Friday, January 09, 2009

Writing Lags in Law Schools

insidehighered.com
January 7, 2009

"Law schools have to be responsive to the ever-changing legal world to keep their curriculums relevant and meaningful, but the latest findings of a national survey suggest that they should also be focusing more on the basics. The 2008 annual results of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement, released today, show nearly half of all law school students reporting that their education does not “contribute substantially” to their ability to “apply legal writing skills” in the real world."

Read the whole article here.

"'Despite near universal agreement on the value of these skills and competencies, legal writing, for example, is typically featured primarily in the first year, and viewed by students as a sidebar in their doctrinal classes,' writes George D. Kuh, LSSSE director and professor at the Indiana University."

What do you think? I think that's probably true. There is an assumption that you will get practical legal writing opportunities in your summer internships or your articling year. This article is from the US system, where they don't even get an articling year.

For many law graduates, this is a key skill, as they will end up writing many legal memos. Or is it important? I would say that it is very important for any new lawyer that will be drafting contracts, briefs, facta, and letters, the last of which makes up a large part of any lawyer's profession.

1 comment:

Bindi Sandhu said...

As far as I can remember, there was very little "writing" in the first year Legal Research and Writing course...and mind-altering amounts of research. Perhaps the two are separated now but that's certainly how it was back in my day (90s). A separate legal writing course would have been immensely useful.