Legal Writing Program at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago Ranks Second in the Country by U.S. News & World Report

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Legal Writing and Lawyering Skills, among the most essential tools for any attorney, are so important that U.S. News & World Report has a specialty ranking for it in the annual Best Graduate Schools for Law publication. In the 2014 edition, announced on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, The John Marshall Law School’s program was ranked in second place in the country.

Legal Writing and Lawyering Skills, among the most essential tools for any attorney, are so important that U.S. News & World Report has a specialty ranking for it in the annual Best Graduate Schools for Law publication. In the 2014 edition, announced on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, The John Marshall Law School’s program was ranked in second place in the country.

The John Marshall Law School in Chicago is pleased to have U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools for Law edition recognize the outstanding work of its faculty and students by ranking its Lawyering Skills Program second in the nation in the Legal Writing category. It had been ranked sixth overall in last year’s publication.

The John Marshall Lawyering Skills Program is the only legal writing program among Illinois’ nine law schools to be nationally ranked.

“I am pleased that our peers have recognized the strength of our Lawyering Skills program at John Marshall. Our program has also taken steps to better reflect current legal practice,” said Professor Anthony Niedwiecki, director of John Marshall’s Lawyering Skills Program.

“We recently surveyed our alumni and employers to see which skills they want our graduates to have. In response to the results of the survey, we have revamped our program to better reflect what lawyers do in practice. Overall, we have been ahead of other law schools in producing practice-ready graduates.”

“I believe that the high ranking also is the result of our faculty’s leadership in the legal writing community. Many of our professors are accomplished leaders in our field, with several serving on the boards or as officers of all of the major legal writing organizations,” he said.

Many law schools require only two semesters of legal writing. At John Marshall, four semesters are required through its Lawyering Skills Program, which takes students well beyond the traditional instruction of how to prepare memos and briefs. Niedwiecki said the program’s essential tools teach students to interact with clients, other attorneys and judges, write well and speak clearly.

After a full program assessment, he worked with faculty to redesign the four courses so that students get more writing practice and research instruction; improve their analysis, advocacy and communication skills; learn how to write basic contracts; do electronic filing. For faculty, new tools are in place to help them assess students’ reasoning and critical thinking.

Niedwiecki saw these changes as the best way for students to leave The John Marshall Law School with skills that will prove their worth from the first day on the job and throughout their careers.

To learn more about John Marshall’s nationally recognized Lawyering Skills Program visit http://www.jmls.edu/lawyering-skills.

About The John Marshall Law School

The John Marshall Law School, founded in 1899, is an independent law school located in the heart of Chicago’s legal, financial and commercial districts. Through classes, clinics and special programs, students develop the strategic, analytical and transactional lawyering skills that are so valuable to employers. Its excellent curriculum, coupled with outstanding skills and experiential learning, help make John Marshall graduates practice-ready from day one. For practicing attorneys, John Marshall offers nine LLM degrees, more than any other law school in the Midwest. John Marshall is also a leader in providing distance education options in intellectual property, estate planning and employee benefits at the advanced graduate degree level. John Marshall offers six clinical experiences, including the nationally recognized Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic and the Fair Housing Legal Clinic. U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools 2014 edition ranks John Marshall’s Lawyering Skills Program second and its Intellectual Property Law program 12th in the nation.

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Marilyn Thomas
The John Marshall Law School
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