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Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminar Papers, and Getting on Law Review, Second Edition (University Casebook Series) Paperback – December, 2004
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"I plan to recommend Academic Legal Writing to my students, and I recommend it to you too." -- Isthatlegal.org
"I'd recommend it to any law student...who want(s) to polish their writing skills." -- Jack M. Balkin, Yale Law Professor
"If you have a sibling...in law school...buy them a copy of Academic Legal Writing." -- FindLaw's Writ, August 22, 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 45 law review articles and over 80 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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Top Customer Reviews
Academic Legal Writing is also extremely systematic. Every aspect of the paper is taken into consideration, from the approach to research, to avoiding off-putting humor or politically charged language, time tables for submissions, and so on, even including how to draft letters to professors and law reviews asking them to look over your work and to consider it for publication.
Academic Legal Writing is really in a class by itself. That said, perhaps I can indicate its greatness by invoking a few other names. Academic Legal Writing is a perfect companion volume to Bryan Gardner's The Elements of Legal Style. It is as clear and concise and accessible as Marvin Chirelstein's Concepts and Case Analysis in the Law of Contracts, and it deserves to be as ubiquitous and is certainly as valuable, thoughtful, and comprehensive as Joseph Glannon's E&E Civil Procedure and Erwin Chemerinsky's Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies. If you know these books, you should be going "wow." If you don't, and you are going to law school, I advise reading all of them. (Also Getting to Maybe, which I never found compelling, but am in the distinct minority view on.)
I read Elizabeth Fajans and Mary R. Falk's Scholarly Writing for Law Students, which is also good and which Volokh recommends. Academic Legal Writing appears to be a very conscious next step beyond that book. In a perfect world, buying and reading both would be advisable. In the real world, I read Scholarly Writing once, Academic Legal Writing many, many times. Academic Legal Writing is your desert island pick.
Please do yourself a favor and read this book. If you don't, you will simply be doing all of your competitors a likely unrequited kindness.
One final note: Professor Volokh is a conservative of the thoughtful and sober variety. I am a liberal of the sort who avidly studies the Endangered Species List to see if "Thoughtful Conservatives" have been listed yet. This is not an issue: Professor Volokh's political beliefs are discernible in this book only by the most careful parsing: in some of his examples, he points out the misleading use of statistics in gun violence, an academic preoccupation of his. You could then do the math and figure out that he has at least one conservative leaning. Otherwise, his politics would be utterly inscrutable. And, frankly, this book would be on my bookshelf even if Professor Volokh had say, written a memo arguing that the Geneva Conventions were outdated and pointless. John Yoo, your path to redemption is clear.