Our Curriculum

What makes a top-ranked program? Our curriculum.

Our curriculum is a key reason that Seattle University School of Law's Legal Writing Program has been consistently recognized as one of the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Our practice-focused courses help us prepare great lawyers by featuring courses that prepare students for practice, including our Real Clients in the First Year projects that allow 1Ls to work on a real case involving social justice issues. Our teaching methods are designed to help students develop excellent skills so they can hit the ground running.

Our practice-focused courses

Our students take nine required credits of legal writing, and they can take a variety of upper-division electives to further develop and refine their research and writing skills. These courses prepare students to research, analyze, and write like a lawyer so that they are ready for success in their first summer jobs and beyond.

  • Legal Writing I: Legal Writing, Skills, and Values: In their first year, students take an innovative six-credit, two-semester course that combines legal research, legal writing, client-focused lawyering skills like interviewing and negotiation, and lawyering values like professionalism and cultural competence. In the spring semester, all students participate in the Real Clients in the First Year project, which gives students the opportunity to work on social justice issues with one of the law school's clinics or a local nonprofit. After taking this course, first-year students have the skills they need to work independently in their summer internships or jobs.
  • Legal Writing II: Written & Oral Advocacy: In their second year, students take a one-semester, three-credit course that emphasizes persuasive writing and oral advocacy, culminating in an appellate oral argument before a panel of local practitioners and an opportunity to enter a prestigious moot court competition. This class prepares students to serve as powerful advocates for justice in any practice area.
  • Upper-division electives: Upper-division students may deepen their skills by choosing from a number of research and writing electives taught by legal writing faculty, professional librarians, and local practitioners. They can also participate in externships or represent clients in clinical classes, both of which are designed to build on their legal writing experiences.

Our teaching methods

We prepare students to be great lawyers by focusing on the processes and skills that lawyers need. We design assignments that build on each other to give students these skills, and we provide detailed individualized feedback on each student's work to help them develop these skills. Not only do our professors work with students one-on-one, but we also have a writing advisor who provides additional assistance.