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Author Topic: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?  (Read 3211 times)

Southwestern2L

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2005, 03:43:55 AM »
Write the best paper :D

Seriously, though, what everyone is saying about thorough research and editing is probably the best advice anyone can give. I've found that with legal writing, you either "get it" or you don't. The rest is really honing your skills.

pissedoff11

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2005, 08:36:25 PM »
Pander your pro's ego!

tacojohn

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2005, 10:35:07 PM »
On the flip side, if your LRW class is pass/fail, do not stress overly about it.  If you want to be a litigator, then fine, spend time on it, but if you don't, just do enough to get by and put your focus in the graded classes.  If you worry about your ability to research, go take the extra LRW courses that are offered in the second and third years.  But don't let a pass fail class kill your grades.

JD_MSA

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2005, 12:49:14 PM »
Okay, I feel compelled to chime in here since I'm a teaching assistant for legal writing. 

(1) Get intimate with your citation manual.  If you use the Bluebook, learn to love (or at least learn to use) the Bluepages.  It can make a huge difference. 

(2) Use good grammar and don't misspell words.  Don't rely solely on spellcheck.  Use the Redbook or whatever your professor uses for grammar-checking.  When you are close to finishing a paper, read it backwards.  Errors that your brain would normally overlook will jump out at you that way. 

(3) No legalise.  Check your library for a book called Plain English for Lawyers.  Learn it, live it, love it. 

(4) Edit, edit, edit.  And then edit again. 

(5) Be professional.  This means, among other things, turn your paper in on time. 

I could keep going forever, but I'll stop for now.   :D

jacy85

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2005, 01:01:29 PM »
Okay, I feel compelled to chime in here since I'm a teaching assitant for legal writing. 

(1) Get intimate with your citation manual.  If you use the Bluebook, learn to love (or at least learn to use) the Bluepages.  It can make a huge difference. 

(2) Use good grammar and don't misspell words.  Don't rely solely on spellcheck.  Use the Redbook or whatever your professor uses for grammar-checking.  When you are close to finishing a paper, read it backwards.  Errors that your brain would normally overlook will jump out at you that way. 

(3) No legalise.  Check your library for a book called Plain English for Lawyers.  Learn it, live it, love it. 

(4) Edit, edit, edit.  And then edit again. 

(5) Be professional.  This means, among other things, turn your paper in on time. 

I could keep going forever, but I'll stop for now.   :D

Aside from the legalese, I think a lot of this is common sense, or if not common sense, then stuff that we should have learned already.  I think it's sad that even though we've all finished undergrad, most legal research/writing classes still have reason to mention this stuff over and over again.

dgatl

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2005, 11:40:28 PM »
when you all figure this out, let me know.  i think my B+ in legal writing is gonna keep me from an appellate level clerkship  :'(  :'(

tacojohn

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2005, 11:25:38 AM »
Aside from the legalese, I think a lot of this is common sense, or if not common sense, then stuff that we should have learned already.  I think it's sad that even though we've all finished undergrad, most legal research/writing classes still have reason to mention this stuff over and over again.
I'll echo that.  Everything I learned about writing, I learned in high school, which was much more writing intensive than my college career.

brutal264

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2005, 03:46:04 PM »
Great thread!

So how much time should we budget for the first memo? Mine is due in Mid-Oct and I plan on beginning this week. Thoughts?

Legal Eagle

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Re: How do you get an A in legal writing/legal skills class?
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2005, 12:25:26 PM »
Start now. Talk to the professor.