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Legal Research and Writing

US News and World Report BadgeThe Legal Research and Writing Program

At the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, the nationally ranked Legal Research and Writing (LRW) Program offers a student-centered approach to legal writing instruction that integrates legal analysis with practical skills and professionalism. A dedicated, full-time faculty has adopted learning outcomes for a 6-credit sequence that combines instruction in legal research, writing, and analysis with exposure to essential lawyering skills—including interviewing, counseling, negotiation, and oral advocacy. The LRW Program is ranked second in Florida and 7th nationally by U.S. News & World Report. The LRW Program has long been a point of pride at NSU Law.

The first-year, first-semester course focuses on objective, predictive legal drafting around an issue of state law. Predictive legal analysis is generally done in a simulated inter-office setting. During the life-cycle of a typical file, students: 

  • conduct legal research
  • interview clients
  • draft inter-office legal memoranda

The first-year, second-semester course focuses on litigation in a trial court, integrating legal research of federal law and persuasive legal drafting in each client file. As students work through a litigation file they will: 

  • draft client communication 
  • research and write memoranda in a trial court
  • orally argue a motion 

Working with client files, students are exposed to a variety of skills. They use electronic course platforms and are trained to complete electronic research. They are also exposed to a variety of lawyering skills including negotiation, meditation, and oral argument. In both semesters of Legal Research and Writing, the primary emphasis is on legal analysis, case synthesis, and mastery of legal research and writing. Ethics and professionalism are also integrated throughout the year so students understand the special obligations and privileges afforded to lawyers.

Beyond the classroom, the LRW program collaborates with local lawyers and judges to host student events that complement the LRW curriculum through its LRW Student Outreach Program. Staffed by a group of LRW faculty who volunteer their time, the LRW Student Outreach Committee produces quality programs that reinforce legal research and writing skills with a concentration on professionalism. Since 2013, the program has provided an opportunity for NSU Law 1L students to focus on such things as writing and wellness, citation, oral advocacy, interviewing, time management, and ethics. Each year, the program offers highly interactive workshops that also allow for “near peer” mentoring opportunities for upper-level students. The LRW Student Outreach Program has been recognized both nationally and in Florida with the 2020 Group Professionalism Award from The Florida Bar and the 2021 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association. At the NSU College of Law, the Legal Research and Writing Program continues to embrace new developments in legal education and active teaching methods to prepare students for the practice of law.

The Legal Research and Writing Program Faculty

Our exceptional LRW faculty members have diverse practice experience and are nationally recognized for their teaching, scholarship, and service. They are active leaders with the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors, as well as other national organizations. In addition to LRW, faculty members teach a wide array of courses, including graduate writing and doctrinal classes. They pride themselves on their commitment to student and community involvement.

Faculty members who teach in the Legal Research and Writing Program include:

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