To: Senior Writing Fellow Applicants
From: Frances DeLaurentis
Re: Application Process

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Senior Writing Fellow. According to those who have been Senior Writing Fellows, the experience affords you the opportunity to develop your own abilities in analysis, writing, and research. You also move closer to becoming an expert on working with writers, something that should serve you well throughout your career.


I. Senior Writing Fellow Description

As a Senior Writing Fellow, you attend a year-long class, Applied Legal Composition. You may enroll for either four credits or two credits. If you enroll for four credits, you write, among other things, a paper that complies with the writing requirement and addresses a topic related to legal writing (in a broad sense). If you enroll for two credits, you attend the class and collaborate on some short writing projects. All Senior Writing Fellows hold three forty-five minute conferences each week at the Writing Center. In the class, you study legal writing from both the writer’s and the reader’s perspectives. You review documents, analyze scholarship, write criticisms of legal writing, prepare your own texts, and read about the theory of legal composition. You also study effective conferencing techniques and peer-on-peer tutoring pedagogy.
As a Senior Writing Fellow, you assist J.D. and graduate students, as well as other members of the Law Center community, on writing projects, providing feedback on such subjects as the following:

  • making the transition from another field of expertise, such as engineering or history, to law,
  • approaching scholarly writing as a specific type of writing with defined scope, purpose, audience, substance, and technical concerns,
  • using legal substance to organize writing effectively and to make argumentative decisions,
  • understanding legal writing as a specific process performed under time pressure in practical and academic legal settings,
  • using computer technology to improve legal research and writing,
  • connecting substance to syntax,
  • becoming more confident on questions of grammar, and
  • overcoming writer’s block.

We discover new avenues to explore each year. Each group of Senior Writing Fellows forges new approaches to working with students. Those students come from every level, from second, third, or fourth language. Some want help with basic analytical concepts; others want to know how to make an excellent seminar paper publishable.


II. Prerequisites for All Applicants.

You must have at least a 3.0 grade point average at the beginning of the academic year of your appointment. You need not have received an “A” in Legal Practice to become a Senior Writing Fellow. You need not have been a Law Fellow to become a Senior Writing Fellow, but being a Law Fellow is helpful.


III. Application Process.

For application materials, please email Prof. DeLaurentis at