Lawyering Process Program

Our Curriculum

Our three-semester lawyering process curriculum requires students to complete nine graded credits of legal analysis, research, writing, and skills training. This expansive program of study allows students to leave school already proficient in the key language skills of legal practice.

A Grounding in the Basics
The first-year courses focus on predictive and persuasive writing, research, and professionalism; the course also includes introductions to the lawyering skills of interviewing, counseling and negotiation.

A Chance to Specialize
Students select from a menu of courses for their third required course in lawyering process. This practice allows students to shape their own legal writing experiences and offers faculty an opportunity to develop courses that reflect to their own interests. Advanced courses currently include drafting (both general courses, and area-specific courses like drafting in the intellectual property context and transactional drafting); advanced advocacy (both trial and appellate), Advanced Persuasion, Rhetoric and Persuasion, Briefs that Changed the World; Judicial Writing; and a general advanced legal writing course. Often students chose to take more than one of these classes, even though only one is required.

A Law School Community that Values Writing
Other opportunities for students to write abound at the law school. Students write a scholarly paper during their upper division years, and attend required workshops on scholarly writing. Experience on advocacy competition teams is available. "Advanced Writers' Group" offers students the chance to further develop their writing and critiquing skills through peer review workshops. Additionally, the law school offers students the chance to participate in several service learning projects that involve writing.

Boyd students have also enjoyed the opportunity to learn from nationally respected legal writing teachers from outside our school, including Professor Terri LeClercq of University of Texas, Professor Teresa Phelps of American University and Professor Terry Seligmann of Drexel University. We look forward to continuing this tradition of bringing in notable scholars to teach our students.

Faculty Teaching Lawyering Process have been an important and respected part of the law school faculty since the founding of the law school in 1998. The law school has recognized the contribution of those teaching Lawyering Process by awarding professorships to four faculty members who teach lawyering process classes. Click here for more about the faculty.

In addition to our full-time faculty, a small group of gifted professionals teach as adjuncts in the third semester lawyering process classes. These dedicated lawyers bring practical expertise to the program as well as knowledge of the current demands of practicing law. In our adjunct training program, all new adjuncts co-teach with full-time faculty before moving on to teach on their own—our way of allowing them to develop teaching experience to match their professional knowledge.

Small classes allow us to employ a full range of pedagogies. Faculty members can merge the various approaches to create their own styles, effectively matched to their strengths. Our first year classes typically have 14-20 students per class, and the upper-level lawyering process courses cap enrollment at 15.

Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop - December 5, 2014. Click here for details.

Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference: The 14th Annual Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference was held on March 28 and 29, 2014 at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law in Las Vegas, Nevada. Click here for details.

Thank You to Our Recent Visiting Faculty for Enriching Our Program:

Kathy Stanchi  Mel Weresh  Terry Seligmann  Karen Sneddon

We want to thank the professors, schools, and groups that have allowed us to share knowledge, energy, and ideas with four wonderful visiting professors during the last two years.

Kathy Stanchi from Temple was our Visiting Scholar in Persuasion for a too-short visit in spring 2012; Mel Weresh from Drake was our ALWD Legal Communication & Rhetoric Visiting Scholar for a similarly too-short visit in spring 2013. Because of our transition to a fully tenured and tenure-track program, we've hired longer-term visitors as well. We were lucky enough to share our spring 2013 semester with Terry Seligmann from Drexel, and we are looking forward to a full-year visit starting in August with Karen Sneddon from Mercer. (As part of that transition, we're moving from a directed program to a collaborative consensus curriculum; those discussions are enhanced by talking with experienced and thoughtful visitors.)

Thanks to these great professors and their schools for enriching our teaching and scholarship.

Penny Pether
Penny Pether

First Annual Award

UNLV was honored to be the site for awarding the first annual Penny Pether Award for Law and Language Scholarship. The award was presented Nov. 15, 2013, at the West Coast Rhetoric Scholarship Workshop at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law.