The Little Black Book: A Do-It-Yourself Guide for Law School Competitions

This book is designed to fill a gap in law school pedagogy: the skills needed for succeeding in law school competitions. Law schools forever struggle with the wish to fit an ever-expanding universe of both doctrinal studies and skills development into a finite curriculum. Training in competition skills inevitably gets squeezed and edited down, and from time to time even left at the cutting room floor. Yet students can benefit enormously from these competitions, as they provide a way for students to practice and develop skills so that it will benefit themselves and their clients once they enter the personnel.

Part I of this manual is designed to guide the user in applying the analytical, writing, and research skills students learned (or are learning) in the first-year courses to the task of preparing an appellate brief. The manual does presuppose some background in legal analysis and persuasive argument. Part I also instructs students on developing and presenting an oral argument according to their briefs. Part II specializes in non-brief writing competitions, specifically the Client Counseling, Negotiation, and Mediation Competitions.

Each section of the book takes an instantaneous and pragmatic approach that may be easily adapted to a broad spectrum of instruction: individual, self-teaching, coach-student training, and classroom teaching.

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