First Year: Legal Writing Foundation
During the first year at Colorado Law, students take a year-long course which teaches them the essential tools needed for effective legal writing. During the fall semester, students learn how to analyze a practical legal problem and communicate that analysis in writing. Students write legal memoranda, letters, or e-mail messages, all with the goal of communicating practical legal analysis to the appropriate audience. In the spring semester, students turn to persuasive writing, learning how to appropriately craft legal documents to accomplish a client's objectives.
- Legal Writing is taught in small sections. The transition to the legal writing universe is a challenging one for many students, as they are introduced to both an unfamiliar vocabulary and methods of organization and analysis. Accordingly, full-time faculty members teach legal writing in small sections.
- Students receive extensive individual feedback. Students receive extensive written comments on their work, revise work in accordance with their professor's suggestions, and meet one-on-one with their professor throughout the year.
- Students engage in increasingly complex problems set in realistic contexts. First-year students begin by learning how to read a case, and they complete increasingly complex assignments over the course of the year. Every student concludes the first year by producing an appellate brief and participating in an oral argument before a mock judicial panel of practicing attorneys. Every assignment requires students to use legal authorities in real-world ways.