Writing 109L—Writing for the Legal Profession

Instructor: James H. Donelan
8:00-9:15, HSSB 1236

Wednesday 8:00-9:15, Phelps 1529

Enroll Code: 43109
Office: 1523 South Hall
Office Hours: Monday,
9:30-10:30, Tuesday, 9:30-10:30 or by appointment.

Texts: All books are available in the UCen Book Store.
Erhardt, Charrow, and Charrow, Clear and Effective Legal Writing
Black's Law Dictionary (pocket)
A reader at Graphikart in
Isla Vista

Computer Program: The course requires the use of an online program, ConnectWeb, which costs $20. http://connectweb.com/ucsb.asp

Course Description: Practice in applying rules to facts in analyzing issues and in writing clearly, succinctly and cogently in various forms of legal discourse.

Requirements: The course requires regular attendance, active participation in class discussion and activities, and timely completion of all assignments, including case briefs and legal analysis. You will write a case brief, a legal memorandum, an advocacy letter, an appellate brief, and several pre-writing assignments. The relative value of these assignments and class participation in determining your course grade is as follows:

a. Case brief—10%
b. Memo—20%
c. Letter—20%
d. Appellate brief—35%
e. Participation and completion of other homework assignments—15%

In addition:



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

Introduction and Logistics

Class meets in 1529 Phelps today. 
Reading: Clear, Chapters 1-3
Homework: Two-paragraph description of the structure of the American legal system. Have the assignment available in class as either a Microsoft Word or html file.
In-class: Introduction to ConnectWeb; comparison of descriptions
Reading: Clear, Chapters 4-6; Knowles v. Iowa (reader).
Homework: Two-paragraph summary of Knowles v.
Iowa, posted on ConnectWeb.
In-class: Case briefs

Class meets in 1529 Phelps today. 
Reading: Clear, Chapter 7
Homework: Rough draft of Knowles v. Iowa brief.
In-class: Creating a comprehensive brief
Reading: Clear, Chapter 8
Homework: Case brief due.
In-class: Getting a brief right

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

Class meets in 1529 Phelps today. 

Reading: Clear, Chapter 13
Homework: Two-paragraph summary of Red and Sue issues (described on ConnectWeb).
In-class: Beginning legal research.


Class meets in Davidson Library.

Class meets in 1529 Phelps today. 
Reading: Clear, Chapter 10
Homework: Memorandum outline and boilerplate.
In-class: Writing persuasive memos.
Reading: Clear, Chapter 11
Homework: Full draft of memorandum; bring a hard copy to class.
In-class: Editing and proofreading.

Class meets in 1529 Phelps today. 
Homework: Memorandum due.
In-class: Peer review of memoranda.
Readings: Clear, Chapter 9
Homework: Letter strategies.
In-class: Paragraph structure.

Class meets in 1529 Phelps today. 
Homework: Draft of advocacy letter.
In-class: Paragraph transitions and peer review.

5/6 Advocacy Letter due.

III: Writing Longer Arguments: The Appellate Brief

Readings: Clear, Chapter 15; Amarin v. Maryland Cup briefs (reader)
Homework: Summary of Amarin arguments.
In-class: Preparing an appeal.

Class meets in 1529 Phelps today. 
Readings: Appellate brief assignment and accompanying article (reader)
Homework: Find a partner and formulate a timeline.
In-class: Task lists and schedules.
Readings: "Copyright Basics" (reader)
Homework: List of relevant cases.
In-class: Argument and strategy

Class meets in 1529 Phelps today. 
Readings: Clear, Chapters 7-9 (review)
Homework: Outline of appeal.
In-class: Logic and argument
Homework: First half of appeal draft.
In-class: Editing for clarity

Class meets in 1529 Phelps today. 
Group Meetings.
5/30 Memorial Day

Class meets in 1529 Phelps today. Full draft due.
In-class: Peer review of appeals.
Final class.
Appellate brief due. Place a hard copy in my mailbox by
12:00 noon.