Legal Writing – PLST 202

CG • Section 8WK • 01/03/2020 to 06/11/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course will introduce students to proper legal writing methods. The goal of legal writing is communication with the reader. During this course, students will learn legal writing techniques that will enable them to communicate effectively.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

In this course, the student will continue developing his/her legal research and writing skills. This course builds upon the legal research skills developed in PLST 201 by introducing the student to proper legal writing methods. The goal of legal writing is effective communication with the reader. During this course, the student will learn legal writing techniques that will enable him/her to communicate effectively.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each thread must be 300–500 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and include at least 2 scholarly, academic sources. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150–250 words and include at least 1 scholarly, academic source.

Quizzes (6)

Each quiz will cover the Learn items for the assigned module: week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 1-hour time limit. 

Objective Memo Assignments (7)

A principal document that is often used internally and, at times, transformed into a letter, brief, or otherwise altered for use with third parties, is the Objective Memo. You will draft 1 of these documents for a large portion of your grade in this course. There are 7 parts to this assignment.

Fact Summary Assignment

For this part you will write a short summary of the facts after reading the client interview. The focus should be on stating all the relevant facts, and only the relevant facts.

Rule Explanation Assignments (2)

The second step in the writing process is to draft the building blocks of the legal argument. 

Issue Statement Assignment

State the issue that will be addressed in your Objective Memo. The issue is stated in the form of a question. This is the question that your Objective Memo will aim to answer.

Brief Answer Assignment

Provide a concise answer to the Issue.

Discussion Section Outline Assignment

Create an outline of what will be covered in the Discussion section of the memo.

Objective Memo Assignment

Create the Final Draft of your Objective Legal Memorandum Assignment by incorporating your instructor's feedback on the prior written assignments.

Quiz: The Bluebook

The student will complete a quiz covering the Bluebook. The exercise will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice, true/false, matching, or fill-in the blank questions, and have a 1-hour time limit.

Client Letter Assignment

The student will draft a 1-page professional letter to a client explaining the decision of the law firm.