Law 548 - Legal Analysis
J.D. Harvard, 1974
This Workshop aims to deepen and sharpen students’ capacity to produce high-quality legal analysis. To do so, the Workshop will require students on a daily basis to train in order to improve the capacity to produce legal analysis valued by legal education and the legal profession. The training will revolve principally around generating answers to essay exam questions that are the centerpiece of the bar exam and of law school exams, and to performance tests that are another centerpiece of the bar exam and parallel demands of memoranda writing in practice. Training will include contrasting the legal analysis rewarded on bar and law school essay exams with the legal analysis required for appellate briefs and trial court memoranda of points and authorities, and the legal analysis found in judicial bench memoranda and published opinions.
In the course of this intensive training, this Workshop will explore – and make explicit what we understand as – legal analysis. What do we regard ourselves as recognizing when we label something legal analysis? What do we regard ourselves as doing when we generate legal analysis? How do we distinguish between excellent, average, and poor legal analysis? Do we judge legal analysis in the same way across a range of work (appellate brief; scholarly article; opinion letter; judicial opinion; the answer to a law school or a bar examination question)? Readings will include materials I have developed and used in training students, law graduates, and experienced lawyers. They will include, too, theoretical accounts of legal analysis; a range of how-to manuals; samples of first-rate exam answers, briefs and court memoranda of points and authorities, bench memos and judicial opinions – and more. At various points in the semester, practitioners of various forms of legal analysis may well join us to share their insights.
This Workshop is a graded, 3-unit course, with attendance, active participation, daily training exercises, weekly and bi-weekly written reactions to readings, and a final individual paper all required. There are no prerequisites. The final paper can, with Professor López’ approval, satisfy the Student Analytic Writing Requirement, or the Professional Responsibility Writing Requirement, or the Critical Race Studies Writing Requirement. During the first four weeks of the semester, the Workshop meets twice—at the regularly scheduled time and at another time designated in advance. For the balance of the semester, the Workshop will meet every other week at the regularly scheduled time. Enrollment is limited to 12 students and admission is by consent of instructor. Please submit your application in timely fashion.
Spring 2017 - Law 548. Advanced Legal Analysis Seminar (3 Units)
A 3-unit Law 548 Advanced Legal Analysis Seminar is offered exclusively for students who have already taken the 548 Legal Analysis Workshop.
This seminar offers advanced training in legal analysis. Enrolled students will be expected variously to help lead field work projects, to read materials included in an advanced syllabus and to write weekly reflection pieces, and to meet as needed with the entire Legal Analysis Workshop, with Professor López, and with field work teams. Enrolled students must submit a final paper. The final paper can, with Professor López’ approval, satisfy the Student Analytic Writing Requirement or the Critical Race Studies Writing Requirement. Admission is by consent of instructor. Please submit your application in timely fashion.