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Legal Writing

Client Advice Letters - Ethical and Professional Considerations

This CALI lesson will introduce you to the ethical considerations associated with writing client advice letters. The lesson is intended for a first year law student currently taking a legal writing course. No previous knowledge of ethics is presumed.

A series of explanations and questions will guide you through a basic introduction to the regulation of attorney conduct. You will then examine how ethical considerations influence the lawyering skills associated with the preparation of advice letters.

Drafting Contracts Using 'Shall', 'May' and 'Must'

A large percentage of litigation arising out of contracts results from poor drafting. In order to eliminate this litigation, it is imperative that students and legal professionals master good drafting skills. One of the most important aspects of drafting a contract is the operative language--language that affects legal relationships. This lesson is designed to introduce law students to operative language commonly used in drafting contracts, in particular, language of obligation (shall), language of authorization (may) and language of condition precedent (must). The lesson begins with a segment explaining each of the three categories of operative language followed by exercises which permit the student to apply his or her understanding of proper usage of that category. The lesson concludes with a segment of general exercises that test whether students have mastered the distinctions among the different categories of operative language.

Email Correspondence: Ethical and Professional Considerations

This is one in a series of lessons directed at the ethical and professional considerations associated with the production of particular lawyering documents. This lesson is intended to introduce first year law students to the ethical and professional considerations associated with email correspondence in law practice. No prior instruction in professional responsibility is required.

Ethical Considerations for Legal Memo Writing

This is one in a series of lessons directed at the ethical and professional considerations associated with the production of particular lawyering documents. This lesson is intended to introduce first year law students to the ethical and professional considerations associated with the preparation of predictive, interoffice memoranda. It is assumed that students are familiar with predictive, interoffice memoranda. No prior instruction in professional responsibility is required.

How to Brief a Case

This is an exercise designed to introduce first-semester law students to the basic elements of a typical case "brief" and to teach them general methodology for writing their own briefs. The exercise consists of three parts: (1) an introduction to the purposes and uses of a case brief; (2) a detailed examination of each of the ten components of a typical case brief (with examples); and (3) two actual cases that students are asked to read and then to brief, using the methodology described in this exercise.

Introduction to the California Style Manual

This lesson will help you master legal citations using the California Style Manual, Fourth Edition (hereinafter "Manual"). This exercise is to assist you to master the specific rules of citation for your briefs and legal memoranda. It does not deal with proper citation formats for law review footnotes. Throughout this lesson, you will be asked to read specific portions of the Manual and apply that knowledge to answer interactive exercises.

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