LAWS I: Legal Writing


This three-unit course is designed to prepare students for the real-world demands placed upon attorneys by: (1) sensitizing students early on to ethical and professionalism issues; (2) promoting broad-based skills training, including analytical, research and writing skills; and (3) providing concentrated instruction in the basics of legal methods, legal reasoning, and legal process. The course teaches students how to conduct legal research, analyze statutes and court cases, and draft objective formal memoranda assessing the merits of a hypothetical case based on the research they have conducted. Class sessions focus on, for example, identification and articulation of legal issues, rule synthesis, use of precedent to make predictions about case outcomes, organization of a written analysis, paragraph unity and coherence, precise and concise writing style, consistency of tone, and awareness of audience. Students also receive focused instruction on professionalism and the legal profession, drawing on several empirical studies of lawyers' careers.