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It is the policy of the law school that the same or substantially similar written product may not be submitted more than once in fulfillment of the writing requirements of any law school course (e.g., RWE or WE, independent study, externship or clinic) or other law school recognized activity (e.g., journal, moot court, trial team).

Writing on the same or a substantially similar topic in fulfillment of multiple law school writing requirements is discouraged, but may be done, provided certain conditions are met. Such writing may occur simultaneously or sequentially. Students are cautioned, however, that they risk not receiving credit for both simultaneous writings or the second sequential writing if the two written products are deemed to be the same or substantially similar.

If such writing is done in the same semester (simultaneously), the student is responsible for notifying each party to whom the work will be submitted in fulfillment of a writing requirement ("evaluating party") that the student is writing on related topics for more than one such party, and receiving clearance from all such parties to proceed. The student is also responsible for submitting to all evaluating parties the final products that are or have been produced. Each evaluating party shall independently determine if it is a substantially different product and may be used to meet the evaluating party’s writing requirement. (For a course, the evaluating party will be the professor. For credit to be provided by a student organization, the Editor in Chief, Chief Justice, or his or her equivalent or designee will make the determination in consultation with the group’s faculty advisor.)

If a student is writing on a topic that is the same or substantially similar to which a student has previously received credit from an evaluating party, the student must so notify the second evaluating party, provide a copy of the previously-credited written product, and receive permission from the second evaluating party to proceed. The second evaluating party shall determine if the proposed final product is substantially different and may be used to meet the evaluating party’s writing requirement.

Students will not receive credit for both simultaneous writings or the second sequential writing if any evaluating party determines that the two written products are the same or substantially similar. This determination will necessarily occur after the student has completed the required work. Therefore, students are advised to select different topics for written products required for any law school course or other law school recognized activity.

Organizations, such as student edited journals that require the submission of written products, are encouraged to provide prominent notice of this restriction to all participating students. However, failure to provide such notice does not relieve students of their responsibility to abide by this Law School policy.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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