For Everyone

The Writing Curriculum at the CUNY School of Law

The faculty at CUNY School of Law are committed to developing students' skills as legal writers as an integral part of the School of Law's mission to prepare students to become excellent public interest lawyers. In the service of this mission, the School of Law participates in CUNY's university-wide Writing Across the Curriculum Initiative, an effort dedicated to developing advanced writing ability through extensive writing practice across a broad spectrum of academic experiences.

The writing curriculum at the School of Law encompasses first- and second-year Lawyering seminars and the third-year clinical program, which emphasize the development of writing competency for law practice; writing-intensive "directed writing opportunity" elective courses offered in the second and third year in selected law topics; and courses offered throughout the curriculum that use a variety of analytic, reflective, and in-role writings to deepen students' understanding of legal doctrine.

CUNY Law School has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for the integration of legal doctrine, skills, and professional identity into its curriculum. Click here for a view of how our faculty integrate writing into their teaching.

In the writing curriculum, students approach writing as a discipline in its own right: they gain experience in using the frameworks and conventions of legal discourse; become more conscious of audience, professional writing context, and appropriate rhetorical choices; and hone their skills as writers through a systematic process of planning, drafting, feedback, and revision. The School of Law also offers additional rigorous writing experiences for course credit: a Law Review course requiring students to produce a 40-page publishable note or comment and a Moot Court course that requires a professional-quality appellate brief and oral argument prepared for an external competition or its equivalent.

In addition to offering writing opportunities through course work, the School of Law encourages students to submit their writing for publication. Click here for a selected list of recent law journal articles written by CUNY Law students.

Another venue for publication is the International Law and Foreign Affairs Digest, published by the school's International Law Organization; for further information, contact the ILO. The Writing Center also features student writing, including poetry and other creative work, in its online Writer's Forum.