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Five Tips for a Great Legal Writing Assignment

September 25, 2012 By Lee Burgess 2 Comments

how to write an assignment for law

  • Follow the format outlined by your professor. It is likely your legal writing professor has given you instructions for the overall format of your legal writing assignment. In addition, your professor may have given you formatting instructions for the body of your assignment, such as that you need to follow IRAC. Whatever the instructions, follow them . Sure, you may think it is an overly formal or a frustrating way to write—but to be honest, no one cares. You need to write for your professor . It is more important to write in the way your professor has outlined, than as you personally prefer. And it is not going to be the last time your writing will need to conform to someone else’s rules. As a working attorney you often need to write in the format requested by your boss or even by the court. So get used to it!
  • Remember, your writing doesn’t need to be full of legalese—the best legal writing is often simple! So many law students make the mistake of thinking that to “sound like a lawyer” they must use every possible legal term out there. This is just not the case. Often the most effective legal writing is very clear and concise and only uses legal terms or “legalese” when appropriate (say, when you are using a term of art). It is also important to work on writing in a clear, concise way because your assignments may have maximum word count. So using extra words to sound “more professional” won’t really help your grade in the end.
  • Answer the question asked by your assignment. Often students get so caught up in writing their assignment that they forget to focus on the question that was asked of them. It is important to read and re-read (and even read again) the assignment sheet. You don’t want to make a mistake and write something off topic. Remember, answering the question is key to getting a good grade!
  • Plan before you write. A great legal writing assignment is organized. And for most of us this means that you need to plan your paper just as you would plan an essay or any other project. Organization is key and it takes time to sit with the research and develop your answer. Make sure you build this time into your plan of how you are going to get your assignment done.
  • Proofread and double-check citations. As an attorney-in-training, it is very important to present yourself in a professional way. That means that you need to proofread your assignments to present yourself in a professional way to your professor as well. If your assignment is riddled with typos, it is distracting for the professor and likely will cause your grade to drop. Also, students often are lax when handling citations. You are typically graded on the accuracy of your citations. Citations are not hard, but you must be detail oriented and look things up! I have seen many a legal writing grade go down because students didn’t spend adequate time or energy on citations. Don’t let this happen to you.

Legal writing, like most things, gets easier the more that you do it. So do every practice assignment assigned and get as much feedback as you can. This will help you become an excellent legal writer, which is a critical skill in our profession.

Check out these other helpful posts:

  • Surviving the first weeks of law school .
  • Law school exam prep 101 .
  • Getting feedback on past exams is critical .
  • Pay attention in class, it can save you time !

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About Lee Burgess

Lee Burgess, Esq. is the co-founder of the Law School Toolbox , a resource for law students that demystifies the law school experience and the Bar Exam Toolbox , a resource for students getting ready for the bar exam. Lee has been adjunct faculty at two bay area law schools teaching classes on law school and bar exam preparation. You can find Lee on Twitter at @leefburgess , @lawschooltools , & @barexamtools .

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Thank very much for the tips i have just read they been beneficial to me because am a distance law school student.

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I need more guide to legal writing because am lecturing this course for Magistrates

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How to Write a First-Class Law Essay

Studying law at university entails lots of essay writing. This article takes you through the key steps to writing a top law essay.

Writing a law essay can be a challenging task. As a law student, you’ll be expected to analyse complex legal issues and apply legal principles to real-world scenarios. At the same time, you’ll need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and persuasively. In this article, we’ll cover some top tips to guide you through the process of planning, researching, structuring and writing a first-class law essay with confidence. 

1. Start In Advance

Give yourself plenty of time to plan, research and write your law essay. Always aim to start your law essay as soon as you have the question. Leaving it until the last minute does not only create unnecessary stress, but it also leaves you insufficient time to write, reference and perfect your work.

2. Understand The Question

Do not begin until you fully comprehend the question. Take the time to read the question carefully and make sure that you understand what it’s asking you to do. Highlight key terms and annotate the question with definitions of key concepts and any questions that you have have. Think about how the question links back to what you’ve learned during your lectures or through your readings.

3. Conduct Thorough Research

Conducting thorough research around your topic is one of the most fundamental parts of the essay writing process. You should aim to use a range of relevant sources, such as cases, academic articles, books and any other legal materials. Ensure that the information you collect is taken from relevant, reliable and up to date sources. Use primary over secondary material as much as possible.

Avoid using outdated laws and obscure blog posts as sources of information. Always aim to choose authoritative sources from experts within the field, such as academics, politicians, lawyers and judges. Using high-quality and authoritative sources and demonstrating profound and critical insight into your topic are what will earn you top marks.

4. Write A Detailed Plan

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to plan your essay. When writing your plan, you’ll need to create an outline that clearly identifies the main points that you wish to make throughout your article. Try to write down what you wish to achieve in each paragraph, what concepts you want to discuss and arguments you want to make.

Your outline should be organised in a clear, coherent and logical manner to ensure that the person grading your essay can follow your line of thought and arguments easily.  You may also wish to include headings and subheadings to structure your essay effectively This makes it easier when it comes to writing the essay as starting without a plan can get messy. The essay must answer the question and nothing but the question so ensure all of your points relate to it.

Start Writing Like A Lawyer

Read our legal writing tips now

5. Write A Compelling Introduction

A great introduction should, firstly, outline the research topic.  The introduction is one of the most crucial parts of the law essay as it sets the tone for the rest of the paper. It should capture the readers attention and provide the background context on the topic. Most importantly, it should state the thesis of your essay.

When writing your introduction, avoid simply repeating the given question. Secondly, create a road map for the reader, letting them know how the essay will approach the question. Your introduction must be concise. The main body of the essay is where you will go into detail.

6. Include A Strong Thesis Statement

Your thesis should clearly set out the argument you are going to be making throughout your essay and should normally go in the introduction. Your thesis should adopt a clear stance rather than being overly general or wishy-washy. To obtain the best grades, you’ll need to show a unique perspective based upon a critical analysis of the topic rather than adopting the most obvious point of view.

Once you’ve conducted your research and had a chance to reflect on your topic, ask yourself whether you can prove your argument within the given word count or whether you would need to adopt a more modest position for your paper. Always have a clear idea of what your thesis statement is before you begin writing the content of your essay. 

7. Present the Counter-argument

To demonstrate your deeper understanding of the topic, it’s important to show your ability to consider the counter-arguments and address them in a careful and reasoned manner. When presenting your counterarguments, aim to depict them in the best possible light, aiming to be fair and reasonable before moving on to your rebuttal. To ensure that your essay is convincing, you will need to have a strong rebuttal that explains why your argument is stronger and more persuasive. This will demonstrate your capacity for critical analysis, showing the reader that you have carefully considered differing perspectives before coming to a well-supported conclusion.

8. End With A Strong Conclusion

Your conclusion is your opportunity to summarise the key points made throughout your essay and to restate the thesis statement in a clear and concise manner.  Avoid simply repeating what has already been mentioned in the body of the essay. For top grades, you should use the conclusion as an opportunity to provide critical reflection and analysis on the topic. You may also wish to share any further insights or recommendations into alternative avenues to consider or implications for further research that could add value to the topic. 

9. Review The Content Of Your Essay

Make sure you factor in time to edit the content of your essay.  Once you’ve finished your first draft, come back to it the next day. Re-read your essay with a critical perspective. Do your arguments make sense? Do your paragraphs flow in a logical manner? You may also consider asking someone to read your paper and give you critical feedback. They may be able to add another perspective you haven’t considered or suggest another research paper that could add value to your essay. 

10. Proofread For Grammatical Mistakes

Once you’re happy with the content of your essay, the last step is to thoroughly proofread your essay for any grammatical errors. Ensure that you take time to ensure that there are no grammar, spelling or punctuation errors as these can be one of the easiest ways to lose marks. You can ask anyone to proofread your paper, as they would not necessarily need to have a legal background – just strong grammar and spelling skills! 

11. Check Submission Guidelines

Before submitting, ensure that your paper conforms with the style, referencing and presentation guidelines set out by your university. This includes the correct font, font size and line spacing as well as elements such as page numbers, table of content etc. Referencing is also incredibly important as you’ll need to make sure that you are following the correct referencing system chosen by your university. Check your university’s guidelines about what the word count is and whether you need to include your student identification number in your essay as well. Be thorough and don’t lose marks for minor reasons!

12. Use Legal Terms Accurately

Always make sure that you are using legal terms accurately throughout your essay. Check an authoritative resource if you are unsure of any definitions. While being sophisticated is great, legal jargon if not used correctly or appropriately can weaken your essay. Aim to be concise and to stick to the point. Don’t use ten words when only two will do.

12. Create a Vocabulary Bank

One recurring piece of advice from seasoned law students is to take note of phrases from books and articles, key definitions or concepts and even quotes from your professors. When it comes to writing your law essay, you will have a whole range of ideas and vocabulary that will help you to develop your understanding and thoughts on a given topic. This will make writing your law essay even easier!

13. Finally, Take Care of Yourself

Last but certainly not least, looking after your health can improve your attitude towards writing your law essay your coursework in general. Sleep, eat, drink and exercise appropriately. Take regular breaks and try not to stress. Do not forget to enjoy writing the essay!

Words by Karen Fulton

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Master the Legal Memo Format

September 20, 2022

[Bloomberg Law’s Essential Career Toolkit can help you excel in class and jump-start your legal career to successfully transition from law student to lawyer.]

What is the legal memo assignment?

The legal memo is an objective memorandum that provides you the opportunity to review and research relevant case law, investigate relevant facts using available resources, analyze those facts under that law, and impartially assess the potential outcome of a matter. The legal memo is an assignment that law firm associates are frequently asked to provide to senior attorneys.

Far too often, however, the assigning attorney takes one look at the result and replies, “I knew this already.” To prevent this outcome, it’s important to write a legal memo with sufficient understanding of audience, scope, purpose, and format. With proper planning, law firm associates can maximize the odds of favorable reception at the outset.

Bloomberg Law can help you understand and apply legal issues to your legal memo assignment, so your final product addresses all relevant points right out of the gate.

What’s the difference between a closed legal memo and an open legal memo?

A closed legal memo is an assignment where you are given the case law or other primary law to be used in your writing. Far more challenging is an open legal memo, where you will need to research and identify the relevant law, investigate and analyze the most legally significant facts involving a particular client, and provide a critical assessment of how the court may apply the law to the matter.

By extension, unlike a court brief, the legal memo is not the place to wager a legal opinion or argue facts. The legal memorandum serves as an objective standalone document and identifies the risks and any unknown facts that need investigation. It should maintain an impartial tone, with no implied preference for one side or the other.

What’s the standard legal memo format?

Generally, a legal memorandum comprises six sections, with the following information:

1. Heading or caption

A section, titled, “Memorandum,” identifies the recipient (To: _______), the author (From: ____), the assignment submission date (typically in MMMM DD YYYY format), and subject of the memo (Re: __________).

2. Question presented

A brief one-sentence statement that defines how the law applies to the legal question at hand, and the jurisdiction where the matter will be decided. The question presented is specific and impartial and doesn’t assume a legal conclusion.

3. Brief answer

A quick-hit legal prediction to the question presented, based on a short (four to five sentences) explanation that references relevant law and facts.

4. Statement of facts

A concise, impartial statement of the facts that captures the heart of the legal matter, as well as current and past legal proceedings related to the issue. The facts can be chronological or grouped thematically, whichever format presents the facts in the clearest manner.

5. Discussion

Restates the main facts and delineates the overarching legal rule. Several paragraphs outline the various legal topics to be addressed in the case and provide an analysis of the legal issues, usually ordered in subsections.

6. Conclusion

The assigning attorney will likely read this section first. It predicts how the court will apply the law, and how confident you are in your prediction based on the data. With an impartial advisory tone, you identify next steps and propose a legal strategy to proceed.

How to write a legal memo

Legal research memos can come in many forms—from broad 50-state surveys to more nuanced research on a particular point of law—but whatever the format, it’s important that you fully understand the task entrusted to you before you start typing.

If you tackle your assignment by following the recommended approaches in the legal memo example below, you’ll be more likely to find an appreciative supervising attorney, deliver better work product, cut down on the number of drafts required to arrive at a final product, and, most importantly, please the client.

Learn the essentials of litigation writing, research, and document review with our Core Litigation Skills Practical Guidance Toolkit , available to Bloomberg Law subscribers.

Legal memorandum sample assignment

Assignment:  Prepare an open legal memo on whether, under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, there is personal jurisdiction over a foreign car manufacturer involving a products liability case.

Step 1: Understand the legal issues

Review legal memo assignment materials.

In an open legal memo, you will be tasked with researching relevant primary and secondary resources, such as from national, single, or multiple state entities, as well as appeals circuits, to include in your analysis.

Locate secondary sources

Secondary sources, such as books, treatises, law reviews, legal analysis publications, and Practical Guidance are a great starting point to assist with your legal memo research. Although secondary sources are not binding on courts, meaning courts are not required to follow these sources, they are still helpful tools to use when you know little about a topic.

However, remember that while you may know little about a topic, the same may not hold true for your audience. Readers like law partners and assigning attorneys will already know general law. Identify your audience’s presumed level of knowledge, then the most mission-critical questions to address. These identified gaps will inform your fact-finding and research.

Use secondary resources to better fill in the main legal topics and issues as they relate to the facts in the legal memo assignment. Your legal research should help frame the issue and lead to other relevant materials, including cases and statutes.

Throughout, utilize legal memo space wisely. Remember, legal memo length varies by subject. Some topics require only a short summary, while others compel long-form treatment. For guidance, search your firm’s office document management system for previous legal memos.

Sample assignment – Step 1

Understand the legal issues:  Legal research depends on the right search terms. In the case, for example, you can use the keywords: (“personal jurisdiction” and manufacture!)) to locate relevant resources on the Bloomberg Law platform.

More broadly, while your search into secondary sources may span books and treatises, law review articles, and other legal analysis publications, make sure to vet all legal authorities for relevance.

[Research tip: It can be challenging to know all relevant keywords. Bloomberg Law provides a convenient search results page, where relevant article blurbs showcase additional keywords to explore. Based on targeted keywords, you can better gather the most relevant background information to assist with your analysis.]

Step 2: Develop a research plan

Identify primary law.

Primary sources can often be identified with research tools, such as court opinions searches for relevant case law. However, primary sources are not always apparent. In such cases, work your way backward. Reviewing secondary sources can help you identify a list of relevant primary law resources, like case law and related statutes. Keep your research organized and create a research plan to identify key resources. The research plan will list the relevant primary law and how the case or statute relates to your comprehensive legal analysis.

Stay organized

Save the relevant cases and statutes to a designated workspace. Bloomberg Law provides a streamlined and secure digital working area where you can add your notes as well as upload and store your drafts to keep organized.

Sample assignment – Step 2

Develop a research plan:  In the  assignment, some legal research may mention cases on what contacts a foreign defendant must have for the court to have personal jurisdiction over it, such as Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court .  Read through these articles to reveal additional relevant cases and statutes to support your analysis.

Step 3: Confirm your legal memo research

Once you have your research plan, you want to verify all your research to make sure you’re relying on the most current case law available. Bloomberg Law’s litigation tools like the BCite citator tool help you work smarter and faster to validate your case law research—specifically, to determine whether a citation still represents good law and can be relied upon—and helps you to conduct additional research to find more cases and resources that support your legal memo’s findings and conclusions.

Robust verification should ensure you know the following information:

  • Composite analysis – the overall treatment of the cited case by other courts.
  • Direct history – How a cited case has moved through the court system.
  • Case analysis – Cases that have subsequently cited to the case.
  • Authorities – Cases relied on by the court in the main case.
  • Citing documents – Legal materials, such as court opinions, administrative decisions, and secondary sources that reference your case by citation.

Sample assignment – Step 3

Confirm your research:  To see whether  Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court  is still good law, you will of course need to pull up and review the case status. As part of this verification, you should review how other courts have treated the case. Once you have verified case status, you can better find additional secondary cases and other sources that cite to your case.

[Research tip: Carefully review whether case law citation can be relied on in your legal memo. While a legal memo is written for internal stakeholders like the assigning attorney, and not for the court system, it may nonetheless serve as a primer for future material.]

Attorneys may later incorporate any case law citations within the legal memo into court filings in support of their arguments. Given this broad potential reach, it’s imperative to verify all case law within your legal memo. Any unverified case law that later makes its way into public documents will result in an admonition from the court.

It is also important not to cherry-pick case citations. Remember the legal memo’s purpose is to inform, not to argue the facts. The legal memo must therefore provide an objective summary of all relevant case law and how it applies to the facts at hand. The omission of negative case law only compromises future legal strategy and heightens client legal exposure.

Step 4: Write an objective analysis

The legal memo showcases your critical legal thinking skills. Use your research plan and research materials to help organize your analysis. Remember to clearly state the law and the facts, in the active voice, and present your analysis in a logical manner.

Even with the IRAC legal memo format (Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion), it can be a challenge to write with precision. For example, it may not be clear which details to include in the statement of facts. Skilled legal memo writers often begin with the discussion. With complementary considerations of legal authority and factual criteria, this section clarifies the most legally significant facts and informs other earlier sections like the question presented and brief answer.

Across all stages, Bloomberg Law provides a vast trove of articles and resources to assist you in preparing your legal memo. Whether this is your first or fiftieth legal memo assignment, you can showcase clear and impartial legal analysis in your legal memo and other writing assignments in ways that establish you as a strong legal mind.

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Week 1 and 2

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Understanding your assignment.

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How to write a case brief for law school: Excerpt reproduced from Introduction to the Study of Law: Cases and Materials,

Third Edition (LexisNexis 2009) by Michael Makdisi & John Makdisi


The previous section described the parts of a case in order to make it easier to read and identify the pertinent information that you will use to create your briefs. This section will describe the parts of a brief in order to give you an idea about what a brief is, what is helpful to include in a brief, and what purpose it serves. Case briefs are a necessary study aid in law school that helps to encapsulate and analyze the mountainous mass of material that law students must digest. The case brief represents a final product after reading a case, rereading it, taking it apart, and putting it back together again. In addition to its function as a tool for self-instruction and referencing, the case brief also provides a valuable “cheat sheet” for class participation.

Who will read your brief? Most professors will espouse the value of briefing but will never ask to see that you have, in fact, briefed. As a practicing lawyer, your client doesn’t care if you brief, so long as you win the case. The judges certainly don’t care if you brief, so long as you competently practice the law. You are the person that the brief will serve! Keep this in mind when deciding what elements to include as part of your brief and when deciding what information to include under those elements.

What are the elements of a brief? Different people will tell you to include different things in your brief. Most likely, upon entering law school, this will happen with one or more of your instructors. While opinions may vary, four elements that are essential to any useful brief are the following:

(a) Facts (name of the case and its parties, what happened factually and procedurally, and the judgment)

(b) Issues (what is in dispute)

(c) Holding (the applied rule of law)

(d) Rationale (reasons for the holding)

If you include nothing but these four elements, you should have everything you need in order to recall effectively the information from the case during class or several months later when studying for exams.

Because briefs are made for yourself, you may want to include other elements that expand the four elements listed above. Depending on the case, the inclusion of additional elements may be useful. For example, a case that has a long and important section expounding dicta might call for a separate section in your brief labeled: Dicta. Whatever elements you decide to include, however, remember that the brief is a tool intended for personal use. To the extent that more elements will help with organization and use of the brief, include them. On the other hand, if you find that having more elements makes your brief cumbersome and hard to use, cut back on the number of elements. At a minimum, however, make sure you include the four elements listed above.

Elements that you may want to consider including in addition to the four basic elements are:

(e) Dicta (commentary about the decision that was not the basis for the decision)

(f) Dissent (if a valuable dissenting opinion exits, the dissent’s opinion)

(g) Party’s Arguments (each party’s opposing argument concerning the ultimate issue)

(h) Comments (personal commentary)

Personal comments can be useful if you have a thought that does not fit elsewhere. In the personal experience of one of the authors, this element was used to label cases as specific kinds (e.g., as a case of vicarious liability) or make mental notes about what he found peculiar or puzzling about cases. This element allowed him to release his thoughts (without losing them) so that he could move on to other cases.

In addition to these elements, it may help you to organize your thoughts, as some people do, by dividing Facts into separate elements:

(1) Facts of the case (what actually happened, the controversy)

(2) Procedural History (what events within the court system led to the present case)

(3) Judgment (what the court actually decided)

Procedural History is usually minimal and most of the time irrelevant to the ultimate importance of a case; however, this is not always true. One subject in which Procedure History is virtually always relevant is Civil Procedure.

When describing the Judgment of the case, distinguish it from the Holding. The Judgment is the factual determination by the court, in favor of one party, such as “affirmed,” “reversed,” or “remanded.” In contrast, the Holding is the applied rule of law that serves as the basis for the ultimate judgment.

Remember that the purpose of a brief is to remind you of the important details that make the case significant in terms of the law. It will be a reference tool when you are drilled by a professor and will be a study aid when you prepare for exams. A brief is also like a puzzle piece.

The elements of the brief create the unique shape and colors of the piece, and, when combined with other pieces, the picture of the common law takes form. A well-constructed brief will save you lots of time by removing the need to return to the case to remember the important details and also by making it easier to put together the pieces of the common law puzzle.


So now that you know the basic elements of a brief, what information is important to include under each element? The simple answer is: whatever is relevant. But what parts of a case are relevant? When you read your first few cases, you may think that everything that the judge said was relevant to his ultimate conclusion. Even if this were true, what is relevant for the judge to make his decision is not always relevant for you to include in your brief. Remember, the reason to make a brief is not to persuade the world that the ultimate decision in the case is a sound one, but rather to aid in refreshing your memory concerning the most important parts of the case.

What facts are relevant to include in a brief? You should include the facts that are necessary to remind you of the story. If you forget the story, you will not remember how the law in the case was applied. You should also include the facts that are dispositive to the decision in the case. For instance, if the fact that a car is white is a determining factor in the case, the brief should note that the case involves a white car and not simply a car. To the extent that the procedural history either helps you to remember the case or plays an important role in the ultimate outcome, you should include these facts as well.

What issues and conclusions are relevant to include in a brief? There is usually one main issue on which the court rests its decision. This may seem simple, but the court may talk about multiple issues, and may discuss multiple arguments from both sides of the case. Be sure to distinguish the issues from the arguments made by the parties. The relevant issue or issues, and corresponding conclusions, are the ones for which the court made a final decision and which are binding. The court may discuss intermediate conclusions or issues, but stay focused on the main issue and conclusion which binds future courts.

What rationale is important to include in a brief? This is probably the most difficult aspect of the case to determine. Remember that everything that is discussed may have been relevant to the judge, but it is not necessarily relevant to the rationale of the decision. The goal is to remind yourself of the basic reasoning that the court used to come to its decision and the key factors that made the decision favor one side or the other.

A brief should be brief! Overly long or cumbersome briefs are not very helpful because you will not be able to skim them easily when you review your notes or when the professor drills you. On the other hand, a brief that is too short will be equally unhelpful because it lacks sufficient information to refresh your memory. Try to keep your briefs to one page in length. This will make it easy for you to organize and reference them.

Do not get discouraged. Learning to brief and figuring out exactly what to include will take time and practice. The more you brief, the easier it will become to extract the relevant information.

While a brief is an extremely helpful and important study aid, annotating and highlighting are other tools for breaking down the mass of material in your casebook. The remainder of this section will discuss these different techniques and show how they complement and enhance the briefing process.

Annotating Cases

Many of you probably already read with a pencil or pen, but if you do not, now is the time to get in the habit. Cases are so dense and full of information that you will find yourself spending considerable amounts of time rereading cases to find what you need. An effective way to reduce this time is to annotate the margins of the casebook. Your pencil (or pen) will be one of your best friends while reading a case. It will allow you to mark off the different sections (such as facts, procedural history, or conclusions), thus allowing you to clear your mind of thoughts and providing an invaluable resource when briefing and reviewing.

You might be wondering why annotating is important if you make an adequate, well-constructed brief. By their very nature briefs cannot cover everything in a case. Even with a thorough, well-constructed brief you may want to reference the original case in order to reread dicta that might not have seemed important at the time, to review the complete procedural history or set of facts, or to scour the rationale for a better understanding of the case; annotating makes these tasks easier. Whether you return to a case after a few hours or a few months, annotations will swiftly guide you to the pertinent parts of the case by providing a roadmap of the important sections. Your textual markings and margin notes will refresh your memory and restore specific thoughts you might have had about either the case in general or an individual passage.

Annotations will also remind you of forgotten thoughts and random ideas by providing a medium for personal comments.

In addition to making it easier to review an original case, annotating cases during the first review of a case makes the briefing process easier. With adequate annotations, the important details needed for your brief will be much easier to retrieve. Without annotations, you will likely have difficulty locating the information you seek even in the short cases. It might seem strange that it would be hard to reference a short case, but even a short case will likely take you at least fifteen to twenty-five minutes to read, while longer cases may take as much as thirty minutes to an hour to complete. No matter how long it takes, the dense material of all cases makes it difficult to remember all your thoughts, and trying to locate specific sections of the analysis may feel like you are trying to locate a needle in a haystack. An annotation in the margin, however, will not only swiftly guide you to a pertinent section, but will also refresh the thoughts that you had while reading that section.

When you read a case for the first time, read for the story and for a basic understanding of the dispute, the issues, the rationale, and the decision. As you hit these elements (or what you think are these elements) make a mark in the margins. Your markings can be as simple as “facts” (with a bracket that indicates the relevant part of the paragraph). When you spot an issue, you may simply mark “issue” or instead provide a synopsis in your own words. When a case sparks an idea — write that idea in the margin as well — you never know when a seemingly irrelevant idea might turn into something more.

Finally, when you spot a particularly important part of the text, underline it (or highlight it as described below).

With a basic understanding of the case, and with annotations in the margin, the second read-through of the case should be much easier. You can direct your reading to the most important sections and will have an easier time identifying what is and is not important. Continue rereading the case until you have identified all the relevant information that you need to make your brief, including the issue(s), the facts, the holding, and the relevant parts of the analysis.

Pencil or pen — which is better to use when annotating? Our recommendation is a mechanical pencil. Mechanical pencils make finer markings than regular pencils, and also than ballpoint pens. Although you might think a pencil might smear more than a pen, with its sharp point a mechanical pencil uses very little excess lead and will not smear as much as you might imagine. A mechanical pencil will also give you the freedom to make mistakes without consequences. When you first start annotating, you may think that some passages are more important than they really are, and therefore you may resist the urge to make a mark in order to preserve your book and prevent false guideposts. With a pencil, however, the ability to erase and rewrite removes this problem.


Why highlight? Like annotating, highlighting may seem unimportant if you create thorough, well-constructed briefs, but highlighting directly helps you to brief. It makes cases, especially the more complicated ones, easy to digest, review and use to extract information.

Highlighting takes advantage of colors to provide a uniquely effective method for reviewing and referencing a case. If you prefer a visual approach to learning, you may find highlighting to be a very effective tool.

If annotating and highlighting are so effective, why brief? Because the process of summarizing a case and putting it into your own words within a brief provides an understanding of the law and of the case that you cannot gain through the process of highlighting or annotating.

The process of putting the case into your own words forces you to digest the material, while annotating and highlighting can be accomplished in a much more passive manner.

What should you highlight? Similar to annotating, the best parts of the case to highlight are those that represent the needed information for your brief such as the facts, the issue, the holding and the rationale.

Unlike annotating, highlighting provides an effective way to color code, which makes referring to the case even easier. In addition, Highlighters are particularly useful in marking off entire sections by using brackets. These brackets will allow you to color-code the case without highlighting all the text, leaving the most important phrases untouched for a more detailed highlight marking or underlining.

Highlighting is a personal tool, and therefore should be used to the extent that highlighting helps, but should be modified in a way that makes it personally time efficient and beneficial. For instance, you might combine the use of annotations in the margins with the visual benefit of highlighting the relevant text. You may prefer to underline the relevant text with a pencil, but to use a highlighter to bracket off the different sections of a case. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it works for you, regardless of what others recommend. The techniques in the remainder of this section will describe ways to make full use of your highlighters.

First, buy yourself a set of multi-colored highlighters, with at least four, or perhaps five or six different colors. Yellow, pink, and orange are usually the brightest. Depending on the brand, purple and green can be dark, but still work well. Although blue is a beautiful color, it tends to darken and hide the text.

Therefore we recommend that you save blue for the elements that you rarely highlight.

For each different section of the case, choose a color, and use that color only when highlighting the section of the case designated for that color. Consider using yellow for the text that you tend to highlight most frequently. Because yellow is the brightest, you may be inclined to use yellow for the Conclusions in order to make them stand out the most. If you do this, however, you will exhaust your other colors much faster than yellow and this will require that you purchase an entire set of new highlighters when a single color runs out because colors such as green are not sold separately. If instead you choose to use yellow on a more frequently highlighted section such as the Analysis, when it comes time to replace your yellow marker, you will need only to replace your yellow highlighter individually. In the personal experience on one of the authors, the sections of cases that seemed to demand the most highlighter attention were the

Facts and the Analysis, while the Issues and Holdings demanded the least. Other Considerations and

Procedural History required lots of highlighting in particular cases although not in every case.

Experiment if you must, but try to choose a color scheme early on in the semester and stick with it. That way, when you come back to the first cases of the semester, you will not be confused with multiple color schemes. The basic sections of a case for which you should consider giving a different color are:

(b) Procedural History

(c) Issue (and questions presented)

(d) Holding (and conclusions)

(e) Analysis (rationale)

(f) Other Considerations (such as dicta)

Not all of these sections demand a separate color. You may find that combining Facts and Procedural History or Issues and Holdings works best. Furthermore, as mentioned above, some sections may not warrant highlighting in every case (e.g., dicta probably do not need to be highlighted unless they are particularly important). If you decide that a single color is all that you need, then stick to one, but if you find yourself highlighting lots of text from many different sections, reconsider the use of at least a few different colors. Highlighters make text stand out, but only when used appropriately. The use of many colors enables you to highlight more text without reducing the highlighter’s effectiveness. Three to four colors provides decent color variation without the cumbersomeness of handling too many markers.

Once you are comfortable with your color scheme, determining exactly what to highlight still may be difficult. Similar to knowing what to annotate, experience will perfect your highlighting skills. Be careful not to highlight everything, thus ruining your highlighters’ effectiveness; at the same time, do not be afraid to make mistakes.

Now that we have covered the basics of reading, annotating, highlighting, and briefing a case, you are ready to start practicing. Keep the tips and techniques mentioned in this chapter in mind when you tackle the four topics in the remainder of this book. If you have difficultly, refer back to this chapter to help guide you as you master the case method of study and the art of using the common law.

More Helpful Links

The american legal system, how to brief a case, how to read a casebook 101, top 20 things you need to know about law school, learn to spot issues like a lawyer, why an internet search is not legal research, why go to law school, what’s the most challenging part of law school, what advice would you give yourself about law school.


Law Search Guide: Write Law Assignments

  • Get ready for my first semester
  • Build a search strategy
  • Search a new area of law
  • Search secondary sources (books/journals)
  • Search for Cases
  • Search for Legislation
  • Search for International Law
  • Critical Evaluation
  • Write Law Assignments
  • Record your results
  • Law Search Example
  • Law Guide This link opens in a new window

How do I? 

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eBook- Exams and Studying

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  • Assignment Scheduler

Throughout your law studies , you will need to complete a variety of different assignments. See below to explore four different forms of assignments ​​​​​​.

  • What goes into a case note?
  • Tips by Students
  • Step-by-Step
  • Case Note Examples

how to write an assignment for law

A case note is a summary or a summary and critical analysis of a case.

 A case note will usually include:

  • Citations details-   include the full citation details. 
  • Procedural history-   write about how the matter came to court if there is a history, e.g. is the case on appeal?
  • Facts-   Explain the main points of the dispute or the reason the parties are in court. What orders or decision as they asking the court to make?
  • Legal Issues-  Explain what the legal issues are and how they apply to the facts. 
  • Decision summary-  What did the court decide and why? What was the ratio (the rule of law on which the decision is based) and was there any obiter (the Judge's opinion that isn't essential to the decision).  Also include and dissenting Judges where applicable. 
  • Critical Analysis-  Some case   notes will also require you to critically analysis the case, this will involve looking at the case in the wider body of law and discuss the merit or importance of the points of law raised in the case.   

You usually have a strict word count for your case note, because of this limit the detail that you have for the background information and focus on the analysis.  

Tip:  Always read through your assignment instructions for specific information that will apply to your assessment task.  

Read advice from other law students on how to survive law school. These links come from the  Survive Law Blog .

  • How to Write a Case Note
  • Case note assignments This online tutorial from Monash University will take you step by step through writing a case note.
  • Case Note: Betting Across Boarders This case note examines the recent High Court decision of Betfair Pty Limited v Western Australia.
  • Case Note: Australian Securities and Investment Commission v MacDonald Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Macdonald [No 11] required the New South Wales Supreme Court to determine whether company directors and officers of James Hardie Industries Ltd had breached their duties.
  • Case Note: Giller v Procopets This casenote deals with the claims concerning the videoing of the sexual encounters between the parties and the exhibition and/or distribution of the video to third parties.
  • Essay Template
  • A Visual Guide to Essay Writing
  • eBooks on Legal Writing
  • Reading Cases
  • Tips Written by Law Students
  • CDU Honors Research Papers

how to write an assignment for law

  • AGLC Template You can use this template to help you with formatting.

This resource uses a visual approach to take students through the process of essay writing for University. Although not law specific this resource will demonstrate formulating, refining and expressing academic essay writing:

how to write an assignment for law

One of the best ways to develop your writing skills is to read. Reading will expose you to different styles of writing and through reading you will form your own style. Think about the reports and cases that you read that frustrated you in finding out what the main ratio was. Compare that to this recent well written coroners report: 

  • Inquest into the deaths of William George Scott [2015 ] NTMC 022 & Lanh Van Tran [2015] NTMC 023

Read advice from other law students on how to survive law school. These links come from the  Survive Law Blog :

  • Five Tips for Writing Awesome Assignments
  • Tips from your Tutor: How to Write the Perfect Law Essay Introduction
  • Writing Convincing Assignments: Critical Analysis Checklist

This is a list of CDU student papers that were submitted for the Honours Research Papers. These are excellent examples of legal writing. 

  • Double Jeopardy Reform: Political Expediency of Much Needed Change?
  • The Euthanasia Fallacy: Why it is time to regulate in Australia
  • Everybody Knows: Snowden's NSA Leaks, Metadata And Privacy Implications For Australia
  • Intellectual Disability in the Australian Criminal Justice System
  • New South Wales Right To Silence Reforms: Maximum Admissions, Minimum Silence
  • Same-Sex Parents: Won't Somebody Please Think Of The Children!
  • Testamentary Capacity & Rational Suicide: the Law, Medicine & Safe-guarding your Intentions
  • Problem Solving Questions
  • eBook on Problem Solving

how to write an assignment for law

  • Tips from your Tutor: 10 Ways to Improve your Problem Solving Assignment
  • Using IRAC to Answer Problem Solving Questions
  • Introduction
  • Preparing for a Law Exam
  • Past Exam Papers from CDU

how to write an assignment for law

Exams come in different formats, they can be:

  • Invigilated open book exam
  • Invigilated closed book exam
  • Take home exam

Read advice from other law students on how to survive law school. These links come from the  Survive Law Blog : 

  • Advice from your Tutor: Law Exam Preparation and Technique
  • Exam Countdown: Making the most of the Last 24 Hours
  • How to Make an Exam Answer Template
  • How to Make a Study Timetable for Exams
  • How to Study for a Closed Book Exam

how to write an assignment for law

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  • Next: Record your results >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 26, 2024 11:05 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.cdu.edu.au/lawresearch

Learn to Read, Write Like a Law School Student

College can give your legal education and career a running start if you focus on key law-related skills as an undergraduate.

Learn to Read, Write Like a Law Student

College student highlighting textbook

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To prepare for law school students should practice more rigorous methods of note-taking, including using color-coded highlights for different types of information.

After ramming through thousands of pages of homework and hundreds of pages of writing assignments, often at the last minute – perhaps a little too often – college students and graduates may think they are at the top of their game.

How Long and Difficult Is Law School?

Ilana Kowarski Jan. 14, 2019

how to write an assignment for law

Law school, however, takes reading and writing to a whole new level. Compared with undergraduate texts, legal code and court opinions can seem written in an alien language. And many law students find legal writing to be the hardest core class they have to take in their first year.

There's no question that college makes you a better reader and writer, but the quirks of undergraduate writing can also leave you with some bad habits. To prepare for law school , improve your written communication skills by following this advice:

  • Take better notes.
  • Write succinctly.
  • Clarify your assumptions.
  • Don't show off.

Take Better Notes

The writers of the articles and textbooks you read in college often take great pains to communicate difficult concepts clearly and concisely. To prepare for class discussions and writing assignments, it is often enough to highlight key points and jot down a few notes or a brief summary.

Law school, however, is based on the case method . You learn by reading important legal cases and deducing common principles of how to interpret and apply real laws.

If you think your brain can recall all that information based on some highlighted passages, you may find yourself at a loss for words the first time a law school professor calls on you to analyze and critique a judge's opinion.

Instead, law students "brief" each case by writing down key facts and legal findings and compiling long, carefully organized outlines that integrate all those cases.

Before law school, you can get a head start on briefing by developing more consistent and rigorous methods of note-taking. Try using color-coded highlights for different types of information. Try reading an article, summarizing the argument as briefly as possible and then coming up with counterpoints.

Write Succinctly

College often rewards writing long. Written assignments are more likely to have a minimum length than a page limit, and it rarely hurts to throw in extra quotes and supporting evidence for your arguments. You may even get the impression that long-winded sentences sound weightier and more mature.

Legal writing, however, is more structured and focused. While legal papers can be quite long, every sentence must contribute to the overall argument. Law professors have little patience for bloated and meandering paragraphs.

Even if undergraduate professors don't explicitly require it, practice editing your papers to be direct and concise. Cut out redundancies and sentences that are not clearly related to your main points.

Clarify Your Assumptions

Because college is intended to cultivate independent thinking, students are often encouraged to share thoughts and reactions from their unique perspective.

In contrast, legal writing should be universal, because the law is meant to cover everyone equally. In order to develop your arguments, you need to carefully ensure that everyone can understand your reasoning from the evidence you present.

Even in college , you can start thinking about the unstated assumptions behind your arguments. Some of these assumptions may not be worth pointing out, like the meaning of common terms or agreed-upon facts.

Are there any assumptions that might not be so obvious to someone with a different background or perspective? If so, try to state those assumptions clearly, so all readers can understand how you came to your conclusions whether or not they agree with you.

Don't Show Off

College students have a reputation for pretentiousness. The word "sophomoric" is even used to describe writing that is immature, conceited and overconfident. No one can look back at his or her adolescence without cringing about some of the things he or she said or wrote.

Because law school is a professional school, students are held to higher standards. If you start bloviating, referencing ideas you don't understand or using big words just to sound smart, your law professors and fellow students will cut you down to size.

While college is a great time for taking intellectual risks, always be conscious of the limits of your knowledge. Great readers and writers focus more on what they still don't know than what they presume to understand.

Reading and writing are lifelong practices. Not only will practice help you succeed in law school, it will make you a clearer thinker.

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About Law Admissions Lowdown

Law Admissions Lowdown provides advice to prospective students about the law school application process, LSAT prep and potential career paths. Previously authored by contributors from Stratus Admissions Counseling, the blog is currently authored by Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach , an admissions consultancy. Kuris is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has helped hundreds of applicants navigate the law school application process since 2003. Got a question? Email [email protected] .

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Course Overview

First-Year Legal Research and Writing Program

1 North   Griswold Hall 1525 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge ,  MA 02138

Before you begin your studies in the First-Year Legal Research and Writing Program (LRW), it will help you to situate the course in the broader context of your legal education and your future law practice. To follow is a brief overview of the program, and an introduction to several themes that will recur throughout the year.

Program Overview

LRW uses a series of writing, research, and advocacy projects to engage you in the process of legal reasoning. The course instructs you in basic methods of legal analysis, effective written and oral communication of your analysis, and essential legal research tools and methodologies.

The first semester of LRW focuses on the writing of two predictive memos, in which you assess the arguments on each side of the issue and predict which side would prevail.  In the spring, you will learn how to write an appellate brief, in which you present your client’s best arguments to a court. For all three assignments, you will produce both a draft and a final version, the better to respond to feedback and hone your writing and analysis.  In practice, as in LRW, the writing process will help you take your internal understanding of an issue and make it external, so that you may hold it at arm’s length and examine it critically. As novice lawyers become expert lawyers, they develop greater ability to monitor their own level of understanding, and may resort somewhat less frequently (although not infrequently) to a formal written product like a predictive memo. Nevertheless, even when they eschew a formal written memo, they continue to apply the same analytical steps that are required to complete the writing assignments you will undertake in this course.

Lawyers cannot provide effective representation unless they master the necessary research skills. At a minimum, lawyers must be able to find and update the constitutional provisions, statutes, regulations, and cases that determine their clients’ rights and obligations. To that end, the legal research component of LRW will introduce you to core tools and methodologies that will be essential in your internships next summer, as well as in your future law practice. Indeed, without such skills you will have a difficult time satisfying your employers and competing with fellow students in summer practice and the early years of law practice. More advanced research instruction is available in upper-level elective courses.

LRW’s learning model depends on the substantial feedback that we provide on your work. LRW will likely be the first law school course in which you receive any feedback on written work, and it will be the course in which you receive the most individual feedback by far. Keep in mind that our goals for your achievement are quite high, in keeping with your potential. Our feedback will naturally focus on areas for improvement, so you ought not interpret this emphasis negatively. Our feedback is intended not to discourage you, but to facilitate your learning.

LRW meets weekly in the fall and spring semester of your first year. LRW is graded Honors, Pass, Low Pass, and  Fail.

In the fall semester, you will complete two major writing assignments. The first is a  “Closed Memo,” in which you write a predictive memo based on a set of research materials that are provided for you. The second is an “Open Memo,” in which you must research the applicable law and write a predictive memo based on your own research.

In the spring semester, the major course assignment is the First-Year Ames Moot Court Program. Working in pairs, you will research and draft an appellate brief concerning a simulated case set in a federal or state appeals court. At the end of the semester, you will argue your case before a three-judge panel. Judges are drawn from Harvard Law School faculty, practicing lawyers, and upper-level law students. With this course overview in mind, we turn next to a discussion of several recurring themes in LRW.

The Conventions of Legal Discourse

Any discourse community has its own discourse conventions, and lawyers have done a particularly thorough job of developing theirs. LRW is intended to familiarize you with these discourse conventions.

LRW introduces you to the generally accepted modes of legal reasoning: rule-based reasoning; analogical reasoning; and policy reasoning. As you progress through the course assignments, you will see the interdependence among these three modes of legal reasoning. When LRW turns to advocacy, you will learn how lawyers use narrative devices to complement the conventional modes of legal reasoning and make their arguments more persuasive.

Discourse conventions govern not only the modes of argument, but also the authorities that frame the argument. You will learn what types of materials constitute acceptable sources of authority in legal discourse, as well as the different hierarchies within which those authorities exist.

Most concretely, LRW will introduce you to two basic forms through which lawyers communicate their legal reasoning. You will learn the conventions applicable to a predictive memo and an appellate oral argument.

Of course, you will be learning the conventions of legal discourse in all of your first-year courses, indeed in all of law school. LRW, however, is intended to focus very specifically on the conventions themselves, more so than in your other courses.

Legal Reasoning and Judicial Discretion

Throughout your legal education, you will encounter a debate over the role of judicial discretion in adjudication. At the extremes, some would suggest that adjudication is rationally constrained by the available legal authorities, while others would argue that adjudication is effectively constrained only by the judge’s own beliefs and values. LRW is not intended to resolve that debate. Nevertheless, your work in this course should illustrate several different concepts about the degrees to which legal authorities can constrain judicial discretion.

Over the course of the year’s projects, you should see that a series of authorities applying the same rule can restrict–at least to some degree–the decision in a future situation governed by that rule. For example, if a statute says “No vehicles in the park,” and the state’s highest court interprets the statute to mean no “motor vehicles,” you can be pretty sure that the statute won’t prohibit you from riding your elephant through the park.

One might think that the ever-increasing number of decisions necessarily increases the degree of constraint. That may be so in some situations, but several factors can have a destabilizing influence. One such factor is the contingent nature of language. You may have seen in other contexts, and you will surely see in your legal career, that saying more about a topic often creates more uncertainty, not less. Each new opinion creates the potential for misstatement and misunderstanding, enabling future lawyers to reinterpret the pre-existing rule. A second destabilizing factor is the social context of our legal system. Authorities rest on a foundation of policy, of societal goals and values, even if those values are not always stated explicitly. As societal goals and values shift, a body of law resting on the discarded goals and values may become obsolete, and eventually reoriented in support of a new rule.

Finally, you should recognize that the limits on judicial discretion are often less substantial than they might seem at first. Each of the major projects in LRW should demonstrate that, with regard to a given legal problem, there is usually more than one possible outcome, even if one outcome seems more likely than the others. Skilled lawyers read authorities with a critical eye, constantly on the lookout for the gap of ambiguity within a seemingly solid wall of legal authorities.

Tension Between the Abstract and the Concrete

To complete any substantial task of legal analysis, the lawyer must at some point bridge the boundary between the abstract and the concrete. Rules rarely, if ever, cover every situation imaginable. For example, the “No vehicles in the park” statute could simply list every make and model of car and truck in existence, to clarify that they are all prohibited from the park. But the rule would be unmanageably long, and new makes and models would come into existence after the rule’s enactment. So the drafters would instead choose a term to describe the category of situations to which their rule was addressed. Rules that denote categories rather than specific situations necessarily involve a degree of abstraction, whether a moderate degree (e.g., “motor vehicle”) or a substantial degree (e.g., “best interest of the child”).

Fortunately for us, this inherent uncertainty is one of the things that makes law practice a creative endeavor. For example, if the vehicles in the park statute referred to “motor vehicles,” would that include airplanes? Mopeds? Golf carts? The “Segway” personal scooters? Lawyers and judges would try to use the policies underlying the rule and analogies to prior decisions to decide each example. But the jump from abstract to concrete would involve a measure of uncertainty, and it is this uncertainty that allows lawyers to make plausible arguments on both sides of a case.

Your Audience

In the oral and written communications that you undertake in this course, you must focus not only on the substantive ideas that you try to communicate, but also on the way in which your audience will receive those ideas. Communication is a two-step process, and even brilliant arguments suffer if the audience is distracted by substandard prose. That is why the feedback in this course will consider the form and style of your writing.

Additionally, you must recognize that your audience has a particular task before it, and will be using your communication (i.e., your memo, brief, or oral argument) as an instrument in completing that task. The audience’s task will often be to decide how to advise a client or rule in a case. To be effective, your communication must be suited to your audience’s needs. So in a memo addressed to an attorney who must decide how to advise a client, simply stating your prediction is not enough. You must also help the attorney understand the applicable legal standard and its likely application, as well as any plausible counter-arguments and the reasons why those arguments would not prevail. Only then will your communication allow the attorney to make an informed decision about how to advise the client.

You are at the start of a fascinating journey. We in the First-Year Legal Research and Writing Program wish you great success and enjoyment as you begin your legal education.

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Help with writing assignments

You can improve your skills at writing assignments for your subject area in a number of ways: 

  • We have a wide range of self-service online resources that will help you develop your writing and study skills and support your assignment work: Learning Hub Skills Guides. 
  • We run workshops on academic writing, as well as on other types of writing (including critical writing and reflective writing).  See Succeed@Tees workshops  for more information, including a list of dates and times.

Guidance on academic writing


  • Bringing it all together
  • Finally ...

clock logo

  • Writing an assignment takes time, more time than you may expect.  Just because you find yourself spending many weeks on an assignment doesn’t mean that you’re approaching it in the wrong way.
  • It also takes time to develop the skills to write well, so don’t be discouraged if your early marks aren’t what you’d hoped for.  Use the feedback from your previous assignments to improve.
  • Different types of assignments require different styles, so be prepared for the need to continue to develop your skills.

We’ve broken down TIME into 4 key elements of academic writing: Targeted, In-depth, Measured and Evidence-based.

time togos

  • What is an academic piece of work

Target logo

Your assignment needs to be targeted .  It should:

  • Be focused on the questions and criteria
  • Make a decision
  • Follow an argument
  • How to be targeted
  • Academic keywords or clue words

in-depth logo

Your assignment needs to be in-depth .  You should consider your questions and criteria thoroughly, thinking about all possible aspects, and including the argument both for and against different viewpoints.

You should:

  • Identify topic areas
  • Plan your assignment
  • Think about your introduction and conclusion
  • How to be in-depth
  • How to read quickly

measured logo

An academic writing style is measured. By this, we mean that it’s:

  • Emotionally neutral
  • Formal – written in the third person and in full sentences
  • How to be measured

evidence-based logo

Your assignment needs to be evidence-based . You should:

  • Reference all the ideas in your work
  • Paraphrase your evidence
  • Apply critical thinking to your evidence
  • How to be evidence-based
  • How to paraphrase

Once you’ve found all your evidence, and have decided what to say in each section, you need to write it up as paragraphs.  Each paragraph should be on a single topic, making a single point.  A paragraph is usually around a third of a page. 

We find Godwin’s (2014) WEED model very helpful for constructing paragraphs.

W is for What

You should begin your paragraph with the topic or point that you’re making, so that it’s clear to your lecturer.  Everything in the paragraph should fit in with this opening sentence.

E is for Evidence  

The middle of your paragraph should be full of evidence – this is where all your references should be incorporated.  Make sure that your evidence fits in with your topic.

E is for Examples

Sometimes it’s useful to expand on your evidence.  If you’re talking about a case study, the example might be how your point relates to the particular scenario being discussed.

D is for Do

You should conclude your paragraph with the implications of your discussion.  This gives you the opportunity to add your commentary, which is very important in assignments which require you to use critical analysis. 

So, in effect, each paragraph is like a mini-essay, with an introduction, main body and conclusion.

Allow yourself some TIME to proofread your assignment.  You’ll probably want to proofread it several times. 

You should read it through at least once for sense and structure, to see if your paragraphs flow.  Check that your introduction matches the content of your assignment.  You’ll also want to make sure that you’ve been concise in your writing style. 

You’ll then need to read it again to check for grammatical errors, typos and that your references are correct.

It’s best if you can create some distance from your assignment by coming back to it after a few days. It’s also often easier to pick out mistakes if you read your work aloud.

  • How to proofread

Online tutorial for writing assignments

We have an online tutorial to support academic writing. Click on the image below or go to Academic Writing  to view the tutorial.

student studying at PC

Further Reading

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How to Draft an Assignment of Contract

Last Updated: January 23, 2022

This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD . Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013. This article has been viewed 5,316 times.

A contract is an agreement between at least two parties—A and B. However, one party might want to transfer the contract to someone else. For example, B might want to assign its rights and obligations to C. Sometimes, a contract prohibits assignment, in which case B can’t assign the contract to anyone. In other contracts, the other party to the original contract (here Party A) must also agree to the assignment from B to C. If the contract allows assignment, then an assignment can take place once a proper assignment agreement has been created.

Starting the Assignment Agreement

Step 1 Format your document.

  • If you are printing the agreement on letterhead, make sure to leave enough room at the top.

Step 3 Identify the parties.

  • Sample language could read, “This Assignment (‘Assignment’), dated as of [insert date] (‘Effective Date’), is made between [insert your name] (‘Assignor’) and [insert the name of the assignee] (‘Assignee’).” [1] X Research source

Step 4 Include your recitals.

  • Sample recitals could read, “Whereas, Assignor entered into the following Contract with [the name of the party you contracted with, called the ‘obligor’] on [insert date of the contract] (‘Contract’); and whereas Assignor wishes to assign all of its rights and obligations under the Contract to Assignee. Now, therefore, Assignor and Assignee agree as follows.”

Granting the Assignment

Step 1 Assign all rights and obligations.

  • A sample grant could read: “Assignor and Assignee hereby agree that the Assignor shall assign all its title, right, and interest, and delegate all its obligations, responsibilities, and duties, in and to the Contract to Assignee.”

Step 2 Include an acceptance by the assignee.

  • “Assignee hereby accepts the assignment of all of Assignor’s obligations, responsibilities, and duties under the Contract and all of Assignor’s right, title, and interest in and to the Contract.”

Step 3 Explain how to modify the assignment.

  • A sample modification provision could read: “This Agreement may only be modified if the modification is made in writing and executed by both Assignor and Assignee. No verbal agreement is allowed.”

Step 4 Allocate indemnification.

  • The assignor could agree to indemnify the obligor: “Assignor agrees to defend and indemnify [insert name of the obligor] from any and all claims, judgments, actions, proceedings, liabilities, and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs of defense and damages, resulting from Assignor’s performance prior to the assignment of the Contract and resulting from Assignee’s performance after the assignment of the Contract. However, after the assignment of the Contract, [insert name of the obligor] shall first look to Assignee to satisfy all claims, actions, judgments, proceedings, liabilities, and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs of defense and damages resulting from Assignee’s performance.”
  • The assignee should also agree to indemnify the obligor: “Assignee agrees to indemnify the [insert name of obligor] from any and all claims, judgments, actions, proceedings, liabilities, and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs of defense and damages, resulting from Assignee’s performance after the assignment of the Contract.”

Finalizing the Agreement

Step 1 Identify the governing law.

  • You could write, “This Assignment shall be construed and interpreted, and the rights of the parties determined by, the laws of the State of Maine (without regard to the conflicts of law principles thereof or any other jurisdiction).” [2] X Research source

Step 2 Include a severability clause.

  • A sample clause could read, “If any part of this Agreement is declared invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of the Agreement shall continue to be valid and enforceable.” [3] X Research source

Step 3 Add a signature block.

  • Just above the signature line, insert: “In witness whereof, the parties have caused this Assignment to be duly executed as of the date first written above.” [4] X Research source

Step 4 Show the agreement to an attorney.

  • If you don’t have an attorney, then you should contact your local or state bar association and ask for a referral.
  • When scheduling the consultation, ask how much the attorney charges.

Expert Q&A

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  • ↑ http://contracts.onecle.com/annies/baking-assignment-2014-03-20.shtml
  • ↑ http://www.contractstandards.com/clauses/severability

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Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD

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LSAC - Law School Admission Council

A New Approach to LSAT Writing Will Debut on July 30, 2024

By Susan Krinsky

As legal education curricula and the practice of law continue to change with the times, LSAC is innovating to provide a new writing assessment that responds to the evolving needs of the profession.

On July 30, a redesigned approach to the LSAT Writing section of the LSAT will make its debut as we open the 2024-2025 testing cycle, which begins with the August administration of the LSAT.

This new approach to the writing assessment will help law schools continue to make holistic admission decisions and help prospective law students better prepare for the writing they will do in law school and beyond – still without the need for any specialized skills, knowledge, or experience with legal concepts.

Since 1982, LSAT Writing prompts have been designed to assess logical reasoning in the context of argumentative writing. But legal education curricula, the legal profession, and the demands of legal practice continue to evolve. In our ongoing conversations with law schools and the legal profession, we hear consistently about the importance of strong analytical and argumentative writing skills and the need to better assess a student’s potential earlier in their academic journey.

Based on input from our member schools and other stakeholders in the legal profession, the new LSAT Writing section of the LSAT will be an even more effective tool for assessing the writing skills of individuals prior to law school. These changes will help schools better understand the writing capabilities of applicants for the purposes of their admission decisions. It will also enable law schools to better provide writing support for their students who need to strengthen their writing skills so they are better prepared for bar passage, finding employment, and practice.

This new approach aims to assess a test taker’s ability to construct a cogent argument based on a variety of evidentiary sources. Test takers will be presented with a debatable issue along with different perspectives that provide additional context. These perspectives, each of which is conveyed in a few sentences, are representative of a system of beliefs or values. Together, the perspectives illustrate competing ideologies and arguments around a particular issue. The test taker will then draft an argumentative essay in which they take a position, while addressing some of the arguments and ideas presented by the other perspectives.

The new argumentative writing task is designed to give test takers a clearer, more authentic writing purpose than the former “decision based” LSAT Writing prompt, which was more narrowly focused on pure logical reasoning. When test takers have an opportunity to construct an original thesis and defend it based on their own judgment and analytical evaluation, rather than following pre-ordained lines of reasoning, we can better assess a broader and more complex range of decision-making skills that writers engage in.

By adopting this design, we’re not only enabling individuals to have a more authentic voice in their argument, but we are also better positioned to evaluate the writer’s ability to employ various rhetorical techniques, evidentiary strategies, and other important aspects of argumentative writing.  

Given the additional reading required, we will be adding a short preparatory period to the LSAT Writing test, which test takers can use to organize their thoughts using guided prewriting analysis questions and to take notes using the digital notetaking tool provided in the testing environment. The questions are designed to help test takers analyze the various perspectives and generate productive ideas for their essay. Most test takers will have a total of 50 minutes – 15 minutes for prewriting analysis and 35 minutes for essay writing. Test takers with approved accommodations for additional time will have their time allocations adjusted accordingly.

To give test takers the opportunity to prepare, we have published a sample prompt as part of the free Official LSAT PrepTest library available in LawHub . Test takers can begin to familiarize themselves with the new approach and take practice LSAT Writing sessions in the official LSAT Writing environment.

We are also providing a sample of the new LSAT Writing prompt on LSAC.org . It should be noted that this LSAC.org sample is a “text only” version and that test functionality, including the timing function, is included in the practice environment in LawHub .

LSAT Writing has always been a part of the LSAT. Over the years, law schools have expressed the desire to make greater use of the writing portion in their holistic evaluations, so we moved to a digital assessment (instead of handwritten) so that schools could receive, read, and evaluate the students’ work. The changes we are announcing today will make the writing sample even more useful to schools in their evaluation and admission processes.

For the 2024-2025 testing cycle, LSAT Writing will remain an unscored part of the LSAT. Over the course of the 2024-2025 testing cycle, we will be analyzing data of the new LSAT Writing prompt to assess its validity and reliability with a long-term goal of providing a scored LSAT Writing assessment that schools may use in their holistic admission process.

We are excited to offer this new approach to LSAT Writing, starting August 1. We believe this new approach will allow test takers to demonstrate their writing skills even more effectively and will provide schools with even more insight into the strengths and potential of applicants.

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Susan L. Krinsky

Susan L. Krinsky

how to write an assignment for law

8 Ways to Create AI-Proof Writing Prompts

C reating 100 percent AI-proof writing prompts can often be impossible but that doesn’t mean there aren’t strategies that can limit the efficacy of AI work. These techniques can also help ensure more of the writing submitted in your classroom is human-generated. 

I started seeing a big uptick in AI-generated work submitted in my classes over the last year and that has continued. As a result, I’ve gotten much better at recognizing AI work , but I’ve also gotten better at creating writing prompts that are less AI-friendly. 

Essentially, I like to use the public health Swiss cheese analogy when thinking about AI prevention: All these strategies on their own have holes but when you layer the cheese together, you create a barrier that’s hard to get through. 

The eight strategies here may not prevent students from submitting AI work, but I find these can incentivize human writing and make sure that any work submitted via AI will not really meet the requirements of the assignment. 

1. Writing AI-Proof Prompts: Put Your Prompt Into Popular AI tools such as ChatGPT, Copilot, and Bard 

Putting your writing prompt into an AI tools will give you an immediate idea of how most AI tools will handle your prompt. If the various AI chatbots do a good, or at least adequate, job immediately, it might be wise to tweak the prompt. 

One of my classes asks students to write about a prized possession. When you put this prompt into an AI chatbot, it frequently returns an essay about a family member's finely crafted watch. Obviously, I now watch out for any essays about watches. 

2. Forbid Cliché Use

Probably the quickest and easiest way to cut back on some AI use is to come down hard on cliché use in writing assignments. AI tools are essentially cliché machines, so banning these can prevent a lot of AI use. 

Equally as important, this practice will help your students become better writers. As any good writer knows, clichés should be avoided like the plague. 

3. Incorporate Recent Events

The free version of ChatGPT only has access to events up to 2022. While there are plugins to allow it to search the internet and other internet-capable AI tools, some students won’t get further than ChatGPT. 

More importantly, in my experience, all AI tools struggle to incorporate recent events as effectively as historic ones. So connecting class material and assignments to events such as a recent State of Union speech or the Academy Awards will make any AI writing use less effective. 

4. Require Quotes

AI tools can incorporate direct quotations but most are not very good at doing so. The quotes used tend to be very short and not as well-placed within essays. 

Asking an AI tool for recent quotes also can be particularly problematic for today’s robot writers. For instance, I asked Microsoft's Copilot to summarize the recent Academy Awards using quotes, and specifically asked it to quote from Oppenheimer's director Christopher Nolan’s acceptance speech. It quoted something Nolan had previously said instead. Copilot also quoted from Wes Anderson’s acceptance speech, an obvious error since Anderson wasn’t at the awards .  

5. Make Assignments Personal

Having students reflect on material in their own lives can be a good way to prevent AI writing. In-person teachers can get to know their students well enough to know when these types of personal details are fabricated. 

I teach online but still find it easier to tell when a more personalized prompt was written by AI. For example, one student submitted a paper about how much she loved skateboarding that was so non-specific it screamed AI written. Another submitted a post about a pair of sneakers that was also clearly written by a "sole-less" AI (I could tell because of the clichés and other reasons). 

6. Make Primary or Scholarly Sources Mandatory

Requiring sources that are not easily accessible on the internet can stop AI writing in its tracks. I like to have students find historic newspapers for certain assignments. The AI tools I am familiar with can’t incorporate these. 

For instance, I asked Copilot to compare coverage of the first Academy Awards in the media to the most recent awards show and to include quotes from historic newspaper coverage. The comparison was not well done and there were no quotes from historical newspaper coverage. 

AI tools also struggle to incorporate journal articles. Encouraging your students to include these types of sources ensures the work they produce is deeper than something that can be revealed by a quick Google search, which not only makes it harder for AI to write but also can raise the overall quality.  

7. Require Interviews, Field Trips, Etc. 

Building on primary and scholarly sources, you can have your students conduct interviews or go on field trips to historic sites, museums, etc. 

AI is still, thankfully, incapable of engaging in these types of behavior. This requires too much work for every assignment but it is the most effective way to truly ensure your work is human- not computer-written. 

If you’re still worried about AI use, you can even go a step further by asking your students to include photos of them with their interview subjects or from the field trips. Yes, AI art generators are getting better as well, but remember the Swiss cheese analogy? Every layer of prevention can help. 

8. Have Students Write During Class

As I said to start, none of the methods discussed are foolproof. Many ways around these safeguards already exist and there will be more ways to bypass these in the future. So if you’re really, really worried about AI use you may want to choose what I call the “nuclear option.” If you teach in person you can require students to write essays in person. 

This approach definitely works for preventing AI and is okay for short pieces, but for longer pieces, it has a lot of downsides. I would have trouble writing a long piece in this setting and imagine many students will as well. Additionally, this requirement could create an accusatory class atmosphere that is more focused on preventing AI use than actually teaching. It’s also not practical for online teaching. 

That all being said, given how common AI writing has become in education, I understand why some teachers will turn to this method. Hopefully, suggestions 1-7 will work but if AI-generated papers are still out of hand in your classroom, this is a blunt-force method that can work temporarily. 

Good luck and may your assignments be free of AI writing! 

  • 7 Ways To Detect AI Writing Without Technology
  • Best Free AI Detection Sites
  • My Student Was Submitting AI Papers. Here's What I Did

AI-proof writing prompts

New Jersey Globe

Claybrooks petitions face more scrutiny as judge races to write final decision

Administrative Law Judge Susana Guerrero denies allegations made by Secretary of State Tahesha Way in a remand order

By David Wildstein , May 22 2024 1:39 pm

Administrative Law Judge Susana Guerrero spent roughly four hours in a court hearing this morning gathering new evidence in a bid to toss Democrat Brittany Claybrooks off the special primary election ballot for Donald Payne, Jr.’s unexpired term in Congress after Secretary of State Tahesha Way remanded it back to her last night.

A clearly agitated Guerrero pushed back on details in Way’s remand order.

“The final decision of remand, indicating that I did not permit the petitioners to take testimony from the circulators is not accurate,” Guerrero said at the start of the hearing.  “I never denied any request to take this testimony, so I just want to place that on the record so that that’s clear.”

Three individuals who circulated Claybrooks’ nominating petitions — Estefany Tejada, Sandy J. Castor, and Oscar James III — testified in a hearing held this morning about the role in collecting signatures.

Castor, who runs the Middlesex County Economic Development Department, was consistently unable to recall simple events that happened just two weeks ago.  She did say that she collected less than 100 signatures over the course of two evenings.

But the testimonies and Castor and Claybrooks conflicted.  Castor said she never spent any time during business hours working on the campaign, but Claybrooks hesitatingly testified that Castor accompanied her to file her petition in Trenton before 4 PM on Friday, May 10.

James, a former Newark city councilman, admitted that one member of an East Orange family signed Claybrooks’ petitions on behalf of at least four other family members and that he allowed it.   James said that a family member had the consent to sign on behalf of relatives.

“His affidavit is a sham,” said Raj Parikh, who is representing the Democratic State Committee — and another candidate, LaMonica McIver, in a bid to toss Claybrooks from the ballot.  “It is clear that this campaign’s attempt to submit signatures was a disaster.”

Claybrooks’ attorney, Matt Moench, said the remedy is the removal of signatures, not an invalidation of an entire section of a petition.

“There’s no question that the affidavits are attached to the wrong books,” Moench said.  “But every person who circulated petitions signed a certification page.  We’ve had testimony from all the circulators as to which books they’ve circulated and circulated under oath, so for purposes meeting the ultimate requirements that there is a person who attests under oath, that they circulated the books that they circulated, we have that here.”

Claybrooks said she reached out to three circulators who were subpoenaed and asked them to testify.  She provided them with a link to appear.

Still, Claybrooks testified that she did not discuss details of the challenge with James, Tejeda, or Castor.

Parikh said Claybrooks, as the candidate, is ultimately responsible for the inaccuracies of her petitions and circulator certifications.

“I think the mix-up and confusion is born of her own doing and the doing of her team, and that they have the obligation, because of how important this process is, to obtaining access to the ballot, to make sure it was done right, and they did not,” he said.

Moench said Claybrooks obtained at least the 200 signatures she needs to get on the ballot.

The hearing concluded around 1:25 PM and Way gave Guerrero until 2 PM to submit her final decision.

  • Associate Dean Sowle’s Announcements, May 20 - May 24, 2024
  • May 19, 2024
  • Announcements

Summer 2024 Term Information.  Initial reading assignments for Summer 2024 classes; a revised course schedule that includes classroom assignments; and information about pass/fail elections, are available on the Summer 2024 Quick Guide page . The Summer 2024 add/drop period will extend through Tuesday, May 28, at 9:00pm . 

Spring 2024 Grades. Spring grades are due no later than Wednesday, June 5 . Grades are released as they are received. You can access your grades by logging into Web for Students , then clicking on the Spring 2024 link under the Grades and Rank heading. ( Reminder: You must use a VPN connection to access Web for Students from outside the building.) After all grades are in, we will process Spring GPAs and class ranks (for those who receive them) as quickly as possible. Please note: Students do not receive class ranks until they have been here for at least two semesters. For students entering in 2022 or after, class ranks are be assigned only to the top half of the class. (See the Student Handbook , section 6.13, for more information.)

Notices to Graduating Students. If you are a May 2024 graduate, please read the information below about your Kent email and network accounts, and your locker. If you have any questions, please let me know.

•Network and Print Accounts.  Your  network account  will be deactivated on  August 5  (the first Monday after the July bar exam). Your free  printing quota  will be reset to zero on  Friday, May 10, 9:15pm .

•Email Accounts.  Your Kent email address is for life but, 12 months after graduation, it will convert to an email address that you will need to set up to forward to a personal email account. Please click here for more information.

•ID Cards and Library Access.  Kent student ID cards will remain active until  Monday, August 5  (the first Monday after the July bar exam), and Kent graduates may use the Library for bar exam studying.

•Clearing Out Lockers.  Please clear your lockers out no later than  Monday, August 5  (the first Monday after the July bar exam). Anything left in lockers after that date will be removed. If you are unable to clear your locker out by that date, please contact me to make arrangements for your locker contents to be set aside for you.  Please note:  This applies only to graduating students. If you are not graduating, you do not need to clear your locker out; you will keep your current locker until you graduate.

Fall 2024 Semester.  We now expect to issue the Fall 2024 schedule of classes by the end of the week of May 20. Information for first-year students on upper-level requirements and course planning is available below.

Information for 1L Students on Upper-Level Course Selection and Requirements.  In preparation for Summer and Fall registration, we are providing a guide we publish annually that provides detailed information on graduation requirements, upper-level course selection, and related subjects. The guide, entitled "Where Do We Go From Here? Information for Students Entering Their Second Year," is available by  clicking here .

Dean's Certification Form for Illinois Bar.   We will mail a Dean's Certification form to the Illinois bar examiners for every graduating student after final grades for the Spring semester are received and processed and we can confirm completion of all graduation requirements. We compile the list of graduating students from the list of those who submitted Applications for Graduation listing Spring 2024 as their final semester.  Important note:  University policy does not allow the certification of any student to the bar examiners if the student has an outstanding balance owed to the school.

Bar Forms for Other States. If you plan to take a bar exam outside of Illinois, please provide me (at [email protected]) with the appropriate form(s) for the Law School to complete as soon as possible.

Counseling Services.  This is a reminder that the university provides counseling services free of charge for students.  Click here  for details on the available resources, including individual counseling through Skylight Counseling Services. In addition to resources available through the university, the Lawyers Assistance Program also provides assistance to law students. LAP provides free and confidential assistance to members of the Illinois legal community, and can help you with issues of addiction, stress, anxiety, depression, focusing, worries about the character and fitness process, and having a successful first-year transition.  Click here  for more information about LAP and its services.

Joke of the Week. I love telling bad puns. That's just how eye roll.

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Issues:   Health Care & Reproductive Rights , Health Equity , In the Movement , Reproductive Justice

It’s Time to End Forced Sterilization—And Write a New Reproductive Equity Story by and for Disabled People

how to write an assignment for law

Just under a century ago this May, the Supreme Court handed down an infamous ruling upholding a Virginia law that allowed the forced sterilization of a woman named Carrie Buck. In doing so, it offered its full-throated approval for the ongoing mass sterilizations that were happening all over the country. During the heyday of the eugenics movement, nearly 70,000 people were sterilized against their will—mostly people who were, like Carrie Buck, disabled or perceived as such, and disproportionately Black and brown women.  

The story that we’re told about forced sterilization—if we’re told the story at all—is that it was confined to that dark period in history, rising and falling with the popularity of eugenics. But the truth is that forced sterilization is far from a thing of the past. Laws allowing the forced sterilization of disabled people exist right now, all over the country. As we revealed in a 2022 report , the majority of states—31 plus Washington, D.C.,—have laws in place allowing the forced sterilization of disabled people today.  

These laws aren’t eugenics-era relics still kicking around from a hundred years ago. These are newer laws, ones that have been enacted well into the 21st century—some as recently as 2019.  

Under today’s laws, a judge can order the sterilization of a disabled person without their consent. It doesn’t matter if that person doesn’t want to be sterilized, or even if they have no idea they’re about to be sterilized. These laws give judges the power to put that all aside and make decisions for disabled people, supposedly for their own good.  

Some claim that today’s laws are different from the eugenics-era ones—that today’s laws force disabled people to be sterilized in order to help them. But this belief, this notion that disabled people’s rights should be taken away for their own good, is based on many of the same narratives that fueled forced sterilizations in Carrie Buck’s generation. It echoes the brutal assumptions that many disabled people can’t—or shouldn’t—make decisions about their bodies and parenting, that the government is justified in taking their choices away to protect disabled people from themselves.  

Let’s be clear: No matter how its rationale gets dressed up, forced sterilization is state-sanctioned violence against disabled people. It is a violation of our bodies, our rights, our dignity, and our ability to make some of the most basic decisions, all with the seal of approval of the state.  

The story these laws tell about disabled people is long overdue for an overhaul. So as we mark Disability Reproductive Equity Day this May, we as disabled people are telling a different story about our lives—a story that affirms that we all can make our own decisions about our bodies, including about sterilization, and we all deserve to get any supports we may need to make those decisions. It’s a story that recognizes the value of our lives, our autonomy, and our power to determine our own futures.  

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    In this article, we'll cover some top tips to guide you through the process of planning, researching, structuring and writing a first-class law essay with confidence. 1. Start In Advance. Give yourself plenty of time to plan, research and write your law essay. Always aim to start your law essay as soon as you have the question.

  4. Master the Legal Memo Format

    Step 4: Write an objective analysis. The legal memo showcases your critical legal thinking skills. Use your research plan and research materials to help organize your analysis. Remember to clearly state the law and the facts, in the active voice, and present your analysis in a logical manner.

  5. How to Write a Law Assignment

    Record key points, relevant quotations, and references to legal authorities. Create a clear thesis statement or argument based on your initial research and grasp of the subject. It will be your writing's direction. The thesis should present your main point or position on the discussed legal issue.

  6. How to Tackle Law Assignments

    Testing times Try not to worry too much about the assessment process. Assessments for law students take a variety of forms: essays or problem-based questions; 'take away' papers that you can do at home or in the library; tests under invigilated conditions in an exam hall.

  7. PDF Guide to Writing Style in Assignments

    Other types of legal writing include case notes and reports. These will generally be more descriptive in character, although a case note may have a critical or analytical aspect. Whatever type of writing you are doing, make sure that you organise the information and arguments in a logical way.

  8. Law: Legal essay

    There are a number of strategies that may help you in starting, structuring and presenting a law essay. 1. Starting your answer. The first step to a successful law essay is understanding the question. One of the most effective ways of breaking down the question is to identify the direction, content, and scope or limiting words.

  9. Structure Of Law Essays and Reports

    A good structure for a law report would be as follows: Title Page: showing the title of the report, the author, the person for whom the report is prepared, and the date of completion. Summary/Synopsis/Executive Summary: (approx 10% of word count) - this will identify: The purpose of the report, The scope of the report - issues covered/not ...

  10. Law research and writing skills: Getting started

    Learn how to approach law assignments. Doing your research. Learn about legal research skills. Use the key law databases. Find relevant cases, legislation and commentary. Writing the assignment. Read our tutorials on writing case notes or writing legal essays. Make sure you cite and reference your sources correctly. Throughout the year

  11. How to Write a Case Brief for Law School

    Therefore we recommend that you save blue for the elements that you rarely highlight. For each different section of the case, choose a color, and use that color only when highlighting the section of the case designated for that color. Consider using yellow for the text that you tend to highlight most frequently.

  12. Law Search Guide: Write Law Assignments

    Each assignment has been carefully considered by the authors, and fully vetted to simulate the decision-making involved in the preparation of important legal writing, whether in a general counsel's office, a law office, a government attorney's office, or a judge's chambers.


    Typical university assignments will be anything between 1000 and 5000 words (usually around 500 words per 10% allocated, e.g. an assignment worth 40% of your total grade will usually require you to write 2000 words). An assignment question can be framed in countless ways, including: • Discussing a particular case; • Summarising a body of law;

  14. Before Law School, Learn to Read, Write Like a Law Student

    Sept. 13, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Learn to Read, Write Like a Law Student. More. Getty Images | iStockphoto. To prepare for law school students should practice more rigorous methods of note-taking ...

  15. Course Overview

    In the fall semester, you will complete two major writing assignments. The first is a "Closed Memo," in which you write a predictive memo based on a set of research materials that are provided for you. The second is an "Open Memo," in which you must research the applicable law and write a predictive memo based on your own research.

  16. How to Write a Law Essay Introduction (Law Lecturer's Guide)

    Present the central argument. One of the most important aspects of your law essay that needs to be included in the introduction is the central argument, that is the point you will be trying to prove in your essay. Relying on simple vocabulary and phrasing, explain the central argument that you will be attempting to prove throughout your essay.

  17. 10 Strategies For Writing Law Assignments Like A Pro

    Whether you're a student or a lawyer, here are 10 strategies to help you write like a pro: 1. Read, Take Notes, And Then Read Some More. The first step in writing a law assignment is to read the question carefully. In order to write an effective answer, you need to understand the question first. Read it over and over again, looking at each ...

  18. How to write assignments

    Writing an assignment takes time, more time than you may expect. Just because you find yourself spending many weeks on an assignment doesn't mean that you're approaching it in the wrong way. It also takes time to develop the skills to write well, so don't be discouraged if your early marks aren't what you'd hoped for.

  19. Referencing & Citations Guide For Law Essays

    Guide to Referencing and Citations for Law Essays. Accurate and consistent referencing is essential in all academic work. Whenever you refer to either the work or ideas of someone, or are influenced by another's work, you must acknowledge this. Similarly if you make a direct quotation from someone's work this should be referred to accurately.


    To avoid this, take breaks while writing your essay and reread your work so far, as well as the assignment question. The focus of your essay should become apparent as time goes on. Examine the task in light of past and prospective assignments you have been set. Consider what is novel about the task you intend to complete.

  21. Sample Assignment for Law Students

    🔴 Click on the link below to know about the Procedures to write the Assignment 👇🔗 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiDBL8FWVLU&t=4s

  22. How to Draft an Assignment of Contract: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    Format your document. Open a blank word processing document. Set the font to a readable size and style. For example, Times New Roman 12 point works for many people, though you can choose something different if you want. 2. Insert a title. At the top of the page, insert "Assignment Agreement.".

  23. A New Approach to LSAT Writing Will Debut on July 30, 2024

    March 4, 2024. By Susan Krinsky. As legal education curricula and the practice of law continue to change with the times, LSAC is innovating to provide a new writing assessment that responds to the evolving needs of the profession. On July 30, a redesigned approach to the LSAT Writing section of the LSAT will make its debut as we open the 2024 ...

  24. Kamrun's Scientific Writing Portfolio

    This assignment significantly enhanced my strategies for reading, drafting, revising, editing, and self-assessment, fulfilling course learning objectives 2 and 3. The rhetorical analysis assignment was critical. I chose to analyze the video "Why Scrolling on Social Media is Addictive" by the Washington Post, which explores the contemporary ...

  25. 8 Ways to Create AI-Proof Writing Prompts

    5. Make Assignments Personal. Having students reflect on material in their own lives can be a good way to prevent AI writing. In-person teachers can get to know their students well enough to know ...

  26. Rule 2.49

    (b) Assignment of specialty dockets. (1) Unless otherwise provided in these rules, specialty dockets shall be divided among those civil judges designated by the chief judge to hear the particular specialty docket. (2) Any party in a case may file a request in the pleadings or noticed motion that a case be assigned to a specialty docket. A ...

  27. Claybrooks petitions face more scrutiny as judge races to write final

    Moench said Claybrooks obtained at least the 200 signatures she needs to get on the ballot. The hearing concluded around 1:25 PM and Way gave Guerrero until 2 PM to submit her final decision. Spread the news: Administrative Law Judge Susana Guerrero spent roughly four hours in a court hearing this morning gathering new evidence in a bid to toss ...

  28. College students pitted against ChatGPT to boost writing

    New University of Nevada online courses aim to teach future educators about AI limitations through competition. Amid the swirl of concern about generative artificial intelligence in the classroom, a Nevada university is trying a different tactic by having students compete against ChatGPT in writing assignments. Students in two courses at the University of Nevada, Reno, are going head-to-head ...

  29. Associate Dean Sowle's Announcements, May 20

    Summer 2024 Term Information. Initial reading assignments for Summer 2024 classes; a revised course schedule that includes classroom assignments; and information about pass/fail elections, are available on the Summer 2024 Quick Guide page.The Summer 2024 add/drop period will extend through Tuesday, May 28, at 9:00pm.

  30. It's Time to End Forced Sterilization—And Write a New Reproductive

    It's Time to End Forced Sterilization—And Write a New Reproductive Equity Story by and for Disabled People. Just under a century ago this May, the Supreme Court handed down an infamous ruling upholding a Virginia law that allowed the forced sterilization of a woman named Carrie Buck. In doing so, it offered its full-throated approval for the ongoing mass sterilizations that were happening ...