Fajans, Kanwar, and Shapo's Writing and Analysis in the Law, 8th

Foundation Press
Primary Subject
Legal Writing
Publication Date


A standard-setter in American legal education, Writing and Analysis in the Law provides a guide to legal writing, focusing on the importance of thoughtful, thorough analysis and clear organization in written communications. Developed as a textbook for a first-year law school course and successful in courses for foreign LLM students, the book introduces law students to analyzing and writing about legal authority in cases and statutes. It discusses the structure and persuasive techniques of effective argumentation. The book makes effective use of high-quality and illustrative examples and writing exercises. Lucid, compact, and up-to-date, this work consistently draws acclaim in law schools across the country.

The 8th edition responds to legal education’s increased attention to professional identity and cultural competence, focusing on interpersonal skills that are as important as a lawyer’s research and analytic skills (the latter required by ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.1). Alongside the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, this edition introduces first-year students to the American Bar Association’s two new standards to build law students’ professional skills: Standard 303(b) on professional identity formation and Standard 303(c) on cross-cultural competence. Standard 303(b) states that “a law school shall provide substantial opportunities to students for the development of a professional identity.” The 303-5 interpretation guides on professional identity include the special obligations lawyers have to their clients and society. Further, Standard 303(c) deepens the commitment to client-centered lawyering skills by emphasizing cross-cultural competence and the elimination of bias. Both parts rely on respecting and listening to the client, and thus, discussion of these requirements is woven into the chapters on client interviewing and counseling.

Along these lines, there is also an expanded section on inclusive language. Here, we raise the use of the singular they, the generic use of he, the generic use of gender specific words, and the use of words revealing cultural bias.

One addition to the writing process chapter is a discussion of generative artificial intelligence and its advantages and pitfalls. Here we point out why law firms’ use of AI might be discouraged in law schools given a school’s responsibility for ensuring that students have mastered the skills they need to evaluate the accuracy and persuasiveness of AI work. Included here is an exercise asking students to evaluate an AI generated memo discussion.

Finally, upon the recommendation of our research and teaching assistants, the 8th edition reintroduces updated appendices on citation in both Bluebook and ALWD and provides a citation exercise.