Elements of Legal Argumentation I (ELA-I)

Elements of Legal Argumentation I (ELA-I)

ELA-I is the foundational legal analysis and communication course. In the context of a problem solving approach to legal writing students learn how to do the information gathering, pre-thinking and argument development that are essential to good legal communication. Students learn to identify legal issues presented by specific fact situations. They are given an overview of collecting relevant information, including an introduction to legal research. Students learn how to connect this information as they analyze a legal problem in preparation for writing both predictive and persuasive documents. Students learn how to determine relevant legal rules and apply those rules to specific facts to arrive at a reasonable conclusion in a specific case. Students practice organizing the information and their analysis into a logical and coherent structured proof of their conclusion and then effectively presenting the proof in a specific written or oral format to a specific audience. Students also learn to perfect the mechanics of their documents as they learn techniques for effective revising and editing. Assignments include short in class and out of class information gathering, pre-writing, writing and oral communication exercises as well as lengthier writing assignments. In addition, students are introduced to client communications and legal drafting.