Upper Level Courses

Writing, research, reasoning, and analytical skills are critical to every aspect of legal learning. WCL's Legal Rhetoric and Writing Program extends beyond the first year curriculum, and distinctive elements of the program are:

  • An upper-level writing requirement, assuring that students will continue to develop legal skills. The requirement can be fulfilled through a seminar course or special research seminar, work on one of the school's law journals, or an independent study project.
  • Upper level courses include elective courses such as Law and Literature, Law and Narration, Law and Popular Culture, and Appellate Advocacy.
    Additional courses are as follows:

  • Advanced Lawyering Skills: Tort Litigation
    This course teaches the skills needed by a young lawyer in the first three years of civil practice. It places particular emphasis on the skills needed to write opposition briefs and reply briefs, the responses lawyers make to the legal memoranda written by their opponents. It also addresses dispositive motions, case analysis, and the preparation and response to civil discovery.


  • Legal Drafting
    In Legal Drafting, students learn the principles of drafting transactional, non-litigation documents, such as client engagement letters, settlement proposals and letters, custody agreements, and agreement addenda. Students also have the opportunity to simulate the real life practice of family law, including drafting litigation pleadings, discovery documents, and other documents to which they are not exposed in Legal Rhetoric. The course emphasizes role play, hands-on exercises and individualized critique of student work. The course also includes a settlement conference and a mediation session.


  • A "writing across the curriculum" approach, implemented in an increasing number of courses and programs both to enrich learning the law and to develop specialized legal writing skills.