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
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.
Legal Writing 2
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.