Legal reasoning, research and writing (konwersatorium) - 2018/2019

Course description
General information
Lecturer:mgr Marzena Rzeszót
Organising unit:Faculty of Law, Canon Law and Administration - Instytut Prawa
Number of hours (week/semester): 1/15
ECTS code:00000-0201-0200KON0157
Language of instruction:English
Course objective
This course is a practical skills development course designed to teach students how to think like a lawyer, to analyze the case and to prepare legal documents. Through preparation of various legal documents the students learn how to research and prepare documents used in the practice of law, and in legal research and writing of written arguments such as memorandums, letters and briefs.
intermediate level of English.
Learning outcomes
Teaching method
TEACHING TECHNIQUES: Socratic method, brain storm, small groups, cases, discussion, writing assignments
Course content description
I. Introduction to the Legal Reasoning, Research and Writing:
a. Importance of Legal Writing/Research
b. Skills covered as part of this course
c. Assignment: one page personal statement.

II. The Client Letter:
d. Lecture, example: fact pattern
e. Discussion
f. Assignment: Draft Client Letter.

III. The Memorandum:
g. Lecture, example: Fact Pattern
h. Discussion
i. Assignment: Fact Pattern no.2 – Partner Memorandum.

IV. The Taxonomy (Sources) of Law:
j. Common Law and Customary Law
k. Statutory Law
l. Administrative Law
m. Constitutional Law
n. International Law.

V. Case Analysis:
o. Demonstration of a Case Analysis – IRAC Application
p. Assignment: Lovercamp case analysis.

VI. Statutory Law:
q. Analysis and interpretation of statutory law
r. In class Assignment: City Council Case.

VII. Legal Research:
s. Sources of Law
t. Manual Research
u. Internet Based Legal Research
v. Electronic Database
w. Assignment: Fact Pattern

VIII. Basic Writing Instruction:
x. Structuring the sentence, paragraph and essay
y. In Class Assignment: Essay on favorite city or celebrity.

IX. Preparing a Statement of Facts:
z. Identifying legally significant, key background and irrelevant facts.
aa. In Class Assignment: Fact Pattern.

X. Analysis: Applying Law to the Facts:
bb. Lecture, example
cc. Discussion
dd. Assignment: Fact Pattern.

XI. The Demand Letter:
ee. Lecture, example
ff. Assignment: Fact Pattern.

XII. Contracts and other Legal Agreements:
gg. Lecture – demonstration, example
hh. Assignment: Fact Pattern (prepare a contract).

XIII. The Legal Brief:
ii. Example in Class Review and Lecture:
i. Cover page
ii. Table of authorities
iii. Statement of facts
iv. Summary of argument
v. Argument
jj. Formatting Issues in Legal Writing
kk. Class Final Assignment: student teams prepare Civil or Criminal Briefs depending on choice.
Forms of assessment
Grades scale: 2-5. For 3.0: producing all required written assignments with minimal effort, for 5.0 producing all required written assignments with excellent result
Required reading list
Obligatory reading materials are distributed during the course of the class. Reading includes cases from the United States Supreme Court.
Field of study: Law
Course listing in the Schedule of Courses:
Year/semester:Year IV - Semester 7
Number of ECTS credits: 2
Form of assessment: Grade
Year/semester:Year V - Semester 9
Number of ECTS credits: 2
Form of assessment: Grade