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







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!"