MSU College of Law

Melissa Wurtzel O'Shea

Adjunct Research, Writing & Advocacy Professor
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 216B
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

J.D. 2003, University of Illinois College of Law; B.A. 2000, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

  • Research, Writing and Advocacy I
    (Formerly DCL 151) (This course is being replaced by Research, Writing & Analysis beginning fall2011) This is a graded course. Students begin by learning the basics of the U.S. court system, common law, case briefing and legal analysis. They are then taught the fundamentals of non-electronic legal research and writing through the assignment of problems geared to exercise their analytical and problem-solving abilities. Throughout the semester, students produce several legal research assignments, objective office memoranda and a client letter.
  • Research, Writing and Advocacy II
    (Formerly DCL 152) (This course is being replaced by Advocacy LAW530J beginning fall 2011) Students learn the art of persuasive argumentation by drafting a 30-page appellate brief on a topical legal issue, complying with appellate court rules and then presenting a simulated oral argument to members of the bench. During the semester, students also attend appellate arguments or trial court motion sessions and prepare brief synopses of cases heard. Successful completion of RWA I is a prerequisite to enrollment in RWA II.