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Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, and Seminar Papers (University Casebook Series) Paperback – May 3, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1587784774 ISBN-10: 1587784777 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Series: University Casebook Series
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Foundation Pr (May 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587784777
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587784774
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...succeeds in putting himself into his reader's shoes, and dispenses valuable advice... -- Is That Legal, June 18, 2003

About the Author

Eugene Volokh is a Professor of Law at UCLA, where he teaches First Amendment law, copyright law, and firearms regulation policy. Before going into teaching, he clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski and for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Since 1995, he has published over 30 law review articles and over 40 op-eds in publications such as the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, and many others. He is also the author of The First Amendment, a textbook from Foundation Press, and he operates a daily Web log called The Volokh Conspiracy. Before going into law, he wrote over a dozen computer magazine articles about HP 3000 software.

His student article, Freedom of Speech and Workplace Harassment (UCLA L. Rev., 1992), has been cited in over 135 academic works and 10 court cases. A 2002 survey by University of Texas law professor Brian Leiter listed him as the third most-cited professor among those who entered law teaching after 1992 (with 810 citations in law reviews).


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Craig Rolle on July 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend Professor Volokh's new book, Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, and Seminar Papers.
As the title suggests, it focuses primarily on legal writing, especially for aspiring and current law school students. However, anyone who wants to improve his/her writing and critical thinking skills should read this book. The book--which is only 189 pages--abounds in smart advice on how to write better and avoid common errors such as wordiness, unduly harsh criticism, overly technical language, etc.
Speaking as someone who starts law school in a month and a half, I am glad I read this book. It gave me a nice view about what type of writing is expected in law school. And unlike some academic books, it is affordable and highly readable.
Volokh addresses every possible question that a pre-law student could have about academic legal writing--how to choose a topic, how to test its claim or hypothesis, how to research it, how to use evidence (i.e., cases, law review articles, statistics, surveys, etc) correctly, and how even to publish and market your work.
To take one example: Volokh advises that in the process of conducting research always check the original source. In other words, do not simply assume that a secondary source will correctly represent the original article or case. For example, even the most revered Courts (such as the Supreme Court of the United States) sometimes misstate facts, arguments, and holdings in cases.
I can personally attest to the soundness of this advice. I once cited an article by a political science professor of mine in a paper I wrote for him. I relied on a secondary source to summarize his main thesis. When my professor graded the paper, he circled in red ink the citation of his work and wrote, This is not the argument I made. Did you bother to read the article?
Again, this is a great book for anyone considering law school. It should be on every pre-law student's must-read list.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gene Healy on January 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you're writing a law review comment, Eugene Volokh's slim volume "Academic Legal Writing" is indispensible. However, anyone who wants to learn how to write clearly and how to cut the fat from their prose will benefit tremendously from the book as well. Especially good are the sections where Volokh takes you step-by-step through the editing process, turning a flabby piece of writing into economical, muscular prose. His appendix of words to avoid (eschew "eschew") is also excellent. So don't be fooled by the title. Good writing is good writing, in the legal academy and elsewhere. This is a book about good writing in general, and a terrific one at that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Russell on February 14, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach undergraduates, many of whom want to be law students. Sometimes I help them get started on legal writing.

Since the day I read Volokh's book, I have not sent a student off to law school without it. Given the amount of writing that is required of any law student, and given the substantial career advantages to publishing, everyone should try.

Volokh is clear and very usefully organized for students who have to parse their time carefully. He includes insights about the practicalities of law review publishing and shopping an article that go far beyond anything available when I was a law student.

This book is also a great tool for graduate students in fields akin to law. To those students, refereed journals are the norm and law review publication is a mystery. This book is an excellent, readable way to make law reviews less mysterious.
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