Effective lawyering often requires the ability to communicate a convincing story from a client's point of view. In this class, students will improve their writing skills, and their ability to tell a convincing story by (1) reading and critically discussing well-written short stories, and (2) writing short stories to be critically reviewed and discussed by the class. Students will read and discuss several short stories, all with a law-related theme. In addition, students will write three short stories over the course of the semester. Student written work will be reviewed by both the teacher and other students in the class, and will be the subject of class discussion. Students will be expected to develop a clear theme for each story, and to present their story in a focused, coherent manner.
The focus on short stories is intended to expose students to a higher quality of writing than that typically found in legal authority. The class will emphasize critical reading skills and the importance of thorough editing and refinement of one's work. We will also explore the persuasive power of effective story-telling. Students must be well prepared to discuss stories assigned for each class. Regular attendance and thorough preparation will be critical.