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Legal writing after the first year

Legal writing is a talent that—like athletic, musical, or artistic prowess—must be practiced and honed continuously for the legal writer to improve and become an expert. As part of this process, after students complete the year-long 1L legal writing course, all J.D. students are required to successfully complete a significant research and writing project to satisfy the Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULWR).

Further, the Legal Writing Program encourages students to pursue additional coursework in legal writing during each subsequent year of their educational journey at Brooklyn Law School, particularly courses tied to areas of practice that interest each student.

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Brooklyn Law School students are required to complete two legal writing “experiences” prior to graduation. The first of the two required legal writing experiences, known as the “Substantial Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULWR),” must be faculty-supervised. The second, known as the “Additional ULWR,” does not require faculty supervision. These upper-level writing experiences may be completed in either order, but one must be completed during the 2L year; in other words, students cannot wait until their final year at the law school to satisfy both required experiences.

The Substantial ULWR must involve original thought and substantial research, and the resulting work must follow standard legal citation form and be of professional quality, conforming to the standard rules governing attribution, academic honesty, and plagiarism. The work should be a minimum of 5,000 words, and more typically 10,000, exclusive of footnotes. Mentoring faculty members are required to provide meaningful feedback on at least one draft, and may, in their discretion, take initial drafts into consideration when determining the final grade.

The Additional ULWR may be satisfied through law review and journal notes, Moot Court briefs, documents prepared in the course of clinics and externships, documents prepared in Legal Drafting classes, and documents prepared in other settings approved by a faculty committee. In order to satisfy the Additional ULWR, the work must be the result of legal research and analysis, demonstrate the proper use of authority, and must be clearly written. The Additional ULWR must be a minimum of 2,000 words.

See Upper Class Writing Requirements on BLS Connect (under Registration).