The Legal Research & Writing Program

Our legal writing curriculum reflects the Law School's strong commitment to helping every student learn essential lawyering skills. The Legal Research and Writing Program offers courses in legal research, analysis, and writing for students at all levels.

Students gain intensive legal research and writing experience in their first year of law school at Wisconsin. They learn to research the law in both traditional and electronic formats and to prepare a variety of legal documents typical of law practice. Upper-level students have a variety of choices for advanced legal writing instruction in seminars, clinics, doctrinal courses, and specialized research and writing courses.  

Legal Research and Writing in the First Semester

Legal Research and Writing in the Second Semester


News & Announcements

1.  This fall, Professor Margaret Baumgartner is teaching the Legal Sources course for students enrolled in the Master of Laws-Legal Institutions degree program. These graduate student have law degrees from foreign universities. Also, one of Professor Baumgartner's spring 2016 first-year students won the Best Brief Competition. Professor Baumgartner's students have won the award seven times.

2. Professor Andrew Turner moderated a panel titled "Entertainment Law on Broadway" as part of the Entertainment Law Symposium on October 7, 2016.  Professor Turner was joined by a partner from a top New York entertainment law firm and by a vice president from Disney Theatrical Productions.

On October 10, 2016, Professor Turner was a guest speaker for UW-Madison's undergraduate pre-law organization.  His presentation introduced transactional law practice, an area of law often little understood by aspiring law students.    

3.  Winner of the 2016 Best Brief Competition

Laura E. Schroeder is the winner of the 2016 Best Brief Competition sponsored by the Legal Research and Writing Program.  Jonathon Davies is the runner-up in the competition.  Other finalists are Claire Dennis, Dustin Page, and Chelsea Wilfong.  Congratulations to these great legal writers!

The Best Brief Competition is an annual event that recognizes outstanding legal writing by first-year students.  The Legal Research and Writing faculty select the best appellate briefs from among those written by their spring semester students.  Next, Wisconsin attorneys evaluate the semi-finalists' briefs to determine who will become finalists.  A panel of Law School faculty then evaluates the finalists' briefs to decide the winner. 

4. In summer 2016, Professor Trina Tinglum taught a three-week course, "Introduction to American Law," at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand.  Professor Tinglum taught the course through the Law School's East Asian Legal Studies Center.

5.  Professors Sarah Hadjimarkos, Kim Peterson, Andrew Turner, and Ursula Weigold taught in the Law School's James E. Jones, Jr. Pre-Law Scholars Program during June 2016.  

6.   Professor Andrew Turner taught principles of transactional drafting to 60 junior and senior Legal Studies majors as part of the Law School's “Law in Action” course last spring. This year’s focus was on topics related to the 2016 elections.   



Resources & Links

General Writing & Citation Resources

Writing Competitions



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