Legal Practice Courses


First-Year Courses
Legal Research & Writing I  Law 130

In this course, students will develop the critical skills of legal analysis, writing, and research. Under the instruction of research librarians, students will learn to conduct thorough research using a number of different legal sources. Students will work with full-time writing professors to learn how to analyze legal rules and precedent to assess the legal position of a client or other party. With close guidance and feedback from the writing professors, students will learn how to successfully communicate legal analyses in objective legal memoranda, using clear and concise language and employing the fundamental principles of effective legal writing.

Lawyering Skills I                  Law 131

In this course, students will learn various skills essential to the successful practice of law. With instruction and feedback from practicing attorneys, students will learn by preparing for, and executing, several simulations designed to ready students for what they will encounter in the day-to-day life as an attorney. These simulations include presenting an oral report to a supervising attorney, interviewing a client, and counseling a client. Prior to each simulation, students will read about and discuss the underlying doctrine, theory, and goals that are fundamental to understanding the lawyer’s role. Through integrating coursework and simulations, students will also receive guidance on navigating daily practice and the importance of professional ethics.

Legal Research & Writing II Law 132

In this course, students will continue to develop the critical skills of legal analysis, writing, and research. Under the instruction of research librarians, students will expand their knowledge of legal sources, databases, and research methods. Building on the analytical and writing skills developed in Legal Research & Writing I, students will apply their abilities in a persuasive context. With close guidance and feedback from the writing professors, students will focus on how language can be crafted to persuade instead of just inform and will learn how to draft effective legal arguments in pretrial memoranda, settlement letters, and other documents..

Lawyering Skills II                 Law 133

In the second semester of Lawyering Skills, students will reinforce and build upon the skills learned in Lawyering Skills I, and apply their practical communication abilities to a new range of settings. With the instruction and feedback from practicing attorneys, students will advance their advocacy skills through simulating a pretrial oral argument and a negotiation with an opposing counsel. As in Lawyering Skills I, prior to each simulation, students will read about and discuss the underlying doctrine, theory, and goals that are fundamental to understanding the lawyer’s role. Through the continued integration of coursework and simulations, students will become increasingly able to navigate daily practice and uphold professional ethics.


Second-Year Courses
Advanced Writing and Practice — Appellate Advocacy Law 140A

The Appellate Advocacy course will provide in-depth instruction and practical training in appellate advocacy, emphasizing both written and oral skills. Students will learn how to prepare for an appeal, file an appeal, write effective appellate briefs, and make effective appellate oral arguments. The skills involved include the ability to analyze, write, make strategic decisions, and speak effectively. Students will complete several writing assignments culminating in one final written brief. At the end of the semester, students will present oral arguments based on their final written brief. NOTE: Students who take Law 730 Advanced Brief Writing may NOT take this course.

Advanced Writing and Practice  Pretrial Civil Practice Law 140B

The Pretrial Civil course is designed to introduce students to persuasive pretrial advocacy in a civil case. The course will prepare students for practice in civil litigation by focusing on the application and expansion of their legal writing skills in a civil context. Students will learn civil litigation skills through written assignments and class discussions that will expose them to some of the issues and challenges civil practitioners must address when drafting documents, motions, and briefs in the course of client representation.

Advanced Writing and Practice  Pretrial Criminal Practice Law 140C

The Pretrial Criminal course is designed to introduce students to persuasive pretrial advocacy in a criminal case. Unlike what you might see on television, criminal cases are not usually won in 22 minutes in the courtroom. Rather, the bulk of criminal litigation is handled pretrial through pleadings, discovery, witness interviews, and pretrial motions. The course will prepare students for practice in criminal law by focusing on the application and expansion of their legal writing skills in a criminal law context. Through written assignments and class discussions, students will engage in various pretrial activities found in criminal practice, which may include moving for discovery and preparing other motions and briefs for trial.

Advanced Writing and Practice  Transactional Practice Law 140D

The Transactional Practice course is designed to introduce students to several elements of transactional practice in a deal-based context. Students will learn transactional practice skills through a variety of drafting exercises and assignments designed to familiarize students with the most common issues found in drafting transactional documents. Students will encounter and draft different types of agreements used in transactional practice and will work on understanding, analyzing, and drafting critical sections of contracts. The course will stress the importance of using clear and concise writing skills to articulate agreements accurately and precisely.