Legal Writing Academy

Legal Writing Academy Portfolio and Leadership Course

CML 4113: Legal Writing Academy Portfolio and Leadership Course (3 credits)

Applications for 2012-2013 are now closed. Check back later for the application deadline for 2013-2014.

The Legal Writing Academy Portfolio and Leadership Course is a three credit, limited enrolment course, open to upper year students with excellent writing and interpersonal skills who want to create a professional legal writing portfolio, sharpen their self-editing skills, and take on a leadership role by becoming writing mentors.

t the end of the course, students will have four high-quality pieces of legal writing, allowing them to showcase their writing skills to future employers.  Students will work on a range of predictive and persuasive documents tuned to different audiences.  Short assignments and exercises will build the students’ writing skills; instructor feedback will be frequent and focused. . Students will also refine their self-editing skills and learn to provide feedback to colleagues.     

Students who demonstrate outstanding writing and interpersonal skills in the course will be selected for a $500-$1,000 Writing Leaders Fellowship to act as Legal Writing Academy mentors during the academic year.   Working closely with Legal Writing Academy professors, Fellows will spend up to 40 hours during the year mentoring other law students on common writing problems, and providing written comments and assessments on selected writing assignments.

Both the Course and Fellowship offer a range of practical benefits that will equip students well in the professional world.   The mentoring experience sets Fellows apart, offering them something unique to add to their résumés and overall law school experience.

Students must apply for the Legal Writing Academy Portfolio and Leadership Course.  Interested students must have excellent writing and communication skills and superior academic achievement.  Students chosen as Fellows are expected to demonstrate a high level of commitment and dedication to all aspects of the program as they serve as mentors to other students.

Students should apply by emailing a covering letter, résumé, legal writing sample of between five and ten pages, a law school transcript, and two academic references to the program coordinator, Fran Russo (, by TBD.  At least one reference should be from a law school faculty member.  Students may be called for an in person or phone interview. Successful applicants will be notified before course registration begins.

This course is by application only and is not listed under the on-line registration website.  Once selected, the Academic Office will register the students into the course.   

Questions? Please contact either Professor Ellen Zweibel ( or Professor Adam Dodek (

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Last updated: 2009.12.15