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1L Resources, Tips and Tools: Research, Writing, & Citation

This guide describes print and digital resources to help 1Ls succeed at Brooklyn Law School. (Karen Schneiderman originally created this guide and Kathleen Darvil updated it.)

Legal Writing: Overview

In this section of the guide, you will find links to resources to help with:

There are generally two types of legal writing:

  • Balanced analysis of a legal problem or issue.
  • Pesuasive arguement

Examples of writing providing balanced analysis of a legal issue are inter-office memoranda and letters to clients. To be effective in this form of writing, the lawyer must be sensitive to the needs, level of interest and background of the parties to whom it is addressed. A memorandum to a partner in the same firm that details definitions of basic legal concepts would be inefficient and an annoyance. In contrast, their absence from a letter to a client with no legal background could serve to confuse and complicate a simple situation.

Examples of writing making a persuasive argument are appellate briefs and negotiation letters written on a clients behalf. The lawyer must persuade his or her audience without provoking a hostile response through disrespect or by wasting the recipient's time with unnecessary information. In presenting documents to a court or administrative agency he or she must conform to the required document style.

Legal Writing in Plain English