The Lawyering & Legal Writing Center provides Cardozo students with in-depth instruction in lawyering, research and legal writing skills. The center supports individual students’ development throughout their law school careers by offering both a closely supervised first-year course as well as advanced writing courses tailored to the needs of J.D. and LL.M. students.
One of the hallmarks of a great lawyer is the ability to convert ideas into persuasive written and oral arguments.
First-Year Lawyering & Legal Writing is a two-semester course taught in small sections, each comprised of only eight to sixteen students. Legal Writing I focuses on basic principles of writing, language usage, organization and case reading; legal analysis, case synthesis and ethics in informational legal writing; manual and computer-assisted legal research methods and skills; and exercises in fact gathering and interviewing. Legal Writing II, which features a class visit to an appellate court, focuses on advocacy writing skills and ethics through exercises in negotiation, litigation drafting and strategy. The course concludes with an exercise in appellate brief writing and oral argument development.
Both writing courses designed for LL.M. students—Advanced Writing Workshops I and II—feature a curriculum designed to specifically meet the needs of returning and international students.
The Lawyering & Legal Writing Center brings together critical elements for success in your career.
Meet our Directors
Professor Leslie Newman
Professor Newman is the director of Cardozo’s Lawyering & Legal Writing Center. She teaches several courses including Elements of Law, Introduction to U.S. Law and Remedies of the Law. Prior to teaching at Cardozo, Professor Newman was managing attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services. While there, she also held the position of senior attorney for housing, responsible for housing law reform litigation. She was lead counsel for the plaintiff class of more than 50,000 public housing tenants in a major institutional litigation case against the Boston Housing Authority.
Peter Walsh is the Administrative Director of Cardozo’s Lawyering & Legal Writing Center and the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP). He has recently taken over the administration of the school’s CLE certification of public events and is part of the team creating the new NACDL/Cardozo Law National Forensic College. Outside of his responsibilities at Cardozo, Peter is a visual artist and volunteers his time advocating for workers rights within the arts.
A Message from the Director
Clear and concise writing is a powerful tool for achieving excellence in law school and in the legal profession. The Lawyering & Legal Writing Center provides Cardozo students with in-depth instruction in legal writing, research, legal analysis and lawyering skills.
As the director of the Center, I encourage you, our law students, to make use of the resources we provide. In addition to our closely supervised first year Lawyering & Legal Writing course and advanced writing courses for both J.D. and LL.M. students, the Center supports individual students’ development throughout their law school careers.
The Lawyering & Legal Writing Center offers the following services:
- Legal Writing Resource Guide (distributed to all students);
- Materials on all aspects of writing, research, analysis and academic success skills;
- Individual work with students on writing, analytic, outlining, note-taking and exam-taking needs;
- Individual work with LL.M. students on English language, writing, analytic, outlining, note-taking and exam-taking needs;
- Workshops on Research Methodology, Citation, Exam Preparation, Spanish for Lawyers, Grammar, Writing in Legal Practice and other topics;
- Program for May Entry Students including topics such as writing, analysis, organization, note-taking, outlining and exam preparation;
- Advisors for students who are writing Journal Notes, fulfilling the law school upper level writing requirement, fulfilling the writing requirement of the Summer Institute Program, writing for Independent Study, and submitting articles to Writing Competitions; and
- Judicial Appellate Advocacy Talks.
Professor Leslie Newman
Director, The Lawyering & Legal Writing Center, Cardozo Law
Teaching legal writing has been one of Cardozo’s core undertakings since the school was founded by Yeshiva University in 1976. Since that time, the school’s mandatory Lawyering & Legal Writing course for first-year law students has been an important feature of each Cardozo student’s law school experience.
In 1985, Professor Leslie Newman took the reins of what is now the Lawyering & Legal Writing Center, and under her leadership the program has grown from a course, to a program, to a full-fledged center. When Dean David Rudenstine was appointed to his position in 2001, he strengthened the law school’s commitment to legal writing by focusing the program on extremely small seminar-style classes taught by working practitioners. This continues to be one of the key features of legal writing instruction at Cardozo.
In 2007, Professor Newman founded the Lawyering & Legal Writing Center to bring together under a single umbrella a wide range of services, including the first-year Lawyering & Legal Writing course, advanced writing workshops and courses, academic support services, skills workshops, writing advisors for various programs, and the center’s Judicial Appellate Advocacy talks.
In 2015, Dean Melanie Leslie recommitted the Cardozo to legal writing as a cornerstone of the school’s academic program.
The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law is committed to providing all Cardozo students with the supportive academic environment they need to achieve their full potential.
To help our students meet the challenges of our rigorous curriculum, Cardozo offers many varied academic support resources, including:
- Our renowned faculty, who are dedicated to providing students with advice and instruction;
- The Lawyering & Legal Writing Center, which provides skills-based support, counseling, workshops and resources related to legal writing, research, legal analysis, exam preparation and exam writing, and other academic needs;
- The Office of Student Services and Advising, which provides counseling, workshops and resources concerning all aspects of student life at Cardozo; and
- One-on-one tutoring sessions to those students seeking individualized assistance in meeting the unique challenges of a legal education.
We encourage you, our law students, to make use of these powerful resources. Please contact The Lawyering & Legal Writing Center if you have any questions about accessing our academic support services.
Where allowed by competition rules, the Lawyering & Legal Writing Center can provide students with advising, editing and reviewing of submissions to writing competitions.
Students interested in joining one of Cardozo's six journals through the annual writing competition process should contact the Cardozo Law Review.
Lawyering and Legal Writing Center Faculty