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Legal Research & Writing: Legal Writing & Drafting Books

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2023 1:50 PM

Getting Started

Legal writing has its own style and its own form of citation. Whether you are drafting a legal document, such as a contract, writing a law review article, or completing a law school assignment, this guide will help you through the legal writing process.

This guide is divided into the following subtopics:

  • general legal writing books
  • citation guides
  • books about grammar, usage and style
  • web resources 


Fine American Legal Systems: A Resource and Reference Guide KF 386 F56 1997 (Ref)
Memo, Motion, Memo in Support of Motion, Appellate Brief 

Nedzel, Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing for International, 2nd ed. KF 240 N43 2008 (Ref)

Oates, The Legal Writing Handbook: Analysis, Research, & Writing, 4th ed. KF 250 O18 2006 (Ref, AV Koren)
Legal writing for ESL students.

Ramsfield, Culture to Culture: A Guide to U.S. Legal Writing KF 250 R354 2005 (Ref)



Bahrych/Rombauer, Legal Writing in a Nutshell, 4th ed. KF 250 S68 2009 (Study Aids)

Barnard & Ramsfield, Legal Writing: Getting It Right and Getting It Written, 5th ed.KF 250 R39 2010 (Ref)

Bronsteen, Writing a Legal Memo KF 250 B76 2006 (Ref)

Drennan, Advocacy Words: A Thesaurus K50 D74 2005 (Ref) 

Dworsky, The Little Book on Legal Writing, 2nd ed. KF 250 D88 1992 (Ref)

Haggard, The Lawyer's Book of Rules for Effective Legal Writing KF 250 H34 1997(Also Ref)

Haggard, Legal Drafting in a Nutshell Reserve KF 250 H343 2007 (Study Aids) 

LeClercq, Guide to Legal Writing Style, 4th ed. KF 250 L374 2007 (Ref, Koren AV)

Moore, Binder, Demystifying the First Year if Law School: A Guide to the 1L Experience KF 283 M66 2010 (Ref)
Case briefing

Putman, Pocket Guide to Legal Writing KF 250 P873 2006 (Ref)

Schwartz, Guidelines for Bias-Free Writing PE 1460 S474 1995 (Ref) 


Aldisert, Logic for Lawyers: A Guide to Clear Legal Thinking, 3d ed. K 213 A42 1997 (Ref)

Block, Effective Legal Writing: For Law Students and Lawyers, 5th ed. KF 250 B56 1999 (Ref)
Case briefing, Ch. 1; Memo, Ch. 5; Brief, Ch. 6

Bast & Hawkins, Foundations of Legal Research and Writing, 4th ed. KF 240 B27 2010 (Ref)

Calleros, Legal Method and Writing, 7th ed. KF 250 C345 2014 (Ref)

Charrow, Clear & Effective Legal Writing, 4th ed. KF 250 C43 2007(Ref)

Chew & Pryal, The Complete Legal Writer KF 250 C46 2016 (Ref & Study Aids) Includes samples of many legal writing genres (chapters 9 - 19)

Clary, Successful Legal Analysis and Writing, 3rd ed. KF250 C53 2010 (Ref)

Coughlin, et al, A Lawyer Writes: a Practical Guide to Legal Analysis 2d ed. KF 250 C68 2013 (Ref)

Dernbach/Singleton, A Practical Guide to Legal Writing and Legal Methods, 4th ed.KF 250 D47 2010 (Ref, Reserve)

Edwards, Legal Writing: Process, Analysis, and Organization, 6th ed. KF 250 E38 2014 (Ref)
Office Memo & Appellate Brief

Fajans, Falk, Scholarly Writing for Law Students: Seminar Papers, Law Review Notes, and Law Review Competition Papers, 3d ed. KF 250 F35 2005 (Also Ref)

Gale & Moxley, How to Write the Winning Brief: Strategies for Effective Memoranda, Briefs, Client Letters, and Other Legal Documents KF 250 G35 1992

Gallacher, Legal communication and research : lawyering skills for the twenty-first century
KF240 .G35 2015 (Ref & Study Aids)
Chapters on writing, analysis, and research

Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English KF 250 G373 2001 (Ref)

Garner, The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial & Appellate Courts, 2d ed. KF 251 G37 2004 (Ref)

Harris, Legal Writing: Principles of Juriography KF 250 H37 1997

Harvard Law School, Introduction to Advocacy, 5th ed. KF 281 A2 I57 1991 (Also Ref)
Explains research for briefs and includes a sample brief. Practical introduction to oral argument.

Hurd, Writing for Lawyers KF 250 H87 2009 (Ref)

Martineau, Fundamentals of Modern Appellate Advocacy KF 9050 M37 1985 (Also Ref)
Basics of appellate practice including preservation, appealability, parties, and records.

McAlpin, Beyond the first draft : editing strategies for powerful legal writing
K94 .M35 2014 (Ref)

Murray/DeSantis, Legal Writing & Analysis KF 250 M865 2009 (Ref)

Neumann, Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing, 7th ed. KF 250 N48 2013 (Ref)
Sample memos and briefs in appendix

Neumann/Simon, Legal Writing 2nd ed. KF 250 N484 2011 (Ref)
Appendix: sample memoranda and briefs

Oates/Enquist, Legal Writing Handbook: Analysis, Research, and Writing, 6th ed. KF 250 O18 2014 (Ref)
Drafting legal documents and creating effective oral arguments

Pratt, Legal Writing: A Systematic Approach, 4th ed. KF 250 P73 2004 (Ref)
Covers case briefing, office memos, trial and appellate briefs.

Ray & Cox, Beyond the Basics: A Text for Advanced Legal Writing, 2d ed. KF 250 R38 2003 (Ref)
Pleadings, motions, interrogatories, correspondence, wills & trusts, contracts, statutes, jury instructions

Ray, The Basics of Legal Writing, Rev. 1st ed. KF 250 R37 2008 (Ref)

Ray/Ramsfield, Legal Writing: Getting It Right and Getting It Written, 4th ed. KF 250 R39 2005 (Ref)

Re, Brief Writing and Oral Argument, 9th ed. KF 251 R4 2005 (Also Ref)
Detailed guide to appellate briefs. Court rules, sample briefs for various courts.

Rocklin et al, An Advocate Persuades KF8915 M338 2016 (Ref & Study Aids) See appendix B for motions for summary judgments and appendix C for appellate briefs

Schiess, Better Legal Writing: 15 Topics for Advanced Legal Writers KF 250 S347 2005

Schmedemann/Kunz, Synthesis: Legal Reading, Reasoning, and Writing, 3rd ed. KF 250 S36 2007

Schultz & Sirico, Legal Writing and Other Lawyering Skills, 5th ed. KF 250 I58 2010 (Ref)

Shapo, Walter & Fajans, Writing and Analysis in the Law, 6th ed. KF 250 S5 2013 (Ref)
Legal system, analyzing cases and statutes, memos, briefs, motions.

UCLA, Handbook of Appellate Advocacy, 3rd ed. KF 251 H36 1993
Structure of a brief, persuasive writing, style, citation form, oral argument. Checklists for briefs and oral arguments.

Volokh, Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Students Notes, Seminar Papers, & Getting on Law Review, 4th ed. KF 250 V65 2010 (Ref)

Weresh, Legal Writing: Ethical & Professional Considerations, 2nd ed. KF 250 W438 2009 (Ref)

Wojcik, Introduction to Legal English, 3rd ed. KF 250 W65 2009 (Ref)


Adams, A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, 2nd ed. KF 807 A33 2008

Alterman, Plain and Accurate Style in Court Papers KF 250 A48 1987 (Ref)

Bast & Hawkins, Foundations of Legal Research and Writing, 4th ed. KF 240 B27 2010

Bradley, Successful Legal Analysis and Writing, 3rd ed. KF 250 C53 2010 (Ref)

Bronsteen, Writing a Legal Memo KF 250 B76 2006 (Ref)

Butt, Modern Legal Drafting: A Guide to Using Clearer Language K94 B88 2001

Calleros, Legal Method and Writing, 5th ed. KF 250 C345 2006 (Ref)
Good discussion of organization, varying formats, relationship among multiple issues, progression, etc. Index inside front cover of formats for legal documents.

Child, Drafting Legal Documents: Principles and Practices, 2nd ed. KF 250 C47 1992 (Ref)

Darmstadter, Hereof, Thereof, and Everywhereof: A Contrarian Guide to Legal Drafting, 2nd ed. KF 250 D37 2008 (Ref)

Dickerson, The Fundamentals of Legal Drafting, 2nd ed. KF 250 D5 l986 (Ref)

Drennan, Advocacy Words: A Thesaurus K 50 S74 2005 (Ref)

Fajans, Writing for Law Practice KF 250 F355 2004 (Ref)

Fisher, Pleasing the Court: Writing Ethical and Effective Briefs KF 251 F57 2005

Garfinkel, Real World Document Drafting: A Dispute-Avoidance Approach KF 250 G365 2008 (Ref)

Garner, The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style, 2nd ed. KF 250 G375 2006 (Ref Desk)

George, Judicial Opinion Writing Handbook, 5th ed. KF 250 G46 2007 (Ref)

Glazer, Glazer and FitzGibbon on Legal Opinions: Drafting, Interpreting and Supporting Closing Opinions in Business, Transactions, 3rd ed. KF 1355 F57 2008 (Also Koren AV)

Haggard, Legal Drafting in a Nutshell, 3rd ed. KF 250 H343 2007 (Study Aids)

Johns, Professional Writing for Lawyers KF 250 J64 1998 (Ref)
Office memo, client & demand letters, complaint, motion to dismiss, appellate brief.

Kane & Linn, Letters for Lawyers: Esssential Communications for Clients, Prospects, and Others, 2nd ed. KF 320 L48 K36 2004 (Also Koren AV)

Marx, The Modern Rules of Style KF 250 M38 2007 (Ref)

Murray, Legal Research and Writing KF 240 M87 2006 (Ref)

Oettle, Making Your Point: A Practical Guide to Persuasive Legal Writing KF 250 O384 2007

Ray & Cox, Beyond the Basics: A Text for Advanced Legal Writing KF 250 R38 2003 (Ref)
Drafting statutes, jury instructions, contracts, pleadings, motions, orders, interrogations, wills, trusts, opinion letters.

Scheiss, Preparing Legal Documents Nonlawyers Can Read & Understand KF 250 S349 2008 (Ref)

Schultz/Sirico, Legal Writing & Other Lawyering Skills KF 250 I58 2004 (Ref)
Negotiations, standards of review, sample motions, pleadings, discovery, jury instructions, settlement agreements, briefs, oral argument

Stark, Drafting Contracts: How and Why Lawyers Do What They Do KF 807 S73 2007

Sterba, Legal Opinion Letters, 3rd ed. KF 250 D73 2003 (Ref)

Weresh, Legal Writing: Ethical and Professional Considerations, 2nd ed. KF 250 W 438 2009 (Ref)

Wydick, Plain English for Lawyers, 5th ed. KF 250 W9 2005 (Also Ref)