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About the Book

A Practical Guide to Legal Writing and Legal Method, 6e

Front Cover - A Practical Guide to Legal Writing and Legal Method, 6e

Sixth Edition 


John C. Dernbach
Widener University

Richard V. Singleton II
Blank Rome LLP

Cathleen Wharton
University of Georgia

Joan M. Ruhtenberg
Indiana University, Indianapolis

Catherine J. Wasson
Elon University

2017. 548 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-8081-3.

Click here to access the Fifth Edition. 

With Teacher's Manual.

About the Book

A Practical Guide to Legal Writing and Legal Method continues to provide complete coverage of basic legal writing and analysis with the clarity and precision that has made it a classic in the field.  The text is concise and flexible, teaching students to apply legal method concepts to a written or oral argument through a combination of introductory exposition, extensive examples, and practice exercises.  Offering great teaching opportunities in the classroom, the lessons and examples also support independent study and review.  A valuable text that students will want to keep as practitioners.  

New to the Sixth Edition:

  • A new chapter on reading & understanding statutes to help students deconstruct and comprehend legislation and administrative rules.  
  • A new chapter on “summary of the law” memoranda to teach students how to draft a document increasingly being used in modern law practice to answer the question “what is the law on . . .”  or when a full analysis of a legal issue is not needed.
  • Two new appendices provide examples of a “summary of the law” memorandum in both email and traditional memo format.
  • Improved structure and organization of new emphasis on objective writing as the foundation for in-house memoranda and client communications.
  • New emphasis on guidelines for the use of email for legal memoranda and client correspondence, including the determination of whether email is the appropriate medium and strategies for effective communication. 
  • Streamlining throughout to enhance readability of an already exceedingly readable text.
Casebook Features: 

The only text currently on the market that includes coverage of the shorter “summary of the law” memo that lawyers are frequently asked to write under a variety of circumstances when a full analysis of a legal issue is not appropriate. 

Preface / Sample Chapters