Course 2015-2016 a.y.

50176 - LEGAL WRITING SEMINAR


CLMG
Department of Legal Studies

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 31

CLMG (3 credits - I sem. - OP)
Course Director:
MELISSA MIEDICO

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: MICHAEL MCILWRATH


Course Objectives
Whether they realize it or not, most lawyers are professional writers who should be able to communicate their ideas in writing clearly, concisely, and accurately. This course will provide hands-on, practical experience in researching and composing communications with judges, clients, opposing counsel, government officials, media, and others, as well as effectively negotiating the text of contracts and other legal documents.

Course Content Summary
Students will use the elements of good writing to present facts effectively, to argue from legal principles, and to draft contracts and other legal documents.

• Understanding the reader and how to establish objectives for every document;
• how to distinguish between material and immaterial facts;
• how to locate and properly cite authorities relevant to legal problems;
• how to communicate legal analysis logically, concisely, and persuasively;
• how a lawyer’s writing reflects upon the lawyer’s style, integrity, and credibility;
• how to negotiate the text of contracts, contract clauses, and other legal documents, including with difficult parties.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods
Student assessments will be based on writing assignments during the course and final written submission.

Textbooks
  • A.B. Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English, A Text with Exercises (Univ. Chicago Press 2013),second edition, available in both paper copy or e-book (Kindle).
  • The Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation, available in paper copy, e-book (Kindle), or mobile app, 19th edition.

Prerequisites
Proficiency in spoken English. The course does not assume any prior knowledge of law.
Last change 16/06/2015 10:03