Legal Drafting


At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

1) Understand the differences, in style and purpose, between different types of legal writing, including but not limited to memos, briefs, letters, and emails;

2) Demonstrate proficiency in drafting professional legal correspondence;

3) Demonstrate proficiency in writing a legal memorandum, and other legal forms; and

4) Demonstrate the ability in using the IRAC (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion) form of organization to structure their legal writing.



General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Pedro Barrosa Caupers


Weekly - 1.5

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


Class Texts & Materials:

The assignments for this class will  be provided either in class or online on Moodle. The texts in use will be:

1)     Lisa Webley, Legal Writing, 4th edition (Taylor & Francis, Ltd., 2016) [ISBN: 978-1-13-884068-3]; and

2) Paul Rylance, Writing and Drafting in Legal Practice, (Oxford University Press, 2012) [ISBN:  978-0-019-958989-0].


Suggested Texts  & Materials: 

Jonathan Law, ed., Oxford Dictionary of Law (Oxford University Press, 2018) [ISBN: 978-0-19-880252-5].


Michael Hughes, Gramática Inglês (Porto Editora, 2018), ISBN 978-972-0-40499-2.

Teaching method

Professor will teach through the use of:

1) In class lecture;

2) Practical written, skill-building and in class group exercises;

3) Soliciting oral responses from individual students (Light Socratic Method);

4) Review of homework assignments; and

5) Occasional in class quizzes.





Evaluation method

Grading Method:

Your final grade will be found on a scale of 0 to 20. Every enrolled student has the right to take the final exam.

Alternatively, students enrolled in this course will have the ability to opt out of taking the final exam if s/he:

1)      Completes and successfully submits¿meaning on time, and prior to any deadlines¿both of the two (2) substantive writing assignments assigned during the semester;

2)      Completes and successfully submits a third, smaller written assignment;

3)      Demonstrates Average or better (¿C¿ as outlined below) proficiency on each of the submitted assignments; and

4)      Does not miss more than three (3) classes during the semester (without advance and appropriate notification, documentation, and/or excuse).

To fulfill this requirement, no late papers will be accepted, no exceptions (unless by prior request and arrangement with the professor, and well in advance of any named deadlines).

Any student choosing this ¿writing participation¿ option will receive a final course grade that is the average of the submitted writing assignments, subject to any increase or decrease based on in class participation, attendance, and/or professionalism.

For the written assignments, I will be using the following scale to assess your work:

A = Excellent

B = Very Good

C = Average

D = Needs Improvement

F = Poor


Final Exam:

The final exam will consist of a three-hour, closed book exam and will include essay questions and multiple-choice questions.  The exam will cover the material set forth in the assigned reading and covered in class.  Even if aspects of the assigned reading are not covered in class, you remain responsible for all material included in the assigned reading. Please check the FDUNL website for the exam date and time. 




Subject matter

1)     Objective: Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct basic legal writing and will be able to write more precisely and efficiently, including the proper use of legal vocabulary and grammar.

Syllabus: During the semester, students will complete and submit a minimum of three legal writing assignments; alternatively, for the final exam, students will have an subjective component that will require them to write an 2-hour essay response.

2)      Students will demonstrate the ability to discuss opposing points of view, both orally and in writing.

Syllabus: During the semester, students will complete oral and written exercises demonstrating their ability to form counterarguments.

3)      Students will develop the ability to read basic legal texts.  

Syllabus: Students will read legal contracts and torts cases. Students will also be assigned weekly legal vocabulary to memorize.

4)      In as much as these subjects may impact assigned writing exercises, students will become familiar with basic areas of Commercial Law (including, but not limited to contract) and Tort Law.

Syllabus: Students will read legal contracts and torts cases. Professor will lecture on such topics as well.

5) Students will utilize opportunities to demonstrate their learning in both objective, and subjective, or essay style examinations.

Syllabus: The grading evaluation consists of a final exam with multiple choice and essay components.





Programs where the course is taught: