Upper-Level Legal Analysis, Research and Writing Opportunities

The University of Washington School of Law continues its commitment to research and writing beyond the first year. Every student must complete an advanced writing requirement to earn a JD degree. This requirement can be satisfied through seminars that allow students to explore and write about a variety of topics in depth, certain advanced legal writing courses or through independent study projects. In the past, independent study projects have included briefing and arguing cases in state and federal appellate courts under faculty supervision, writing scholarly articles or other projects. All independent study projects are completed under faculty supervision; students seeking a faculty advisor should consult the Faculty Areas of Expertise listing to find a suitable professor to work with.

Second- and third-year students may also enroll in the following advanced courses focused on written advocacy, analytic writing and research.

Upper-Level Writing and Research Courses

The B598 Advanced Research and Writing seminar course changes yearly to offer a variety of different writing experiences. Recent seminars have focused on topics such as judicial writing, legislative drafting and public international law. Second-year students who serve on the staff of a legal journal also enroll in specialized seminars for each journal, designed to guide them through the process of researching and writing scholarly articles.

Extracurricular Opportunities: Moot Court, Writing Competitions, Journals

Other opportunities for second- and third-year students to practice legal research and writing skills include participation in a legal writing competition or a moot court competition (mock trial, contract negotiations, appellate advocacy or a variety of regional and national competitions in different areas of law). Students who join the Moot Court Honor Board run in-house competitions and may be responsible for researching and writing the competition problems.

A wonderful way for students to develop these skills is to serve on an academic journal. The field of law is unique because scholarly journals have historically been managed and edited by students, though there are increasing numbers of peer-reviewed journals run by faculty.  Here at the University of Washington School of Law, students can participate in four different journals.

Students typically join the Moot Court Honor Board or the school’s journals by invitation after their 1L year, but some 2L students are invited as well. Below are links to information about admission criteria for these organizations: