ENG 468: Writing & the Practice of Law

Writing in the practice of law is rhetoric, not simply description or narration or classification or exposition or even "logical" argument. In the practice of law writers are interested in effective writing, not in good writing, except to the extent that what may be considered good writing is also effective (Good writing can be effective writing: bad writing is almost always ineffective.) In this course, we will look at some of the many different kinds of writing lawyers do in the practice of law and learn as we do what it means to read writing not as mere exposition or logical argument but as a kind of action. We will perform several short writing assignments designed to help us address the issues that arise in a number of different kinds of legal writing. Some of this writing will be done collaboratively, as it often is in a law office. The writing will be collected in a final portfolio that will be accompanied by an analysis and estimate of the effectiveness of the writing you have done.