Law 540 - Advanced Legal Writing
M.A. University of Chicago, 2008
M.A. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 2010
J.D. University of Chicago Law School, 2014
Writing is a lawyer’s most important skill, and building that skill is a lifelong process. This course will teach you techniques used by the world’s best legal writers. You will learn to choose the right words, organize your thoughts, and convey your arguments as precisely and succinctly as possible. To that end, we will study modern style guides, improve flawed examples from court filings, and compose a variety of legal documents. The course will provide extensive feedback that will help you grow as a writer regardless of your current skills.
At the end of this course, you should be able to:
- Write and edit in a productive, structured way.
- Recognize and eliminate needless words, bloated phrases, and jargon.
- Design typographically sound documents.
- Use impeccable grammar, punctuation, and citation formatting.
- Write powerful, concise, active sentences.
- Organize your documents to make them as clear and readable as possible.
- Write fact sections in which you tell a compelling story.
- Research efficiently.
- Construct sound legal arguments.
- Use precedent effectively.
- Draft understandable contracts.
- Draft persuasive briefs, motions, and pleadings.
|Ryan McCarl||20F||540||SEM 1||R 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM||3.0||No||Yes|
|Ryan McCarl||20F||540||SEM 2||R 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM||3.0||No||Yes|
|Textbook for Fall 2020 SEM 1|
Armstrong and Terrell. Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer's Guide to Effective Writing and Editing 3rd ed.
ISBN: 9781402411281. Practising Law Institute. REQUIRED $59.06
Garner, Bryan A. Legal Writing in Plain English: a Text with Exercises 2nd ed.
ISBN: 9780226283937. University of Chicago Press. REQUIRED $18.96
Garner, Bryan A. The Elements of Legal Style 2nd ed.
ISBN: 9780195141627. Oxford University Press. REQUIRED $30.06
Garner, Bryan A. The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style 4th ed.
ISBN: 9781642421002. West Academic Publishing. REQUIRED $58.06
Guberman, Ross. Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation's Top Advocates 2nd ed.
ISBN: 9780199943852. Oxford University Press. REQUIRED $25.96
Stark, Steven D. Writing to Win: The Legal Writer 1st rev. ed.
ISBN: 9780307888716. Three Rivers Press. REQUIRED $15.06
Lester, Mark. McGraw-Hill Education Handbook of English Grammar & Usage 3rd ed.
ISBN: 9781260121674. McGraw-Hill Education. OPTIONAL $16.56