Advising

Doing Student Writing

One of the very most important skills for lawyers is writing well. In order to graduate, you must do one "substantial writing" paper. This is explained in the Academic Services memorandum. But you should look for opportunities to write and improve your writing. You will need a good writing sample for many jobs. And published writing on any lawyer’s CV is impressive.

The faculty and administrators have put enormous work into improving the writing experience.

The primary place in which we expect you to write is seminars. We have increased significantly the number of seminars. It is our expectation that most students will take a seminar and begin their substantial writing paper in their second year of law school. One advantage of this is that it gives you time to write a good paper; another is that many employers, and particularly judges if you are seeking a clerkship, will want that writing sample by the summer after the second year. Think seriously about taking a writing seminar in the first semester of the second year.

Students can also work directly with faculty doing directed research, the end result of which is a written work. This, however, is not the place for most students to do their substantial writing. Faculty are not compelled to do directed research, and we have ample seminar slots (in many different areas) for papers. Directed research is most often valuable if you plan to write an additional paper in a specialized area.

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