University of Delaware

Legal Rhetoric

New course focuses on writing skills for future lawyers


1:13 p.m., April 17, 2013--The University of Delaware's Department of English will offer a new course during fall semester, focused on teaching the high-level writing and arguing skills needed to succeed in law school and in legal practice.

Designed for juniors and seniors interested in attending law school, Legal Rhetoric (ENGL 467) also will satisfy the College of Arts and Sciences' "second writing" requirement as well as the upper-level requirements for the English department's concentration in professional writing. It will be taught by Phillip Mink, assistant professor of English, who also teaches Legal Writing (ENGL 430), which is not a prerequisite for the new course.

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Law students are frequently required to write essays based on legal situations, Mink said, and those students who are unable to use language effectively may not succeed.

"Structuring and writing a complicated essay assignment is more challenging even than understanding the law involved," he said. “It's like putting together a giant puzzle, and the writer must help the reader understand how all of the pieces fit."

Writing in a clear and persuasive way, Mink said, "is challenging even for the most seasoned attorneys."

More information about the Legal Rhetoric course is available on the Department of English website.

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