Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing

Open to students entering grades 11 or 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
II - July 16–August 2, 2019
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 9:10 –11:00 a.m. and 1:10–3:00 p.m.
Jacques Erdos

Strong writing skills. Experience with debate useful but not required. 

“I have learned more than I thought I could in just three weeks and I feel like I got a very clear grasp of how to reason like a lawyer. I went into this course with high hopes and I must admit that all the lectures and trips surpassed my expectations.”  —   Francesca Del Posso

Course Description

Designed for students with a declared interest in law, this intensive program of study concentrates on the research and reasoning that underlie solid legal writing while also giving students an inside look at the practice of law.

Students learn first to use the methods and tools of legal research, which they marshal to create effective, persuasive, and sophisticated written legal arguments. Once they have a foundation in legal research, reasoning, and writing, they are given an in-depth look at various types of law through interactive sessions with practicing lawyers, including lectures and field trips to law firms. They learn about the trial process and the inner workings of the court system by taking a tour of a New York City court and viewing a criminal trial. They learn how to conceive and structure legal research, locate and analyze sources, and develop legal arguments based on and supported by research. Drafting exercises strengthen students' reasoning, arguing, and writing skills while introducing them to various types of legal writing, including memoranda and arguments for oral delivery.

Participants are required to bring laptops for this class.


Jacques Erdos

Jacques Erdos holds a B.S. in accounting from New York University's Stern School of Business and a J.D. from St. John's University. In 2005, Erdos began his own law and accounting firm with a focus in real estate, corporate law, and estate & tax planning. Prior to starting his own firm, Erdos was an attorney for many years with Fried Frank and Skadden Arps in New York City, where he represented major developers, property owners, institutional clients, and high net worth individuals. Erdos is the chairperson of the New York City Youth Board and treasurer of his local community board in District 15 in Brooklyn. He also acts as pro-bono counsel to many charitable organizations in New York City.

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.