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Finding a Paper Topic

This guide was created for use by LLM and JD students interested in writing a paper and who are looking for information on how to get started on such a project.

HLS Dissertations and Theses

Before you embark on writing a long paper, it may be helpful to see what former SJDs or LLMs, or even 3L students have written for their paper requirements while at Harvard Law School.  Please be sure to review the guide on HLS Dissertations, Theses and Third Year Papers, which can be very helpful in this regard. Information from that guide regarding searching for such materials on Hollis is excerpted here.


To find an LL.M. paper or thesis on a particular topic, use the HOLLIS Expanded Search Screen and search for title words Harvard Law School Thesis and your topic terms as keywords anywhere. (Note that S.J.D. dissertations may be included in your results.) To find theses and papers that were written as part of a class or seminar, try adding the title of the class as additional keywords in your search.

HOLLIS Classic

Finding HLS SJD Dissertations in our catalog

Browse S.J.D. Dissertations in reverse chronological order.

To find a dissertation on a particular topic use HOLLIS Classic and select Expanded Search Screen (see below) and search for title keywords Harvard Law School Thesis use the not connector for keyword LL.M., and your topic words anywhere. For help constructing this search, please contact a reference librarian. Either of the sources listed to the right may also be used to identify a dissertation on a particular topic.

Finding JD papers in our collection

Browse JD papers in reverse chronological order. (Date ranges designed to produce less than 1000 results in order to optimize HOLLIS performance.)

Many JD papers produced in conjunction with the HLS Food & Drug Law seminar are available from 1995 forward in our institutional repository DASH. Access to these papers is also available through Food & Drug Law: An Electronic Book of Student Papers.

Dissertations and Theses (Non-Harvard)