Monday, June 17, 2013
In producing “practice ready lawyers” law schools sometimes overlook the importance of legal writing skills. In her recent op-ed piece in the National Law Journal, Sherri Lee Keene (U. Maryland Law School) persuasively argues that legal writing is an active learning activity that law schools should emphasize. Here is a brief excerpt:
Engaging in legal writing has many learning benefits. The act of writing affords the writer an opportunity to think through a legal problem, engage deeply with the law and facts, and expand her knowledge of the law and practice. By analyzing legal problems and developing her ideas through the writing process, a student better understands the substantive law and procedure relevant to an assignment. In discussions with the professor on writing assignments and from feedback received, a student learns to make professional decisions and gains confidence about the prospect of practicing law. Work on writing assignments offers a student an opportunity to apply her knowledge of the law in a practical context, with the benefit of expert guidance.