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REQUIREMENTS FOR ORIENTATION INSIDE ···
FROM THE LEGAL WRITING FACULTY
Welcome to the University of Cincinnati College of Law! Strong writing skills are esstential to success in law school and the practice of law. Cincinnati Law offers a comprehensive writing program that will prepare you for the practice of law. You will take several classes during law school that will develop this skill, starting your first semester. Professional legal writing requires that you know certain grammar and style rules—some that are well-established in standard business writing and others that are unique to the legal profession. To ensure that you are armed with the grammar and style skills you need, the College of Law has adopted Core Grammar for Lawyers, an online learning tool. It consists of a Pre-test, twenty-four lessons, and a Post-Test. You will complete the entire program early in the fall semester, but you should plan to spend 10-15 hours working on the program this summer, as explained below.
Please complete the following before the first day of Orientation on August 13, 2018:
Buy a subscription to Core Grammar for Lawyers (CGL).
Take a Pre-Test
Complete these Sixteen Lessons
• Go to http://coregrammar.com/getcgl in your browser. • Complete the form. Be sure to select “Ohio” for your state and “University of Cincinnati College of Law” for your school. • Use a credit card to purchase a one-year subscription. On the payment page, enter the access code “UCLW2018” for discount pricing. • Finally, activate your subscription by entering this Class Code: 218-172-2556
• Do not opt out of the pre-test. Open the pre-test by clicking on the link on the home page (called your “Bookshelf”). Set aside ninety minutes to complete the pre-test to the best of your ability. Don’t consult outside resources; treat it as a closed book exam. The score on the pre-test will not affect your law school grades or placement in classes; it simply identifies any areas where you’ll need to work. Some of the questions involve specialized legal terms and conventions that you’re unlikely to know. In those cases the pre-test will give you an early look into these matters, and you will learn them in the fall semester.
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Sentence Structure: A1-A4 Quotations: B1-B4 Verbs and Agreement: D1-D4 Clarity: F1-F4
USING THE BOOKSHELF When you look at your “bookshelf” in CGL, you’ll see which of the lessons you have completed.
EARNING A BOOK You must “earn a book” for each lesson. There are two ways to earn a book: (1) test out of the lesson by having answered enough questions correctly on the pre-test, or (2) take the lesson and answer five questions in a row correctly in the online exercises. • If you have tested out of a lesson based on the pre-test, then you have already earned the book. Nevertheless, I encourage you to do the lesson and complete at least five of the exercises that follow to reinforce your understanding of the material and to become familiar with the terminology. If you “earned a book” on some of the lessons, it is still to your benefit to do the lessons. First, lessons include law-specific grammar and style issues that will be new to you. Second, engaging in the lessons will likely advance your knowledge beyond your starting point. • If you didn’t test out of a lesson, then plan on spending around thirty minutes on the lesson and the accompanying exercises to earn the book (time will vary depending on how comfortable you are with the material). • Completing the pre-test and these 16 lessons should likely take less than 12 hours. At the beginning of the fall semester, you’ll receive information about completing the remaining eight lessons and taking the post-test. If you want to get a head start, you are welcome to complete all 24 lessons before classes begin in August.
OPTIONAL READING If you want to do some reading to prepare for writing in law school, we encourage you to buy Plain English for Lawyers by Richard Wydick, a book that many lawyers keep on their bookshelves as a reference. This short and easy read has tips for clear legal writing and plenty of examples. You’ll be pleased to know that it’s much less expensive than a typical textbook—around $20 on Amazon. If you have any questions about Core Grammar for Lawyers, about the writing program at UC College of Law, or about law school in general, please contact Professor Bradley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your summer! Professor Michele Bradley Professor Rachel Smith Professor Nancy Oliver
Class of 2021
See you soon!