Legal Writing Matters: Using a Writing Lockdown to Help Law Students Avoid Procrastination

By Kathleen Elliott Vinson Professor of  Legal Writing and Director of Legal Writing, Research, and Written Advocacy Staring at a blank screen, cursor blinking, you wait for the words to pour out from your fingers. Looking at your calendar you notice a writing deadline looming. Whether it is writing a paper, reading a recent case,… Continue Reading Legal Writing Matters: Using a Writing Lockdown to Help Law Students Avoid Procrastination

Legal Writing Matters: Encouraging Law Students to Use Mindfulness Techniques

By Shailini J. George A study published in the journal Science found that a majority of participants would prefer to give themselves mild electrical shocks rather than be alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes. Last summer, a tourist in Melbourne, Australia, was so engrossed in reading Facebook on her smartphone that she walked off… Continue Reading Legal Writing Matters: Encouraging Law Students to Use Mindfulness Techniques

Legal Writing Matters: 4 Tips for Encouraging Creativity in Law Students

By Samantha A. Moppett An IBM poll of more than 1,500 CEOs revealed that creativity—not intelligence—was the most crucial factor for future success. This shift from intelligence to creativity as the most valuable trait has been attributed to the unprecedented challenges and frantic pace of change today. This is especially true for lawyers and law… Continue Reading Legal Writing Matters: 4 Tips for Encouraging Creativity in Law Students

Legal Writing Matters: Why Law Students Should Welcome Feedback

By Kathleen Elliott Vinson Professor of Legal Writing and Director of Legal Writing, Research, and Written Advocacy Getting back that first legal writing memo assignment with your professor’s critique and grade – what could be more stressful for a 1L. But, students should view it as an opportunity. In practice, senior lawyers and supervisors are… Continue Reading Legal Writing Matters: Why Law Students Should Welcome Feedback

Legal Writing Matters: The Best Oral Arguments Aren’t Perfect, They’re Real

By Heidi K. Brown As oral arguments approach, many 1Ls experience anxiety toward this “rite-of-passage.” For introverted students or others who prefer thinking and writing before speaking, the pressure for spontaneous verbal exchange is daunting. Some students assume that reticence toward this assignment indicates they are not cut out for the law. Not true! Quiet… Continue Reading Legal Writing Matters: The Best Oral Arguments Aren’t Perfect, They’re Real

Legal Writing Matters: Get Ready For Hyperlinks in Legal Briefs and Memos

By Ellie Margolis Since most legal documents are created and read electronically, lawyers are starting to incorporate hyperlinks directly into their memos and briefs. The most common use of hyperlinks is for citations to legal authority, though a document could also contain hyperlinks to many other sources, including the factual record and non-legal sources of… Continue Reading Legal Writing Matters: Get Ready For Hyperlinks in Legal Briefs and Memos

Legal Writing Matters: Using Legal Writing to Overturn Wrongful Convictions

By Stephanie Roberts Hartung For centuries, legal writing has been a vehicle for social change. Over the years, appellate and amicus curiae briefs have been instrumental in bringing about reform in the arenas of marriage equality, reproductive rights, and criminal justice—to name a few. Law students can use their newly-acquired lawyering skills to pursue the… Continue Reading Legal Writing Matters: Using Legal Writing to Overturn Wrongful Convictions