Drafting: Federal Judicial Opinions
This practical course will teach students advanced legal writing skills used by judges, law clerks, and lawyers in drafting opinions, internal memorandums, and briefs. Writing during critical stages of a lawsuit will be stressed in relation to motion practice under the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure.
The course will provide practical writing feedback and experience to students interested in pursuing a judicial clerkship or externship or in learning writing techniques that will improve their skills as a writer. Students also will gain valuable insight into the role of law clerks in the judicial decision-making process and other practical realities of the work of the judicial branch. In addition to classroom meetings and writing assignments, the course will include hearing from visiting judges and former law clerks, who are now practicing attorneys, on legal writing.
This course is designed to be a rigorous research and writing experience for top performing students that may be considering federal clerkships or similar writing intensive post graduate fellowships. While the course will focus on federal judicial opinions, students pursuing coursework in any of the pathways would find the course to be beneficial. Assessment will be based on written work product in the form of drafted legal opinions, in-class exercises, and participation.
This course satisfies the Writing Requirement. It does not satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement. Enrollment is limited.
Recommended for the Following Professional Pathways: Corporate Transactions and Governance; Financial Services and Compliance; Health Care Management and Compliance; Labor and Employment (Corporate Perspective); Trusts and Estates; Civil Rights/Civil Liberties; Criminal Defense; Criminal Prosecution; Family Law; Government/Public Sector; Immigration; International Law/Human Rights; Labor and Employment; Litigation/Dispute Resolution; IP/Copyright and Trademark; Media, Entertainment, Sports, Fashion; Tech/Privacy; General Practice – Litigation/Dispute Resolution; General Practice – Transactional