Director of Applied Legal Instruction, Professor Bradley G. Clary, Room 444, and Michelle Draewell, Room 441 are responsible for overseeing the Legal Research and Writing program. J.D. students are required to satisfactorily complete a legal writing requirement during each year of Law School (see Scholastic Requirement Rule 5). Legal Writing is an integral part of the curriculum and is a requirement for graduation.
First Year Legal Writing
The First Year Legal Research and Writing Program is an intensive two-semester introduction to principles of legal writing and oral advocacy. First-year students are responsible for the information contained in the Legal Research and Writing Syllabus, which is distributed at the Legal Writing Orientation program and during the first week of small group classes. All 25 small groups will work on the same basic materials. Each of the small group instructors will further communicate assignments, expectations, and program standards to students during their particular 8 am Wednesday or 8 am Thursday morning scheduled class time. Weekly attendance is required for this course.
Second Year Legal Writing
All second-year law students must satisfy the Second Year Writing Requirement either by serving as a member of the staff on one of the five journals (Law Review, Minnesota Journal of International Law, Journal of Law and Inequality, The Labor Law Journal or the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology), or by successfully completing one of the Moot Court programs available: Maynard Pirsig Moot Court -ABA Moot Court Competition Team, Civil Rights Moot Court, Environmental Law Moot Court, Intellectual Property Moot Court, International Moot Court, or National Moot Court. All Second Year legal writing exercises are two-semester programs, and they cannot be satisfied without completing both Fall and Spring semesters. The application process for the moot courts and journals takes place each spring.
Third Year Legal Writing
Law School rules require that each student complete a substantive research paper of 20-25 pages for a pre-approved course or seminar taken in their third (or subsequent) year (see Scholastic Requirement Rule 5.4). The paper must rely on original research, and be of “near publishable” quality, including standard legal citation format. The Third Year Writing Requirement cannot be satisfied in the second year of law school.
Students may also satisfy the third year writing requirement by serving in certain journal editor positions, by serving in certain Moot Court Director or Competition Team member positions, or by completing certain Independent Research with supervising instructor approval.