Are your judicial documents clear, coherent and unambiguous? This course applies advanced composition principles to judicial writing at all levels of judicial work. Beginning with questions of aim, audience and style, we will go on to consider best practices in legal and judicial writing at this historical moment, and think together about relationships between decision-making and decision-writing.
What will I learn?
During this course, you will learn to:
- Diagnose and revise difficult and unclear writing.
- Identify the audience and styles of judicial writing.
- Master three levels of style necessary to strong judicial work.
- Define the relationship between writing and decision-making.
- Master a series of tasks necessary to writing complete, effective, and efficient judicial documents.
Who should attend?
Any judge, judicial officer, law clerk, or court-affiliated staffperson who writes briefs, opinions, findings of fact, conclusions of law, jury instructions, or correspondences can benefit from this course.
Who are the members of the faculty?
This course is team-taught by Judge Karen Hunt (Alaska, retired) and Professor Elizabeth Francis (University of Nevada, Reno). Since 1992, this team has developed the writing of over 1,200 judges in the Judicial Writing course.
How is this course taught?
The course combines lecture presentations and writing exercises. The lectures engage you in exercises of rewording sentences and paragraphs as well as critiquing opinions and other legal documents. The writing exercises culminate with one-on-one consultations between you and a faculty member.
What should I tell my presiding judge or funding agency so that my attendance will be approved?
By improving your writing ability, you will enhance both your productivity and efficiency. You will also be able to share many of the concepts and techniques learned through the course with your colleagues.
Whom should I contact for more information?
For more information, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (800) 255-8343 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This course qualifies for 2 credits toward the Master of Judicial Studies Degree Program and Judicial Studies Doctoral Program at the University of Nevada, Reno upon successful completion of the course and passing the course exam. In addition, this course qualifies for The National Judicial College Certificate in Judicial Development program Administrative Law Adjudication Skills, Dispute Resolution Skills, General Jurisdiction Trial Skills, Special Court Trial Skills and Tribal Judicial Skills disciplines.