Law and the Rhetorical Tradition
In this interdisciplinary seminar we will explore the rhetorical underpinnings of legal argument. In the first half of the course, we will acquaint ourselves with relevant elements of the rhetorical tradition. In the second half, we will analyze a variety of legal texts (both written and oral) with an eye to the use and function of rhetorical principles, as well as the ways form and content are mutually constitutive. This course aims both to increase students' understanding of rhetoric as readers and interpreters of legal texts and to develop students' skills as writers and speakers. Students will be expected to participate in class discussion in addition to completing a series of writing assignments including the rhetorical analysis of legal and non-legal texts and the revision of students' legal writing. Special Instructions: This course can satisfy either the Writing "W" or Research "R" requirement. The instructor and the student must agree whether the student will receive "W" or "R" credit. For "R" credit, the paper is substantial and is based on independent research. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. Elements used in grading: Class participation, attendance, assignments, final paper. Automatic grading penalty waived for writers. Writing (W) credit is for students entering prior to Autumn 2012.