Pace Law School to pioneer interactive legal writing course online

New lawyers get one-on-one coaching in a critical career skill from prominent attorneys and judge… and CLE credit

WHITE PLAINS, NY, March 11, 2011 –Young lawyers entering the field can be overwhelmed by all of the skills they must master—legal writing chief among them.

With this in mind, Pace Law School will unveil a CLE offering—a legal writing intensive delivered in a new way. Recent law grads and junior- and mid-level legal associates can polish their legal writing skills with the help of seasoned attorneys or a judge while they ‘test-drive’ an innovative new learning experience.

With this program, Pace offers to the external community what it stresses in its law school curriculum—practical skills training—and breaks new ground with an interactive online CLE for legal writing. The program, which is run through Blackboard software, is co-sponsored by Pace Law School’s Office of Career Development and Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

In pioneering this program, Pace is taking the lead in an identified trend in legal education toward augmenting the teaching of lawyering skills, including writing. A subgroup of the American Bar Association recently undertook a comprehensive review of the ABA standards and Rules of Procedure for the Approval of Law Schools, including a section on student learning outcomes. The writing intensive builds on skills young lawyers developed in law school, making them successful in practice.

No worries about grades

Kathleen Carlisle, director of the Pace Center for Continuing Legal Education, said, “To be successful today, young attorneys must have all the skills necessary to hit the ground running. This innovative program offers a convenient, cost-effective way to sharpen essential writing skills. Each participant will receive personalized attention from a legal writing coach who cares only that he or she learns and improves.”

Three-part program with different levels of participation

The writing intensive begins on Wednesday, April 20 with a live reception and presentation by the Hon. Theodore T. Jones, Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, on the state of legal writing. Practicing attorneys Hannah Berkowitz, Esq., and Sally Ann Zullo, Esq. will also speak about legal writing. All attorneys seeking to refresh their legal writing skills are welcome to attend this program, for which they will earn 2.5 CLE credits. The cost is $125.

In the weeks that follow, a select group of junior- and mid-level legal associates who wish to further hone their writing skills will go on to complete the online Blackboard course. Class size for the online course is limited to 25. Participants will be registered on a first come, first serve basis.

Each will be paired with a coach and given a short writing assignment. The coaches—the Hon. Eric Zaidins, Administrative Law Judge; Pace Law Professor Tamar Gribetz; Andrew Karlen, Esq., of Karlen, Stolzer & Reimann LLP; Berkowitz; and Zullo—will critique the students’ writing and work with them to improve it. The students will learn to focus on writing cohesively and to the point, using proper sentence and paragraph structure. Both students and coaches can complete this work at their convenience, thanks to the unique online forum. This group will reconvene at Pace on May 10 for a live debriefing session and panel discussion about legal writing.

Participants who complete the online course and both live sessions will earn a Lawyering Skills Certificate as well as a minimum 5 CLE credits. The exact number of credits for the online course is yet to be determined. The cost for the entire intensive is $200 for Pace Law alumni, and $250 for everyone else.

To register for either the April 20 program or the complete legal writing intensive, please contact Kathleen Carlisle at (914) 422-4203 or kcarlisle@law.pace.edu.

Contact:

Lauren Rubenstein
Manager, Media Relations
(914) 422-4389
cell (914) 329-8680
lrubenstein@law.pace.edu

Kathleen Carlisle
Director, Pace Center for Continuing Legal Education
(914) 422-4203
kcarlisle@law.pace.edu

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