Legal Method and Writing

Legal Writing at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is an integral part of the curriculum.  The curriculum lays the foundation for additional writing experiences including journals and clerkships, and a number of Arizona State’s students have won national writing awards.  Significant attributes include: a consistent top 10 rank by U.S. News and World Report; full-time faculty with more than 65 years of combined teaching experience; first-semester sections limited to 20 or fewer students to permit in-depth instruction and ample individualized feedback; and course offerings that include required first-year courses and diverse elective courses. 

The first-year curriculum includes two foundational courses:  Legal Method and Writing and Legal Advocacy.  In these two courses, students learn and master the following skills:  rule synthesis; issue identification; analogical reasoning; organizational paradigms that express legal reasoning; legal writing style; citation format; objective and persuasive legal writing; legal research; and oral presentation.

Furthermore, the research and writing curriculum at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is designed to ensure practice-ready students as they begin externships, summer jobs, and their careers as lawyers.  Offerings include the following upper-level courses:

  • Advanced Legal Research
  • Advanced Persuasion and Creative Advocacy
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Contract Drafting and Negotiating
  • Indian Legal Research 
  • Intensive Legal Writing
  • International Legal Research 
  • Writing for Law Practice 

Our graduates have a solid foundation in legal research and writing because they understand the requirements of successful communication in practice. 



Charles Calleros
Andrew Carter
Susan Chesler
Tamara Herrera
Kimberly Holst
Amy Langenfeld
Chad Noreuil
Judy Stinson







Several ASU faculty presented at the Association of Legal Writing Directors 2015 Biennial Conference. Professors Judy Stinson and Tamara Herrera presented "Creative Ways to Integrate LRW into the Evolving Law School Curriculum." Professor Andrew Carter presented "The Economics of Legal Writing: Does Main Street Pay for Elegance?" Professors Susan Chesler and Amy Langenfeld presented "The 1L On-Ramp: Orientation Sessions and Legal Writing Faculty." The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law hosted approximately 160 legal writing directors and faculty for the conference from June 3-5, 2015.

Tamara Herrera received the Rocky Mountain Award, which recognizes "contributions beyond measure" to legal writing in the Rocky Mountain area. The award was presented at the Fifteenth Annual Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, hosted by the University of New Mexico School of Law, on March 6 & 7, 2015. Professor Herrera is the fifth recipient of the award.

Professors Charles Calleros, Andrew Carter, Sue Chesler, Tamara Herrera, Kim Holst, Amy Langenfeld, and Judy Stinson attended the Fifteenth Annual Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, hosted by the University of New Mexico School of Law on March 6 & 7, 2015. Professor Carter presented "The Value of Elegance: First Steps Toward an Economic Analysis." Professors Chesler and Stinson presented "Team up for Collaborative Teaching." Professor Holst presented "Framing Films and Facts." Professor Langenfeld presented "'Never Deprive Another Student of a Learning Opportunity': Images of the Law Class in TV and Movies from The Paper Chase to How to Get Away with Murder." Professor Carter also served as Co-Chair of the conference's Program Committee.

Tamara Herrera was recently elected to the Association of Legal Writing Directors Board.

Kimberly Holst was recently elected to the Legal Writing Institute Board. She also published two articles: Developing a Scholarly Agenda--One Safe Picture, One Art Picture, The Learning Curve: AALS Section on Teaching Methods 2 (Winter 2014) and Clickers in the Classroom, AALS Section on Teaching Methods Newsletter 12 (Spring 2014).

Amy Langenfeld published Capitol Drafting: Legal Drafting Manuals in the Legal Writing Classroom, 22 Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research & Writing 141 (2014).

Chad Noreuil presented at the March 2014 Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference held at the William S. Boyd School of Law, Las Vegas: "Teaching Persuasive Writing Outside the Box: Anna Nicole Smith, the greatest human ever!"