Certificate in Legal Writing

Faculty Director: Andrea Funk, Associate Dean for Lawyering Skills and Institutional Assessment, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), tel. 714.444.4141 ext. 214.

To supplement its core lawyering skills curriculum and to reward outstanding students in legal writing, the Lawyering Skills Institute offers a Certificate in Legal Writing. Eligible students can earn the Certificate in Legal Writing while they complete the requirements for the regular J.D. program.

Students wishing to complete the Certificate in Legal Writing must file a Declaration of Intent Form prior to graduation.

To earn the Certificate in Legal Writing, students must complete the following courses:

  • Lawyering Skills 1 (formerly Legal Writing I)
  • Lawyering Skills 2 (formerly Legal Writing II)
  • Lawyering Skills 3 (formerly Professional Skills I)
  • Lawyering Skills 4 (formerly Professional Skills II)
  • Honors Writing* (formerly Advanced Legal Reasoning)

*This is a capstone course that builds on the core writing curriculum while challenging students with advanced study in logical and creative legal thinking, intricate analysis, and sophisticated case synthesis. Students will produce a 30-50 page paper of publishable quality. This course must be taken in a student’s final year in law school. To enroll in Honors Writing, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. The student must have a cumulative grade point average that places the student in the top 15% of his or her class at the time the student registers for Honors Writing.
  2. The student must have received a 3.4 or above in Lawyering Skills 1, 2, and 3 (formerly Legal Writing I, Legal Writing II, and Professional Skills I).

In addition to receiving the Legal Writing Certificate, the top student each year in Honors Writing may be designated the Outstanding Graduate in Legal Writing.