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.  Joseph S. Diedrich has won the 2015 Best Brief Competition sponsored by the Legal Research and Writing Program.  The Best Brief Competition is an annual event to recognize 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 Legal Research and Writing II students.  Next, Wisconsin attorneys evaluate the semi-finalists' briefs to determine who will become finalists.  A panel of Law School faculty then independently evaluates the finalists' briefs to determine the winner.  Other finalists in the 2015 Best Brief Competition were Shannon Lins and Jessica Schultz.

2.   Professor Trina Tinglum will speak to the Madison Area Paralegal Association in October on ways to improve professionalism and legal writing skills. She will discuss current trends and rules in legal writing.  

3.   Professor Kim Peterson participated on September 28, 2015, in UW Madison's Do-it Academy, which hosted a Research-to-Classroom Workshop about web-based hypermedia. Professor Peterson spoke about: "Using the Critical Reader Tool to Enhance Student Learning." The tool can help students read complex material in more depth, as well as improve their writing.

4.   Professor Kim Peterson presented a webinar on September 21, 2015, entitled: Drafting a Well-Organized and Persuasive Legal Document.  The presentation focused on how to better organize a legal analysis, improve sentence structure, and make legal writing more persuasive and readable.

Resources & Links

General Writing & Citation Resources

Writing Competitions

Pre-Trial Advocacy Motion Brief Template

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