Lawyering Foundations

first-year writing course, lawyering foundations

Law students who graduate with the legal research and writing experience they need on the first day of their careers have a distinct advantage over many of their peers. That’s why Georgia State Law students begin building the foundation of their legal expertise during the first year and continue to use and refine their skills through the remainder of law school.

Key Legal Documents

Students draft these key documents and others during the yearlong, hands-on writing course.

  • Legal memoranda
  • Client letters and emails
  • Appellate brief

The yearlong course that provides this initial research and writing education is called Lawyering Foundations and spans two rigorous semesters of practice-focused assignments and exercises. Through Lawyering Foundations, students learn and practice skills in critical reading, problem-solving, legal analysis and effective written and oral communication. By the end of the course, students are familiar with and confident working with the legal documents and instruments they’ll encounter as new associates.

Both semesters focus heavily on legal writing and require students to draft several objective and persuasive documents. Students also participate in oral arguments, client/witness interviews and office meetings. The course builds upon the skills students learn in their concurrent Legal Bibliography class, as they conduct manual and computer research on legal issues for assignments.

The first semester focuses on objective writing. In the second semester, students work on persuasive writing. The second semester culminates with several rounds of oral arguments as part of a competition among the students.

Faculty

The program is staffed by full-time writing faculty, all of whom have had experience practicing law prior to teaching. Unlike some writing programs that rely on upper-level students or adjunct faculty, these full-time professors are professionals with expertise in teaching legal research and writing and are regularly available to students.

Windsor Adams Instructor of Law
Jennifer G. Chiovaro (B.S. ’82, J.D. ’85) Instructor of Law
Trisha Kathleen Kanan Instructor of Law
Heather Kern Slovensky Instructor of Law
Margaret Hughes Vath Instructor of Law
Nikki Williams Instructor of Law
 
Check out what Mawuli Davis (J.D. '02) is doing in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury decision in the Daily Report. via @GeorgiaStateLaw 13 hours ago