789 Writing: Federal Litigation

This writing and experiential course will provide students with the opportunity to practice several different types of persuasive writing used in federal litigation. The students will work on a hypothetical case involving an employment discrimination matter. The students will follow the case from the administrative agency level, to the filing of a complaint in federal court, through the discovery process, and culminating in the filing and arguing of a motion for summary judgment. In addition to writing, the students will have the opportunity to interview a client and a witness and to practice their oral advocacy skills in a mock meeting with a partner and a mock hearing. This course will be useful for anyone interested in practicing in federal court and/or pursuing a federal clerkship at the trial court level.

Course Areas of Practice
Evaluation Methods
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation
  • Reflective Writing
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Degree Requirements
Course Type
  • Simulation
Learning Outcomes
  • Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context

Sample Syllabi

Fall 2022

2022
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

789.01 2
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation
  • Reflective Writing
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Melissa Hanson W 10:30 AM-12:20 PM 4040

This writing and experiential course will provide students with the opportunity to practice several different types of persuasive writing used in federal litigation. The students will work on a hypothetical case involving an employment discrimination matter. The students will follow the case from the administrative agency level, to the filing of a complaint in federal court, through the discovery process, and culminating in the filing and arguing of a motion for summary judgment. In addition to writing, the students will have the opportunity to interview a client and a witness and to practice their oral advocacy skills in a mock meeting with a partner and a mock hearing. This course will be useful for anyone interested in practicing in federal court and/or pursuing a federal clerkship at the trial court level.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Fall 2021

2021
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

789.01 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Melissa Hanson W 10:30 AM-12:20 PM 4040

Persuasive writing is integral to almost all aspects of civil litigation.  This two-credit hour advanced experiential course will allow you to deepen your understanding of legal research while honing your written and oral advocacy skills.  Using a simulated case, you will plan litigation strategy by interviewing a client, preparing a factual chronology of the case, and analyzing the merits of the claims.  You will also practice drafting and responding to discovery requests and preparing to take and defend depositions.  Finally, you will draft a motion for summary judgment and supporting memorandum of law and argue the merits of the motion in a mock oral argument. 

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Fall 2020

2020
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

789.01 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Sarah C. W. Baker Tu 10:30 AM-12:20 PM

Persuasive writing is integral to almost all aspects of civil litigation.  This two-credit hour advanced experiential course will allow you to deepen your understanding of legal research while honing your written and oral advocacy skills.  Using a simulated case, you will plan litigation strategy by interviewing a client, preparing a factual chronology of the case, and analyzing the merits of the claims.  Finally, you will draft a motion for summary judgment and supporting memorandum of law. For Fall 2020, Prof. Baker’s course will be offered virtually, with some opportunities for in-person interaction, such as office hours or conferences. The class offers numerous opportunities for peer interaction and review of work (virtually), as well as numerous opportunities for professor feedback on work.  

Pre/Co-requisites
None

789.02 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Melissa Hanson M 10:30 AM-12:20 PM

Persuasive writing is integral to almost all aspects of civil litigation.  This two-credit hour advanced experiential course will allow you to deepen your understanding of legal research while honing your written and oral advocacy skills.  Using a simulated case, you will plan litigation strategy by interviewing a client, preparing a factual chronology of the case, and analyzing the merits of the claims.  You will also practice drafting and responding to discovery requests and preparing to take and defend depositions.  Finally, you will draft a motion for summary judgment and supporting memorandum of law and argue the merits of the motion in a mock oral argument. 

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2020

2020
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

789.01 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Melissa Hanson W 10:30 - 12:20PM 4044

Persuasive writing is integral to almost all aspects of civil litigation.  This two-credit hour advanced experiential course will allow you to deepen your understanding of legal research while honing your written and oral advocacy skills.  Using a simulated case, you will plan litigation strategy by interviewing a client, preparing a factual chronology of the case, and analyzing the merits of the claims.  You will also practice drafting and responding to discovery requests and preparing to take and defend depositions.  Finally, you will draft a motion for summary judgment and supporting memorandum of law and argue the merits of the motion in a mock oral argument. 

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2018

2018
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

789.01 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Sarah C. W. Baker W 10:30-12:20 PM 4040

This course will provide students with the opportunity to learn several different types of persuasive writing used in federal litigation. The course will focus on one hypothetical matter involving federal law.

Priority in registering for this course is given to J.D. students, specifically those who have not yet fulfilled the upper-level writing requirements. LLM students are allowed to enroll if fewer than fourteen J.D. students enroll.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2017

2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

789.01 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
Sarah C. W. Baker W 10:30-12:20 PM 3171

This course will provide students with the opportunity to learn several different types of persuasive writing used in federal litigation. The course will focus on one hypothetical matter involving federal law.

Priority in registering for this course is given to J.D. students, specifically those who have not yet fulfilled the upper-level writing requirements. LLM students are allowed to enroll if fewer than fourteen J.D. students enroll.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2016

2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

789.01 2 Sarah C. W. Baker W 10:30-12:20 PM 3171

This course will provide students with the opportunity to learn several different types of persuasive writing used in federal litigation. The course will focus on one hypothetical matter involving federal law.

Priority in registering for this course is given to J.D. students, specifically those who have not yet fulfilled the upper-level writing requirements. LLM students are allowed to enroll if fewer than fourteen J.D. students enroll.

Syllabus: 789.01.Spring2016-syllabus.docx22.28 KB

Pre/Co-requisites
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.