Abstract - This Essay, by Richard E. Finneran, adjunct professor and moot court coach at Washington University School of Law, extols the benefits of participating in moot court programs and offers tips how to instruct students to become better appellate advocates. Finneran underscores the value of studying oral advocacy, particularly as the decline in popularity studying and teaching the art of oral argument is reflected in the lack of quality exhibited by some advocates. Finneran does not attribute this lack of quality on the innate skills of an advocate, but rather places the onus on educators to teach moot court students the importance of crafting good arguments and answers.
Book I : Introduction to legal writing -- Making the transition -- The United States legal system -- Book II : Legal research -- Primary authority -- Secondary authority -- Finding tools -- Citators -- Mandatory vs. persuasive authority -- Developing effective research strategies -- Reading statutes -- Reading cases -- Book III : Formal memos, e-memos, and opinion letters -- Drafting memos -- Getting the assignment -- Drafting the heading and statement of facts -- Drafting the issue statement and brief answer -- Drafting the discussion section -- Drafting the formal conclusion -- Revising, editing, and proofreading the memo -- Drafting memos requiring other types of analysis -- E-memos -- Drafting opinion letters -- Book IV : Briefs and oral argument -- Writing a motion brief -- Writing an appellate brief -- Oral advocacy -- Book V: A guide to effective writing -- Effective writing -- the whole paper -- Connections between paragraphs -- Effective paragraphs -- Connections between sentences -- Effective sentences -- Effective words -- Eloquence -- Book VI : A guide to correct writing -- Grammar -- Punctuation -- Mechanics -- Book VII : A guide to legal writing for English-as-a-Second-Language writers -- Legal writing for English-as-a-Second-Language writers
Getting started -- Writing persuasively -- Writing for clarity -- Editing -- Finding and applying the law -- Preparing for oral argument -- Presenting the oral argument -- Preparing memoranda for the trial court and research memoranda -- Taking an appeal -- Applying the standard of review -- Preparing appellate briefs and oral argument -- Preparing writ applications, petitions for rehearing, and appellate motions