This seminar will focus on legal writing as a discipline. It will impart to students both the foundational and advanced tools to excel in all forms of legal writing and communication, from litigation briefs and judicial opinions to office memoranda and corporate documents. Through this seminar, students will gain a leg up in the marketplace, attaining a rare skill applicable to all types of legal positions.
To write and communicate effectively, attorneys must use language in a focused manner and make complicated information clear. This seminar will teach students how to master these skills. Students will learn how to draft both routine and complex legal documents by applying writing principles and techniques based on how readers process information most easily. The seminar will use a case problem with a federal constitutional issue. The first part of the seminar will focus on three overarching principles of the discipline of legal writing. It will involve brief writing assignments centered on each principle, based on the case problem. The second part of the seminar will apply the three principles to drafting and editing various legal documents common to many law practices.
While each assignment will require individual writing, the seminar also will involve significant collaboration among students, primarily through weekly peer review and discussion. The instructor will provide individualized comments on each major assignment and evaluate students based on the assignments and participation.