(Credit for Prior or Concurrent Work Product)
1. General Policy
No student shall receive law credit for a work product that is not his or her own or that is substantially the same as the work product for which law credit has already been received or is expected to be received for a law school course or activity previously or concurrently taken. In any situation where the use of a work product (whether academic or nonacademic) may conflict with the foregoing policy, the student shall not use such work product in a law course or activity for credit except where the student (1) has made full disclosure in advance to the faculty member responsible for awarding credit in the subsequent or concurrent course or activity (the “responsible faculty member”), (2) has provided a copy of such work product to the responsible faculty member and (3) has obtained the permission of the responsible faculty member to pursue an Authorized Topic. The student has the affirmative duty to bring any potential conflict with this policy to the attention of the responsible faculty member. Use of an academic or nonacademic work product contrary to this general policy can constitute academic dishonesty.
2. Explanation of policy and definition of terms-
a. The use of a publication work product or a course work product to obtain subsequent law credit is prohibited.
A student is not permitted to use a publication work product or a course work product to obtain law credit in a subsequent seminar, course or directed research project (i.e., for subsequent law credit) except as permitted incident to an Authorized Topic. A “publication work product” is a work product developed incident to student participation in Law Review, JFL, JLREL or other student activity for law school credit. A “course work product” is a work product created incident to a course, seminar or directed research project for law school credit. It is the responsibility of each student to avoid using a publication or course work product to obtain subsequent law credit. When there is a potential overlap between a publication or course work product and work to be done for subsequent law credit, it is the duty of the student to bring this potential overlap to the attention of the responsible faculty member at the outset and to provide copies of such publication or course work to the responsible faculty member. Where this is done, the responsible faculty member may, but is not required to, authorize the student to pursue a topic for subsequent law credit that is similar to a publication or course work product but only if such topic will require additional research (in addition to the publication or course work product) sufficient to satisfy the credit requirement for such subsequent law credit and the topic focus or perspective is appreciably different from that of the publication or course work product. As used herein, “Authorized Topic” means a topic or other project of academic research for credit so adapted and approved by the responsible faculty member as provided in the preceding sentence. The publication or course work product can be related to the Authorized Topic in that such work product enables the student to pursue an Authorized Topic of greater sophistication and complexity. If the above-described procedure is followed, Authorized Topics are not in conflict with this general policy.
Each student publication shall periodically prepare and distribute to the faculty a listing, by student name, of the student writing topics. For example, a Law Review listing would show the comment and note topics of each third-year and second-year member. Similarly, each semester the Registrar shall prepare and distribute to the faculty a comparable listing of students engaged in directed research, their topics and the responsible faculty member. Faculty members who teach a seminar or a course in which papers are authorized, or who supervise directed research, are expected to keep copies of these lists for a year or two to enable them to check whether there is a potential conflict with this policy.
b. Concurrent double-dipping is prohibited.
Concurrent double-dipping involves a situation where a student is producing a publication or course work product (the “first credit activity”), and at the same time the student is taking a seminar, a course where a paper is required or permitted, a directed research project, or completing the writing requirement of a seminar or course, for credit (the “second credit activity”) and the research or work product of the first credit activity overlaps with or is directly applicable to the research or work product of the second credit activity. The use of the first credit activity’s research or work product to satisfy, in whole or in material part, the requirements of the second credit activity constitutes the obtaining of credit from more than one source for overlapping research or work products and is prohibited by this general policy except as permitted below as Authorized Topics.
The responsibility is on the student to bring the potential double-dipping to the attention of the responsible faculty member.
If the student makes full advance disclosure to the responsible faculty members (of both activities if work on both activities is proceeding concurrently) and provides a copy of the overlapping research or work product to each, the responsible faculty members are authorized to approve, in consultation with the student and with each other, Authorized Topics. The authority to permit related topics is given to enable responsible faculty members to prevent the student from obtaining any unfair advantage from the overlap of the concurrent projects while permitting, with approval, the exploitation of synergistic benefits from the overlap. Where one of the concurrent activities involves a publication work product, the appropriate student editor(s) shall be considered a responsible faculty member in implementing the general policy with respect to concurrent double-dipping.
c. Publication of course work product is authorized and encouraged.
A student who proposes to use a course work product as the basis of a subsequent publication work product must give advance notice of such proposed use and a copy of the course work product to the responsible editor(s) of the student publication involved. Such notice is to be given before topic approval is obtained.
d. Student use of nonacademic work product to obtain law school credit.
This policy is designed to encourage students who have special expertise, experience and interests to build on them in undertaking academic research. Where this background serves as a fully disclosed foundation or springboard it is to be encouraged; where it is used as a substitute for required scholarly investigation (as part of the course, seminar or directed research project for law credit) it is prohibited.
The prohibition against the use of nonacademic work product to obtain law school credit applies to credit for work on student publications. Such use is prohibited except where disclosed (and a copy of the nonacademic work product is provided) by the student to the responsible editor(s) of the publication. The editor(s) of the student publication is authorized to permit use of the nonacademic work product subject to such conditions and additional assignments as deemed appropriate in the circumstances.
The law school encourages the subsequent publication of superior work product from a seminar, class or directed research. To the extent it improves the work product ultimately published, such double-dipping is desirable. The publication of a seminar, course or directed research paper requires substantial additional work. Depending on the circumstances, the student publication may require additional assignments (to obtain publication credit) from those students whose course work product is published. Where a course work product is used as the basis of a publication work product that is not ultimately published (in the student publication), the student publication must require appropriate additional work of the student before credit for the publication activity is given. It is inappropriate for a student to receive academic credit (e.g., via a seminar, course paper or directed research project) for a work product developed as a law clerk for nonacademic purposes (e.g., a law firm). Although no academic double-dipping is involved (credit only being obtained once), this type of double-dipping is inconsistent with the assumptions on which law credit is awarded. The student has the affirmative duty to refrain totally from using any such nonacademic research or work product except where the student, in advance, has fully disclosed his or her work (and provided a copy of the nonacademic work product) on the topic to the responsible faculty member. If the nonacademic research or work product is fully disclosed as provided in the foregoing sentence, the responsible faculty member can specify an Authorized Topic that will treat such research or work product as a source of relevant preliminary research – a base upon which the work for academic credit builds.
College Council – April 13, 1988