Professional Skills: Satisfies ABA Professional Skills Requirement
3:45 - 5:35 pm
Writing for Practice aka Yes, you can practice law in simple American English
Among the major problems encountered by young lawyers as they enter practice is the transition from writing like a student to writing like a lawyer. This course is designed to make that transition easier by working on the differences between the two styles.
This is not a litigation course. We will not be writing briefs, motions, etc. and very little research will be required. Some case reading and analysis will be required but you won’t have to find the cases; I’ll tell you which they are.
My goal is to show you how to write for clients, which is very different from writing for teachers or professors. Accordingly, most of your work product will be client communication in one form or another.
During the semester, we’ll work on a simple editing exercise, attempting to convert a poorly written letter to something that a client can understand and apply. We’ll look at a simple escrow agreement in connection with a real estate sale and explain to our client what’s wrong with it, and then move into a complicated business transaction involving taking a public company private and hiring its CEO as CEO of the private company. That involves a “how to” letter to the client, a term sheet for the CEO’s agreement and eventually a draft of the employment agreement with a memo to the client describing the agreement’s open questions and some of the choices that the client has to make to finalize the agreement.
The emphasis throughout the course is not on preparing business documents – there are other courses for that – it’s on how to explain those documents to the client in a way that is as clear, concise and simple as can be accomplished.