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A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources
Almas Khan *
I. INTRODUCTION The Washburn Law Journal is fittingly commemorating its fiftieth volume with this topical issue on legal writing, and the Legal Writing Institute recently marked a milestone of its own. At the Institute’s 2010 biennial conference, presenters celebrated the organization’s twenty-fifth anniversary and touted its remarkable growth, noting that while 108 professionals gathered for the Institute’s inaugural conference in 1984, more than 600 professionals were in attendance at the current conference. Academics and practitioners have expressed an expanding interest in the discipline of legal writing as law offices, courts, and businesses continue to be inundated with shoddy legal docu1 ments. Attorneys have acknowledged legal writing’s integrality to effective 2 advocacy and, concomitantly, legal writing programs are increasingly being 3 staffed by full-time faculty with an enduring commitment to the field. With the rising status of legal writing programs and their faculty’s incorporation
* Assistant Professor of Law, University of La Verne College of Law; B.A., Stanford University; M.A., University of California–Irvine; J.D., University of Chicago Law School. 1. Judith D. Fischer, The Role of Ethics in Legal Writing: The Forensic Embroiderer, The Minimalist Wizard, and Other Stories, 9 SCRIBES J. OF LEGAL WRITING 77 (2003-2004) (updating the author’s preceding article with more recent cases in which courts reprimanded attorneys for misstating the law or facts, writing poorly, plagiarizing, or acting uncivilly); Judith D. Fischer, Bareheaded and Barefaced Counsel: Courts React to Unprofessionalism in Lawyers’ Papers, 331 SUFFOLK U. L. REV. 1 (1997) (enumerating cases in which attorneys were sanctioned for substantive, formal, and procedural deficiencies in their written submissions to courts); Susan Hanley Kosse & David T. ButleRitchie, How Judges, Practitioners, and Legal Writing Teachers Assess the Writing Skills of New Law Graduates: A Comparative Study, 53 J. LEGAL EDUC. 80, 85 (2003) (finding near-universal agreement about poor legal writing quality among surveyed judges, attorneys, and legal writing instructors); Kristen K. Robbins, The Inside Scoop: What Federal Judges Really Think About the Way Lawyers Write, 8 J. LEGAL WRITING INST. 257, 284 (2002) (recommending, based on a survey of federal judges, that attorneys draft more perceptive, clear, and concise legal analyses); ROBIN WELLFORD SLOCUM, LEGAL REASONING, WRITING, & PERSUASIVE ARGUMENT 218 (2d ed. 2006) (excerpting a corporate employer’s letter to a law school excoriating a writing sample’s “sloppy editing, poor organization, significant grammatical and syntactical errors, as well as poor logic, reasoning and analysis”). 2. RONIT DINOVITZER, NALP FOUND. FOR LAW CAREER RESEARCH & EDUC. & THE AM. BAR FOUND., AFTER THE J.D.: FIRST RESULTS OF A NATIONAL STUDY OF LEGAL CAREERS 81, 90 (2004), available at http://www.americanbarfoundation.org/uploads/cms/documents/ajd.pdf (ranking legal writing as the most useful non-clinical course in law school based on a survey of 3,905 recent law school graduates); Bryant G. Garth & Joanne Martin, Law Schools and the Construction of Competence, 43 J. LEGAL EDUC. 469, 492 (1993) (ranking ability in legal analysis and legal reasoning among the top three factors in promotion to partnership based on a survey of seventy-nine Chicago hiring partners). 3. Suzanne E. Rowe, From Polaroid Snapshot to 3-D Movie: Updating the Annual Survey of Legal Writing Programs, 16 J. LEGAL WRITING INST. 565, 570–71 (2010) (commenting that non-directors who taught legal writing in 1990 “were often students, adjuncts, and short-term instructors[,]” but that only a small percentage of schools retain the adjunct-taught or student-taught legal writing model today).
Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1836758
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Washburn Law Journal
into legal academia, legal writing scholarship has proliferated. During my past five years as a legal writing instructor, I have endeavored to categorize this scholarship, compiling a “master list” with hundreds of legal writing sources organized by topic. Students and other faculty members often have consulted me for assistance with legal writing, and the master list has proven to be an indispensable guide for them. In this article, I present an edited version of the master list for readers—including academe, practitioners, and students—seeking to improve their legal writing. Before proceeding to the compendium, I offer an explanation of its scope and my methodology for selecting and organizing sources. Regarding scope, I intended to identify basic legal writing sources that could lead an interested reader to authorities furnishing more comprehensive advice on a subject; this resulted in a moderately sized bibliography and necessitated the elimination of several topics related to legal writing. For example, while I listed many texts discussing legal research generally, because each area of law requires a distinctive research strategy, no references to subject-specific legal research sources are included below. Also, to ensure that this inventory appealed to the broadest possible audience, I excised most works that focused exclusively 5 on legal writing pedagogy. The bibliography’s sources were culled from my master list of approximately 500 texts and websites, which I discovered by scouring legal writing 6 7 books, disciplinary journals, newsletters, and the Social Science Research 8 Network (“SSRN”) page dedicated to legal writing. Colleagues at legal writing conferences also have contributed to this list, as the Works Cited handouts that occasionally accompanied their presentations provided me with another 9 helpful resource. Finally, the Legal Writing Prof Blog and serendipity aided me in creating a relatively thorough list of legal writing sources from which I extracted the 123 works cited in this bibliography, classified under a baker’s dozen worth of headings.
4. For a selected list of publications by legal writing professors through 2005, see Terrill Pollman & Linda Edwards, Scholarship by Legal Writing Professors: New Voices in the Legal Academy, 11 J. LEGAL WRITING INST. 3, 59–212 (2005). Additionally, a book written by the American Bar Association (“ABA”) contains a partial bibliography of legal writing scholarship through May 15, 2006. AM. BAR ASS’N, SOURCEBOOK ON LEGAL WRITING PROGRAMS (2d ed. 2006), available at http://www.abanet. org/legaled/publications/sourcebook/sourcebookbibliography.pdf. 5. Legal writing professors searching for pedagogical tips may consult two articles: Mary Olszewska & Thomas E. Baker, An Annotated Bibliography of Law Teaching, 18 PERSP. 34 (2009), and Mary A. Hotchkiss, Index to Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing, 18 PERSP. 49 (2009), which classifies articles in the journal from 1992-2009 by author and topic. Additionally, I plan to draft an annotated bibliography of scholarship on legal writing pedagogy, as the subject merits its own article. 6. These include the Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (to be re-titled Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD beginning with the Fall 2011 volume), Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, and Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing. 7. These include The Second Draft, published by the Legal Writing Institute, and the American Association of Law School’s Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research’s newsletter. 8. Legal Writing eJournal, SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH NETWORK, http://www.ssrn.com/link/LegalWriting.html (last visited Jan. 22, 2011). 9. LEGAL WRITING PROF BLOG, http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/.
Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1836758
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A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources
That noted, I make no claim to the master list’s exhaustiveness; because legal writing scholarship has been burgeoning, I could not feasibly locate and categorize every legal writing source, and some of the bibliography’s deficiencies may stem from the master list’s incompleteness. Moreover, because the bibliography distills the master list, the sources it cites (and neglects to cite) reflect my personal predilections and collective wisdom, resulting in a somewhat eclectic set of cited works. I welcome reader insights about inclusions and omissions, taking responsibility for any oversights and encouraging updates about sources published after this article is printed. Although the bibliography contains few sources centered on legal writing instruction, the organization of topics in its first half parallels the order of assignments in a typical two- or three-semester legal writing course, moving from introductory to advanced legal writing texts. I begin by enumerating elementary legal writing texts and sources introducing the study of law, case synthesis and small-scale organization, objective legal memoranda, persuasive writing and appellate advocacy, oral argument, and advanced legal writing. The remainder of the bibliography is devoted to sources discussing legal research, legal writing style, legal citation, law school assistance, academic legal writing, and useful miscellany. Within each topic, the organizational principle varies based on the chosen sources, but I attempted to array the sources logically to facilitate the reader’s navigation through the bibliography. The cited sources vary in form and are penned by diverse authors, assisting readers desiring urgent advice or more probing treatment of a given topic. Law professors, attorneys, and judges provide incisive perspectives on legal writing in the websites, bar association journal columns, brief articles, working papers, law review articles, and books that this compendium proffers for the reader’s perusal and, hopefully, enlightenment. II. ELEMENTARY LEGAL WRITING BOOKS Dozens of books geared toward beginning legal writers populate the market today, and I could have doubled the following list by including other 10 The ten cited here are the seminal ones, in my estimation, excellent texts. or the most instructive starting off points for readers seeking one-stop legal writing shopping. These books discuss several topics that the bibliography addresses below and are thus not cross-referenced repeatedly in those sections. The texts should assist law students wanting additional guidance for courses or summer employment, legal writing professors adopting a new course book, and practitioners searching for a refresher on legal writing basics. I arrayed the books based on their length, not perceived quality, as each
10. For a more expansive list of elementary legal writing texts, readers may consult the recommended reading section in many of the cited legal writing books or they may access law school library websites. See, e.g., Legal Writing, UNIV. BUFFALO LAW LIBRARY (July 2009), http://law.lib.buffalo.edu/PDFs/Legal Writing.pdf. (last visited Jan. 22, 2011).
Myra K. Professor Edwards’ book treats legal writing as a process. which are topics the text covers in depth. underscoring the importance of context. EDWARDS. One of the standard references in the field. 2. . Veda R. 2010). 3. legal analysis. 11. Charrow. 4. An abridged version of this textbook tracks assignments in a typical first-year legal writing course. case briefs. the authors explain how to convert an objective memorandum into a persuasive document. Effective Lawyering: A Checklist Approach to Legal Writing and Oral Argument (2007). 2010). Suited for the beginning legal writer. and Organiza11 tion (5th ed. Sirico. It also describes the unique features of legal language and different categories of legal writing. This book is a stand-alone introductory legal writing text and more. memoranda. such as the American legal system.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 398 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. Legal Writing: Process. or oral argument. communicate electronically. and readers are advised to leaf through a few volumes to find the primer tailored to their needs. Jr.. focusing on communication skills used in practice from the time an attorney meets a client through the argument of an appeal. brief. and academic writing. and revision for effective legal writing. appellate briefs. The text is ideal for junior lawyers. 1. Schultz & Louis J. Nancy L. case briefing. providing a checklist of general techniques to enhance readers’ legal writing before concisely describing specific techniques for trial and appellate briefs. law professors. The authors employ a minimalist approach. and draft pleadings and pre-trial motions. and case synthesis. this book discusses basics about the law. interoffice memoranda. letters. 2007). Annotated examples help readers learn how to draft an intraoffice memorandum. a memorandum of points and authorities. In addition to covering traditional topics. Edwards. organization. Analysis. Erhardt & Robert P. as well as oral argument. LEGAL WRITING AND ANALYSIS (2d ed. teaching readers how to outline the rule of law that will provide the organizational structure for a memorandum. Legal Writing and Other Lawyering Skills (5th ed. and an appellate brief. Clear and Effective Legal Writing (4th ed. clarity. Austen L. 2007). negotiate. Additionally. the authors describe how to compose a client opinion letter. See LINDA H. Linda H. Charrow. including the legal system and litigation process. and oral argument. Yokoyama. Parrish & Dennis T. 50 reader’s criteria for an optimal introductory legal writing text varies. and students desiring supplemental material on the fundamentals of effective lawyering. advise a client.
and conclusion). Schmedemann & Christina L. 6. technically proficient office memoranda. citations.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 399 5. outlines. Marilyn R. pre-trial advocacy (pleadings and motions). Reasoning. such as the legal system. Charles R. Calleros. this book proceeds through subjects ranging from an introduction to law. office memoranda. and appendices outline the writing process and provide pointers on style. It also describes how to organize proof of a conclusion of law. and demand letters) render this book an invaluable resource for readers seeking assistance with legal writing beyond memoranda and appellate briefs. in addition to devoting separate chapters to special topics 12. Analyzing one sample case.. Special chapters on summary judgment motions. cases. LEGAL WRITING (2008). advice letters. which covers topics including each component of the IRAC paradigm (issue. and discovery documents). Walter. Helene S. the analysis of case law and statutes. demand letters. SIMON. and Style (6th ed. and appellate briefs. and pleadings (complaints. and legal writing. & SHEILA J. Another classic work in the field. and oral argument. introducing law. 2007). essay examination techniques. demand letters. and oral advocacy. which I learned legal writing from and have continued to assign in my first-year legal writing course. this textbook. and Writing (3d ed. large-scale and small-scale organization. Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing: Struc12 ture. brief writing. Legal Method and Writing (5th ed. See RICHARD K. Deborah A. Chapters also discuss advice letters. legal studies. should satisfy readers seeking both breadth and depth. and contract drafting. 2006). 2009). and oral argument. Professor Calleros’ expertise in academic support for law students imbues this comprehensive text. motion memoranda. memorandum drafting (including the transactional context). Synthesis: Legal Reading. Chapters also discuss other traditional subjects. rule. citation. writing style. . NEUMANN. and thesis paragraphs. appellate briefs. and draft compelling. JR. Other forms of legal communication covered include client advice letters. Jr. 7. and research strategies. Shapo. Innovative charts and diagrams complement the text and appeal to visual learners. exam answers. application. Writing and Analysis in the Law (5th ed. 8. Kuntz. It introduces the legal system and legal writing. analyze legal authorities. and statutes to rule application. legal method and analysis. answers. Neumann. This textbook intertwines legal reasoning and legal writing. Strategy. Richard K. and writing to parties (contracts. 2008). The authors provide a step-by-step approach to the writing and research processes. & Elizabeth Fajans. motions in limine. case briefs. A streamlined version of this textbook also is suitable for a basic legal writing course.
legal system and provides techniques for effective reading and analysis of statutes and cases.and fact-centered arguments and provide pointers for writing letters to clients or opposing counsel for demand or settlement. and mechanics. Legal Research. and the brief chapters discuss motion briefs and appellate briefs. Like other standard introductory legal writing texts. 2008). the office memorandum is described in ten chapters. The Legal Writing Handbook: Analysis. office memoranda. syntax. syntax. punctuation. Briefs and Oral Argument. and Legal Writing for English-as-a-Second-Language Writers.000 pages. ANNE ENQUIST & CONSTANCE KRONTZ. and Writing (5th ed. FOR THE . JUST MEMOS (2d ed. Practice pointers interspersed throughout the text and short sections on professionalism emphasize legal practice. The introduction overviews the U. syntax. PUNCTUATION. LAUREL CURRIE OATES. rule and case evaluation. AND STYLE LEGAL WRITER (3d ed. LAUREL CURRIE OATES & ANNE ENQUIST. Opinion Letters. Spanning nearly 1. Professor Slocum’s book discusses a panoply of usual introductory legal writing subjects. but it divides a number of these topics into several chapters offering particularized guidance. and grammar. 10. JUST BRIEFS (2d ed. Robin Wellford Slocum.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 400 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. Objective Memoranda. with four addressing the discussion section and three addressing memorandum revision for content. 9. this book discusses how to compose memoranda. 2006). organization. 2009). 2007). trial briefs. 13 Just Briefs. Seven books comprise the larger volume: Introduction. this legal writing bible consolidates four of the authors’ texts—Just Memos. A Guide to Correct Writing. and citator usage. paragraphs. transitions. such as elementary legal analysis. state and federal statutory and regulatory issues. including effective paragraphs. and appellate briefs and how to deliver an oral argument. 13. and Persuasive Argument (2d ed. 50 including types of legal arguments used in resolving questions of law. Legal Reasoning. Tips on writing style address eloquence. ANNE ENQUIST & LAUREL CURRIE OATES. and oral argument. while the legal research section covers constitutional issues. Laurel Currie Oates & Anne Enquist. and citation accuracy. interviewing and counseling clients. LAUREL CURRIE OATES & ANNE ENQUIST. Just Research. Chapters and appendices also address the finer points of legal writing style. The memoranda section describes strategies for writing memoranda on sophisticated subjects. and Email and Text Messages. A Guide to Effective Writing. grammar. the American legal system.S. For example. Separate chapters detail different types of law. diction. Research. common law issues. 2010). and Just Writing —and is the only introductory legal writing book delving deeply into each of these subjects. JUST WRITING: GRAMMAR. trial and appellate briefs. 2009). county and city ordinance issues. Writing. and letter writing. JUST RESEARCH (2d ed. diction.
statutory analysis. Fundamentals of Legal Reasoning and Analysis 11. 69 U. Professor McFadden posits that three questions recur in legal disputes: Is there a law? Has it been violated? What will be done about it? Using a sustained case example. and conclusion). Legal Analysis: The Fundamental Skill (2d ed. Romantz & Kathleen Elliot Vinson. explanation. Chapters explore the foundations of legal analysis and rules. discourse. Stephen Clowney & Jeremy D. L. A Student’s Guide to Legal Analysis: Thinking Like a Lawyer (2001). explaining rudimentary logical principles applied in the law school classroom as opposed to discussing the intricacies of formal logic or abstract theories of legal thinking. The text ends by deconstructing the CREAC paradigm (conclusion. Unlike the preceding texts in this section. Patrick M. This article encapsulates Judge Aldisert’s Logic for Lawyers: A Guide to 14 Clear Legal Thinking. and policybased reasoning. Thinking Like a Lawyer: A New Introduction to Legal Reasoning (2009). and practitioners. and procedures that the sources listed below illuminate in varying levels of depth. 13. liability. Written primarily for first-year law students. 14. an IRAC variant. Demystifying legal analysis for the beginning law student. McFadden. PITT. Judge Richard 14.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources III. chapters examine each of these questions involving the existence of a right or obligation. REV. David S. Deductive reasoning. Logic for Law Students: How to Think Like a Lawyer. inductive generalization. and cover inductive analysis and analogical reasoning. application. Frederick Schauer. and other considerations. Ruggero J. LOGIC FOR LAWYERS: A GUIDE TO CLEAR LEGAL THINKING (3d ed. this dense. compact book on legal reasoning explains jargon that may confound novice legal writers. ALDISERT. and reasoning by analogy receive attention. Peterson. legal scholars. Aldisert. while the following sections about legal reading and case briefing and legal procedure flow logically between sources. deductive analysis and rule-based reasoning. RUGGERO J. whose target audience is first-year law students. 2001). ensuring its utility for advanced law students. . with caveats about the limitations of these techniques offered to guide the scrupulous legal writer. rule. The texts introducing legal reasoning and analysis are arranged by perceived complexity. Professor Schauer’s book intensely probes law and a range of legal reasoning techniques. 12. INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF LAW 401 The legal field has its own reasoning and analytical methods. and remedies before briefly describing legal argumentation. A. 2009). 1 (2007).
. This comprehensive casebook describes the legal system. REV. 15.gov/research/toread.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 402 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. legal writers lack the foundation for 15. 18. 50 Posner and several acclaimed law professors laud the book’s original perspective in covering traditional topics for this genre. ASS’N. They Will Not Take a Second Look!”: Critical Reading in the Legal Writing Classroom. and policy—and explains tactics for identifying. and dissects a single legal dispute to familiarize readers with the manifold procedural decisions at each stage of litigation. Introduction to Legal Method and Process: Cases and Materials (5th ed. evaluating. and the role of attorneys. Professor Huhn delineates five categories of legal arguments—text. 293. available at http://ssrn. Karp. including rules. in a Book. affirms that its insights can help advanced legal writers craft more cogent legal arguments. Orin S. 41 WILLAMETTE L. judicial opinions.com/abstract =1160925. Debra Moss Curtis & Judith R. Its systematic exploration of the strengths and weaknesses of each argument type. 11 GREEN BAG 2d 51 (2007). 294 (2005) (citing anecdotal evidence of passive reading). This accessible essay helps beginning law students understand what a judicial opinion is. and cultural decay that threatens American democracy).nea. the distinction between rules and standards. and the book’s theoretical construct is logically tested after Huhn establishes its premises. authorities. especially while preparing for class. and the legislature in conflict resolution. creating. courts. and critiquing each one through examples from judicial opinions. Legal Reading and Case Briefing 17. Without close reading skills. . Professor Berch’s book covers civil and criminal law topics. TO READ OR NOT TO READ: A QUESTION OF NATIONAL CONSEQUENCE 5–6 (2007). http://www. Intra-type attacks and cross-type arguments are discussed at length. How to Read a Legal Opinion: A Guide for New Law Students. case synthesis. Berch et al. “In a Case. Ruth Ann McKinney. legal facts. and burden of proof concerns. precedent. including the progression of a criminal case. NAT’L EDUC.pdf (updating the Reading at Risk report and warning that the alarming drop in reading ability and the habit of regular reading among college graduates creates a downward spiral of social. legal realism. B. based on the different structure and evidentiary support underpinning each. Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert (2005). and how it should be evaluated. Huhn’s artful interweaving of theory and practice has led several leading law schools to assign this text. economic. how it is structured. tradition. With a more expansive scope than the other texts listed in this section. precedent. 16. Kerr. civic. intent. law professors often bemoan students’ inability to read crit15 ically. Michael A. the common law. statutory interpretation. 2008). what terminology it employs. statutory interpretation. Citing statistics that corroborate their experiences. Wilson Huhn. The Five Types of Legal Argument (2d ed. 2010). analogical reasoning.
KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 403 drafting cohesive. and (3) how much deference the appellate court accords to the lower court’s decision in light of the applicable scope and standard of review. (2) when appellate jurisdiction exists (with a fruit salad analogy being used to explain the final order doctrine). and other prisms through which judges evaluate cases. Amy E. pragmatic. Its framework for analyzing the different standards for a host of pre-trial. and legal reasoning. READING AT RISK: A SURVEY OF LITERARY READING IN AMERICA—EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 6 (2004). This article highlights three vital procedural issues for every appeal: (1) who has standing to appeal. law. if necessary. trial. 22. Judith Giers. this book presents a six-step process for briefing judicial opinions. & PROCESS 561 (2002). APP. . 12 PERSP.pdf (demonstrating an accelerating decline in young adult literary readers in the past twenty years). BALT. 43 (2005). 21.S. Case briefs of varying quality and complexity illustrate how the guidelines operate in practice and define terms encountered in first-year doctrinal courses (contracts. PRAC. After introducing law school. policyoriented. This practice note’s explanation of how standards of review should shape civil trial strategy focuses on the applicable review standards in the U. 4 J. Christopher Lawson. ASS’N. C. and this book concentrates exclusively on mastering legal reading in the law school and legal practice contexts. including positivist. 2006). where legal writers may read hundreds of thousands of pages during their professional lifetime. NAT’L EDUC. complete with guidelines for each step. The text’s final chapter offers a primer on jurisprudential perspectives. Seeing the Appellate Horizon: Civil Trial Strategy and Standards of Review in the Eighth Circuit.nea. 151 (2004). Providing Procedural Context: A Brief Outline of the Civil Trial Process. Sloan.S. civil procedure. This synopsis of the civil trial process is a useful supplemental handout for first-year law students or other legal writers needing a procedural refresher. Analysis and Theory (3d ed. Legal Procedure 20. Federal criminal law and civil law problems test readers’ understanding of appellate procedural intricacies elucidated in the article. 19. R. and post-trial rulings is instructive for any legal writer interested in the degree of deference afforded various trial court decisions on appeal. L.gov/pub/ RaRExec. describing how a civil lawsuit advances from the pre-filing stage to the appellate stage. forceful legal arguments. available at http://www. REV. Appellate Fruit Salad and Other Concepts: A Short Course on Appellate Process. 35 U. John Delaney. and constitutional law). natural law. torts. Learning Legal Reasoning: Briefing. legal system. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. the U.
TECH L. 9 PERSP. . with an explanation of rules preceding application of those rules for each legal issue. but the article’s sample rule synthesis funnel chart (a flowchart) may assist other legal writers searching for a nifty 16. other legal writers also may find utility in the texts’ explanations of important pre-writing steps for trenchant legal writing.pdf. and instead here list the sources I use to teach smallscale organization. J. Jane Kent Gionfriddo.cfm?abstract_id=1650923. Teaching Synthesis in High-Tech Classrooms: Using Sophisticated Visual Tools Alongside Socratic Dialogue To Help Guide Students Through the Labyrinth. 24. 10 SECOND DRAFT 1 (1995). 123 (2003). 50 The sources listed in this section primarily will assist law students and legal writing professors teaching their students how to synthesize cases and organize the discussion of a single legal issue. REV. legal writers should draft cohesive. legal writing professors often use concept charts arraying cases vertically and facts. factor outcomes. 82 N. Smith. a longstanding matter of contention among legal writing professors.lwionline. Most critically. The first set of articles below discusses case synthesis techniques. while the revised concept chart presented in this article facilitates case synthesis by arranging factors vertically and factor-related facts.Y. this article discusses the theory and practice of case synthesis for objective and persuasive legal documents. ST.org/publications/seconddraft/nov95. The author concentrates on high-tech pedagogical techniques for legal writing professors teaching visual learners case synthesis. Deborah Shore. compelling analyses. to balloon to twice its typical length in November 1995. Cracking the Code to Writing Legal Arguments: From IRAC to CRARC to Combinations in Between. Bulletin of the Legal Writing Institute. 40 TEX. Written for attorneys and law professors. while the following set of articles describes small-scale organizational tips with reference to the CREAC paradigm and other IRAC var16 iants. analysis. available at http://papers. and outcomes of the cases horizontally. To help their students synthesize cases. BAR ASS’N. A. An extensive example illustrates how the suggested methodology for case synthesis operates. 25. The debate over IRAC’s efficacy caused The Second Draft. See Legal Writing Inst.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 404 Washburn Law Journal IV. and case names horizontally.com/sol3/papers. the Legal Writing Institute’s bulletin. this case listing approach promotes case-by-case. Case Synthesis 23. However. considering explicit rules before gleaning implicit rules from opinions and harmonizing hypothetical synthesized rules with the outcomes of precedential cases. CASE SYNTHESIS AND SMALL-SCALE ORGANIZATION [Vol. as opposed to rule-based.. A Revised Concept Chart: Helping Students Move Away from a Case-by-Case Analysis. factors. Thinking Like a Lawyer: The Heuristics of Case Synthesis. 110 (2001). I elide arguments on whether one IRAC variant is inherently superior to the others. For a brief exposition of the numerous small-scale organizational paradigms taught by legal writing professors today.ssrn. Craig T. 1 (2007). 64 (2010). available at http://www. see Gerald Lebovits. and readers intrigued by this debate may wish to peruse that issue. 11 PERSP. however.
available at http://papers. available at http://ssrn. Seymour. its four-step construct for analogical analysis. 1 (1997).com/sol3/papers. application. 39 CUMB. 26 (2006). reasoning by analogy. B. rule application.com/abstract=1196462. Terry Jean Seligmann & Thomas H. Legal Argument and Small-Scale Organization. and definition.com/abstract=1260829. Using four categories. explanation. Hofstra Univ. focusing on mistakes that result in tenuous analogies and distinctions. 07-11 (2007). 2008). Referring to the small-scale organizational scheme he teaches— conclusion. LEGAL ANALYSIS: THE FUNDAMENTAL SKILL . L. 35 STUDENT LAW. available at http:// ssrn. Wojcik. rule explanation. REV. While this article is intended for legal writing professors. Scott Fruehwald. ROMANTZ & KATHLEEN ELLIOT VINSON. rule. 17. 72 KY. Professor Fruehwald divides legal arguments as follows: rule-based reasoning. 27. rule illustration(s). should help other legal writers reason by analogy more effectively.cfm?abstract_id=979656. based on Romantz and Vinson’s Legal Analysis: The Fundamental 17 Skill. conclusion). This student-friendly piece offering law exam advice informs its audience how to explicate rules in the E (explanation of the rule) part of the recommended IREAC paradigm (issue. the authors provide ten tips ranging from identifying relevant legal sources to discerning when to cite minimal authority for a legal proposition. Choosing and Using Legal Authority: The Top 10 Tips. and policy-based reasoning. distinguishing precedent. Stephanie Roberts Hartung & Shailini Jandial George. exemplification. 28. Crafting Analogies and Distinctions that Work. DAVID S. Small-Scale Organization 26. For legal writers perturbed at the prospect of sifting through voluminous research to determine which authorities to cite in the R (rule) part of the IRAC paradigm. Promoting In-Depth Analysis: A Three-Part Approach to Teaching Analogical Reasoning to Novice Legal Writers. 685 (2008).ssrn. Susan Hanley Duncan. Add an E to Your IRAC. 30. rule. and case comparison(s)—Fruehwald explains why any IRAC variant a legal writer uses should encompass the different types of legal arguments the writer relies upon. BAR ASS’N BENCH & BAR (Nov. 6 PERSP. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 29.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 405 alternative to the traditional case concept chart. Mark E. explanatory options include public policy. This short handout for law students describes each component of the CREAC paradigm and lists three recurrent errors in the A (application of the rule) part of the paradigm.
Chapters review the American legal system. 2009). drawn from the author’s experience teaching legal writing. which discuss memorandum drafting in detail. available at http://ssrn. Joan Malmud & Sandy Patrick. Books on Legal Memoranda 32. 18. 33. 34. this book by a longtime instructor and author on legal writing is aimed at beginning legal writers and acquaints them with the context of a memorandum and conventions governing its drafting. Wayne Schiess. A Lawyer Writes: A Practical Guide to Legal Analysis (2008).com/abstract=1180654. Another slim volume on memorandum composition. Writing a Legal Memo (2006). 50 Excerpts from a sample memorandum identify and critique common analytical pitfalls in each step of the construct. such as the University of Chicago. an oft-fatally neglected step in composition. explain how to compose a legal memorandum. Christine Coughlin. V.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 406 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. 1999 ARK. OBJECTIVE LEGAL MEMORANDA Law students and newly minted lawyers often share anxiety about composing legal memoranda. practical guide has been adopted by many legal writing instructors at top-tier law 18 schools. This note. The following three articles distill the books by summarizing the memorandum writing process while the last two articles focus solely on revision. emphasizes when and how adverse authority should be disclosed in court documents. NOTES 93 (1999). Sharing the pragmatic orientation of the preceding text. this book places readers in the position of a first-year attorney tasked with writing a memorandum. present principles of effective writing. The University of Chicago Book List (2010). The first two-thirds of (2d ed. After stressing the ethical obligation to cite potentially harmful authorities in certain instances.uchicago. The books listed below.law. This succinct. The Legal Memo: A Basic Guide (2008). Sampson. 31. A. 2011). and provide guidance on legal research and citation. L. . John Bronsteen. but its prescriptions are equally valid for legal writers drafting objective documents. should help allay their concerns and edify more seasoned legal writers.pdf (last visited March 16. Adverse Authority: Rationales and Methods for Using It to Strengthen Legal Argument. http://www. a standard early assignment for them in the academic and practice contexts. the article catalogues techniques for confronting these authorities with examples from diverse areas of law. Kathryn A.edu/files/file/Atumn% 202010_0.
brief answer. 36 (2006). legislation. law students. Learning the Art of Rewriting and Editing—A Perspective. and appendices. “simple” balancing tests. (4) the location. Amy R. This article by a practitioner provides a recommended organizational framework for a memorandum. This essay on practical jurisprudence is intended for four audiences: new attorneys. and polishing—focusing on the latter two in this terse article. bulleting suggestions for each section: caption. discussion. drafting. and policy. Bowman. 38. The final third of the book discusses the sections in a typical memorandum (question presented. revising. Stein. (2) the organization and assessment of complex fact patterns. statement of facts. This article’s title belies its broader utility. 37. Practical Jurisprudence: Deconstructing and Synthesizing the Art and Science of Thinking Like a Lawyer. Considerations in evaluating the hypothetical fact pattern provided by the partner follow: (1) the context of legal analysis. the essay assumes the perspective of a budding associate assigned a memorandum. 15 PERSP. 8 PERSP. issue(s). 36. and post-writing usefully parse what can be a daunting process. 15 PERSP. L. sources consulted or research checklist. general principles. and organization of legal rules. and small-scale organization. The author divides the writing process into four stages—pre-writing. Helping Students Understand that Effective Organization Is a Prerequisite to Effective Legal Writing. (3) the statement and organization of legal issues. A multiple pass-through technique ensures that writers correct macro-scale. offers hints for revision and professional e-mail correspondence. and conclusion). Kevin H. Based on the author’s experiences with neophyte lawyers struggling to reason through complicated legal problems. The five suggested steps of scheduling. statement. discussion or analysis. facts. legal reading. academic support program directors. and presents sample memoranda varying in their efficacy. 30 (1999). (6) the statement and placement of authority. assumptions. interpretation. table of contents. REV. pre-writing. and (7) the promulgation of arguments in the alternative to reach a conclusion. B. Brooke J. background. the author’s methodical approach to composing a legal memorandum can assist any legal writer grappling with organizational and time-management problems. Structure Your Legal Memorandum. Smith. 29 U. and law professors. (5) the many forms of doctrine: rules. Mark Gannage. writing. standards. MEM.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 407 the book cover elementary topics such as sources and systems of law. Articles on Legal Memoranda 35. 1 (1998). 54 (2006). conclusion(s). research. content-related problems in their writing .
experienced legal writers have memorialized their insights on persuasive writing and appellate advocacy for decades. at the trial or appellate level. PRAC. 56 MERCER L.alwd. Although law students are this article’s avowed audience.g. 3 J. ASS’N LEGAL WRITING DIRS.org/JALWD/CurrentIssues/2009/pdfs/stanchi. resulting in a vast literature devoted to 19 argumentative legal writing. Michael R. e. REV.pdf (discussing classic and contemporary rhetoric). I thus could have quintupled the following source list but instead selected a manageable number of noteworthy books and articles for the reader’s study. Smith. 129 (2006). Why is a Legal Memorandum like an Onion?—A Student’s Guide to Reviewing and Editing. 20. as opposed to what is persuasive. 2 (2010). Recognizing the subject’s immensity. is usually taught in the second or third semester of a legal writing course sequence. Readers interested in those subjects are encouraged to consult the cited bibliographies. VI. The volumes are arranged by perceived complexity. and typographical errors).. ASS’N LEGAL WRITING DIRS. 11 J.g. Because my bibliography centers on legal writing.pdf (covering works that analyze how or why something persuades. See Helen A. e. The following articles crystallize brief-writing principles elaborated upon in the books and offer tips on specific substantive and stylistic aspects of a legal brief. and encompassing classic and contemporary rhetoric and theories of narrative and argumentation). Rhetoric Theory and Legal Writing: An Annotated Bibliography. and a final reassessment (“the onion skin”). neatness (grammar.” For a “tear free” memorandum. 39.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 408 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. APP. See. 6 J. . available at http://www. grammar. available at http://www. See.. legal logic. Terry Jean Seligmann. this section omits works on oral trial advocacy techniques but includes introductory and more sophisticated books suitable for legal writing courses teaching persuasion and practitioners striving to become more potent advocates. & PROCESS 1. Kathryn Stanchi. diction. 21. citations. 19. PERSUASIVE LEGAL WRITING AND APPELLATE ADVOCACY Persuasive legal writing. and it is an imperative skill for practitioners. mechanical problems (syntax. the article suggests five layers of review that track the legal reader’s priorities: macro issues (the thesis paragraph and flow of the discussion section).org/JALWD/Archives/2006/pdf%20 files/Smith. Anderson. Other professors have published annotated 20 bibliographies on rhetorical theory’s relation to legal writing and persua21 sion’s theoretical role in legal writing. 75 (2009). with the final books listed providing persuasive pointers and models. more minute concerns (paragraphs and sentences). and typographical mistakes). Persuasion: An Annotated Bibliography.alwd. citations. 50 (substance and organization) before remedying micro-scale. Changing Fashions in Advocacy: 100 Years of Brief-Writing Advice. assuming background knowledge on the basics of writing as an advocate. 729 (2004). other legal writers may benefit from the author’s guidelines for revising a memorandum or “peeling the onion.
Using a hypothetical case file. issues. including research. Professor Beazley familiarizes readers with appellate jurisdiction and standards of review before presenting a step-by-step approach to drafting an appellate brief. as well as appellate briefing and oral argument. Its four parts introduce persuasive legal writing. large. 42. technicalities of the appeal. preparation for brief writing. 43. 41. effective use of authority. this text covers motions practice in trial and appellate courts. Chapters introduce the moot court experience and each substantive component of an appellate brief—the statement of the case. appellee. a primer on persuasion. oral argument. . describe how to prepare memoranda for trial courts.or second-year law student assigned an appellate moot court problem. Carole C. composition of the opening. Miller. and sample briefs. Students in an appellate advocacy or persuasive legal writing course and practitioners inexperienced in appellate advocacy should garner wisdom from this book.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 409 A. and is designed for the first. A Practical Guide to Appellate Advocacy (3d ed. and summary of the argument. Effective Appellate Advocacy: Brief Writing and Oral Argument (4th ed. formatting. persuasive techniques. substantive brief components. John T. Books on Elementary Persuasive Legal Writing or Appellate Advocacy 40.and small-scale organization. Chapters discuss pre-writing. polishing. complete with four annotated briefs implementing the text’s recommendations. point headings. Michael R. readability. and moot court competitions. 2007). self-grading. post-argument memoranda. The book assumes student knowledge of legal research and writing fundamentals. preparation for and presentation of an oral argument. Mary Beth Beazley. and provide tips for handling appeals and writs. body of the argument. 2010). including questions presented. Berry. and conclusion—in a brisk eighty pages. and petitions for rehearing. I taught persuasive legal writing and oral argument for four years using this text. summary of the argument. headings. and reply briefs. briefs. with the remainder of the book discussing oral argument and reproducing sample briefs. and my students appreciated its brevity and directness. preliminary considerations before argument. Persuasive Written and Oral Advocacy in Trial and Appellate Courts (2d ed. Gaubatz & Taylor Mattis. Michael Vitiello & David W. Fontham. 1994). which includes traditional subjects for this genre: the decision to appeal. argument. offer strategies to excel in oral argument. 2009). including citation form. The Moot Court Book: A Student Guide to Appellate Advocacy (3d ed. statement of the case.
who served as the chief justice from 1969 to 1986. and secrets of a winning oral argument. and the text’s topics span from the lawyer’s professional responsibility to legal writing and preliminary considerations. judicial. 50 B. trial and post-trial briefs. Re & Joseph R. accessible book about appellate advocacy. oral argument. Topics include: the appellate court’s role in the federal judiciary. providing academic. electronic and initial filing. 2005). Written for practitioners. Brief Writing and Oral Argument (9th ed. American Bar Association Section of Litigation. preservation of issues for appeal. standard of review. and academia. memoranda of law. and publication of decisions—it should assist all practitioners seeking a comprehensive. post-argument. The current edition is co-authored by the late distinguished jurist and professor Edward Re (1920–2006) and his son Joseph Re. the appellate brief including introduction. Subjects raised include the appellate process. jurisdiction. and postdecision filings. 2010). this recently published volume guides lawyers through the thicket of appellate process with advice from experts in private practice. opinion.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 410 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. Although the text focuses on federal appeals—examining circuit variations in local rules governing motions. originally published in 1951. and summary of the argument. A thorough analysis of actual civil and criminal appellate briefs follows. government. A Practitioner’s Guide to Appellate Advocacy (Anne Marie Lofaso ed. The How-to-Win Appeal Manual: Winning Appellate Advocacy in a Nutshell (2d ed. Books on Advanced Persuasive Legal Writing or Appellate Advocacy 44. in light of his experiences as a jurist on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals since 1988 and the Milwaukee County Circuit Court from 1979 to 1988. oral argument. claim. Ralph Adam Fine. the record on appeal and the joint appendix. and post-briefing. In this manual. and demand letters. professionalism and ethics in appellate advocacy.. inter-jurisdictional certification. statement of the issues. appendices. Judge Fine explains how an advocate can prevail on appeal. substantive statements. mediation. briefs. and practical perspectives on the craft of brief writing and oral argument. an introduction to law and the appellate process. Edward D. along with exercises to practice the principles exhorted in the text. keys to drafting an exceptional brief and avoiding traps that ensnare unwary appellate advocates. appellate brief writing. respondent and reply briefs. Re. Law students transitioning to practice are the book’s envisioned audience. . and legal citation. 2008). 46. a successful litigator. The book lucidly articulates the judicial mindset on appeal and discusses how awareness of an appellate judge’s frame of mind should shape an appellate attorney’s brief and oral presentation. settlement of cases on appeal. Justice Burger. 45. endorsed an earlier edition of this classic text. oral argument.
(3) the oral argument of an appeal. Each chapter begins with a set of rules. and (5) illustrative examples of a statement of facts. and finer points. may be written in a more antiquated style than the modern texts listed in this section. e-mails. technical requirements for briefs. As a former legal writing instructor at Harvard Law School. including essentials about each section. answers. complaints. 2009). has won numerous plaudits for this book—Justice Brennan. Steven D. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and a prolific authority on legal writing. The book is not a practice manual or text on federal appellate procedure. Writing to Win: The Legal Writer (1999). 48. Briefing and Arguing Federal Appeals (3d prtg. who served from 1956 to 1990. first published in 1961. and the Ninth Circuit’s Chief Judge Alex Kozinski has echoed the praise more recently. the final chapter’s checklists for briefs and oral arguments also have proven popular. Winning on Appeal: Better Briefs and Oral Argument (2d ed. and rules. This reprint of Wiener’s pioneering book on federal appellate advocacy. it endures as critical reading for appellate advocates. but as a landmark work in the field. instead describing how attorneys can draft briefs and deliver oral arguments that will enable them to win on appeal in federal courts. Ruggero J. letters. two petitions for rehearing. Stark. extolled an earlier edition.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 411 47. including fundamentals. (2) the briefing of an appeal. and an annotated oral argument. Aldisert. Frederick Bernays Wiener. contracts. Examples from attorneys and professionals in other fields illustrate the eloquence Stark advocates and the ineffective writing he decries. Fourteen chapters containing a total of 180 sections allow readers to easily locate answers to particular questions on the discussed topics. and finer points. Judge Aldisert offers dozens of judicial perspectives on the hallmarks of compelling appellate advocacy. 49. some of which are pertinent to advocates in state courts or federal trial courts: (1) factors conditioning an appeal. and practitioners have consulted it to better apprehend the context of appellate review.S. Stark has recorded his collected insights from a dozen years of teaching and reading legal writing in this book. 2003). writing and research tips. Judge Aldisert. and the nuts and bolts of brief writing and preparing and delivering an oral argument. (4) strategies after losing on appeal. suggestions. . In this revised edition. memoranda. Law schools have adopted his book for appellate advocacy courses. and the book itself commences by describing the fundamentals of legal writing and argumentation for all lawyers before continuing on to writing in the litigation context and legal practice. a forty-year veteran of the U. discovery documents. such as rehearings and potential new counsel. Forms of legal writing discussed include trial and appellate briefs.
constitutional law. Ward.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 412 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. and statutory interpretation. refine the first draft. and summarize it). which involve criminal law. Written for an associate who is delegated brief-writing responsibilities. Oettle. narrow the issues. Kenneth F.com/newlegalwriter/files/HowToWriteAnAppel lateBrief. outline the facts. Garner then scrutinizes the tip under discussion and provides before-and-after examples from actual briefs on the tip’s subject. and numerous practitioners have applauded its cogency and accessibility. . Oettle is a partner who chairs his law firm’s writing program. Nine chapters subdivided into easily digestible three-page sections discuss the composition process. 52. C. make a chronology. and this book compiles highlights from his four years of persuasive legal writing columns for the New Jersey Law Journal. and submit the brief on time. or acclaimed authors. Ciampi & William H. strategy. Raymond P. which could be a major topic—for example. be efficient. http://raymondpward. and institutional concerns. emphasis. 50 50. Making Your Point: A Practical Guide to Persuasive Legal Writing (2007). Oettle describes persuasive techniques apt for a multitude of legal documents.pdf. avoiding repetition. logic. primacy. How to Write an Appellate Brief (2006). analyze each issue. Designed as a supplemental text for persuasive legal writing classes. conduct thorough legal research (know the applicable standard of review. 51. The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts (2d ed. beginning each tip with supporting quotations from judges. 2004). Garner. academics. planning the brief—or a minor one—for example. and outline research). become familiar with the case. study. learn the record (procure. Each brief is accompanied by a court opinion that demonstrates how a compelling brief can leave a lasting imprint on the development of law. Maria L. perspective. this article by an appellate attorney explains how the associate should approach the assignment: learn the rules. not concentrating solely on briefs. Garner’s text catalogues 100 techniques to improve brief quality. compose the first draft. this book succinctly introduces appellate advocacy techniques and proceeds to the annotated exemplary briefs. Manz. I assigned excerpts from it while teaching an undergraduate legal writing course and a first-year legal writing course. but also edifying for practitioners. Articles on General Persuasive Legal Writing or Appellate Advocacy Techniques 53. conventions. The Question Presented: Model Appellate Briefs (2000).typepad. A diverse audience can learn from this gem of a book. outline the brief. Bryan A.
Clyde H. the argument. and a short conclusion. and it analyzes each major substantive section of a federal appellate brief before offering remarks on presenting a convincing oral argument. Recommendations include knowing the audience. REV. Special considerations for the appellant’s brief. Former Justice Regnier of the Montana Supreme Court condensed his views on successful appellate briefing into this three-page article. knowing the rules. but most of the essay provides sound advice for all appellate advocates. 17 GEO.S. Wiener. Hamilton. 56. Jacques L. Judge Hamilton focuses on seven crucial components of a federal appellate brief and unpacks the related prescriptions in Rule 28.C. this essay is composed by a federal circuit judge.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 413 54. 57. 187 (1995). the statement of the case. Some of the judge’s ruminations may interest only practitioners with cases in the Fifth Circuit. 72 (2003). 635 (2009). REV. Wiener’s precepts for 22. Jim Regnier. WASH. Frederick Bernays Wiener. this classic article provides the pith of the advice from that longer work. 143 (1948). Ruminations from the Bench: Brief Writing and Oral Argument in the Fifth Circuit. 11 PERSP. Essentials of an Effective Appellate Brief. and writing persuasively. See generally FREDERICK BERNAYS WIENER. Appellate Briefing: A Judicial Perspective.. 581 (1998). developing a strategy on appeal. L. 70 TUL. in the author’s words. and the reply brief follow this discussion. guiding the reader through the complete process of drafting and orally presenting a persuasive argument for a client. Effective Appellate Brief Writing. This practical article. . 50 S. 58. L. Persuasion Is an Art . “concrete and detailed” recommendations grounded in his experiences as a military lawyer and an assistant to the solicitor general. BRIEFING AND ARGUING FEDERAL APPEALS (1961). L. Stephanie A. this article by a judge on the U. For readers disinclined to pore 22 over Wiener’s tome on effective brief-writing. Included in the South Carolina Law Review’s symposium on the art of advocacy. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit dissects a portion of Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28. REV. But It Is Also an Invaluable Tool in Advocacy. Like the preceding text. the statement of facts. intended primarily for legal writing students and instructors but serving as a useful checklist for practitioners. . 55. 61 BAYLOR L. Vaughan. the statement of the issues presented for review. Jr. REV. . the respondent’s brief. These components are the jurisdictional statement. which establishes requirements for appellant and appellee briefs. offering. the summary of the argument. written by a legal skills professor and moot court coach. establishes the foundations of legal advocacy before elaborating on considerations specific to written and oral advocacy.
Fiction 101: A Primer for Lawyers on How To Use Fiction Writing Techniques to Write Persuasive Facts Sections. 109 (1998). range from complying with court rules to conveying conviction that allays the reader’s doubts and satisfies the reader’s curiosity. Ethical Considerations in Advocacy: What FirstYear Legal Writing Students Need to Know. Van Patten. 50 effective appellate brief-writing. REV.byu.J. by remaining conscious of the roles that character development. REV. 1113 (2007). TOL. Effective Brief Writing Despite High Volume Practice: Ten Misconceptions that Result in Bad Briefs. Brian J. L. 46 WILLAMETTE L. Happily Ever After. L. Ricks & Jane L. emphasizing three ethical considerations for advocates—candor. Appendices with worksheets enable legal writers to apply the techniques presented to their own cases. 60. available at http://www. This path-breaking. 62. 4 J. illustrated with ample examples. 459 (2001). Blair.D. conflict.pdf. honesty. This straightforward article fulfills its promise.edu/law_library/jlwi/archives/1998/ bla. REV. referring to cases in which courts sanctioned attorneys. substantive. This article seeks to facilitate the transition from objective to persuasive writing for first-year legal writing students. and stylistic recommendations for more compelling legal writing. the authors highlight ten misconceptions about brief writing and list remedies that will enhance a busy judge’s comprehension of a brief. which applies storytelling elements to the practice and pedagogy of law. Beverly J. and credibility—and how a legal writer may violate these ethical rules. 63. Jennifer Sheppard. Recognizing that rule-based reasoning . Jonathan K. The authors discuss how a lawyer can narrate a compelling story in a facts section. resolution. organization. frequently cited article invigorated the applied legal storytelling movement. and in a Galaxy Far. Recognizing that practitioners with imminent deadlines may take shortcuts that undermine the persuasiveness of their briefs. offering a bevy of organizational. and point of view play in the reader’s evaluation of a factual story. Far Away: Using Narrative To Fill the Cognitive Gap Left by Overreliance on Pure Logic in Appellate Briefs and Motion Memoranda.law2. Istvan. LEGAL WRITING INST. Topics discussed span from organization to ethical considerations. D. Sarah E. Twenty-Five Propositions on Writing and Persuasion. 250 (2004). 49 S. Foley & Ruth Anne Robbins.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 414 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. 32 RUTGERS L. 59. 255 (2009). often the most important part of a brief. Once upon a Time. 38 U. Articles on Specific Persuasive Legal Writing or Appellate Advocacy Techniques 61.
Supreme Court case that established an indigent state criminal defendant’s right to counsel. the article catalogues effective storytelling techniques—character. conflict. This article expands on Margolis’ contemporaneously published article. the author explicates four types of policy arguments—judicial administration. The Importance of Appellate Oral Argument. 26. 33 STETSON L. 139. 59 (2001). 64. 62 MONT.S. REV. 65. the U. 335 (1963). The first set of texts provides advice from preparation through delivery of an oral argument while the articles listed afterward offer additional tips for more experienced speakers.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 415 dominates legal instruction and practice but is only one component of a suc23 cessful appeal based on Aristotle’s classic rhetorical model. 255. and economic—and describes how to bolster the arguments’ efficacy by anchoring them in legal or. VII. Ellie Margolis. 24. For Aristotle. 20 Tips for Writing Shorter Briefs. 73 (2001). L. Reflecting on her legal writing students’ vague policy reasoning and the scattershot approach to teaching this distinct form of analysis in most legal writing and doctrinal courses. 46 WILLAMETTE L. pathos (an appeal to the audience’s emotions. 2009. 141 (2003) (indicating that oral argument has sometimes led judges on the U. 372 U. Joseph W. if necessary. DALL.” Jennifer Sheppard. It is followed by an extensive evaluation of 24 Abe Fortas’ argument from Gideon v.S. Ellie Margolis. . lists and explains twenty substantive and stylistic suggestions in less than one page. Once upon a Time. I have included references to instructive works on oral advocacy below. Closing the Floodgates: Making Persuasive Policy 25 Arguments in Appellate Briefs. the author. non-legal authority. Wainwright. especially appellate advocates. 9 PERSP. Apr. and style—and maps these onto the typical sections of an appellate brief or motion memorandum. Hatchett & Robert J.S. and in a Galaxy Far. Telfer III. but it is part of the curriculum in most legal writing programs because it complements the ap26 pellate brief and is a vital skill for attorneys. Happily Ever After. Stolley. 23. Scott P. intended for legal writing instructors and students. normative. Teaching Students to Make Effective Policy Arguments in Appellate Briefs. BAR ASS’N HEADNOTES. setting. REV. values. 255-56 (2009). an effective appeal encompassed three concepts: “ethos (the speaker’s credibility). voice. who heads the appellate practice group at his firm. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to change their initial impressions of a case). and logos (the message’s logical power). Following his own advice. 25. plot. in Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing. ORAL ARGUMENT Oral argument is not technically a form of legal writing. REV. After establishing the theoretical basis for this contention. Therefore. point of view. theme. at 11. Sheppard proposes that legal writers employ narrative strategies to persuade judges (hypothetical or real) in appellate briefs and motion memoranda. and beliefs). Far Away: Using Narrative to Fill the Cognitive Gap Left by Overreliance on Pure Logic in Appellate Briefs and Motion Memoranda. institutional competence.
Subjects covered include nervousness. style. the lawyer’s twin obligations to the client and the court. U. The Little Book on Oral Argument (1991). 68. Although expressly describing the nuances of oral advocacy before the U. Department of Justice. 50 66. . Alan L. 38 STETSON L. 75 (2008). David C. U. preparation. structure. delivery. with each topic subdivided into a list of tips that apply to appellate arguments and.S. Dworsky. the preparation of oral argument. trial court arguments. 22 AM. FREDERICK. Drafted by a former appellate litigator for the U. 33 CATH. 571 (1998). Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg drafted the foreword to this book. Brown & Platt. Addressed to law students but valuable for any oral argument novices. TRIAL ADVOC.S. This excellent primer almost renders superfluous a typical first-year legal writing course lecture on oral argument. 529 (1983). this article assumes that its readers are appellate attorneys and discusses its four topics—the importance of oral argument. it details the purposes of oral argument. especially suitable for law students. 69. THE ART OF ORAL ADVOCACY (2003). See DAVID C. the article sets forth the basics of an oral argument. and delivery with a helpful five-part approach to answering questions from the bench. Dimitri. Frederick. and how to categorize and respond to questions from the bench. Written by a former deputy solicitor general and founding partner of the topranked U. to a significant extent. 67. practitioners unfamiliar with oral argumentation may find it useful. is also available. preparatory steps. REV. questions. Gabriel. 2010). how to prepare for it and deliver it. Stephen M. as well as common mistakes. Oral Argument in the Supreme Court of the United States. and rebuttal. The Preparation and Delivery of Oral Argument in Appellate Courts. rebuttal. A separate section explains the respondent’s argument. James D. and although law students are its likely audience. 70. This petite volume is one of the few books focused exclusively on oral argument. Introductory Texts on the Oral Argument Process [Vol. substance. Supreme Court. Stepping Up to the Podium with Confidence: A Primer for Law Students on Preparing and Delivering an Appellate Oral Argument. J. this article contains advice appellate attorneys would generally benefit from heeding. and the delivery of oral argument— from a pragmatic perspective. including its general format. Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation practice group at Mayer. An abridged version of this book. Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy: Mas27 tering Oral Argument (2d ed. L. and amicus curiae arguments.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 416 Washburn Law Journal A.S. the pre-eminent text on oral advocacy 27. REV. Shapiro. Henry D.S.
. adds to Davis’ decalogue of recommendations for an oral argument. 7. 4 LITIG. E.com/barrett-prettyman/ (last visited Jan. http://www. B. appellate courts.. WILLIAM H. Supreme Court and other appellate courts now face. The book’s author is one of today’s foremost appellate advocates. As an aside. 31 Supreme Court cases. Jr. His accumulated wisdom is captured in this updated edition. 26 A. & PROCESS 745 (2001). Gerald Lebovits. APP. 1 (2008). Jr. Supreme Court and. checklists and model arguments follow in appendices. Prettyman.S.html?hpid=topnews. Winning Oral Argument: Do’s and Don’ts. Davis. 72 QUEEN’S BAR BULL.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 28 417 before the U.B. E. Texts Providing Pointers on Oral Advocacy 71. available at http://ssrn.law. 72. This is Davis’ classic address to the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.S. Supreme Court. Judge Lebovits. John W. a law clerk to three U.S. HARBAUGH. Barrett Prettyman. 2011). The Argument of an Appeal. Ginsburg Gives No Hint of Giving Up the Bench.washingtonpost.S. In this article. Justice Ginsburg’s meticulous legal writing recently garnered accolades from another renowned legal writer. See Barristers’ Council Appellate Div. reprinted in 3 J. Supreme Court justices and counsel in more than 150 U. 22. 16 (1978). HOGAN LOVELLS. POST.edu/news/advocacy-panel. one of the early twentieth century’s pre-eminent lawyers.com/abstract =1307741. who publishes a regular column on legal writing in the New York State Bar Association Journal and teaches trial and appellate advocacy. Davis (18731955). accounting for the exigencies that lawyers before the U.georgetown.pdf (last visited Feb. 31. 2011). 2009. http://www.. Supreme Court Advocacy: Random Thoughts in a Day of Time Restrictions.S. Chief Justice Roberts. . J. enumerating ten do’s and ten don’ts for attorneys hoping to capitalize on their oral arguments.A. distinguishes between oral advocacy in the academic and practice contexts. 12. which retains a perceptive historical overview of oral advocacy as well as a step-by-step discussion of how to prepare for and present an effective oral argument. 29. LAWYER’S LAWYER: THE LIFE OF JOHN W.S. See Robert Barnes. Davis’ decalogue of oral advocacy begins with the cardinal rule of viewing the case from the court’s perspective and ends with the unimpeachable advice to sit down before the allotted time if the argument has run its course. having argued thirty-one cases before the U. 895 (1940). Barrett Prettyman. 28. Appellate Advocacy: From Desk to Podium http://www. DAVIS 531 (1973). WASH. argued 140 30 cases before the U.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/11/AR 2009041102297. 73. 30.hoganlovells. Supreme Court and at least one case in every 29 federal circuit court. PRAC. more generally. Apr.
Teitcher. legislation. wills and trusts. opinion letters. and moral theory. accessibility. A more extensive bibliography on this subject. and scholarly articles and other research papers. and appeal. 2008). Michael R. issues. 133 (2008) (covering affidavits. Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing (2d ed. argument sections. and miscellaneous topics).or third-semester legal writing students and moot court participants.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 418 Washburn Law Journal VIII. alternative dispute resolution. 2003). which is intended for second. motions. pleadings. and Moot Court (2009). An overview of appellate advocacy follows with a chapter on appellate brief writing and a chapter on oral argument encompassing all three stages of litigation: pre-trial. 5 J. letters. largely discuss how to draft legal documents other than memoranda and briefs taught in first-year legal writing courses. corporate documents. 74. Legal Writing Beyond Memos and Briefs: An Annotated Bibliography. contracts and transaction documents. 75. motions. Unlike the preceding books in this section. Smith. After differentiating adversarial legal writing from objective legal writing. teaching readers how to draft statutes. See generally Carrie W. Advanced Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy: Trials. interrogatories. ethics. contracts. ADVANCED LEGAL WRITING BOOKS [Vol. 50 This section lists helpful books for practitioners and students in advanced legal writing classes. Professor Smith’s book tracks the Aristotelian 32. settlement agreements. rules. Mary Barnard Ray & Barbara J. Cox. 76. organized by document type. The authors largely sliver their text by document type. This textbook for an upper-level legal writing class employs an interdisciplinary approach with contributions from the fields of cognitive psychology. pleadings. jury instructions and verdict forms. Appeals. general correspondence. objective and persuasive statements of fact. Beyond the Basics: A Text for Advanced Legal Writing (2d ed. ASS’N LEGAL WRITING DIRS. discussion sections of research memoranda. Murray & Christy Hallam DeSanctis. This book weaves insights from other disciplines and academic and pragmatic perspectives with a description of writing techniques that bolster accuracy. by former trial and appellate attorneys and current law professors. Michael D. and orders. judicial opinion writing. A chapter on strategies for moot court and beyond concludes the volume. exam writing. jury instructions. literary and classical rhetorical theory. is available for readers seeking 32 comprehensive guidance. trial. notices of motion. This textbook. the authors describe the structure and style of a general pre-trial motion before homing in on motions to dismiss and summary judgment motions. and appeal. . which are generally organized by document type. and other regulations. arranged by ostensible complexity. The texts. e-mails. scholarly writing. embodies their understanding of adversarial legal writing and oral argument in practice. collaborative lawyering.
see supra note 23.edu/ (last visited Feb. Shapo. 7.law. and for each document type. http://www. 2010).washlaw. Recognizing that researchers have charted many areas of law.g. . For a definition of these terms. Mary R. contracts. This mammoth book is intended to prepare the reader to write in practice. use a research guide. UCLA SCH. the authors describe how to locate these maps: ask questions. law professors. use current-awareness tools. answers. IX. Elizabeth Fajans. Sch. fundamental skills are delineated before particular documents relying on those skills are introduced. trial and appellate briefs. Writing for Law Practice (2d ed. literary allusion. reference librarians at the University of Washington School of Law. Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library. pathos. look for a loose-leaf service. and graphic design) and the ethics and morality of persuasion. avoid fishing online. In each part. 77. The authors. A. The article’s title refers to the phrase early seafarers used to demarcate unknown territory on maps. Other topics include rhetorical style (metaphor.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 33 419 modes of persuasion: logos. presenting the conceptual basis underlying each mode and persuasive writing strategies linked to each mode. and the following sources should assist law students. 2011). LAW. 2011). and rule-making (legislation and regulation. Online Legal Research: Beyond LexisNexis and Westlaw. http://libguides. Peggy Roebuck Jarrett & Mary Whisner.. read the directions. and reproduce a sample.edu/content. and judicial opinions). and use librarians. See. For example. WashLaw: Legal Research on the Web. e. The sources listed range from texts suitable for novice legal researchers to encyclopedic guides for those conducting more involved legal research. office memoranda. informing and persuading (letters. 74 (1998).ucla. Many law school libraries 34 also have generated outstanding legal research guides. and motions). UCLA’s law library has created a guide to online research beyond LexisNexis and Westlaw. and wills). Washburn Univ. 33. Elementary Legal Research Texts 78. Law Library. 7. use secondary sources. Falk & Helene S. “Here There Be Dragons”: How to Do Research in an Area You Know Nothing About. offer tips for law students and other legal writers researching an issue that is terra incognita to them. LEGAL RESEARCH Exceptional legal writing is the product of exceptional legal research. and ethos. figures of speech. describe basic components.php?pid= 34909&sid=256638 (last visited Feb. sections provide background information. explain the composition process and special concerns. It consists of three parts corresponding to the three major modes of written communication in the law: litigating (complaints. 6 PERSP. 34. talk to an expert. and practitioners with print and electronic legal research.
KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 420 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. Kunz et al. American Law Reports annotations. secondary authority. and rules of procedure and ethics. restatements. the authors compartmentalize sources as follows: secondary sources (encyclopedias. a discussion of print and electronic research and citation format. and adjudications. and their alternatives and case citators). constitutional law. Each of these chapters is uniformly organized with an introduction. After an overview of legal research and a discussion of how to approach a legal research assignment. . Osbeck. and subject-matter services. treatises. regulations. digests. Professor Osbeck’s reference guide focuses less on introducing specific types of sources and how to locate them than on how legal researchers can avoid many conundrums by developing a systematic research strategy. This text’s accessibility to the incipient legal researcher is comparable to the preceding text’s. This popular. Advice for devising a research plan and generating search terms also is included. It also explains how they can disentangle themselves from conundrums that invariably arise during the research process. with chapters at the heart of the text describing specific sources under the following headings: secondary sources. Sloan. sample pages. Appendices provide state legal research guides and bibliographies and sources of federal regulatory agency rules. Impeccable Research: A Concise Guide to Mastering Legal Research Skills (2010). legislative history. Topics covered include the context of legal research. Christina L. administrative and executive publications. court rules and practice. and research strategies. enacted law (codes and session laws and legislative process materials). Edinger. user-friendly textbook for beginning legal researchers introduces legal research generally and electronic legal research. 2005). This venerable legal research book by two librarians at UCBerkeley Boalt Hall School of Law assumes readers. The book should appeal to law students and attorneys who endeavor to improve their legal research skills to conserve their time and their clients’ money.. Each chapter describes at least one source and how to research and cite that source. and a checklist. Basic Legal Research: Tools and Strategies (4th ed. cases. statutes. but its coverage is more expansive. Mark K. primarily will use Internet-based research tools. Amy E. 2009). 50 79. 80. Unlike the three previous books listed in this section. The Process of Legal Research (7th ed. and mini-libraries). 82. Berring & Elizabeth A. Robert C. case law (reporters. 81. citators. statutes. and other sources). administrative materials (regulations. often first-year law students. federal legislative history. legal periodicals. Finding the Law (12th ed. federal administrative law. with a set of research situations and exercises concluding the textbook. court reports. 2008). agency decisions.
2010).pdf. and texts. HOW TO FIND THE LAW (9th ed. see also STEVEN M. with subsequent chapters organizing primary authorities based on their fountainhead—the Constitution. statutes. Roy M.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources B. Secondary authorities referenced include loose-leaf services. constitutional law and the U. Supreme Court. ROY M.utah. Univ. the legal research process.S. among other topics. and legal research in U. Utah S. Principles of Legal Research (2009). and administrative law. regulations and administrative law. Next. with electronic legal research. Chapters are formally outlined and arranged based on the jurisprudential approach to legal instruction. available at http://privateweb. citators. spanning more than 600 pages. . restatements. Knott. MERSKY & DONALD J. and international law. practice materials. federal tax research. expanding upon subjects covered there. ASSIGNMENTS TO FUNDAMENTALS OF LEGAL RESEARCH (9th ed. International law and legal research in the United Kingdom occupy separate chapters. 1989). restatements. Chapters on international law and comparative law follow. American Law Reports. court records. ROBERT C.S. this textbook complements the instruction students receive in a first-year legal research course. LEGAL RESEARCH ILLUSTRATED (9th ed. 35. secondary sources are grouped into three parts: (1) encyclopedias. and appendices on legal abbreviations. BERRING & KENT C. legal citation form. the legislature. Although this authoritative legal research book is designed for law students. legal encyclopedias. e.S. legal periodicals and indexes. and (3) reference resources.g. Where the Law Is: An Introduction to Advanced Legal Research (3d ed. Quinney College of Law. case law and citators. 2009). Mersky & Donald J.. secondary sources. Advanced Legal Research Course Outline (June 15.edu/_personfiles/58/SYLLABI/5143. Olson. uniform laws. state and municipal legislation. (2) periodicals. 37. See STEVEN M. and other resources. MERSKY & DONALD J. The first chapter explains the context and process of research. 2009). federal and state legislative history. Dunn. 36. Often used in ad35 vanced legal research courses. Armstrong & Christopher A. many first-year students may find its 800-page bulk overwhelming. along with an appendix listing almost 500 major treatises and loose-leaf services by subject. 85. 84. with an introduction to legal research. Fundamentals of Legal Research (9th ed. closing out the volume. Advanced Legal Research Texts 421 83. court rules and procedures. This successor 36 text to the classic How to Find the Law is twenty years in the making. federal legislation and legislative histories. the executive. 2009). 2009). is also available. An abridged version of this volume. See. DUNN. updating the original hornbook with Internet and other electronic sources. and the judiciary. DUNN.law. state legal research guides. and legal writing being followed by discussions of court reports. BARKAN. BARKAN. Steven M. and model acts. COHEN. OLSON. treatises. J. leading me to classify the text as a more ad37 vanced guidebook. ROY M. Barkan.D. MORRIS L. Topics include searching. Kent C.J. territories.
Stephen V. & E. Consequences of Ineffective Writing. 39. Terrell. crusade against expendable jargon in legal writing and cover the process of writing and management of prose (form. grammar. transitions. 2009). avoiding language quirks. 2009). diction. a journalism school professor and law school writing program director. 97 (2000) (summarizing cases in which the abysmal quality of the attorney’s writing led to court sanctions. Wendy B. and Style for the Legal Writer (3d ed. and usage. Subjects covered include planning. Plain English for Lawyers (5th ed. a guide to correct writing. organization. 87. editing. punctuation. Chapters describe omitting surplus words. JR. This 39 legal adaptation of Strunk and White’s quintessential The Elements of Style is a mainstay on my reading list for first-year legal writing students. The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well (2d ed. Anne Enquist & Laurel Currie Oates.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 422 Washburn Law Journal X. structure. not nominalizations. The authors. A. and verve in the legal writing context. Just Writing: Grammar. Tom Goldstein & Jethro K. sentences. Wydick. 50 Style is inextricably married to substance in the presentation of legal ar38 To guments. Professor Wydick’s text helped pioneer the movement to extinguish legalese. drafting. Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Writing and Editing (3d ed. This text. preferring the active voice. includes handbooks and reference guides addressing particular stylistic problems that legal writers may encounter. and it practices what the author preaches. . or the client’s entanglement in needless litigation). arranging and choosing words carefully. Davis. this section lists works concentrating on legal style as opposed to expository style. arranged by length. paragraphs. and a guide for English-as-a-secondlanguage writers. LEGAL WRITING STYLE [Vol. conveying its message in 139 pages. WILLIAM STRUNK. and it scrutinizes proofreading a legal document. revising. 2005). 1999). the client’s loss of claim. Armstrong & Timothy P. syntax. This book encourages readers to envision themselves as professional writers and 38. using short sentences. Punctuation. and the consequences of subpar legal writing may be dire. The first set of books should assist legal writers seeking coverto-cover guidance on how to write more eloquently while the second set of books. 2002). and revision) from a journalistic perspective. Lieberman. Legal Writing Style Books 86. is comprised of three guides: a guide to effective writing. THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE (4th ed.B. WHITE. Usage notes and an editing checklist round out the text. and punctuating carefully. one of the few legal style books geared toward beginning legal writers (though instructive to a wider audience). Richard C. using base verbs. 89. 88. concision. help readers write with more clarity. 8 PERSP.
fundamental principles of legal writing (brevity. the most widely adopted handbook in the United States for academic writers. Bryan A. Bryan A. as well as descriptions of citation form. typographic symbols. and syntax). paragraphs. and transactional documents). this book describes the elements of legal style. Garner. This handbook is the legal equivalent of A 40 Writer’s Reference. Chapters set forth fundamental rules of usage (punctuation. Clarity is a touchstone principle in the text. troublesome words. and repetition). DIANA HACKER & NANCY SOMMERS. grammar. Legal Writing Style Handbooks and Reference Guides 90. Garner. 2009). avoid unnecessary jargon. footnotes. numbers. Bouchoux. A WRITER’S REFERENCE (7th ed.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 423 editors appealing largely to a legal audience. diction. and use expressive tactics. typeface. and legal writing blunders. 2002). The first two-thirds of the book cover particular aspects of style: punctuation. carefully craft their explanations and arguments. Its five sections discuss writing mechanics (grammar. syntax. diction. various matters of form. 2006). 40. and rhetorical figures in law (comparison. punctuation. with subsections in this chapter recommending that readers develop an individual voice. 92. and sentence and paragraph construction). The remainder of the book describes special considerations for the following documents: research memoranda. The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (2d ed. capitalization. and editing and proofreading. legal conventions. Like the preceding text. document design. and sample case and court briefs. the features of effective legal writing and organization. and it provides Internet resources for each referenced subject. clarity. Appendices contain terms and usage glossaries. syntactic arrangement. It juxtaposes numerous examples of weak and effective writing to demonstrate the mistakes the authors censure and the techniques to rectify these errors. citation. and editing. opinion letters. memoranda. 2010). B. pleadings. wordplay. but it lists minutiae omitted from shorter legal style guides—rules and guidelines of which even more mature legal writers may be unaware. structural simplicity. organization. 91. grammar. The Elements of Legal Style (2d ed. introductions. An approach to legal style completes the text. . and spelling). legal documents (correspondence. and post-writing steps and document design. This style guide remains a definitive text in the field with its brevity relative to Garner’s other style books (two of which follow) perhaps endearing legal writers to it. Deborah E. persuasion. briefs. spelling. with other topics discussed including organization. considerations for English-as-asecond-language writers. words of expression often confused or misused. Aspen Handbook for Legal Writers: A Practical Reference (2d ed. legalese.
2009).000-page tome’s title indicates. The Bluepages cover basic general rules and the essential rules to cite cases. The topics are arranged alphabetically.. 2010). Rules one through nine of the white pages discuss general rules in more detail than the Bluepages. and the Internet. constitutions. After an introductory chapter consolidating some of The Bluebook’s essential general rules. and contracts. The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. 94. Garner. As this nearly 1. This new iteration of the much-reviled but ever-resilient citation guide still contains three major parts: (1) the Bluepages. ordinals. Understanding and Mastering The Bluebook: A Guide for Students and Practitioners (2d ed. explaining hundreds of points on usage. and numbers. 19th ed. and explanatory parentheticals. statutes. secondary sources. legal lexicology and special conventions. and (3) the tables used in conjunction with the rules. foreign materials. eds. regulations. while rules ten through twenty-one of the Whitepages refer indepth to the same sources as the Bluepages. it is intended to be a reference for legal writers and a complement to Garner’s famed Black’s Law 41 Dictionary. BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY (9th ed. not a text to be read cover-to-cover. and executive materials. Barris. which have practitioners’ notes. pleadings. statutes. and litigation documents and record citations. inflection. 2010). word formation. XI.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 424 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. regulations. constitutions. A description of more advanced general rules—strings. grammar and usage. . A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (2d ed. Linda J. 41. signals. unpublished and forthcoming sources. 93. court and litigation documents. LEGAL CITATION Citation accuracy is a barometer of credible and compelling legal writing. (2) the Whitepages with citations in law journal publication format. administrative. numerals. A guide to the volume’s essay entries groups subjects under the following headings: style. 95. quotations. non-periodic and periodic materials. procedural and court rules. Professor Barris’ guide should facilitate comprehension of the frequently scattered citation rules. For first-year legal writing students and other legal writers stymied by The Bluebook’s current organization and explanations. 2001). appellate briefs. spelling. 50 demand letters. motions. and pronunciation. Bryan A. and punctuation and typography. Barris’ text discusses tips to cite the following specific sources including common errors to avoid: cases. rules. and the sources listed here should enable legal writers to draft citations that conform to applicable rules. and international materials. capitalization. as well as legislative. services.
according to a law school dean. 2010.law.com/2010-04-27/business/ct-biz-0427-chicago-law-students--20100427_1_lawschool-law-firms-national-law-journal (reporting that law school tuition increases have outpaced the inflation rate for the past quarter century and that many large law firms with starting salaries of approximately $160. David A. 2011).pdf (last visited Feb. A number of 44 law schools suggest that incoming first-year law students read this book.g.org/legaled/statistics/charts/stats%20-%206. This simplified alternative to The Bluebook. which can seem byzantine to first-year law students. Suggested Reading for Law Students. its distinguishing feature is a single citation format for practitioners’ documents and scholarly articles. the authors overview the law school experience. Repeatedly contrasting a typical student’s undergraduate experience and professional training in legal academia. outlining. rules for print sources.pdf (citing an increase of first year J. Ameet Sachdev. and flowcharting. Bar Ass’n. Am.” explain synthesis.abanet. of Law. ALWD Citation Manual: A Professional System of Citation (4th ed. many of whom are unaccustomed to independent thinking as opposed to regurgitation. as the transition between college and law school often frustrates new law students. Ruta K. Taylor.518 in 2000-2001 to 49. enrollment from 43. and. XII.udc. quotations. suggestions for incorporating citations into documents.D. in a series of chapters entitled “putting it all together. 2010). Law School Tuition Hikes Spark Talk of Bubble. accelerating pressure on law students to thrive academically. Bridging the Gap Between College and Law School: Strategies for Success (2d ed.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 425 and symbols—concludes the book. 2009). 44. are unlikely to ever embark on the hiring sprees of years past). LAW SCHOOL ASSISTANCE Advisory texts on the law school experience are being published at an 42 exponential rate as law school enrollment rises. Apr. Enrollment by Gender (1947-2008) (2008).414 in 2008-2009.C. citation basics. Univ. e. Law School Advice Texts 97.D.. 7. discuss effective note-taking techniques. and appendices including a full text sample memorandum. Darby Dickerson. See. tuition increases. making law review. CHI. Stropus & Charlotte D.edu/resource/collection/3079264F-B6E1-4AC6-8837-589279E3A007/suggested_ read ing. the latest year for which statistics are available).chicagotribune. rules for electronic materials. available at http://www. Clarke Sch. Arranged by length of text. http://www. the list below includes works that discuss legal writing strategies while guiding students about how to excel in law school with advice on taking exams. 27. and 43 prestigious employment opportunities wane. http://articles. D. describe how students should read and brief cases. . A. Two 42. TRIBUNE. The book’s seven parts address the following topics: general terms and procedures. First Year & Total J. has been adopted by several law schools.000 per year have been hemorrhaging positions and. 96. 43. winning competitions. and selecting and evaluating writing samples for employers.
Austen L. and the bar exam follow. Knolton. outlining. worksheets. McClurg’s roadmap to success passes by every landmark of interest to a beginning law student. shining on exams. Chapters describe how to prepare for law school. 50 chapters cover law school examinations. the Socratic method. case briefing. Subjects covered include the top five habits of successful law students. Ramy. Professor Iijima’s book guides law students from the decision to attend law school through their first legal job. Herbert N. using knowledge of learning styles to excel academically. study. outlining. from the perspective of a cantankerous law professor. 100. my father. 99. Professor McClurg. though. making peace with grades. It also is written in a jocular style. and exam preparation. preparing for class. an engineering professor with no legal background. outline. and checklists to help students approach law school systematically. reaping maximum benefits from classroom discussions. and input from other law professors and students. Later chapters remind students that law school is part of a professional initiation process and describe how they should prepare for their careers in each semester of law school to ultimately thrive in their first jobs. to alleviate the anxieties of incoming 1Ls likely to read the book. brief cases. choosing classes and extracurricular activities. Ann L. McClurg. Professor Ramy. 98. Iijima. and maintaining balance. using exercises. Director of Suffolk University Law School’s Academic Support . The Law Student’s Pocket Mentor: From Surviving to Thriving (2007). relished the read. 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School (2008). interactions with professors. 101. more strategies for success. paying for law school. interact with professors. Parrish & Cristina C. employment. and suggestions for the second and third years of law school and legal employment. Law school-related topics include preparing for law school. Recommendations for extracurricular activities. the text backs nearly all of the advice I would provide new law students with anecdotes and scholarship. This book’s cheeky title captures the author’s forthrightness and relatively free-wheeling. relying on his experience teaching at a variety of law schools. Andrew J. does not compromise substance for entertainment. 2010). Succeeding in Law School (2d ed. humorous spirit in the text. and approach final exams. This book treads similar terrain as the preceding text in half the space.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 426 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. Hard-Nosed Advice from a Cranky Law Professor: How to Succeed in Law School (2010). note taking. discussing what to expect during the first year and how to flourish in what can be a pressurized environment. and the book’s final chapter offers tips on time management.
how cases are incorporated into an outline. and study schedules. and a systematic approach are imperative to academic excellence in law school. study groups. organizing. 66 (2003). Part of the popular Delaney series for law students. Sample essay exam questions in an appendix are followed by dissections of a suggested answer and two weaker answers. 2010). John C. or academic support classes. Charles R. Chapters demonstrate that diligence. wrote this book in response to the flurry of inquiries he received from incoming law students seeking the golden ticket to success in law school. and writing style. beginning the process. writing samples. Dernbach. the author lists common student questions about outlining and provides responses in this brief article that can be used as a supplemental handout in legal writing. doctrinal. 103. Teaching Outlining for Exam Preparation as Part of the First-Year Legal Research and Writing Curriculum. getting ready. John Delaney. and how an outline eases preparation for an exam. and job interviews are discussed in the book’s closing chapters. Sample essay exam problems and responses ranging in quality from poor to exemplary demonstrate the exam-writing principles the author espouses in action. Topics include the reader.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 427 Program. signposting. and avoid common pitfalls. legal writing. Professor Calleros’ background in academic support infuses this . 104. Subjects include how to organize an outline. Law School Exams: Preparing and Writing to Win (2007). 2006). and law school exams. 105. note-taking. though covering similar topics. outline and write lawyerly exam arguments. maintaining a healthy approach to law school. outlining. Drawing a nexus between skills taught in a first-year legal writing class and skills required to ace a doctrinal exam. Writing Essay Exams to Succeed in Law School (Not Just to Survive) (3d ed. This concise book by a law professor helps students develop the analytical skills to write essays for law school examinations. Calleros. the format of law school classes. and parallels between essay examinations and legal practice. legal synthesis. 11 PERSP. moving from process to writing. this book by a law professor delves into more detail about essay exam-taking strategies than the preceding text. Jessica Elliott. counter-analysis. Resumes. Professor Delaney begins by describing six exam tasks (and corresponding grading criteria). knowledge. B. Texts on Law School Exam-Taking Techniques 102. legal analysis. reading and briefing cases efficiently. scoring and grading. How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams (4th ed. study aids. explaining the answer. Topics underscoring the importance of these qualities include the first days of law school. and subsequent chapters discuss how law school exams and legal practice require mastery of the law and how students can outline and spot issues on exams.
nuanced analysis. Mastering the Law School Exam (2006). criminal law. civil procedure. are often apprehensive about responding to exam questions with contingent answers. outlining. and learning from a disappointing exam grade. This book by an academic support professional treats exam preparation as a semester-long endeavor and acclimates the reader. but the authors suggest that students should understand and embrace this ambiguity to improve test performance. to law school exams before describing course outlining. evidence. brains. 106. C. and a final part enumerating exam tips and answers to frequently asked questions is subtitled “your very own ruby slippers. Wes Henricksen. and tailoring their approach to their professor and to the type of exam. studying for exams. constitutional law. The book’s first three chapters discuss what a law review is. Texts on Law School Competitions 108. and argument are said to require heart. and contracts— complete the volume. with troubleshooting tips included for each component of the paradigm. and courage. Law students. 50 book. especially first-years. exam-taking essentials. Making Law Review: The Expert’s Guide to Mastering the Write-On Competition (2008). non-legal context before analogizing to the legal context.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 428 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams (1999). property. constitutional law. Accordingly. Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus. Issue spotting. though. The IRAC paradigm is dissected. and sample hypothetical essay questions from a variety of first-year and upper-division subjects (business organizations. Richard Michael Fischl & Jeremy Paul.” Four sample essay exam questions and answers from typical first-year subjects—torts. Written by a former executive editor of the Washington Law Review. The text also recognizes that success on law school exams requires a definitive strategy and concerted effort from the first day of class. later parts describe how students should prepare for exams by synthesizing cases. likely a law student. and torts) are presented with evaluation sheets or sample answers. this book synthesizes the experiences of law review members at several law schools to uncover the secrets to success for write-on competition participants. The book. The text then overviews and prepares students for the write-on . is unequivocal in using a sustained analogy to The Wizard of Oz to disabuse students of the notion that they are in a familiar exam situation assessing memorization skills and alert students to the legal and factual issues they will have to identify (the “forks in the road”). contracts. what factors students should use in assessing whether to pursue law review membership. property. 107. if not before. and how students can become law review members. the book’s opening parts present an overview and a set of law school study techniques. which introduces complex material in a familiar.
instructs them how to draft the submission paper and complete the editing exercise. This short article by the Director of Academic Support at Suffolk University Law School is intended to help first-year law students select and revise a writing sample that will demonstrate their analytical skills and enhance their employment application in a challenging legal job market. Teply. and writing skills. It responds to frequently asked questions. relying on the advice of seasoned coaches and other knowledgeable sources. and the articles and books listed below discuss subjects ranging from selecting a topic to disseminating a publication. While the title of this book may imply a brief treatment of the subject. 111. available at http://ssrn. citing advice from legal writing luminaries.com/cgi/viewcontent. How to Read a Writing Sample.cgi?article=1005&context=gerald_lebovits. 78 N. Professor Beazley explains her criteria for evaluating an analytical writing sample. the 400-page text previews the major types of law school competitions—moot court. Mary Beth Beazley. XIII.com/abstract=1681467. lists do’s and don’ts. available at http://works.Y. This article underscores the writing sample’s importance to a prospective legal employer and provides students with guidelines for choosing the best writing samples and editing the selected samples. available at http://ssrn. 615 (1999). Judge . 1 (2009). ACADEMIC LEGAL WRITING Academic legal writing’s format and conventions differ from those used in legal writing for practice. ST. analysis. Creating a Writing Sample. and offers techniques for composing an intriguing personal statement. Gerald Lebovits. topic sentences. 37 STUDENT LAW. Considerations include headings. com/abstract=1393906. 2009).KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 429 competition. D. negotiation.be press. Larry L. Ramy. Wojcik. 24. client counseling. and reproduces portions of a sample memorandum. context. Law School Research Paper No. persuasiveness. trial advocacy. Suffolk Univ. Mark E. 87 ILL. Texts on Selecting and Evaluating Writing Samples 110. 112. and legal writing—and discusses mechanical and tactical aspects of the first three at length. insights that should be candidates and legal employers. The Right Writing Sample. internal conclusions. BAR J. focus. use of authority. 109. Law School Competitions in a Nutshell (2003). Articles on Academic Legal Writing 113. 09-25 (Apr. A. BAR ASS’N J. Academic Legal Writing: How to Write and Publish. 64 (2006). Herbert N.
Professor Delgado describes reasons for composing a law review article. publication. Separate chapters discuss the conversion of practical .KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 430 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. Stalking the Golden Topic: A Guide to Locating and Selecting Topics for Legal Research Papers. a now-obsolete list of specialized legal discussion groups. Seminar Papers. 115. This article’s avowed aim is to assist legal writers. REV. and publicization. and representative note and comment topics for student writers concerned about the scope of a typical student-written law review article. Meeker’s article concentrates on two vital research tasks for academic legal writers: finding a suitable topic and checking for pre-emption. Books on Academic Legal Writing 117. B. how to translate the idea into formal prose and ensure ease of composition. writing. and publicizing a paper. in efficiently producing and publishing scholarship. 116. and marketability of the final product. research strategies. 229 (2000). Sections discuss how to develop a feasible idea with substantial assistance from a mentor. publishing. covering subjects from finding a topic. these can be arduous pre-writing steps. which ends with appendices containing survey results. Day. 6 J. This newly expanded edition covers nearly every imaginable topic in its purview. A survey of student-run law reviews and personal contact with members of several law reviews informs the article. This adaptation of an address on writing a law review article offers advice the author would have found revelatory as a young academic. LEGAL WRITING INST. 50 Lebovits’ primer on academic legal writing guides the reader through each stage of what can be a cumbersome process. 917 (1996). editing. 1996 UTAH L. readability. citation. ten types of articles. editing. citing. and publicizing. 114. Eugene Volokh. especially junior law professors with minimal training. researching. especially for law students drafting their first substantial legal paper. 445 (1986). Professor Volokh’s seminal book on academic legal writing is addressed to law students. topic selection. testing. Student Notes. In Search of the Read Footnote: Techniques for Writing Legal Scholarship and Having It Published. and Getting on Law Review (4th ed. Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles. excerpts of pre-emption policies. REV. the article compiles timetested techniques used by the author and his colleagues. drafting. ranging from finding. To fulfill this objective. Heather Meeker. 2010). L.S. publishing. writing. and corroborating a claim to researching. How to Write a Law Review Article. and choosing a structure to drafting. Richard Delgado. Christian C.F. but a broader readership may benefit from emulating Volokh’s blueprint for masterful academic legal writing. 20 U.
its intended audience is law students required to write research papers for their upper-division courses. Scholarly Writing for Law Students: Seminar Papers. The authors distill the academic legal writing process into five steps: (1) thinking about the topic and thesis. a venerable reference. The text tracks three student papers from origination through publication as illustrations of the recommended writing process’ efficacy. BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY (3d pocket ed. revising and polishing. Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed.000 terms including law-related abbreviations and acronyms. law review. and contains nearly 3. seminar term papers. and citing). this text is designed mainly for law students. and publishing. Examples. A legal writing bibliography would be incomplete without a reference to this monumental legal dictionary. and academic ethics. 118. 119. which has been touted as the world’s most widely cited law book since its first publication in 1891. (3) executing by writing the draft. cite checking. the book introduces three types of student academic writing in law school—seminar papers. 9th ed. 2006). and (5) finishing by polishing and publishing the paper. The current edition defines more than 45. writing (outlining. Elizabeth Fajans & Mary R. researching. offers alternate spelling or equivalent expressions for more than 5. Clark & Kristen E. developing a thesis. Law Review Notes. and a general editing checklist follow. A fully annotated student article and shorter examples with explanations interspersed throughout the book illustrate the principles that Volokh prescribes.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 2011] A Compendium of Legal Writing Sources 431 work into an article.000 quotations. and law review competition papers—and parses the academic legal writing process: choosing a subject. Scholarly Writing: Ideas. 120. 2005). See BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY (abr. 2009). writing competitions. Evaluating and editing others’ work as a law review member also are discussed. Despite its title. Shorter versions of Black’s Law Dictionary are also available. law review notes. Written from the perspective of two legal writing professors. (2) preparing to write the paper. XIV. Falk. and Execution (2010). Jessica L. MISCELLANEOUS TEXTS Sources listed in this final section discuss subjects not encompassed in the compendium’s other sections. . While the preceding text may appeal to academic legal writers who are not law students.300 terms. this book does not discourse about scholarly writing in general. Corresponding West Key Numbers are 45 45. and Law Review Competition Papers (3d ed. 2010). Murray. drafting. (4) refining by evaluating and revising the draft. books on artful and audience-centered legal writing.
distinguishing between “that” and “which”). The author. An Editing Checklist. notably in a judicial opinion. This book recognizes that the audience for a legal writer’s work is not a monolithic entity. 50 provided for select entries. is a proponent of the plain English movement in legal writing. Maureen B. 123. 121. Wayne Schiess. BAR J. The recommendations range from the macro-scale (for example. academic. client. Each short chapter discusses one of these dozen potential audiences and offers three primary recommendations to appeal to that audience. mediator. and his forty rules collectively should help legal writers draft lucid documents. knowing your audience) to the micro-scale (for example. transactional lawyer. 88 ILL. rendering this book a useful source for busy readers who hope to gradually refine their prose by implementing a few suggestions at a time. which may be a prospective employer. an experienced jurist. and some entries also specify the date when a term was first used in an English-language context. e-mail recipient. 122. or citizen. This thirty-five-point checklist for revision applies to all types of legal writing and converts much of the advice offered by authors of the preceding works into a convenient format.KHAN_MACRO_FINAL 3/29/2011 1:03:57 PM 432 Washburn Law Journal [Vol. Each rule is treated in a couple of pages. and columnist. and that an effective legal writer must be able to modify a document to satisfy the expectations of the intended legal audience. 415 (2000). consumer. Mark Painter. trial or appellate judge. opposing counsel. supervisor. Writing for the Legal Audience (2003). . 2005). Collins. The Legal Writer: 40 Rules for the Art of Legal Writing (4th ed.
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