Advice for SA writing/work product?

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Anonymous User
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Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 1:01 pm

Hey All,

I wanted to know if any of you had any advice on how to better my legal writing for a summer associate. Any good websites with sample memos that you found helpful? Other books you would recommend with good outlines of how to structure legal writing or tips to get better at blue booking? Thanks.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Sat May 21, 2011 5:18 pm

Bryan Garner: "Elements of Legal Style" and "The Redbook"

Scalia: "Making Your Case"

Strunk & White: "Elements of Style"

Zinnser: "On Writing Well"

You don't need to be very good at BlueBooking. About 99% of what you cite in memos and pleadings is cases and other pleadings, so just know the basic rules for those and you will be fine. It's all in that small blue pages section up front.

Anonymous User
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Re: Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 5:26 pm

So how good of a writer do we need to be to get a perma-offer? I don't think legal practice really helped, and I took it almost 2 years ago. Worried....

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Sat May 21, 2011 5:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So how good of a writer do we need to be to get a perma-offer?

Well . . . writing is about 90% of what you do in this profession. As a new associate, other than reading stuff to figure out what to write, it's all you will do. And as far as the lawyers you work with are concerned, you are what you write.

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PKSebben
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Re: Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby PKSebben » Sat May 21, 2011 5:40 pm

Gideon Strumpet wrote:Bryan Garner: "Elements of Legal Style" and "The Redbook"

Scalia: "Making Your Case"

Strunk & White: "Elements of Style"

Zinnser: "On Writing Well"

You don't need to be very good at BlueBooking. About 99% of what you cite in memos and pleadings is cases and other pleadings, so just know the basic rules for those and you will be fine. It's all in that small blue pages section up front.


Good list except for "Making Your Case" -- which I didn't think was up to snuff. Replace with Ross Guberman's "Point Made" instead.

Anonymous User
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Re: Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 7:30 pm

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So how good of a writer do we need to be to get a perma-offer?

Well . . . writing is about 90% of what you do in this profession. As a new associate, other than reading stuff to figure out what to write, it's all you will do. And as far as the lawyers you work with are concerned, you are what you write.


I got a good grade in legal practice, but I don't think that class truly taught me how to write well. (It primarily taught me how to bluebook.) What if I am just middle of the road? Are most associates really good writers?

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PKSebben
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Re: Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby PKSebben » Sat May 21, 2011 8:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So how good of a writer do we need to be to get a perma-offer?

Well . . . writing is about 90% of what you do in this profession. As a new associate, other than reading stuff to figure out what to write, it's all you will do. And as far as the lawyers you work with are concerned, you are what you write.


I got a good grade in legal practice, but I don't think that class truly taught me how to write well. (It primarily taught me how to bluebook.) What if I am just middle of the road? Are most associates really good writers?


I don't think so.

Anonymous User
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Re: Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 9:01 pm

PKSebben wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So how good of a writer do we need to be to get a perma-offer?

Well . . . writing is about 90% of what you do in this profession. As a new associate, other than reading stuff to figure out what to write, it's all you will do. And as far as the lawyers you work with are concerned, you are what you write.


I got a good grade in legal practice, but I don't think that class truly taught me how to write well. (It primarily taught me how to bluebook.) What if I am just middle of the road? Are most associates really good writers?


I don't think so.


Thanks. In order to get a perma-offer -- I will worry about 1st year work product later -- is being middle of the road sufficient? I simply don't see how I can feasibly improve my writing ability in such a short period of time.

-- Anxious

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PKSebben
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Re: Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby PKSebben » Sat May 21, 2011 9:10 pm

Dude, turn in work product that is mistake free, on time, that answers the question of the assignment. You're not going to be writing briefs over the summer, so stupid details are more important. Make sure you use the right memo header, save it in the right spot, etc

lovelaw27
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Re: Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby lovelaw27 » Sat May 21, 2011 9:27 pm

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So how good of a writer do we need to be to get a perma-offer?

Well . . . writing is about 90% of what you do in this profession. As a new associate, other than reading stuff to figure out what to write, it's all you will do. And as far as the lawyers you work with are concerned, you are what you write.


What about corporate associates? What kind of assignments do they do?

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PKSebben
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Re: Advice for SA writing/work product?

Postby PKSebben » Sat May 21, 2011 10:01 pm

lovelaw27 wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So how good of a writer do we need to be to get a perma-offer?

Well . . . writing is about 90% of what you do in this profession. As a new associate, other than reading stuff to figure out what to write, it's all you will do. And as far as the lawyers you work with are concerned, you are what you write.


What about corporate associates? What kind of assignments do they do?


they draft transaction documents. And by draft I mean find and replace.




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