The Legal Writing Companion: Problems, Solutions, and Samples

The Legal Writing Companion is a practical, helpful guide for the new legal writer, designed to address common problems and demonstrate how and why to make effective choices to solve them.
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ISBN: 9781531002688
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Book Edition: 2017-09

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The Legal Writing Companion is a practical, helpful guide for the new legal writer, designed to address common problems and demonstrate how and why to make effective choices to solve them. The book is intended as an assigned supplement to a legal research and writing textbook or as a handbook for students working independently to strengthen their legal writing. Based on the authors' combined twenty years of experience teaching legal research and writing, the book addresses the novice legal writer and offers specific tools for moving forward from the very first day of class (e.g., Problem: I'm Intimidated by Legal Writing) to polishing a final written work product (e.g., Problem: I'm Having Trouble with Tone).

Organized by eight common "problem" areas, the book uses a fictional case file to work through a series of problems and includes samples of both strong and weak writing choices. Chapters 1-3 identify and discuss common challenges during the prewriting stage, including the transition to writing a full first draft. Chapters 4-6 focus on organizing legal analysis, writing and explaining legal rules, and applying law to facts. Chapter 7 discusses problems and solutions related to the smaller components of legal writing, and Chapter 8 troubleshoots common polishing errors, from overuse of legalese to common citation problems. There are also two complete annotated memos in the Appendices to pull together the themes presented in the text and show multiple models of successful finished products. Early reviewers responded overwhelmingly positively, wishing they'd had the book as a first-year legal writer.