VI. Courses and Course Enrollment

F. Directed Research

Eligible students may receive credit for directed research projects supervised by eligible Law School faculty members. This opportunity differs from independent research credit in that it does not necessarily result in a formal research paper authored solely by the student. Work that might qualify for directed research credit could include research and writing that lead to an article co-authored by a professor and a student, sustained library research on discrete topics for an ongoing scholarly or pro bono project of a professor, or the interviewing of witnesses in connection with a professor’s public interest work. For credit to be awarded, the student must complete at least 42.5 hours of work per credit during the semester, and the supervising faculty member must certify that the experience was sustained, productive and educationally valuable. Directed research projects are subject to the following restrictions:

1) First-year students are not eligible to enroll in directed research projects.

2) Enrollment in directed research must be completed through the Student Records Office by timely submitting the required form to the Student Records Office (the form is available in Student Records or on LawWeb). A completed form requires a summary of the research project to be undertaken and the signature of an eligible supervising faculty member.

3) Only full-time resident law faculty members may supervise directed research projects (see section I.G). Emeriti and visiting faculty members may supervise with the permission of the vice dean.

4) Students may apply to enroll in Directed Research projects for one or two credits. Students will be graded on a Satisfactory (S)/Unsatisfactory (U) basis only.

5) Students may earn a maximum of three credits of directed research over their law school careers. Directed research credits will be combined with independent research credits for purposes of applying the overall ceilings on independent research credit (see section VI.H.M); i.e., students may earn a maximum of eight credits, a maximum of four credits per academic year and a maximum of six credits under the supervision of any one faculty member.

6) Students may not engage in a directed research project and be a paid research assistant for the same professor in a given semester.

7) Any work applied toward directed research credit may not be counted toward the pro bono hours registered with the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center.

G. Course Enrollment Procedures

Except for required first-year courses and other specified courses, all students enroll in courses using the Law School’s online lottery course enrollment system, the Lottery Course Selector (LCS), and the University’s Student Information System (SIS). These systems require a computer with Internet access and a Web browser. The Student Records Office will set the Course Enrollment Schedule (typically in June) and announce enrollment instructions (see G.2). Eligibility for course enrollment is governed by Law School academic policies and procedures as well as course restrictions (e.g. prerequisites) listed in online course descriptions.

Students who have not satisfied all student health, financial, or other administrative requirements of the University or Law School may have “negative service indicators,” placed on their University records in SIS, which display as “holds.” Registration blocks may preclude course enrollment via the LCS, access to other University services, and course enrollment in SIS. The Student Records Office cannot remove or override registration blocks in SIS.

The Course Enrollment Schedule is posted on the Law School’s website each year (usually toward the end of June). Typically, students enroll in fall, January Term, and spring courses alternating between LCS initially and then SIS for adjustments. More specific instructions are posted by Student Records on LawWeb.


  • After coordinating with the vice dean, the associate dean for curricular programs, and the faculty, the Student Records Office publishes the courses and schedules for the upcoming academic year on the Law School’s website (usually toward the end of June).
  • Incoming LL.M. students inform the Student Records Office of intention to take Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, or Torts in the fall term.


  • Third-year students and LL.M.s, followed by returning second-year students and transfers, enroll in upper-level graduation requirement courses for the year via the LCS; then
  • Third-year students and LL.M.s, followed by returning second-year students and transfers, enroll in fall semester courses via LCS; then
  • Exchange and visiting students notify the Student Records Office of their preferred courses, and the Student Records Office enrolls the students in courses; then 
  • The LCS closes and any subsequent fall semester course transactions (e.g., adds, drops, waitlisting) occur via SIS until the Add/Drop deadline.


  • Third-year J.D. students and LL.M.s, followed by second-year students, followed by first-year students enroll in J-term and spring semester courses via LCS; then
  • The LCS closes and any subsequent J-term or spring semester course transactions (e.g., adds, drops, waitlisting) occur via SIS  


  • Using the University's SIS system, students add and drop J-term classes until shortly before the class starts. After SIS closes, students must request J-term enrollment transactions in writing to the Student Records Office until the start of the second class session.  
  • Using the University's SIS system, students add and drop spring classes until the Add/Drop deadline. Students may request enrollment transactions for short courses which start later in the semester by submitting a written request to the Student Records Office.  


Courses and Course Enrollment (continued)