Writing for the Court

The goal of this course is to help prepare students to do the sort of writing judges expect of their clerks and,that future employers expect of their lawyers. Students will be exposed to actual court documents and will use them to draft memos, opinions, orders, and other written products. There will be weekly writing assignments and weekly edits of one's own writing. The assignments will not involve lengthy research projects. The focus will be on improving legal writing. The instructor will work with students to improve their editing skills as well. There will also be a focus on statutory interpretation. If at all possible, we will sit in on a local trial and visit with the trial judge. While this course is open to all upperclass students, it will be of particular value to second-year students who are seeking judicial clerkships and wish to improve their chances with sitting judges. For this reason, they must have grade points that make them likely candidates for a clerkship. Students must apply to be accepted into the class by completing a short written application found here. Graded: pass/fail. 2 credits.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Monday 3:45 - 5:35 pm TNH 3.126
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Mandatory
Satisfies ABA Professional Skills Requirement


  • Thinking Like a Writer - Armstrong & Terrell
      Practicing Law Institute , edition: 3rd
      ISBN: 978140411281   (required)


Smith, Bea Ann Smith, Bea Ann