Legal research and writing is a skill that a lawyer continues to refine their entire career. Acing the core content classes will help build a foundation for a successful career in law and perhaps carry you to your dream job. But you won’t become a knowledgeable M&A attorney from simply taking secured transactions or business organizations for a few months. So arguably more important in practice than these core classes is your ability to research and the efficacy of your writing.
Concise and persuasive brief writing is a skill that employers demand, and law schools require. And no matter how strong of a grasp you have on torts or how good you are at navigating the ins and outs of civ pro, the inability to effectively translate your message renders this knowledge useless.
Mastering legal research and writing is no small feat, but beginning the training of these skills early will prove useful in both summer roles (which require writing samples) and in the early years of your career (where your paycheck may depend on your ability to produce briefs and memos).
But at present, your concern is how to achieve the grade you need on your legal research and writing course. The Winning Brief is a good place to start. This book covers some of the most persuasive methods used by expert brief writers for trial and appellate courts, and highlights the things that make a brief easy to read.
Looking for the best supplements, study guides, and strategies for your other classes? Check out our full resource library.
This legal writing classic provides tips for all legal writers and will help you your entire career. Taking the time to study what makes a winning brief, from strong topic sentences to effective headers, will help you write a stand out brief.
For better or for worse, this manifestation of the monopoly that a few law schools have on legal citation is a must-have for law students (and less so for law practitioners).
Local Citation Guides
In addition to the Bluebook and the Winning Brief, you should check your state’s law library, school law library, or generally online for a citation guide that is particular to your state. Nearly all states, a law school in your state, or your state bar organization should have such a guide.