Legal Writing Program

History of the Program

Thomas Jefferson School of Law has ranked as high as 16th in the nation in U.S. News & World Report ranking of top legal writing programs. When Thomas Jefferson's legal writing program began in 1993, it was one of the first in the country to be taught primarily by tenured and tenure-track faculty members and to draw extensively on thinking, learning, writing, and teaching methods from other disciplines.

Today, the program incorporates best practices from benchmark legal writing programs, learning and teaching experts, and fields including rhetoric, composition, literature, education, and psychology. For students, this means that they will engage in solving increasingly complex legal problems as they are introduced to and then begin to master the essential lawyering skills of analysis; reasoning by induction, deduction, and analogy; research; and written and oral communication and persuasion.

Overview of the Program

The first year of the curriculum is taught by a team of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members augmented by a group of experienced practitioners. The full-time faculty members have varied teaching backgrounds, extensive law practice experience, and diverse scholarly interests ranging from literary and rhetorical theory to international law.

The school's commitment to hiring full-time tenure-track faculty members to teach legal writing has added continuity, richness, and depth to their teaching. It allows professors to develop their scholarship interests as well as to bring into the classroom their deepening experience and understanding of the teaching and the practice of legal writing. The legal writing curriculum at Thomas Jefferson is designed to help prepare graduates to become accomplished and productive attorneys by equipping them with critical skills, acquainting them with social and ethical responsibilities, and introducing them to a range of practice settings. The program recognizes that Thomas Jefferson graduates will play diverse roles as they practice different kinds of law.

Learn about the scholarly interests of some of the Legal Writing faculty.