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LAW Advanced Legal Writing: Public Interest Litigation

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LAW 792

Advanced Legal Writing: Public Interest Litigation

Law School

General course Description:

Public-interest litigation is often an uphill battle. Civil rights plaintiffs have difficulty prevailing even when their fact-patterns are sympathetic, as can be seen in contexts from sexual harassment lawsuits to wage to hour claims and from police brutality and prison conditions cases to transnational human rights complaints. Yet when public interest impact litigation does succeed it can enable or even galvanize social movements-both domestic and international-and meaningfully change the legal landscape. This class will focus on the skills necessary to litigate public interest lawsuits, and, in particular, public interest impact litigation. We will focus on marrying research and analysis of statutory text and case law and harnessing the creativity necessary to win such lawsuits by using those research and analytical results to write two briefs from the perspective of public interest or pro-bono advocates. Along the way, we will examine some of the most important briefs of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in various public interest contexts to unpack the rhetorical and analytical skills needed to persuade judges across the ideological spectrum. Grading will be based on a Mandatory P/R/F system, taking into account research and writing as well as class participation. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Students on the waitlist for the course will be admitted if spots are available on the basis of priority. Early drop deadline: Students may not drop this course after first week of class.

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