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Author Topic: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?  (Read 3241 times)

Godot

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How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« on: August 04, 2005, 12:12:08 PM »
I'm assuming the study methods are different for these classes than the casebook classes.
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Benjamin

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2005, 01:21:35 PM »
Its all about learning how to either relax your jaw, or hold your breath, as the case may be.

squarre

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2005, 07:19:20 PM »
There really isn't any studying involved in the version of legal writing I took.  Our grade was based on a brief, a memo, an oral argument, and participation type grade.  I guess the best way to do well is to edit and make sure you don't make dumb mistakes.  Also if your professor is anything like mine he/she will be more than willing to help you out. 

I am not sure if the legal skills class you are referring to is a legal research type class, but if it is mine was just pass/fail. 

duma

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2005, 12:23:58 AM »
Hard work. I would write my briefs about two weeks before they were to be turned in. I would submit each version to my prof, and then change things to fit his comments. I learned  a great deal by doing this, and I got an A.

As far as research (if that is what you are talking about), you just have to do all the work. My class wasn't P/F. We had three exams, and many research assingments. If you do all the research, and follow what the prof tells you, the exam isn't so hard. If you skip out, and just follow another classmate around for help, then the exam will be hard (unless, of course, this varies per student).

lipper

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2005, 01:31:30 AM »
i agree. hard work is what this class is all about. its different from other classes in that, the others u can put a sh!tload of work into, and then get a D. however, it was my experience last year, that those who put in the time and effort came away with at least a B.

I must have wrote those briefs and memos 20 times, tweaking every sentence to make it sound just right and i got an A minus.
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Benjamin

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2005, 02:00:01 PM »
Well, my way got me an A.

rapunzel

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2005, 02:48:27 PM »
tsk tsk, Benjamin.  ;)

I agree that it is about drafts.  You have to make the time to revise.  If your prof will look at a rough draft and give comments you should always do that.  Not only does it help you think of ways to improve, but it impresses the prof because you demonstrate that you are working deligently. 

In the end, the work you put into this class will repay you ten-fold.  Researching and writing is what lawyers do.  Not to mention I think legal research and writing is the only exam prep your law school is likely to provide.   

Benjamin

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2005, 03:27:31 PM »
I guess that explains why I have a -2 rating.

In all seriousness, there is no trick to that class.  You cannot spend to much time on it.  It is the most fundamental to what law school is all about; teaching you to think and communicate like a lawyer.  The harder your professor is, the harder you work, the better it will make you at the essential skills, and the better you will do in the class, in school, and in practice.  Figure out a way to keep from burning out, writing class is where a lot of the heavy lifting takes place. 

Plus, doing well in any class is largely about efficient use of study time.  Lots of people will be working all the time, you probably will be too.  But try to make your use of time as efficient as possible.  For legal writing, you are trying to find the most efficient way to incorporate criticisms about how to make your writing more clear, concise, and persuasive. 

Also, if your professor is any good, expect some tough love.  If you can't swallow your pride, you're a gonner.   

duma

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2005, 01:09:57 AM »
In all seriousness, there is no trick to that class.  You cannot spend to much time on it.  It is the most fundamental to what law school is all about; teaching you to think and communicate like a lawyer.
Very true. I spent a majority of my time working on legal writing. My theory was, if I can figure out how to do this really well, then it is like getting ready to write an exam answer; I learn what to do, and how to do it. I was right. Put your effort into this class; it will pay off big if you do.

lawdude

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2005, 12:27:20 AM »
I think it depends on your prof -- at my school, there were I think 3 LW profs, and each was different.  I asked the 2Ls and got a general idea, which turned out to be "copy the format exactly as is in the book" for my first memo.  Other than that, and once you are writing briefs, I suggest writing what you hope is a quality draft (ie well-researched, analyzed and synthesized with facts), and having plenty of time to edit.  Having time to edit (at least two or three times) seems to help the finished product quite a bit.  I got a the lowest grade in my law skills class first semester, then once I figured out what they were looking for and the importance of editing, I got an A+ second semester!