Students studying

Legal Writing

To prepare students for professional careers, students are required to focus on legal writing throughout their three years of study. As students write and talk about the law, their understanding of the law develops. Correspondingly, as students' understanding of the law deepens, their ability to write and talk about it increases. Expanding both understanding and communications skills increases students' abilities to solve problems for clients in clinical settings.

Legal Writing Requirements

J.D. students are required to satisfactorily complete three legal writing requirements during Law School, two of which must take place during the first two years of Law School (see Scholastic Requirement Rule 5).

  • First Year: Legal Research and Writing
  • Second Year: Serve on a law journal or participate in moot court
  • Second or Third Year: Participate in moot court as a student director or competition team member, serve on a journal as an editor, or take an upper-level Law School writing course


Annual student writing award recipients with writing coordinator and faculty.
Dean Garry W. Jenkins welcomed the Minnesota Supreme Court to the Law School for oral arguments in State of Minnesota v. Berry Alan Willis
Allen Barr (’17) was named the winner of the 2017 Scribes Law Review Award for his note, “Guardians of Your Galaxy S7: Encryption Backdoors and the First Amendment,” published in the Minnesota Law Review (Vol. 101, Issue 1).
Alysha Bohanon was named the winner of a 2017 Distinguished Legal Writing Award  for her note, “Tweeting the Police: Balancing Free Speech and Decency on Government-Sponsored Social Media Pages,” published in the Minnesota Law Review (Vol. 101, Issue 1).
student to legal writing faculty ratio