Effective Methods for Teaching Legal Writing Online

22 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2008 Last revised: 28 Sep 2013

See all articles by David I. C. Thomson

David I. C. Thomson

University of Denver, Sturm College of Law

Date Written: July 13, 2008


Online learning, once thought of as impossible or ineffective, is becoming increasingly common. Corporations have widely adopted it, and the academy is starting to accept it as well. There are numerous college-level courses, and even a few law school classes, that are taught fully online. One law professor and former Dean has recently suggested that teaching more courses online might be one way to reign in the soaring costs of a legal education.

Given this trend towards broader acceptance of online learning in the academy, it seems only a matter of time before some legal writing teachers will be asked to take on the task of teaching the course in a fully online environment. Although today most legal writing teachers actually offer many online components to their "ground" class, many of them might recoil at the thought of teaching fully online, believing that the special demands of a successful legal writing course would break down in a "distance learning" environment.

But it can be done. This article describes how to adjust generally accepted LRW pedagogy and deliver it in an online environment. The article also describes and explains the myriad technologies that are currently available to deliver online content. It also includes results of some empirical research into the effectiveness of these methods in reaching the goals of the course.

Keywords: Legal Writing, Online, Pedagogy, Distance Learning, Distance Education

Suggested Citation

Thomson, David I. C., Effective Methods for Teaching Legal Writing Online (July 13, 2008). U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-17, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1159467 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1159467

David I. C. Thomson (Contact Author)

University of Denver, Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://tinyurl.com/DThomsonBio

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