The Legal Writing Handbook: Analysis, Research & Writing, Fourth Edition / Edition 4

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Students and professors will welcome this new edition of the only text for legal writing and research that covers all three key components of the first-year course — research, writing, and analysis.

These distinctive features earned THE LEGAL WRITING HANDBOOK its popularity:

  • comprehensive coverage of analysis, writing, and research
  • teaches a state of the art approach to legal research, with an emphasis on electronic research
  • uses a process approach to lead students from pre-writing to drafting, editing, and the final draft
  • begins with the basics of the legal system, introducing students to how to read and analyze statutes and cases, then takes students through the process of writing an objective memorandum and trial and appellate briefs
  • offers resources to help students become more effective writers, including extensive guidance on effective legal style, grammar, and mechanics
  • demonstrates concepts through the use of examples
  • provides grammar and rhetorical/cultural information designed specifically for law students for whom English is a second language
  • broad coverage makes the book easy to adapt for two-, three-, or four-semester programs
  • provides numerous exercises in an accompanying Practice Book to help students master research and writing skills
  • the comprehensive Teacher¿s Manual and Teaching Materials website includes teaching guidance, handouts, and sample lessons and diagnostic test (also available online) for pinpointing writing problems

Through painstaking editing, the Fourth Edition incorporates new material without increasing the length of the book:

  • a reorganized and updated presentation of research reflects the changes in practice. Exhibits are now included on CD with the book, for easy reference.
  • a new section on legal reading
  • the section on writing memos includes new examples and an additional chapter on writing more sophisticated memos
  • the increased use of Practice Pointers and Questions reflects the latest research on active learning, while the emphasis on teaching underlying structures applies research on transfer of learning
  • new, short sections raise issues relating to professionalism and the role of lawyers
  • the chapter on effective paragraphs and the sections on Legal Writing for English-as-a-Second-Language Students and on bias-free and gender-neutral language are all thoroughly updated
  • new material offers advice on how to avoid procrastination and other writing obstacles

An author website to support classroom instruction using this title is available at

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Editorial Reviews

This handbook comprises four complete guides covering various aspects of legal writing. The first discusses the basics of the discipline and describes the writing of specific types of documents<-->memoranda, client letters, and briefs. The others offer instruction on research, effective writing, and correct writing. Examples appear throughout the text, illustrating the principles the book articulates. A glossary of usage and a glossary of terms are provided. The authors are the director of a legal writing program, a writing advisor, and a reference librarian, all affiliated with Seattle University School of Law. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735555686
  • Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
  • Publication date: 4/2/2006
  • Edition description: 4TH BK&CDR
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 914
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Sect. I A Course in Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing 1
Pt. I A Foundation for Legal Writing 3
Ch. 1 An Overview of the United States Legal System 5
Ch. 2 An Introduction to Common and Enacted Law 21
Ch. 3 Reading and Analyzing Statutes and Cases 29
Pt. II Objective Memoranda, Client Letters, and Briefs 39
Ch. 4 The Objective Memorandum: Its Purpose, Audience, and Format 41
Ch. 5 The First Memorandum 53
Ch. 6 The Second Memorandum 153
Ch. 7 The Opinion Letter 219
Ch. 8 Writing a Trial Brief 233
Ch. 9 Writing an Appellate Brief 305
Ch. 10 Oral Advocacy 415
Sect. II Resources in Legal Research, Style, and Grammar 433
Pt. III A Guide to Legal Research 435
Ch. 11 Introduction to Legal Research 437
Ch. 12 Constitutions and Charters 441
Ch. 13 The Legislative Branch 445
Ch. 14 The Executive Branch and Administrative Agencies 463
Ch. 15 The Judicial Branch 471
Ch. 16 Secondary Sources 489
Ch. 17 Citators 509
Ch. 18 Computer-Assisted Legal Research 523
Ch. 19 How to Approach a Legal Research Problem: Sample Research Plans 547
Pt. IV A Guide to Effective Writing 557
Ch. 20 Effective Writing - The Whole Paper 559
Ch. 21 Connections Between Paragraphs 579
Ch. 22 Effective Paragraphs 587
Ch. 23 Connections Between Sentences 613
Ch. 24 Effective Sentences 633
Ch. 25 Effective Words 663
Ch. 26 Eloquence 719
Pt. V A Guide to Correct Writing 737
Ch. 27 Grammar 739
Ch. 28 Punctuation 797
Ch. 29 Mechanics 863
Ch. 30 Legal Writing for English-as-a-Second-Language Students 883
Glossary of Usage 929
Glossary of Terms 937
Index 945
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