Approach

Mercer's Legal Writing Curriculum draws on best practices from learning theory and other disciplines. Mercer faculty members continue to explore and refine the most effective ways to teach legal writing and research. Here are some of the key characteristics of Mercer's approach to teaching:

  • We've identified the most important legal research, reasoning, and writing skills needed by lawyers so we can be sure the curriculum introduces them at the right time and then covers them thoroughly and effectively. As a result, the curriculum provides students with many opportunities to practice the skills of researching legal issues, formulating rules from authority, synthesizing rules from multiple authorities, selecting organizational frameworks, using appropriate forms of legal reasoning, and communicating clearly and effectively.
  • We teach the core legal writing courses in the second and third semesters. That way, students have a chance to adjust to law study before they tackle the important substantive material of the core writing courses.
  • We draw on different kinds of teaching and mentoring strengths at appropriate stages in the curriculum. Tenured and tenure-track professors with a long-time commitment to the field teach the core writing courses; student mentors are available in the introductory first semester; small writing groups using peer feedback and reader-response techniques are introduced in the second and third years; and practitioners teach some upper-level drafting courses.