Legal Writing and Scholarship

LAW 1460 v00 Advanced Legal Practice: Judicial Opinions

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

With Supreme Court nominations certain to be contested for years to come, the judicial opinion has gone center stage. While understanding the enterprise of opinion-drafting is always critical for law students who take the clerkship route, it has never been more important for all advocates and soon-to-be advocates to think about how and why judicial opinions are created.

This seminar will consider judicial opinions through three overlapping and equally important lenses: the theoretical foundations of legal inquiry, close textual analysis, and discussion of social context.

Subtext. We will begin by examining the role of legal theory. Drawing on work by a variety of legal scholars, we will consider the most influential theories of law, including formalism and legal realism, and their broad effect on how cases are decided and opinions are written. We will hear from great American jurists themselves, from Brandeis, Holmes, and Cardozo, to Scalia, Posner, and lesser-known judges, as they espouse or critique different approaches and reflect on their own purposes.

Text. Then, using a selection of key decisions, we will examine these theories in practice. We will discuss the choices that were available in writing the opinions and how theory informed the use of precedent to justify and explain outcomes. We’ll also look at the institutional values at stake and scrutinize their congruity with the equities in individual cases and policies implicated. Finally, we will study rhetorical techniques, including the use of persuasive narrative and metaphor.

Context. In addition to a close reading of text, this seminar will direct its gaze outward, to the social landscape beyond the courtroom. Contemplating a range of external currents and practices will enrich our understanding of judicial reasoning, especially that which appears to circumvent the mandates of formal logic. Particular sites of inquiry will include developments in social science and visual evidence.

Steeped in the subjects outlined above, students will pen their own opinions based upon an assigned problem and engage in shorter writing assignments, for a total of approximately 5,000 words. I will provide feedback on the main opinion, on both substance and style, and the students will incorporate this feedback into their rewrite of that opinion. My goals for this class are aimed at helping students to: (1) refine their legal writing skills in a new context; (2) consider the role and purpose of judicial opinions in the legal system; and (3) examine the influences of legal theory, doctrine, rhetoric, personal experience, and society in opinion writing.

Sixty percent of the final grade will be based on the written opinion, and forty percent will be based on class participation and assignments. Active participation will include written responses to the weekly reading assignments as well as class discussion. A willingness to share and respectfully listen to different points of view is critical to the success of the class.

LAW 301 v03 Advanced Legal Research

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

In this advanced course, students will learn the concepts and skills needed to research complex legal problems. This course will cover a wide range of legal research topics, including statutes, legislative history, court and government documents, administrative materials, practitioner tools, secondary sources, and specialized legal research. Students will also gain hands-on experience developing, implementing, and documenting appropriate research strategies, conducting research in an efficient manner, and citing resources appropriately for a professional-level work product.

Grading will be based on class attendance and participation, a series of research assignments, and a take home exam.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this class, students will be able to:

  1. Classify different primary and secondary legal resources, regardless of format.
  2. Evaluate the costs and benefits of particular resources, regardless of format, and articulate major differences between resources.
  3. Analyze a legal research problem and then design, execute, and document an efficient research plan.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Legal Research Skills for Practice.

LAW 036 v00 Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar will provide students with a platform to build upon the principles learned in first year Legal Research and Writing and to develop real-world legal practice skills. The course is designed to provide the most benefit to students who are pursuing judicial clerkships and litigation positions for post-graduate employment. The course will simulate the litigation process, with students playing the roles of both advocates and decision-makers throughout the semester. Students should expect to research and write several documents common in civil litigation, including correspondence, legal research memoranda, motions and responses, and judicial decisions. At least one assignment will be a collaborative writing assignment, and the remainder will be individual assignments.

The instructor will provide individualized comments and grades on each major assignment. The seminar will teach cost-effective research, writing, and revising techniques. Students will also develop their practical research and writing skills, learn to view cases from multiple perspectives, and learn strategies for addressing and managing the challenges of legal practice.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers, or Writing for Law Practice.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 036 v02 Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This two-credit seminar is designed to help students develop the legal practice skills necessary to succeed as civil litigators and judicial law clerks. Students will have an opportunity to build upon the written and oral advocacy skills learned in first-year Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis by using those skills in a practical setting that simulates the litigation process. Throughout the course of the semester, each student will play the role of advocate, law clerk, and judicial decision-maker. Students should expect to research and write a dispositive motion to dismiss, a bench memorandum, and a judicial decision and to deliver a brief oral argument. Students will also learn to edit their own written work and the work of their colleagues—a critical skill for any effective law clerk or litigator.

The instructor will provide individualized comments and grades on each major assignment. The seminar will teach cost-effective research, writing, and revising techniques. Students will also develop their practical research and writing skills, learn to view cases from multiple perspectives, and learn strategies for addressing and managing the challenges of legal practice. Class participation will count toward the final grade.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Recommended: Federal Courts and the Federal System.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the Advanced Legal Writing Seminar or Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline or Writing for Law Practice.

Note: In Fall 2016, this seminar will meet on Mondays, 5:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. The seminar will not meet on Monday, 10/3, or Tuesday, 10/11. These two class sessions will be rescheduled for Friday, 10/14, and Friday, 12/2, 5:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 036 v06 Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This two-credit seminar is designed to help students develop the legal practice skills necessary to succeed as judicial law clerks and civil litigators. Students will have an opportunity to build upon the written and oral advocacy skills learned in first-year Legal Research and Writing by using those skills in a practical setting that simulates the litigation process. Throughout the semester, each student will play the role of advocate, law clerk, and judicial decision-maker and should expect to research and write a motion to dismiss and a bench memorandum (both about a single fact pattern). Students will also learn to edit their own written work and the work of their colleagues—a critical, and often underdeveloped, skill for any young lawyer. By the end of the semester, students will have written approximately 40 pages of legal writing and produced two substantial writing samples that can be used to apply for judicial clerkships and/or positions as litigation associates. Class format will vary week-to-week. Some classes will be seminar-style discussions, others will simulate courtroom experiences, and others will feature guest speakers. One class session will be dedicated to the clerkship application process and clerkship experience and will feature advocates who have clerked in the state and federal courts.

The instructor will provide individualized comments and grades on each major assignment. The seminar will teach cost-effective research, writing, and revising techniques. Students will also develop their practical research and writing skills, learn to view cases from multiple perspectives, and learn strategies for addressing and managing the challenges of legal practice. Class participation will count toward the final grade.

Learning Objectives:

  • Strengthen legal research and writing.
  • Draft brief and bench memorandum.
  • Deliver oral argument.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers, or Writing for Law Practice.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 036 v07 Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Every day, lawyers confront challenges in litigation that stem from the array of principles and rules that underlie the federal judiciary. More importantly, lawyers also regularly deploy such rules tactically. This class is designed to prepare students to succeed as law clerks and litigators by creating opportunities to practice skills at various steps in the judicial process. We will simulate the roles of law firm associate, law firm partner, law clerk, and judge through oral presentations and substantial writing projects (which may be used to develop writing samples suitable for applying to clerkships or other roles). Students will also learn to edit their own work and the work of others. Class format will vary week-to-week and include courtroom simulations, guest speakers, and seminar-style discussions. We will also cover the clerkship application process and feature guests who can speak about their clerkship experiences.

Each student will complete four primary assignments:

  • A motion or opposition (~10 pages)
  • A bench memo on the motion (~15 pages)
  • Oral argument on the motion (~7 minutes)
  • Judicial opinion (~10 pages)

Learning Objectives:

  • Improve legal writing and research skills through “real world” applications of civil procedures and other federal courts topics.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the structure and function of legal argument.
  • Practice techniques to more effectively edit and critique one’s own writing.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the Advanced Legal Writing Seminar, Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers, or Writing for Law Practice.

LAW 1541 v00 Advanced Legal Writing and Practice: National Security Law in the Private Sector

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Over the past decade, the practice of "National Security Law" as its own discipline in private practice has emerged, partially as a response to market demand for assistance with national security-related agencies, regulations, and issues, and partially as a realignment of several different areas of law into one holistic practice that benefits from cross-sectoral and cross-regulatory experience. (The relevant areas of law include international trade, data privacy and security, telecommunications, and transactional matters involving foreign direct investment.) This class is designed to prepare students to succeed as national security law practitioners by creating opportunities to develop skills relevant to the various stages of relevant matters, including counseling, investigations, administrative advocacy, and litigation. We will simulate the roles of law firm associate, law firm partner, law clerk, and judge through oral presentations and substantial writing projects (which may be used to develop writing samples suitable for applying to clerkships or other roles). Students will also learn to edit their own work and the work of others. Class format will vary week-to-week and include courtroom simulations, guest speakers, and seminar-style discussions.

Each student will complete three primary assignments:

  • A memorandum (~10 pages)
  • A motion or brief (section) (~15 pages)
  • Oral argument on the motion (~7 minutes)

Learning Objectives:

  • Improve legal writing and research skills through “real world” applications of national security law topics.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the structure and function of legal argument.
  • Practice techniques to more effectively edit and critique one’s own writing.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

LAW 036 v08 Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

With the increasing globalization of the practice of law, business lawyers today are frequently representing clients in transactions that span different legal systems, cultures, and languages. This course is designed to provide students with practical insight into the cross-border practice of business law and the relevant written and oral skills necessary to effectively communicate in this practice setting.

The principle objectives of the course are to teach you how to communicate clearly, concisely, and appropriately in a business-law setting, and how to apply and adapt these skills to situations involving international, cross-cultural, and even multinational business transactions. You will be able to practice these skills through a variety of written and oral communication exercises based on actual cross-border transactions similar to those you will likely encounter as a junior transactional associate at a law firm. The focus of this course will be on practical skills, rather than on theoretical analysis.

Although some of our discussions and exercises will involve reviewing contract provisions and you will become familiar with basic contract structure, this is not a course on contract drafting. Rather, the focus is on developing your practical lawyering skills such that you are able to effectively communicate with parties from all sides of a cross-border business transaction and to recognize and overcome the principle cultural, linguistic, and other barriers to cross-cultural communication.

Enrollment by both JD and LL.M. students is encouraged. Class time generally will be split between lecturing and in-class exercises and discussion. The majority of the in-class exercises will utilize fact scenarios from actual deals and will involve students working in small groups or teams.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Corporations is recommended but not required.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the Advanced Legal Writing Seminar, Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, or Writing for Law Practice.

Note: Students may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor through the due date of the final draft of Writing Project #2.

LL.M. STUDENTS: THIS COURSE REQUIRES DEPARTMENTAL PERMISSION TO ENROLL. LL.M. students cannot register or put themselves on the waitlist for this course through MyAccess. Students interested in taking this course should send an e-mail to llmas@georgetown.edu indicating their interest in the course and their previous exposure to U.S. legal writing.

LAW 1532 v00 Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is designed to provide students interested in transactional practice with hands-on insight into the cross-border practice of business law by creating a simulated law-firm environment in which students are asked to complete tasks as if they were junior associates.

The principle objectives of the course are to teach students how to communicate clearly, concisely, and appropriately in a business-law setting, and how to apply and adapt these skills to situations involving international, cross-cultural, and even multinational business transactions. Students will practice these skills through a variety of written and oral communication exercises based on actual cross-border transactions similar to those they will likely encounter as a junior transactional associate at a law firm. The focus of this course will be on practical skills, rather than on theoretical analysis.

Although some of our discussions and exercises will involve reviewing contract provisions and students will become familiar with basic contract structure, this is not a course on contract drafting. Rather, the focus is on developing the student’s practical lawyering skills such that he or she is able to effectively communicate with parties from all sides of a cross-border business transaction and to recognize and overcome the principle cultural, linguistic, and other barriers to cross-cultural communication.

Enrollment by both JD and LL.M. students is encouraged. Class time generally will be split between lecturing and in-class exercises and discussion. The majority of the in-class exercises will utilize fact scenarios from actual deals and will involve students working in small groups or teams.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Corporations is recommended but not required.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the Advanced Legal Writing Seminar, Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, or Writing for Law Practice.

Note: Students may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor through the due date of the final draft of Writing Project #2.

LL.M. STUDENTS: THIS COURSE REQUIRES DEPARTMENTAL PERMISSION TO ENROLL. LL.M. students cannot register or put themselves on the waitlist for this course through MyAccess. Students interested in taking this course should send an e-mail to llmas@georgetown.edu indicating their interest in the course and their previous exposure to U.S. legal writing.

LAW 1444 v00 Advanced Legal Writing Workshop

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This three-credit seminar offers an opportunity for J.D. students to hone their legal writing skills in a small workshop environment. Students will write a variety of legal documents – including statutory provisions, contractual provisions, objective legal analysis, persuasive legal analysis, and correspondence – and will develop individualized goals for improving their writing throughout the semester. Students will build on skills in legal discourse introduced in the first year Legal Practice course, including crafting effective written analysis, understanding and meeting the expectations of the audience, organizing documents to enhance clarity, applying those skills to new forms of legal writing, and developing effective time management strategies. It will also focus on improving students’ ability to critically assess their own and others’ legal writing and to provide helpful feedback to colleagues in a professional setting. This course is designed as a writing workshop, with in-class writing and peer critique during most classes and individualized feedback from the professor on drafts of documents.

Learning goals for this course:

  • Build on skills in legal discourse introduced in the first year Legal Practice course, including analyzing and conceptualizing legal issues, crafting effective written analysis, understanding and meeting the expectations of the audience, organizing documents to enhance clarity, and applying those skills to new forms of legal writing
  • Improve students’ ability to critically assess their own and others’ legal writing and provide helpful feedback in a professional setting
  • Improve time management skills and develop an effective writing process that can be adapted for a range of contexts in legal practice
  • Learn techniques for effective teamwork and collaboration/li>
  • Develop confidence in transferring legal writing techniques rcss genres

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis or its equivalent.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Writing: Transactional Practice.

Note: Students enrolled in the course will be writing, commenting, or revising nearly every week, with six out-of-class writing assignments that will be revised after the professor provides feedback on them. Students should thus be prepared to make a substantial time investment in the class.

LAW 1623 v00 Advanced Legal Writing: Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This three-credit seminar offers an opportunity for J.D. students interested in transactional practice to hone their legal writing, negotiating, and real-world transactional skills in a small workshop environment. Students will review, write and analyze a variety of transactional documents – including full-length contracts, unique contractual provisions, and simulated client correspondence – and will develop individualized goals for improving their writing and transactional skills throughout the semester. While this course will teach drafting, deal-structuring, negotiation, and related skills that are generally applicable for any type of deal or transactional practice, it will focus on intellectual property and technology transactions and will teach those skills through a semester-long simulation based on a fictional startup company. The course will also focus on improving students' abilities to critically assess their own and others' legal writing and to provide helpful feedback to colleagues in a professional setting. Students will receive peer critique during most classes, as well as individualized feedback from the professor on most drafts of documents.

Professor permission is not required. Background in intellectual property or technology is not required.

Participation in the in-class exercises and simulations will be a key component of student evaluation.

Learning Objectives:

My primary goal for the course is to give you real world transactional experience that you can use on day one out of law school. In addition, this course aims to expose you to new and emerging technologies and complex intellectual property licensing constructs, and give you the ability to analyze and negotiate different types of deals from both a legal and business perspective.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis or the equivalent first year legal writing course.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Writing: Transactional Practice or Information Technology Transactions: Strategy, Negotiations and Drafting.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 036 v05 Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

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.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the Advanced Legal Writing Seminar, Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators, Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers, or Writing for Law Practice.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Please submit the following to Professor Butler at chuck324@gmail.com no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 9, 2021: (1) resume and (2) short explanation of interest in the seminar. Professor Butler may conduct brief interviews by phone prior to June 16, 2021. After the June 9 application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 1730 v00 Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Lawyering Skills and Strategies

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This three-credit seminar offers an opportunity for J.D. to hone their legal writing skills in a small workshop environment, while learning the skills and strategies of lawyers in practice. Students will represent a client in a simulated case, prepare relevant documents for their client, and discuss and debate relevant strategies. In addition, they will learn and participate in a number of in-class oral presentations related to the representation of the client. Students will build on skills in legal discourse introduced in the first year Legal Practice course, including crafting effective written analysis, understanding and meeting the expectations of the audience and the purpose of the projects, organizing documents to enhance clarity, and developing effective time management strategies. Students will learn to critically assess their own and others’ legal writing and to provide helpful feedback to colleagues in a professional setting. This course is designed as a workshop, with in-class and out-of-class writing and rewriting, in-class oral presentations, peer critique, individualized feedback from the professor, self-critique and reflection, and collaborative work.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

Laptop Policy:
You are required to bring a fully powered laptop or tablet to class. We will be using the online text book, TeachingLaw.com, and doing substantial writing during class time.

LAW 036 v09 Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Whether or not you expect to represent retail clients during your career, this course provides real-world writing skills for your future at a law firm and builds on skills learned in your first-year Legal Practice course. This class will build your writing repertoire and will familiarize you with different kinds of writing used in a litigation practice. It does so against the background of legal issues facing retail clients—issues that you probably have personal experience with from your life as a consumer of retail products.

Retail law gives us an exciting lens from which to approach writing and legal practice skills. Clients in the retail industry contend with a wide variety of legal issues: they could face lawsuits about their advertising and marketing, contracts, data collection, employment, supply chain, real estate, and other hot-button areas of law. They are also sued by a variety of different groups: competitors, customers, and employees. A young lawyer practicing in this area will be expected to research an assortment of legal questions, prepare internal memoranda for her team, draft written advice to clients, and assist in motions practice and other aspects of litigation. This course uses fact patterns from the retail industry like those that a young lawyer could expect to see in practice.

Students will improve analytical and writing skills, apply those skills to new types of legal problems, develop a strong “self-editor” and skills for taking and implementing constructive criticism, practice effective time management techniques, and gain familiarity with the types of written assignments a young firm lawyer is expected to handle and the types of work product partners and clients will expect to better prepare for legal practice.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the Advanced Legal Writing Seminar, Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers, or Writing for Law Practice.

LAW 1531 v00 Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Whether or not you expect to represent retail clients during your career, this course provides real-world writing skills for your future at a law firm and builds on skills learned in your first-year Legal Practice course. This class will build your writing repertoire and will familiarize you with different kinds of writing used in a litigation practice. It does so against the background of legal issues facing retail clients—issues that you probably have personal experience with from your life as a consumer of retail products.

Retail law gives us an exciting lens from which to approach writing and legal practice skills. Clients in the retail industry contend with a wide variety of legal issues: they could face lawsuits about their advertising and marketing, contracts, data collection, employment, supply chain, real estate, and other hot-button areas of law. They are also sued by a variety of different groups: competitors, customers, and employees. A young lawyer practicing in this area will be expected to research an assortment of legal questions, prepare internal memoranda for her team, draft written advice to clients, and assist in motions practice and other aspects of litigation. This course uses fact patterns from the retail industry like those that a young lawyer could expect to see in practice.

Students will improve analytical and writing skills, apply those skills to new types of legal problems, develop a strong “self-editor” and skills for taking and implementing constructive criticism, practice effective time management techniques, and gain familiarity with the types of written assignments a young firm lawyer is expected to handle and the types of work product partners and clients will expect to better prepare for legal practice.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the Advanced Legal Writing Seminar, Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers, or Writing for Law Practice.

LAW 1444 v01 Advanced Legal Writing: Transactional Practice

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This three-credit seminar offers an opportunity for J.D. students interested in transactional practice to hone their legal writing skills in a small workshop environment. Students will write a variety of transactional documents – including deal memos, contractual provisions, and correspondence – and will develop individualized goals for improving their writing throughout the semester. Students will build on skills in legal discourse introduced in the first year Legal Practice course, including crafting effective written analysis, recognizing the importance of precise drafting to ensure that the various provisions of contracts fit together in a synchronized way, understanding and meeting the expectations of the audience, organizing documents to enhance clarity, applying those skills to new forms of legal writing, and developing effective time management strategies. It will also focus on improving students’ ability to critically assess their own and others’ legal writing and to provide helpful feedback to colleagues in a professional setting. This course is designed as a writing workshop, with in-class writing and peer critique during most classes and individualized feedback from the professors on most drafts of documents.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis or the equivalent first year legal writing course.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Writing: Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions.

Note: Students enrolled in the course will be writing, commenting, or revising nearly every week, with approximately five out-of-class writing assignments, most of which will be revised after the professors provide feedback on them. Students should thus be prepared to make a substantial time investment in the class.

Because of the collaborative nature of the class, students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 1444 v02 Advanced Legal Writing: Transactional Practice

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This three-credit seminar offers an opportunity for J.D. students interested in transactional practice to hone their legal writing skills in a small workshop environment, while learning the basic elements and construct of a written agreement. Students will write or edit a variety of transactional documents – including deal memos, contractual provisions, and correspondence – and will develop individualized goals for improving their writing throughout the semester. Students will build on skills in legal discourse introduced in the first year Legal Practice course, including crafting effective written analysis, recognizing the importance of precise drafting to ensure that the various provisions of contracts fit together in a synchronized way, understanding and meeting the expectations of the audience, organizing documents to enhance clarity, applying those skills to new forms of legal writing, and developing effective time management strategies. It will also focus on improving students’ ability to critically assess their own and others’ legal writing and to provide helpful feedback to colleagues in a professional setting. This course is designed as a writing workshop, with in-class writing and peer critique during most classes and individualized feedback from the professors on most drafts of documents.

Learning Objectives:

Each assignment will have specific goals; some goals will be specified by the professor, and some goals will be specified by the student. Each assignment will be submitted first as a draft and then as a final product, with an opportunity to receive feedback after the draft is submitted. The grade for each assignment will be based upon (1) assessments of how the successful the draft was in accomplishing the goals for the assignment; (2) evaluation of how effective the revisions to the draft document were in addressing the feedback received on the draft; (3) professionalism/polishing/timeliness of the final document.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis or the equivalent first year legal writing course.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Writing: Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

Students enrolled in the course will be writing, commenting, or revising nearly every week, with approximately five out-of-class writing assignments, most of which will be revised after the professors provide feedback on them. Students should thus be prepared to make a substantial time investment in the class.

Because of the collaborative nature of the class, students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 537 v00 Applied Legal Composition

J.D. Course | 2 or 4 credit hours

Students study legal writing from both the writer's and reader's perspectives. Students review documents, analyze scholarship, write criticisms of legal writing, prepare their own texts, and read extensively about the theory of legal composition. Students hold conferences with clients who are currently working on writing projects.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis at Georgetown Law.

Recommended: Legal Writing Seminar: Theory and Practice for Law Fellows.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL and can only be taken by Senior Writing Fellows, who must take this course. Contact the Office of the Registrar if you would like to distribute the credits unevenly between the semesters.

LAW 481 v00 Contemporary Legal Scholarship Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 or 5 credit hours

The Seminar is designed for all fellows, SJD students, and some JD students who wish to become a law professor or who think they may go into law teaching at some point in their careers.  The seminar aims to familiarize students and fellows with different genres of legal scholarship, including “normative” or reform-oriented scholarship, analytic and doctrinal work, comparative legal analysis, theoretical, critical, or conceptual scholarship, and interdisciplinary legal scholarship.  We look at a couple major pieces that aim to re-orient entire areas of law, as well as short works that look to restate or change particular pieces of doctrine, book reviews, symposia and encyclopedia pieces.  The Seminar meetings alternate with workshops, at which fellows and SJD students present work in progress.  JD students will also present drafts of their papers in the final session at the end of the semester.  Attendance at all sessions, including all workshops, is required of all JD students, research fellows, and first and second year SJD students.   A fuller description is available upon request.

Note: This seminar is offered for 3 credits in the fall and spring and offered as a year-long seminar for 5 credits.  

This course requires professor permission to enroll.  Please email Professor West (Robin.West@law.georgetown.edu) by 5:00 pm on Friday, August 28, 2020 with a copy of your CV.

LAW 511 v00 Introduction to Scholarly Editing Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This course is designed to prepare law journal members for the significantly different and, in many instances more challenging, nature of their responsibilities in their second year on journal. Its focus is twofold: to help students develop excellent editing techniques in the context of publication, and to help students master other aspects of second year journal membership, including journal management, timely publication, and author-editor interactions. During the course, students will analyze scholarly writing from the editor’s perspective, covering such topics as article selection, large- and small-scale edits, style judgments, and analytical precision. Studying scholarly papers drafted for publication, students will discuss how to edit them to achieve the best balance among the author’s intent, the readers’ needs, and the journal's production imperatives. Students also will do several individual and group assignments focused on particular editing challenges. The class will meet in four three-hour sessions, and attendance will be mandatory in order to receive credit.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. This course is open to second year students. Priority will be given to students who are members of one of the law journals during the 2021-2022 academic year. Students cannot register or put themselves on the waitlist for this course through MyAccess. Students interested in taking this course should send an e-mail to Anna Selden (Anna.Selden@law.georgetown.edu) indicating their interest in the course and explaining, if relevant, their law-journal-membership status. This course will not be enrolled until after the add/drop period for Spring 2022. Students may not drop another course after the add/drop period in order to add this course. Full-time students will not be able to exceed their maximum credit load by enrolling in this class. Part-time students must pay for this credit when they enroll.

Attendance at all classes and completion of all assignments are required for credit. This seminar may be taken pass/fail or for a grade. Students may elect to take the course pass/fail at the time they are enrolled in the course. If taken pass/fail, the course will count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 514 v01 Introduction to Scholarly Note Writing

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

Introduction to Scholarly Note Writing assists students in discovering, understanding, experiencing, and successfully completing the scholarly note writing process. Based on a proven five-stage writing process (Thinking, Preparing, Executing, Refining, and Finishing), this course is designed to take students from idea-development to publication. The class meets seven times during the semester at intervals that track the writing process. Class topics include idea brainstorming, topic selection, and thesis development; scholarly research; organization and drafting; and revision, editing, and polishing. Assignments will include readings on relevant topics, writing assignments related to your scholarly project, and contributions to workshop classes. At least two of the class meetings are designed as works-in-progress sessions for students to give and receive feedback on their scholarly project.

Note: In Fall 2021, this course will meet on the following Fridays, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m: September 10, 17, and 24; October 15 and 29; November 5 and 19.

THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Priority will be given to students who are members of one of the law journals during the 2020-2021 academic year. Students cannot register or put themselves on the waitlist for this course through MyAccess. Students should email Professor Jessica Wherry (Jessica.Wherry@law.georgetown.edu ) by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 3, 2021 indicating their interest in the course. The email should include a brief description of the  scholarly project the student anticipates working on during the semester. The description should include the type of scholarly project (e.g., note, seminar paper, independent study) and the journal, seminar course, or independent writing supervisor, as well as any known deadlines.

This seminar is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit.

LAW 360 v00 Legal Research Skills for Practice

J.D. Course | 1 credit hour

This course will reinforce the skills learned in the first-year Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis course. Students will learn how to develop strategies for approaching legal research problems and how to select and use the basic legal sources. Topics covered include the legal research process, statutory and regulatory research, case law research sources and techniques, using secondary sources effectively, legislative history, and understanding the different varieties and uses of legal treatises. In addition, the course will address the advantages and disadvantages of online and print versions of basic sources, and why a researcher might choose one or the other in researching any particular issue. At the end of the course, the student will have gained valuable knowledge and experience in identifying basic legal sources. This basic course provides limited opportunities for completing extensive research problems and, instead, focuses on strategies for approaching these types of problems.

Class will meet for a two hour lecture for half the semester. Grading will be based on a series of assignments due at the beginning of each class and a short exam at the end of the semester.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Research.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 360 v04 Legal Research Skills for Practice

J.D. Course | 1 credit hour

The purpose of this course is to reinforce and further develop the skills learned in the first-year Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis course, plus introduce new research skills to enhance your legal practice. Topics include secondary sources, case law, statutory law, legislative history, administrative law, dockets and court documents, litigation analytics, transactional law, and company information.

Grading will be based on weekly assignments, attendance and class participation, and an exam at the end of the semester.

Learning Objectives for Professor Concepcion:

  • Develop strategies for approaching legal research problems
  • Formulate effective search queries
  • Evaluate, select, and locate legal resources
  • Navigate and use legal resources
  • Research under constraints (e.g., time, costs)
  • Be familiar with major legal research platforms (Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law)

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Research.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class.

Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 360 v05 Legal Research Skills for Practice

J.D. Course | 1 credit hour

This course will reinforce the skills learned in the Legal Research and Writing course. Students will learn how to develop strategies for approaching legal research problems and how to select and use basic legal sources. Topics covered include the legal research process, statutory and legislative history research, advanced case law research, administrative law research, and current awareness/secondary sources. At the end of the course, students will have gained valuable knowledge and experience in using these sources for legal practice-based research tasks. This basic course provides limited opportunities for completing extensive research problems and, instead, focuses on strategies for approaching these types of problems.

Grading will be based on a series of assignments, attendance, and class participation, and a short exam at the end of the semester.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Research or Advanced Legal Research Techniques for Scholarship and Seminar Papers.

Note: In the Fall 2015 semester, this class will meet on the following seven Wednesdays: 9/2, 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, and 10/14. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 360 v07 Legal Research Skills for Practice

J.D. Course | 1 credit hour

This course will reinforce the skills learned in the Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis course. Students will learn how to develop strategies for approaching legal research problems and how to select and use basic legal sources. Topics covered include the legal research process, statutory research, legislative history research, case law research, administrative law research, and secondary sources. At the end of the course, students will have gained valuable knowledge and experience in developing a legal research strategy and selecting and using basic legal sources. This basic course provides limited opportunities for completing extensive research problems. Instead, this course focuses on generally applicable strategies for approaching these types of problems.

Grading will be based on a series of assignments due at the beginning of each class, attendance and class participation, and a take-home exam at the end of the semester.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Research.

Note: NOTE FOR THE SUMMER 2021 SECTION: The professor will teach this course virtually via Zoom. Students may choose to participate from the classroom or via Zoom while the professor is participating remotely. Students who want to participate in person must be in the University’s COVID testing protocol and follow all other safety measures.

This course will be enrolled via waitlist.

FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 360 v09 Legal Research Skills for Practice

J.D. Course | 1 credit hour

This course will reinforce the skills learned in the Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis course. Students will learn how to develop strategies for approaching legal research problems and how to select and use basic legal sources. Topics covered include the legal research process, statutory research, legislative history research, case law research, administrative law research, and secondary sources. At the end of the course, students will have gained valuable knowledge and experience in developing a legal research strategy and selecting and using basic legal sources. This basic course provides limited opportunities for completing extensive research problems. Instead, this course focuses on generally applicable strategies for approaching these types of problems.

Grading will be based on a series of assignments due at the beginning of each class, attendance and class participation, and a take-home exam, scheduled during the mini-course exam period.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Research.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

LAW 536 v01 Legal Writing Seminar: Theory and Practice for Law Fellows

J.D. Seminar | 6 credit hours

All Law Fellows are required to enroll in the Legal Writing Seminar. Each Legal Practice faculty member teaches the Seminar to the Law Fellows assigned to that faculty member’s first year sections. In the Seminar, students study the major schools of theory and pedagogy which support entrance to the legal discourse community. Students examine student and professional legal writing in light of its legal substance to identify effective and ineffective features. Under close faculty supervision, they learn to provide formative feedback to legal writers through written comments and individual instructional conferences. Finally, students are required to apply the insights they have gained by drafting a substantial analytical document that meets the Law Center’s upper-level WR requirement.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Writing for Law Practice.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL.

LAW 260 v02 Research Skills in International and Comparative Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This two-credit course will instruct students in understanding the relationship between the sources of public and private international law in a theoretical sense with their actual embodiment in tangible and electronic media. Comparative law bibliography and sources will be covered, as will selected jurisdictions in the civil law tradition. With regard to locating legislation and jurisprudence, students will learn which topics are usually covered in a civil code, and how to deal with problems of language and translation. Separate, in-depth sources will be explored for one or more of the following: international criminal law, international environmental law, international human rights, international trade law and arbitration, commercial law and intellectual property, family law as an international and comparative law topic, and documentation for intergovernmental organizations, chiefly the United Nations bodies, regional organizations, and the European Union. Grading will be based on weekly in-class or homework assignments that allow the student to use and evaluate the various sources; a brief oral presentation on a foreign legal system; and a final research guide on an international law topic or an international organization.

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the International and Foreign Legal Research Seminar or Legal Research and Communication Theory in International and Foreign Law.

LAW 260 v03 Research Skills in International and Comparative Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This short course will familiarize students with the sources of public and private international law and their embodiment in tangible and electronic media. Comparative law bibliography and sources will be covered, as will selected jurisdictions in the civil law tradition. Students will learn which topics are usually covered in a civil code, and how to deal with problems of language and translation when researching foreign legislation and jurisprudence. In addition, in-depth sources will be explored for a variety of specialized topics, such as international criminal law, international environmental law, international human rights law, international trade law and arbitration, transnational commercial law and intellectual property disputes, and comparative family law. Documentation for intergovernmental organizations, chiefly the United Nations bodies, regional organizations, and the European Union, will be covered as well. Grading will be based on weekly homework assignments that allow the student to use and evaluate the sources discussed in class and on a final project consisting of a research guide on an international law topic, an international organization or the law of a foreign jurisdiction.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Note: In Spring 2017, this class will meet on the following Thursdays: 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 3/2, and 3/9.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 260 v04 Research Skills in International and Comparative Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Whether they are representing couples in transnational adoptions or multinational enterprises in cross-border mergers, legal practitioners increasingly are expected to consult international and foreign legal materials. This course will familiarize students with the best tools for researching international law and the domestic law of jurisdictions outside the U.S., enabling them to approach these tasks with confidence, rather than trepidation. Students will learn how to efficiently locate multilateral and bilateral treaties, decisions issued by international tribunals, documentation produced by the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as legislation and case law from selected foreign jurisdictions, including the European Union. Tools for topical research in specialized fields, such as human rights, international trade, and investor-state arbitration, also will be covered. Students will refine their information-gathering skills through a series of in-class research exercises and take-home quizzes based on real world, practice-oriented scenarios. This course will be especially beneficial for journal editors, students participating in the Jessup International Moot Court competition and other international competitions, and for students interested in pursuing careers in international law or in practicing law outside their home jurisdiction.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

LAW 1674 v00 The Persuasive Narrative Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

Law is story. This seven-week course will focus on how to tell that story persuasively on behalf of a client. We will draw on scholarship in rhetoric, applied legal storytelling, cognitive science, and design to understand why stories are so powerful. This scholarship, and real-world examples of narratives that nudge and tug their audiences, will also help us to build our own toolboxes for constructing persuasive narratives. As part of the course, we will use these tools to create persuasive narratives in several genres (both written and visual) and for different audiences (legal and non-legal). 

Note: This course will meet the first seven Wednesdays in Fall 2019 on the following dates: 9/4, 9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, and 10/16.

LAW 1104 v00 Writing for Law Practice

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar is designed to reinforce and ensure mastery of the legal writing skills initially taught in Legal Research and Writing. Students will draft a variety of documents based on a single fact pattern, including emails, an inter-office memo, a client letter, and a motion. Students will complete multiple drafts of documents, meet in group conferences and individually with the instructor to discuss certain drafts, and engage in peer editing of classmates' papers with the goal of improving their own writing and editing.


Writing assignments, both inside and outside class, will involve exercises, initial drafts, peer review, and final revisions with students building a portfolio of their work during the course of the semester. Discussion topics will include litigation strategy, writing techniques, and professional demands and concerns. Students will have opportunities to work in small groups and in team pairs, to strategize and write individually and collaboratively, and to write in the way they will be expected to write in practice, including using email correspondence, preparing drafts for colleagues, and ultimately finalizing work product for a client and the court.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Legal Writing Seminar: Theory and Practice for Law Fellows, Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators or Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students should email Professor Ewert (ee3@law.georgetown.edu) with a short explanation of their interest in the seminar no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2016.

LAW 1104 v01 Writing for Law Practice

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar is designed to develop mastery of the legal writing skills initially taught in Legal Research and Writing as employed in a simulated law firm environment. Students will draft a variety of documents based on a single fact pattern, including emails, an inter-office memo, a client letter, and a motion. Students will complete multiple drafts of documents, meet in group conferences and individually with the instructor to discuss certain drafts, and engage in peer editing of classmates' papers with the goal of improving their own writing and editing.

Writing assignments, both inside and outside class, will involve exercises, initial drafts, peer review, and final revisions with students building a portfolio of their work during the course of the semester. Discussion topics will include legal strategy, writing techniques, and professional demands and concerns. Students will have opportunities to work in small groups and in team pairs, to strategize and write individually and collaboratively, and to write in the way they will be expected to write in legal practice, including using email correspondence, preparing drafts for colleagues, editing the work of others and ultimately finalizing work product for a client and a court.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Legal Writing Seminar: Theory and Practice for Law Fellows, Advanced Legal Writing and Practice for Judicial Clerks and Civil Litigators, Advanced Legal Writing: Legal Writing as a Discipline, Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills from Retail Industry Examples, or Advanced Legal Writing for International Business Lawyers.

LAW 1371 v00 Writing for Practice: Administrative Law

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

The ability to write effective professional documents is one of a lawyer’s most important skills. This one-credit seminar is designed to help students develop this skill. The seminar will build upon the principles learned in the first-year Legal Research and Writing course by providing instruction in drafting legal documents typical to the particular area of law that is examined in the larger, substantive course associated with the seminar. This writing intensive seminar has been developed by an adjunct professor working in collaboration with the full-time faculty member teaching the larger course. Students should expect to write several documents common in the given practice area, such as client letters, legal research memoranda, motions, or responses. At least one document will require both an initial and final draft. The professor will provide individualized feedback on each writing assignment. In addition to the practical legal writing skills taught, students will also learn more generally about the demands and concerns of regulatory practice.
 

This seminar, taught by a former law fellow, will expose students to some of the central legal documents and processes that govern administrative rulemaking proceedings. Over the course of the semester, students will advise a high-tech “client” throughout the lifecycle of a rule’s development, including participating in notice-and-comment proceedings and considering whether to appeal the agency’s decision. Students will engage with their clients, advise on key strategic decisions, and produce examples of the documents that are drafted by regulatory lawyers every day. Occasional guest speakers will provide students with special insight into the practice of administrative law.
 

Written work will consist of several short writing assignments to be completed between class sessions, as well as one longer assignment that students will draft over the course of the semester. Students will be evaluated on the quality of their written work and on class participation. Because the class meets only seven times over the course of the semester, attendance at each session is mandatory.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis; concurrent or prior enrollment in Administrative Law. Students may contact the professor to discuss how they may meet the prerequisite with other prior or concurrent course work or experience.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students should email a short statement of their interest in the seminar to Professor Bonner at austin.bonner@gmail.com. Requests for permission to enroll will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Limit: 10 students. This course is open to J.D. students only.
In the Spring 2016 semester, this course will meet on the following seven Wednesdays: 1/27, 2/10, 2/24, 3/16, 3/30, 4/13, and 4/27.
ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety.
A student will be permitted to drop a course that meets for the first time after the add/drop period, without a transcript notation, if a student submits a written request to the Office of the Registrar prior to the start of the second class meeting. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1312 v00 Writing for Practice: Antitrust Economics and Law

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

The ability to write effective professional documents is one of a lawyer’s most important skills. This one-credit, writing-intensive seminar is designed to help students develop this skill while focusing on a particular substantive area of law. The seminar will build upon the principles learned in the first-year Legal Research and Writing course by providing instruction in drafting legal documents typical to antitrust law. In addition to the practical legal writing skills, students will also learn more about antitrust practice and litigation strategy.

The seminar will draw on substantive antitrust principles covered in Professor Salop’s Antitrust Economics and Law course. Discussion topics and writing assignments will focus on the application of those principles in different contexts, including client counseling, dealing with government enforcers, and litigating antitrust cases.

Written work product will be a particular focus of the seminar, and students should expect to draft a number of documents common to antitrust practice, such as e-mail correspondence, client memoranda, analyses of litigation issues, and motion papers. At least one document will require both an initial and final draft. The professor will provide individualized comments and grades on each major writing assignment, and many writing assignments will be discussed in class. Class participation will count toward the final grade.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis; concurrent enrollment in Antitrust Economics and Law in Fall 2017.

Note: Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students should email a short statement of their interest in the seminar to Professor Holt at benjamin.holt@hoganlovells.com by 5:00 p.m. on June 6, 2017. After the June 6 application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis.

Limit: 10 students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety.

Note: A student will be permitted to drop a course that meets for the first time after the add/drop period, without a transcript notation, if a student submits a written request to the Office of the Registrar prior to the start of the second class meeting. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1350 v01 Writing for Practice: Corporations

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

The ability to draft clearly and concisely is a fundamental skill for lawyers in every area of legal practice. This two-credit seminar offers students the opportunity to develop their drafting skills in the context of a hypothetical simple corporate transaction: the acquisition of a small business. Students will review, draft and revise documents typical to this type of transaction. Since it is important to understand the purpose of the various provisions of an agreement to be able to draft clearly and in the best interests of a client, a portion of the classes will be devoted to understanding the content of the documents from the substantive perspective.

Each student will prepare several written assignments over the course of the semester, each of which will require the student to edit a document provided by the instructor to use as a model:

  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Letter of Intent
  • Escrow Agreement
  • Consulting Agreement
  • Acquisition Agreement

Additional pertinent agreements may be reviewed as part of class, as time permits, but will not be part of the homework.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Corporations.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. Students who experience a personal or family emergency must contact the professor prior to the start of the class session to discuss the possibility of a waiver of the mandatory attendance policy. Students who miss a class session and have not received a prior waiver may be withdrawn from the seminar involuntarily or may have their grade lowered accordingly.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students should email a short statement of their interest in the seminar to Professor Gayer at judy_gayer@freddiemac.com by 5:00 p.m. on June 6, 2017. After the application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis.

Limit: 12 students. This course is open to J.D. students only.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 1321 v00 Writing for Practice: Deals

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

The ability to write effective professional documents is one of a lawyer’s most important skills. This one-credit seminar is designed to help students develop this skill. The seminar will build upon the principles learned in the first-year Legal Research and Writing course by providing instruction in drafting legal documents typical to the particular area of law that is examined in the larger, substantive course associated with the seminar. This writing intensive seminar has been developed by an adjunct professor working in collaboration with the full-time faculty member teaching the larger course. Students should expect to compose several documents common in the given practice area. For transactional practice, these may include client letters or other communications, certificates, contracts, and investor communications. At least one document will require both an initial and final draft. The professor will provide individualized feedback on each writing assignment. In addition to the practical legal writing skills taught, students will also learn more generally about transactional practice strategy and the demands and concerns of professional practice.

This seminar, taught by a former law fellow and practicing attorney, will be writing intensive with a focus on the agreements and other documents at the center of a deal-focused transactional practice. The seminar will give students opportunities to draft client communications, deconstruct and reassemble various types of agreements and consider them in the context of a complex transaction. The seminar will examine both drafting and reviewing techniques. While the context of the seminar substantively overlaps with Prof. Teitelbaum’s course Deals: The Economics of Structuring Transactions, the seminar’s focus will be on providing students with professional writing skills that they will employ in future practice.

Written work will consist of several short writing assignments to be completed between class sessions and one longer assignment that requires both a first and final draft. Written assignments will also be utilized during class sessions for peer review and commenting purposes. Students will be evaluated based on the quality of their written work (50 points collectively for the short assignments, 60 points for the longer assignment), participation (20 points) and attendance (20 points). Attendance at all sessions is mandatory.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Deals: The Economics of Structuring Transactions.

Note: Limit: 10 students. This course is open to J.D. students only.

In the Spring 2017 semester, this class will meet on the following seven Mondays: 1/23, 2/6, 2/13, 2/27, 3/20, 4/3, and 4/17.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students should email a short statement of their interest in the seminar to Professor Overall at joverall@mayerbrown.com by 5:00 pm on August 1, 2016. After the August 1 application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis.

LAW 1370 v00 Writing for Practice: Federal Courts and the Federal System

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

The ability to write effectively is one of a lawyer’s most important skills. This one-credit seminar is designed to help students develop this skill. The seminar will build upon the principles learned in the first-year Legal Research and Writing course by providing instruction in drafting legal documents typical to the particular area of law that is examined in the larger, substantive course associated with the seminar. This writing intensive seminar has been developed by two adjunct professors working in collaboration with the full-time faculty member teaching the larger course. In addition to the practical legal writing skills taught, students will also learn more generally about litigation strategy and the demands and concerns of professional practice.

The Federal Courts and the Federal System writing seminar will provide students with the opportunity to hone their legal writing while working through current, real world examples of the issues addressed in the Federal Courts and the Federal System course. Discussion will focus on using substantive Federal Courts knowledge as a practitioner, including framing complex issues for different audiences, working with “bad” facts, and the art of revision.

Written work product is the focus of the seminar. Students will write and revise objective memoranda and litigation documents. The professors will provide individualized comments on each major writing assignment, and many writing assignments will be discussed in class. Class participation will count toward the final grade.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis; concurrent or prior enrollment in Federal Courts and the Federal System. Students may contact the professors to discuss how they may meet the prerequisite with other prior or concurrent course work or experience.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students should email a short statement of their interest in the seminar to Professor McSorley (tmm49@georgetown.edu) and Professor Bonner (eab73@georgetown.edu) by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. After the June 6 application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety.

Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1311 v00 Writing for Practice: Federal White Collar Crime

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

The ability to write effective professional documents is one of a lawyer’s most important skills. This one-credit seminar is designed to help students develop this skill. The seminar will build upon the principles learned in the first-year Legal Research and Writing course by providing instruction in drafting legal documents typical to the particular area of law that is examined in the larger, substantive course associated with the seminar. This writing intensive seminar has been developed by an adjunct professor working in collaboration with the full-time faculty member teaching the larger course. Students should expect to write several documents common in the given practice area, such as client letters, legal research memoranda, motions, or responses. At least one document will require both an initial and final draft. The professor will provide individualized feedback on each writing assignment. In addition to the practical legal writing skills taught, students will also learn more generally about litigation strategy and the demands and concerns of professional practice.

This seminar, taught by a federal prosecutor and former law fellow, will expose students to some of the central legal documents and processes that govern the federal white collar criminal case, including investigative techniques, indictments, plea negotiations and agreements, pre-trial motions, and sentencing. The seminar will give students opportunities to develop investigative and charging decisions, formulate defense strategies, and grapple with cutting edge legal issues, with an emphasis on written work product. Occasional guest speakers will also provide students with special insight into federal white collar criminal practice.

Written work will consist of several short writing assignments to be completed between class sessions, as well as one longer assignment that students will draft over the course of the semester. Students will be evaluated based on the quality of their written work—check, check-plus, and check-minus for short assignments; letter grades for the long assignment—and class participation. Attendance is mandatory (and will be rewarded with bagels and cream cheese).

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis; prior or concurrent enrollment in Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

Recommended: Prior enrollment in Federal White Collar Crime.

Note: Note: This course requires Professor Permission to enroll. Students should email a short statement of their interest in the seminar to Professor Cooper at Aaron.Cooper@usdoj.gov by 5:00 p.m. on August 1, 2016. After the August 1 application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis.

Limit: 10 students. This course is open to J.D. students only.

In the Fall 2016 semester, this class will meet on the following seven Wednesdays: 8/31, 9/14, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26, 11/9, and 11/30.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety.

Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

Full-time Faculty

Sonya Bonneau
Erin Carroll
Michael J. Cedrone
Frances C. DeLaurentis
Diana Donahoe
Vicki W. Girard
Craig Hoffman
Tiffany Jeffers
Sherri Keene
Jonah Perlin
Julie Ross
Jeffrey Shulman
Rima Sirota
Kristen Tiscione
Jessica Wherry