Writing course before going to law school?

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snap44
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Writing course before going to law school?

Postby snap44 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:32 pm

Hi

Can anyone recommend a writing course in nyc that would help in anticipation of gonig to law school next year?

thanks

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Cavalier
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby Cavalier » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:34 pm

Legal writing is quite different, so I don't think an ordinary writing course would be of much use.

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jamaicanjynx
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby jamaicanjynx » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:47 pm

If you can take a professional writing course in undergrad that may help. I took technical writing and business writing and I think they helped me feel more comfortable with the rigid format and precision required for the memo. My regular English classes encouraged more creative writing which does not help with memo writing at all. However, I don't think the boost is so great that you should pay to take such a class. But if you can use that type of course to meet an undergrad requirement, it won't hurt.

snap44
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby snap44 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:01 pm

sorry, I should have been more clear - I have already graduated UG and was wondering if there are any writing courses that would specifically help prepare me for law school?

thanks

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Matthies
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby Matthies » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:33 pm

snap44 wrote:sorry, I should have been more clear - I have already graduated UG and was wondering if there are any writing courses that would specifically help prepare me for law school?

thanks


You could see if any community colleges have paralegal classes, there is usally a legal writing class.

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MeTalkPrettyOneDay
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby MeTalkPrettyOneDay » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:48 pm

snap44 wrote:sorry, I should have been more clear - I have already graduated UG and was wondering if there are any writing courses that would specifically help prepare me for law school?

thanks

Not that I know of. You'll take a legal writing class at law school. In the meantime, buy and read this: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Style-Fourth-William-Strunk/dp/020530902X. Clarity and good grammar are important in all writing, and are particularly important in legal writing. But other than brushing up your skills, I wouldn't worry all too much.

Renzo
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby Renzo » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:43 am

MeTalkPrettyOneDay wrote:
snap44 wrote:sorry, I should have been more clear - I have already graduated UG and was wondering if there are any writing courses that would specifically help prepare me for law school?

thanks

Not that I know of. You'll take a legal writing class at law school. In the meantime, buy and read this: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Style-Fourth-William-Strunk/dp/020530902X. Clarity and good grammar are important in all writing, and are particularly important in legal writing. But other than brushing up your skills, I wouldn't worry all too much.


Strunk and White can eat the corn out of my shit. This is what you need

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MeTalkPrettyOneDay
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby MeTalkPrettyOneDay » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:31 am

Renzo wrote:
MeTalkPrettyOneDay wrote:
snap44 wrote:sorry, I should have been more clear - I have already graduated UG and was wondering if there are any writing courses that would specifically help prepare me for law school?

thanks

Not that I know of. You'll take a legal writing class at law school. In the meantime, buy and read this: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Style-Fourth-William-Strunk/dp/020530902X. Clarity and good grammar are important in all writing, and are particularly important in legal writing. But other than brushing up your skills, I wouldn't worry all too much.


Strunk and White can eat the corn out of my shit. This is what you need
If OP wants to read a nearly 900 page book, sure. I bet Garner doesn't leave much out. He's also a law professor. I'm sure his advice is practical in a legal setting (to that end, his book on legal writing - The Elements on Legal Style - may be even more helpful). But I like The Elements of Style. Strunk and White, in my opinion, manage to cover a good amount of information without rambling on too much. 100 pages of concise advice? That's my kind of book.

Renzo
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby Renzo » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:49 am

MeTalkPrettyOneDay wrote:If OP wants to read a nearly 900 page book, sure. I bet Garner doesn't leave much out. He's also a law professor. I'm sure his advice is practical in a legal setting (to that end, his book on legal writing - The Elements on Legal Style - may be even more helpful). But I like The Elements of Style. Strunk and White, in my opinion, manage to cover a good amount of information without rambling on too much. 100 pages of concise advice? That's my kind of book.

If the OP is willing to take a class, I think a 900 pg book by the single leading authority on English language and usage (who happens to be a law professor) is about appropriate. If, however, concise is the only measure then here you go: "Write better." I just saved you 99 pages and $8.

Strunk and White is stale, flat out wrong in a few spots, and too short to do any good.

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MeTalkPrettyOneDay
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby MeTalkPrettyOneDay » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:13 pm

Renzo wrote:
MeTalkPrettyOneDay wrote:If OP wants to read a nearly 900 page book, sure. I bet Garner doesn't leave much out. He's also a law professor. I'm sure his advice is practical in a legal setting (to that end, his book on legal writing - The Elements on Legal Style - may be even more helpful). But I like The Elements of Style. Strunk and White, in my opinion, manage to cover a good amount of information without rambling on too much. 100 pages of concise advice? That's my kind of book.

If the OP is willing to take a class, I think a 900 pg book by the single leading authority on English language and usage (who happens to be a law professor) is about appropriate. If, however, concise is the only measure then here you go: "Write better." I just saved you 99 pages and $8.

Strunk and White is stale, flat out wrong in a few spots, and too short to do any good.
Lol. In reference to the bold: such advice is clearly useless without actual instructions on how to write better. Both books provide such advice. OP would be fine choosing either, depending on his preferences. I rather like Strunk & White, but reasonable people - and even you ;) - could prefer Garner's book.

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Rikkugrrl
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby Rikkugrrl » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:55 pm

I would say any English class would be beneficial except possibly creative writing. I'm guessing you've already taken the LSAT, but if not, English courses are great for the RC section. You get used to reading quickly and for content when you're assigned 200 pages a night with the chance of a quiz every day. Pick a class that's known to focus heavily on papers. Lots of papers and an assigned book each week will get you some good practice with writing. My college offered technical writing and advanced academic writing. Those were both really helpful for making the transition from college papers to writing for your field. It won't help you much with legal writing, but someone once told me that any kind of writing is all about practice. "Write a million words and you'll be a good writer." Anything you write will get you practice with key elements of writing found in any field

Of course, if English is to you what Math is to me and the class might hurt your GPA, don't do it. It's not worth any kind of drop in GPA. Hope that helps!

~Ri

soccerchk
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby soccerchk » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:16 pm

I was wondering the same thing. I'm starting my last semester and signed up for an english writing class to help brush up my skills before law school but I don't feel like it is the right kind of writing. I have only attended one class but I need to decide if I want to drop it ASAP. It seems like it is a lot of "pretty" writing similar to some personal statements. I am sure any class is better than no writing class but I don't want to kill myself writing all these papers if I would be just as well off reading and studying something about grammar or other aspects of successful writing.

Renzo
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Re: Writing course before going to law school?

Postby Renzo » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:48 pm

soccerchk wrote:I was wondering the same thing. I'm starting my last semester and signed up for an english writing class to help brush up my skills before law school but I don't feel like it is the right kind of writing. I have only attended one class but I need to decide if I want to drop it ASAP. It seems like it is a lot of "pretty" writing similar to some personal statements. I am sure any class is better than no writing class but I don't want to kill myself writing all these papers if I would be just as well off reading and studying something about grammar or other aspects of successful writing.

I would say that legal writing (at least good legal writing) is very different than other genres of writing. I have made a few generous paychecks as a writer, and I am still struggling with legal writing. There's no such thing as bad writing practice, and any writing class will help by providing practice. However, I think you're time would be best spent on foundational English usage, grammar, and composition. More "advanced" writing won't be as germane.




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