Final arguments in the 2014 Fegtly Moot Court Competition. Students aregue before a panel of judges, here Arizona Supreme Court Justice John Pelander, JD '76.

Legal Writing Program

We are passionate about clear, concise legal writing and about the legal profession. We enjoy sharing that passion with our students.

- Professor Suzanne Rabe, Director, Legal Writing Program, JD '79

The small classes in the Legal Writing Program and our team of practitioner-professors 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 three full-time faculty members, our Legal Writing classes become laboratories for innovative teaching techniques, including peer editing, live drafting, and realistic simulations. With only 10-14 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 convey our passion for the highest standards of diligence, competence, service, and candor. 

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 fifteen 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 five 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 (FALL)
  • Advanced Appellate Practice and Moot Court (SPRING)
  • Moot Court Board
  • Judicial Opinion Writing
  • Contract Drafting

Writing Fellow Program
Second-year and third-year students who distinguish themselves as strong writers, thinkers, and mentors may be selected to serve as either Classroom Writing Fellows or Senior 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.
Senior Writing Fellows assist the program directors in curricular development, create classroom exercises and writing problems, and occasionally deliver presentations or provide feedback to first-year students.
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:

  • Our three scholarly publications—the Arizona Law Review, the Arizona Journal of International Comparative Law, and the Journal of Environmental Law and Policy,
  •  Various Legal Skills competitions, and
  • The faculty-supervised substantial paper

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