Legal Writing in the First Semester
In their first semester, students take the three-credit Legal Research & Writing I course, which focuses on predictive legal writing and introduces them to legal research sources and strategy.
Students learn the conventions of effective legal writing, including how to structure legal documents, how to explain and support a legal analysis, and how to edit their writing for clarity and conciseness. They review the workings of the American legal system, binding and persuasive sources of law, the use and weight of authority, and the principles of stare decisis, as these concepts affect legal problem solving.
Additionally, students learn cost-effective legal research strategies, including the appropriate use of both electronic and paper-based sources of legal information.
Throughout the course, students simulate many of the tasks that lawyers perform, and they learn how to meet the professional expectations of clients, judges, employers, and colleagues in various contexts.