Improving writing as a rising 2L

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:17 pm

I'm starting to think that I am a shitty writer. My first year grades were great, but I don't think that correlates with writing skills.

Evidence 1: I'm at a federal internship this summer and I am not getting a lot of assignments, despite the fact that my attorney is extremely busy. I am extremely meticulous with everything I turn in, and there are never any typos, errors, etc. Yet most of my work product has either been shoved in a file somewhere or otherwise disregarded. I'm thinking it is because of my poor writing.

Evidence 2: I have been at median in every legal writing assignment in both semesters. I have also been at median in every take home test.

Evidence 3: I tend to write really lengthy, complicated prose. When I go back and edit my writing, my number one task is usually to eliminate complex sentences and word choices. Even so, it will still be jumbled.

Evidence 4: My transfer personal statement is shitty and I can't figure out how to fix it.

In short, I want some help on improving my writing and work product. I've read a couple of the books on legal writing but I haven't found them particularly useful. I think I just need more practice writing.

Any ideas?

Edit: anon bc of internship

JusticeJackson
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:26 am

Re: Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby JusticeJackson » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:31 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby bdubs » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm starting to think that I am a shitty writer. My first year grades were great, but I don't think that correlates with writing skills.

Evidence 1: I'm at a federal internship this summer and I am not getting a lot of assignments, despite the fact that my attorney is extremely busy. I am extremely meticulous with everything I turn in, and there are never any typos, errors, etc. Yet most of my work product has either been shoved in a file somewhere or otherwise disregarded. I'm thinking it is because of my poor writing.

Evidence 2: I have been at median in every legal writing assignment in both semesters. I have also been at median in every take home test.

Evidence 3: I tend to write really lengthy, complicated prose. When I go back and edit my writing, my number one task is usually to eliminate complex sentences and word choices. Even so, it will still be jumbled.

Evidence 4: My transfer personal statement is shitty and I can't figure out how to fix it.

In short, I want some help on improving my writing and work product. I've read a couple of the books on legal writing but I haven't found them particularly useful. I think I just need more practice writing.

Any ideas?

Edit: anon bc of internship


Have you asked for feedback on your written assignments? It's possible your writing is not as bad as you think. You might not be getting a lot of work because your boss is too busy to actually oversee your work. Most of the times an intern actually slows things down, so having an especially busy boss can be problematic.

If you're looking for some great tips on legal writing, try doing these exercises from a Garner book. I found them very helpful.

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/garner/

Myself
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:36 pm

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Postby Myself » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:13 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:26 am

OP here

Thanks for responses. You guys may be right about the work I've done thus far. I'll ask for some feedback in the coming days.

Also, how were you able to intern full time during the school year? For some reason, I didn't know people did internships with judges during the year. But maybe that is a good route if I can find the time to do so.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:10 am

get on law review. It will make you better at life.

DwightSchruteFarms
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:19 am

Re: Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby DwightSchruteFarms » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:14 am

Law Review made my life hell

hiima3L
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:26 pm

Re: Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby hiima3L » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:40 am

http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/04/ross- ... are-brief/

This only applies to brief writing, but if you can write a good brief, you can write anything well.

Myself
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:36 pm

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Postby Myself » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:12 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Detrox
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:58 pm

Re: Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby Detrox » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:26 pm

If you can, take seminars or other classes where written submissions are expected/required either throughout the semester or as the final. Also, maybe RA for a professor although this will depend if the Prof wants written detailed memos or just casebook editing etc.

Dreas
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:58 pm

Re: Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby Dreas » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:32 am

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Miller32
Posts: 131
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby Miller32 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:11 am

Getting on LR will magically transform you into an excellent writer.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Improving writing as a rising 2L

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:53 am

"I tend to write really lengthy, complicated prose." Why do you write in this fashion ? It's the opposite of good legal writing. Your post in this thread is written in a clear, uncomplicated manner.

Your situation is not rare as law school exams involve a race to spot issues whereas legal writing usually requires clarity & persuasiveness. This is probably why so many law schools utilize write-on competitions to get on law review rather than purely grades or a mixture of grades & writing skills.

Ask your supervising attorney for samples of his or her past written work if legal writing books don't help you.

P.S. Feel free to PM your transfer statement if you want a brief critique & a few suggestions.




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