Skip to Content

Applied Research Project

In General 

The Applied Research Project (ARP) is one of the most important documents you will prepare as a candidate for a master of arts degree with a major in legal studies.  This process will begin in the Advanced Legal Research and Writing course (LS 5370) and will be completed in the Applied Research Project course (LS 5399), during which you will complete your oral review required for graduation. 


The requirements for all ARPs are:

1.  Legal issue.  The primary focus of your ARP must be a legal issue, not a political, moral, religious, or philosophical one.  Your article may contain a discussion of politics, morality, religion, or philosophy, but it must relate to your legal issue.  For purposes of this course, a legal issue is an issue that could be presented to a court for a judicial decision.

2.  Informational or advocacy.  You may write an informative document in the nature of a law review article or law office memorandum.  In the alternative, you may prepare an advocacy document in the nature of a law review article, a motion, or a brief.

3.  Length.  The ARP must be 20 to 25 pages in length, excluding footnotes or internal citations.  Each page must be double-spaced and use a 12-point font.  Footnotes may be in a 10-point font, if desired.

4.  Citations.  All citations, whether in the body of the ARP or included in footnotes, must comply with Bluebook and Greenbook form.

Grading Standard 

The ARP should be an example of your best work. Therefore, the grading standard is high.  Everything counts:  organization, substance, style, grammar, spelling, and citation format.  Students must complete the Advanced Legal Research and Writing course with a grade of at least a B (which includes an ARP draft) in order to register for the Applied Research Project course. During the Applied Research Project course, students will work with the instructor through successive ARP drafts and prepare a final version for submission for oral review. An ARP cannot be submitted for oral review until it has been approved for submission by the instructor for the Applied Research Project course.

Second Reader and Oral Review 

Once an ARP has been approved for submission for oral review, the program director will assign a second reader to review the ARP and provide comments and suggested changes. The deadline for submission will be announced each semester to students in the Applied Research Project course. The oral review will consist of a 30 minute meeting with a committee made up of three faculty members, including your first and second readers for your ARP. The oral review committee must approve your ARP for graduation. If the oral review committee does not approve your ARP, it can require you to make revisions, submit a revised draft, and take another oral examination before approving you for graduation.