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Legal Writing

Many legal writing teachers speak glibly about training their students to think like lawyers, but have not necessarily tailored their pedagogy to meet that goal. If teachers are not clear and explicit in how they go about teaching students analytical skills, they cannot necessarily expect students to become experts in analysis. While it is true that over the course of their law school careers, most students will develop legal analytical skills through exposure to the law and by means of the Socratic method; teachers can do better. Lawyers pride themselves on precision. This Article argues that legal writing faculty should take a more direct approach to thinking, by fostering students' metacognition skills. Teachers need to develop precise and overt strategies, based on taxonomies, to teach students analytical skills and enable them to master the skills of thinking and writing like lawyers.