Course Judicial Opinion Writing - Law 651B
Instructor Lorraine Gin
Units 3 (Graded)
Recommended Courses:

Advanced Legal Writing and Introduction to Appellate Advocacy


In this course, students will learn about the process and ethics of judicial decision writing.  Students will analyze and critique appellate decisions and practice adjudicative writing.  Working in three-person "appellate panels," and utilizing real appellate briefs, students will collaborate to analyze a variety of legal issues, decide cases, and craft majority, dissenting, and concurring opinions.


Primary text:  Ruggero J. Aldisert, Opinion Writing (2d ed., AuthorHouse 2009); additional reading material posted on Forums or D2L.

Course Format

Seminar format; extensive student participation

Written Assignments

This is a writing-intensive course.  Students will write a series of judicial decisions on progressively more complicated legal issues.  Students will also be required to produce written critiques of student and professional work and will edit and cite-check decisions written by their peers.

Type of Exam


Basis for grading

Written assignments 80%; oral assignments and class participation 20%

Additional Comments


Print this Course Description