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Academic Legal Discourse and Analysis: Essential Skills for International Students Studying Law in The United States, First Edition

  • Marta Baffy
  • Kirsten Schaetzel
Series / Aspen Select Series
Teaching Materials
Table of contents

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This book introduces international students to the characteristics of legal education in the United States and helps them develop the linguistic, analytical, and cultural skills to thrive at a U.S. law school. Part I focuses on the academic legal writing skills needed to write in law school. It guides students in reviewing their own writing skills and helps them to adapt to the conventions of academic legal writing at the whole text, paragraph, and sentence levels. It also gives students guidance in effectively presenting their ideas in writing so that a reader can quickly grasp their reasoning and meaning. Part II introduces students to common law and legal analysis. Following a brief introduction to the U.S. legal system, the book focuses on the skills required to read, discuss, and write about legal cases in a U.S. law class. Cases in torts and criminal procedure law provide an opportunity to apply these skills while also teaching high-frequency legal vocabulary. Throughout the book, students can read clear and concise explanations and practice the skills they are acquiring with detailed practice exercises.



Professors and students will benefit from:







  • Clear explanations of academic legal writing expected of law students on written assignments, such as exams and papers







  • Straightforward definitions and explanations about how the common law system in the U.S. works







  • Guidelines and practice in reading, discussing, and writing about legal cases







  • Authentic tasks and exercises for all key concepts


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About the authors
Marta Baffy

Marta Baffy is a lawyer and linguist who has over a decade of English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching experience both in the United States and abroad. In the Two-Year LL.M. Program at Georgetown Law, she prepares students linguistically and intellectually for legal study in the U.S., using her expertise in ESL teaching methodology and drawing on her own experiences as a lawyerformer law student. Professor Baffy’s research interests lie at the intersection of law and linguistics, particularly in the contexts of the courtroom and legal classroom. Her most recent work focuses on how foreign-trained attorneys are socialized into the culture of a U.S. law school during classroom interactions.

Kirsten Schaetzel

Kirsten Schaetzel is the English Language Specialist at the Emory University School of Law. She does workshops and has individual student appointments on aspects of English language and American culture. After receiving her doctorate from Boston University, she worked for ten years in Asia. After returning to the US, she began working with international law students at Georgetown Law and has continued to enjoy working with law students after moving to Atlanta two years ago. Working through the Office of Graduate Programs, she is available for all Emory law students.

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First Edition
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Legal Writing
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