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ADVANCED LEGAL WRITING COURSE SYLLABUS

Prof. Jo Anne Durako, Room 500B, 225-6513 ,durako@camden.rutgers.edu


I. COURSE GOALS
However great a persons natural talent may be,
the art of writing cannot be learned all at once.
-- Jean Jacques Rousseau
Thats why we have advanced writing courses. This course is intended for students wishing
to improve their ability to write sharp, clear prose, to edit their own and others writing, and to
become more proficient and efficient at composing and organiing written documents.
The ultimate goal of the course is to get you ready to underta!e the writing tas!s
demanded of lawyers. "pecifically, the course should help you hone the following s!ills#
$nalying and conceptualiing legal issues.
%rganiing strategies &outlining, decision trees, cluster diagrams'.
"tructuring legal arguments and documents &macro ( micro structure'.
)sing core writing techniques, including clarity, cohesion, concision, and
*lain +nglish concerns.
,riting strong introductions and conclusions.
-astering ob.ective v. persuasive techniques.
)sing new editing techniques.
"harpening efficient writing and editing s!ills using timed assignments.
/mproving oral s!ills presenting legal analysis to clients and senior lawyers.

II. COURSE MATERIALS
A. Textbook
The te0tboo! is Ray ( 1o0, Beyond the Basics: A Text for Advanced Legal Writing, ,est
*ublishing &2332'. 4ou should also have a good writing style and usage reference, such as
the Te0as 5aw Review Manual on Usage & Style or 6ryan 7arners, The Elements of
Legal Style or The ed!oo": A Manual on Legal Style#
B. Additional Materials
/n order to give you as much writing practice as possible, the course will not require
significant library research. Researching the applicable law fully is, of course, essential in
any law office writing conte0t. ,e will have at least one advanced legal research session
led by a law librarian and covering advanced techniques and sources. /n this course
documents and clients are the primary resources. / may occasionally hand out additional
materials in class or put additional readings on reserve in the law library for reference.
III. COURSE METHOD
A. Assignments
The writing assignments include writing 8from scratch,9 editing your wor! and colleagues
writing, and rewriting. The lessons from the short assignments contribute to the wor! on
longer, full documents. The course involves some writing assignments to be completed
outside of class and others in class, some assignments completed individually, and some
with a partner.
$ssignments receive written evaluation, and they serve as the basis for class discussion as
well. 4ou are to type and double-space all writing assignments &but not short answers to
in-class e0ercises' unless otherwise instructed in class. 6ring two copies of each
assignment to class on the date due, one to turn in and the other to !eep and have available
during class discussion.
B. Final Writing Project
There is no final e0amination in the course, but there is a final writing pro.ect to be in
progress during the last few wee!s of the semester. /t will be due before e0ams begin.
IV. GRADES
A. Basis# The course grade is based on#
&2' the final writing pro.ect ::;
&<' selected in-class assignments 2=;
&:' selected outside class assignments >=;
&>' class participation. ?;
C. Final Writing Project
The course grade is based substantially on the final writing pro.ect. This pro.ect is designed
to give you the opportunity to show that you have mastered all the writing principles and
s!ills covered in the course. To pass the course, you must not e0hibit any serious writing
deficiencies in the final pro.ect. To do well in the class, you must show mastery of the
techniques and s!ills covered. -ost, if not all, students should achieve mastery.
D. Assignments
There will be both individual and group assignments. 4ou will wor! with the same writing
partner for all group pro.ects. $ll writing assignments throughout the course @ those done
in class as well as those done outside @ are required. /f you fail to turn in assignments on
time and completed satisfactorily, your final grade in the course may drop. $lso, late
assignments may receive no written comments or other evaluation.
E. Attendance and Participation
$ttendance and participation are required. *articipation consists of more than mere
attendance. $ctual participation occurs when you#
-show you have prepared by reading and thin!ing about assigned materialsA
-show you understand or are trying to understand the course concepts and
principlesA
-as! clear questions and build on others contributionsA
-ma!e connections between different sub.ects discussedA
-use the material to generate your own insights and applicationsA
-e0hibit willingness to e0periment with new s!ills and approaches to materialA and
-ma!e one class presentation, with your partner, on a written assignment.
4ou are encouraged to participate as fully as possible in the classroom discussion. "ince this is a
limited enrollment seminar, your participation is valuable and essential.
ADVANCED LRW SYLLABUS - Fall 2002
WEEK 1 INTRODUCTION: WRITING AS A PROCESS; WRITING UNDER PRESSURE; MPT
Aug. 26 Read !a"ter 1 -- #ntroduct$on % !a"ter 2 -- Process
Pr!ar Exc. on pages 11& 14 for class. Bring 2 typed copies, 1 w/o name
C"#!l$ egal !riting "#ills "elf$%est and !riting &iagnostic %est.
$'(ec# your answers to "#ills and &iagnostic tests.
$&e)elop your goals for t(is course and writing goals to (and in next wee#.
WEEK 2 LEGAL WRITING PROCESS -CONT%; ISSUE&BRIEF ANSWER
"ept. 2 Read !a"ter 6 -- #ssues
'a() *( *oal "tatement for course and writing style goals.
Pr!ar Exc. 1 & 2 +,ased on Agu$&ar - c!eck e-ma$&- on page 121
Pr!ar Assgn. 1 & 2 on pages 122, 12.. /or 02 write 1 o,1 & 1 pers issue.
Skim '( P&a$n (ng&$s! )and*ook and (andouts on )isual clarity
$Begin collecting good and ,ad examples of legal writing for class discussion.
+'ourt opinions, memos, ,riefs, your prior writing or a friend2s writing-
WEEK + STATEMENTS OF FACTS
"ept. 3 Read !a"ter + , -*.ect$/e 'tatement of 0acts
Dra,$ o,1ecti)e /acts from 45%6 annotate to demonstrate new tec(ni7ues.
8e)iew wit( c(ec#list on page 1.3.
Read !a"ter 1 , Persuas$/e 'tatements of 0acts
Dra,$ persuasi)e /acts from 45%6 annotate to demonstrate new tec(ni7ues.
8e)iew wit( c(ec#list on page 19. +see tec(ni7ues on page 191-
Pr!ar Exercise on p. 194$9: to discuss in class
WEEK - INTRODUCTIONS; RESEARC' UPDATE
"ept.16 Read !andout mater$a&s on $ntroduct$ons *efore c&ass
$Bring to class a prior writing wit( a wea# introduction to impro)e
Dra,$ roadmap paragrap(, issue & ,rief answer for 45% memo. 5eer edit.
$"pecialty researc( sources, ;nternet sources, researc(ing facts. 5rof. <ing.
WEEK . ANALYSIS AND LARGE SCALE ORGANI/ATION
"ept. 2. Read: !a"ters 2 %10 -- D$scuss$on 'ect$ons % Argument 'ect$ons
'lear purpose $ gi)e context, create structure, arrange logical se7uence
'lear organi=ation $ strong o)er)iew, informati)e (eadings, pointing words
Alternati)e organi=ation structures6 Alternati)es to outlines

WEEK 0 LARGE SCALE ORGANI/ATION -CONT%
"ept. .> Pr!ar Exercise on page 2.? using 2 tec(ni7ues
$Bring prior writing to class for organi=ation edit
WEEK 1 ANALYSIS AND SMALL SCALE ORGANI/ATION
@ct. : Better paragrap(s
%ransitions ,etween and wit(in paragrap(s
Dra,$ s(ort memo for 45% $ due %(ursday, 1>/1>6 s(ow your re)erse outline.
Annotate to s(ow ad)anced tec(ni7ues
WEEK 2 SMALL SCALE ORGANI/ATIONS - CONT%
@ct. 14 ;n$class exercises
'onferences on 45% memo
WEEK 3 CORRESPONDENCE
@ct. 21 Read !a"ter 13 , 4enera& orres"ondence. "pecial note of letter on
page ..6
&raft retainer letter wit( a partner. "amples on page .4:.
&raft demand letter from 45%. 5eer edit. 8edraft. "u,mit redraft.
WEEK 10 OPINION LETTERS
@ct. 29 Read !a"ter 15 , -"$n$on 5etters
!riting for different audiences6 multiple audiences
WEEK 11 SENTENCE LEVEL REVIEW
Ao). 4 ;n$class exercises
/inal !riting pro1ect assigned
*uest "pea#er on /inal !riting 5ro1ect or 47uestions to client su,mitted5
"u,mit 8ent "ecurity &eposit 5ro Bono pro1ect
WEEK 12 MAKE-UP TIME
Ao). 11
WEEK 1+ EDITING; ET'ICS; WRAP UP; FINAL WRITING PRO6ECT
Ao). 19 Editing tec(ni7ues6 Et(ics in !riting6 Bisual clarity re)isited
4Cuestions on /inal !riting 5ro1ect5
WEEK 1- CONFERENCES ON FINAL PRO6ECT
Ao). 2?
WEEK 1. FINAL WRITING PRO6ECT DUE; COURSE EVALUATION
&ec. 2 /inal class meeting %uesday, &ecem,er ..
"elf$assessment.
F*(al Pr"78$ )9 a$ 12:+0: D8#;r +
'ourse E)aluations
8eading 5eriod ,egins %(ursday, &ecem,er ?. Exams ,egin 4onday, &ecem,er 3.
%(is sylla,us is t(e general plan, ,ut please understand it may ,e modified as needed.