Our Teaching Methods

Learning for law school and beyond

We prepare students for "the real world" by focusing on the process lawyers use to research and analyze legal issues. Students can then use that process to solve the legal issues that they encounter in upper-division experiential classes, in summer internships and externships, and in post-graduate jobs and clerkships.

What our graduates say:

"As a judicial clerk, it quickly became apparent that I was expected to be able to shed light on difficult legal questions presented to my supervisors. I decided to do exactly what I had learned in legal writing and hope for the best. I pulled out my legal writing handbook and slowly went through the process of writing a memorandum. The next morning, [the judge] informed me that I had produced a "first rate" memorandum and it was the type he expects from legal interns, but seldom receives. After reading his remarks I immediately thought of my legal writing professor and all that she had taught me - it really works!"

What our graduates say:

"I remember the first case I took on as a solo practitioner. My very first court appearance was a hearing on two motions that I had filed. Because I did not have a chance to present oral argument, my entire case rested on the two motions that I submitted. And I drafted those motions entirely on my own with the support of my legal writing motion and appellate briefs as templates. Had it not been for my experience in the Legal Writing Program at Seattle University School of Law, I am sure my motions would not have been as clear, organized, effective, and persuasive as they were. I have continued to use the same formatting, structure, and organization for subsequent briefs and motions with similar success."

Assignments that build on each other

We believe that the best curriculum is one in which each assignment not only builds on what was learned before but also introduces new concepts and skills. Carefully sequenced assignments allow students to practice and master critical research and writing skills. Students have multiple opportunities to practice the skills that they learn, and assignments become increasingly complex throughout the program.

What our graduates say:

"My first year of legal writing was challenging but made me a better writer. I learned about legal writing through a variety of assignments. The topics were interesting and the memorandum I wrote in the spring semester was on a real topic for an actual client. My professor made the information clear and made legal writing one of my favorite first-year courses. It was the class that I put the most work into and continually felt challenged in. This class was the most beneficial and prepared me the most for my summer internship. The legal writing class was smaller so it is the class that I was able to build relationships with both my peers and my professor."

Individual attention and feedback

We provide extensive feedback on assignments and work with students, both in class and in individual conferences, to help them learn to analyze and revise their own work. Students receive written and/or oral feedback on many initial drafts and all final assignments. Students have the opportunity to apply that feedback to revise drafts to create even better final products. Our writing advisor is Professor Leslie Meserole, an experienced attorney who graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2002 and who served as Managing Editor of the Law Review when she was in law school.

What our graduates say:

"Legal writing did not come easily to me. During my undergraduate years I was taught to write very wordy papers with the motto "the longer, the better." To my dismay, I was told to do the exact opposite in my legal writing class. Luckily, I was provided with extensive feedback, and each and every memorandum or brief I handed in came back with more and more comments, which in turn helped perfect my legal writing ability."

What our graduates say:

"Throughout the program, the feedback on assignments from my professors was the most extensive and thoughtful I've ever received. I will always be grateful to my Legal Writing professors, extraordinary mentors who helped me identify what worked in my writing style and what could be improved, provided career and professionalism advice, and, most importantly, provided invaluable guidance on finding my own voice within the legal community."