9781587784774

Academic Legal Writing

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781587784774

  • ISBN10:

    1587784777

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-05-01
  • Publisher: Foundation Pr

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Table of Contents

ABOUT THE AUTHOR v
FOREWORD, BY JUDGE ALEX KOZINSKI 1(4)
INTRODUCTION 5(2)
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 7(2)
I. LAW REVIEW ARTICLES AND STUDENT NOTES: THE BASICS
A. The Initial Step: Choosing a Claim
9(22)
1. The Claim
9(4)
a. Your basic thesis
9(1)
b. The descriptive and the prescriptive parts of the thesis
10(1)
c. Identifying a problem
11(1)
d. Checking with your law school's faculty
12(1)
e. Keeping an open mind
12(1)
f. Identifying a tentative solution
12(1)
2. Novelty
13(1)
a. Adding to the body of professional knowledge
13(1)
b. Making novelty through nuance
14(1)
3. Nonobviousness
14(1)
4. Utility
15(4)
a. Focus on issues left open
15(1)
b. Apply your argument to other jurisdictions
16(1)
c. Incorporate prescriptive implications of your descriptive findings
16(1)
d. Consider making a more politically feasible proposal
16(1)
e. Make sure the argument doesn't unnecessarily alienate your audience
17(2)
5. Soundness
19(9)
a. Test suites
19(1)
b. What you might find by testing your proposals
20(2)
c. Developing the test suite
22(1)
d. Particular problems to watch out for
23(5)
i. Excessive mushiness
23(2)
ii. Reliance on legal abstractions
25(1)
iii. Procedural proposals that don't explain what substantive standards are to be applied
26(2)
6. Selling This to Your Readers
28(1)
7. Topics and Structures You Should Generally Avoid
28(3)
a. Articles that show there's a problems but don't give a solution
28(1)
b. Case notes
28(1)
c. Single-state articles
29(1)
d. Articles that just explain what the law is
29(1)
e. Responses to other people's works
29(1)
f. Topics that the Supreme Court or the Congress is likely to visit shortly
30(1)
B. Organizing the Article
31(13)
1. Write the Introduction
31(3)
a. Show that there's a problem, and do this concretely
31(1)
b. State the claim
31(1)
c. Frame the issue
32(1)
d. Do all this quickly and forcefully
33(1)
2. Explain Background Facts and Legal Doctrines
34(1)
3. Prove Your Claim
35(3)
a. Show that your prescription is both doctrinally sound and good policy
35(1)
b. Be concrete
35(1)
c. Use the test suite
35(1)
d. Confront the other side's arguments, but focus on your own
36(1)
e. Turn the problems in your argument to your advantage
36(2)
i. Improve your argument
36(1)
ii. Refine your claim
37(1)
iii. Acknowledge uncertainty
37(1)
iv. Acknowledge costs
38(1)
4. Make Your Article Richer: Connect to Broader Issues, Parallel Issues, and Subsidiary Issues
38(5)
a. Go beyond the basic claim
38(1)
b. Connections: Importing from broader debates
39(1)
c. Connections: Exporting to broader debates
40(1)
d. Connections: Importing from parallel areas
40(1)
e. Connections: Exporting to parallel areas
41(1)
f. Connections to subsidiary questions
41(1)
g. A cautionary note
42(1)
5. Rewrite the Introduction
43(1)
6. The Conclusion
43(1)
C. Converting Practical Work-Such as Law Firm Memos-Into Academic Articles
44(4)
1. Extract
45(1)
2. Deepen
45(2)
a. Question existing law
46(1)
b. Take counterarguments seriously
46(1)
c. Reflect on your initial goal
47(1)
3. Broaden
47(1)
4. Connect
48(1)
D. Budgeting Your Time
48(1)
E. Deciding What to Set Aside
49(2)
F. Choosing a Title
51(4)
G. Summary
55(4)
1. Choose a Topic
55(1)
2. Make a Claim
55(1)
3. Write a First Draft
56(1)
4. Edit
56(1)
5. Publish and Publicize
56(1)
6. Think About Your Next Article
57(2)
II. SEMINAR TERM PAPERS
A. Introduction: Comparing Seminar Term Papers and Academic Articles
59(1)
1. Nonobviousness
59(1)
2. Soundness
59(1)
3. Writing and Structure
59(1)
4. Utility
59(1)
5. Novelty
60(1)
B. Figuring Out What Your Instructor Expects
60(1)
C. Finding a Topic
61(1)
D. Budgeting Your Time
62(1)
E. Turning the Paper into a Publishable Article
62(1)
III. RESEARCH
A. Identifying Sample Cases and Incidents
63(1)
B. Understanding the Law
64(3)
1. Get the Big Picture
64(1)
2. Get the Details
65(1)
3. Find Other Works on the Topic (the Literature Search)
66(1)
C. Knowing When to Shift from Research to Writing
67(2)
IV. WRITING
A. There Are No Lazy Readers-Only Busy Readers -
69(1)
B. Go Through Many Drafts
69(1)
C. If You See No Red Marks on a Paragraph, Go over It Again
70(1)
D. If You Need To Reread Something To Understand It, Rewrite It
70(1)
E. Read the Draft With "New Eyes"
70(2)
F. Finish the First Draft Quickly/Defeat Writer's Block by Skipping Around
72(1)
G. React Effectively to Your Professor's (and Other Editors') Suggestions
72(1)
H. Use Section Headings and a Tam e of Contents to Help Organize Your Thinking
73(2)
I. Note Down All Your Ideas
75(1)
J. Things to Look For: Logic
75(4)
1. Categorical Assertions
75(1)
2. Insistence on Perfection
75(1)
3. False Alternatives
76(1)
4. Missing Pieces
76(1)
5. Criticisms That Could Apply to Everything
77(1)
6. Metaphors
77(1)
7. Undefined Terms
78(1)
8. Undefended Assertions, and "Arguably"/"Raises Concerns"
79(1)
K. Things to Look For: Writing
79(14)
1. Paragraphs Lacking a Common Theme
79(1)
2. Long Paragraphs
80(1)
3. Inadequate Connections Between Paragraphs
80(1)
4. Redundancy
81(1)
5. Unnecessary Introductory Clauses
81(1)
6. Other Unnecessary Phrases
82(1)
7. Legalese/Bureaucratese
83(2)
8. Unnecessary Abstractions
85(1)
9. Passive Voice
86(1)
10. Clichés
87(1)
11. Figurative Phrases
87(3)
12. Unduly Harsh Criticism
90(1)
13. Personalized Criticism
91(1)
14. Acronyms
91(1)
15. Word Choice Errors
92(1)
L. Proofreading
93(1)
M. Editing: Two Exercises
93(2)
V. USING EVIDENCE CORRECTLY
A. Read, Quote and Cite the Original Source
95(9)
1. Legal Evidence
95(3)
2. Historical, Economic, or Scientific Evidence
98(1)
3. Newspapers
99(3)
4. Transcripts
102(1)
5. Web Sites
103(1)
B. Check the Studies on Which You Rely
104(1)
C. Compromise Wisely
105(1)
D. Be Careful with the Terms You Use
106(2)
1. Avoid False Synonyms
106(1)
2. Include All Necessary Qualifiers
106(1)
3. Use Precise Terms Rather Than Vague Ones
107(1)
E. Try To Avoid Foreseeable Misunderstandings by Readers
108(1)
F. Understand Your Source
109(2)
G. Handle Survey Evidence Correctly
111(10)
1. What Do Surveys Measure?
111(1)
2. Errors in Generalizing from the Respondents to a Broader Group
112(3)
3. Errors in Generalizing from the Question Being Asked
115(3)
a. Surveys that ask a different question
115(1)
b. Surveys that ask ambiguous questions
116(1)
c. Get the text of the questionnaire
117(1)
4. Errors Caused by Ignoring Information from the Same Survey
118(1)
5. Respondents Giving Incorrect Answers to Pollsters
119(1)
6. An Exercise
120(1)
H. When Extrapolating, Be Explicit About Your Assumptions
121(1)
I. Make Sure Your Comparisons Make Sense
122(6)
1. Consider Alternative Explanations for Disparities
123(1)
2. Make Sure That Cost/Benefit Comparisons Sensibly Quantify Costs and Benefits
124(1)
3. Say How Many Cases the Comparison Is Based on, and How Small Changes in Selection May Change the Result
125(3)
J. A Source-Checking Exercise
128(2)
K. Summary
130(3)
VI. CITE-CHECKING OTHERS' ARTICLES
A. Recommendations for Cite-Checkers
133(2)
B. Recommendations for Law Review Editors
135(2)
VII. PUBLISHING AND PUBLICIZING
A. Consider Publishing Outside Your School
137(6)
1. You Can
137(1)
2. You Should
137(2)
3. Here's How
139(4)
B. Working with Law Journal Editors
143(7)
1. Have the Right Attitude About Edits
144(2)
2. Insist on Seeing All Changes
146(1)
3. Always Keep a Copy of Any Marked-Up Draft You Mail
147(1)
4. Make Sure Your Earlier Changes Were Properly Entered
147(1)
5. Use the Opportunity To Edit More Yourself
147(1)
6. Keep the Copyright, but Grant Nonexclusive Rights
147(3)
C. Publicizing the Article Before It's Published
150(1)
D. Publicizing the Published Article
151(2)
1. Reprints
151(1)
2. Distributing the Article Electronically
152(1)
E. Planning the Next Article
153(2)
VIII. ACADEMIC ETHICS
A. Avoiding Plagiarism
155(3)
1. The Two Harms of Plagiarism
155(1)
2. Your Obligations
156(1)
3. Copying from Yourself
157(1)
B. Being Candid
158(1)
C. Being Fair and Polite to Your Adversaries
158(1)
D. Being Fair to the Law Review Editors Who Punish Your Article
159(1)
E. Preserving Confidentiality
159(1)
F. Treating Sources Fairly, and Complying with Human Subjects Protection Guidelines
160(1)
G. Making Data Available
160(5)
CONCLUSION 163
APPENDIX I: CLUMSY WORDS AND PHRASES
A. Needlessly Formal Words
165(2)
1. Verbs
166(1)
2. Nouns
167(1)
3. Adjectives, Adverbs, Conjunctions, and Prepositions
167(1)
B. Circumlocutions
167(3)
1. Generally
168(1)
2. Verbs Turned into Nouns or Adjectives
169(1)
3. "The Fact That"
169(1)
C. Redundancies
170(1)
APPENDIX II: ANSWERS TO EXERCISES
A. Editing Exercises, p. 93
171(5)
B. Understand Your Source, p. 109
176(1)
C. USA Today Survey Report, p. 120
176(2)
D. Drunk Driving Study, p. 122
178(1)
E. Source-Checking Exercise, p. 128
179(6)
1. The First Claim
180(2)
2. The Second Claim
182
APPENDIX III: SAMPLE COVER LETTERS
A. For Sending an Article to Law Reviews
185(1)
B. For Sending a Reprint to Potential Readers
186(2)
C. For Sending a Reprint to Potential Readers on Whose Work You Substantially Rely
188(3)
ENDNOTES 191(6)
INDEX 197

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