Introduction to Advocacy

Introduction to Advocacy
Focuses on appellate legal writing and oral advocacy. Student will prepare an appellate brief and orally argue the case. Also includes training for online legal databases and introduction to administrative law and legislative history research.
 Hours2.0 Credit, 2.0 Lecture, 0.0 Lab
 PrerequisitesLAW 545; Admission to law school.
Course Outcomes


Students will learn the fundamentals of legal research, writing, and analysis, and will produce high quality legal documents, including an appellate brief, and revise your own and critique classmates’ work.

Legal rules

Identify legal rules and principles from a series of cases, synthesize the individual rules or principles into a complete rule, break the synthesized rule down into its component parts, and explain the relationship between them.

Legal Research

Complete effective, efficient, and thorough legal research.


Identify and articulate the reasoning behind a rule and its application as explained within a court opinion.

Conclusion of Law

Write a complete and coherent proof of a conclusion of law that shows your reader the conclusion you predict, states the rules that govern that conclusion, explains and analyzes those rules and shows how they operate, and applies them to the facts of your case.

Analogies & Distinctions

Draw meaningful analogies or make relevant distinctions between the facts of precedent cases and the facts of your client’s case.


Apply the reasoning drawn from precedent cases to the facts of your case to show your reader why and how that reasoning should lead to the same or a different result.

Legal Issues

Identify legal issues from a fact pattern, and devise and implement a research strategy to locate authority you need to solve the problem.


Communicate in “plain English” to avoid legalese, unnecessary jargon, and other styles that call attention to the writing itself or in other ways obscure or detract attention from your meaning.


Properly cite to a legal authority.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Identify organizational, analytical, and communication strengths and weaknesses within another author’s work.

Fact Statement

Identify determinative, contextual, and coincidental facts from a fact pattern, and arrange the necessary facts into a logical and objective fact statement.

Appellate Brief

For the Appellate Brief thespecific learning outcomes are:

  • to formulate a persuasive, critical legal theory limited to the legal and factual issues identified by the Court in its Order
  • to identify, understand, and apply the correct standard of appellate review in this case
  • to analyze and synthesize the relevant authority in light of the facts of the case
  • to criticize and synthesize the legal argument of the opposing side and to develop your argument in response to the opposing side
  • to devise and implement a coherent and effective research strategy
  • to correctly attribute and cite legal authority
  • to demonstrate professional style, grammar, and organization
  • to edit another associate's work and receive critique of your own work

Oral Argument

For the Oral Argument the specific learning outcomes are:

  • to understand the process and procedure for an appellate oral argument
  • to know how to speak publicly so your judicial audience will understand.
  • to develop analytical listening and observation skills.
  • to be able to construct, organize, and deliver an effective appellate oral argument
  • to be able to answer questions from judges about the substance of the argument, underlying legal principles, and application to hypothetical fact scenarios