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Statement of Rules and Understandings


Like other Harvard Law School courses, the First-Year Legal Research and Writing Program (LRW) is governed by the principles of academic honesty to be found in the HLS Handbook of Academic Programs and Policies. You are advised to familiarize yourself with them. Unlike other first-year courses, LRW often simulates in a rough way the demands, pressures and tasking of actual practice. Here are a few standards which supplement what you will find in the Catalog and which set forth your LRW obligations:

  • Time boundaries and space limits on assignments will be strictly enforced. Regular (and prompt) class attendance is a requirement of the course. We of course assume every student will be prepared to participate in class discussion. (Compare ABA Model Rules, Rule 1.3.)
  • Collaboration with fellow students is an important part of your learning and you will profit from discussing your work on LRW assignments with others. Individual work, struggling through frustration to success on your own, is also important. While we try here to draw some simple distinctions between what is and is not permissible collaboration, as with much else in the law the precise line may be hard to see in some instances. In general, until an assignment meant for a single author is finalized, a student may not review the written work of another student without the express permission of a Climenko Fellow — unless permission is granted in the assignment itself. Nor are you permitted prior to completion of an assignment to invite another student to review written work without your Climenko Fellow's/instructor's permission or permission in the assignment itself. On the other hand, you are encouraged to freely discuss and debate issues, cases and legal interpretations so long as in no significant way are you, in effect, presenting another's work as your own. When in doubt about the meaning of these principles, or if you wish to do something which might appear to violate them, feel free to request assistance from LRW staff.
  • Under no circumstances may an LRW student behave in a way, negligently or otherwise, which restricts the access of others to research and library materials.
Last modified: September 05, 2012

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