Legal Reasoning and Argumentation


3.0 units of USC credit




Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 3:30pm

Special Dress Code

Professional attire for court visits (see note below)


Have you ever wondered how lawyers think, and why they think, differently from other people? Learn the skills necessary for successful legal reasoning and how to relate this knowledge to everyday problems.

Attend federal appellate court proceedings and see these skills applied (and mis-applied) in real life. At the end of the course, you will have a portfolio of documents that demonstrate your experience with legal analysis and writing.


  • Analyze real legal cases
  • Attend the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals proceedings
  • Learn how to prepare for, apply to, and succeed in law school
  • Talk with USC Law alumni and/or admissions officers

Topic of Study

  • Case analysis
  • Legal reasoning
  • Legal writing
  • Oral advocacy
  • Court systems and the development of law
  • Law school admissions

Note: The daily schedule for this course varies on the days students visit the court; there will be an earlier departure time from campus and the lunch schedule may be adjusted.

Special Dress Code

On court visit days, students must follow a respectful, professional dress code (slacks, button-down shirt, dress/skirt, blouse) and wear closed toe shoes. The following are not permitted: jeans, tank tops, extreme low-rise pants, low cut tops, bare back or bare midriff, flip-flops. Students will not be permitted to attend the court visits if they do not follow the dress code.

We went to the court of appeals which was the best field trip that we went on. It was the most memorable because I really got to see what we have been learning in class really translates in the real world.