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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

Nov. 1, 2004
Mary Whisner, Editor

What to Write and How to Cite It

Trying to find a topic for your seminar paper or law review note?

Struggling with interpreting strange citations and finding copies of materials online or in print?

This lunch hour workshop is for you. It will discuss strategies and resources for picking a paper or law review article topic and tools for cite-checking and source gathering. It’s open to all law students.

The same workshop is offered twice:

  • Wed. Nov. 3, 12:30-1:20, rm. 133
  • Wed. 11/10 12:30-1:20, rm 117

Bring your lunch and get some ideas!

Sessions provided by the UW Gallagher Law Library reference librarians, in conjunction with the three UW law journals (Washington Law Review, Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, and Shidler Journal for Law, Commerce & Technology).


Lawyering in Poulsbo

Jeff Tolman has practiced law in a small firm in Poulsbo for over 20 years. He has also served as a district and municipal judge pro tem. And he’s written many great pieces (often very funny) for the Washington State Bar News about being a lawyer. Here are just a few:

How can you find more? Go to the Bar News Archives,, press ctrl-f, and search for “tolman.”

The Library has the Washington State Bar News in print, too, of course: KF332.W3 W354 at Reference Area (current issues) and Classified Stacks (older years).


Book of the Week: L. Rev.: The Law Review Experience in American Legal Education: A Personal Memoir

Mary Whisner

There are any number of memoirs recounting the authors’ struggles with tremendous challenges – climbing mountains, traveling through wilderness, rising from poverty, resolving difficult family relationships. Now we have one exploring a set of formidable challenges faced by thousands of law students every year: those of writing for and editing a law review.

The author, Roy S. Gutterman, had been a journalist before law school and considered himself well-equipped for the post of editor in chief of his law review (50 Syracuse L. Rev . (1999-2000)). Nonetheless, he encountered challenges that tested his mettle, vexed his patience, and interrupted his sleep.

What do you do when two writing competition submissions appear suspiciously similar? How do you cajole an outside author into meeting a deadline – or at least the fourth extension of the original deadline? Is there a way to inspire busy students to make careful proofreading and cite-checking a high priority? When do you tell the law school’s honor code committee that chunks of a student note were copied out of a published law review article?

This book is mostly a memoir but also includes a concluding essay (“Law Review and the Temple of Boom ”) that discusses law reviews generally (with footnotes citing lots of other discussions of this distinctive publishing and educational institution).

I found this book strangely compelling, but I often wanted to take out a pen and edit it. It is clear that it did not pass through the process that a law review article does – draft after draft, checked and rechecked by a team of careful readers. It could have been much tighter. Ironically, shortly after Gutterman pronounces, “The little things make a difference between reliability and the Amateur Hour” (p. 206), he uses “perpetuate” for “persist” (p. 207), “entry” for “entrée” (p. 210) and “desert” for “dessert” (p. 213). Chief Justice Earl Warren said that the American law review is “the most remarkable institution of the law school world.” Gutterman quotes that, and adds that law review is “the most unique institution throughout the academic world.” (p. 267).  “Most unique” – blecch! So you shouldn’t necessarily model your writing style and usage on Gutterman’s, but you might enjoy his reflections on his law review experience.

L. Rev. is available at PN4874 .G88A3 2003 at Classified Stacks.