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Legal Writing and Research

University of Michigan Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Editing And Advocacy, Patrick Barry Jan 2023

Editing And Advocacy, Patrick Barry

Books

Good editors don’t just see the sentence that was written. They see the sentence that might have been written. They know how to spot words that shouldn’t be included and summon up ones that haven’t yet appeared. Their value comes not just from preventing mistakes but from discovering new ways to improve a piece of writing’s style, structure, and overall impact.

This book— which is based on a popular course taught at the University of Chicago Law School, the University of Michigan Law School, and the UCLA School of Law— is designed to help you become one of those editors. …


Feedback Loops: Feedback Fundamentals, Patrick Barry Jan 2023

Feedback Loops: Feedback Fundamentals, Patrick Barry

Books

Learning how to give and receive feedback is fundamental to the development of every student and professional. Yet few of us are ever taught anything like “feedback skills.”

This book, which is the first in the Feedback Loops series, is designed to change that. Here is what students who have taken the University of Michigan Law School course on which the series is based have said about it:

“One of the most memorable and useful classes I have taken in law school!”

“Excellent, full stop.”

“This class was always a fun highlight of my week.”


Editing, Vehicles In The Park, And The Virtue Of Clarity, Patrick Barry Jan 2023

Editing, Vehicles In The Park, And The Virtue Of Clarity, Patrick Barry

Articles

What is the optimal amount of advocacy?

My law students and I face that question all the time. We face it when we’re drafting motions. We face it when we’re proposing changes to contracts. We even face it when putting together key emails, text messages, and social-media posts.

In all these situations and many more, we don’t want to oversell our arguments and ideas — but we don’t want to undersell them either. Instead, we hope to hit that perfect sweet spot known as “persuasion.”

We don’t always succeed, but one thing that has significantly increased our effectiveness is the …


Hierarchy, Race & Gender In Legal Scholarly Networks, Nicholson W. Price, Keerthana Nunna, Jonathan Tietz Jan 2023

Hierarchy, Race & Gender In Legal Scholarly Networks, Nicholson W. Price, Keerthana Nunna, Jonathan Tietz

Articles

A potent myth of legal academic scholarship is that it is mostly meritocratic and mostly solitary. Reality is more complicated. In this Article, we plumb the networks of knowledge co-production in legal academia by analyzing the star footnotes that appear at the beginning of most law review articles. Acknowledgments paint a rich picture of both the currency of scholarly credit and the relationships among scholars. Building on others’ prior work characterizing the potent impact of hierarchy, race, and gender in legal academia more generally, we examine the patterns of scholarly networks and probe the effects of those factors. The landscape …


Résumé Review: Breadth And Depth, Patrick Barry Jan 2023

Résumé Review: Breadth And Depth, Patrick Barry

Articles

Nobody is born knowing how to craft an effective résumé. But because the document can play a major role in a young lawyer’s career, I often talk with law students and new attorneys about how they might revise the versions they send out to potential employers. I usually frame my advice by telling them about a concept that can give their resumes a helpful organizing structure: being “T-shaped.”


Feedback Loops: E-D-I-T, Patrick Barry Jan 2023

Feedback Loops: E-D-I-T, Patrick Barry

Articles

The Keep/Cut Framework we learned about back in the December 2022 Feedback Loops column is, admittedly, a bit of a blunt feedback instrument. When the only feedback you can give is “Keep” or “Cut,” there’s not a ton of room for nuance or gradation. Your comments are restricted to either endorsing what already exists or pushing for something to be removed. hat’s a pretty limited menu.

So in both this column and in the June 2023 column, we’re going to learn about a feedback framework that creates opportunities for a greater range of opinions and recommendations: “E-D-I-T.”


Feedback Loops: E-D-I-T (Continued), Patrick Barry Jan 2023

Feedback Loops: E-D-I-T (Continued), Patrick Barry

Articles

In the "Feedback Loops" column back in March, we introduced the "E-D-I-T" framework:

  • Find something to Eliminate
  • Find something to Decrease
  • Find something to Increase
  • Find something to Try

This new column will discuss each category more in depth.


Sisters Gonna Work It Out: Black Women As Reformers And Radicals In The Criminal Legal System, Paul Butler Jan 2023

Sisters Gonna Work It Out: Black Women As Reformers And Radicals In The Criminal Legal System, Paul Butler

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom. By Derecka Purnell and a review of Progressive Prosecution: Race and Reform in Criminal Justice. Edited by Kim Taylor-Thompson and Anthony C. Thompson.


Nepantla/Coatlicue/Conocimiento, Gerald Torres Jan 2023

Nepantla/Coatlicue/Conocimiento, Gerald Torres

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. By Gloria Anzaldúa.


Beyond More Accurate Algorithms: Takeaways From Mccleskey Revisited, Ngozi Okidegbe Jan 2023

Beyond More Accurate Algorithms: Takeaways From Mccleskey Revisited, Ngozi Okidegbe

Michigan Law Review

A Review of McCleskey v. Kemp. By Mario Barnes, in Critical Race Judgments: Rewritten U.S. Court Opinions on Race and the Law 557, 581. Edited by Bennett Capers, Devon W. Carbado, R.A. Lenhardt and Angela Onwuachi-Willig.


Disrupting Carceral Logic In Family Policing, Cynthia Godsoe Jan 2023

Disrupting Carceral Logic In Family Policing, Cynthia Godsoe

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World, By Dorothy Roberts.


Heeding The Voices Of Migrant Youth: The Need For Action, Randi Mandelbaum Jan 2023

Heeding The Voices Of Migrant Youth: The Need For Action, Randi Mandelbaum

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Unaccompanied: The Plight of Immigrant Youth at the Border. By Emily Ruehs-Navarro.


Disabling Lawyering: Buck V. Bell And The Road To A More Inclusive Legal Practice, Jacob Izak Abudaram Jan 2023

Disabling Lawyering: Buck V. Bell And The Road To A More Inclusive Legal Practice, Jacob Izak Abudaram

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be and Ally. By Emily Ladau and Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v. Bell By Paul A. Lombardo.


An Appeal To Books, Amir H. Ali Jan 2023

An Appeal To Books, Amir H. Ali

Michigan Law Review

This feels a fit, even urgent, moment to celebrate our books and the role they play vis-à-vis the law, the courts, and the truth.

As this issue goes to print, our nation’s highest court faces forceful criticism that some of its most significant decisions have been detached from objective fact. In recent Terms, the Supreme Court’s majority has doubled down on deciding major constitutional questions based on “history and tradition”—that is, the majority’s understanding of what the nation was like centuries ago. Just as quickly as these justices praised the objectivity of their fealty to history, they met widespread rebuke …


Allow Me To Transform: A Black Guy’S Guide To A New Constitution, Brandon Hasbrouck Jan 2023

Allow Me To Transform: A Black Guy’S Guide To A New Constitution, Brandon Hasbrouck

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution. By Elie Mystal.


Introduction: Three Responses To Rewritten Opinions In Critical Race Judgments, Gabe Chess, Elena Meth Jan 2023

Introduction: Three Responses To Rewritten Opinions In Critical Race Judgments, Gabe Chess, Elena Meth

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Critical Race Judgments: Rewritten U.S. Court Opinions on Race and the Law. Edited by Bennett Capers, Devon W. Carbado, R.A. Lenhardt and Angela Onwuachi-Willig.


The Indian Child Welfare Act In The Multiverse, M. Alexander Pearl Jan 2023

The Indian Child Welfare Act In The Multiverse, M. Alexander Pearl

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl By Matthew L.M. Fletcher and Kathryn E. Fort, in Critical Race Judgments: Rewritten U.S. Court Opinions on Race and the Law 452, 471. Edited by Bennett Capers, Devon W. Carbado, R.A. Lenhardt and Angela Onwuachi-Willig.


Akhil Amar’S Unusable Past, Gregory Ablavsky Jan 2023

Akhil Amar’S Unusable Past, Gregory Ablavsky

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760–1840. By Akhil Reed Amar.


Beyond “Big Government”: Toward New Legal Histories Of The New Deal Order’S End, Gabriel L. Levine Jan 2023

Beyond “Big Government”: Toward New Legal Histories Of The New Deal Order’S End, Gabriel L. Levine

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Public Citizens: The Attack on Big Government and the Remaking of American Liberalism. By Paul Sabin.


Mothers In Law, Melissa Murray Jan 2023

Mothers In Law, Melissa Murray

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality. By Tomiko Brown-Nagin.


Policing Queer Sexuality, Ari Ezra Waldman Jan 2023

Policing Queer Sexuality, Ari Ezra Waldman

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Vice Patrol: Cops, Courts, and the Struggle over Urban Gay Life Before Stonewall. By Anna Lvovsky.


An Order, Most Fixed, Alexandra D. Lahav Jan 2023

An Order, Most Fixed, Alexandra D. Lahav

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Rules: A Short History of What We Live By. By Lorraine Daston.


The Geography Of Unfreedom, Ann M. Eisenberg Jan 2023

The Geography Of Unfreedom, Ann M. Eisenberg

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central Appalachia. By Judah Schept.


Status Manipulation In Chae Chan Ping V. United States, Sam Erman Jan 2023

Status Manipulation In Chae Chan Ping V. United States, Sam Erman

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Chae Chan Ping v. United States. By Rose Cuison-Villazor in Critical Race Judgments: Rewritten U.S. Court Opinions on Race and the Law 74, 84. Edited by Bennett Capers, Devon W. Carbado, R.A. Lenhardt and Angela Onwuachi-Willig.


Locating Free And Low-Cost Secondary Sources In Michigan, Cody James Jan 2023

Locating Free And Low-Cost Secondary Sources In Michigan, Cody James

Law Librarian Scholarship

Secondary sources are all the legal resources that describe what the law is without actually having the force of law. For example, treatises, law review articles, and practice series are secondary sources while statutes, regulations, and cases are primary sources. Although secondary sources are not binding authority, they provide valuable, up-to-date insight and commentary about existing laws. These insights are especially useful when handling matters outside of an attorney’s usual areas of practice.

Unfortunately, secondary sources are not cheap — consider that a full set of Michigan Civil Jurisprudence has a retail cost of $25,119. That said, a lot of …


Non-Lawyer Judges In Devalued Courts, Maureen Carroll Sep 2022

Non-Lawyer Judges In Devalued Courts, Maureen Carroll

Reviews

Recent legal scholarship has shed needed light on the vast universe of litigation that occurs without lawyers. Large majorities of civil litigants lack representation, even in weighty matters such as eviction and termination of parental rights, raising a host of issues worthy of scholarly attention. For example, one recent article has examined racial and gendered effects of the lack of constitutionally guaranteed counsel in civil matters, and another has shown that judges tend not to reduce the complexity of the proceedings for the benefit of unrepresented parties. In Judging Without a J.D., Sara Greene and Kristen Renberg add an important …


Hierarchy, Race & Gender In Legal Scholarly Networks, Keerthana Nunna, W. Nicholson Price Ii, Jonathan Tietz Jan 2022

Hierarchy, Race & Gender In Legal Scholarly Networks, Keerthana Nunna, W. Nicholson Price Ii, Jonathan Tietz

Law & Economics Working Papers

A potent myth of legal academic scholarship is that it is mostly meritocratic and that it is mostly solitary. Reality is more complicated. In this Article, we plumb the networks of knowledge co-production in legal academia by analyzing the star footnotes that appear at the beginning of most law review articles. Acknowledgements paint a rich picture of both the currency of scholarly credit and the relationships among scholars. Building on others’ prior work characterizing the potent impact of hierarchy, race, and gender in legal academia more generally, we examine the patterns of scholarly networks and probe the effects of those …


Elephant In The Room, Patrick Barry Jan 2022

Elephant In The Room, Patrick Barry

Articles

Over the past several decades, the student population at law schools across the country has become more and more racially diverse. In 1987, for example, only about 1 in every 10 law students identified as a person of color; by 2019, that percentage shot up to almost 1 out of 3.

Yet take a look at virtually any collection of recommended manuals on writing. You are unlikely to find even one that is authored by a person of color. The composition of law schools may be dramatically changing, but the materials that students are given to help them figure out …


Investigative Advocacy: The Mechanics Of Muckraking, Patrick Barry Jan 2022

Investigative Advocacy: The Mechanics Of Muckraking, Patrick Barry

Articles

This essay argues that drafting a complaint is a form of investigative advocacy and that the best of them uphold the tradition of muckraking journalism.


Legal Writing Mechanics: A Bibliography, Margaret Hannon Jan 2022

Legal Writing Mechanics: A Bibliography, Margaret Hannon

Articles

Great legal writing is about more than mechanics. But careful attention to legal writing mechanics is nevertheless critical for effective, clear, and persuasive writing. Proper grammar, usage, and correct punctuation makes analysis clearer and therefore more effective. It also shows the reader that the writer has paid close attention to detail, which makes the reader more likely to find the writer credible. Relatedly, communicating in plain language is critical to making sure that “readers can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information.” And proper citation—or even better, stylish citation—helps the reader easily understand what …