This Workshop aims to deepen and sharpen students’ capacity to produce high-quality legal analysis. To do so, the Workshop will require students on a daily basis to train in order to improve the capacity to produce legal analysis valued by legal education and the legal profession. The training will revolve principally around generating answers to essay exam questions that are the centerpiece of the bar exam and of law school exams and to performance tests that are another centerpiece of the bar exam. Training will include contrasting the legal analysis rewarded on bar and law school essay exams and on bar performance tests with the legal analysis required for appellate briefs/and trial court memoranda of points and authorities, and the legal analysis found in judicial bench memoranda and published opinions.
In the course of this intensive training, this Workshop will explore – and make explicit what we understand as – legal analysis. What do we regard ourselves as recognizing when we label something legal analysis? What do we regard ourselves as doing when we generate legal analysis? How do we distinguish between excellent, average, and poor legal analysis? Do we judge legal analysis in the same way across a range of work (appellate brief; scholarly article; opinion letter; judicial opinion; the answer to a law school or a bar examination question)? Readings will include materials I have developed and used in training students, law graduates, and experienced lawyers. They will include, too, theoretical accounts of legal analysis; a range of how-to manuals; samples of first-rate exam answers, briefs and points and authorities, bench memos and judicial opinions – and more. At various points in the semester, practitioners of various forms of legal analysis will share their insights.
This Workshop is a graded, 5-unit course, with attendance, active participation, daily training exercises, weekly written reactions to readings, and a final individual paper all required. There are no prerequisites. The final paper can, with Professor López’ approval, satisfy the Student Analytic Writing Requirement, the Professional Responsibility Writing Requirement, and/or the Critical Race Studies Writing Requirement. The Workshop meets twice weekly, and in addition enrolled students must be available for additional training on designated Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, especially for simulated training. Enrollment is limited and admission is by consent of instructor.
A 3 unit Law 548 Legal Analysis Seminar is offered exclusively for students who have already taken the 5 Unit 548 Legal Analysis Workshop. This seminar offers advanced training in legal analysis. Enrolled students will be expected to help lead field work projects, to read materials included in an advanced syllabus, to meet as needed with the entire Legal Analysis Workshop and with ield work teams and Professor López, and to submit a final paper. The final paper can, with Professor López approval, satisfy the Student Analytic Writing Requirement, the Professional Responsibility Writing Requirement, and/or the Critical Race Studies Writing Requirement. Enrollment is limited and admission is by consent of instructor.