Legal Writing Center
Writing at CUNY Law School: A Pervasive Approach
Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for integrating legal doctrine, skills, and professional identity into its curriculum, CUNY School of Law is the rare law school that is committed to a writing- and writer-centered pedagogy across the law school curriculum. The School of Law participates in CUNY's university-wide Writing Across the Curriculum/Writing in the Disciplines initiative, which supports the incorporation of writing across a broad spectrum of academic experiences. Reflecting this CUNY-wide commitment, the School of Law's faculty engages an array of writing approaches and genres to develop students' skills and sophistication as legal writers. Our faculty's efforts are an integral part of the School of Law's mission to prepare students to become excellent public-interest lawyers.
Students as Legal Scholars
In addition to gaining experience in their course work writing in law practice contexts — from legal memoranda and court briefs to jury charges, judicial opinions, wills, and reports to the court — each year CUNY Law students contribute to a proud School of Law tradition of writing legal scholarship, which is published both in the CUNY Law Review: Scholarship for Social Justice and in many other academic journals.
CUNY Law Review
Published twice a year, the CUNY Law Review is a student-run publication dedicated to producing cutting-edge public-interest scholarship, engaging with the public-interest bar, and fostering student excellence in writing, legal analysis, and research. The Law Review has published numerous symposium issues over the years, including volumes addressing the jurisprudence of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the work of CUNY Distinguished Professor Ruthann Robson, as well as symposia on the legal issues implicated in the Convention Against Torture, in the governance of non-profit organizations, and in the detention of combatants in Guantanamo.
International Law Society Digest
CUNY Law students with an interest in international law are featured in the International Law Society Digest, an annual publication of shorter written pieces by CUNY Law students, ranging from personal narratives and opinion editorials to scholarly works and articles. Like the CUNY Law Review, the Digest is edited by CUNY students and reflects CUNY's distinctive emphasis on public-interest law and social-justice issues.
The Writer's Forum showcases ideas about professional communication and a range of genres in which lawyers write, including narrative and reflective writing. The Forum also features writing by CUNY students, including essays, book reviews, reflections, creative writing, and CUNY's annual observance of national poetry month.
Students who participate in Moot Court competitions gain excellent experience not only in oral advocacy but in brief writing.
The Law School's Writing Center is a multipurpose resource serving the entire Law School community. Among other services, it helps students develop strategies and techniques and gives examples for mastering the skills necessary to produce high-quality legal writing. The Writing Center offers workshops and individual tutorials led by three highly qualified Writing Fellows, each of whom is a Ph.D. candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center with extensive writing experience and training in the theory and teaching of rhetoric and composition.