Legal Methods and Legal Writing
Comprehensively Integrating Theory and Practice
We intensively engage our students in legal methods and legal writing over the course of three years, enabling them to graduate with essential skills to become effective attorneys. By the time our graduates file their first brief in court or counsel their first client, they have had opportunities in class and in co-op placements, clinics and pro bono projects to hone their research, analysis, writing and oral advocacy skills.
The study of legal methods begins even before arriving 1Ls start their full schedule of classes. During orientation, students critically read and interpret cases and statutes, conduct research in print and electronic media and place themselves in the lawyer's role by analyzing hypothetical problems. This early experience lays a critical foundation for students as they begin their classes and as they build their careers. Students described the introduction to Legal Methods during our Orientation as “absolutely necessary” and one of the best features of the week-long program.
As a capstone experience in the first year, students argue their briefs before practicing attorneys in real courtrooms used by the Philadelphia bench.
This intensive first-year curriculum prepares students for future co-op placements and clinics, where they will work in a variety of legal practice settings. Legal Methods faculty and co-op faculty work together to keep content current and relevant to today's practice. Seminars that are part of the Co-op Program reinforce these skills.
We also offer upper-level courses that involve substantial research and writing components. We tap the rich resources of the Philadelphia bar and draw upon experienced attorneys to expand our legal writing offerings.