Tuesday, December 28, 2010
For some encouragement and advice on teaching law students to write outside the litigation context, whether you just introduce the idea in a 1L course or teach an entire tranactional drafting course, there is a helpful article by Susan Chesler on "Advocating for Teaching Students about the Role of Lawyer as Counselor – Winning Isn't Always Everything", 16 The Law Teacher 6 (2009). As she explains:
"From the very first day of law school, students learn about the law through the lens of litigated cases and through the eyes of a lawyer in the role of advocate – a lawyer that is supposed to argue for a particular position or a cause. However, lawyers serve crucial roles that do not focus on making arguments or 'winning,' but on planning, advising, and counseling their clients on a wide variety of matters, such as risk assessment, avoidance of potential legal problems, and the resolution of disputes without resorting to litigation. This is true for many different types of lawyer, but especially for the transactional lawyer who negotiates and drafts contracts. This article explains how to design a transactional drafting course that introduces students to the role of lawyer as counselor, and provides suggestions for introducing students to the role of lawyer as counselor in all of their first year required courses, without the need for abandoning the use of appellate cases."
hat tip: Nolan L. Wright