Mentoring and Legal Writing: How 1L Legal Writing Courses Prepare Students for Mentoring Relationships in the Legal Profession

28 Second Draft 23 (2015) 

Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 289

6 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2015 Last revised: 27 Jan 2023

See all articles by Katrina Lee

Katrina Lee

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Date Written: March 2, 2015

Abstract

This article explores the intersection of legal writing pedagogy and the preparation of law students for mentoring relationships. It identifies and explains the critical role of the first-year legal writing course in preparing law students for mentoring relationships in the legal profession. Mentoring can contribute significantly to success in law practice. In recognition of the importance of mentoring, many law school and bar association programs routinely match law students with mentors. However, the role of the first-year legal writing course in helping law students prepare for relationships with lawyer mentors has gone virtually unacknowledged — even by legal writing professors. As this article will explain, legal writing professors often engage in three teaching methods that help students develop skills and qualities suited to maximizing the benefits of mentorship in law practice: modeling, role playing, and reflecting. This article describes these methods and how they help students prepare for mentoring relationships. It also proposes variations of these teaching methods that can enhance their impact. This article is forthcoming in the Winter/Spring 2015 issue of the Legal Writing Institute's The Second Draft, a peer-reviewed publication. That issue’s theme is “Why legal writing is the most important first year course.”​

Keywords: mentoring, legal writing, legal profession, mentoring and legal writing, mentors, mentor, legal writing pedagogy, role plays, modeling, modeling mentoring, aspirational role play, journaling, reflection

Suggested Citation

Lee, Katrina, Mentoring and Legal Writing: How 1L Legal Writing Courses Prepare Students for Mentoring Relationships in the Legal Profession (March 2, 2015). 28 Second Draft 23 (2015) , Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 289, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2572345 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2572345

Katrina Lee (Contact Author)

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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