2830.19 - Writing Laboratory and Forensics Colloquium
Writing Laboratory and Forensics Colloquium
Upper secondary education or the equivalent.
To enhance writing and public communication for law students, and help to develop their skills in composing, analyzing, editing, and evaluating various sorts of texts that need to be produced by practicing and/or academic lawyers. It will also be concerned with the development of skills in communication in public venues, for example, in the courtroom, in conferences or in seminars.
This course is built around thirteen weekly units (weeks 36-41 and 43-49), each of which will include a lecture, some readings, discussion of sample items, and a weekly exercise which is submitted and then (anonymously) discussed, peer-examined and evaluated (graded) in class under the direction of the teachers. In weeks 43 and 49 multi-part examinations will be held for which the weekly classes and exercises will constitute preparation. Exercise topics will include: writing for a target audience, composing and drafting selected types of legal texts (such as legal briefs, contracts, wills) and texts in standard form, abstracts and summaries, structuring and organizing texts, text editing, composing legal arguments, translating legal texts, writing for a journal, and composing and delivering presentations at a conference or seminar.
Learning and teaching approaches
The course consists of lectures, discussion and application of assigned readings, analysis and discussion of sample items, and thirteen weekly exercises which are prepared outside of class, submitted and then (anonymously) discussed, peer-examined and assessed in class under the direction of the teachers.
Students completing this course shall: - have further developed skills in composing, editing, and evaluating the various sorts of texts that need to be produced by practicing and/or academic lawyers, - have further developed skills in communication in public venues, for example, in the courtroom, in conferences or in seminars. Accordingly, by the end of the course the students shall: - be able to draft texts in a way that takes the specific target audience into consideration. - be able to succinctly summarize texts and prepare abstracts. - be able to compose objective memoranda of law using appropriate format, organization, and citation. - demonstrate written and verbal communication skills, including in oral advocacy; - be able to analyse and edit texts, including their own, with special reference to structure, organization, and transparency. - understand the special demands of legal writing and the differences from and similarities to other styles and types of writing. - be cognizant of, and able to explain, the various types of documents that lawyers are often charged with drafting such as contracts and wills and acquire the ability to draft them.
Grades for the course will be based upon (1) timely submission of weekly exercises and participation in the peer-assessment process 30% (the peer-assessments of the exercises are for the purposes of instructive feedback and do not go into the computation of a student’s course grade); (2) multi-part mid-semester examination 35%; and (3) multi-part end-of-semester examination sequence 35%. The examinations will require students to produce texts or other items of the kind that they have prepared in the weekly exercises. Some parts of each examination may be sit-down written and/or oral exams, other parts may be in take-home form. Individual assessed items may be graded on the 100-point (%) scale, but course grades will be transparently computed and awarded on the University’s 7-point grading scale from the variously weighted partial results.
Mikael M. Karlsson et al., Some Essentials of Legal Writing and Communication. Mikael M. Karlsson et al, eds., Workbook in Legal Writing and Communication: Exercises, Samples & Materials. Jens Evald, At skrive juridisk - Skriftlig jura for begyndere [Legal Writing - Law Writing for Beginners], Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag, 2019.