Legal Writing Certificate

About the Advanced Certificate Program

Mercer developed the nation’s first Certificate Program in Advanced Legal Writing, Research, and Drafting to supplement its core curriculum and to better prepare students for their professional choices. Students in the certificate program complete an advanced research course, an advanced drafting course, a seminar, and two semesters in an Advanced Writing Group as well as passing a grammar and style competency exam and preparing a comprehensive writing portfolio.

Learning Outcomes
Certificate in Advanced Legal Writing, Research, & Drafting

  1. Students completing the advanced legal writing, research, and drafting program will demonstrate advanced skills as legal writers.
  2. Students completing the program will demonstrate mastery of legal research skills.
  3. Students completing the program will demonstrate advanced editing and critiquing skills


Advanced Writing Groups
Groups of no more than six students meet with a professor once a week to provide and receive feedback on their writing projects. In addition to reading and commenting on each others’ work, the group reads examples of good writing, reads and edits examples of weak writing, works on selected topics of grammar and style, and practices advanced writing techniques.

Grammar and Style Competency Exam
Before graduation, certificate students must take and pass a grammar and style competency exam.

Drafting Projects
Certificate Students complete drafting assignments during or after they learn the necessary law. Drafting projects include documents such as wills, contracts, retainer letters, leases, settlement agreements, deposition questions, interrogatories, and various other transactional and litigation documents.

Writing Portfolio
In their final semester, students compile portfolios of the writing projects they have undertaken both in law school and in work settings during law school. The portfolios enable both students and their potential employers to assess the breadth and depth of the students’ writing experience and written work.

Selection of Students
All Mercer students are eligible to apply for admission to the certificate program in their third semester. Admission decisions are based on an assessment of the students’ commitment to and ability to benefit from the certificate program.  No student will be enrolled in the program unless the student has received a passing grade in Legal Writing I and Legal Writing II.