Helpful Resources for Researching & Writing a Law Note or Seminar Paper

If you are one of the many students who are writing a law note or seminar paper this semester, you may feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment.  Several questions maybe running through your head such as:  how do I identify a “good” topic; where do I begin researching; when should I stop researching; how do I organize my paper. Well, there is no need to fear.  Listed below are several resources available from the BLS library that can help you research and write your law note or seminar paper.  

General Resources for Legal Research and Writing

The quote below is provided by the publisher.

In order to inspire and motivate their readers, the authors have appended a selective list of student notes and comments and a chapter on techniques to help writers narrow their subjects and find theses. The authors added a section on reading for types of legal argument and an exercise to address increasing student concern over plagiarism. Includes a short section on the importance of editorial cooperation and communication. Offers a new chapter on entering writing competitions and publishing.

The quote below is taken from the book’s Foreword, which was written by Court of Appeals Judge for the Ninth Circuit, Hon. Alex Kozinski.

This book fills a void in the legal literature: It teaches students how to go about finding a topic and developing it into a useful, interesting, publishable piece.  It gives detailed and very helpful instructions for every aspect of the writing, research and publication process.  And it comes from the keyboard of someone who has authored articles on a dizzying variety of legal topics and is widely regarded as one of the brightest lights in legal academia.  

This research guide provides links and descriptions of sources to identify articles, dissertations, books, case documents, and treaties when writing an international or comparative law paper.

This guide provides links and descriptions of sources to identify developments concerning international law and foreign law.

This online research guide is designed to help law students select and develop a research topic for their seminar paper.

Legal Writing: Style & Grammer

The quote below is provided by the publisher.

In Legal Writing in Plain English, Bryan A. Garner provides lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students, and legal scholars sound advice and practical tools for improving their written work. The book encourages legal writers to challenge conventions and offers valuable insights into the writing process: how to organize ideas, create and refine prose, and sharpen editing skills. In essence, it teaches straight thinking—a skill inseparable from good writing.

 The quote below is taken from the book’s Foreword, which was written by Charles Alan Wright.

There are often many ways, all of which correct by the rules of usage, in which to express a particular idea.  Making the best choice among the possibilities requires an ear for the language, a good sense of taste and of tactics, and an instinctive feel for what will work best in a particular situation.  These choices are more informed, however, if the writer or speaker is aware of the possibilities and sensitive to the considerations that go into the choice.  Garner provides sound guidance on these matters of style for the legal writer.