Requiring Three Years of Real-World Legal Writing Instruction: Law Students Need It; Prospective Employers Want It; The Future of the Legal Profession Demands It
27 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2014 Last revised: 5 Aug 2014
Date Written: January 1, 2014
Part I of this three-part series set forth a blueprint for change. In this essay, we get more specific and propose a three-year legal writing curriculum that is designed to mirror the actual practice of law, from start to finish, and provide alternative paths for students who prefer to focus on transactional drafting or alternative dispute resolution. In so doing, we include: (1) required courses for each of the six semesters of law school; (2) a discussion of the practical skills that students will acquire in each course; (3) electives that students may take to complement their required courses; and (4) suggestions for textbooks and other materials. In our view, law students should not just learn to "think like lawyers," but also to "do what lawyers do." They should graduate with knowledge of how law is practiced, and not merely how it is acquired. This essay continues that quest.
Keywords: Legal writing, legal research, legal education, appellate advocacy, legal education reform
JEL Classification: K40, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation