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.  Professor Andrew Turner taught transactional drafting to approximately 65 undergraduate Legal Studies majors in January and February. Students used real-world examples to learn basic contract drafting. They then learned to negotiate and draft a force majeure clause and represented fictional countries in drafting a trade deal.  Professor Turner's article, "Helping Students Grow Professionally and Overcome Fear: The Benefits of Teaching Unqualified Brief Answers" was published in the Fall/Winter 2016 issue of Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research & Writing.

2.  In fall 2016, Professor Margaret Baumgartner taught 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.

3.  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. 


Resources & Links

General Writing & Citation Resources

Writing Competitions

Log in to edit