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Written Advocacy and Judicial Opinions

Course Abbreviation: 
SKILS 968
Credits: 
3
Credit Only: N Anon Gr: N

The bulk of advocacy is in the form of written submissions to the courts, and the vast majority of judicial decisions are written. In order to advocate effectively, lawyers must communicate their arguments clearly and persuasively to the courts. In order to resolve cases and establish useful precedent, judges must communicate their reasoning clearly and authoritatively. This course will explore both forms of written communication and develop the writing skills associated with each. Students will develop and practice their persuasive writing skills by writing a trial brief and an appellate brief. In addition, students will recognize the impact of written advocacy on judicial opinion writing as they switch roles and write opinions deciding the issues raised in the trial and appellate briefs. Students will examine and practice judicial opinion writing that not only resolves the immediate dispute, but also provides useful, understandable precedent.

Prerequisites: 
CORE 912 and CORE 914 Legal Analysis, Research and Writing I and II