Legal Research and Writing in the Second Semester
In their second semester of law school, students take the three-credit Legal Research & Writing II course, which focuses on persuasive legal writing in a variety of contexts, as well as on oral presentation and advocacy skills.
Students first explore the ethics of advocacy: how to argue effectively on behalf of a client but still maintain integrity as an officer of the court. With this context, the course introduces students to the strategies of effective written and oral advocacy both at the trial and appellate level. Students write a persuasive trial-level motion brief and an appellate brief representing their client. They also may examine or prepare a number of shorter documents typical of law practice and discuss best practices for writing them. Finally, to balance the litigation focus of some legal-writing instruction, the course introduces students to basic principles of transactional drafting.
In connection with their writing projects, students refine their legal research skills in a variety of different subject areas and procedural contexts. The course covers select advanced legal research topics and reinforces foundational research skills in different media. The focus of research instruction during this semester is on helping students to become efficient and cost-effective in their work.
In all legal writing courses, students learn by doing. They receive written feedback and the opportunity to meet individually in conference with their legal research and writing professor during the semester.