Legal Writing Seminar for Financial Services

This is a year-long course designed to teach students in the Financial Services Law LLM program how to research and write a scholarly academic paper of approximately 25 to 30 pages on a financial services topic of their choosing. The goal is to teach the students the principles of academic writing of a caliber suitable for publication in a law journal. In the first semester, the course teaches students how to conduct legal research, both in print materials and through computer research. The class also teaches students the academic standards of proper attribution, quotation, and plagiarism, including some training in how to put citations in proper BlueBook format. In addition, students are instructed and tutored on writing and legal writing fundamentals such as proper sentence construction, precision and clarity, proper word choices, organization, and use of thesis and topic sentences. Students receive extensive written feedback on their drafts from the professors, after which a conference is held with the student to provide oral feedback and reply to questions from the student. By the end of the first semester, students have written the title, introduction, and Part I of their papers. In the second semester, the class teaches students how to write the normative section offering a solution to the problem discussed in the descriptive section, the section responding to criticisms of the proposal, and the conclusion of the paper. Students learn how to revise their papers and self-assess their papers to ensure they satisfy all of the formatting and writing requirements taught in the course. During the second semester, students turn in several drafts of their papers and receive written and oral feedback for each part, with individual conferences with the professors after each draft. By the end of the second semester, students turn in the final completed paper and receive a letter grade for their work in the course.

Course Information
Course #: LAW 870
Program: LLM
Area of Study: Financial Services Law and Compliance
Credit Hours: One credit hour for first semester; two credit hours for second semester.