Legal Analysis, Research and Writing Legal Analysis, Research and Writing

First-Year Program

The first-year Legal Analysis, Research and Writing (LARW) Program is designed to teach students foundational principles about the American legal system and introduce the skills they will need to serve as effective counselors and advocates in that system. Every LARW section helps students meet these goals and objectives.

In Autumn and Winter Quarters, students are assigned to small sections of approximately 25 students. Each faculty member develops a series of problems and hands-on workshops designed to teach analysis, research and writing skills. In addition to working closely with faculty, students draw upon second and third year Legal Writing Fellows to facilitate their transition from novice to expert in the legal writing discipline. All students engage in a variety of research and writing projects over the first two quarters, including drafting various forms of research memoranda. Students may also have opportunities to draft judicial bench memoranda or opinions, client letters, contract clauses or legal pleadings.

In Spring Quarter, students focus on the art and skill of persuasive legal writing and oral argument.

Extracurricular Opportunities

Many first-year students choose to participate in extra-curricular moot court competitions, including mock trial and contract negotiation. In the Spring Quarter, students have the opportunity to participate in the First Year Appellate Advocacy Moot Court competition. Students who enter the competition are eligible to be selected for the Malcolm Edwards Prize for Best Overall Appellate Brief. In addition, many legal writing competitions >are open to first-year law students.