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.  Professors Sarah Hadjimarkos, Kim Peterson, and Andrew Turner will teach in the Law School's Pre-Law Scholars Program in June 2016.  

2.   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 this spring. This year’s focus was on topics related to the 2016 elections.   

3.  Professor Kim Peterson, who also directs the Law School's Mock Trial Program, served as director of the regional TYLA mock trial competition in Madison from Feb. 19-21, 2016.  In addition to planning complex logistics and hosting the competition teams, Professor Peterson recruited a slate of outstanding competition judges. She also worked with the University's Department of Theatre, which provided student actors to portray witnesses during the competition. 

4.  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.

5.   Professor Trina Tinglum spoke to the Madison Area Paralegal Association in October 2015 on ways to improve professionalism and legal writing skills. She discussed current trends and rules in legal writing.  

6.   Professor Kim Peterson participated 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.

7.  Students should check out the Writing Competitions link for opportunities to win prize money!


Resources & Links

General Writing & Citation Resources

Writing Competitions



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