Instructor: Rachael Andersen-Watts
The written word is integral to effective communication, but wielding this everyday tool is no simple task. Sentences on a page (or screen) can betray emotions that we thought we had under control, elicit undesirable reactions from the recipient, or otherwise redirect and obfuscate the conversation we believed we were having. Moreover, with the heightened stressors and reduced human interactions which mark our pandemic era, writing effectively and with purpose is more important than ever. We need to mean what we write, and write what we mean.
RACHAEL ANDERSEN-WATTS, head of Academic Success at Vanderbilt Law, legal writing expert, attorney, and USN parent developed this course to provide you with a strategy for planning and executing the perfect letter, email or even text message. The emphasis is on crafting messages that are honest as well as strategic.
This class brings together the underpinnings of effective lawyering, negotiating and mediating to reconsider the writing tasks that we all encounter. Whether it’s responding to an unhappy client, telling your sister that you need to back out of this summer’s family reunion, or convincing your neighbors that they should care about the ways in which their barking dog is ruining your life, the words you choose matter.
Instructor in Law
Rachael Andersen-Watts has taught at Vanderbilt Law School since 2015. She has also worked in private practice, principally in health care law, in Nashville and Detroit. The scope of her work as an attorney included regulatory, contract and transactional representation, as well as research and writing related to litigation-facing matters. In 2018, she obtained certification to serve as a Rule 31 mediator in family and civil disputes.
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