Resources

Publications

The Director and Assistant Director of Legal Writing regularly publish scholarly articles on legal writing. The publications are specifically designed and written with the audience of law students in mind. Students can read the articles to review topics covered in first-year legal writing as well as review articles regarding advanced writing topics. Our hope is that you will use these reader-friendly resources to improve your legal writing and reinforce what you have been taught in our legal-writing program.

We accept submissions of articles from both law students and practitioners. To submit an article, please email lawwritingcenter@untdallas.edu. Submissions should be in Word format and in similar style and length to the below articles.

Publications

CRAC: An Overview
Author: Assistant Professor of Law Christine Tamer, Assistant Director of Center for Writing Excellence

How to Locate a Writ or Petition History and Create a Greenbook Citation for Civil Appellate Cases in Texas
Author: Professor Melissa Shultz, Director, Center for Writing Excellence

Mastering Legal Analysis: Achieving the Best by Understanding the Bad
Author: Professor Melissa Shultz, Director, Center for Writing Excellence

Quick Lessons for Clear Writing

The Center for Writing Excellence hosts Quick Lessons through the year. These quick lessons — open to all students and during the lunch and dinner hours — are on topics that will improve every students’ legal writing. Past quick lessons have been on topics such as eliminating passive voice, improving grammar, drafting topic sentences, and reviewing citations.

ESL and Bilingual Student Resources

Law school is difficult for everyone. After just the first week of classes, students realize that their professors are asking them to write, to read, and to think in a whole new language: the language of law. For bilingual and ESL students, this difficulty is compounded. Not only do bilingual and ESL students at times struggle with non-legal English, now professors are asking them to write, to read, and to think in a specialized version of English.  You are not in this endeavor alone. The Center for Writing Excellence is here to help you navigate the language of the law and to master legal writing.  

Although law school can present unique challenges to bilingual and ESL students, the rewards of ascertaining a legal degree as a bilingual or ESL student are enormous. The opportunity for a client to communicate in his or her native tongue with a bilingual attorney can eliminate unnecessary anxiety for the client and will inevitably improve the accuracy of any resulting legal representation. If you at times feel discouraged by the task of parsing legal opinions, statutes, and contracts in a language other than your first language, let the appreciation and relief of your future clients drive you to put in the extra work necessary to become a successful bilingual or ESL lawyer.

And remember, you are not in this endeavor alone. The Center for Writing Excellence is here to help you navigate the language of the law and to master legal writing. 

We have compiled the following list of resources to aid our bilingual and ESL students. 

On-Line Resources

  1. Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL): https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
  2. Videos and visual depictions of legal concepts: www.uslawessentials.com
  3. US Law Essentials YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg2hOhwtHaLnk6CvMzNtIrA
  4. Grammar Girl (an easy to follow grammar blog): http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl
  5. Grammar Girl podcasts: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl-quick-and-dirty-tips-complete-archive-of-posts-podcasts

UNT DALLAS COLLEGE OF LAW LIBRARY RESOURCES

  1. Just Writing, Enquist, Oates, Francis KF 250.E57 2017: on reserve (especially Chapter 10)