Legal writing law books, Bluebook citation manual, ALWD citation manual, legal writing study aids, legal research study aids, writing for law review, legal research paper

If you expect to get a top job after law school you need to make the law review. This is one of the major items the top law firms look for on a resume. It takes a lot of time and if you are not careful your other grades will suffer. The ability to do legal research, legal citations, and legal writing will stand you in good stead as you progress through your second and third year in law school.

One of the first things you need to do, even before you start your first semester, is to become familiar with Westlaw and Lexis Nexis. These are the two main legal research sites and most law schools provide law student access to both. You will have little time once school starts so get familiar with how to do legal research now.



The course is an introduction to legal analysis, research, and writing through the preparation of legal memorandums, client letters, and other assignments. This course emphasizes the basic skills and tools of analysis and research, and the fundamentals of good writing. Students research and write legal memorandums and other documents of increasing length and complexity; develop research skills, both individually and in group projects; and learn editing skills and the basics of legal ethics.

Wherever you are in your legal career, you can always improve your writing. But how can you find the time? Wayne Schiess has some suggestions for improving your writing, at his blog, Legal Prof. Schiess wrote the suggestions for busy lawyers, and you can use them too.

Besides Legal, I recommend The Illinois Trial Practice Weblog. Evan Schaeffer writes on a number of practical topics, including legal writing, on his Illinois Trial Practice Weblog. Reading blogs about writing will take only a few minutes a day, and you will gain many helpful tips.

Having problems with citations? Introduction to Basic Legal Citations


Learning how to perform legal research is going to be one of your biggest obstacles your first year as a law student.

Legal Research, Legal Search Engines and Directories

American Law Sources On-line Compilation of links to freely accessible on-line sources of law for the United States and Canada, plus links to sources of legal commentary and legal practice aids.


Cornell's Legal Research Information Institute Provides links to federal, state, foreign and international legal materials, including U.S. Supreme Court cases; U.S. Constitution, U.S. Code, and Code of Federal Regulations; Federal Rules of Evidence, Criminal Procedure and Civil Procedure; state statutes by topic, and a uniform law locator.

Emory's Electronic Reference Desk Includes Law by Jurisdiction or by Subject, Reference Materials and Research Guides, and several other categories of legal information.

FindLaw Includes portals for Legal Professionals, Students, Business, Corporate Counsel, and the Public; legal news and legal analysis.

HIEROS GAMOS Includes links to U.S. law, both federal and state, foreign and international law, legal associations, and directories, dictionaries and other reference sources, legal forms, and law journals. Law Practice Center includes Law and Government Resources for 230 Countries on over 70 primary practice areas Available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Internet Legal Resource Guide Categorized index of select websites in 238 nations, islands, and territories, with an emphasis on the United States, as well as thousands of locally stored web pages, legal forms, and downloadable files. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Justia Portal provides overviews and links to relevant articles, web resources, laws, news, blogs, and blog posts, by legal practice area. Search engine searches, legal web, law blogs, or legal podcasts.

U.S. Government's Official Web Portal Specialized directory that indexes pages in all .gov domains. Subscribe to e-mail updates, RSS feeds, e-newsletters, and podcasts. can be used to search the site or Government web, images, and news.

WashLaw Web, Washburn University School of Law Legal and law-related information presented in a large table by categories. You can also search the site. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Legal Articles and Current Awareness

Law Library Resource Xchange Includes monthly installments of new articles and guides on Internet research and technology-related issues, resources, and tools. The archives include Resource Centers on Comparative and Foreign Law, International Law, Search Engines, and State and Federal Legislation.

Another Legal Research Personal Favorite

The Virtual Chase--Teaching Legal Professionals How to Do Research Includes research articles, tips, guides, and TVC Alert, a free research news feed or e-mail newsletter. The How to Research and Information Quality sections are especially helpful.

Legal Forms and Resources by State. This site has links to the legal self help and forms site for each state. If you are looking for a particular form, it may not be available for your state but you may be able to find a similar one in another state to use as a guide.

State Links for Judicial Forms

Legal Objections Used in Courtroom Trials


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Here are some recommendations to help you with your essay exams. The time to start preparing for your bar exam is your first semester of law school.

Basic Rules for Taking an Essay Exam