Legal Analysis, Writing, & Research Courses
The cornerstone courses in the legal writing program are the first-year courses, Legal Analysis, Writing, & Research 1 and 2. Each fall, in Legal Analysis, Writing, & Research 1, first-year students are introduced to the fundamental skills required in law practice: researching the law, analyzing how the law applies, and writing that analysis in an objective format. Students typically work through at least two problem sets requiring them to analyze the law and apply it to hypothetical client situations. Professors provide extensive written and oral feedback on student drafts, and students revise their drafts based on that feedback. Students also learn how to use proper legal citation and gain insight into the ethical dilemmas that lawyers may face when researching and writing memoranda.
Legal Analysis, Writing, & Research 2 builds on the skills students learned in the fall semester. In the spring semester, students shift from objective writing to persuasive writing. They also begin to implement the research skills they learned in the fall and do their own legal research. As in the fall, students typically work through at least two problem sets that require them to independently research the law, analyze it, and apply it to hypothetical client situations. Students learn to present that analysis in the form of a trial-level brief. Once again, students receive extensive written and oral feedback and an opportunity to rewrite their initial drafts. The switch to persuasive writing often presents for students ethical issues regarding a lawyer's role as zealous advocate. These issues, too, are covered in class.
Appellate Writing and Advocacy is the gateway course for the law school's moot court program.
In addition, second- or third-year students can enroll in various writing seminars and workshops to further develop their legal writing skills. Such offerings have included Advanced Legal Writing, Contract Drafting, and Exploring and Writing About Legal Issues in Depth.