The Complete Series for Legal Writers

by Alexa Z. Chew and Katie Rose Guest Pryal

About The Complete Series for Legal Writers

The Complete Series for Legal Writers is a series of legal writing handbooks for students and practitioners written and edited by Professors Alexa Z. Chew and Katie Rose Guest Pryal of UNC School of Law. The series emphasizes a systematic and transferable approach to legal writing, which includes the genre discovery approach, citation literacy, and giving feedback. Readers can easily apply these skills to a variety of unpredictable situations. To be complete does not mean to list every possible scenario, but rather to prepare readers to encounter them.

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The Complete Legal Writer, second edition, published in 2020 by Carolina Academic Press, complete with a robust teacher’s manual and brand-new support in Core Knowledge for Lawyers.

The Complete Legal Writer lives up to its name, providing everything legal research and writing professors and students need in a textbook, including citation literacy, research skills, writing process, a wide range of legal documents, and more. Using the cutting-edge Genre Discovery Approach (and its sister, the Citation Literacy Approach), this book teaches students to guide themselves through the process of writing unfamiliar legal document types and thereby prepares students to write independently in upper-level classes and the workplace.

To aid in teaching Genre Discovery, the authors provide three exacting samples of each document type covered in the book, a rhetorical analysis of each document type, and specific questions to guide students as they study the samples. The Complete Legal Writer covers document types that are traditionally taught in the first year, such as office memos and appellate briefs, as well as document types taught in upper-level and non-traditional first-year curricula, including trial briefs, demand letters, and employer blog posts.

Furthermore, this book covers an essential skill for all legal writing classes: giving and receiving feedback. In addition to explaining how to give feedback to and receive feedback from peers, an important skill given the rise of peer-feedback practices in the LRW classroom, The Complete Legal Writer also covers how to receive and implement feedback from professors and workplace supervisors in order to improve both a particular document and future documents.

The second edition features updates throughout; new chapters on revision, editing, and giving feedback; and an appendix on conducting electronic research. Assessment content tailored to the book is available via CAP’s Core Knowledge for Lawyers platform, access to which is included in the price of a new book. 

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