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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: LSTD699 Course ID: 4534 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This capstone legal analytical project (CLAP) is the final and ultimate experience for the Master of Legal Studies Program. It is intended to permit students to demonstrate their capacity to deeply research a narrow topic concerning a legal challenge to a segment of American society, as well as thoroughly analyze and succinctly yet thoroughly write about it. The students’ chief goal is to validate that they have mastered the three fundamental legal skills of research, analysis and writing. Prerequisite: All other courses must be completed before registering for this course.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 08/22/21 Spring 2021 Session K 16 Week session
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 09/26/21 Spring 2021 Session C 16 Week session
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 10/24/21 Summer 2021 Session A 16 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 11/21/21 Summer 2021 Session K 16 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 12/26/21 Summer 2021 Session C 16 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Devise and execute an efficient research plan using primary and secondary sources;
  2. Research and analyze case law, and legal principles using logical reasoning;
  3. Construct convincing arguments, synthesizing research results, legal reasoning and analysis, and apply them to the factual / legal issue(s) presented; and
  4. Write a professional, technically correct, clear, and concise creative research project.

The grading in this course is based on a combination of assignments and a final research paper.

Late Assignments

Students are expected to submit classroom assignments by the posted due date and to complete the course according to the published class schedule. As adults, students, and working professionals, and as such must manage competing demands on your time. Should students need additional time to complete an assignment, please contact the professor before the due date to discuss the situation and determine an acceptable resolution. Routine submission of late assignments is unacceptable and may result in points deducted from the final course grade.


Late forum posts may be penalized up to 5 points per day

Late assignments may be penalized up to 5 points per day

There are seven assignments plus the creative project/paper.

  1. Statement of the Research Problem Develop a two to three paragraph statement of a research problem that the student wishes to pursue in the field of legal studies.
  2. Theoretical Framework Provide a summary of the theory or theories, which will be used in the study (if any). Provide a short narrative, which includes each theory's major assumptions and the major theoretical propositions, which will come to play in the study.
  3. Significance of the Research Project Delineate the significance of the creative research project, e.g., what knowledge will it create, what gaps in knowledge will it help fill, how will it advance the selected theory or theories, and how the results may be applied to improve existing policy or procedures, etc.
  4. Research Proposal This will be a finalization of all of the previous steps. Please see the APUS Masters End of Program Assessment Manual (EOP Manual).
  5. Background
  6. Draft Outline. The outline should include an introduction including the research statement, short literature review, body of the research, analysis and conclusions. The final may, of course, differ from the draft as the draft is only a guide as to what is expected to follow. The draft outline should not be more than two pages long.
  7. Creative Project Draft. The draft should be in as near final form as possible with front and back matter as outlined in the Capstone End of Program Manual.
NameGrade %
Forum: Introduction 1.00 %
Introductory Forum 1.00 %
Forums: Graded 4.00 %
Week 1: Understanding the CLAP Goals 4.00 %
Assignments: Low Value 60.00 %
Week 1: Statements of Research Problem and Purpose 5.00 %
Week 2: Revised Statements of Research Problem and Purpose 5.00 %
Week 3: Theoretical Framework 5.00 %
Week 4: Revised Theoretical Framework 5.00 %
Week 5: Significance of the Research 5.00 %
Week 7: Literature Review 5.00 %
Week 8: Revised Literature Review 5.00 %
Week 9: Legal Analysis 5.00 %
Week 11: Conclusions 5.00 %
Week 10: Revised Legal Analysis 5.00 %
Week 12: Revised Conclusions 5.00 %
Week 13: CLAP Compilation 5.00 %
Assignments: Medium Value 20.00 %
Week 6: Formal CLAP Submission 10.00 %
Week 14: Revised CLAP Compilation 10.00 %
Assignments: High Value 15.00 %
Week 15: Final CLAP Submission 15.00 %

Please reference resources below:

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. eds., 20th ed. 2015). There is information in the classroom on Bluebook, and you also have access to the Bluebook online through the Library. Here is the link:

Required Readings: This will depend on the details of the creative research project.

Additional Resources: This will depend on the details of the creative research project.

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.