legal writing, academic writing, legal essays
Good legal writing is more science than art. It persuades not by its rhetoric but by the impregnability of its research method. It answers its question using a testable, falsifiable, and repeatable method, so that others would choose to follow the same steps and come to the same conclusion.
At the Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies (DJLS), we read scores of papers each year from law schools across the country. They show us that, nationwide, many authors misunderstand the purpose of a research paper. It is not a memo, nor is it an op-ed. The goal is to use a structured method to say something new and advance the law.
All strong papers have certain elements. This article elaborates on a checklist of legal essays.
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Reagan Seidler & Sarah MacLeod, "FOREWORD: Legal Essays: A Checklist" (2020) 29 Dal J Leg Stud 1.