Aspen Publishing

The Handbook for the New Legal Writer, Second Edition

Jill Barton, Rachel H. Smith


  • ISBN: 9781543802146

New print textbook includes access to the eBook, study center, outline tool, and other resources at via lifetime access code inside the print book. Plus, access the eBook immediately with the temporary access code available after checkout while you await the full access code in your shipment.

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  • Description

    Buy a new version of this textbook and receive access to the Connected eBook with Study Center on CasebookConnect, including: lifetime access to the online ebook with highlight, annotation, and search capabilities; practice questions from your favorite study aids; an outline tool and other helpful resources. Connected eBooks provide what you need most to be successful in your law school classes. Learn more about Connected eBooks.

    The Handbook for the New Legal Writer teaches the concepts and skills covered in the first-year legal writing and research course in a way that meets the needs of today’s law students. The coursebook’s focus is on showing, not telling, students how to write effective legal documents using numerous examples and step-by-step instruction. The authors provide practical lessons on the basic writing and research tasks attorneys perform daily and include annotated samples written by judges, practitioners, and the authors. The text covers objective writing, persuasive writing, legal research, and citation using a “handbook” format, allowing easy access to key information. It also provides the option of using the book as a reference tool later in law practice.

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  • Additional Product Details

    Publication Date: 2/1/2019
    Copyright: 2019
    Pages: 336
    Connected eBook with Study Center + Print Book: 9781543802146
    Connected eBook with Study Center: 9781543813128
    Ebook: 9781543803150

    Detailed Table of Contents (PDF Download)

    Summary of Contents


    Part I Reading and Writing Like a Lawyer
    Chapter 1 Introduction to Legal Writing
    Chapter 2 Reading and Understanding Authorities
       Bostock-Ferari Amusement Co. v. Brocksmith
    Chapter 3 It Depends on the “Anchors”
    Chapter 4 Understanding Hierarchy of Authority
    Chapter 5 The Format for Legal Analysis
       Hamilton v. Walker
    Chapter 6 The Format for Exam Essays

    Part II Objective Writing
    Chapter 7 Constructing CREAC in Objective Documents
    Chapter 8 Writing an Objective Conclusion
    Chapter 9 Writing an Objective Rule Section
    Chapter 10 Writing an Objective Explanation Section
    Chapter 11 Writing an Objective Analysis Section
    Chapter 12 Writing an Objective Conclusion

    Part III Putting the Legal Memorandum Together
    Chapter 13 Incorporating Your CREAC into a Cohesive Document
    Chapter 14 Create a Template for Your Memo
    Chapter 15 Outline and Draft Your Facts Section
    Chapter 16 Draft a Roadmap for Complex Memos
    Chapter 17 Create a Cohesive Document
       Example Memo 17.1
       Example Memo 17.2
       Example Memo 17.3

    Part IV Writing Tools for the New Legal Writer
    Chapter 18 Introduction to Grammar, Punctuation, and Style
    Chapter 19 Grammar Basics
    Chapter 20 Grammar Principles for the New Legal Writer
    Chapter 21 Plain Language
    Chapter 22 Confused, Misused, and Misspelled Words
       Chart of Commonly Confused, Misused, and Misspelled Words
    Chapter 23 Writing Style

    Part V Persuasive Writing
    Chapter 24 Constructing CREAC in Persuasive Documents
    Chapter 25 Writing a Persuasive Conclusion
    Chapter 26 Writing a Persuasive Rule Section
    Chapter 27 Writing a Persuasive Explanation Section
    Chapter 28 Writing a Persuasive Analysis Section
    Chapter 29 Writing a Persuasive Conclusion

    Part VI Putting Persuasive Documents Together
    Chapter 30 Introduction to Persuasive Documents
    Chapter 31 Trial Court Documents
       Example Motion 31.1
       Example Motion 31.2
    Chapter 32 Appellate Briefs
       Example Appellate Brief 32.1

    Part VII Other Legal Communication
    Chapter 33 Introduction to Other Forms of Legal Communication
    Chapter 34 Letters
       Example Letter 34.1
       Example Letter 34.2
       Example Letter 34.3
    Chapter 35 Email
       Example Email 35.1
       Example Email 35.2
       Example Email 35.3
       Example Email 35.4
       Example Email 35.5
       Example Email 35.6
    Chapter 36 Messaging and New Technology
    Chapter 37 Judicial Opinions
       State v. Wiggins
    Chapter 38 Oral Arguments

    Part VIII Research and Citation
    Chapter 39 Introduction to Legal Research and Citation
    Chapter 40 Legal Research Basics
    Chapter 41 Creating a Research Plan
    Chapter 42 Smart Research Strategies
    Chapter 43 Citation


  • Author Information

    Rachel H. Smith

    Professor Smith completed her B.A. with honors at UC Santa Cruz and earned her J.D. at the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 2002. During law school, she was awarded a NAPIL/VISTA Summer Fellowship to work at the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, Ohio and interned at Equal Rights Advocates in San Francisco, California.

    After graduation, Professor Smith worked at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP where she litigated a variety of complex cases in state and federal courts, primarily focusing on intellectual property disputes. In 2007, Professor Smith joined the Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing Faculty at Santa Clara University School of Law and was awarded the Legal Research and Writing Professor of the Year Award in 2008 and 2010.

    In 2009, she won an ALWD Teaching Grant for a legal writing podcast series entitled ''Perk Up Your Pens.'' She is the author of The Legal Writing Survival Guide (Carolina Academic Press 2012), which is a book that aims to help law students and lawyers solve common legal writing problems.

    Professor Smith has presented at national and regional legal writing conferences on issues relating to the use of technology to teach legal writing, the value of collaborating with other professors, and the need to inspire hope and positivity in the legal writing classroom.

    At Miami Law she teaches in the Legal Communications and Research Skills program.

    Jill Barton

    Professor Barton is a former appellate judicial clerk and an award-winning journalist. She earned her bachelor of journalism magna cum laude from the University of Missouri and also studied at Oxford University's Keble College, where she founded and co-edited Ox-Tales, a compilation of students' short stories. Professor Barton worked as a journalist for more than a decade, mostly for the Associated Press (AP) and other news organizations in Florida. As an AP correspondent, she regularly published news stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Miami Herald. She later received her M.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, where she taught advanced reporting, and her J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

    In law school, Professor Barton received the West Publishing Award for Outstanding Scholarly Accomplishment and won the National Association of Women Lawyers student writing competition. She also served as managing editor of the UMKC Law Review and as a teaching assistant for the school's legal writing program. Prior to joining the Miami Law faculty, Professor Barton clerked for Judge Leslie B. Rothenberg at Florida's Third District Court of Appeal. Professor Barton is also the author of A Show Don't Tell Lesson on Plan Language, 70 Clarity (2013).

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