Academic Programs

First Year Writing Program

First-year students master critical research and writing skills in the First-Year Writing Seminar. Students receive intensive, hands-on instruction from experienced practitioner-instructors in small classes of no more than 14 students in a class. Because of the small class size, you'll receive substantial feedback and individual attention from your instructor. Students learn first-hand how to analyze complex legal questions at a professional level. In the first semester, you will concentrate on legal research and objective memos, while in the second semester, students focus on persuasive writing.

Legal Writing Fellows are one of the most important resources available to first-year students. Fellows attend weekly seminars and meet with students regularly to discuss each writing assignment. Besides helping students with their assignments and first-year moot court, Fellows can help first-year students with the more general challenges of the first year of law school.

As part of the First-Year Writing Program, you will participate in the J. Newton Esdaile Appellate Moot Court Program in the spring semester. Here you will research and draft a brief, and present a case in oral argument before a panel of moot court judges made up of students, lawyers and faculty. The process of brief writing is a critical component of the program because it teaches you to research an issue thoroughly and write a persuasive document, skills that all lawyers use in practice.