Samuel-Siegel's Fundamentals & Decision Points: An Empowered Approach to Legal Writing

West Academic Publishing
Primary Subject
Legal Writing
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This concise text frames legal writing as a process built around a set of predictable, principle-driven decision points. It empowers students to navigate those decision points with confidence because, rather than treating memos, briefs, and letters as skillsets unto themselves, it teaches a consistent process applicable to all documents students are likely to face throughout their careers.

Centering both traditional and critical approaches, as well as intercultural communication skills, the book helps students learn the fundamentals of deductive reasoning and CREAC, while also introducing analytical and rhetorical tools for when existing laws or conventions are likely to produce injustice.

Three foundational chapters describe step-by-step processes for conducting legal analysis, legal writing, and legal citation, respectively. The remaining chapters equip students to practice applying the fundamental processes to common settings such as predictive writing for law-trained audiences (memos, letters, and emails); oral presentations; advisory writing for lay clients; and persuasive writing to opposing parties and decision makers. Finally, the Appendix provides robustly annotated examples including a legal memorandum, an executive summary email, a letter to a lay client, and a trial court brief.

Designed primarily for 1Ls, this text may be useful as well for upper-level students whose 1L instruction employed a document-specific text rather than a process-oriented one. It synthesizes legal writing fundamentals into an adaptable, process-oriented, practice-ready framework replicable across document types.