Course Description

601:513. PERSUASION IN LEGAL WRITING (3) WI mandatory

Robbins, R.A., Mallgrave

Prerequisites: LAWR 1 and 2 or equivalent

LE: 20

Exclusions: Students who have participated in Hunter Moot Court are ineligible to take Persuasion in Legal Writing. This exclusion does not preclude a student from taking Hunter Moot Court after completing Persuasion, for 1 rather than 3 credits in the fall semester. 

This course delves into the persuasion theories that underlie effective legal advocacy. Students learn and apply the “why” behind legal writing strategies. Among the topics studied are the classical and modern rhetoric foundations of legal persuasion and credibility (ethos/logos/pathos/kairos); the organization of different types of legal arguments by invention rather than by arrangement and formulas; the role of stock stories and visual imagery in legal and factual analysis; the use of literary/cultural allusions as part of legal reasoning; storytelling and narrative coherence in communications; and visual design and technologies used in attorney communications.

Throughout the semester students will analyze the persuasion used in attorneys’ communications—briefs, judicial opinions, emails, letters, contracts, public relations materials, and other documents. While there are several small projects assigned during the semester, the major project involves the substantial revision of a document previously written by the student, along with explanatory analytical annotations. **Students should have this previously written document selected by the second week of the course.