Many law school graduates are entering the workforce unable to write well. The legal field requires so much writing, yet law schools emphasize neither writing nor practical skills. We need not overhaul law school curricula to address the problem. Cognitive science teaches us that students internalize material when they understand the context. Without context, even the best planned lessons will remain only “shallow knowledge.” To create “deep knowledge,” we must provide context: students must know why they are writing. For example, a student asked to write a motion to dismiss the complaint has the best chance of success if they understand the story of how the parties arrived at that juncture and what lies ahead. Providing students with the story surrounding a writing assignment helps students internalize writing skills; it also imparts practical skills, leading eventually to better writers and more proficient junior lawyers.

Included in

Law Commons