Course Description


Gotthelf, Szymanski

* 5 Credits (all credits are graded and course credits)

3 credits for Fall Semester (WI) 601:702

2 credits for Spring Semester (S) 601:703

The course also carries a skills (S) credit for the entire year of work.

* Students must receive a C or better in the fall semester to continue to the spring semester and to receive the skills (S) credit for the year.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of LAWR I and II courses or equivalent; selection through competition run by the student board. Students who have already taken Persuasion in Legal Writing may take Hunter for a total of 3 credits: 1 credit in the fall, and 2 in the spring. 

Exclusions: Students who take Hunter Moot Court may not also take Persuasion in Legal Writing. Students who have had Persuasion in Legal Writing may take Hunter Moot Court, but will earn only one (1) graded credit in the fall semester (and two credits in the spring semester).

Students in Hunter Moot Court may not enroll in any other moot court competition that holds its arguments during the spring semester.

Limited Enrollment: Selected by competition the prior spring.

This course covers two semesters: students enrolling in the course commit to a full-year program and both courses. In the fall, students study advanced legal writing theories, by reading and applying the literature about interdisciplinary theories of persuasion and advocacy. Students write an appellate brief and receive feedback from their instructor. Among the topics addressed in the fall classes are standard of review, selection and use of authority, classical rhetoric, cognitive and discursive psychology theories of persuasion, metaphor theory, and narrative techniques and visual design. Team dynamics are also discussed, because the fall semester culminates in a team-written appellate brief. The final version of the brief forms the basis of the grade.

The spring semester course focuses on oral advocacy using the same simulation problem of the fall semester. The spring semester includes a 7-week intensive course about oral advocacy, with readings and classes focused on rhetorical formats of verbal persuasion, delivery, and theme. Simultaneously, students prepare for the oral argument competition, which begins in late February and concludes in late March or early April.