To succeed in today’s rapidly changing legal environment, an attorney must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently to a wide variety of audiences. South Texas College of Law Houston’s Legal Research and Writing Program focuses on teaching students this highly valued skill set.
The Program strives to create practice-ready attorneys who can meet the challenge of providing excellent work in a timely and cost-effective manner. In the students’ first year, full-time, tenured and tenure-track professors teach mandatory legal research and writing courses in a hands-on, small-class setting. Students learn how to think critically about and evaluate every aspect of a legal problem. Through this analysis, they learn how to choose the best research tools for their needs and circumstances and to use them effectively to get the information they seek. In addition, students learn how best to present the information they have found to different audiences in different formats – to attorneys through an oral report or an office memorandum, to clients through a client letter, to adversaries through a pleading, and to judges through a persuasive trial or appellate brief or oral argument.
In subsequent years, students can augment their research and writing skills in numerous ways. Advanced legal research classes, drafting courses, and research paper seminars present opportunities for further study. The Clinical, Advocacy, and Advanced Dispute Resolution Programs also include a strong research and writing component as does participation in Law Review or South Texas College of Law Houston’s other student-run journals.
The unprecedented number of “Best Brief” and “Scribes” awards received for student writing, and the accolades of former students, attest to the vital role the Legal Research and Writing Program plays in South Texas College of Law Houston’s commitment to providing a truly practice-based legal education.