The Renaissance Road: Redesigning the Legal Writing Instructional Model
Johanna K. P. Dennis
Southern Illinois University School of Law
June 18, 2010
Southern University Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp.123-158, 2010
The status quo in the required legal writing curriculum of legal education is a two-semester program in the first year of law school. However, this program requires that students simultaneously rethink and develop their legal writing skills while being taught an entirely new language. This program expects mastery from all students without accounting for their necessary rebirths or providing multiple opportunities for depth on various assignments. By contrast, institutions can rethink how they educate future lawyers and transition to a three semester program, which allows more opportunity for growth and vertical advancement beyond the standard curriculum. Starting by an analysis of the two-semester model, the article discusses the pedagogical value in transitioning to a three-semester system. The article also compares three-semester programs at various institutions, draws conclusions regarding which elements of a three-semester program should be in an ideal program, and makes recommendations for how an institution can redesign its program's structure and content.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: legal education, legal writing, three semester, program designAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 26, 2010 ; Last revised: September 21, 2012
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