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Author Topic: Why even teach ALWD?  (Read 579 times)

wrhssaxensemble

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Why even teach ALWD?
« on: August 18, 2008, 11:02:34 PM »
I am currently in the process of learning the Bluebook for one of my school's journals. For 1L I had to learn ALWD instead. Everyone at most other law schools that I have talked to have taught the Bluebook rather than the ALWD method, almost all journals require Bluebook, and it overall just seems like a much more widely accepted format. Yet half the writing professors at my law school teach ALWD instead. I hope this isn't already posted here, but I can't find it if it is...what is the point of teaching ALWD instead of bluebook?

Ender Wiggin

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Re: Why even teach ALWD?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2008, 11:10:08 PM »
I am currently in the process of learning the Bluebook for one of my school's journals. For 1L I had to learn ALWD instead. Everyone at most other law schools that I have talked to have taught the Bluebook rather than the ALWD method, almost all journals require Bluebook, and it overall just seems like a much more widely accepted format. Yet half the writing professors at my law school teach ALWD instead. I hope this isn't already posted here, but I can't find it if it is...what is the point of teaching ALWD instead of bluebook?

Your teachers are probably from California (or just recognize that ALWD is better).

LSN


Michigan Law Class of 2011

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Re: Why even teach ALWD?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2008, 11:17:13 PM »
Your teachers are probably from California (or just recognize that ALWD is better).

 :)

ALWD used to be much, much easier for new students to use than BB, especially in terms of organization and layout.  (In fact, bb's taken some of ALWD's conventions - like color-coded spacing.)  Now it's just significantly easier. ALWD's written by people who teach legal writing, as opposed to law review editors (i.e. teachers instead of students).  ETA: Therefore, it's easier to learn the basics of citation using ALWD.  Once you have the basics down, you can switch to Bluebook or court-specific style or crazy-partner style or whatever other system you end up having to use.

Bluebook fans dislike ALWD for the same reason people who've mastered any silly system don't like newer, easier ones: they have ego invested in the mastery of useless complexity.  And they had to deal with it, so why shouldn't you?
But how do you deal with someone who rejects your broad moral principles?
I kill them.

Ender Wiggin

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Re: Why even teach ALWD?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2008, 11:51:04 PM »
Your teachers are probably from California (or just recognize that ALWD is better).

 :)

ALWD used to be much, much easier for new students to use than BB, especially in terms of organization and layout.  (In fact, bb's taken some of ALWD's conventions - like color-coded spacing.)  Now it's just significantly easier. ALWD's written by people who teach legal writing, as opposed to law review editors (i.e. teachers instead of students).  ETA: Therefore, it's easier to learn the basics of citation using ALWD.  Once you have the basics down, you can switch to Bluebook or court-specific style or crazy-partner style or whatever other system you end up having to use.

Bluebook fans dislike ALWD for the same reason people who've mastered any silly system don't like newer, easier ones: they have ego invested in the mastery of useless complexity.  And they had to deal with it, so why shouldn't you?


Your explanation was so much better than mine!   :-[

LSN


Michigan Law Class of 2011

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Re: Why even teach ALWD?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2008, 12:01:11 AM »
Your explanation was so much better than mine!   :-[

I think we said the same thing!  I just sound like a pedantic old fart who happens to be up to her eyeballs in bluebooking because the summer issue of my subject journal is about to be published and I am cursing the bluebook editors for not having any good guidance about GAO reports vs. GAO transcripts.  Bah.
But how do you deal with someone who rejects your broad moral principles?
I kill them.