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Research, Writing & Advocacy Program

Spring 2015

Reading for Advocacy Spring 2015. Please read and understand the material below for discussion in your first class. In addition, please check your professor's First Assignment and TWEN page for Advocacy for additional first assignments.

  1. Joint Appendix (PDF)
  2. Article providing background on student speech that is and is not protected by the First Amendment. (PDF) Please note that this article is several years old. You will need to update all cases it mentions.

The Research, Writing, and Advocacy program consists of two graded courses required of all first-year law students: Research, Writing, and Analysis (RWA), taught in the fall, and Advocacy, taught in the spring. RWA and Advocacy are each worth two credits. In both courses, students learn the art of legal writing in a small-class setting. A hallmark of the program is individualized attention and frequent feedback inside the classroom and out.

In the fall semester, Research, Writing, and Analysis focuses on legal analysis in the context of objective legal memoranda on various topics. Students also learn the basics of print and electronic research and of citation. In lieu of the regular RWA course, students have the option to learn research and writing skills in the context of intellectual property or criminal law through enrollment in a specialized section focusing on one of those areas.

In the spring semester, Advocacy continues training in research and citation skills and introduces students to persuasive writing and oral advocacy. Each student writes an appellate brief. The semester culminates in an oral argument to a panel of judges and attorneys.

Integral to the Research, Writing, and Advocacy program is the Writing Seminar program, run by the College of Law’s writing specialist. Through the Writing Seminar program, students learn and refine the fundamental skills in grammar, punctuation, and legal style essential to success as a lawyer.

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