Legal & General Writing Resources: Legal Writing
Updated Sept. 13, 2016.
Prepared by Cheryl Nyberg & Nancy McMurrer, with updates by Scott Matheson.
This guide consists of website links and lists of books, most of which are located in the Reference Area on floor L1.
All of the latest editions of the books listed below are found in the Reference Area, unless another location is given. When available, links to tables of contents [TOC] are provided.
This list is not exhaustive; the Law Library has many other books on legal writing, most under the KF250 call number. For additional titles, search the Law Library catalog with the phrase "legal composition."
Better Legal Writing: 15 Topics for Advanced Legal Writers.
Clear and Effective Legal Writing (5th ed. 2013).
KF250.C52 2013 [TOC]
Effective Lawyering: A Checklist Approach to Legal Writing and Oral Argument (2d ed. 2012).
Garner's Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (3d ed. 2011).
KF156.G367 2011. LexisNexis (1st ed.)
Garner's Elements of Legal Style (2d ed. 2002).
Garner's The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (3d ed. 2013).
Guide to Legal Writing Style (5th ed. 2011).
KF250.L3913 2011 [TOC]
Just Writing: Grammar, Punctuation, and Style for the Legal Writer (3d ed. 2009).
KF250 .E57 2009
Note: A 4th ed., published in 2013, may be available via Summit.
The Lawyer's Editing Manual (2009).
The Lawyer's Guide to Writing Well (3d ed. 2016).
KF250.G65 2016 [TOC]
Legal Writing: A Systematic Approach (5th ed. 2015).
Legal Writing and Analysis (4th ed. 2015).
KF250.E378 2015 [TOC]
Legal Writing: Process, Analysis, and Organization (5th ed. 2010).
KF250.E39 2010 [TOC]
Writing Shorter Legal Documents: Strategies for Faster and Better Editing (2011).
KF250.O848 2011 at Classified Stacks [TOC]
These books are located in the Reference Area unless another location is indicated.
Scholarly Writing for Law Students: Seminar Papers, Law Review Notes, and Law Review Competition (4th ed. 2011).
Scholarly Writing: Ideas, Examples, and Execution (2d ed. 2012).
Writing for International Students
Legal Writing in the US: For Students and Practitioners of Law (2d ed. 2011).
U.S. Legal Reasoning, Writing, and Practice for International Lawyers (2014).
Course Reserve (KF386 .T483 2014)
Opinion Letters & Memos
Note: several of the legal writing guides also contain chapters on writing memos and opinion letters.
Legal Opinion Letters: A Comprehensive Guide to Opinion Letter Practice (3d ed. 2003).
KF250.D73 2003 [TOC]
Legal Opinions in Business Transactions (2d ed. 2006). Updated annually.
Classified Stacks (KF1425.F53 2006)
Writing a Legal Memo (2006).
Classified Stacks (KF250.B766 2006)t
The Legal Writing Institute is a "non-profit organization dedicated to improving legal writing by providing a forum for discussion and scholarship about legal writing, analysis, and research." Holds an annual summer conference. Publishes a journal (Legal Writing), newsletter, conference bibliographies, and a brochure on plagiarism.
The (New) Legal Writer is a blog with a "collection of resources for lawyers who write."
The Legal Writing Prof Blog is written by -- you guessed it! -- legal writing instructors and professors
Legalwriting.net is a blog by the author of Writing for the Legal Audience and Better Legal Writing.
Plain Language Association International, Plain Language and the Law contains articles and links.
See the Gallagher guides on:
- Court Briefs & Oral Arguments
- Drafting Contracts: Formbooks & Drafting Resources
- A Guide to Using the Gallagher Law Library for Members of the Public: Forms
- Washington Practice Materials
- Word Tips to Make Your Life Easier
Other useful sources:
Law School Plagiarism v. Proper Attribution, a brochure from the Legal Writing Institute.
Brian Garner Interviews, a series of videorecorded interviews with judges and other prominent legal writers.