Aspen Publishing

The Mindful Legal Writer: Mastering Predictive Writing

Heidi K. Brown


  • ISBN: 9781454836186

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  • Description

    The Mindful Legal Writer:  Mastering Predictive Writing by Professor Heidi K. Brown, who has 15 years of experience in the law firm world and 7 years of teaching legal writing, focuses on predictive legal analysis. It offers law students and junior lawyers a step-by-step approach to learning the “scientific” framework of written predictive legal analysis, while at the same time encouraging them to consider the “artistic” nature of communicating through the written word. This book also proposes that students consider the basics of the concept of “mindfulness” in the legal writing context—a recent movement in legal education to encourage law students to “be fully conscious and aware of one’s actions and surroundings,” and “pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment” (according to mindfulness advocate, Jon Kabat-Zinn) in order to be a better legal counselor to clients. 

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  • Details
    Page Count 332
    Published 01/26/2015
  • Additional Product Details


    Part 1 Becoming a Mindful Legal Writer: An Opportunity for Personal and Professional Reinvention
    Chapter 1 Putting Legal Writing in Context
    Chapter 2 Pondering Professional Judgment
    Chapter 3 Strategies for Starting a New Legal Writing Assignment

    Part 2 The Mindful Legal Writer's Raw Materials
    Chapter 4 Understanding the Sources of Legal Rules
    Chapter 5 Learning How to Read Statutes
    Chapter 6 Learning How to Read and Brief Cases
    Chapter 7 Learning How to Read Regulations

    Part 3 The Mindful Legal Writer's Framework
    Chapter 8 Introduction to the Format of a Single-Issue Legal Office Memorandum

    Part 4 The Mindful Legal Writer's Work
    Chapter 9 Identifying the Legal Issue, and Extracting and Synthesizing the Rule
    Chapter 10 Rule Explanation: Explaining and Illustrating a Legal Rule Through Case Law
    Chapter 11 Basic Legal Citation for Legal Memoranda
    Chapter 12 Rule Application: Applying the Rule to the Client's Facts
    Chapter 13 Putting the Memorandum Together: Introductions, Transitions, Headings, and Conclusions
    Chapter 14 Locking in Logic and Abolishing Assumptions in Legal Analysis
    Chapter 15 Writing the Memorandum Header, the Question Presented, and the Short Answer
    Chapter 16 Writing a Statement of Facts in a Legal Office Memorandum

    Part 5 Adjustment, Refinement, and Perfection
    Chapter 17 Preparing for Legal Writing Feedback
    Chapter 18 Becoming an Expert Self-Editor
    Chapter 19 Adding Levels of Sophistication to a Legal Analysis

    Part 6 Expanding and Contracting IREAC/CREAC to Fit an Audience's Needs
    Chapter 20 Tackling a Multi-Issue Legal Office Memorandum Assignment
    Chapter 21 Drafting Shorter Memoranda and E-mail Communications

    Appendix A Introduction to Researching Sources of Law
    Appendix B Converting Benchslaps to Backslaps: Instilling Professional Accountability in New Legal Writers by Teaching and Reinforcing Context_______ 243
    Appendix C Sample Single-Issue Legal Office Memorandum
    Appendix D Sample Multi-Issue Legal Office Memorandum
    Appendix E Legal Office Memorandum-Drafting Checklist
    Appendix F “Bring It, Socrates!”: Conquering Anxiety About the Socratic Method and Public Speaking in Law School
    Appendix G Six Tips for Converting a Law School Writing Assignment Into a Job Search Writing Sample


  • Author Information

    Heidi K. Brown

    Heidi K. Brown has served as Of Counsel with Moore & Lee, LLP since 2001. She represents key players in the government contracts, construction, and long-term health care industries, specializing in contract drafting, civil procedure, and brief-writing in complex litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States.

    Heidi started her legal career as an associate with the construction litigation firm of Watt, Tieder, Hoffar, & Fitzgerald, LLP, and subsequently practiced at the downtown Manhattan firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood. For the past seven years, Heidi also served as an Associate Professor of Law at law schools in California and New York City, teaching Evidence, Legal Practice, Legal Research and Writing, Civil Discovery, Deposition Skills, and Memo and Brief Writing.

    Heidi has a special passion for assisting law students and lawyers in overcoming extreme public speaking anxiety. Her article, The &"Silent But Gifted” Law Student: Transforming Anxious Public Speakers into Well-Rounded Advocates, was published in the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, 18 Leg. Writing 291 (2012).

    Heidi received a 2014 Global Legal Skills Award, presented at the Ninth Annual Global Legal Skills Conference at the Collegio di Giurisprudenza at the Università degli Studi di Verona, in Verona, Italy for &"excellence in the advancement of global legal skills education around the world.” She was recently appointed to the Fulbright Specialist Roster, by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars​.

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