The Master’s Certificate in Legal Writing, conferred by the Academy of American Legal Writers, is the highest national standard of excellence in legal writing. Earning a Master’s Certificate requires you to complete a self-paced but rigorous yearlong curriculum to build a portfolio demonstrating 12 benchmark achievements reflecting a wide range of vital legal-writing skills. The program has four main goals:
- to give ambitious practitioners a way to achieve a career distinction based on their proven professional writing skills;
- to provide talented legal writers with a meaningful credential that will enhance their résumés and expand their employment opportunities;
- to furnish prospective legal employers with a reliable tool to use with confidence for evaluating their applicants’ mastery of research, reasoning, writing, and editing techniques; and
- to spur law schools—based on the success of the Academy’s certification program—to reform the way they teach legal writing toward greater rigor and higher standards.
The program is directed by Bryan A. Garner, the prolific legal author and president of LawProse Inc.—who also serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law. Serving as academic adviser is John Trimble, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.