Course - Law

Completion of first year of law school and a passing grade in 603P (Legal Process, Analysis, and Writing).

Recommended Courses:  

Advanced Legal Writing builds on the first-year legal research and writing courses. The course is a prerequisite for later participation in second-year or third-year moot court.


In this class, students will research and write two drafts of an appellate brief. They will participate in a minimum of two oral arguments, one of which will be before a panel of two or three outside judges. And they will write a judicial decision.


The course builds on students' earlier introduction to classical rhetoric and its application to the modern art of persuasion. It also introduces students to some advanced writing techniques such as the use of storytelling, metaphores, and literary references. Students will be instructed in methods of constructing a coherent argument, as well as the conventions of appellate writing. Students will practice crafting the four basic building blocks of a persuasive document: the issue, the statement of facts, the argument, and the conclusion.


Required:  Just Briefs, Laurel Currie Oates, Anne Enquist, and Connie Krontz, IBSN#9780735562318; Aspen Publishing; 2nd Edition.

Required:  The Redbook:  A Manual on Legal Style, Bryan A. Garner; IBSN#9780314168917;

Required:  ALWD Citation Manual:  A Professional System of Citation, Darby Dickerson and the Association of Legal Writing Directors; IBSN#978735589308; Aspen Publisher; 3rd or 4th edition

Course Format

The course will meet once or twice a week and will involve in-class writing exercises, as well as out-of-class research and writing assignments. The writing and research assignments will culminate in an appellate brief, oral argument, and judicial opinion.

Written Assignments

Students will write an appellate brief. They will submit an outline, one draft, and the final brief. Students will also write a judicial opinion deciding the issues presented in the brief.

Type of Exam

No exam

Basis for grading

The final brief, final oral argument, and judicial opinion will be graded. Students will also be evaluated throughout the semester on their class participation and professionalism.

Additional Comments

The course is a prerequisite for later participation in second-year or third-year moot court.

This course satisfies the Professional Skills curricular requirement.

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