Considering the average lawyer writes more than the average novelist, special attention is devoted to legal writing throughout the curriculum. In the first year, students begin with the basics of legal research, legal analysis, and legal writing. By the end of the first year, students will have completed several legal memoranda, drafted legal pleadings, written two briefs to a court, argued a motion for summary judgment, and drafted contract provisions. The research and writing experiences are integrated into many of courses, even in the first year.
The legal writing program has its foundation in the first year, but extends through all three years. To enhance the skills acquired during the first year, all second-year students enroll in Business Transactions, in which students negotiate and draft business agreements. In addition, all students must fulfill our Advanced Writing Requirement by completing a major written piece (and presenting or defending it orally) during their second or third year. To further underscore the importance of legal writing, roughly half of our elective courses involve writing papers or legal memoranda.
Professor Larry Howell is the Director of the legal writing program and coached the 2000 National Moot Court Champions. It is no coincidence that the Moot Court Team's brief placed second in the nation; rather it is a testament to the commitment to excellence in legal expression. This excellence starts with the legal writing program.