Course Details

Advanced Legal Writing: Preparation for a District Court Clerkship

In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of common legal issues they will encounter as federal district court law clerks, and how to research and write about those issues. Students will practice the work of judicial clerks and become familiar with the complexities of judicial decision-making as they draft documents in real cases, including an order, an opinion, and jury instructions. Students will further develop their writing skills through various in-class writing and editing assignments and by reviewing and critiquing real-world examples from judges and legal scholars. This course will help students further develop the research, analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills that are crucial to becoming an effective and successful law clerk. Prerequisites: Any student who has secured a federal district court clerkship is eligible to register for this course. Students who have not secured a federal district court clerkship must obtain the instructor's permission before enrolling in the course. Evaluation Method: Students will be assessed based upon the drafting and editing of various judicial research and writing tasks throughout the semester, including an order, an opinion, and jury instructions, and several short writing assignments. There will be no final exam or paper. Class Materials (Required): The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (19th ed. 2010); Jennifer L. Sheppard, In Chambers: A Guide for Judicial Clerks and Externs (Wolters Kluwer 2012) (ISBN 978-1-4548-0289-1); and additional materials to be provided for download from the Canvas course. Class Materials (Suggested):Bryan A. Garner, The Elements of Legal Style (2d ed. Oxford Univ. Press 2002) (ISBN 978-0-19-514162-7)

Catalog Number: LAWSTUDY 662


Course History

Spring 2015
Title: Advanced Legal Writing: Preparation for a District Court Clerkship
Faculty: Brown, Janet Siegel (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 15     Actual: 6