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About the Book

Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing for International Graduate Students

Third Edition


Nadia E. Nedzel, J.D., LL.M.
Southern University Law Center

2012.  Approx. 425 pages.  ISBN: 978-1-4548-0550-2.
With Teacherís Manual.

About the Book

Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing for International Graduate Students helps readers understand and approach legal research and writing assignments the way attorneys do in the United States. Since most students will have studied civil law and some comparative law, but are unfamiliar with U.S. legal culture, the book begins by comparing common and civil law and then builds practical skills on this foundation. This comparative law perspective helps explain unique and important features of the United States legal system. Chapters are short and clear, and repeat the major points to aid, in particular, LL.M. candidates who are not native English speakers. A methodology of research and writing in preparing legal documents is presented, and reasoning and writing methods are based on standard IRAC analysis used by many instructors. To allow instructors to discuss citation requirements as they become needed, citation format information is integrated into the text. An important discussion of plagiarism and U.S. law school honor codes addresses subjects that surprise LL.M. students from cultures with a wide variety of norms and standards. As the Internet is likely to be the only legal research source available to foreign attorneys accessing U.S. law from their countries of origin, most of the exercises in each chapter can be done on the Web as well as in the law library, with either commercial or non-commercial websites.  Charts and summaries can be used as helpful reference tools. An extensive Teacherís Manual includes information about non-U.S. legal systems and legal education that helps prepare instructors for the kinds of problems LL.M. candidates experience.

The Third Edition offers suggestions and exercises to gain confidence and participate in U.S. classrooms. Research chapters are updated to include more in-depth international research explanations and exercises. More in-depth examples and exercises demonstrate drafting contracts. An expanded and revised chapter on the use of case method includes a synthesis of international case law, such as WTO appellate opinions and CISG interpretation. A new section on legal changes includes indications of success and failure.


Hallmark features of Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing for International Graduate Students:
  • Helps international students understand and approach legal research and writing assignments the way attorneys do in the United States
  • Uses a comparative law perspective to explain unique and important features of the United States legal system
  • begins by comparing common and civil law 
  • builds on this foundation with practical skills
  • assumes the reader has studied law but is unfamiliar with U.S. legal culture
  • Helps LL.M. candidates who are not native English speakers, in particular
  • features chapters that are short and clear
  • repeat the major points for greater comprehension
  • Includes methodology of research and writing components in  preparing legal documents
  • bases reasoning and writing components on standard IRAC analysis 
  • integrates citation format information into the text 
  • instructors can discuss citation requirements as they become needed
  • Incorporates discussion of plagiarism and U.S. law school honor codes
  • helpful when teaching students from a wide variety of cultures
  • Includes exercises in each chapter to apply new skills to practical problems 
  • exercises can be done in the law library or on the Internet, with commercial or non-commercial Websites 
  • the Internet is likely the only legal research source available to foreign attorneys accessing US law from their countries of origin
  • Provides charts and summaries  as reference tools
  • Extensive Teacherís Manual 
  • information about non-U.S. legal systems and legal education 
  • prepares instructors for the kinds of problems LL.M. candidates experience
Thoroughly updated, the revised Third Edition presents:
  • More focus on clarity and conciseness
  • A new introductory chapter explaining reading for class, briefing, and outlining designed to help students hit the ground running in U.S. doctrinal classes
  • A shorter first chapter focused solely on comparative principles designed to address students questions about U.S. law in time with their adjustment to U.S. doctrinal classes
  • Updated research chapters , with examples and exercises designed to appeal to LL.M. studentsí more sophisticated interests
  • Improved chapter on Contract Drafting
  • New section on digital lawyering