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- First Year Students
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- Writing Clinic
|Writing Specialist:||Kate Stoker|
|Office Hours||by appointment on TWEN|
The Legal Writing Clinic provides writing advice and assistance to DU College of Law students. Writing Specialist Kate Stoker, whose office is room 476, staffs the Writing Clinic. Click here to access the writing clinic TWEN page (if you haven’t already registered for the page, you will need to add “Legal Writing Clinic” as a course on Westlaw).
- Assistance on LP or Other Assignments
The Writing Specialist meets with students individually to help them with Lawyering Process writing assignments or writing assignments for other classes (with the professor’s prior permission). Individual meetings include assistance with issues such as organization, analysis, and style, as well as grammar, punctuation, and usage. Students may visit the Writing Specialist at any stage in the writing process.
While the Writing Specialist offers specific advice and suggestions, her role is to help students improve their own writing and self-editing skills, not to edit or proofread papers for them.
- Diagnostic and Proficiency Testing
The Writing Clinic administers the diagnostic and proficiency testing the law school has implemented to help assure that all first-year JD students are proficient in formal grammar, punctuation, and usage. The Writing Specialist helps students identify specific areas for improvement through workshops and individualized study and otherwise assists them in preparing for the final proficiency test. Practice exercises for the proficiency test are available under the link “Proficiency Practice Quizzes” on the Writing Clinic TWEN page. To review your diagnostic results or re-take the diagnostic, go to the Aspen website.
- Writing Clinic Workshops
Again this fall, the Writing Clinic offered workshops on grammar, punctuation, and usage to help Lawyering Process students prepare for the proficiency test. Click here to see the workshop materials.
- Core Grammar for Lawyers
Core Grammar for Lawyers is a new online program developed to help law students improve their grammar and punctuation skills. This program is appropriate for students who are interested in improving their skills beyond what is required through the first-year diagnostic and proficiency testing process. For more information, see www.coregrammarforlawyers.com.
The Writing Clinic e-mails weekly Writing Tips to all first year students. These brief tips address common writing problems in student papers, including some of the topics that are covered on the proficiency test. The tips are also posted under the Writing Tips link on the Writing Clinic TWEN page.
- Writing Samples
Students may also seek assistance with writing samples for the job search. Students who would like assistance with writing samples for OCI or other job opportunities should provide their writing samples to the Writing Specialist at least two business days before a scheduled appointment.
- Scheduling Appointments
First-year students seeking assistance with Lawyering Process assignments may make appointments by using the sign-up sheets on the Writing Clinic TWEN page or by dropping in during the Writing Specialist’s regularly-scheduled office hours (see schedule above). If the sign-up sheets are full, you may contact her to see whether it is possible to schedule another mutually convenient time. Students seeking assistance with assignments for classes other than Lawyering Process or writing samples should contact the Writing Specialist directly to schedule appointments.
- Canceling Appointments
Please delete your name from the sign-up sheets on TWEN as soon as possible if you find you are unable to make a scheduled appointment. If you need to cancel at the last minute, please e-mail the Writing Specialist to let her know.
- About the Legal Writing Specialist
Before joining the Academic Support team at DU, Kate Stoker practiced in the business and tax departments at Holme Roberts & Owen LLP in Denver for 11 years. While in private practice, Ms. Stoker served for several years as a governing council member of the Health Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association and co-editor of the Section’s newsletter. She is the author of two articles in The Colorado Lawyer: “Control and Accountability of the Nonprofit Corporation” (March 1995) and “H.B. 94-1193: Health Care Purchasing Reform” (December 1994). She has also served as an officer or director of several nonprofit organizations. Ms. Stoker received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and Political Science from the University of Iowa. During law school, she was a teaching assistant in the legal research and writing program and Articles Editor of The Journal of Law & Politics.