Law 406 - Legal Research, Writing and Analysis for LLMs

Cynthia A. Merrill

Cynthia A. Merrill

Lecturer in Law
Coordinator of the LL.M. Legal Research and Writing Program
B.A. Colorado College
M.A. University of Washington
Ph.D. University of Washington
J.D. Yale Law School
Course Description:

This course introduces students to methods of legal analysis, writing, and research crucial to a practice involving U.S. law.  Students will learn how to research and analyze legal problems, drawing on case law, statutes, regulations, and secondary legal sources.  They will draft several memoranda explaining how the law applies to a particular legal problem, with attention both to U.S. legal conventions and the need to situate U.S. law in a broader context for some audiences.  During an on-campus session, conducted in small groups, students will use materials housed in the UCLA Law Library to place their research in U.S. law in an international context.   Students will receive individualized feedback on writing assignments throughout the semester.  The course is graded on a pass/no pass basis.  It satisfies the Revised New York Court of Appeals Rule 520.6 (as amended January 12, 2012), enabling LL.M. students to take the New York Bar Exam. 

Course Learning Outcomes:

By the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize and articulate legal doctrines and rules found in U.S. common law decisions.
  • Recognize and employ methods of statutory and constitutional interpretation prevalent in U.S. law.
  • Analyze particular client problems by identifying the relevant legal issues, applying  legal rules, and analogizing and distinguishing precedents.
  • Explain U.S. in the context of other legal systems.
  • Plan an effective research strategy.
  • Locate and employ secondary sources, cases, statutes, and other authorities.
  • Write and revise legal memoranda for use in case analysis, strategic planning, and client counseling.
Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Cynthia Merrill 21S 406 LEC 1 W 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2.0 No No
  Course limited to foreign LLM students. Enrollment processed through the Graduate Studies Office.
Cynthia Merrill 21S 406 LEC 2 F 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2.0 No No
  Course limited to foreign LLM students. Enrollment processed through the Graduate Studies Office.
Cynthia Merrill 21S 406 LEC 3 T 8:25 AM - 10:25 AM 2.0 No No
  Course limited to foreign LLM students. Enrollment processed through the Graduate Studies Office.