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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Judicial Decision-Making and Writing (Spring 2017)

  • Course Number: LAW-873
  • Class Number: 03642
  • Instructor: Omar Noureldin

Course Description

This course introduces students to the workings of judicial chambers and will explore how judges make decisions. Throughout the semester students will be exposed to, and write, different types of documents commonly used by judges to communicate their decisions such as jury instructions, trial court orders, and appellate court opinions in both federal civil and criminal cases. Substantive topics will include everything from civil rights cases to intellectual property disputes and criminal sentencings to habeas corpus petitions.

The class aims to develop your research, analysis, and writing skills beyond what you learned in your first-year legal writing courses. You will rely upon briefs, memoranda, and other documents filed in actual cases before the U.S. District and Circuit Courts. Classwork will focus on the theory, structure, and style of judicial decision-making and writing, while affording you the opportunity to work on writing composition principles through various exercises, including a final paper. This course is intended to appeal to any student who is interested in a federal judicial clerkship or wants to understand why judges make decisions and how they communicate them.

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 2
  • Grading Options: Numerical Only
  • Schedule: W 6:00 pm - 7:50 pm
  • Room Number: Ackerman Courtroom - Room 107
  • Exam: Paper
  • Writing Requirement: Yes
  • Skills Requirement: no
  • Participation: Required and graded
  • Enrollment Limitation: 15 students