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Legal Research and Writing


Successful communication is essential to professional life, and Penn State Law students prepare to address the court, opposing parties, clients, and colleagues from the first semester of legal education. Students learn about effective writing and research from experienced litigators, writers, and teachers who use a problem-based approach to teach students the realities of legal practice. From year one through graduation, J.D. students get hands on practical writing experience; LL.M. students work on honing their legal English writing, reading, and speaking skills through both coursework and practice.

Erin Heaney“A law student is officially on the path to becoming a professional writer. As a future lawyer, your job now is to build the skills necessary to be an effective advocate—especially the art of written advocacy. Take the time to get it right. Do more than just finish the assignment or try to get the A. Legal research and writing are two of the most important skills you will take away from your first year and possibly all of law school. They are foundational to everything you will do both at PSL and beyond. Spend the time now to learn and improve these skills as much as you can. The work you put in now will pay off in spades later on.”

Erin Heaney, Class of 2020