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Lawyering Skills Courses

The Lawyering Skills Program teaches students the foundational skills tested on the NextGen Bar Exam, including issue spotting and analysis, legal research, and legal writing and drafting. All courses in the Lawyering Skills curriculum are taught in small sections so that faculty can work with students individually. Regular individual student conferences and prompt constructive feedback are an integral part of each Lawyering Skills course.

To further support students with legal writing, 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

In this first-semester course, students will be introduced to legal methods: the structure of the legal system; sources of law; reading, analyzing, and briefing cases; and writing legal memoranda analyzing a client’s claims and defenses. Students also get extensive training in legal research. LSI students have multiple opportunities to conference with their professors.


  • 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 development of legal research skills. During this course, students learn advanced forms of research including legislative histories, court rules, administrative rules and regulations, and advanced online legal research. The writing assignments include motions and trial briefs. Students present oral arguments on at least one of these assignments. As in LSI, students frequently meet with their professors on an individual and small group basis.


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

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

In LSIII, students refine their advocacy skills in an intramural moot court competition. Students prepare two appellate briefs on issues raised by pending petitions for cert at the Supreme Court and present two oral arguments. In addition to their professors, students work with peer mentor “Preparedness Coaches” to practice their advocacy skills. Awards are presented for students placing in the octo-final round and beyond, as well as for best brief and top 5 briefs, and best oralist and top 5 oralists. Students receiving those awards are invited to join the Moot Court Honors Council.

  • 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 class to fulfill their capstone course requirement. The writing assignments in each drafting class are rigorous and comparable to the types of writing and research projects that lawyers will encounter in practice.

Lawyering Skills IV: General Practice focuses the drafting skills that a solo or small firm practitioner will need in daily practice, such as advising clients and creating contracts. The specialized drafting courses include civil litigation, real estate transactions, intellectual property, information technology, international business law, family law, business planning, and others.

Courses satisfying the Lawyering Skills IV requirement

  • 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)