About the Burks Scholar Program
Washington and Lee University Law School is committed to educating its students to achieve the highest of professional standards. Our first year program of legal research and writing prepares students to meet the challenges and demands of professional standards with an emphasis on legal research skills, analysis of sophisticated legal problems, and clarity in objective and persuasive writing. Instruction in legal research, analysis, and writing provides students skills they will need as members of the practicing bar. Such skills include: reading a case; parsing a statute; evaluating material and immaterial facts; locating, evaluating, and using legal authorities relevant to legal problems; analyzing legal issues using facts and law; and communicating legal analysis in a clear, logical, and concise manner.
The Burks Scholar Program is an adjunct program in support of the legal writing and legal research programs. The small section is a feature of both the writing and the legal research sections.
Each first-year law student is assigned to a small writing section class within one of the traditional substantive classes of Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, American Public Law Process, Property, Transnational Law, or Professional Responsibility. The small sections focus on writing and legal analysis skills as taught by a writing professor with a Burks Scholar as a teaching assistant. Instruction in legal research is by a dual degreed librarian with the assistance of a Burks Scholar.
The legal research program employs the flipped classroom concept. Decisions, statutes, rules and regulations, and finding aids are introduced through lectures and a series of exercises. Students learn to analyze and synthesize a series of appellate opinions, interpret statutes and regulations, and research legal issues.