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HLS Dissertations, Theses, and Third Year Papers

A brief introduction to the various types of student-authored works held by the Library and sources for finding law theses and dissertations generally.

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Introduction

The following is a brief introduction to the various types of student-authored works held by the Library. Over the years, there have been changes in written work requirements for HLS degrees, changes in Library collection practices, and also changes in the way these items are described in the HOLLIS catalog. For instance, many early third year papers are designated as theses in the catalog, and early LL.M. papers are described only as student papers. For these reasons, the linked lists of documents below may not be complete. Best access for any specific paper is by author. For assistance locating HLS student papers of any kind, please consult a librarian in either of the reference departments or in the Special Collections Department. Note that recently acquired papers may not be fully processed for use. If the catalog record lacks a call number, providing instead only a link to "Availability," please fill out this form to have the item "rush cataloged."

Introduction

The following is a brief introduction to the various types of student-authored works held by the Library. Over the years, there have been changes in written work requirements for HLS degrees, changes in Library collection practices, and also changes in the way these items are described in the HOLLIS catalog. For instance, many early third year papers are designated as theses in the catalog, and early LL.M. papers are described only as student papers. For these reasons, the linked lists of documents listed in this guide may not be complete. Best access for any specific paper is by author. In general, using Hollis Classic is better for finding these papers. For assistance locating HLS student papers of any kind, please consult a librarian in the reference department . Note that recently acquired papers may not be fully processed for use. If the catalog record lacks a call number, providing instead only a link to "Availability," please fill out this form to have the item "rush cataloged."

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HLS Student Papers in DASH

The Law School has a student series in the university's open access repository DASH.

Subject Guide

Michelle Pearse
Contact:
Areeda 410

617-496-2102
617-496-2102

Attribution

Much of the text in this guide was originally written by former HLS Reference Librarian, Deanna Barmakian

LL.M. Papers, LL.M. Theses

LLM writing requirements

The Master of Laws degree has been awarded since 1923. Some LL.M. candidates write a 50- to 100-page paper on a topic developed in consultation with a faculty supervisor (“LL.M. paper”). A handful write the more extensive LL.M. thesis, an option aimed at those with previously published scholarship. LL.M. candidates from the United States holding a J.D. must write either the LL.M. paper or the LL.M. thesis. Since 1993, international students in the LL.M. program may opt to do neither but instead complete, at minimum, a research paper of 25 or more pages.

LIBRARY COLLECTION POLICY

The library generally holds HLS LL.M. papers, theses, and shorter papers. In the HOLLIS catalog, no distinction is made between any type of written work created in satisfaction of the LL.M. degree (all are described as an LL.M. thesis), although sometimes there are notes describing the type of paper in more detail (e.g. long paper) if the information was provided on the paper itself. In general, catalogers do indicate the number of pages, which provides a hint of whether the piece was a thesis, paper, or shorter work. The Library generally holds two copies of each item, one in the circulating general collection and one in the Red Set, an archival collection of works authored by HLS affiliates. Please consult the general collection copy whenever possible. If necessary, Red Set copies can be viewed by appointment only in Historical and Special Collections at the south end of the Reading Room. Besides Library copies, some theses are available in a microfiche collection, Hein’s Legal Theses and Dissertations.

SEARCHING OUR CATALOG

We have preset catalog searches so you can browse Harvard Law School written work for the LL.M. degree including papers, theses and shorter papers in reverse chronological order. (Date ranges designed to produce less than 1000 results in order to optimize HOLLIS performance.)

2010-current

1999-2009

1986-1998

1923-1985

Browse Harvard Law School written work for the LL.M. degree as well as S.J.D. dissertations in reverse chronological order. (Date ranges designed to produce less than 1000 results in order to optimize HOLLIS performance.)

2004-present

1992-2003

1910-1991

Selected papers authored by students pursuing the LL.M. with a concentration in International Finance are available from 2000 to 2007/2008.

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.

There is a small number of LLM papers in our student collection in DASH.   You may run a search for llm thesis or llm paper.

Hollis Classic Expanded Search

S.J.D. Dissertations

HLS SJD Dissertations

The Doctor of Juridical Science program began at HLS in 1910.  The library generally holds two copies of each HLS S.J.D. dissertation, one in the general circulating collection, and one in the Red Set, an archival collection of works authored by HLS affiliates. The few exceptions are usually due to scholars’ requests to withhold Library deposit.  Please consult the general collection copy whenever possible. If necessary, Red Set copies can be viewed by appointment only in Historical and Special Collections at the south end of the Reading Room. See also resources to the right for locating HLS disserations and dissertations (and theses) more generally.

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 words 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.

Hollis Classic Expanded Search

Other Resources

Dissertations and Theses Full Text (Harvard ID and PIN required) This resource contains dissertations and masters' theses from most North American graduate schools and some European universities. It contains some HLS dissertations, but not theses. Although this resource has many dissertations in full text (back to 1990), it does not provide full text for HLS dissertations. The coverage of HLS dissertations begins in 1972 and is selective; there are fewer listed here than in HOLLIS. Search by Harvard in School Name/Code and S.J.D. in Degree. (Include the periods in S.J.D.)

Hein’s Legal Theses and Dissertations Mic K556.H45x 1995 (Drawer 948-949) This microfiche set includes copies of legal theses and dissertations from Harvard and other premier law schools including NYU, Yale, Columbia, and Berkeley among others. (See the HOLLIS record linked above for a complete list of schools.) Years of coverage for each school vary, but usually begin from the earliest dissertations and theses produced at the school. Most HLS dissertations and about half of the theses are included. Up until 1993, HOLLIS records indicate whether or not an HLS thesis or dissertation is included and provide the Hein finding number, e.g. 002-00052. For searching post-1993, you can also try Worldcat (Harvard ID and pin required) or the open version of Worldcat for records which might include the Hein finding number. There is a print numerical index to the set organized by school available in the Microforms Reference collection at K556.H45x, but this index is not really useful. It is not in chronological, subject, or alphabetical order. For better access to the collection, consult the CD Index described below.

The Index to Law School Theses and Dissertations Ref Desk KF 1.S55
This CD index covers all theses and dissertations in Hein's Legal Theses and Dissertations on microfiche, as well as dissertations and theses authored between 1995, the publication of the Hein microfiche set, and 2006, the publication of the CD. This index has not been updated since 2006. The CD’s introduction provides a list of other bibliographies and collections of legal theses and dissertations.

For best access, use the Thesis Standard Query, which is the last option in the Search menu. The Thesis Standard Query provides access by author, title, degree, year, school, and keyword. Results include this information as well as the fiche finding number, if included in the microfiche set.

Third-Year Papers

Third-Years Papers

JD students must complete a written work requirement. Some students fulfill this requirement by writing a research paper. The library holds a very small percentage of them. It is up to grading faculty members to deposit with the Library papers they consider outstanding. Third year papers held by the Library are in the Red Set, an archival collection of works authored by HLS affiliates. To obtain a specific paper available in print, please schedule an appointment with Historical & Special Collections.

Finding Third-Year Papers in our collection

Browse third year papers in reverse chronological order. (Date ranges designed to produce less than 1000 results in order to optimize HOLLIS performance.)
1958-2006
1952-1957
1946-1951
1936-1945
1935-1944
1915-1934

There are many student papers in our institutional repository DASH.  Whenever possible, information about the paper (e.g. prizes won, courses for which the paper was written, etc.) has been included for keyword searching.

Many third-year papers produced in conjunction with the HLS Food & Drug Law seminar are available from 1995 forward.  Access to these papers is also available through Food & Drug Law: An Electronic Book of Student Papers and through full-text search in DASH

Hollis Classic Expanded Search

Student Papers and Seminar Papers

Student Papers and Seminar Papers

The final categories of HLS student-authored works are the "student papers" and "seminar papers" collections. These collections include any paper deposited with the library by a faculty member that is not clearly designated as a dissertation, thesis, or third year paper. They may have in fact been one of those paper types, but lacked clearly identifying information. The distinction between student and seminar paper is not significant. (If the paper indicates it was produced in satisfaction of a seminar requirement, it is designated as a seminar paper. Otherwise it is added as a student paper.) These collections include "pathfinders," detailed research guides created for the Advanced Legal Research course.

Student Papers and Seminar Papers

"Student papers" and "seminar papers" collections include any paper deposited with the library by a faculty member that is not clearly designated as a dissertation, thesis, or third year paper. They may have in fact been one of those paper types, but lacked clearly identifying information. The distinction between student and seminar paper is not significant. (If the paper indicates it was produced in satisfaction of a seminar requirement, it is designated as a seminar paper. Otherwise it is added as a student paper.) These collections include "pathfinders," detailed research guides created for the Advanced Legal Research course.

Browse student papers in reverse chronological order.

Browse seminar papers in reverse chronological order.

To find a student paper or seminar paper on a particular topic, use the HOLLIS Expanded Search Screen and search for title words Harvard Law School Student Paper or Harvard Law School Seminar Paper and your topic terms as keywords anywhere.

There are many student papers in our institutional repository DASH.  Whenever possible, information about the paper (e.g. prizes won, courses for which the paper was written, etc.) has been included for keyword searching.

Hollis Classic Expanded Search

Prize Papers

Prize Papers

HLS has many endowed prizes for student papers and essays. Details for each are listed in the Harvard Law School Catalog. Prize winners are announced each year in the commencement pamphlet and mentioned annually in the Harvard Law Bulletin, the alumni magazine and on the law school web page. The Library has not specifically collected prize papers over the years but has added copies when possible. When the Library is made aware of the fact that a paper in the collection is a prize recipient, a note indicating that status is sometimes added to the HOLLIS record for that paper. If you are looking for papers that won a particular prize, search Hollis for the name of the prize. Note that although prizes may be eligible for yearly awards, they are not always awarded yearly.

Finding Prize Papers

Harvard Law School Prize Essays This is a collection of handwritten prize essays covering a wide array of topics studied at that time, such as torts, domestic relations, property, admiralty, partnership, common law, and pleading. See the finding aid for a full description of this collection.

Addison Brown Prize Awarded annually or biannually for the best student essay on a subject related to private international law or maritime law. Browse those papers held by the Library designated as recipients

Victor Brudney Prize This prize was established by the Program on Corporate Governance in honor of Professor Victor Brudney, Robert B. and Candice J. Haas Professor in Corporate Finance Law, Emeritus. This prize may be awarded annually to the best student paper on a topic related to corporate governance. Papers receiving this award also appear at http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/olin_center/corporate_governance/prizes.shtml.
Browse those papers held by the Library designated as recipients.


Irving Oberman Memorial Award Awarded annually for the best student essays on a specified, current legal subjects. See the appropriate HLS Catalog for the annual topics. Browse those papers held by the Library designated as recipients.

John Gallup Laylin Prize Awarded annually to the best student paper in the field of public international law. Browse those papers held by the Library designated as recipients.

Mancini Prize Awarded annually to the best student essay in the field of European Union law. Browse those papers held by the Library designated as recipients. Sidney I. Roberts Prize Awarded annually to the best student paper in the field of taxation. Victor Brudney Prize Awarded annually to the best student paper on a topic related to corporate governance. Yong K. Kim Memorial Prize Awarded to the best student paper on the law or legal history of East Asia or legal issues surrounding U.S.-East Asia relations.

There are many student papers in our institutional repository DASH.  Whenever possible, information about the paper (e.g. prizes won, courses for which the paper was written, etc.) has been included for keyword searching.

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