Good legal writing and drafting is precise, efficient, memorable, and when appropriate to the situation, persuasive. The faculty will review written assignments based upon these principles.
The faculty will grade your assignments using these guidelines:
- Did the student follow the instructions?
- Are the contents legally correct and accurate?
- Does the product achieve its purpose?
- If appropriate, does the document favor the client?
- Is the tone appropriate to the audience?
- Is this document in final form? That is, could it be filed with the court or presented to the client as written?
- Does the document reflect clear thinking?
- Is the document internally consistent?
- Are headings descriptive and consistent?
- Does each paragraph or section focus on one central topic?
- Are the paragraphs or sections internally cohesive and in logical sequence?
- Is each sentence clear and concise?
- Do words and legal terms make sense?
- Does the active voice predominate?
- Are rules of grammar/punctuation observed?
Although this course is not graded, the faculty will rate each assignment using this scale:
1 = Exceptional - Document stands out from others by its quality.
2 = Good - Document successfully meets the goal of the exercise.
3 = Needs Improvement - Document shows a student’s attempt to complete the exercise but its quality falls substantially short.
4 = Unacceptable - Document reflects a basic failure on the student’s part to competently complete the assignment. This rating will require the student to repeat the assignment.
Students may consult with each other about any work–written or oral–in this course. However, you may not copy each other’s work or turn in the same work product as another student. The final work product must be your own. Please Note: Turning in any assignment or work product that is the work of another student, including a student from a prior semester, as your own work product is academic cheating. Academic dishonesty in any form will be subject to the disciplinary rules of the law school and the university. In certain instances, acts of dishonesty or other misconduct by a candidate for admission to the bar must be reported to the Board of Bar Examiners and to the Office of Lawyer Regulation. See SCR 20:8.1(b) and 8.3(a).