601:664. PUBLIC INTEREST LEGAL RESEARCH & WRITING (3 or 4) S/WI
Limited enrollment = 8
This is a hybrid clinical and writing course. Students undertake real legal research assignments from practicing lawyers who represent non-profits or government agencies. The course culminates in submitting a written product to the outside lawyer and students' oral presentation of their research results to the outside lawyer.
The course prepares students for collaborative law practice. Students are responsible both for producing their own work product and for providing peer feedback to other students on every stage of the research, writing, and oral presentation process. There is peer review of the research plan, outline, draft, revised draft, and practice oral presentations. Because students are cast both as the authoring attorney for their own work product and simulate the role of a supervising attorney for other students’ work product, there is substantial peer review of written work product in addition to work required for weekly class preparation. To facilitate collaboration, all assignments each semester are for a single outside entity (e.g., Philadelphia Commission for Human Relations, Philadelphia Law Department Civil Rights and Appeals Units).
Every week, students will make progress on their own research and writing projects and provide peer review to fellow students. While class time will be devoted to learning research, writing, and oral presentation skills, as well as collaborative meetings among students working on similar projects, most peer review and student work on their own writing projects, which is extensive, takes place outside of class.