Legal Education | Legal Writing and Research
Lawyering-skills courses, although typically writing-focused, address a wide array of topics. Indeed, to prepare an effective legal document, students must not only write well but analyze well. And, although teaching the pure-writing aspects of the course is certainly a challenge, teaching the analysis-related skills is often the most difficult.
Among the thorniest of these skills are synthesizing cases, applying facts, and persuasively framing the law. Professors struggle to teach these skills, and students consistently struggle to understand and implement them. To lighten the burden for both professors and students, we have approached these skills structurally and, in doing so, have identified the fundamental components of the skills and common pitfalls associated with understanding and implementing them. With this foundation, we have created teaching models and examples that provide professors with a systematic, refined method for helping students acquire these skills.
Lara Freed and Joel Atlas, "A Structural Approach to Case Synthesis, Fact Application, and Persuasive Framing of the Law," 26 Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing 50 (2018)