Deal Me In: Leveraging Pedagogy to Integrate Transactional Skills into the First Year Legal Research and Writing Curriculum
21 U.C. Davis Bus. L.J. 125 (2020).
39 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2020 Last revised: 6 May 2022
Date Written: 2020
When nearly fifty percent of attorneys practice transactional law, why do only seven percent of first year legal research and writing courses teach transactional skills? Despite a decade of emphasis by legal scholars on the need to teach transactional skills, most first year legal research and writing courses still focus disproportionately on litigation-based instruction. When more incoming law students want to practice transactional law than litigation, half go on to hold transactional-based jobs, transactional drafting courses are the most popular legal writing electives, and employers say graduates are unprepared for transactional practice, something needs to change.
A path forward for transactional skill instruction begins here. This Article describes the need to teach transactional skills, analyzes data behind how law schools are falling short, explores pedagogical techniques for transactional instruction, and provides examples of transactional assignments that can be implemented (in face-to-face and online formats) without rewriting the course syllabus.
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