The spring semester
In the spring semester, you’ll take the third and fourth credits of Legal Research and Writing (LRW). This half of the course builds on the skills you learned in the first semester but adds layers for written and oral persuasion.
As in the fall, you’ll work with realistic documents and client files and play the role of a junior attorney researching and writing about your clients’ problems. This time, however, you’ll be dropped into your cases after litigation has begun. So, rather than predicting how a court might rule, as you did in the fall, you’ll be advocating to a court for a particular result for your client.
The settings for the spring client files are federal or state trial courts. Over the semester, you’ll write two briefs in support of motions in two different cases. You’ll also argue one of your motions orally at a mock motion hearing. (A “motion” is a request to a court, and a “brief” is the written argument.)
The spring-semester course, like the fall semester's, dovetails with the expectations of many summer internships and legal jobs, which often involve researching and writing trial-court motions and briefs. And the spring semester gives you a strong foundation for the Law School’s moot court competition and for a spot on one of the Law School's prestigious law journals. During the summer after the 1L year, the journals run a write-on competition to select new members. (About 40% of students participate in a journal.) Then in the fall of your 2L year, you’ll have the option to participate in moot court, a competition in appellate advocacy. (More than two-thirds of the class does so.)