Elizabeth Fajans

Associate Professor of Legal Writing

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-7989 |  Email  | CV
Areas of Expertise

Language and the Law
Legal Writing

B.A., Sarah Lawrence College
M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers University

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.

Writing for Law Practice

This course aims to send students out into practice as able and confident crafters of legal documents by teaching (1) the nuts and bolts construction of common practice documents and (2) sophisticated writing skills that either cut across documents or are unique to particular documents. We will trace the documents that arise from a legal dispute letters, complaints, answers, affidavits, motions, judicial opinions as well as familiarize ourselves with the high-stakes prose of rule-making regulations and contracts. The course will involve in-class editing and writing exercises, and two or three moderate-length out-of-class assignments, at least one of which will be rewritten.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade only. Students graded on writing assignments. The course satisfies the Upperclass Writing Requirement.