Skip to content

The Winter Writing Program (WWP) is a great way to have time to focus exclusively on an Option 1 paper. Participants in the Winter Term Writing Program devote the winter term to the intensive research and/or writing of a paper under the supervision of a Law School faculty member or an instructor with a Harvard Law School teaching appointment. Participation in the program is in lieu of taking a Law School course for the winter term.

Please note: LL.M. students should visit the Graduate Program’s LL.M. Winter Term Writing page for more information, including requirements, processes, and deadlines.

  • What is the deadline to register for Winter Written Work?

    The second Friday in November.

  • How do I register for Option 1 Winter Written Work?

    You must submit a completed Option 1 winter registration form to the Registrar’s Office ( Prior to submitting the form and corresponding proposal, you must obtain a faculty supervisor and get their approval of your proposed project.

    Please note the form does require signoff from your faculty supervisor; an email confirming their approval to supervise your project will suffice.

  • How many writing credits do I need to enroll in for the Winter Term?

    In order to satisfy the winter term residency requirement, students must enroll in a single 2 or 3 credit writing project.

  • How long does an Option 1 Winter paper have to be?

    The work involved in Option 1 papers typically produces a final product of 30-60 pages for a two-credit effort and 100-200 pages for a three-credit effort. However, an empirical project could involve designing, administering, and analyzing a survey or assembling and analyzing a data set and yet produce findings that can be summarized in relatively few pages while an historical or doctrinal analysis might require many more pages to present the work. You should consult with your faculty supervisor to determine how many credits your project will receive.

  • How do I find someone to supervise my Option 1 paper?

    Students should feel free to ask any full-time faculty member to supervise written work, although faculty members on certain types of leave may not be available in a given term. In addition, visiting faculty and lecturers with active teaching appointments for the full year, or specifically in the winter, may be available to supervise writing as well.

    We recommend using the Faculty Directory to help in your search. You may contact faculty members directly, and we encourage you to do so earlier rather than later.

  • What are the responsibilities of my faculty supervisor?

    Please visit our Guidelines for Faculty Supervisors page for more information.

  • When is my Winter Writing project due?

    You and your faculty supervisor should work out how much of the paper you need to complete by the end of the WWP and determine your final paper submission deadline.

    It is possible to continue working on and ultimately complete and submit your winter writing project in the spring term, but you must discuss this with your faculty supervisor beforehand.

  • How are winter term Option 1 papers graded?

    As with all credited written work at HLS, winter term Option 1 writing is graded on the regular scale of H/P/LP/F.

  • If I plan to register for Winter Writing, do I need to participate in the Winter Elective registration round?

    No. If you are positive you will be pursuing writing credits during the winter term, you do not need to participate in the Winter Elective registration round.

  • Will participation in the WWP fulfill my Written Work Requirement?

    Yes, upon receipt of a passing grade a two or three-credit Option 1 paper done in the winter term will satisfy the J.D. Written Work Requirement.