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Program Launch, Credits and Other Administrative Matters Pertaining to Policy Lab Practicums

We are pleased to announce:

  1. The launch of the Stanford Law and Policy Lab
  2. Credit-bearing Policy Lab practicums for 2013-14
  3. A 2-unit seminar, Thinking Like a Policy Analyst: Introduction to Policy Analysis, recommended especially for students taking Policy Lab practicums but open to students generally. (At least in 2013-14, the seminar will have limited enrollment, and preference will be given to students taking practicums.)

Student Credit

Depending on the nature of the work, students may earn professional writing (PW) or research (R) credit for writing policy analysis briefs, proposed legislation, or other policy-related documents. Particular practicums may offer one or the other form of credit or, possibly, no writing credit.

The number of credits that can be earned for a practicum will be determined by the faculty member, with the approval of the Associate Dean for Curriculum. Law School guidelines initially established for paper courses offer a starting point for deciding on the proper number of credits:[1]

[P]apers that constitute most or all of the grade in a course should ordinarily be at least 10 pages long for the first unit of credit and 8 additional pages for each additional unit. These are guidelines, not mandates. A faculty member who feels that substantially shorter papers are appropriate for more united, given the nature of the research project should discuss this with the chair of the Curriculum Committee.

Where a team of students is working on a directed research projects, it shall be at the discretion of the faculty supervisor to determine the total number of pages the  team will produce, in light of the number of credits the team members will individually earn. It will not necessarily be appropriate to require each member of the team to write the number of pages that would typically be required for an individual directed research project earning the number of credits that each team member will earn for the team practicum. The page length guidelines applicable to individual papers may be considered as instructors decide an appropriate page length, but the length of the team’s final paper shall be determined by the faculty supervisor.

Just as these are guidelines, not mandates, for directed research, they are guidelines, not mandates, for Policy Lab practicums. For example, an instructor may take into account that a particular practicum has a higher proportion of research to written pages than is typical for directed research or writing opportunities.

Most practicums will span at least two quarters. Depending on the nature of the work, an instructor may require students to commit to the full predicted length of the practicum or to only a single quarter. A student whose grade is based on written product that is not due until a subsequent quarter will, if working in a satisfactory fashion to that point, receive an “N” at the end of his or her first quarter of work, a grade notation which indicates satisfactory progress in a course that has not yet reached completion.[2]

Where students’ work on a project extends beyond a quarter, they will be eligible for additional credit in ensuing quarters.


Policy Lab Practicums Beginning Autumn Quarter, 2013-14 

Policy Lab practicums currently planned for 2013-14 will begin in the Autumn term of 2013, unless otherwise noted, and are likely to continue into the Winter term. Several other practicums, to be announced, may begin in the Winter Term.

Admission to a practicum is by consent of the instructor, and students interested in a particular practicum should submit the consent application form to the instructor directly. Students will be notified by email when the consent application forms are available on the SLS Registrar’s Office website. Application deadlines will be posted on the consent forms.

Any student who applies to more than one practicum, however, should notify the instructors of the multiple applications on each consent form and also notify Paul Brest, pbrest@law.stanford.edu.

See Practicums for a complete list of courses offered.

 


[1] Stanford Law School Faculty Handbook 2013-2014. Non-substantive changes in the text.

[2] Continuation courses need not continue at the same number of units, but the grade for all quarters of such a course must be the same.

  1. 1. The launch of the Stanford Law and Policy Lab
  2. 2. Credit-bearing Policy Lab practicums for 2013-14
  3. 3. A 2-unit seminar, Thinking Like a Policy Analyst: Introduction to Policy Analysis,recommended especially for students taking Policy Lab practicums but open to students generally. (At least in 2013-14, the seminar will have limited enrollment, and preference will be given to students taking practicums.)