Courses

Jayne Ressler

Associate Professor of Legal Writing

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-7931 |  Email
Areas of Expertise
Legal Writing
Employment Law
Civil Procedure
Education
B.A./B.S., University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School of Business
J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School

Civil Procedure

This course is designed to introduce beginning law students to the elements and procedures of the civil justice system. The course covers the litigation process from commencement of a case through appeals. Major topics include jurisdiction, remedies, pleading, discovery, class actions, and pretrial and trial procedures. Issues covered in the course include: In what court may a lawsuit be commenced? Over what persons and entities does a court have power? Who may participate in a lawsuit? How much information must opposing parties disclose to each other? What are the roles of the judge and jury?

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade only. Final exam.

Employment Discrimination

This course focuses on prohibitions against employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, and disability. These prohibitions are found primarily in modern federal civil rights statutes. The course considers the sources, theories, and goals of anti-discrimination laws.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Final exam.

Fundamentals of Law Practice 1: Objective Legal Analysis

In the first semester, students learn objective legal analysis as the foundation of the problem-solving and practical skills so important for graduates in todays rapidly changing legal environment. Classes are small, allowing for extensive written feedback and one-on-one conferences with professors. Classes are typically characterized by frequent experiential simulations and robust peer and self-evaluation, with discussions of professionalism and ethics. Students learn the principles of legal reasoning through four writing assignments, each requiring progressively more complicated factual and legal interpretation. Students also learn the most up-to-date , cost-effective legal research tools and strategies. By the end of the semester, students learn how to professionally and effectively present findings, in writing and orally, as they will as real-world lawyers.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade only. Students graded on written and oral assignments.

Fundamentals of Law Practice 2: Advocacy

In the spring semester, students learn the art of advocacy. Students build on the skills they learned in the fall semester by researching a complex and emerging area of law, developing and organizing persuasive arguments, and drafting a brief to the court. Continuing a pioneering tradition at Brooklyn Law School, international law topics, as well as topics based on U.S. law, are included in the persuasive writing curriculum.

Through this experience, students are exposed to the ethical obligations of an attorney representing a client in a litigation context. In two additional highlights of the semester, students present their oral arguments to a panel of three judges and put their persuasive skills to the test in a negotiation exercise.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade only. Students are graded on written and oral assignments.

Fundamentals of Legal Drafting

This course will cover basic principles of drafting that apply to a wide range of documents. The documents include those common to litigation practice, such as complaints and motions, and documents in the practice of preventive law, such as contracts, wills, private legislation (by-laws, covenants), and public legislation. Students will develop skills in analyzing documents critically; in conceptualization (analyzing facts, identifying major issues, classifying provisions, creating sections, defining terms); in logical and systematic arrangement of material (using a topical focus, using appropriate headings and sub-headings, placing material in the appropriate order, using tabulation); and in choosing language which is flexible, yet unambiguous.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade only. Students are graded on a series of assignments. Satisfies the Upperclass Writing Requirement.