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Lawyering Skills Courses

The Lawyering Skills Program teaches students many practical skills, including legal reasoning, legal research, oral advocacy, drafting, and counseling. Further, all courses in the Lawyering Skills curriculum are taught in small sections so that faculty can work with students individually. Individual student conferences are an integral part of each Lawyering Skills course.

To further support students in the Lawyering Skills Program, UIC Law staffs an on-site Writing Resource Center where students can get additional help with their assignments, brush up on basic writing principles, and learn new writing strategies.

Lawyering Skills I: Objective Analysis, Writing & Research (3 Credits) Heading link

This first-semester course focuses on the structure of the legal system; sources of law; reading, analyzing, and briefing cases; and writing legal memoranda analyzing clients’ claims and defenses. Students also get extensive training in legal research. The students have a conference with their professors after each paper is graded.


  • Civil Rights (LAW 404)
  • General (LAW 402)
  • Intellectual Property (LAW 403)

Lawyering Skills II: Advocacy (3 Credits) Heading link

The second-semester course focuses on persuasive writing and also continues to develop research skills. During this course, students learn advanced forms of research including legislative histories, looseleaf services, court rules, administrative rules and regulations, and advanced online legal research. The writing assignments include both trial and appellate briefs. Students present oral arguments on at least two of these assignments. As in Lawyering Skills I, students meet with their professors individually after each paper is graded.


  • General (LAW 412)
  • Intellectual Property (LAW 413)

Lawyering Skills III: Appellate Advocacy (2 Credits) Heading link

In the third course, students refine their advocacy skills in the context of a school-wide moot court competition. Students prepare a brief and present two oral arguments in a hypothetical appellate case. Students are graded both on the brief and the oral argument by outside judges as well as their Lawyering Skills professors. Awards are presented for first place, second place, best brief, and best oralist. This course meets for two hours each week.

  • Appellate Advocacy (LAW 422)

Lawyering Skills IV: Drafting (2-3 Credits) Heading link

In their final Lawyering Skills course, students may choose either a general or a specialized drafting course. The assignments are rigorous and comparable to the types of projects lawyers will encounter in practice. The general drafting course focuses on advising clients and creating wills, contracts, and other documents that the general practitioner works with on a daily basis. The specialized drafting courses include civil litigation, real estate transactions, intellectual property, information technology, international business law, family law, business planning, and others.


  • Business Planning & Drafting (LAW 430)
  • Civil Litigation (TADR 461)
  • Contract Drafting & Review (LAW 439)
  • Criminal Litigation (TADR 460)
  • Drafting International Business Agreements (JD 447)
  • Elder Law (LAW 431)
  • Employee Benefits (JD 450)
  • Estate Planning & Drafting (LAW 551)
  • Family Law (LAW 433)
  • General Practice (LAW 437)
  • Health Law (LAW 434)
  • Information Technology Law (JD 546)
  • International Practice (LAW 435)
  • Legal Writing for Intellectual Property (IP 444)
  • Legislation (LAW 432)
  • Patent Law Planning & Practice (LAW 489)
  • Real Estate (LAW 436)
  • Real Estate Drafting & Negotiation Skills Workshop (JD 459)
  • Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 557)
  • Spanish for Lawyers (LAW 438)
  • Trademark/Copyright Law Planning & Practice (LAW 488)