Legal Reasoning, Research & Writing Program

The West Virginia University College of Law’s Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing Program (LRRW) is a full-year, four-credit graded program that focuses on four critical skill areas:

  1. legal analysis,

  2. legal writing,

  3. legal research, and

  4. oral advocacy.

The LRRW Program is designed to give students many opportunities to build skills and achieve the level of competence they will need to successfully handle a variety of written and oral communication tasks immediately after graduation.

The general objectives of the LRRW Program are:

  1. to give first-year students the basic foundation in skills that they need ro ultimately become competent practitioners,
  2. to prepare students to succeed in summer law clerk positions after the first year of law school,
  3. to prepare students for research, writing, and oral advocacy tasks they will encounter in upper-level writing and advocacy courses,
  4. to sensitize students to ethical issues that arise in the legal analysis, research, and writing process, and
  5. to assist students in becoming better problem-solvers.

Implementation

The rigorous LRRW program is carried out by four full-time professors (one of whom directs the program). The LRRW faculty members are assisted by ten student teaching assistants. In addition, the program is supported by writing specialist Melanie Stimeling. She works closely with the LRRW director to provide workshops and individual assistance for all students in the LRRW program who desire to improve writing skills.

The LRRW professors also teach research as an important component of this program. Unlike the research instruction in many law schools, which is provided through a separate class taught in whole or in part by librarians with a law degree, the LRRW professors teach research within the context of this four-hour course. Approximately one hour of the four-hour course is devoted to research instruction.

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