Legal writing was difficult for me in the beginning of law school. In fact, my legal writing professor told me I started as one of the worst in the class. However, lots of practice and these four books resulted in this same professor nominating my brief for a legal writing competition at the end of my first year. In addition, these books have been invaluable resources while serving on Law Review and while interning recently for a federal district court judge.
The best legal writing resources I recommend are these:
- The Red Book – A legal writing guide with samples of briefs, motions, research memos, and more
- The Blue Book – The legal citation authority
- Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage – A very useful guide to grammar, sentence structure, formating, and more
- Getting to Maybe – Learn to think (and ultimately write) like a lawyer with this book, which teaches legal analysis of issues
Although this book isn’t related to legal writing, it’s worth mentioning because it tops off the list of what I consider the essential books for any law student:
- Law School Confidential – A guide for each year of law school and the many aspects law students must address, including preparation for law school, choosing courses, job hunting, dealing with professors and grades, and much more