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Using Actual Legal Work to Teach Legal Research and Writing

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: Legal research and writing (LRW) teachers should use actual legal work to teach their courses, including (indeed, especially) first-year courses. The legal work might come from a planned or ongoing lawsuit, transaction, or other matter. What is important is that it is real, although in my model, the teacher can add hypothetical features to customize the legal work to the particular LRW course. For example, in an appellate advocacy course, the teacher could present the legal issues arising out of a pretrial matter by summarily deciding them in a hypothetical trial court opinion, thus allowing the students to fully explore them in their appellate briefs and oral arguments.

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