All LL.M. candidates must satisfy the Written Work Requirement for the LL.M. degree. To fulfill this requirement, LL.M. students must complete a paper that involves independent reflection, formulation of a sustained argument and, in many cases, in-depth research. The paper must be an individual effort; group papers or works of joint authorship do not qualify for the Written Work Requirement. The paper may be written in conjunction with a Law School course or seminar that already requires a paper, or as an independent paper supervised by a member of the Law School faculty (including instructors with Law School teaching appointments). Where there is no course or seminar in the field in which a student wants to work, normally a faculty member will be available to guide research in the particular field.

Students who hold J.D. degrees from a law school in the U.S. or Puerto Rico must write a 50-page paper (see description below). LL.M. students whose primary law degrees are from schools other than those in the United States (including Puerto Rico) may select either of the two options described below.

The parameters for paper length and credits earned are as follows:
€ 25-page paper: one credit if written independently, no credit (beyond the associated course credit) if written in conjunction with a course that requires a paper
€ 50-page paper: two credits if written independently, one credit if written in conjunction with a course that requires a paper

A series of shorter papers or journal entries does not satisfy the requirement. Further guidance on the Written Work Requirement is available from the Graduate Program Office.

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