Res Gestae

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legal writing, law school, legal education


The future of legal education—and experiential learning—should be grounded in a curriculum that requires students to take writing courses throughout law school. Additionally, the curriculum should be one that collapses the distinction between doctrinal, legal writing, and clinical faculty, as well as merges analytical, practical, and clinical instruction into a real world curriculum.

The justification for a writing-intensive program of legal education is driven by the reality that persuasive writing ability is among the most important skills a lawyer must possess and a skill that many lawyers and judges claim graduates lack. Part of the problem is that law schools dedicate fewer than six credits to required legal writing courses and treat legal writing faculty as if they were second-class citizens. That should stop now. In making legal education more writing-centered, law schools can help struggling students to become competent writers, cultivate an educational environment in which good writers can become great writers, and bridge the divide between legal education and law practice.