Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Issue statements: what to teach law students

An experienced legal-writing teacher says:
I teach my law students three formats for issues. I teach the "whether" format and the deep-issues format, plus the "under-does-when" format.

I much prefer the deep-issues format, but I don't know where my students are going, and I want them to be knowledgeable about and competent in all three formats. Some courts and some law firms may require that each issue be written in a single sentence. Some lawyers may believe that a single-sentence format is required because that is all they ever see.
This approach is wise. I would like to do it, too, but my course is short and limited in scope, so I don't think I can afford the time for all three approaches.

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