The unified writing curriculum at UNT Dallas College of Law is designed to provide you with opportunities to receive detailed feedback on your substance and style, and then rewrite your work. We believe learning happens when students put "pen" to "paper;" however, we also believe that the opportunity to redraft your work after receiving critical feedback maximizes our students' growth. Legal writing is integrated throughout your legal education with opportunities for extensive one-on-one feedback.
First Year Legal Writing Curriculum
At the College of Law, legal writing is deeply embedded in the law school curriculum from a student’s first year through his or her third year of law school. Legal writing is a pivotal part of each entering student’s first-year courses, as it comprises a total of six credit hours (separate and apart from an additional two-credit legal research course). During the first-year legal writing course, students fine-tune their grammar knowledge and writing style, while mastering the basic skills associated with objective and persuasive writing. The Director of Legal Writing, the Assistant Director of Legal Writing, and our Writing Resource Specialist, together with a team of highly successful practicing attorneys, jointly teach all first-year students UNT Dallas College of Law’s unified writing curriculum. This team-based teaching approach allows students extensive one-on-one contact with full-time professors and practitioners, while ensuring that students receive extensive feedback and have abundant writing resources if extra help is needed.
Upper Level Legal Writing Curriculum
At the College of Law, the legal writing curriculum does not culminate at the close of this six-credit first-year legal writing course. Instead, after the first year of law school, UNT Dallas College of Law students complete a three-hour Legal Writing III course in the fall or spring of their second year. The College of Law offers a variety of Legal Writing III courses that students can select based on their interest, including: (i) Appellate Drafting; (ii) Civil Motions; (iii) Criminal Motions; (iv) Discovery Drafting; (v) From Bar to Practice Readiness (by referral); (vi) Judicial Writing; (vii) Transactional Drafting; and (viii) Teaching Fellows (by application/invitation only).
Legal Writing III courses, which are taught by full-time professors or adjunct professors who have previously taught Legal Writing I or II, offer a rigorous writing experience that enables College of Law students to fine-tune their legal writing skills, while simultaneously exploring various areas of substantive law.
In addition, the College of Law offers a number of extra-curricular writing segments every year. These extra-curricular writing segments provide students with extra practice in areas of interest or in areas where a student has determined he or she needs additional help before the bar exam. All extra-curricular writing segments are graded by rubric and students receive written feedback on the writing. Some example of extracurricular writing segments include:
- Draft and submit a brief related to a school-sponsored writing competition, such as the Annual Thompson & Knight Moot Court Competition.
- Complete an MPT Exam under the supervision of the Bar Readiness team.
- Draft a short memo on a bar-related topic not covered by the College of Law's required courses, such as the First Amendment, under the supervision of the Bar Readiness team.
Regular Feedback in all Legal Writing Courses
At the College of Law, we strongly believe that the best way to become a proficient legal writer is to (i) practice writing as much as possible; (ii) receive constant feedback; and (iii) use that feedback to rewrite. With this in mind, all Legal Writing courses incorporate regular feedback —both written and oral—and include multiple drafts of major graded assignments.