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Legal Writing Program Grows .

Publication Date: 
November 04, 2010
Yale Daily News
Nikita Lalwani

The Stanford Law School is mentioned in an article in the Yale Daily News on different legal writing programs among law schools. Here is the story:

To strengthen its legal writing program for first-year law students, Yale Law School now has a judge offer feedback on student writing in weekly workshops and instruct students who also work as teaching assistants.

The addition of John Walker ’62, a visiting lecturer and senior judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to the program this semester is the latest of the Law School’s efforts to improve its legal writing instruction. Until it added a second instructor in Noah Messing LAW ’00 in January 2009, the Law School had only one dedicated legal writing instructor for first-year students to supplement students’ regular classes. This recent expansion of the Law School’s legal writing program also highlights the school’s unique approach to teaching first-years, said original legal writing instructor Rob Harrison ’74, as Yale is one of few law schools in the country that does not teach legal writing as a separate, year-long program for first-year students.


During their first semester, Law School students take one of their required courses in a small group. These small groups can elect to spend one hour each week on skilled training, which may include research or writing instruction. At Stanford Law School, first-year students take part in the year-long Legal Research and Writing Program in addition to their regular courses. The program emphasizes theories of rhetoric and persuasion, said Jeanne Merino, the director of the program. Students at Harvard Law School also take a year-long course called the First-Year Legal Research and Writing Program, said Susannah Tobin, director of their program.

Harvard students receive one-on-one instruction and feedback on their writing from Climenko Fellows, a group of high-achieving, recent law school graduates, Tobin said. Although Stanford Law School does not have judge on faculty to teach legal writing to first-year students, they regularly invite judges to the law school to speak to students, Merino said.