Advanced Legal Writing & Editing Workshop

Actors perform a scenario for the class, from which you must extract the pertinent facts for your case. You will draft an interoffice memo, a letter or memo to a non-lawyer client, and a trial or appellate brief. You will have the opportunity to edit other students’ papers and redraft documents, with the goal of improving your own writing skills.

Judicial Writing

Draft documents typically written by law clerks and judges, such as bench briefs and appellate and trial court decisions. Working with a single fact pattern, you will conduct extensive research, write multiple drafts, meet individually with your instructors, and edit your classmates’ papers. Class discussions will focus on the role of judges and their opinions in the legal systems, as well as the relationship between a judge and law clerk.

Legal Writing for Civil Litigation

Conduct extensive research and draft documents related to civil litigation, including discovery-related documents, pleadings, and motions. You will complete multiple drafts of these documents, meet individually with your instructor to discuss the drafts, and engage in peer editing of your classmates’ papers. In class, you will discuss litigation strategy, research skills, and ethical and professional concerns.

Persuasive Writing

Draft or rework documents designed to persuade, including a statement of the case, a memo in support of a motion, and several sections of an appellate reply brief. You will complete multiple drafts, meet individually with the instructor to discuss the drafts, and engage in peer editing of your classmates’ papers. The class also includes discussions of persuasive writing strategies and in-depth analysis of examples of good and bad persuasive writing.

Legal Writing Fellows Program

Meet regularly with students to discuss their First-Year Writing Seminar assignments, and attend a bi-weekly class taught by the director of the Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy Program. In addition to providing valuable assistance to first-year students, you will further improve your writing and research skills.

Writing Supplements to Upper-Class Courses

In some upper-class courses, you can enroll in one-credit Writing Supplements, taught by experienced attorneys who practice in these areas. For example, a writing supplement to a family law class could include separation agreements, custody agreements, or restraining orders. In collaboration with the professor teaching the substantive course, the practitioner instructs students in drafting documents related to the substantive coursework.

Legal Writing Certificate Program

This program offers students an array of writing workshops on various topics in legal writing. These workshops are taught by legal writing staff and other faculty members, and are administered by the Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy Program. Completion of six workshops prior to graduation qualifies a student for a certificate. Workshop topics are always changing, but include Bluebook skills, simplifying your writing, client communications, drafting persuasive facts, scholarly writing, drafting a complaint, and grammar.