Feeling Terrible About Legal Writing

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Milksteak

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Feeling Terrible About Legal Writing

Postby Milksteak » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:19 pm

I submitted my final legal writing assignment of the year. I feel awful about it. I feel like I set aside a ton of time for these assignments and always end up down to the wire, submitting something that I had not proofread to the degree necessary. I also feel no confidence in my arguments or structure and feel like my research takes forever.

My school doesn't grade, so that part doesn't matter. First semester grades were fine, but that doesn't matter either, as I am focused on direct service PI work that really doesn't care about grades. What I'm really worried about is being a shitty lawyer in practice. Does anyone have any recommendations on doing more efficient research? On getting good at bluebooking? On getting used to the structure of a brief? Does this just get easier as you do it more?

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BasilHallward

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Re: Feeling Terrible About Legal Writing

Postby BasilHallward » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:30 pm

It gets easier the more you do it. First year assignments are crap in the sense that everyone is paranoid and everyone tends to not follow instincts/habits that have been (hopefully) decently developed in undergrad. The endless search in WestLaw/Lexis to find the "perfect" case that no one else is privy to is just one example. Going forward, use google and be flexible with structure (outside of class). First-year writing is not a terribly good metric for future assignments in my opinion. You'll be fine.

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lymenheimer

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Re: Feeling Terrible About Legal Writing

Postby lymenheimer » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:55 pm

Also, it's not graded. So...

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Feeling Terrible About Legal Writing

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:58 pm

I think it does get easier as you do it, but FWIW, I also don't think most people develop helpful instincts/habits in undergrad, either. It's a little like you're learning a new language. It will get better, but you are probably going to have to learn to do things differently than you did. (A friend of mine says "when you use muscles for the first time, you get sore.")

AZ123

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Re: Feeling Terrible About Legal Writing

Postby AZ123 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:46 pm

I felt the same way after my 1l year so I did Moot Court during my 2l year for extra experience. It was a major time suck but I felt a lot more comfortable with legal writing/research after doing it.

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Milksteak

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Re: Feeling Terrible About Legal Writing

Postby Milksteak » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:11 pm

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the kind words, advice, and reminders.

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Pragmatic Gun

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Re: Feeling Terrible About Legal Writing

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:43 pm

If it makes you feel better, at my school we are graded in our legal writing classes. You'll get the hang of it in your summer jobs as well as you will have more opportunities to practice your legal writing.

ABP: always be practicing.



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