an SRP.
- Subject to the above limitations, the number of credits for which an SRP is undertaken may be increased or decreased at any time by the faculty member.
- SRPs which are taken in lieu of required courses must be taken for a grade. This includes the upperclass writing requirement.
The supervisor for a special research project, in consultation with the student sets a stated deadline for the handing in of papers. Prior to the stated deadline, for good cause, the instructor may grant a single extension of time for handing in the paper (extension form).
Prior to the deadline as extended by the instructor, a student may make application to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for a further extension upon showing that unavoidable circumstances makes completion of the work by the deadline impossible. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may set an extended deadline after consultation with the instructor, but no extension can be granted which is later than the student's anticipated date of graduation. (The graduation dates are: January 31, Commencement Day in May and July 10. There are no additional graduation dates.)
Failure to submit a paper by the appropriate deadline results in a failing grade for the paper, unless the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs finds that grave cause prevented the timely submission of the paper. No such cause is considered sufficient if it could have been the subject of an application for extension as described above. Where failure to submit a paper is excused as above, the associate dean for academic affairs, in consultation with the instructor, sets a further extended deadline.
Notwithstanding the above rules, if a student scheduled for graduation at the close of the semester would have sufficient credits for graduation without the special research project credits, the instructor or the associate dean for academic affairs may direct that the student be withdrawn from special research project.
It is the responsibility of the student to have available an extra copy of his/her paper for use in grading should it become necessary. In the event the original paper was submitted but lost and the student does not have an extra copy, the student has the option of submitting another paper within a reasonable time or receiving no credit for the work.