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Faculty and Staff

Margaret Paris: Guidelines for Reading & Conference Credit

These Guidelines will assist you in designing and completing a Reading & Conference project with me. Please read them thoroughly and see me with any questions.

Time Commitment

A Reading & Conference project requires serious time commitment and motivation. You should expect to devote to the project as much time as you would devote to a regular course at this law school bearing the same hourly credit. To compute the weekly time involved, figure 1 hour of weekly class time for each course credit, plus at least 3 weekly hours of preparation time for each credit. Thus, a 1-credit Reading & Conference project will require at least 4 hours of work per week, a 2-credit project will require at least 8 weekly hours, and a 3-credit project will require at least 12 weekly hours. Time spent discussing the project with me counts toward the weekly hours. [NOTE: these computations apply to a 14-week project. For a 7-week summer project, you must double these weekly hours.]

Project Definition and Goals

At the outset of the project, I will expect you to draft a statement that (1) defines the project, (2) sets forth your goals for the project, and (3) identifies the kinds of documentation (for example, an outline or a set of abstracts) that you will create. As you draft the statement, ask yourself how you wish to spend your time, what kinds of materials you intend to use, what question or questions you will investigate, what you hope to learn, what kinds of records you will keep, and how you and I will work together on the project. After you submit the draft statement to me, we will review it together and refine it, where necessary, in order to produce a final Statement of Project Definition and Goals. Each of us will maintain a copy of this document, which will guide us throughout the project and serve as a tool for evaluation at the end of the project.

Documentation Notebook

A Reading & Conference requires you to maintain records of your work. Please keep these in a 3-ring notebook. The Statement of Project Definition and Goals should be the first document in the notebook, and you should organize your other records behind appropriate dividers. Your documentation should always include a weekly log of the time you devoted to the project and the other records called for by the Statement of Project Definition and Goals.

Meetings

You and I will establish at the outset of the project the manner in which we will work together. We might agree to meet for an hour each week, or we might agree that a lengthy telephone conference every other week will suffice. Please record our meetings in your weekly log.

Evaluation

At the end of the project, I will ask you to submit a self-evaluation. The self-evaluation should describe your efforts, the extent to which you achieved your goals, and any other information pertinent to your performance. After I review your self-evaluation and your documentation notebook, I will assign a final grade, using the grade definitions adopted by faculty legislation. Those definitions can be found in The Holding.

Updated June 1999


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