Skip to content

Copyright Law – Spring 2023 – Writing Assignments

This is part of the course website for LAW 5328 – Copyright Law for the Spring 2023 edition of the course.

The course will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 10:20 am. The class will meet on Zoom rather than face to face. Class meetings will be recorded, and the class recordings will be posted afterward to YouTube.

Writing Assignments: Basic Requirements and Mechanics

The graded work for this course consists of three short (3-4 pp.) writing assignments. These may consist of legal memoranda (to colleagues, clients, or others); explanatory email messages (again, to one or more audiences); or PowerPoint [or equivalent] slide decks (in which the lawyer communicates by the content of the slide deck, not by delivering a presentation orally). Each assignment will be posted here approximately two weeks before the assignment is due. Also before the assignment is due, time in class will be set aside to discuss questions relating to each assignment.

Format Expectations

Prior versions of this course have required that writing assignments be produced in solely in the format of traditional legal memos. That expectation has changed, because lawyers today increasingly communicate in other formats and other media. This course may require different formats.

How to Succeed

Although the formats may change, professional expectations regarding effective communication have not changed. Legal writing in every setting should be clear, consistent, polished, expert, ethical, responsive, and trustworthy. Those expectations apply to this course. For guidance regarding those expectations and how they apply to the graded work for this course, students are strongly encouraged to read and re-read this “Modern Legal Writing” document, which summarizes advice for producing a great work product in Professor Madison’s courses.

For help with basic writing questions (grammar, syntax, word choice, active vs. passive voice, and so on), consider trying editing / writing correction / grammar checking software. A good choice – with a free option – is Grammarly. An alternative choice that may be better suited to professional writing but one that costs real money, is WordRake. WordRake may be a useful investment now that pays off over a full professional career; the founder and creator of WordRake, Gary Kinder, is a tremendous writer in his own right. I took a writing seminar from him when I was a junior lawyer, and I still remember and use his lessons even today.

Rubric

The rubric used to mark the assignments is available here.

Writing Assignment Due Dates

  • Assignment 1:  Friday, February 24, 2023, at 3 pm.
  • Assignment 2:  Friday, March 31, 2023, at 3 pm.
  • Assignment 3:  Last day of exams (Thursday, May 4, 2023), at 12 noon.

Sample Questions

For students who want to know more about the assignments for this course, here is a page containing the text of some prior assignments.

Assignments

Each assignment will be posted approximately two weeks before student work is due.