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Course Details

Legal Communications Workshop (Kiley)

Spring 2023   LAW 553-001  

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Sean Kiley

Lecturer in Law

Additional Information
Experiential Course


Skills Training
Drafting Legal Documents
Other Professional Skills:

100% Participation,
Other (Participation will include the completion of regular drafting assignments. )

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. I will make these recordings routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

- I will make PowerPoint slides or other class materials routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

- When you are better, please make an appointment to meet with me and I will review/answer questions about what you missed.

Meeting Times/Location
TR 10:30AM - 11:30AM
Tanenbaum Hall 345



When it comes to written work product, lawyers often produce a “wall of text” without giving much if any thought to audience comprehension or implementation. But it’s not enough to simply present information. Lawyers must help their audience process information.

That’s what information design is about: an interdisciplinary approach to communication focused on the clear and effective presentation of complex information. This quarter-long course uses principles of information design to help make legal communication more accessible and engaging.

We will review principles of design and communication, and apply these principles to legal documents. Topics will include plain language, typography, color, layout, the use of graphics and visualizations, and more. Students do not need any graphic design or visual arts training to do well in this course.

This course will consist of seminar sessions and workshop sessions. In the seminar portion, we will review principles of design and communication. In the workshop portion, students will present their work for group discussion and critique. Assignments will entail drafting and revising legal documents.

Because of the participatory nature of the course, class attendance is essential.

Course Concentrations

Skills Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of the individual course skill; Demonstrate the ability to receive and implement feedback; Demonstrate an understanding of how and when the individual course skill is employed in practice.