Pericles American Business and Legal Education
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Legal Writing I
(for English-speaking law practice)

Call for more information 495-649-2273

Course Application

The purpose of this course is to teach practicing lawyers, advanced law students and paralegals to write law office memoranda and client letters. Students taking this course will learn the parts of a legal memorandum and the basic "IRAC" technique of legal writing, and will be able to draft legal memoranda and client letters of medium difficulty. The course stresses the logic of legal writing and developing legal thinking. Students will also review English language punctuation and conventions of written legal English, including, specifically, completing exercises in using active voice and avoiding excessive prepositional phrases. Students will become familiar with American and European sources of law and citation practices.

Legal Writing is divided into three major elements: Sources of Law, Micro-Organized Writing (sentence structure and punctuation), and Macro-Organized writing (organization of documents). In each class students will cover some parts of each of these elements. The course is taught in a small group seminar, with lecture, discussion, oral and written exercises. Students will spend considerable time discussing and criticizing actual examples of legal writing produced for clients by (and reprinted by permission of) various international law firms in Moscow. Students will be given several short writing assignments. As a final exam, the students will be asked to research, write and perfect a hypothetical legal memorandum solving a client's problem with some aspect of Russian law. This final paper is expected to be 4-6 typewritten pages.

30 in-class academic hours (24 clock hours). Average of 2 hours of out-of-class individual meetings with the professor. (The professor spends approximately 6 hours reviewing and commenting in writing on the written course work of each individual student.)

Legal Writing is designed for students whose English is at the advanced level. Those whose English is not adequate should first take courses in Legal English.

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Legal Writing 2
(Legal Research)

The purpose of this course is to further increase the writing and particularly the research skills of practicing lawyers and advanced law students in preparing law office memoranda, pleadings and other law office documents based on foreign law. Students finishing this course will understand American and European sources of law and be able to research in common law jurisdictions. They will learn the use of the major legal research databases and will be familiarized with American and other Western law reporters, such as those in EU Law, British Law or Canadian Law. This course is especially useful for students who might be seconded to Western offices of their companies or law firms, and for those who want to take an LL.M. or do Ph.D. research at a Western law school.

The course is partially web based, with short daily research assigments posted on the course web-site, which are designed to build upon one another with progressive difficulty until students can handle even complex legal research tasks with ease. Students will also be asked to write short memos, pleadings and other legal documents. Students should have adequate web access. Passwords to Lexis and Westlaw will be provided for academic use.

30 in-class academic hours (24 clock hours). (The professor spends approximately 10 hours reviewing and commenting in writing on the written course work of each individual student.)

This is the second of a two-part course. Before taking this course students should have taken Legal Writing I, or otherwise demonstrated familiarity with legal research and writing in a common law jurisdiction. Legal Writing 2 is designed for students whose English is at the advanced level. Those whose English is not adequate should first take courses in Legal English.

More detailed information will be available from the Pericles office as the course approaches.

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