Research, Writing & Advocacy

MSU Law’s Research, Writing & Analysis (RWA) and Advocacy courses combine skills and substance to prepare you for law practice.

RWA—which must be taken during your first semester at MSU Law—consists of a weekly class and a weekly seminar. In RWA, you will learn how to write objective legal memoranda while analyzing problems confronted by hypothetical clients. RWA is co-taught by three professors: your primary RWA professor, whose name will appear on your schedule; Professor Jeremy Francis, the Law College’s Writing Specialist who teaches grammar, punctuation, and style; and an MSU Law librarian who teaches research skills.

Your 1L spring Advocacy course focuses on persuasive writing and oral advocacy. You will draft an appellate brief and conduct an oral argument before a panel of judges and attorneys from the local area.

Your first RWA class will be held during Immersion Week on Wednesday, August 20; room assignments are posted online. This is a regular class and all students are expected to attend. You will have homework to prepare for that first class, so please refer to the “First Assignments” webpage in advance in order to prepare.

Get ready to learn to write like a lawyer! Our RWA faculty look forward to meeting you.

Writing Skills Inventory

On Tuesday, August 19, you will take a Writing Skills Inventory. The assessment will provide information about your writing abilities to the RWA faculty. You do not need to study or prepare for this assessment—just give an honest effort. You will receive feedback from this assessment during a later RWA class session.

View the informational webisode about the Writing Skills Inventory by Professor Jeremy Francis.