785.02 Legal Writing in Civil Practice

Writing is integral to most aspects of state and federal civil law practice, including for those who aspire to become public interest lawyers. Public interest law involves advocating for those in poverty or who are part of marginalized populations on a range of legal issues, such as consumer law, evictions, domestic violence, and public benefits. A successful practice in public interest law representing indigent individuals requires taking a holistic approach to client problems, as well as communicating effectively with your clients, asserting your clients' rights, and advocating for your clients in litigation. This two-credit hour advanced writing course helps prepare students for the rigors of legal analysis and writing in a poverty law setting by providing a variety of practical writing experiences, which may include client correspondence and demand letters, pleadings, motions, and trial briefs. Assignments will be based on a number of poverty law issues, with a particular focus on consumer protection, which may include contracts, unfair trade practices, unfair debt collection, foreclosure defense, home solicitation scams targeted at elderly homeowners, fraud, etc. Writing assignments will involve initial drafts, instructor feedback, peer review, and final revisions, with students building a portfolio of their work during the course of the semester. Research skills will be reviewed and practiced. In addition to content analysis and structure, emphasis will be placed on the ethical and professional considerations involved with each assignment.

Special Notes:

Public Interest Focus

Fall 2023

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Practical exercises
In-class exercise
Class participation
Greg Pawlowski
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW-785-02-F23
Email list: LAW-785-02-F23@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Areas of Practice
Course Areas of Practice