Interactive Legal Research & Writing Lessons: Persuasive Writing – Writing Persuasively for Different Audiences and Purposes (Boyle-Laisure)

West Academic Publishing
Primary Subject
Legal Writing
Interactive Videos
Modular LRW

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This module covers a variety of practice documents. It will provide you with an introduction to writing persuasively, using explanations and short exercises.

In Lesson 1, you will become familiar with three categories of correspondence: Email, Letters to Clients, and Opinion Letters. Provided in this lesson are tips that all students should learn before starting internships, summer employment, or permanent jobs. For instance, when is it appropriate to use email for correspondence to your supervising attorney? What is the difference between “cc” and “bcc”?

Client letters include those used for transmittal of documents, which are different from progress letters informing the client of progress on a case or a deal. Transmittal letters and progress letters are different from advice letters that lawyers provide their clients in response to emerging issues. You will be exposed to each of these distinct types of communications.

Opinion letters are often obtained by experts for purposes of giving assurances about tax implications and other matters. This unique type of letter is briefly explained to help prepare you for practice.

Lesson 2 introduces Demand Letters, Trial Motions, and Appellate Briefs. Demand Letters are primarily used in civil practice. Sample demand letters and exercises will help you to hone your skill set.

This lesson exposes you to an overview of motion and appellate practice. You will identify the differences between a civil and criminal case and different types of motions for each and become familiar with common terms and concepts such as habeas corpus proceeding, a petition of certiorari, and the distinction between harmless and reversible error. You will engage in lesson instruction and question and answer format to absorb important concepts such as standards of review and preservation.

Lesson 3 covers Legislation Drafting. You will be equipped with an understanding of the legislative process as well as the details of the construction of statutes. The lesson begins with a review of the American legislative process and the functions of our three governmental branches. You will then proceed through a step-by-step process of how a bill becomes law and learn to distinguish among slip laws, session laws, and codes. Then you will identify parts of a statute –such as statutory definitions, bill titles, and the purpose section.

Lesson 4 describes Judicial Opinion Writing. You will parse the parts of a judicial decision and gain an insider’s view of chambers. A judicial decision includes many subparts, such as the procedural history, facts of the case, a short statement of the legal issue, and this lesson walks you through these intrinsic parts. Researching the law is an integral aspect of the job of a law clerk, and electronic research tips are provided. You will work with a sample case and will be asked to answer pointed questions to enhance your understanding of judicial opinions.