Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication
Stetson’s Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication is a new initiative that is a home for the study of the legal communication issues that face lawyers, judges, other professionals, and the public. It supports an active community of legal communication and writing scholars, and its faculty work to develop innovative and effective methods and programs for teaching legal communication theory, skills, and values to students. The institute’s training programs provide instruction to lawyers, judges, and other professionals to improve their legal communication skills.
The Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication’s projects include:
- Legal Writing and Communication Development Workshop Program where students improve legal communication skills and learn about cutting-edge issues
- Legal Writing Academy for lawyers and students; a day-long advanced writing course — coming soon
- Distinguished Legal Communication Speaker Series, which in 2013 featured Yale’s Legal Writing Director Noah Messing, the Florida Supreme Court’s Director of Communications Craig Waters, and rhetoric expert Dr. Clarke Rountree of the University of Alabama, Huntsville
- Virtual Legal Writing Conference Webinars that provide information and community for legal writing faculty
- 2014 Southeast Regional Legal Writing Conference host
- Legal communication training for legal professionals
Legal Research and Writing Curriculum
Stetson’s commitment to legal communication extends to its Legal Research and Writing curriculum. Stetson has been ranked sixth among law schools for legal writing. Features of the curriculum include:
- Full-time tenured and tenure-track legal writing faculty
- Seven credits of legal research and writing training in the first-year
- Subject-focused first-year advocacy courses with offering in areas such as elder law, environmental law, and international law
- Advanced legal writing courses, including Judicial Writing, Successful Writing for Law Practice, and Contract Drafting
"At Stetson, our mission is to lead the way in legal communication. Through our leadership, scholarship, and training programs, we collaborate with our colleagues around the world to improve our knowledge about and mastery of legal communication. And, through a robust legal research and writing curriculum that is centered on assessment and feedback, we empower students to be effective and ethical communicators in the legal profession."
Dr. Kirsten K. Davis
Director, Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication and Legal Research and Writing
Students Write Ethics Newsletter, Hone Writing Skills
As a project for an advanced legal writing course, Stetson students recently created a newsletter about developments in Florida ethics. Students learned about newsletter writing, researched their legal authority, came up with recommendations for their readers based on the research, and wrote at least three drafts, receiving feedback on each.