Lawyering Skills II
Lawyering Skills II builds upon the skills acquired in Lawyering Skills I by teaching the student to make the shift from objective, predictive analysis to persuasive analysis. Students will further develop their research and analytical skills by advocating their hypothetical client's position through clear written and oral communication. For the first half of the semester, each student will interview a mock client, develop a case,and negotiate a settlement. For the second half of the semester, each student will research and draft an appellate brief and argue it against an opponent in moot court.
Goals of Lawyering Skills II
By the end of the course, students will have the ability to:
- Interview a client and diagnose a legal problem
- Research the client’s problem independently
- Explain a legal problem to a client in lay language
- Identify a representation strategy for working with a client and clearly explain that strategy to the client
- Negotiate effectively with opposing counsel
- Locate authority to support negotiation strategy
- Draft a clear settlement contract
- Understand the basics of the American appellate process
- Integrate authority appropriately into written work, taking into account the hierarchy of authority
- Divine legal rules combining information from several authorities
- Apply legal principles to the facts of a present case
- Use correct grammar, syntax, diction and punctuation
- Write with clarity, precision, conciseness and reliability
- Use the proper citation form
- Comply with the proper format for the appellate brief and conform with the applicable requirements of appellate procedure
- Look at a legal problem from the perspective of a judge
- Draft a basic piece of scholarly writing
- Effectively orally argue client’s position in moot appellate court
The students will write a letter to their client explaining in clear and concise language the law which governs the facts of his/her case. In addition to performing a complete analysis of the law and facts, the students will answer any questions that the client has asked. Students will have the opportunity to develop facts based upon both written and oral information, perform individual research, and develop client relations.
The students will negotiate a settlement based upon a given set of facts and after performing interviews. This document will memorialize the agreement reached by the parties in negotiating their settlement. The document should reflect a comprehensive and complete agreement of professional quality and should contain all of the clauses needed to effect a binding agreement.
Negotiation Document Journal
The students will write a journal explaining to their professor in clear and concise language the contract which the student just negotiated on behalf of their client. The students will be expected to explain the terms of the agreement and why they were accepted, as well as detailing their negotiating strategy and goals.
The students will conference with their professor and will present an outline of their preliminary legal research for the appellate brief. The outline will include primary sources and relevant secondary sources.
The students will be introduced to persuasive writing by writing an appellate brief based upon a problem file the students will receive. The brief will result in a culmination of all of the reasoning, research, and writing skills that the students have acquired over the entire year. The brief will be written with partners and will involve teamwork and cooperation throughout the process.
The students will have the opportunity to argue their Appellate Briefs in a moot court setting. The oral arguments will test the students ability to communicate persuasively and to respond to judges’ questions. The arguments will be presided over by judges and will culminate in the Spring Moot Court Festival.