Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School requires every student to take and pass a minimum of 11 credit hours of legal skills courses before graduation.  All of the courses in the curriculum require the completion of at least one rigorous writing assignment.

First Year

Legal Writing, Research & Advocacy I  (3 credits)

This class focuses on building the skills set required for thorough legal analysis. Students apply these skills to prepare both closed and open memos that are designed to develop students’ objective reasoning and writing.

Legal  Writing, Research & Advocacy II  (3 credits)

This class further develops the skills covered in the fall semester, but requires students to apply those skills to a more complex set of facts in the persuasive writing context.  Students also present oral arguments that lead to the selection of new members for JMLS’s Moot Court Board.

Second and Third Year

Students must take one upper-division skills class in their 2L year and another in their 3L year.  The students’ course selections must amount to at least 5 credit hours of advanced legal skills instruction.

Pretrial Practice & Procedure  (2 credits)

Students handle a hypothetical case throughout the pretrial process by drafting complaints and answers, discovery plans and devices, and motions. Ultimately, each student drafts and argues a summary judgment motion.

Trial Advocacy & Writing  (3 credits)

Students learn the fundamentals of trial practice including persuasive techniques, jury selection, witness preparation, direct and cross examinations, objections, and opening statements and closing arguments.  After preparing a trial brief and motions in limine, students voir dire potential jurors and present a full-length simulated trial.

ADR & Writing (3 credits)

Students gain an overview of ADR processes and a practical understanding of how to use these processes through role plays, exercises, class discussions, and an in-depth paper in which students analyze current legal disputes and how those disputes can benefit from an ADR option.

Transactional Drafting  (3 credits)

Students learn the fundamentals of contract drafting and then apply those skills to a variety of transactional documents.  Students participate in simulated negotiations on behalf of their clients, draft agreements consistent with those terms, then further bargain for changes in the final contract.

Advanced Appellate Advocacy  (2 credits)

Students engage in a comprehensive study of appellate litigation practice while further developing their research, writing, and advocacy skills.  Students solve complex legal problems while writing and editing briefs on both sides of an issue and presenting oral arguments in an appellate context. *Additional classes that satisfy the upper-division writing requirements taught by other JMLS professors include Arbitration, Civil Liberties Seminar, and Scholarly Writing.