Communication and Legal Reasoning

In today's increasingly complex and competitive legal and business worlds, lawyers must possess excellent communication, presentation, and teamwork skills that go beyond the typical legal analysis and reasoning skills taught at every good law school.

At Northwestern, first-year students take two semesters of Communication and Legal Reasoning. In addition to offering traditional instruction in legal reasoning, research, writing, and oral argument, the course encourages teamwork and collaboration on brief writing exercises and role-playing situations.

The CLR Program makes use of technology in and out of the classroom and takes advantage of Northwestern's proximity to Chicago's vibrant legal community. CLR faculty members are experienced attorneys, award-winning teachers, and published authors who speak frequently at local, regional, and national conferences.  Faculty members often invite lawyers and judges to speak in classes about brief writing, oral argument, and the importance of clear oral and written communication in practice.

At the end of the second semester, first-year students participate in the noncompetitive Arlyn Miner Moot Court, in which Northwestern Law alumni and leaders from the Chicago legal community act as judges who critique the students’ brief writing and oral argument skills. Second-year students seeking moot court challenges beyond the first year can participate in other competitive moot court programs.

Related Links

LEAF: Legal English and Foundations Program