Busy attorneys want results quickly and in a clear and organized manner. Many prefer associates to report their research results orally in a face-to-face conversation rather than a written memo. In the first year of law school, however, there are not many opportunities for students to practice having conversations about the law in a thoughtful and professional manner. While the Socratic dialogue common in most first year courses challenges students to think on their feet, this method does not teach students how to describe their research path, explain their analysis of a client’s legal issue, or make a recommendation on a course of action using the spoken word.
For this reason, I have incorporated an exercise into my Legal Research and Writing course requiring students to orally present their research results and assessment of a client’s legal issue. In this article, I explain why I include an oral research report exercise in my Legal Research and Writing class, what this exercise entails, and how legal writing professors are uniquely situated for teaching the oral research reporting skill.
The Second Draft
Morath, Sarah J., "From Awkward Law Student to Articulate Attorney: Teaching the Oral Research Report" (2013). Akron Law Faculty Publications. 156.