The Journey to Excellence in Legal Writing

By Pamela Newell and Timothy J. Peterkin
©2011, 212 pages

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The Journey to Excellence in Legal Writing

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    Professors Newell and Peterkin deal thoroughly with fundamental grammar skills often overlooked in legal writing textbooks. The chapters in this text cover everything that students should learn in legal writing from spotting issues, to finding and interpreting the law, to writing either an objective or persuasive document for their client or the court. Each chapter provides exhaustive treatment of the topic. The text also provides useful examples and exercises for the reader to test his or her understanding of the topic. The Journey to Excellence in Legal Writing not only contains a thorough explication of legal writing for first-year law students. Upper-level students, practitioners, and judges will also benefit from the instruction contained in these pages. Therefore, this book is the perfect tool for all who wish to learn and improve their legal writing skills.

    Through The Journey to Excellence in Legal Writing students and other readers will:

    • Learn the differences between primary and secondary law, the doctrine of stare decisis, and the distinction between statutory law and case law.
    • Become skilled at outlining rules in order to identify issues and craft issue statements properly.
    • Gather knowledge to interpret statutes and apply case law to different factual scenarios.
    • Use synthesis to compare court holdings and reasoning in fashioning a general legal principle.
    • Be taught how to develop organizational skills and use grammatical rules appropriately.
    • Be able to apply effective techniques in writing memoranda.
    • Study the importance of ethics in correspondence to clients.
    • Comprehend the power behind mediation and negotiations.
    • Study the best ways to answer examination questions.

    Professor Pamela Newell received her B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997 and her J.D. from UNC School of Law in 2000. She received her LLM in Law and Government from American University in 2009. After law school, Professor Newell clerked at the N.C. Supreme Court, N.C. Court of Appeals and the N.C. Industrial Commission. She also worked as a Special Deputy Commissioner at the Industrial Commission and as GAL Appellate Counsel at the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts. She was in private practice specializing in workers' compensation. Professor Newell's specialties include appellate law and juvenile law.

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