Writing as Part of the Law School Experience

Professor David Nadvorney

Writing, of course, is an integral part of any developed law school academic support program. The goal of an ASP is to maximize student success, and because legal education and the profession are so deeply-rooted in written language, the more opportunity students have to write, the better their training will be and the greater chance they have for success.

At CUNY, our academic support program (delivered through the Irene Diamond Professional Skills Center) is designed around the continuum of a law student's work. The writing aspects of that continuum include class preparation (case briefing), in-class notetaking, outlining, exam preparation (hypotheticals), and exam review and revision.

Students who attend Skills Sessions and participate in other Skills Center activities have the opportunity to practice and get feedback on all the tasks in the continuum. Skills Center staff do the reading for and attend class. They are familiar with the assigned cases and are available to work with students on their case briefs. Similarly, we hold note-taking workshops, sometimes in conjunction with the professor. Students can get feedback on their course outlines, and of course, throughout the year, there are multiple opportunities to write answers to practice hypotheticals, with sample answers and individual feedback. Finally, after exams, students are welcome to review their exam answers, and to revise them and get additional feedback.