Ad Hoc Seminars

Main Content

Ad hoc seminars are student-developed, student-directed seminars that explore specialized legal topics not covered in a regularly-scheduled Duke Law course. An ad hoc seminar may be worth one or two credits, and must be organized according to the following requirements:

  • The seminar must be organized by a group of at least five and no more than ten students. All enrolled students must participate in the development and teaching of the seminar to earn credit for the course.
  • The organizing students must develop a course description, syllabus, students in classreading list, and identify student learning outcomes as part of the seminar proposal. The syllabus and reading list should be developed in consultation with a reference librarian to ensure that the most current and relevant resources are identified for the course. To contact Reference Services, visit Ask a Librarian.
  • Ad hoc seminars must be supervised by a faculty member who will assess the academic merit and the feasibility of the seminar proposal, and who will be responsible for observing the seminar and evaluating student performance. The student organizers should have a reasonably well-defined topic, including some level of background research on the subject matter, before approaching a faculty member to discuss his or her interest and availability to supervise the seminar. 

The student organizers must submit to the Assistant Dean for Academic Initiatives a written proposal containing a course description, syllabus, reading list, and enrollment list, along with a proposal form. The deadlines for ad hoc proposal submissions are:

  • June 1 for seminars to meet in the fall semester
  • December 1 for seminars to meet in the spring semester
  • Students must demonstrate compliance with all credit hour requirements. Each credit of an ad hoc seminar requires 770 instructional (in-class) minutes over the course of the semester and 30 hours (1800 minutes) of out-of-class work.
  • Assessment of student learning must be by way of a seminar paper or series of reflection papers of the kind generally produced in seminars, to be evaluated by the faculty supervisor.

JD students are eligible to take ad hoc seminars in the 2L or 3L year, and may count up to four (4) credits of ad hoc seminar courses toward the number of credits required to graduate.