||This advanced undergraduate course introduces students to legal English . The course will prepare students for a variety of situations in which legal English writing is required. Major topics will include:
1) legal writing in plain English;
2) basic principles of persuasive legal writing; and
3) basic principles of legal drafting.
Students will undertake research, outline, and writing tasks. Critical thinking skills will be encouraged throughout.
||The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (3rd ed.),Bryan Garner,American Casebook Series,2013；
The Legal Writing Handbook: Analysis, Research, and Writing [With CDROM],Laurel Oates and Anne Enquist,2013；
The Legal Writing Handbook: Practice Book, 6th Edition,Laurel Oates and Anne Enquist,Wolters Kluwer,2014；
Legal Writing in Plain English (2d ed.),Bryan Garner,University of Chicago Press,2013；
||The ultimate goal of the course is prepare students to undertake writing tasks demanded of those who communicate with lawyers (including interpreters, translators, and clients) and those who require legal English communication skills. Specifically, the course should introduce:
? Analyzing and conceptualizing legal issues.
? Organizing strategies (outlining).
? Structuring legal arguments and documents (macro & micro structure).
? Using core writing techniques, including clarity, cohesion, concision, and Plain English concerns.
? Writing strong introductions and conclusions.
? Mastering objective v. persuasive techniques.
? Using editing techniques.
? Sharpening efficient writing and editing skills.
? Improving oral skills presenting legal analysis to clients and lawyers.
Week 1 Introduction: Course Overview
Week 2 Legal Writing Process and Plain Legal English
Plain Legal Language Defined
Writing Process + Principles
Week 3 Law
Discussion of Plain Language Guidelines
Reading and Understanding Statutes
Law Summary Memo Assignment
Week 4 Caselaw
Present Chinese Law Summary Group Memos
Discussion of Caselaw
Caselaw Summary Memo Assignment
Week 5 Statements of Facts And Evidence
Present Caselaw Summary Group Memos
Discussion of Plain Language Securities Documentation
Statements of Fact and Evidence
Week 6 Business Correspondence
Legal Correspondence - Memos, Letters, and Emails
“Privileged”, “Confidential”, and “Without Prejudice”
Week 7 Research Skills
Research Memos and Opinion Letters
Review Appendix B1 Research Memoranda
Week 8 Securities
Review Securities Documentation - Prospectuses, AIFs, MDA, News Releases
Week 9 Analytical and Persuasive Writing
Clear purpose - give context, create structure, arrange logical sequence
Clear organization - strong overview, informative headings, pointing words
Alternative organization structures; Alternatives to outlines
Week 10 Document Design
Organization and Space
Transitions between and within paragraphs
Draft short memo for MPT - due Thursday, 10/10; show your reverse outline. Annotate to show advanced techniques
Conferences on MPT memo
Week 11 Legal Drafting - Agreements
Understanding Goals, Structure, Boilerplate
Review Appendix B4 Contract
Contract Summary Assignment
Week 12 Legal Drafting - Agreements
Peer review of Contract Summary Memo
Week 13 Opinion Letters
Read Chapter 15 – Opinion Letters
Writing for different audiences; multiple audiences
Week 14 Final Writing Project
Final Writing project assigned
Week 15 Conferences on Final Project
Peer Edit and Review of Preliminary drafts
Week 16 Final Writing Presentations
Presentation by PPT
Week 17 Oral Exam
The course is taught by a combination of lectures and assignments. The writing assignments include writing “from scratch,” editing work and peer review of colleagues’ writing, and rewriting. The lessons from the short assignments contribute to work on longer, fuller documents. The course involves some writing assignments to be completed outside of class and others in class, some assignments completed individually, and some with a partner.
The course assessment is based on:
(1) selected homework assignments; 30%
(2) final writing project and related oral exam; 45%
(3) class participation. 25%