Because the average lawyer writes more than the average novelist, we devote special attention to legal writing throughout our curriculum. In your first year, you will begin with the basics of legal research, legal analysis, and legal writing. By the end of your first year, you 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. Your research and writing experiences at UM are integrated into many of your courses, even in the first year.
UM's 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 UM's legal writing program and coached UM's 2000 National Moot Court Champions. It is no coincidence that our Moot Court Team's brief placed second in the nation; rather it is a testament to UM's commitment to excellence in legal expression. This excellence starts with our legal writing program.