Course Page for Spring 2017 - Turner, Andrew
Learn the art and craft of transactional drafting in this highly interactive, practice-focused course. Learn how to address and resolve challenges in business transactions by drafting precise and clear contractual provisions. Most attorneys work with contracts at some point in their careers, and understanding how contracts are negotiated and drafted is critical for both transactional attorneys and commercial litigators. In this course, students will learn to recognize and understand common contractual provisions, structure an effective and elegant agreement, detect drafting landmines, appreciate the functions and nuances of boilerplate language, and negotiate and draft a variety of contract provisions. Grades will be based on assignments, in-class work, and class participation. (Enrollment is limited.)
Learning Outcomes - At the end of this course, you should be able to:
1. Evaluate potential risks in a deal and draft contract provisions that account for those risks.
2. Use appropriate contract language to accurately express a negotiated position between two parties.
3. Edit contract language to proactively resolve potential problems.
4. Structure a contract using accepted principles of good contract design.
5. Critically evaluate contract language proposed by another lawyer in light of your client’s goals.
Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor
Course Page for Spring 2017 - Weigold, Ursula
Develop and refine your legal writing skills and style in a variety of contexts and documents. Learn how to capture the reader’s attention, organize logically, make tough choices about substance, and edit for maximum impact. Polish your persuasive writing abilities as well. Classes will be hands-on and interactive. Students will evaluate examples of good and bad writing, give and get peer critique, and work in small groups on common writing issues. Students will receive feedback and suggestions for improvement throughout the course. The focus will be on practical methods for achieving clarity, conciseness, precision, and grace. (Enrollment is limited.)
Learning Outcomes - At the end of this course, you will understand how to:
1. Write effectively for different audiences and purposes;
2. Focus the reader’s attention on your most important information;
3. Arrange content logically within a document;
4. Write clearly and concisely at the sentence level;
5. Revise and edit to improve accuracy, word choice, and flow; and
6. Present information persuasively, within the ethical bounds of professional practice.
Course Page for Spring 2018 - Strange, John
Advanced Legal Writing: Legislative Drafting
This course will give students an overview of the legislative process and teach common techniques for drafting legislation, with specific emphasis on working with local government. Cast in the role of a lawyer for either local government or the private sector, students will draft a simple local ordinance, write a short advisory memo to non-lawyers about the law, write a short persuasive brief, observe a local government commission or agency hearing, and talk about achieving legislative goals with local elected officials. Students will explore how to represent both public and private entities in matters involving the local legislative process. Finally, students will also learn how writing techniques from this class translate to other law practice areas, including non-profit and in-house positions.
Professor John Strange is an attorney for the City of Madison. He has long experience in public service and has previously taught 1L legal writing courses at the Law School.
Course Page for Spring 2018 - Weigold, Ursula
Advanced Legal Writing: Writing for Law Practice.
Learn the nuts and bolts of writing for law practice in this experiential learning course. Students will practice writing the types of documents that they will encounter in representing clients, e.g., engagement letters, demand letters, client e-mails, pleadings, communications with opposing counsel, affidavits, and trial-level briefs. Students will critique good and bad examples of legal writing, give and receive peer feedback, and work on in-class writing projects. They will receive substantial feedback from the professor. They will learn how to adapt the tone, format, and substance of their writing to a variety of practice settings and audiences.
At the end of this course, you will understand how to:
• adapt the tone, format, and substance of your writing for different purposes
• write clearly and concisely in a legal context
• write effective legal correspondence to legal and non-legal readers
• write typical trial-level documents, like pleadings, discovery requests, motions,