Courses

Required Courses

Introduction to Legal Research
This course meets in the early weeks of both the fall and spring semesters. Classes are taught by the professional librarians and cover print and electronic formats used for researching state and federal judicial, administrative, statutory, and secondary sources. The course requires completion of weekly assignments and midterm and final examinations.


Legal Writing I

Legal Writing I covers research strategy, forms of legal reasoning, professionalism, and predictive legal writing. The course teaches writing as a constructive process and requires completion of at least two major writing assignments and a final examination consistent with the goals of the course.

Legal Writing II
Legal Writing II continues coverage of research strategy, forms of legal reasoning, and professionalism, but now in the context of a new form of discourse--persuasion. Course requirements include completion of at least two major persuasive writing assignments.

Advanced Writing Requirement
All students must complete an individually authored work of rigorous intellectual effort under the active and regular supervision of a full-time faculty member.  A list of courses that satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement is available on the Registrar's website.


Research & Writing for a Typical Student

 

FALL

SPRING

First Year

Predictive Reasoning & Writing

Introduction to Legal Research Part I(1 credit awarded in Spring) (required). This course meets in the early weeks of both the fall and spring semesters. Classes are taught by the professional librarians and cover print and electronic formats used for researching state and federal judicial, administrative, statutory, and secondary sources. The course requires completion of weekly assignments and midterm and final examinations.

Predictive Reasoning & Writing

Introduction to Legal Research Part 2. See Fall Semester description.

Legal Writing I (3 credits) (required). 

Legal Writing I covers research strategy, forms of legal reasoning, professionalism, and predictive legal writing. The course teaches writing as a constructive process and requires completion of at least two major writing assignments and a final examination consistent with the goals of the course.

Second Year

Persuasive Writing 

Legal Writing II (3 credits) (required). 

Legal Writing II continues coverage of research strategy, forms of legal reasoning, and professionalism, but now in the context of a new form of discourse--persuasion. Course requirements include completion of at least two major persuasive writing assignments.

 

             

Advanced Legal Research (2 credits) (heavily subscribed elective).

 

The purpose of the course is to develop research skills in both print and electronic legal research resources. Through exercises and projects, which may include class presentations, students have the opportunity to select, use, and evaluate a wide range of legal and law-related resources. The course covers state and federal judicial, legislative and administrative materials as well as the use of finding tools, legal commentary, forms and trial preparation resources. Research strategies and efficient and cost-effective use of online legal research sources, including free and low-cost resources as well as Lexis, Westlaw and other subscription online services, are emphasized. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered during Fall and Spring Semesters. Open to 3Ls only during Fall Semester; open to 2Ls only during Spring Semester.

Third Year

 

Advanced Writing Requirement (2 credits) (required, but may be satisfied in the third, fourth, fifth or sixth semester).

 

Advanced Litigation and Transactional Drafting Courses (2-3 credits) (heavily subscribed electives).

 


Research & Writing for a Certificate Student

 

FALL

SPRING

First Year

Predictive Reasoning & Writing

Introduction to Legal Research Part I 
(1 credit awarded in Spring) (required).
This course meets in the early weeks of both the fall and spring semesters. Classes are taught by the professional librarians and cover print and electronic formats used for researching state and federal judicial, administrative, statutory, and secondary sources. The course requires completion of weekly assignments and midterm and final examinations.

Predictive Reasoning & Writing

Introduction to Legal Research Part 2.
See Fall Semester description.

Legal Writing I (3 credits) (required).
Legal Writing I covers research strategy, forms of legal reasoning, professionalism, and predictive legal writing. The course teaches writing as a constructive process and requires completion of at least two major writing assignments and a final examination consistent with the goals of the course.

Second Year

Persuasive Writing 

Legal Writing II (3 credits) (required). 

Legal Writing II continues coverage of research strategy, forms of legal reasoning, and professionalism, but now in the context of a new form of discourse--persuasion. Course requirements include completion of at least two major persuasive writing assignments.

Advanced Legal Research (2 credits) (required). The purpose of the course is to develop research skills in both print and electronic legal research resources. The course covers state and federal judicial, legislative, and administrative materials as well as the use of finding tools, legal commentary, forms, and trial preparation resources. Effective use of computer-assisted legal research is emphasized.

Advanced Writing Group (1 credit) (required). Sections of this course are limited to six students and meet one hour each week. Students learn to use the reader response techniques taught first by Peter Elbow. Most weeks, the group responds to a piece of writing from a group member. In addition, the group reads examples of good writing; reads and edits examples of weak writing; works on selected topics of grammar and style; and studies and practices advanced writing techniques.

Third Year

 

Seminar Requirement (2 credits) (may be satisfied by taking any seminar in the third, fourth, fifth OR sixth semester). 

Advanced Writing Group (1 credit) (required). See Spring Second Year description.


Competency Exam (required to pass before certificate is awarded).

 

Advanced Litigation and Transactional Drafting Courses (2-3 credits) (required)

(NOTE: Although this requirement will frequently be satisfied in the spring semester of the third year, students may satisfy the requirement by taking an Advanced Drafting Course in an earlier semester.)

Preparation of a Writing Portfolio