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University of Michigan Law School

Legal Writing and Research

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Incorporating Social Justice Into The 1l Legal Writing Course: A Tool For Empowering Students Of Color And Of Historically Marginalized Groups And Improving Learning, Sha-Shana Crichton May 2019

Incorporating Social Justice Into The 1l Legal Writing Course: A Tool For Empowering Students Of Color And Of Historically Marginalized Groups And Improving Learning, Sha-Shana Crichton

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The media reports of police shootings of unarmed Black men and women; unprovoked attacks on innocent Jews, Muslims, religious minority groups, and LGBTQ persons; and current pervasive, divisive, and misogynistic rhetoric all cause fear and anxiety in impacted communities and frustrate other concerned citizens. Law students, and especially law students of color and of historically marginalized groups, are often directly or indirectly impacted by these reports and discrimination in all its iterations. As a result, they are stressed because they are fearful and anxious. Research shows that stress impairs learning and cognition. Research also shows that beneficial changes are made ...


Books, Debate, Specificity, Neal Kumar Katyal Apr 2019

Books, Debate, Specificity, Neal Kumar Katyal

Michigan Law Review

Foreword to Volume 117, Issue 6 of the Michigan Law Review.


Transferability: Helping Students And Attorneys Apply What They Already Know To New Situations (Part 1), Edward R. Becker Jan 2019

Transferability: Helping Students And Attorneys Apply What They Already Know To New Situations (Part 1), Edward R. Becker

Articles

Every fall, I work with my first year law students to begin developing their legal writing skills. They work hard learning how to analyze cases objectively, predict how a court might resolve a dispute, and convey their assessments to an experienced attorney. Their improvement from September to December is noticeable. They have only one semester of law school behind them and still have much to learn, but they’re on their way…In the second semester, we begin focusing on advocacy. The first assignment asks students to draft a pretrial brief. When I review the drafts, I’m struck by ...


Research Resources For Michigan Criminal Law, Kate E. Britt Jan 2019

Research Resources For Michigan Criminal Law, Kate E. Britt

Law Librarian Scholarship

Few areas of the law are as consequential to the personal lives of those involved as criminal law. The law can, and does, change quickly, and attorneys need to stay abreast of the latest developments to effectively represent their clients. Thankfully, modern government bodies publish current primary law (and many useful secondary sources) online. The sites outlined below will take users to reliable sources of Michigan criminal law and procedure.


Buckets, Kincaid C. Brown Jan 2019

Buckets, Kincaid C. Brown

Law Librarian Scholarship

Inspired by “‘A Day in My Law Library Life,’ Circa 1997,” this compilation collects descriptions of a day in the lives of law librarians in 2018. The descriptions provide a current snapshot and historical record of the law library profession, with similarities to, and differences from, the profession of 1997.


Review Of Draft No. 4, Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky Jan 2019

Review Of Draft No. 4, Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky

Reviews

"Draft No. 4" is an essay collection by John McPhee about his long career as a journalist for The New Yorker. This book review uses the essay collection as a jumping-off point to discuss the similarities and differences between legal writing and long-form journalism, and what legal writers can learn about the writing process from journalists like McPhee.


Collaboration With Doctrinal Faculty To Introduce Creac, Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky Oct 2018

Collaboration With Doctrinal Faculty To Introduce Creac, Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky

Articles

When legal writing professors introduce CREAC (or IRAC, TREAT, etc.), our examples necessarily use some area of substantive law to demonstrate how the pieces of legal analysis fit together. And when we ask students to try drafting a CREAC analysis, they also have to learn the relevant substantive law first. Students might be asked to analyze whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor or whether the elements of a tort claim are satisfied. But that means that students need to learn the relevant substantive doctrine while they are also grappling with the basics of CREAC. In the language ...


Using Appellate Clinics To Focus On Legal Writing Skills, Timothy Pinto May 2018

Using Appellate Clinics To Focus On Legal Writing Skills, Timothy Pinto

Articles

Five years ago, I went to lunch with a colleague. I was teaching a legal writing course to 1L students, and he taught in a clinic in which 2L and 3L students were required to write short motions and briefs. Several of his students had taken my writing class as 1Ls, and he had a question for me. "What the heck are you teaching these students?" he asked as we sat down. He explained that several of his students were struggling with preparing simple motions. They were not laying out facts clearly. They were not identifying key legal rules. In ...


What We Still Don't Know About What Persuades Judges – And Some Ways We Might Find Out, Edward R. Becker May 2018

What We Still Don't Know About What Persuades Judges – And Some Ways We Might Find Out, Edward R. Becker

Articles

Over 25 years ago, in his foreword to the first volume of Legal Writing, Chris Rideout nailed it: legal writing as actually practiced by lawyers and judges needs to improve, “[b]ut more fundamental inquiry into legal writing...is needed as well.” The intervening decades have seen many laudable efforts on the latter front, as our collective scholarly discipline, then in its infancy, has matured. But one particular question that Rideout identified remains largely unaddressed by our discipline, although recent developments suggest a welcome increase in attention to the topic. Specifically, Rideout explained that our field did not know as ...


Books Have The Power To Shape Public Policy, Barbara Mcquade Apr 2018

Books Have The Power To Shape Public Policy, Barbara Mcquade

Michigan Law Review

In our digital information age, news and ideas come at us constantly and from every direction—newspapers, cable television, podcasts, online media, and more. It can be difficult to keep up with the fleeting and ephemeral news of the day.

Books, on the other hand, provide a source of enduring ideas. Books contain the researched hypotheses, the well-developed theories, and the fully formed arguments that outlast the news and analysis of the moment, preserved for the ages on the written page, to be discussed, admired, criticized, or supplanted by generations to come.

And books about the law, like the ones ...


Judge Kozinski Objects, Beth H. Wilensky Sep 2017

Judge Kozinski Objects, Beth H. Wilensky

Articles

Sitting judges don’t get to practice law. So although they often opine on the dos and don’ts of effective advocacy, we rarely get to see them put their advice into practice. But a few years ago, a class-action lawsuit provided the rare opportunity to witness a federal judge acting as an advocate before another federal judge—if not in the role of attorney, then certainly in as close to that role as we are likely to see. Given the chance to employ his own advice about effective advocacy, would the judge—Alex Kozinski—practice what he preaches? Would ...


Justice Scalia And The Idea Of Judicial Restraint, John F. Manning Apr 2017

Justice Scalia And The Idea Of Judicial Restraint, John F. Manning

Michigan Law Review

Review of A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law by Antonin Scalia .


Foreword: The Books Of Justices, Linda Greenhouse Apr 2017

Foreword: The Books Of Justices, Linda Greenhouse

Michigan Law Review

For this Michigan Law Review issue devoted to recently published books about law, I thought it would be interesting to see what books made an appearance in the past year’s work of the Supreme Court. I catalogued every citation to every book in those forty opinions in order to see what patterns emerged: what books the justices cited, which justices cited which books, and what use they made of the citations. To begin with, I should define what I mean by “books". For the purposes of this Foreword, I excluded some types of reading matter that may have a ...


An Invisible Crisis In Plain Sight: The Emergence Of The "Eviction Economy," Its Causes, And The Possibilities For Reform In Legal Regulation And Education, David A. Dana Apr 2017

An Invisible Crisis In Plain Sight: The Emergence Of The "Eviction Economy," Its Causes, And The Possibilities For Reform In Legal Regulation And Education, David A. Dana

Michigan Law Review

Review of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.


Digging Into The Foundations Of Evidence Law, David H. Kaye Apr 2017

Digging Into The Foundations Of Evidence Law, David H. Kaye

Michigan Law Review

Review of The Psychological Foundations of Evidence Law by Michael J. Saks and Barbara A. Spellman.


Rethinking Criminal Contempt In The Bankruptcy Courts, John A. E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin Mar 2017

Rethinking Criminal Contempt In The Bankruptcy Courts, John A. E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin

Law & Economics Working Papers

A surprising number of courts believe that bankruptcy judges lack authority to impose criminal contempt sanctions. We attempt to rectify this misunderstanding with a march through the historical treatment of contempt-like powers in bankruptcy, the painful statutory history of the 1978 Bankruptcy Code (including the exciting history of likely repealed 28 U.S.C. § 1481), and the various apposite rules of procedure. (Fans of the All Writs Act will delight in its inclusion.) But the principal service we offer to the bankruptcy community is dismantling the ubiquitous and persistent belief that there is some form of constitutional infirmity with "mere ...


A Survey Of Legal Issues Arising From The Deployment Of Autonomous And Connected Vehicles, Daniel A. Crane, Kyle D. Logue, Bryce C. Pilz Jan 2017

A Survey Of Legal Issues Arising From The Deployment Of Autonomous And Connected Vehicles, Daniel A. Crane, Kyle D. Logue, Bryce C. Pilz

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

With concerns rising over the number and variety of state regulations, companies are increasingly looking to the federal government for guidance. Representatives from Google, GM, Lyft, and Delphi testified before Congress on March 15, urging Congress to pass a federal law concerning autonomous vehicles. While the passage of any federal legislation is unclear at this time, other parts of the federal government have been extremely active in recent months. In January 2016, the Obama administration proposed a 10-year, $4 billion investment in autonomous vehicle technology. In that same announcement, the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) committed to developing model state policy ...


Resurrecting (And Modernizing) The Research Treasure Hunt, Nancy E. Vettorello Jan 2017

Resurrecting (And Modernizing) The Research Treasure Hunt, Nancy E. Vettorello

Articles

First-year associates will spend forty-five percent of their time on legal research; second- and third-year associates will spend thirty percent. And unfortunately, employers find their associates’ research skills lacking. This is not a new complaint. Employers have been complaining for more than a hundred years that recent law graduates cannot research well. None of this is lost on those who teach legal research, who have long debated the best way to do so. Techniques for teaching research have changed over time, and methods once thought appropriate were sometimes later disfavored. Changes were driven both by pedagogy and by the ever-changing ...


Update Your Bookmarks! Great Sites For Effective Research, Nancy E. Vettorello Jan 2017

Update Your Bookmarks! Great Sites For Effective Research, Nancy E. Vettorello

Articles

There are more than one billion websites available online. Many are useful tools for attorneys, so it makes sense to review and refresh your favorite bookmarks regularly. While none of the many free sites offer the sophisticated search abilities of fee-based research services, a few minutes spent exploring free sites can help researchers significantly narrow their searches once they turn to a fee-based system. Remember to always take advantage of the advancesearch option when available on a free site. Free sites are offering increasingly sophisticated search options, such as Boolean and proximity searches, which were previously exclusive to paid services.


Using Advanced Conflict Waivers To Teach Drafting, Ethics, And Professionalism, Edward R. Becker Nov 2016

Using Advanced Conflict Waivers To Teach Drafting, Ethics, And Professionalism, Edward R. Becker

Articles

On a substantive and ethical level, I tell my students to take on faith that if you were to do all of this and take all this into account, if you were to apply the conflict of interest and the disqualifications rules, it could make it extremely difficult or many of the firms involved in these matters to avoid being conflicted out; especially, if the parties and the kind of firms involved were not dealing with these conflicts and issues until a problem arose. The question I ask my students again at this point is what could be done. What ...


Consumer Preferences For Performance Defaults, Franklin G. Snyder, Ann M. Mirabito Oct 2016

Consumer Preferences For Performance Defaults, Franklin G. Snyder, Ann M. Mirabito

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Commercial law in the United States is designed to facilitate private transactions, and thus to enforce the presumed intent of the parties, who generally are free to negotiate the terms they choose. But these contracts inevitably have gaps, both because the parties cannot anticipate every situation that might arise from their relationship, and because negotiation is not costless. When courts are faced with these gaps in a litigation context, they supply default terms to fill them. These defaults usually are set to reflect what courts believe similar parties would have agreed to if they had addressed the issue. These “majoritarian ...


Comma But Differentiated Responsibilities: Punctuation And 30 Other Ways Negotiators Have Resolved Issues In The International Climate Change Regime, Susan Biniaz Oct 2016

Comma But Differentiated Responsibilities: Punctuation And 30 Other Ways Negotiators Have Resolved Issues In The International Climate Change Regime, Susan Biniaz

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

International climate change negotiations have a long history of being contentious, and much has been written about the grand trade-offs that have allowed countries to reach agreement. Issues have often involved, for example, the level of ambition, differentiated treatment of Parties, and various forms of financial assistance to developing countries.

Lesser known are the smaller, largely language-based tools negotiators have used to resolve differences, sometimes finding a solution as subtle as a shift in the placement of a comma. These tools have operated in different ways. Some, such as deliberate imprecision or postponement, have “resolved” an issue by sidestepping it ...


Can Prostitution Law Reform Curb Sex Trafficking? Theory And Evidence On Scale Substitution, And Replacement Effects, Simon Hedlin Sep 2016

Can Prostitution Law Reform Curb Sex Trafficking? Theory And Evidence On Scale Substitution, And Replacement Effects, Simon Hedlin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Sex trafficking, a pervasive problem in many parts of the world, has become increasingly salient to policymakers and the general public. Activists, politicians, and scholars continue to engage in debates about how best to curb it. This Article discusses one especially contentious dimension of these debates: does banning prostitution reduce sex trafficking? Or is legalizing prostitution the optimal approach? Or is there a third, better way? Proceeding both theoretically and empirically, this Article seeks to cast light on the relationship between different types of prostitution laws and the prevalence of sex trafficking and human trafficking. It attempts to make three ...


The Uneasy Case For The Retirement Of Douglas Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn Jun 2016

The Uneasy Case For The Retirement Of Douglas Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

In the fall semester of 1964, a young Douglas Kahn joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School. During the spring semester of 2016, he will teach his final course as a full-time faculty member. For the interim fifty two years, he has been a fixture of the Michigan law school community. As a tax professor, former student, and his son, I am pleased and honored to write this introduction for an edition of the Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review honoring Professor Kahn’s tenure at the University of Michigan.


Doug Kahn: The Pied Piper Of Tax Law, Barrie Lawson Loeks, Burt P. Rosen Jun 2016

Doug Kahn: The Pied Piper Of Tax Law, Barrie Lawson Loeks, Burt P. Rosen

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Doug Kahn’s love of tax law appears to be contagious. His wife was a tax lawyer, his son is now a tax law professor, and even his daughter in law is a tax lawyer. Doug may have caught the “tax disease” from his elder brother, who was also a leading tax lawyer. In politics, we have the Kennedys, the Bushes, and the Clintons; in the world of tax law, we have the Kahn family dynasty. One can only assume that the discussions around the family Thanksgiving table sliced and diced tax regulations and policies right along with the turkey ...


Sources Of Information On The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Barbara H. Garavaglia May 2016

Sources Of Information On The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Barbara H. Garavaglia

Articles

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a free trade agreement between 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The agreement, signed by the U.S. and other participating countries in Auckland, New Zealand on February 4, 2016, “promotes economic integration to liberalise trade and investment” and “bring economic growth” to the region and participating countries. One reason for the sense of uncertainty, unease, and concern surrounding free trade agreements in general and the TPP in particular is that the negotiations are not public ...


In Praise Of Law Books And Law Reviews (And Jargon-Filled Academic Writing), Cass R. Sunstein Apr 2016

In Praise Of Law Books And Law Reviews (And Jargon-Filled Academic Writing), Cass R. Sunstein

Michigan Law Review

Many people, including many lawyers and judges, disparage law reviews and the books that sometimes result from them on the ground that they often deal with abstruse topics, of little interest to the bar, and are sometimes full of jargon, including excessively academic and impenetrable writing. Some of the objections are warranted, but at their best, law books and law reviews show a high level of rigor, discipline, and care; they have a kind of internal morality. What might seem to be jargon is often a product of specialization, similar to what is observed in other fields (such as economics ...


The Changing Market For Criminal Law Casebooks, Jens David Ohlin Apr 2016

The Changing Market For Criminal Law Casebooks, Jens David Ohlin

Michigan Law Review

Criminal law is a nasty business. The field takes as its point of departure the indignities that human beings visit upon each other—each one worse than the one before. A book or article about criminal law often reads like a parade of horribles, an indictment of humanity’s descent into moral weakness. For those who teach criminal law, everything else pales in comparison. Neither the business disputes of contract law nor the physical injuries described in a torts casebook can compare with the depravity of what we teach in criminal law. Criminal law professors are often addicted to their ...


What Is Criminal Law About?, Guyora Binder, Robert Weisberg Apr 2016

What Is Criminal Law About?, Guyora Binder, Robert Weisberg

Michigan Law Review

In “The Changing Market for Criminal Casebooks,” Jens David Ohlin offers an appreciative, but nevertheless critical review of established criminal law casebooks. He then introduces his own offering by describing “a vision for a new casebook” that will better serve the needs and wants of contemporary students. Ohlin begins with the arresting claim that criminal law professors are passionate about their subject because they are fascinated by human depravity. Then, throughout his essay, he stresses efficient, consumer-focused delivery of doctrinal instruction as the defining task of a successful casebook. Moreover, he argues, casebooks should devote less attention to academic theories ...


Custom's Method And Process: Lessons From Humanitarian Law, Monica Hakimi Mar 2016

Custom's Method And Process: Lessons From Humanitarian Law, Monica Hakimi

Book Chapters

A central question in the literature on customary international law (CIL) goes to method: what is the proper method for "finding" CIL - that is, for determining that particular norms qualify as ClL? The traditional method is to identify a widespread state practice, plus evidence that states believe that the practice reflects the law (opinio juris). That method has long been criticized as incoherent, unworkable, and out of touch with modern sensibilities. Thus, much of the CIL literature addresses its perceived problems. The principal goals of this literature are to help resolve whether norms that are claimed to be CIL are ...