University of Arizona Law Legal Writing faculty

The University of Arizona Law legal writing faculty (L to R): Susan Salmon, Joy Herr-Cardillo, Diana Simon, Tessa Dysart, Carolyn Williams, and Syliva Lett. Photo: Molly Condit/University of Arizona Law.
 

Legal Writing Program

OVERVIEW

University of Arizona Law’s small classes in the Legal Writing Program and our team of career legal-writing faculty provide an ideal opportunity to model professionalism and bring lessons from the real-world practice of law into the law-school classroom. 

With leadership from the program’s five core faculty, our Legal Writing classes become laboratories for innovative teaching techniques, including peer editing, live drafting, and realistic simulations. With fewer than 15 students per class, the professors are able to provide comprehensive written and live feedback to each Legal Writing student.
 
We make it our mission to convey our passion for the legal profession. Both in and out of class, we strive to model and instill the highest standards of diligence, competence, service, and candor to prepare students for a client-centered law practice.

For Students

Despite our intimate scale, we offer a diverse array of Legal Writing courses, a fellowship program, and other opportunities to enhance your writing skills and fully prepare you for your legal career.

Course Offerings

Our required Legal Writing course, Legal Process, Analysis, and Writing, spans both semesters of the first year and introduces students to the key analytical and communication skills that every lawyer needs.

Taught in sections of fewer than 15 students, this course covers predictive writing, persuasive writing, and oral advocacy. It also provides an introduction to contract drafting, alternative dispute resolution, fact gathering, and client interviewing. The final exam for the course mimics the Multistate Performance Test; as such, this exam launches the students into their summer jobs and clerkships with an intense, independent writing and analytical experience.
 
Beyond the required first-year course, we offer several elective courses for upper-class students to expand upon the skills and techniques that they learned in Legal Process, Analysis, and Writing:

  • Advanced Legal Writing and Introduction to Appellate Advocacy
  • Samuel M. Fegtly Moot Court Competition
  • Moot Court Board
  • Judicial Opinion Writing
  • Contract Drafting
  • Intensive Legal Writing Workshop: Motion Practice

Writing Fellow Program

Second- and third-year students who distinguish themselves as strong writers, thinkers, and mentors may be selected to serve as Classroom Writing Fellows. This experiential course implements the “see one, do one, teach one” model, with students learning and cementing key professional skills by helping to teach other students.

Classroom Writing Fellows serve as teaching assistants for the professors in the 1L Legal Process, Analysis, and Writing course. These fellows prepare and deliver instructional materials, provide feedback on student drafts, and mentor 1L students. The fellows not only learn by teaching, they also receive instruction in learning theory, effective feedback techniques, management techniques, and advanced writing skills.

Arizona Law Writing Center 

In collaboration with the University of Arizona’s ThinkTank Writing Center, the Arizona Law Writing Center coaches students in any of Arizona Law’s degree programs on any type of writing, from appellate briefs to law-review notes. The center trains second- and third-year law students who have demonstrated strong writing skills and an aptitude for teaching to provide non-directive writing support to students from diverse backgrounds writing in diverse genres.

Further Opportunities to Improve Lawyering Skills

Arizona Law offers many other opportunities to hone writing, advocacy, and other key lawyering skills. Our clinical and externship programs allow the students—in guided, real-life settings—to apply the lessons they have learned in their Legal Writing classes. Other opportunities abound:

These are just a few of the chances to hone these essential practice skills.
 

 

Updated 10/13/2017