How important is creative writing in law school?

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rayiner
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Re: How important is creative writing in law school?

Postby rayiner » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:27 am

bdubs wrote:I am a capable writer. I can convey my points clearly, structure logical arguments, and generally deliver coherent business style documents. However, I am not a strong "creative" writer. I don't write with a lot of gripping prose or stylistic flare.

Will this be a problem in law school?

What kind of writing abilities are needed to be a top 5% student at a T14 school?


You need to not be incoherent, but beyondthat your writing ability is irrelevant in law school. Engineers who don't even know what "prose" means do well.

Also, you will not be top 5%. Those people are smarter than you.

JOThompson
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Re: How important is creative writing in law school?

Postby JOThompson » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:45 am

moandersen wrote:
mbusch22 wrote:not important. People with strong creative writing/English backgrounds tend to struggle with legal writing.


based on what?

Its all about adaptability.

Our LAWR professor mentioned that journalism majors often have the hardest time adapting because they're forced to unlearn the ingrained habits that previously served them well.

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KMaine
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Re: How important is creative writing in law school?

Postby KMaine » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:53 am

moandersen wrote:
mbusch22 wrote:not important. People with strong creative writing/English backgrounds tend to struggle with legal writing.


based on what?

Its all about adaptability. Can you adapt to a new writing structure or not? Thats the question. And I would think people who majored in writing should have that ability.

I was an english major with a focus in creative non-fiction, and was top 2 in the class for our first graded memo. And judging by comments from TAs, my next and final memo of the semester should grab a similar grade.

So I guess what im saying is that while the styles are completely different, a good writer should be able to adapt.

But to answer OPs question - not much. The only time I got somewhat 'creative' was in my facts section of the memo.


This. If you cannot adapt to a new writing style, you were probably not a very good writer to begin with. It is about knowing the expectations of your audience and meeting those expectations. People who are inflexible and think their way of writing is the only way are a subset of the people who struggle with legal writing.

Renzo
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Re: How important is creative writing in law school?

Postby Renzo » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:08 pm

JOThompson wrote:Our LAWR professor mentioned that journalism majors often have the hardest time adapting because they're forced to unlearn the ingrained habits that previously served them well.


Exactly.

KMaine wrote:This. If you cannot adapt to a new writing style, you were probably not a very good writer to begin with. It is about knowing the expectations of your audience and meeting those expectations. People who are inflexible and think their way of writing is the only way are a subset of the people who struggle with legal writing


QF for Dunning–Kruger effect. It's easy to say that it's not hard to adapt when one's never had to do it, or one's writing is not as good as one thinks.




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