A Reputation for Excellence

The Temple Law Legal Research and Writing Program has a distinguished national reputation for excellence and is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation. The hallmarks of Temple’s innovative program are its emphasis on real world practice, its ground-breaking approach to teaching, its distinguished faculty, and its unique specialized writing program for foreign lawyers.

Where LRW Meets Life

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to introducing students to the “real world” of the practice of law, the intensive first year Legal Research and Writing course is a hands-on course in which students are placed in the role of attorneys from the first day of class. One of the most innovative aspects of Temple’s program is that students learn to research and write by immersing themselves in the real life context of solving client legal problems in a way that reflects how they will work in summer jobs and later in practice. This gives Temple students a solid foundation of critical lawyering skills, enabling them to confront their first jobs with confidence. The “problem solving” nature of the course also gives students critical insight into the human side of law practice—truly, where law meets life.

Temple's Unique International Writing Program

In addition to its top-notch program for J.D. students, Temple is bringing American legal education to the world, including both the first and only ABA-accredited LL.M. program in the People’s Republic of China, as well as a U.S.-based Master of Laws and a Doctor of Juridical Science program for foreign-trained lawyers. Developed by Professor Robin Nilon, a Ph.D. who has worked with foreign law students for many years, Temple’s writing curriculum provides lawyers trained outside the U.S. with legal research and writing skills essential to handling legal matters in a global context. Professor Nilon’s specially designed “total immersion” assignment requires students to prepare and argue briefs before a panel of federal judges. Rounding out the curriculum is a seminar designed to teach U.S.-style scholarly writing to foreign-trained law students. The substantial classroom instruction is further supplemented by Temple’s International LL.M. Writing Center, which provides additional feedback for students who need it.

The Leading Scholars and Teachers in the Field of LRW

The foundation of Temple’s excellent research and writing program is its faculty. Temple’s distinguished faculty includes accomplished lawyers with decades of practice experience in a wide variety of fields, as well as leading scholars on the cutting-edge of the discipline who are nationally recognized experts in the field.

Temple’s faculty publish widely on legal writing issues, including ground-breaking work on persuasion and brief-writing, legal research, law school and legal writing pedagogy, and issues related to international teaching. They also publish in other areas, including education law, employment law, evidence, and feminist legal theory. Professor Margolis is a national expert on policy arguments in legal briefs, as well as an emerging expert on the changing face of legal research. Professor Lee Carpenter’s scholarship draws upon her practice experience and her prior tenure as a clinical professor. Professor Kathryn Stanchi has published and spoken extensively on both legal pedagogy and persuasion. Professor Kristen Murray’s published scholarship focuses on legal education, technology, and adult learning theory. Professor Bonny Tavares has written a book on legal research; her scholarship interests include legal writing pedagogy and appellate advocacy. Professor DeJarnatt’s scholarship focuses on public education reform, legal writing pedagogy, and most recently, incorporating international and comparative law in the legal writing curriculum. Professor Robin Nilon’s work develops the base of contrastive rhetoric as it informs legal writing for foreign lawyers and evaluates its applications for the legal writing classroom. Faculty members lecture frequently to diverse audiences, including many law schools, bar associations, and law firms, as well as other national associations such as the Legal Writing Institute, the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and the Association of American Law Schools.