Legal Writing Curriculum

The unified writing curriculum at UNT Dallas College of Law is designed to provide you with opportunities to receive detailed feedback on your substance and style, and then rewrite your work. We believe learning happens when students put "pen" to "paper;" however, we also believe that the opportunity to redraft your work after receiving critical feedback maximizes our students' growth. Legal writing is integrated throughout your legal education with opportunities for extensive one-on-one feedback.

First-Year Writing Curriculum

LAW 7308 – Legal Writing I – 3 SCH

Focuses on understanding and practicing effective legal writing, through frequent writing exercises and for a range of audiences. Core goals include understanding and applying the following: sources and hierarchies of legal authority; reading and interpreting cases and statutes (also emphasized in other first-year courses); the process of legal analysis (also emphasized in other first-year courses); synthesizing rules from cases, statutes, or both; distinctive features of effective legal writing. The course will focus on predictive legal analysis.


LAW 7309 – Legal Writing II – 2 SCH

Building on Legal Writing I, continues to focus on understanding and practicing effective legal writing but with a focus on persuasive writing and with an introduction to basic research skills. As with the first semester, the course will include multiple writings, including the preparation of a summary judgment brief and culminating in participation in the Law School’s annual motion argument competition—the Judge’s Gavel. Students take a separate legal research course simultaneously with this course to delve into the intricacies and process of conducting legal research.

Prerequisites: Legal Writing I. 

Upper-Level Writing Curriculum

In addition to the required first-year legal writing courses, in order to graduate from UNT Dallas College of Law a student must complete eight writing segments.  A student satisfies this requirement through the successful completion of six writing assignments in six of his or her upper-level courses and successful competition of the law school’s Major Writing Requirement.  

Writing Segments

The courses that offer writing segments and the precise writing assignments associated with those courses vary by semester and by professor. All writing segments are graded by rubric and professors provide the students with individual or global feedback on the writing assignment.  The list below details some of the writing segments offered in upper level courses during the 2017-1018 academic year.

  • Constitutional Law: Students draft a bench memorandum.
  • Business Associations: Students draft a partnership agreement.
  • Evidence:  Students draft a Motion in Limine.
  • Wills, Trusts, and Estates: Students draft a will.
  • Texas Civil Procedure: Students draft a Motion to Transfer Venue.

In addition, the College of Law offers a number of extra-curricular writing segments every year. These extra-curricular writing segments provide students with extra practice in areas of interest or in areas where a student has determined he or she needs additional help before the bar exam. All extra-curricular segments are graded by rubric and students receive written feedback on the writing.  Some example of extracurricular writing segments include:

  • Draft and submit a brief related to a school-sponsored writing competition, such as the Annual Thompson & Knight Moot Court Competition.
  • Complete an MPT Exam under the supervision of the Bar Readiness team.
  • Draft a short memo on a bar-related topic not covered by the College of Law's required courses, such as the First Amendment, under the supervision of the Bar Readiness team. 

The Major Writing Requirement

A student may satisfy his or her Major Writing Requirement in two ways: a student may enroll in a Major Writing Independent Study under the direction of an academic supervisor, a major writing supervisor, and a research supervisor or a student may enroll in an upper-level advanced writing practicum.  Each semester the doctrine covered by the advanced writing practicums varies, but the list below details the advanced writing practicums offered during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Advanced Writing Practicums:

  • Advanced Writing Practicum: Contract Drafting
  • Advanced Writing Practicum: Motions Practice
  • Advanced Writing Practicum: Appellate Advocacy
  • Advanced Writing Practicum: Discovery
  • Advanced Writing Practicum: Amicus Brief Writing
  • Advanced Writing Practicum: Judicial Writing
  • Advanced Writing Practicum: Criminal Motions Practice



Page last modified on January 24, 2018 at 10:49 am.