Good Writing Is Good
Law school research and writing courses rarely focus on the mechanics of writing. Instead, these courses generally devote time to discussion of law-specific material, such as legal citations and legal research tools.
Unfortunately, this approach leaves some important—very important—matters to chance.
The basics of good writing, which are (hopefully!) covered before and during one’s high school years, do not simply go away on graduation day. These basics remain fundamental to effective written communication, and, therefore, remain fundamental to law school and bar exam essays.
If It’s Not Covered, Do It Yourself
For students who do not get a basic review of good writing in their legal research and writing classes—and that means most law students—, self-help is mandatory. Self-help approaches include:
- undertake a serious review of basic English mechanics and style on one’s own
- hire a writing tutor
- take a class on good writing, either through the university associated with one’s law school or through a third-party provider
But skipping the basics is not the right choice—even if law schools often choose that approach.
Original publication date: August 15, 2011 (LEX))