Writing 109L—Writing for the Legal Profession
The syllabus has been revised.  Please review the changes carefully.
Instructor: James H. Donelan
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00-12:15
Email: donelan@humanitas.ucsb.edu
1310 Girvetz Hall
Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-11:00 or by appointment.

Texts: Statsky and Wernet, Case Analysis and Fundamentals of Legal Writing
            Ruszkiewicz, Hairston, and Seward, SF Writer

Course Description: The course will explore writing and research methods appropriate to the legal profession, including case briefs, memoranda of law, and appellate briefs. It emphasizes close reading, logical thinking, cogent analysis and argument, and clear, exact language. It is not designed to teach you legal terminology or the substantive law; and although specialized in its subject matter and formal requirements, the course offers both pre-law students and others interested in rhetoric and writing an opportunity to develop skills in expository and argumentative writing.

Requirements: You will write an in-class essay; a case brief; a legal memorandum, an advocacy letter, and an appellate brief. The relative value of these assignments and class participation in determining your course grade is as follows:

  1. Law essay—10%
  2. Case brief—10%
  3. Memo—20%
  4. Letter—20%
  5. Appellate brief—30%
  6. Participation and completion of homework assignments—10%
Please observe the following rules:
Revised Syllabus

I: Terms, Definitions, and Sentences: The Case Brief

Handout: Legal Matters
In-class exercise: Writing sample on legal writing.

Reading: Statsky, Chapters 1-3, SF Writer, Chapter 8
Homework: Definitions of terms
In-class assignment: Comparison of definitions

Reading: Statsky, Chapters 4-7
Homework: Exercises 6.7, 7.5
In-class: Law essay

Reading: Statsky, Chapters 8-10, SF Writer, Chapter 9
Homework: Exercise 10.1, a-e, Thumbnail Briefs
In-class: Creating a comprehensive brief.

Reading: Statsky, Chapters 5-7
Homework: Exercises 6.7, 7.5
In-class: Peer Review

Reading: Statsky 8-10
Homework: Thumbnail Brief
In-class: Library Research: Introduction to Lexis-Nexis

II: Paragraph Development: The Legal Memorandum and the Advocacy Letter

Reading: Statsky 11-13
Homework: Exercise 12.1
In-class: Legal rhetoric; exercise comparisons.

Brief of Knowles. v. Iowa

Reading: Statsky 13-16, SF Writer, Chapter 4
Homework: Exercise 14.2; Outline of Memorandum
In-class: Determining sufficient authority in arguments.

Reading: Review Statsky 16, SF Writer, Chapter 5
Homework: Draft of memorandum.
In-class: Editing and proofreading.

Homework: Memorandum
In-class: Presenting arguments

Readings: Statsky 17
Homework: Exercise 17.2
In-class: Paragraph structure.

Readings: Review Statsky 17, SF Writer, Chapter 6
Homework: Assignment changed. Do just 17.8, not 17.9.
In-class: Paragraph transitions.

Readings: Statsky 323-328
Homework: Draft letter on decision.
In-class: Peer review.

III: Constructing an Argument: The Appellate Brief

Readings: Statsky 18, SF Writer, Chapter 22
Homework: Advocacy Letter due.
In-class: Planning an appeal.

Readings: Review Statsky 18
Homework: New Assignment!
In-class: Strategy and research.

Readings: Statsky 19, A-L, SF Writer, Chapter 23
Homework: Outline of appeal.
In-class: Clarifying writing.

Readings: Statsky 19, M-X
Homework: First half of appeal draft.
In-class: Editing for clarity.

Group Meetings.

Readings: Review Statsky 18
Homework: Second half of appeal draft.
In-class: Editing for rhetorical force

Final class. Oral presentations and evaluations.
Homework: Prepare oral argument.

6/12 Appellate Brief due.